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.

Bette Smith at WEXT
WEXT

Born and raised in Bed-Stuy, Bette Smith grew up with the tough times and her parents gospel music.  As her older brother was on his death bed, he convinced her to make a change - to use her voice for what it was meant to be used for - singing blues, soul and R&B.

Her latest album is "Jetlagger," and she dropped by to sing songs from the album and talk about making music.

Birds of Chicago
WEXT

The husband and wife duo of Allison Russell and JT Nero dropped by on their way to Caffe Lena.  They brought the band, and played songs as Birds of Chicago.

We talked about the EP, "American Flowers," and the forthcoming album, "Love in Wartime."

The Ballroom Thieves
WEXT

Boston-based The Ballroom Thieves were making their way across to Rochester for a show, and on their way, they stopped by to play songs from the new EP, "Paper Crown," and to talk about music.  We learned that the band met while searching on Tinder. OK, that part is not true, but...  You just never know who might be at an open mic.  You'd be well served to stop by one sometime.

  

Sawyer Fredericks Live @ EXT
WEXT

Sawyer Fredericks began playing around the area, busking on Saratoga streets, playing the Caffe Lena Open Mic. Then he rocketed to fame with a win on the reality show The Voice.  At just 17 years old, you might be quick to dismiss his rapid rise, but if you did, you would certainly miss out.

Darlingside "Extralife"
Artist

On February 23, the guys in Darlingside (Don, Harris, Auyon and Dave) gave us a few words about each of the songs on the new album - "Extralife."  "Extralife" is Darlingside's new album.  It's an imaginative exploration that follows the beautiful and lush "Birds Say" album.  It has been our pleasure to watch and listen as these guys morph from amazing singers and songwriters into an absolute tour de force.  

Chris Wienk with Stephanie Tommasone
Paul Gavry/WEXT

The Montgomery County schools All County Festival is Saturday, March 3rd at 4pm.  Come out to support our local student musicians, and the music program in our schools.

Select students from Montgomery County schools will be performing in one of four ensembles: elementary chorus, a high school chorus, middle school band and high school band. Doors open at 3:15pm. 

Grant-Lee Phillips
WEXT

Grant-Lee Phillips has come a long way since his days as the lead member of Grant-Lee Buffalo.  He dropped by with his new album, "Widdershins," to tell us about it, and play some songs. He let it be known that "words just stick" on him.  The word "widdershin" was one of those words.  Listen in...

Ampevene
Artist

Gabe Stallman, the driving force behind the progressive rock band Ampevene dropped by to talk with Chris Wienk about the new single, "Valencia," and the forthcoming live studio album.

Ampevene play a special CD release show this Friday, February 9th at The Hollow. For more information about Ampevene, and the event, follow these links.

Ampevene website
Facebook event for CD release show

Lera Lynn at WEXT
WEXT

Singer-songwriter Lera Lynn came to prominence as the singer in the dive bar on the second series of HBO's True Detective.  She co-wrote the songs she sang with T-Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash.  In her own right, she's released a few albums of music, and is working on her next projects.

Before her show at the Massry Center for the Arts, she stopped by to play a few songs and talk up what she's been doing.

Local 518 Lucia & Levi

Feb 1, 2018

Lucia and Levi play rock, blues, reggae, jazz - they mix it all together to create a unique and fun sound.  Often they play as a duo, but sometimes they play as a group. The backing members are known as The Little Zippers.

We had a great time when Lucia and Levi stopped by the station.

Tinsley Ellis at WEXT
WEXT

Blues guitarist extraordinaire, Tinsley Ellis came to town to play a show at The Linda. Before he went there, he stopped by to talk about his latest album, "Winning Hand."  He played us a couple tunes, including a Leo Kottke instrumental.

Lera Lynn
Artist

The young woman who was the performer on the second season of HBO's True Detective, Lera Lynn - singer, songwriter, performer, is coming to The Massry Center on February 2nd. For more information, visit the Massry Center website. To buy tickets, click here.

Enter to win tickets by sending email with this link.

Nora Jane Struthers at WEXT
WEXT

NPR and Rolling Stone said Nora Jane Struthers' album, "Champion," was one of the best records of 2017 that you likely didn't hear.  If you listened to WEXT, you did.  And if you're a fan, you're likely looking forward to listening back to the session she did when she and her band stopped at The Linda in Albany this January.

Chris Smither at WEXT
WEXT

Chris Smither is a legend. Chris Smither is a singer, a songwriter, an incredible guitar player.  His influence is wide.  And in 2018, he released "Call Me Lucky."  He dropped by the studio to play a few songs, including a tune from his vast catalog.  

