Chris Wienk

Afternoon DJ/Program Director

Chris Wienk
Mon-Fri 3-9pm

Chris grew up listening to his dad play the pipe organ. Chris always got into the deep bass notes. As a little boy, Chris could be found dancing in front of tiny, little stereo speakers that were playing old Simon & Garfunkel. To this day, Chris LOVES “The Boxer,” and can often be heard saying “groovy” (as in “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”).

Chris’ epiphany moment came in the summer of 1975 when he first heard Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug.” That was the beginning of his quest for music that had such power and emotion.

Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo,
Feelin’ groovy.

Erin Rae
WEXT

Just by chance, singer-songwriter Erin Rae ended up on the Brett Dennen tour that made a stop at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in November.

Erin caught the attention of John Paul White (ex of the Civil Wars) who signed her to his Single Lock Records label. She recorded her latest album in a former Franciscan monastery in Appleton, WI.  Utilizing the reverberant sound that one might expect from such a space, and living on site (it's sort of an artist retreat, now), helped put her in a very special space to unleash the highly personal songs on "Putting On Airs."

Bobby Long
WEXT

Bobby Long seemed to appear out of nowhere.  When we first heard his "Dirty Pond Songs" album that he recorded in his bedroom. From those intimate songs, we've followed Bobby's career as he continued to write amazing songs and release great records.

He's wrapping up work on his forthcoming album.  On November 11th, he is playing up at Caffe Lena, and we hope to see you there. For tickets, click here.

Brooks Williams
WEXT

Brooks Williams has been making music for some time. We were fortunate enough to have him stop by on his way to a show at Caffe Lena.  He played us songs from his new album, "Lucky Star."

Bob Warren & Matt  Donnelly
WEXT

Bob Warren stopped by to bring us up to date with some new music, and his new album, "My Town." The album is filled with songs about his town of Greenwich, and Saratoga Springs.

Bob was joined in the studio by Matt Donnelly on keyboard, and Tony Markellis on bass.

Bob has two shows as a release party for the CD at Caffe Lena on November 2 and 3. Both are sold out  you can watch on Concert Window. Details at Caffe Lena's website.

Blue Factory Powered By Noises poster
Artist

Local 518 band Blue Factory have been hard at work on their new album, "Powered By Noises." This time out, they decided to go with putting it out on vinyl - no CD.  You do get a download card for the digital you, too. 

Jim Crawley and Jim Temple stopped by to discuss their process, and let us in on the show happening Friday night (10/26) at The Hangar.

Jim Gaudet & Chris Wienk
WEXT

One of my favorite musicians is Jim Gaudet. It is always a treat when he comes by to sit and chat. After seeing him this summer, I had invited him by. I knew that he'd been working on some new songs as he tried to stump the Railroad Boys by calling for the new songs (with almost no rehearsal) in the set list.  The Boys are always of good humor and will launch into almost any song Jim calls for.

I Draw Slow
Artist

The Irish folk band, I Draw Slow is coming to Caffe Lena. It's the beginning of a short ten-day tour of the east coast. We fell in love with the band with their song "Gold Mine," and with "My Portion."

See the videos below. Hear my conversation with Dave Holden of the band next, and don't miss the band at Caffe Lena on Saturday (10/27).

Here's the ticket link.

The Big Takeover at WEXT
WEXT

It was a chilly afternoon last December when the rockin' reggae band from New Paltz called The Big Takeover worked their way up Interstate-87 to our little studios.  They packed all seven members into our studio.

Their latest album marks their ten year anniversary.  "Silly Girl" takes us on a trip to Jamaica for serious ska and reggae influences.  Hear the results of the session we did below.  

Kathy Mattea at WEXT
WEXT

A few years ago, Kathy Mattea was finding that her voice wasn't what it once used to be. It was a cause for serious concern.  After some digging and investigation, she ascertained the change in her voice was something occurring along with the onset of menopause and aging.  She took some advice, and found a new voice teacher.  

