rock and roll

As a founding member of The Beach Boys, Mike Love has spent an extraordinary fifty-five years, and counting, as the group's lead singer and one of its principal lyricists.

The Beach Boys, from their California roots to their international fame, are a unique American story -- one of overnight success and age-defying longevity; of musical genius and reckless self-destruction; of spirituality, betrayal, and forgiveness -- and Love is the only band member to be part of it each and every step.

Love’s story has never been fully told, of how a sheet-metal apprentice became the quintessential front man for America's most successful rock band, singing in more than 5,600 concerts in 26 countries. He writes about it all in his new memoir: Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy. 

  In June 1980, 19-year-old James McDonnell (known as Slim Jim Phantom) boarded a plane from New York City to London with his childhood friends and bandmates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker. In less than a year, they went from being homeless, hungry, and living in punk rock squats to the toast of the London music scene.

The Stray Cats developed a signature sound and style that swept across the world, released multiplatinum albums, and were embraced and befriended by classic rock acts like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, as well as original punk heroes such as the Sex Pistols, the Damned, and the Clash, and rock-and-roll originators Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. After ten years of marriage to actress Britt Ekland, Slim Jim moved down the hill to Sunset Strip, where his son was raised and he owned the world-famous rock-and-roll bar Cat Club while continuing to play with a host of well-known musicians.

Slim Jim Phantom's memoir is A Stray Cat Struts: My Life as a Rockabilly Rebel.

  Former two-term Hudson Valley Congressman John Hall has been out of office since losing the 2010 election, but he’s stayed busy.

Today, Hall speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock in their first Congressional Corner segment in six years.

This is a segment from an hour-long interview about Hall’s new memoir (Still The One: A Rock'n'Roll Journey to Congress and Back) which airs Thursday 8/18 at 1 p.m.

  In her one woman show, Forever, Pulitzer prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith travels to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where, by the graves of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison, she finds unexpected grace in a gripping tale of the legacy a daughter inherits from her mother.

Forever opens tonight on Weston Playhouse’s OtherStages in Weston Vermont, directed by Steve Stettler.

  The Felice Brothers' new album, Life in the Dark, is out on Yep Roc records and they’re heading out on a huge tour this summer.

We’re lucky to have them playing several spots in the greater WAMC listening region -- they’ll be at Green River Fest in Greenfield, MA on 7/9; Troy Riverfront Park on 7/20, The Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor, NY on 8/6; and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, NY on 8/7.

We were very excited to have them stop by The Linda to talk about what’s new and play some tunes.

Peter Frampton

May 31, 2016

  Lynyrd Skynyrd and Peter Frampton will be at The Times Union Center in Albany, NY (with special guest Jack Broadbent) on June 3rd.

Here, Joe Donahue speak with Frampton about his career; his seminal live album, Frampton Comes Alive!; and his relationship with David Bowie.

  As a performer, songwriter and producer, Richard Marx’s nearly three-decade-long career has had innumerable highlights. The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. To this day, he is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard charts.

He will perform at The Colonial in Pittsfield, MA this Friday, presented by The Berkshire Theatre Group.

Jim Brown
Jim Brown Productions

In the era of glasnost, perestroika and the last days of the Cold War, music became a powerful force for change.  The new documentary Free To Rock looks at the spread of rock and roll in the 1980’s and 90’s and how it helped the Iron Curtain fall.  The film is being shown in Lake Placid this weekend and director Jim Brown explains that it took 10 years to complete.

Bruce Springsteen
Patrick Harbron

  “The Photography of Bruce Springsteen” is a new exhibit at Soho's Morrison Hotel Gallery, on view through February 9, includes a collection of work from Frank Stefanko, Lynn Goldsmith, Neal Preston, Joel Bernstein, David Gahr, Jim Marchese, and Patrick Harbron. It's the first time these photographers have exhibited together.

The exhibit comes after the December 2015 release of Springsteen's The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, a deluxe box set offering a deep dive into the songs and live experience of the River era (1979–'81).  Springsteen is bringing his “River Tour” to Albany on Monday, February 8th, so we thought it a good time to bring back one of those feature photographers to discuss the photo exhibit, “The Boss” and their own work.

  Glyn Johns' work as a producer and engineer of the most seminal rock and roll records of his time not only contributed to an unsurpassed string of hits, but helped to define a sound of a generation.

Many of the artists with whom he worked—The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Eric Clapton, among many others—have stood the test of time and are considered classics of the genre.

