Niki Dakota

Music Director and Host, Excursions

Born a Hoosier, but only living there in spurts, Niki Dakota spent much of her young life moving around the United States with her archeologist mother. Throughout these years, there was always a ukulele somewhere close at hand. By the time the family settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ms. Dakota found herself in pursuit of professional music-making as she headed-up the Alterna-Folk band, Plow On Boy. In the course of her first live radio interview to promote the band, Niki’s keen excitedness manifest itself in extreme chattiness. At the conclusion of the segment, the DJ closed the mic and said, “You need to be in radio."  That was in 1990.

In 2002, Niki’s radio career brought her to WYSO where she continues to enjoy a love of music and shares that love with the Miami Valley weekdays on Excursions.

Ways To Connect

Host highlights features conversations between WYSO Music Director, Niki Dakota and WYSO's volunteer hosts about their programs, how they came to WYSO, etc. This week, Niki chats with Norm Whitman of Detours.  They talk about how fellow host Cindy Funk introduced him to the station as a listener and his early days as a host.

Detours airs Saturday afternoons 1-3pm.

Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band visit WYSO to chat with Niki Dakota during this installment of Excursions.

Daniel Dye and Andrew, Carrie, and Thomas Miller makeup this excellent group that brings classic Bluegrass style wherever it goes. One unique aspect of this group is that they are family (Daniel being the uncle to the Miller siblings). Dye and the Millers began playing together at family reunions for fun, but soon realized they had stumbled upon a sound that is heartwarming and soulful (and too good to only showcase at the occasional family reunion).

The Folk Indie duo known as the Bengsons (composed of Abigail and Shaun Bengson) come to perform live in this installment of Excursions on WYSO.

       The Bengsons describe themselves as “the best in vaudevillian indie folk”, and this label comes across very clearly in their music. Combining a traditional folk duo sound with musical theater and a little humor, The Bengsons give their music a unique and welcoming feeling that is an absolute treat to hear.

In the late 1960's, three young musicians from Dayton Ohio, Suzanne Thomas, Rick Good and Dave Edmundson, formed the Hotmud Family and began performing traditional music on stages in the Miami Valley and beyond.  On October 1, 2, and 3, 2010, WYSO hosted a Hotmud Family Reunion at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton.

In the late 1960's, three young musicians from Dayton Ohio, Suzanne Thomas, Rick Good and Dave Edmundson, formed the Hotmud Family and began performing traditional music on stages in the Miami Valley and beyond.  On October 1, 2, and 3, 2010, WYSO hosted a Hotmud Family Reunion at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton.

Photo by Beth Herzhaft

Sonos, the 6 member a cappella group stopped by the WYSO studio and performed a couple of songs from their upcoming holiday CD which is due to be released in early November. The group members include Christopher Given Harrison, Rachel Bearers, Ben McLain, Jessica Freedman, Katherine Ann Hoye, and Paul Peglar.

Local musicians Pam Baugham and Mike McDermott, who make up the Folk duo Sweet Betsy, visit WYSO for this installment of Excursions with Niki Dakota. The duo draws inspiration from classic folk music and largely sticks with the timeless style. However, the excellent musicianship of Pam and Mike in their songwriting and playing make Sweet Betsy simply wonderful to listen to. Performances include “Two for One” and “Last Thing”.

Photo by Karl Colon

Grammy Award-winning banjo player Alison Brown sets aside some time for Excursions to discuss public radio and to play some new songs with her band, the Alison Brown Quartet.

Brown, who is also a Harvard graduate and a co-founder of the Nashville independent record label Compass Records, is known for her instrumental banjo songs, which stray from the typical bluegrass genre associated with the instrument.

 

Local group Sawgrass stops by WYSO to showcase their classic Bluegrass sound on Excursions with Niki Dakota.

Sawgrass formed in 2005 in the Dayton and has been performing all over the country since. In addition to touring, Sawgrass has been featured in the PBS documentary Music Farmers which was nationally broadcast. The group uses traditional instruments and vocal stylings, in addition to their excellent musicianship, to create high- energy Bluegrass that is fresh, yet classic. 

 

Local guitarist Chris Wright (of C.Wright’s Parlour Tricks) stops by Excursions to share his energetic, and standout, brand of instrumental rock.

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