After some work and practice, she found the sound for her voice. The result was her new album, "Pretty Bird."

She's at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, tonight.

Honey Slider
WEXT

They met while performing in a student production of "Rent."  They've been writing songs ever since.  Hear what the duo/band Honey Slider is up to next.

Their new CD will be released at a special show at The Hollow on October 26th.

Peter Annello
WEXT

When Peter Annello first came to us, he knocked us out with his charm and guitar playing abilities.  He's been working on his playing - playing out, going to cool guitar and music workshops like the ones at Cample Cripple Creek (summer of 2018) where he met and impressed Larry Campbell and others.

We keep admiring Peter's drive and his songs.  Now, he's out of high school, and he keeps impressing.  Check out his session with the trio, his father Chip Annello on drums and Paul Zullo on bass.

Amy Helm
WEXT

Amy Helm stepped out of her comfort zone. She traveled to the west coast to work with Joe Henry on her latest album. She could have simply recorded as she has in the past, at her father's studio here in Woodstock, but instead, she transplanted herself and took a chance.

That chance paid off. She's just delivered another masterpiece of an album, "This Too Shall Light." She stopped by before a show at The Cohoes Music Hall to let us in on how it was made. She also shared some insight her father, the late, great Levon Helm, gave her. Life lessons learned and she's living them now.

Julia Alsarraf
WEXT

Singer-songwriter, Julia Alsarraf stopped by to play a few songs and talk about making music.  Catch her around downtown Troy streets, or on her Facebook page.

Plus, we'll be with her and the City of Albany for September in the City at Dinapoli Park in downtown on September 13, 2018 from 1130-2p.

Here's her session. We look forward to when she makes some recordings.

Hamilton Craig
WEXT

From Shushan, NY, Local 518 singer-songwriter Hamilton Craig tends to break molds (and he has in the best of ways), but this time around, he's coming at music from a new place - in life and in his love for folk music.  While that may seem like he's giving us a straight-ahead set of folk music, it may not.  

His songs have a singular voice, one that speaks from the living of life, one that tells truth, emboldens, and empowers.

Jules Shear
WEXT

Singer-songwriter Jules Shear has been a favorite of mine since before I learned he wrote "All Through the Night" and "If She Knew What She Wants."  Jules and the Polar Bears was one of my favorite bands in the 70's.

Jules lives in Woodstock these days. His recent release, "One More Crooked Dance," has a sparse sound, and he talks about that sound in the interview with a few songs - one old, one from the new album, and one of those big hits he wrote, too.

The National Reserve
WEXT

Sean Walsh began forming what would become The National Reserve not long after moving to NYC about 14 years ago. With the release of the new album, "Motel La Grange," we find ourselve captivated by their rootsy brand of rock and roll. Songs like "New Love" sparkle and shine.

Hear their backstory. Hear a few songs. Listen to the session below.

Go see them on Saturday, August 18th at The Hangar on the Hudson!

Steve Candlen & Chris Wienk
WEXT

Saratoga Springs singer-songwriter Steve Candlen has been a little quiet in his music output the last few months, but as he says in this session, the muse is back. His creativity took a slight detour while he built furniture and stuff for a new house he and his girlfriend just moved into.

Steve will be one of the Court Jester Troubadours with us at #ExitDome11. See details and get tickets at this link.

Two-thirds of Donnybrook Fair
WEXT

Kevin, Jeff and Davy. They were known as Donnybrook Fair, and from 1975 until around 1984, these three toured the world with their raucous - even somewhat aggressive - brand of Irish folk rock.

And now, they're back! They're playing a show up at the track (8/22), and they've got a big show at The Egg on Friday, August 24th.

Hear the stories and the fun that was Donnybrook Fair with Kevin McKrell and Jeff Strange.