In his memoir Sound Man: A Life Recording Hits, now out in paperback, Johns opens up about his life and career in the studio, contributing to the annals of music history and sharing anecdotes.

    Everybody knows and loves the American Songbook. But it’s a bit less widely understood that in about 1950, this stream of great songs more or less dried up. All of a sudden, what came over the radio wasn’t Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin, but “Come on-a My House” and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” Elvis and rock and roll arrived a few years later, and at that point the game was truly up.

What happened, and why?

In The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song, acclaimed cultural historian Ben Yagoda answers those questions in a fascinating piece of detective work.

  Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles’ breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating. As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatles—not to mention Sam Cooke, Donovan, the Kinks, and numerous other performers—he taught young soon-to-be legends how to be businessmen as well as rock stars. In so doing, Klein made millions for his clients and changed music forever.

Through unique, unprecedented access to Klein’s archives, veteran music journalist Fred Goodman tells the full story of how the Beatles broke up, how the Stones achieved the greatest commercial success in rock history, and how the music business became what it is today.

  Huey Lewis and the News - the San Francisco based pop-rock band known for a slew of radio hits over the last three and a half decades will perform at matinee concert in the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood this Sunday at 2:30.

The Solid Sound Festival will take place at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The family-friendly music and art festival is curated by the rock-band Wilco and each day this week on The Roundtable we are speaking with one of the featured artists.

Today, we welcome Terry Adams from NRBQ. The band will play in Courtyard D on Saturday afternoon. NRBQ was founded in 1967. They are known for its live performances, containing a high degree of spontaneity and levity, and blending rock, pop, jazz, blues and Tin Pan Alley styles. With a varied career and many think outside-the-box projects, NRBQ has made music and had fun doing it for almost 50 years.

  Signature Sounds' first CD came out in 1995 and the lable has seen over 150 releases since then, moving into show promoting, opening a venue in Northampton, MA, overseeing frequent collaborations between its artists, and taking over the long-running music and hot air ballooning gathering of the Green River Festival.

Earlier this Spring they released “Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Rarities from The Second Decade” - an album of previously unreleased songs from Signature Sounds artists - a mix-tape lovingly prepared for you by the label. Jim Olsen is the President of Signature Sounds and he joins us to talk about the label's history and future.

Gene Simmons

Mar 31, 2015

  Known as rock's ultimate showman, Gene Simmons founded the hard rock supergroup KISS in the early 1970s. Since then, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world, and is still touring today.

Simmons has also sold roughly one billion dollars’ worth of merchandise, including his bestselling books, KISS and Make-Up and Me, Inc. Now, Christina Vitagliano pays homage to rock’s living legend in the new book: Gene Simmons Is a Powerful and Attractive Man: And Other Irrefutable Facts. Based on a phrase Gene himself uses, this book is fully authorized by Gene, who also contributed the foreword and is even going on radio shows to promote it.


  The veteran Scottish alternative rock-band, Simple Minds, has returned with Big Music, their first album of new material in five years - three and a half decades since their first landmark album, 1980's Empires and Dance. The Glasgow quintet with front-man Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill as their creative core, are rekindling the energy and attitude that made them one of the great bands of that era.

The band scored a string of hit singles and are best known for their 1985 hit "Don't You Forget About Me" from the soundtrack of the John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club; their other hits include "Alive and Kicking," and "Belfast Child."

James Hendershot

    Train first has success in 1998 with their hit song “Meet Virginia.” Their other hits include “Drops of Jupiter” and “Calling All Angels.” They have a new album coming out in September and are performing at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA tonight.

Lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford joins us.

Glen Rose

Formerly a member of the alt-country-rock band, Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell’s solo career is flourishing in the wake of Southeastern - a record he released last year which is nominated for Best Song, Best Album, and Artist of the year for 2014 from the Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards. Rock critic Ken Tucker named Southeastern his #1 Album of 2013. It also made NPR and Amazon’s Best of 2013 lists and was American Songwriter’s #1 album.

Jason Isbell is performing tonight at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA at 8pm.

Here we speak with him about how he writes songs, working with producer Dave Cobb, and sobriety on the road.

  Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon from The Baseball Project join us live at The Linda on their way to a gig at Club Helsinki tonight.

    Rick Springfield has been writing and performing music for more than four decades. An accomplished actor, he has starred on Broadway, headlined in Las Vegas, and starred in numerous movies and TV series.

His debut novel is Magnificent Vibration, in the book, Bobby steals a mysterious self-help book called Magnificent Vibration: Discover Your True Purpose from a bookstore and calls the 1-800 number scrawled inside the front cover, only to discover that he has a direct line to God.

