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Nocturnal Journal with Dave Hoekstra

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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.




‘Teenage Rebels’: The National School Walkout and activism as part of the civic experience

Dave Hoekstra visits with his panel on teenage activism and the nationwide student movement in the wake of the Parkland school shooting. He talks with Naperville Central senior Ben Russell, one of the students spearheading the school’s Walk Out for Gun Reform on 3/14 and again on 4/20, about seizing the moment at hand as the next generation of voters are making their voices heard. Ed Yohnka, Director of Communication/Public Policy at the ACLU Chicago discusses the value of the ‘civic […]


Radio-friendly burlesque fun with the Dirty Ditties

Dave Hoekstra welcomes the members of Dirty Ditties, a musically eclectic burlesque act that combines catchy songs, broad characters and bawdy subject matter. Chris O’Biddle, Thurston Lunt, Melvina Czervicz and Shecky Paulina talk about Chicago’s surprisingly vibrant burlesque scene and it’s historical link to off-color entertainment, the modern audience reception to the shows, and more.


Music scene stories and feeling “Lucky” with Frank Raven and Jay O’Rourke

Dave Hoekstra visits with prolific Chicago rockers Frank Raven and Jay O’Rourke, who play a couple of live tunes from Raven’s new record “Lucky Cat”. They talk about the project’s origins in the Lucky 3 Blues Band with Frank, Jay and punk poet/vocalist Jim Desmond. They also discuss Jay’s long career in producing acts from Liz Phair to the Dead Kennedys, meeting Frank through the Slammin’ Watusis (and eventually getting them a record deal), and much more from the city’s punk […]


10th Annual Peace of Earth Film Fesival: “Film has been on the vanguard of change forever”

Dave Hoekstra visits with Nick Angotti, of the Peace on Earth Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend, March 9-11, at the Davis Theater (4614 N. Lincoln Ave). He talks about how his backgrounds in acting and religious studies have informed his work with the festival, and the mission of raising awareness of peace, non violence and social issues in America and internationally. They’re also joined by Noah Schultz, subject of one of the featured documentaries,...


Soul man Cicero Blake turns 80

Dave Hoekstra welcomes Chicago blues and soul legend Cicero Blake, who’s celebrating his 80th birthday with a fundraiser and tribute at Touch of the Past in Bellwood, on March 8th. Blake remembers branching out into Southern soul after an early love of country music, breaking into the Chicago blues club circuit and bringing a new sound to the North Side, running with Otis Clay, and more. They talk with Yvette Warren of the Artie ‘Bluesboy’ White Youth Scholarship Foundation, which is […]


‘On Big Shoulders’: A dive through Chicago’s varied music vault

Dave Hoekstra welcomes Matt Brown (producer, fiddle), Aaron Smith (bass), and Steve Dawson (vocals, guitar) of the project ‘On Big Shoulders’: an Americana album featuring 12 local roots artists on 10 tracks that span Chicago’s rich music history from deep cuts by Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs to Chess Records to Wilco. Brown discusses how learning about the city’s oft-overlooked country recording history helped inspire the project and getting others involved through the Old Town School...


Gerri’s Palm Tavern, a lost Chicago cultural gem: “It was the place to be”

Dave Hoekstra dives into the history of the legendary 47th Street club Gerri’s Palm Tavern with music history buff Mike Medina and James Polk, the son of former owner Gerri Oliver. They discuss the bar as an unofficial hangout for prolific musicians like Muddy Waters and Count Basie, and the cultural epicenter of “Black metropolis” in Bronzeville, and more.


Cast Iron Legacies: “Sharing of food is a way of showing love… and expressing community”

Dave Hoekstra welcomes prolific writers of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry Janice Tuck Lively and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, along with Bookie’s bookstore owner Keith Lewis for a conversation about Cast Iron Legacies: African American Lessons from the Kitchen, which features readings and discussion about soul food and it’s connection to Black history in America. They talk about the link between food, family, storytelling and identity- especially in the African-American experience, and...


Dunn Dunn Fest 2018: A taste of a summer American music festival in February

Dave Hoekstra welcomes FitzGerald’s Berwyn booker Donnie Biggins and vocalist/songwriter Josefina, ahead of the 6th Annual Dunn Dunn Fest, a celebration of American music taking place at the club this week, 2/15-17. Biggins handicaps the festival with the goal of “taste making” with new acts, alongside established headliners like JC Brooks and Toronzo Cannon; he also talks about his own background as a musician and translating that knowledge to promoting and acquiring talent for an...