Hop City Hellcats
WEXT

A cool blend of alt-country, old time string band, honky-tonk - we just call it great music.  Hear this special session celebrating the release of the new album called "Relics" from a band with two band members Local 518 and two from the 315 - Hop City Hellcats.

Mary Scholz at WEXT
WEXT

Mary Scholz has moved a long way from her native Philadelphia - to the warm sun of California. Her new album is "California." Hear songs from that album, and she and Chris Wienk talk about music and the songs.

Carolyn Wonderland
Artist

January 13
Massry Center for the Arts

Critics have compared Carolyn Wonderland’s soulful voice to Janis Joplin and her guitar slinging to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her fans include Bob Dylan and Ray Benson, founder of Asleep at the Wheel. A singer-songwriter and high-energy performer, Wonderland reaches deep into the Texas blues tradition and enlivens her repertoire with dashes of humor.

Eddie Berman
WEXT

Singer-songwriter Eddie Berman stopped by to catch us up on his latest release, "Before the Bridge."  If you get the chance, you should definitely check him out.  Below, we'll post some videos he did with Laura Marling.   Hear the story of the album, who is the Bridge, and learn about his time in London.

See our Facebook video page for a couple of the songs performed live to Facebook.

Carmen Lookshire at WEXT
Kiki Vassilakos

Local 518 singer-songwriter, Carmen Lookshire dropped by to share her new song and to sing a holiday favorite to get us in the mood for her Merry Little Carmen special performance at Eden Cafe in Loudonville.

Cradle Switch
WEXT

Cradle Switch, a five-piece acoustic Americana group, based in Cambridge, NY. Their self-titled debut is out featuring originals and a range of songs drawing from bluegrass, country, folk, and a little blues. Singer-songwriters Ferrilyn Sourdiffe and Dave Lawlor swap out guitars for banjo and mandolin. Kate Ritter brings it on the fiddle, along with some angelic vocal harmonies. David Cuite plays the upright bass as well as lead and harmony vocals, and David Norman plays percussion. 

Hear their Local 518 Session here.

All Poets & Heroes at WEXT
WEXT

The Syracuse indie trio brought their acoustic set up to play a few songs from their EP "Where We Lived and What We Lived For." Hear how the band got it's name - All Poets and Heroes, and the inspiration for their music.

Mile Twelve
WEXT

The Boston-based band Mile Twelve pass through the area now and again stopping at our friends The Cock N Bull Restaurant to play their songs. On their way to a show, they stopped to get us hip to them and their latest album, "Onwards."

The Accidentals at WEXT
WEXT

The Michigan trio The Accidentals came by the station on their way to their first show in the area on November 17th. We had so much fun when they were in town. We hope they come back again soon.  They were in town on the last day of their 70-day CD release tour for the new album, "Odyssey."

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
WEXT

Known throughout the music world as the King and Queen of Americana, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have deep roots in the music world.  To celebrate the release of the second album, "Contraband Love," we visited with them at The Egg when they were in town to play with Shawn Colvin.

Shawn Colvin and Chris Wienk at The Egg
WEXT

Shawn Colvin's album, "A Few Small Repairs" celebrated it's 20th anniversary. Shawn made a stop at The Egg on her way around the country.  She talks about the album, plays a Tom Petty cover, and dishes on her "favorite" of her own albums.  Oh, and did you know that "A Few Small Repairs" was not a divorce album?  

Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards
WEXT

Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards jumped into the Live @ EXT studio to record a session before they headed up to Caffe Lena for the CD release show for "California Calling."

Matt Flinner Trio
WEXT

The Matt Flinner Trio has been making stops in the area with our friends at Wolf Hollow Brewing and The Cock N Bull Restaurant.  Their brand of roots music is quite interesting and very exciting to listen to, and to witness in person, it is downright magical.

In celebration of the recent album, "Traveling Roots," we had them play a few songs and we talked about music, and Matt's stint as a bluegrass DJ as a teen with his father in Salt Lake City.

Harris and Don of Darlingside
WEXT

Harris Paseltiner and Don Mitchell of Darlingside dropped by to talk with Chris Wienk about the new album they have coming in 2018.

Also brought up was the topic of Chris joining the band and being chief guitar holder

Mike Grutka
WEXT

Local 518 singer-songwriter Mike Grutka has been with us since we began back in 2007. He entertained us with some great stories and songs at our 10th birthday party on the radio, too.  Now, Mike is back with a great new album called "Painting the Silence."

Craig Stickland
WEXT

Canadian singer songwriter Craig Stickland dropped by on his way through town. Craig has a voice so big... Just remembering the listening experience raises the hair on the backs of our arms.  Discover a great new talent before he becomes so big.  

Craig has been honing his craft for several years. Most recently, he played guitar for Alessia Cara while she was on tour with Coldplay.  Videos of the songs below.

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