Cultural Shorts

Discussions about the artistic impulse and creative drive, these interviews and features bring a local focus on the global art community of artists, authors and musicians.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

For many music lovers, Woody Guthrie is the quintessential folk artist.

He is the man who scrawled "This Machine Kills Fascists" on his guitar and sang about social injustices.

But Guthrie's musical legacy reaches far beyond the folk designation. For some, he is a founding father of country music.

Joshua Moon Wilkins

Kansas native Chuck Mead is the subject of KMUW's upcoming music tasting on Thursday, Sept. 5, at Roxy's Downtown.

Raised in Lawrence, Mead is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band BR549. He also brought the Tony Award-winning musical Million Dollar Quartet to life via his understanding of the intersection between rural and urban music.

Jacob Blicken

Earlier in 2019, Gov't Mule released Bring On The Music: Live at the Capitol Theatre, a multi-format collection celebrating the outfit's quarter-century career.

In addition to a stand-alone live album, fans can also witness the concert via a DVD/Blu-ray release, which features behind-the-scenes footage and band interviews. Directed by Danny Clinch, the film captures the veteran act's visual impact in great detail.

Nate Burrell

Texas-based musician Scott H. Biram has been something of a touring phenomenon over the last two decades but says that these days he's pulling back a little.

Are you touring more these days than in the past?

No. I've actually tried to dial it back in the last few years. I was doing 200 dates a year at one point. In the last couple of years, I've tried to dial it back a little bit. I probably do 150-165 dates a year. Four or five tours a year it seems like.

Jay Marshall

Earlier this year, Wichita-based band After Judo released its first album, Harvard Avenue, and now the band is about to embark on its first-ever tour.

Band members Joe Hagen and An Nguyen recently visited the KMUW studios to talk about the band's history.

Take me back and tell me how this whole thing started.

Michelle Mavrides

Wichita is the latest stop on a tour in support of Shawn James' latest album, The Dark & The Light. Influenced by soul, gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, and more, James provides a seamless blend of all those styles through the music on the deeply personal album.

Zach Bauman

Josh Berwanger was a member of the highly revered Lawrence, Kansas, band The Anniversary, which issued a series of enduring albums and EPs between 1997 and 2003.


Released in January 2019, Old News is the sophomore release from Nashville's The Steel Woods. The record encapsulates the collective's musical diversity. Neither entirely country nor entirely southern rock, the band appeals to fans of a variety of idioms, often within a single tune.

"I love James Brown as much as I love bluegrass as much as I love Bill Monroe. I like good music," says co-founder Jason "Rowdy" Cope. "I guess we're a classic rock band. We're just not old enough to be classic rock."

David Munn

Brit Floyd is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's classic double album The Wall. Guitarist Damian Darlington recently spoke with KMUW about his love of Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's playing.

Yolanda Adams, Facebook

Four-time Grammy award-winning singer Yolanda Adams will headline the Gospelfest at Wichita’s Riverfest on Monday night.