Category Archives: Music

Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman

Tammy Jones-Gibbs talks to Shawn Stockman of R&B group Boyz II Men. Boyz II Men has been performing since 1988 and had a string of hits in the 1990s including “I’ll Make Love To You” and “One Sweet Day.” Stockman is also a judge on NBC’s a capella competition show The Sing-Off along with singer-songwriters Jewel and Ben Folds.

Stockman talks about a new development on the show that allows eliminated contestants “another chance to fight for their position on the show,” and actual sing-off in which they face another contestant singing the same selection of music. Stockman credits the show’s success with “the fact that it doesn’t have Auto-Tune or any of those things… it’s fresh.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Ben Folds interviewed

Matty P’s Radio Hour talks to singer-songwriter Ben Folds, known for his work with the Ben Folds Five as well as appearing in NBC’s Sing-Off.

He talks about his work writing songs for actor William Shatner, saying that their album was a “cult classic.” He also discusses being a judge on Sing-Off, saying that he admired Simon Cowell’s work as a judge on American Idol, calling him “honest.”  He also talks about the importance of song choice on these competition shows, saying that it’s “sometimes really unfortunate when a group plays a song that’s the worst thing they could have done.”

Also interviewed are rapper Bushwick Bill and fitness guru Richard Simmons.

Listen to the full episode here.

Musician and actor Brian McKnight on acting and country music


Tavis Smiley talks to Brian McKnight, Grammy-nominated musician and star of the Lifetime television movie A Country Christmas Story, also starring Dolly Parton.

McKnight claims that he is “not actively trying to be a movie star,” but takes roles when they come his way. A Country Christmas Story attracted him because of its story about a biracial woman, and because “there are a lot of lessons to be learned there.” McKnight, who plays an absentee father who is also a musician, thinks that the film affectingly portrays the conflict between career and family. He also talks about his history with country music, starting with Ray Charles’ country albums, and the history of black country musicians.

Listen to the full episode here.

Tuffus Zimbabwe, Saturday Night Live pianist

Bill Banfield talks to Tuffus Zimbabwe, keyboardist for the Saturday Night Live band on NBC. Zimbabwe talks about his career, calling the opportunity to play on SNL “a blessing.” He says that he never expected or planned to land the job, but was recommended for an audition.

Zimbabwe also talks about the process of playing on the show, including playing with guest artists. Despite the pressures of playing live on television, he sees it as “just a gig” and says that the band can easily recover from mistakes without the audience noticing. He discusses his beginnings, his parents getting him piano lessons after finding him playing his grandmother’s electric organ.

Listen to the full episode here.

Jamaican dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry


Lee “Scratch” Perry is a major musical innovator, having been instrumental in the development of reggae and dub music. Active for almost fifty years, his latest album was last year’s collaboration with electronic producer The Orb, The Orbserver in the Starhouse. Perry stops by CrsRadio to talk about his career and worldview.

Perry talks about his personal inspirations, including his belief in the evils of tobacco and the importance of moderation in substance use. He also discusses the current state of Jamaican society, saying that violence and “judgement” are too prevalent.

Listen to the full episode here.

Cyrus Webb and Billy Ray Cyrus

Cyrus Webb talks to famed country musician Billy Ray Cyrus about his new memoir Hillbilly Heart. Cyrus talks about his reasoning behind writing the book, saying that he “wanted to bring the truth” and describing the writing process as a search for purpose, saying that “if I can write it down and read it myself, maybe somewhere along the line it might find purpose in helping others too.”

They also discuss Cyrus’s background in baseball and his decision to move toward music, saying that “I thought I was going to be the next Johnny Bench… but I had always prayed that God would give me the wisdom and the vision to do the things I was supposed to do and be the person I was supposed to be.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Miles Schuman talks to Pantera’s Rex Brown


Bassist Rex Brown has had a long and prolific career in metal, starting with the legendary Pantera before joining Down and now Kill Devil Hill. 13-year-old host Miles Schuman talks to him about the new group, which, despite featuring both Brown and Vinny Appice, former drummer of Black Sabbath, Brown is hesitant to describe as a “supergroup.”

Brown is also the author of the recent Official Truth, 101 Proof, which details his time in Pantera. Brown calls the book “cathartic” and intends for it to read as his own take rather than an official history of Pantera. Brown also discusses the recording process of Kill Devil Hill’s upcoming album Revolution Rise, calling it one of his favorite of his records in a long time.

Listen to the full episode here.

Storytellers Presents Alt Rock Demigod Black Francis AKA Frank Black

Black Francis AKA Frank BlackThis week on Storytellers, we had the honor of interviewing Black Francis AKA Frank Black of the landmark group The Pixies. He opened up about his creative process, raising 5 kids, the old days with the Pixies, and a lot more!

Name someone who has had more influence over the flow of modern rock — where noise and rhythm meet mystery and beauty — over the last 25 years than Charles Thomson, aka Black Francis, aka Frank Black.

Black Francis is the stage name adopted by Thompson during his years of global domination with the Pixies, from the group’s ’86 formation in Boston until 1993 when the winds of change blew. (And oh, was there joy in Mudville when the Pixies reunited and toured anew beginning in 2004!)

Thompson’s next nom de rock was as Frank Black, often in the bandleading context of Frank Black and the Catholics. Thompson released many a wondrous album under his Frank Black moniker, demonstrating an ear for skewed but perfect rock songsmanship.

He returned to the Black Francis name for ’07′s rocking Bluefinger, a concept album about the life and death of Dutch painter/rocker Herman Brood.

Still working under as Black Francis, he released the sexually charged NonStopErotik in 2010. Abbabubba, a B-sides and demos collection, arrived in 2011, along with The Golem, Francis’ score for the 1920 silent film of the same name. Black Francis will now be hitting the road this very week with Reid Paley.

Join hosts Eric Olsen & me for a candid interview with Black Francis.