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.

Ways to Connect

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Noah Hamilton has just released the record Liberation under the name Oceanarms.

My name is Noah Hamilton. I am in a solo one-man band called Oceanarms and an acoustic group called The Living Tree.

About two years ago I decided that I wanted to pace out an album that I wanted to release. I started up a SoundCloud account and I trickled—about every month—some songs out. Then it hit me, kind of all at once, that the album was done. I had about 17 or so songs that were complete.

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Maria Elena has performed in a wide range of musical settings from the punk rock music of The Horror! to her current folk/jazz-driven duo El Cuco to The Great Plains.

“My name is Maria Elena. I play the guitar. I’m a singer-songwriter even though I don’t really love that term. But there’s really no better way to explain it for people to understand it.

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Jonathan Eaton has recorded and performed with a wide variety of Wichita bands over the last 20-plus years including ULU, Local Band, The Mess, Tom Page Trio, Order 66 and, perhaps most notably, Softie. He also once performed a show as a member of Split Lip Rayfield with his brother Jeff, a founding member of that group. Eaton lives in Wichita with his wife and children and thanks his family for their continued support.

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Matt Jansen is a Wichita-based drummer who has performed and recorded with a variety of bands including 10 Sugar Charlie and, most recently, Paper Street. He is also a sound engineer and manager at Midwest Drums & Percussion.

“My name is Matt Jansen and I’ve made money from music in a variety of ways. I’ve played the drums. I’ve gotten paid for selling musical instruments, for running sound, for recording music. Playing music? That’s probably the most satisfying but the least lucrative.

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Zack Roach is a Wichita-based musician who has recorded acclaimed albums with both Spirit of the Stairs and Senses Fail. You can hear him on several Spirit of the Stairs recordings, including Lambo Doors and with Senses Fail on Renacer

“My name is Zack Roach. I play guitar in Divorce Corpse, Spirit of the Stairs, and Senses Fail.

The first song that I learned was by Counting Crows. It was that really giant hit.

I wanted to learn some Metallica but it was way above my skill set at that point.

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A native of Oklahoma City, Tom James has lived in Denver, Boston, and rural Kansas. “My musical roots grew from folk albums my older sister gave me when I was in high school, watered by the Walnut Valley Folk Festival, late night parties after shows at the Denver Folklore Center, and then the Market Street Forum in Wichita,” he says. James hosted the monthly Acoustic Jam at Grandma’s Farm for nearly a decade and has been attending the Artichoke Songwriters Circle since shortly after its inception more than a decade ago.

Ryan Hendrix

Anything worth possessing is worth sacrificing, even fighting for, and your career is no exception to the rule. For the Wichita, Kansas native Antimosity, the nine years that he has been grinding to maximize his full potential as a hip hop recording artist has been well worth the wait. The charismatic wordsmith is well prepared for everything coming his way, because he worked hard to get here.

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Byron J. Love performs under that name as a solo artist. He is a past member of Boys Beware, My Why, and Rex Bennet Fight Scene. Although he continues to gig in the Wichita area, his current focus is in the visual realm, focusing on video and motion graphics as well as ICT Channel 13.

I am Byron J. Love. I am sort of a singer-songwriter type person. It’s hard for me to call myself a musician because I can do it but I know real musicians and those guys are amazing. I have the ability to play music and write songs, so I do it, but I’m not a touring musician.

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Lalanea Chastain has been performing music since she was a teenager, focusing on blues and jazz, although she is comfortable in most genres. “I’ll sing virtually anything,” she says. She lives in Wichita, where she is currently honing her guitar skills.

My name is Lalanea Chastain. I’m a local singer. My latest project is with the blues band Yale Street Players. I also play with a cover band, Blue Eyed Soul. I started playing music with my family.

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After a series of events including California, trains, and Indian reservations, Shawn Craver came to Wichita in October of 2008. An unexpected emergency left him with a difficult choice to make about his life and shortly after, he played fiddle for the first time and founded the band Raging Sea. As Raging Sea progressed, Shawn picked up his original instrument, the guitar, in a post-punk/folk style that took him back to his beginnings as a rocker.