Bloomington native Jenny Bratcher-Crafton, a.k.a. "Jeni-B.," has an opera and musical theater background. But debilitating health issues sidelined the music career of this talented vocalist and songwriter just over a decade ago.
Defining a griot’s role in West African society can be a challenge, as the title doesn’t translate easily to European-based culture. Roughly, a griot is fluent in history and has a deep understanding of the culture and lineage of the clan in which they were born into. Historically they would counsel kings and tutor princes, and often counsel other families of means. They’re also storytellers and musicians.
The now five member blues-rock outfit Old Smoke has been headlining central Illinois shows and opening for national acts including Samantha Fish and Tommy Castro at the Castle Theatre for roughly three years -- despite no album to sell or promote.
Cody Diekhoff as his alter ego Chicago Farmer is a riveting live performer who has cultivated a loyal following with folk songs and stories about the American heartland. And especially central Illinois.
John Anderson has filled a record store niche in the Twin Cities with an eclectic mix of genres at Reverberation Vinyl, his store on Main Street across from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.
The Something Brothers guitarist Edwin Pierce said it was surprisingly easy for band members to create and record new music together despite a nearly 30-year studio hiatus, and missing a key band member.
The woman who fronts the Hot Jazz band Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers with Normal native and saxophonist Ryan Weisheit said a desire to tap into her folk and country roots was the impetus to morph into a different lineup with a new name.