A Musical Life

KMUW's Jedd Beaudoin interviews Wichitans who live a musical life... as a full-time vocation or a part-time passion.

A Musical Life is also available through Apple Podcasts.

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Lurdes Gaskill Renteria

Drew J. Howard is a composer and bassist based in Wichita, Kansas. He had performed in church ensembles and rock groups such as Stratus, Captain Carl’s Tuesday Nite Blues Band, Empire Falls and Let Us Be Lions, which later became Black Box Warning. He records under the name Dru Lo Nadir.

Justin Labadie

Logan Bush is a co-founding member of Kill Vargas, in which he plays drums. The band’s latest release is 2019’s Laugh It Off.

“When we started playing together, in Kill Vargas, it was on the Guitar Hero game. I was playing the Guitar Hero drums and it just kind of stayed that way. When we would record music, I’d be on the woodblock and snare because that’s all I had at the time, when we were really young. Eventually, one Christmas, my parents got me a drum set.

courtesy photo

Candice Sullivan is a classically trained vocalist who fronts Candice and the Business Casual.

"I grew up in the classical field. From age seven until about 18, I sang in operas only. I moved to Wichita with my family and was singing Aretha Franklin and thought, 'I can sing something other than classical.' That's really where it started.

Doug Hahn

Michael Peltzer is a multi-instrumentalist based in Wichita. He has played with a variety of acts throughout his career, including The Watchers with Jenny Wood and with Reggie Littleton’s jazz group.

Jenny Hopkins

Jade Hopkins is a singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Derby, Kansas.

“I’ve been a songwriter for a long time but I got really into Jerry Reed. Most people know him as an actor but he was also a country singer. What most people don’t know is that he’s one of the greatest thumb-picking guitar players ever. This guy can play could play things that were completely unbelievable. When I heard it, I couldn’t understand how he did. So I sent away for these tapes to learn how to play like him and the songs that I play of Jerry Reed’s, it took me about 10 years to learn.

Harrison Hale

Cody Cloud is a founding member of the band Vehicles, for which he serves as guitarist and vocalist. The band is at work on a new album for release in 2020.

Connor Seybert

Joe Simpson is a member of the band Circular Reference, which recently issued the record One.

“One of the most important parts of being a musician is being a good listener. I think we have the responsibility to be the type of fan and listener that you would want to be at your shows. Whenever you can pick up gear, help a band on the stage, tell them how much their music means to you, put money in the tip jar, buy a cassette, buy a CD, even just showing up … that’s what makes our music scene in Wichita great.

Grant Boesen is a member of the Wichita band Pretend Friend.

This edition of A Musical Life originally aired on April 9, 2019.

Doug Horacio Holguin Lynn is a member of Church Tiller, Dougie Jones & The Sonny Jims, Tasteful Nudes and The Goddamn General Public.

“I would say my first musical inclination—to me it’s the funniest thing—my first dream—and it was all I wanted, musically—I was in middle school, seventh or eighth grade, my dream was to be a singer in a Clash cover band. That’s all I ever wanted out of music. I never expected to do all the stuff I’ve done at this point.

Alex Gongora

Max Abood is a Wichita-based musician who holds a degree in music performance from Friends University. He is part of a musical family that includes his father, Peter Abood, a pianist, and his brother, Bryce, who plays drums with Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy.