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Nocturnal Journal with Dave Hoekstra

Arts & Culture Podcasts >

The two-hour show will revolve like a Lazy Susan around the things Dave has turned us all on to: roots music, tunes off the beaten path, supper club sounds, backroads travel, tiki culture, world music, old diners, rhythm and blues and Merle Haggard. Expect lots of guests and in-studio artists from all parts of Chicago.

The two-hour show will revolve like a Lazy Susan around the things Dave has turned us all on to: roots music, tunes off the beaten path, supper club sounds, backroads travel, tiki culture, world music, old diners, rhythm and blues and Merle Haggard. Expect lots of guests and in-studio artists from all parts of Chicago.
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Chicago, IL


The two-hour show will revolve like a Lazy Susan around the things Dave has turned us all on to: roots music, tunes off the beaten path, supper club sounds, backroads travel, tiki culture, world music, old diners, rhythm and blues and Merle Haggard. Expect lots of guests and in-studio artists from all parts of Chicago.




Wisconsin’s Kaukauna Cheese: The spreadable staple turns 100

Dave Hoekstra and Andrea Thome visit with Matthew Barlow, brand manager at Wisconsin’s Kaukauna Cheese, which is celebrating 100 years as a leading source of spreadable cheese, cheese balls, cheese logs and more. They discuss the product’s place in Midwest culinary history and the Wisconsin supper club scene, staying true to local dairy farmers and the authentic Wisconsin cheddar flavor, and more.


Andrea Thome is fighting to Stop Sterigenics: “They need to rethink the way they’re doing business”

Dave Hoekstra visits with author and former TV journalist Andrea Thome, who talks about her efforts to fight carcinogenic pollution from the Sterigenics chemical plant in Willowbrook, why she has taken such a personal stake in the battle, how the Illinois legislature fits into the discussion, and more. She also talks about her career writing romantic novels, and working as a TV news/sports reporter in Cleveland, where she met her husband, beloved HOF slugger Jim Thome.


Prof. Will Freeman explores ‘inner and outer journeys’ on an unusual tour of America: “It was just a heck of a lot of fun”

Dave Hoekstra visits with Will Freeman, Professor of Physical Education at Grinnell College in Iowa, who completed a summer-long cross country road trip in a Morgan 3 Wheeler. Freeman discusses the mission for the trip, which ties into a course he’s teaching and a book he’s working on with the focus on rediscovering the American dream through an intimate road experience. He also talks about the 3 Wheeler, that was hand-built in England, and covering over 16,000 miles and the 48 contiguous...


Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee: “Urban Cowboy” reunited

Dave Hoekstra visits with country legends Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee at Gilley’s Branson, MO theatre. The two have reunited to celebrate “Urban Cowboy”, for which they provided the iconic soundtrack.


Author Jason A. Drake talks all things weddings in new memoir, “You Stay Classy, Wedding People”

Author and wedding videographer Jason A. Drake joins Dave Hoekstra on the Nocturnal Journal to discuss is new memoir “You Stay Classy, Wedding People: A Memoir of a Professional Videographer”. He talks about the ups and downs of the wedding videographer biz and why it inspired him to write the book.


The Bach + Beethoven Experience returns with “Chicago Stories”

Dave Hoekstra welcomes back the members of the Bach + Beethoven Experience, violinist Brandi Berry Benson, vocalists Felicia Patton and Thomas Alaan, composer Regina Baiocchi, and musicians Bill Baxstresser and Paul Van Hoff. The members discuss the group’s upcoming fall music series ‘Chicago Stories’, which consists of original compositions inspired by the people, places and events that helped shape the city. We get a few musical samplings, including a Baiocchi-penned piece on the Great...


David Goodman on his brother’s infamous ‘Lincoln Park Pirates’ and the downfall of Lincoln Towing: “Stevie comes back and gets another one from the grave”

Dave Hoekstra talks with David Goodman, brother of legendary Chicago folk singer Steve Goodman about the infamous Lincoln Towing losing it’s state license. Steve Goodman’s song ‘Lincoln Park Pirates’ detailed the sometimes-sketchy towing company that had been a thorn in the side of many Chicagoans for years.


Programmer Richard Knight of the 36th Annual Reeling Film Festival: “Visibility is always important”

Dave Hoekstra talks with Richard Knight, feature programmer of the Reeling Festival, the long-running LGBTQ+ film festival that’s been a Chicago cultural fixture since 1981. Knight gives a preview of some of the festival highlights and discusses what it means for these communities to be represented in media; Writer, producer, and actress Lisa Cordileone talks about her film Freelancers Anonymous, how the process of independent film making has changed, exploring issues on multiple platforms,...


Artist Sheri Smith’s collection captures jazz greats at work: “These cats needed to be documented”

Dave Hoekstra talks with teacher and artist Sheri Smith about her collection of drawings of prolific jazz singers and musicians on stage at various venues in Chicago. Over 100 pieces of Smith’s work are featured at an upcoming exhibit at the Ken Hirte Gallery (760 N. Milwaukee) starting on 10/7. Smith talks about drawing the likes of Frank D’Rone, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Chamberlain and Patricia Barber, her creative process and what she wants to capture out of the different artists and...


Timothy Pappin of Arty’s Legendary Cocktails: A new spin on classic drinks

Dave Hoekstra talks with Timothy Pappin, co-founder of Arty’s Legendary Cocktails, a line of bottled versions of your favorite mixed cocktails like the classic Wisconsin-style Old Fashioned, Bloody Mary, and the Moscow Mule. Pappin breaks down the production process and getting the flavors right for an authentic, handcrafted cocktail, finding a niche in at ballparks and football tailgate parties, and more.


‘The Imperial Sound’ feels right at home on the AM waves

Dave Hoekstra visits with The Imperial Sound, a locally-based pop and soul band with roots in the golden tones of 70’s AM radio. ImpSo plays a few tunes, founders Kenn Goodman and Rick Mosher talk about the band’s growth out of other well-known music projects in the New Duncan Imperials and Expo ’76, starting the Pravda Records label and developing the band’s signature sound which hearkens back to the ‘Chicago sound’; the positive key of much of the band’s music […]


Celebrating ‘Dead People’s Things’ – and Songs at the Maxwell Street Market

Dave Hoekstra visits with blues vocalist Lori Lewis and the members of Lowreen’s Live Blues, who have a residency at Chicago’s historic Maxwell Street Market. They discuss the history of the market as a cultural experience for new immigrants to the city and Maxwell Street as a hotbed for the blues, and we hear a couple of live tunes. Also joining the conversation is author and dealer Duane Scott Cerny, whose book, Selling Dead People’s Things: Inexplicably True Tales, Vintage […]


Kim West and tales from the ‘Dome of Truth’: What’s going on at the Iowa State Fair?

Dave Hoekstra talks with Des Moines-based defense attorney and Iowa State Fair campground guru Kim West about the midsummer staple of the midwest, which runs through August 19th in the Hawkeye state’s capitol. West discusses fair highlights and his own chronicle of the camping experience at the fair that’s been cultivated through interviews with fair patrons and folks on the road, what goes on in West’s “Dome of Truth” at Bob Dorr Plaza in the campground section of the fair, and more.


Turkish Delight on a moonlit night: Cafe Corbel and tales from the Mediterrenean

Dave Hoekstra visits with owner Eris Erkoca and the crew from Cafe Corbel, a new bakery/cafe with a Turkish flavor located at 2342 N. Clark in Lincoln Park. Ercoka talks about coming to Chicago with an eye on the architecture and finding inspiration in the baked goods she missed from back home; Chef Luke Brown breaks down some of the ins and outs of the food and his own origins as a French pastry chef; photographer Hector Maldonado and his wife, Selin, a Turkish native, discuss street...


Great music and honest food “up on the roof” at Uncommon Ground

Dave Hoekstra visits with musician Brad Peterson along with Michael and Helen Cameron, owners of Uncommon Ground. The restaurant, with locations in Lakeview and Edgewater, is home to the country’s first certified organic rooftop farm and first organic brewery in Illinois. The Camerons talk about their focus on community and sustainability in their business practices, what inspired them to start booking live music, Peterson discusses his songwriting and coming back from the arm injury that...


‘Gentleman’ John Battles: “There’s always something to experience when you’re out and about in Chicago”

Musician ‘Gentleman’ John Battles visits with Dave Hoekstra and talks about navigating the art/rockabilly/punk scene in Chicago via Texas, getting inspired by the “little things” found in everyday life – like Harold’s Fried Chicken, finding his own unique sound and falling into the ‘outsider’ artist niche, playing with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and more.


Taking a closer look at the Amazing Vendors of Wrigley Field

Dave Hoekstra is joined in studio by Wrigley Field vendors Rich Harris, Abe Rapuch, and Dave and Cindy Fosco to hold a panel discussion with the Co-Author of “Wrigley Field’s Amazing Vendors” (Images of Modern America), Lloyd Rutzky. As the group reflects on the evolution of vendors and the many items they’ve sold over the years; Lloyd shares the importance of the various images included in the publication, the process of putting the book together, and more.


What to expect in an upcoming book that explores the Black roots of Rock n’ Roll

Dave Hoekstra is joined in-studio by Chicago writer, DJ, and musician James Porter to learn about his musically inclined up-bringing and the Black roots of Rock n’ Roll. James also shares details about his upcoming book “Wild in the Streets: Tales from Rock n’ Roll Negro Leagues” that is set to be released next year. The book explores the early stages of Rock and Blues, the influences that Black artists had on the sounds and music that created the two separate […]


Roy Orbison Jr. reflects on his father’s legacy as he prepares to perform at The Fest for Beatles Fans

Dave Hoekstra speaks with Roy Orbison Jr. to talk about his Dad’s legacy and relationship with the Beatles. Roy shares details about his upcoming performance at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago on August 11th, his latest book “The Authorized Roy Orbison“, the upcoming Hologram Tour of his late father that comes to Waukegan on Oct. 21st, and much more.


Dave Hoekstra gets insight about Washington Island’s Lavender Days

Dave Hoekstra speaks with Washington Island Wisconsin musician Julian Hagen about the upcoming “Lavender Days” at the Midwest’s Largest Lavender Farm. It’s set to have more than 20,000 plants on the island farm and during the event there will be performances by Julian himself and other great performers, demonstrations, great food, lavender massages and more. Lavender Days takes please July 20-21st and to learn more visit