Livingston Taylor
Artist

The other day, Livingston Taylor was out on Martha's Vineyard enjoying the beautiful summer weather. I had the chance to catch up with him. We talked all about his life in music - teaching, performing, surrounding himself with amazing young talent, and about how he and his siblings (James, Kate and little brother Hugh) have great admiration for each other, while still being a bit competitive.  There's obviously a lot of love in that Taylor family.

Miché Fambro
WEXT

Miché Fambro was born and raised in Philadelphia. Then he struck out on his own as a touring musician.  He made his way to Rochester, and while there spent 9 years as the leader of Miché & The Anglos. They were one of the area's most popular local bands.  

Miché has been working as a musician pretty much all these years, including a stop in Ithaca, and even Schenectady.

Rebecca Haviland
WEXT

Rebecca Haviland is a Grammy Award winning vocalist, and she's written some poignant songs that she sings in a way that draws you in for a closer inspection.  We talk about her music, and a whole lot more. Plus, she plays us a few songs from the EP, "Bright City Lights."

See some videos below.

Mike O'Donnell of MOTORBIKE
WEXT

Mike O'Donnell, of the Rodeo Barons, has a new project. It's called MOTORBIKE. While the Rodeo Barons are on a bit of a break (do hurry back, guys!), Mike has continued writing. Very much influenced by Lou Barlow and a chance opening gig where he got to act all fan boy (despite trying hard not to do so), Mike has created this new sound. 

The Bacon Brothers
Artist

Had the chance to talk with Michael & Kevin Bacon about their new album, the song "Tom Petty T-Shirt," and more.  We are super excited that they'll be at The Egg on Sunday, July 29th.

Hear that conversation here.

Saratoga County Fair
Agency

We've all seen Dave Michaels on his quest for funnel cake. See the video below.  It looked so good!  Lots of great things happening at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds this week. The Fair runs through Sunday. Do come on out!

Chris Wienk talked with Saratoga County Fair Director, Tammy Ballestero.  Find out some of the cool agricultural offerings at this year's Fair.

Zan & the Winter Folk
WEXT

Local 518 artist, Zan Strumfeld has been a favorite here at WEXT.  She's been on a quest for just the right sound. She thinks she has found it with the new bandmates that make up The Winter Folk.  Find out where the band name comes from, and hear the resulting sound (minus their drummer) in this new studio session. We're looking forward to the EP they talk about as well.

Mark Lavengood
Sarah Herzog Photography

Mark Lavengood spent time honing his touring skills working and playing tunes with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys.  Now, he's back out on his own making tunes.  And this week, he was driving from Michigan accross to New York to pick up his band en route to Grey Fox Bluegrass.  Hope you get the chance to see him soon.

Thanks for the talk, Mark.

Grey Fox Bluegrass 2018
Agency

My friend, Mary Burdette and I talk about the new idea at Grey Fox Bluegrass - an artist in residence (aka Billy Strings for 2018), fun things happening at the Festival, and the one thing she hopes she won't miss when working/attending this year's Festival.

John Butler
WEXT

John Butler and I sat and chatted before he headed out to the show he would have at The Egg on July 12th.  We discussed things like 20 years of John Butler Trio, the whole idea of this "plus" tour, his new album that is coming, and of course the song "Ocean."

Thanks for stopping by, John!

The McWatters Brothers
WEXT

Matt and Tom McWatters dropped by with their band (Scott Smith, drums, Tony Califano, keyboards, and Chris Neuhaus, bass). They played a couple Springsteen tracks from "Darkness on the Edge of Town." The brothers will be covering the entire album at a special show at The Low Beat on August 11th.

Hear all about it, and find out their favorite songs from the record. Plus, we have a special treat with the opening act from that night, Unbreakable Bonds.

The Big Takeover at WEXT
WEXT

We are so excited that Amsterdam's Riverlink Concerts is bringing the New Paltz reggae band to town this summer. The Big Takeover will be under the tent along the river on July 28th (rain or shine...a great location for a show!).

Bring your dancin' shoes, or your rainboots!  Chris Wienk talks with Nee Nee about their summer tour, and the new single.

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