Dr. Eric Hoiberg talks Fred’s hoops and studying rural society: “I feel so fortunate…I was in a position to have an impact on people”

Dave Hoekstra talks with Dr. Eric Hoiberg, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Iowa State University about his long career studying the working of agriculture-based communities in Iowa. He discusses getting into the field through his father and gaining an international perspective on rural life from spending time overseas growing up, increasing mechanization of farming and changing demographics have had on rural communities, his son Fred’s young Bulls team (and getting his basketball acumen...


Julian Hagen, Kathy Sparrenberger, singing cats and a good old-fashioned fish boil

Dave Hoekstra previews the 4th Annual Washington Island Fish Boil Festival with organizer/guitarist Julian Hagen and singer/Washington Island native Kathy Sparrenberger. Hagen talks about what inspired his guys to bring their boil equipment on the road from Door County to landlocked Berwyn, Kathy discusses her long career as a performer and jingle work (think Meow Mix and McDonalds), and much more.


Musician Aaron Kelly talks songwriting, capturing Americana: “It is an artist’s place to reflect the nature of the times”

Songwriter, folk musician and Chicagoland native Aaron Kelly joins Dave Hoekstra in-studio for some live tunes and a discussion on his solo work and career: they discuss the influence of John Prine (who went to high school with his mom), Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt on his music and worldview, navigating the scene of the city and suburbs, the challenge of touching a topical or political issue in a forum where people are usually looking for an “escape”, and more.


Justin O’Brien’s ‘Chicago Yippie ’68’: “The story didn’t end with just the five days in August”

Dave Hoekstra talks with Justin O’Brien, author of Chicago Yippie! ’68, featuring his personal memoirs and photos from the streets of Chicago during the week of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He shares his stories of discovering Civil War photos as a young man, and that inspiring him to get involved in what became the antiwar movement, the role folk music played in Vietnam-era protests, how we can apply what we learned in ’68 to the present, and more.


The Busy Beaver Button Company and Women’s March Chicago: “We need to help people express themselves”

Dave Hoekstra previews the upcoming Women’s March Chicago with representative Clair Shingler and the Busy Beaver Button Company’s Joel Carter and Denise Gibson. They discuss the business of buttons as a means of expression and the history of protest and political buttons in the US, Shingler talks about this year’s march and the focus on action in the voting booth as a means of change, and more.


Mazurka Wojciechowska talks Slavic music in America and discovering the accordion: “At first, I thought it was a nerdy instrument…”

Dave Hoekstra welcomes accordionist and Slavic folk music expert Mazurka Wojciechowska, who provides some live tunes and talks about her January 26 show at the Old Town School of Folk Music celebrating the music and dance of the European Union. She also discusses finding music at an early age and being one of the first girls accepted into Lane Tech’s music program, learning the accordion later on in life and using that to broaden her appeal in folk circles, moonlighting as Kiss […]


‘The Fooditor 99’ is back: Michael Gebert’s top local spots that “try a little harder”

Dave Hoekstra welcomes culinary writer and editor Michael Gebert, whose book The Fooditor 99 provides a comprehensive, but manageable dining guide of what’s got him excited in the Chicago restaurant scene- now with new entries for 2018. They also discuss Gebert finding his niche in writing about food, what’s important about an accessible, physical guidebook for locals to refer to, and more.


What’s next for the McDonald’s ‘Golden Archives’ after closing of historic Des Plaines site?

Dave Hoekstra visits with Daily Herald reporter Chris Placek, who’s been covering the closing and upcoming demolition of the McDonald’s museum in Des Plaines, on the site of Ray Kroc’s first franchise location. He talks about the necessity of closing the site after flooding kept it from being a viable working museum, the history of the property and what could be in store for the historic Golden Arch sign and other artifacts salvaged from the site. Retired McDonald’s PR rep […]


Rock photographer Paul Natkin on the modern concert scene, Josh Homme incident : “I think he’s hanging out with Dave Grohl too much”

Prolific rock photographer Paul Natkin joins Dave Hoekstra for a conversation on the changing nature of the business and how restricted concert photography has become and part of the team to ‘the enemy’ of the artists; Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme’s dust-up at a December show where he kicked a photographer in the head; getting his start shooting the Bulls in the early ’70s and more.


Blues icon Buddy Guy gears up for another January run at ‘Legends’

Dave Hoekstra sits down for an in-depth chat with the great Buddy Guy, who starts his annual residency at Buddy Guy’s Legends on Thursday 1/4. They talk about his five-plus decades in the music business, the lack of not enough local appreciation for the blues and the city’s rich music history, Buddy being one of the last links to the Chicago classic blues sound and mentoring younger players who come through the club, and much more.


Chicago singer-songwriter Michael McDermott

Local singer-songwriter and longtime friend of Dave Hoekstra, Michael McDermott stops by the studio to play live in-studio and talk about his career and the new documentary chronicling his life and music.


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