    Alex Chilton’s story is rags to riches in reverse, beginning with teenage rock stardom and heading downward.

Following stints leading 60s sensation the Box Tops and pioneering 70s popsters Big Star, Chilton became a dishwasher. Yet he rose again in the 80s as a solo artist, producer, and trendsetter, coinventing the indie-rock genre. By the 90s, acolytes from R.E.M. to Jeff Buckley embodied Chilton’s legacy, ushering him back to the spotlight before his untimely death in 2010.


  The Paul Green Rock Academy is a performance based, interactive music school, built on a method honed over the past 17 years. They believe that the best way to teach most anything, and especially music, is with a hands on approach. Their entire school is dedicated to getting kids playing music in an as authentic way as possible.

Paul Green, founder of The School of Rock, opened The Paul Green Rock Academy in Woodstock, NY about a year ago. On April 8th and 9th the Paul Green Rock Academy will perform at The Bearsville Theatre with special guest, Jon Anderson – playing the music of Yes.


In 1968 WBCN FM in Boston introduced underground rock to New England. As a parade of colorful characters passed by its microphones for 41 years, WBCN attained iconic status as one of the most important American radio stations in history.

A history of the radio station has now been written by Carter Alan, WBCN DJ for nineteen years. The title of the book is Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN.

  "Best of" lists start popping up in November. To ensure that we're sharing the best of the entire year, we've saved our music list for the very last morning of the year.

Will Hermes is a Senior Critic for Rolling Stone, a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered, and the author of Loves Goes To Buildings on Fire.

  From London’s West End, the worldwide smash hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton, We Will Rock You, is coming to Proctors in Schenectady, NY this weekend - running on the mainstage November 29th through December 1.

The show is a bona-fide hit and has been running for 11 years in London. This is the first North American Tour of the sci-fi musical-theater extravaganza which by all accounts honors the iconic music that frames it - the music of Queen.

Ryan Knowles plays Buddy (as in “Buddy you're a boy make a big noise playin' in the street gonna be a big man some day”). Ryan’s other credits include off-broadway productions of NEWSical: The Musical, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Caligula Maximus, Fools in Love, and National Tours of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and OZ: The Musical.

  In Johnny Cash: The Life, Robert Hilburn tells the complete story of Johnny Cash for the first time. He covers Cash’s artistic career and turbulent life, from his days growing up poor in Depression-era rural Arkansas, working the cotton fields of his family’s farm, to becoming one of the true icons of 20th-century popular music.

Of the many great rock and country arrivals in the 1950s, Cash was one of the few who approached his music as more than hits for the jukebox. He wanted to inspire and uplift people.

Robert Hilburn knew Cash well, reporting on him at many different points in his career, from the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968—where he was the only music journalist attending—to his wrenching last days. Hilburn was a pop music critic and pop music editor of the Los Angeles Times from 1970 through 2005.

    This summer, The Paul Green Rock Academy proudly presents their first season of summer workshops.

In addition to their legendary year-round program these summer camps for children ages 5-18 are an incredible opportunity for experienced music students and beginners alike. Their camps offer specialized opportunities and incorporate writing, performance and production.

This summer they're offering Rock Strings with Tracy Bonham, Making a Rock Album with Marco Benevento, Analog Recording with Aaron Freeman, Percussion camp with Jason Bowman, and Songwriting with Gail Ann Dorsey.

    Influential Brazilian psychedelic rock band, Os Mutantes will perform at the Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA this Sunday and at The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY on Wednesday, June 26.

Os Mutantes was formed in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1966 by two brothers, Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias Baptista and lead singer Rita Lee. In the 60s and 70s they were a part of the Tropicália movement which encompassed art forms such as theatre, poetry, and music. The movement was characterized by a combination of the popular and the avant-garde, as well as a fusion of traditional Brazilian culture with foreign influences.

The band broke up in 1978 but reunited with a new formation in 2006. Sergio Dias is the lone remaining founding member of Os Mutantes and their latest album is entitled Fool Metal Jack

    In 1983, Huey Lewis and The News released their third album, Sports.

The songs on Sports are "The Heart of Rock & Roll," "Heart and Soul," "Bad Is Bad," "I Want a New Drug," “Walking on a Thin Line," "Finally Found a Home," "If This Is It," “You Crack Me Up," and "Honky Tonk Blues" (of course, a Hank Williams song). The band aimed each song toward becoming a radio single - during a time in the music industry when that what made the difference between sales and slipping into oblivion.