Arts & Culture

Kathy Austin reads her poem, "The Train."

This is one of the breakout novels of 2015. Here's my review which ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:


In “Descent” Tim Johnston has written a literary mystery that is wrought with lovely craftiness. We can become emotionally involved and will want some of these characters to survive perils Johnston has imagined for them. It won’t be easy as outcomes remain in doubt. He takes us through baffling twists and turns.

courtesy of Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

This winter, Dayton Opera will present a production of Dead Man Walking, an opera based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean.  Stage director Gary Briggle joined WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota in the studio to talk about the production.  They were also joined by mezz-soprano Amanda Fink, baritone Zachary Gordin and Dayton opera chorus master Jeff Powell, who previewed some selections from the show.

WYSO listeners will recognize the calm, reflective voice of Bill Felker. Bill's meditations upon nature and the changing seasons are a long-time staple on the WYSO airwaves and in publications across America. Bill recently published his latest "Poor Will's Almanack 2015." I always enjoy my interviews with Bill because I can usually surprise him with a question or a topic that he probably wasn't expecting. In this interview we discussed Bill's SAD table, a new feature in this latest edition of a series that he has been producing for many years.

Guitarist Keith Lykins creates unique sounds with modified instruments of his own design like the drum guitar he brought along to the WYSO studios.  Lykins performed songs live on the air during Excursions with it and several other instruments and talked to WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota about his latest album Encryptions and his musical journey.

Keith Lykins will perform at the Yellow Springs Library on February 21st and at the Wilmington-Stroop library in Kettering on February 28th.

Dayton's flat track roller derby team, the Gem City Rollergirls, are preparing for the opening bout of their 2015 season.  Three members of the team visited the WYSO studios to chat with Niki Dakota about roller derby past and present and the Gem City Rollergirls' nearly 10 year history as well as upcoming events.

The Gem City Rollergirls' season opener is February 28th at Hara Arena.

Conrad Balliet reads Jane Kretschman's poem, "High School Poetry Class."

Janeal Ravndal reads Barbara Astor's poem, "Dear Emily."

Peter James has created a crafty series of crime novels set in the English city of Brighton. Detective Roy Grace is his protagonist in what I like to call his "Dead  Series" because every book has the word "dead" in the title. Grace is a determined sleuth. These books are carefully plotted. James spends a lot of time consulting with advisors, veteran police officers, to make sure that he has gotten all his details right. 

Culling down a large batch of demos to an album's worth of songs, Smug Brothers recorded their new album, Woodpecker Paradise, live in the studio as a quartet, a first for the band.  Kyle Melton, Don Thrasher and Larry Evans visited the WYSO studios ahead of the album's release about talked about the recording process, honing the sound of the band's current lineup and the band's plans for this year.

Smug Brothers will celebrate the release of Woodpecker Paradise on Saturday, February 21st at Blind Bob's.