Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Music

Summer 2015

Key to My Cage

Key to my cage

Michael Kirkpatrick ’01
2014

The human voice is our oldest acoustic instrument and it’s still one of the most captivating. Add a few well struck strings—just a few chords even—and you have a remarkable symphony of bass, harmony, lyrics, and emotion.

This is the beguiling formula of Michael Kirkpatrick ’01. He’s a troubadour, both self-described and according to the 2014 Telluride Troubadour Competition, which he won. Performing some 150 dates a year from his Fort Collins, Colorado, base, he writes his own tunes and for the most part plays all … » More …

Greg Duncan - Chicago, Barcelona Connections
Summer 2013

Chicago, Barcelona Connections

Duncan

 

Greg Duncan ’98
New Origins Records, 2012

The Latin-themed recording is one of the great subgenres of jazz, going back at least as far as Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” and running through the likes of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca” and the Getz/Gilberto collaboration that brought “Girl from Ipanema” to hi-fi consoles across the land. Greg Duncan is stepping up with his own contribution, marshaling an Illinois Arts Council grant and Kickstarter funding to bring us … » More …

Winter 2011

Montaña y Caballo

yarn_owl_cd

Yarn Owl, Montaña Y Caballo, 2011

Tyler Armour ’10, Tim Meinig ’10, Ted Powers ’09, and Javier Suarez ’10

 

For fans of earthy, Northwest indie-folk in the vein of Seattle’s Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes, Pullman’s own Yarn Owl delivers a lush and satisfying debut. Montaña Y Caballo, the band’s first full-length album, was recorded in a barn just south of Moscow, Idaho, and every song evokes the varied scenery of the Pacific Northwest. … » More …

Fall 2011

L.A. Rendezvous

charlie

Charles Argersinger, 2010

I have long admired Dr. Argersinger’s work so I was eager to hear his new CD, L.A. Rendezvous. Argersinger (a retired WSU music professor) is a consummate composer of contemporary art music and a superb jazz arranger and composer, so it was no surprise that the album exhibits a high level of craftsmanship. What did surprise me is the variety of instrumental and vocal selections featured on the album.

The CD consists … » More …

Spring 2011

Video: Finding the right note

“The heartbeat is the basis of rhythm.”

For 40 years, Washington State University alumnus John Elwood has followed that beat to create music and instruments.

Making something from nothing, to share with others, is his delight, he said. He carves wood into a variety of instruments. He also makes “canjos” – a take-off of a banjo made from string, a solid wood neck and a can. The can from Cougar Gold – a cheese made at the WSU Pullman creamery – is a local favorite

To learn more about Elwood, his music and the canjo, watch the video.

Summer 2011

Hard Water

massyferguson

Massy Ferguson
Spark & Shine Records, 2010

Insistently local, yet tapping into a national legacy of country and blues rock, Massy Ferguson’s second album Hard Water travels the back roads of Washington and treacherous paths of relationships with guitar, drum, and organ-driven songs.

Dave Goedde ’92, Adam Monda ’94, and Jason “J” Kardong ’94 team up with Ethan Anderson and Tony Mann to play the Seattle-based band’s country-tinged rock reminiscent of The Jayhawks, Bruce … » More …

Spring 2011

Video: Canjo – John Elwood plays the Cougar fight song, “Shortnin’ Bread,” and his dulcimer

John Elwood, a maker of fine musical instruments and a 2001 graduate of Washington State University, crafts banjos from WSU cheese cans (like the iconic Cougar Gold).

Watch John play his “canjo” below and read more about his work in the spring 2011 issue.

Cougar fight song played on the canjo.

“Shortnin’ bread” played on the canjo (listen for the lyrical twist).

In addition to canjos, John plays folk music and creates whimsical and beautiful instruments like the goblin dulcimer … » More …

Spring 2011

Friends of the Old Mill

oldmill-cover

Cody Beebe and the Crooks
Friends of the Old Mill, 2010

This new roots-rock album has compelling lyrics, musical variety, and an overall upbeat feel. Cody Beebe and the Crooks (most of whom are WSU alumni) offer up twelve tracks with titles such as “Nine to Chain,” “Change of Pace,” and “Hurricane,” a pleasing assortment of rock/jazz/funk songs that contrast nicely in their use of instruments and varying tempos. Guitar is prevalent throughout, … » More …

Winter 2010

Vol. XIII: "White Bed"

super-xx-man

White Bed
Super XX Man, 2010

Mining Neil Young’s “Harvest,” Eels’ “Electroshock Blues,” and a wealth of indie rockers, Super XX Man creates an alloy of fine instrumentation and catchy pop melodies to memorialize lead singer Scott Garred’s father on “White Bed.”

Garred ’95 sings lead vocals and plays several instruments, with drummer Adam Mack and bassist Daren Claymon, on deeply personal songs recounting Garred’s dad’s life and eventual battle with cancer. Reflecting … » More …

Fall 2010

Live & Kickin’

wanderers

The Wanderers
Live & Kickin’, 2010

Bill Murlin ‘63 and Carl Allen ’60 created The Wanderers soon after they met in September, 1959, on the cusp of the Great Folk Scare of the 1960s. With Al Hansen on bass, the singer-guitarists performed regularly around Pullman for three years. Murlin and Allen continued after graduation with warm, unadorned harmonies and an unflinching folk repertoire of tunes by the Kingston Trio, Bill Staines, Pete Seeger, … » More …