WFMT Press Room

For Immediate Release:

February 8, 2005


Rich Warren and Steve Robinson host special from the International Folk Alliance on Saturday, February 11 at 8:00 p.m.

Chicago - The Midnight Special, 98.7WFMT's weekly celebration of folk music and farce, show tunes and satire, odds and ends, madness and escape, hits the road for a special live show from Austin, Texas.  On Saturday, February 11, more than two dozen outstanding singer-songwriters and bluegrass musicians, including superstar Judy Collins, will join host Rich Warren, and WFMT's Steve Robinson, for a five-hour concert special.  The program celebrates the artists taking part in this year's International Folk Alliance conference in Austin, Texas.  The Saturday evening broadcast begins at 7:55 p.m., CST and will air live until 1:00 a.m.

"This will be a very exciting broadcast," said The Midnight Special & Folkstage producer and host Rich Warren. "I'm proud and pleased to work with longtime friends Judy Collins and John McCutcheon and to share the stage with an amazing group of performers that have agreed to contribute their talents to this special live edition of The Midnight Special."

"The line-up includes some of the most significant talent on the scene," says Warren. Rich's description of the guests, scheduled to appear, includes to following: (all times are approximate):

8:00  The Laws
John & Michele Law are a hot Canadian duo bridging the area between folk and country.

8:15 Liz Carlisle
From Montana and about to graduate from Harvard, 22-year old Liz Carlisle represents all the positive aspects of young singer-songwriters, from her clear, trained voice to her intelligent songs.

8:30 Judy Collins
 Enough said.

8:45 Bethany Yarrow & Rufus Cappadocia
Bethany Yarrow, daughter of Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary, possesses a magnificent sultry voice, while Rufus Cappadocia plays a unique five-string cello. Together they can sound like a single instrument. They approach traditional folk music from a refreshingly new angle, making it very hip and contemporary without losing the meaning.

9:00 Frank Meyer
A wildly funny and animated performer from Texas.

9:15 Andrew Calhoun
A Chicago singer-songwriter who founded his own record label before that was hip. He writes exceptional songs and performs them with unerring vision.

9:30 Danny Schmidt
Currently from Texas, the most brilliant young songwriter (he's in his early 20s) I've heard in the past 25 years. His songs are thrillingly poetic in the sense of the best of Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan, but entirely original.

9:45 Jack Williams
Considered a sage among singer-songwriters, originally from South Carolina, this traveling troubadour is revered by his peers. He's been performing for three decades.

10:00 Ronny Cox
Ronny Cox is perhaps best known for his acting. His first role was the guitar player in Deliverance and he's since on to become a character actor in demand on TV and in movies. Perhaps his best known role is as the Senator in the television Stargate series. He brings his acting ability to his on-stage musical performance as a captivating entertainer with often unusual songs from deeply dramatic to uproariously funny. He plays as part of a trio that includes a fiddler and a brass player that gives extra depth and color to the music.

10:15 The Malvinas
This trio of geographically challenged women consists of Beth Cahill from Quebec, Gina Forsyth from Louisiana and Lisa Markley from Texas.
Between them they play half a dozen instruments with a joyous verve and engrossing harmonies.

10:30: Freebo & Photoglo
Freebo started his career as Bonnie Raitt's bass player for a decade.
Jim Photoglo played bass with Dan Fogelberg for over a decade. They are as adept on guitar as bass and they seamlessly switch, both being at home on guitar or bass. They are incredibly impressive musicians and mellow vocalists as well. Their engrossing performance totally entrances the listener.

10:45: Bob Franke
Bob Franke is one of America's all-time great singer-songwriters. Franke, from Massachusetts, has written a long string of remarkable songs over the past 30 years. He recorded his last CD in the WFMT studio.

11:00: Annie Gallup
Annie Gallup, from Michigan, is unique, since she's a musical story teller, her sophisticated narratives taking the listener on film noir journeys. Her signature guitar style compliments her seductive voice on these journeys. Her style is akin to the German singspiel, deep with irony and insight.

11:15: Austin Lounge Lizards
This quintet has been raising the roof in Austin for decades. Imagine five Tom Lehrers harmonizing with bluegrass accompaniment. These guys are funny and sophisticated and are full of energy. Nothing is scared to them.

11:30: Jonathan Byrd
Jonathan Byrd, who is in his late 20s, is not only a brilliant songwriter, one of the best on the scene, but he also is a very talented composer and musician. His story songs paint vivid images from war vets to waitresses to slave traders in the 18th century, while his melodies provide the canvas. Many others are now recording Byrd's songs, the greatest possible compliment.

11:45 Michael Austin
Michael Austin, from Austin, expands the boundaries of folk music. He accompanies himself on the clarinet! (He also has a guitar
accompanist.) His original fusion of blues, jazz and folk with energy and wit leaves listeners amazed.

12:00: John McCutcheon
If anyone could fill Pete Seeger's shoes, it's John McCutcheon. He's a powerful political songwriter, a labor organizer, and one of the best in inspiring audiences to sing along. His vitality and conviction is infectious and he's an extraordinary entertainer.

12:15 Gibson Brothers
One of the hottest bluegrass duets on the scene today. These brothers really understand the music and know how to bring it to modern audiences.

12:30  Terri Hendrix with Lloyd Maines
Terri Hendrix is an exciting songwriter and performer. She's joined by one of the finest musicians in the nation, Lloyd Maines, who also happens to be the father of one of the Dixie Chicks. Maines plays on dozens, if not scores, of folk and country albums. Together Hendrix and Maines draw ever larger audiences.

12:45 John Flynn
John Flynn, from Philadelphia, is a highly political singer-songwriter, who delivers his message with a velvet hammer. He holds nothing back in his songs or his performance, yet rarely alienates those who don't agree with his views. His sincerity and compassion win over the most cynical listeners.

Going strong for more than 50 years, The Midnight Special, folk music with a sense of humor, is heard each Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. on 98.7WFMT.  More information about programming on 98.7WFMT is available at  

Broadcasting in Chicago for more than 50 years, 98.7WFMT is Chicago's Classical Experience. 


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