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

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.

Helene Fischman

A chance conversation at a local gig started a friendship between folk musician Peter Mulvey and Shrug's Tod Weidner.  Year later, they'll once again perform together at Canal Public House and joined WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota in the studio for a preview set ahead of that show.

Peter Mulvey and Shrug will perform together on Friday, February 13th at Canal Public House.

Native New Yorker Joe Driscoll met his West African collaborator Sekou Kouyate in England where Kouyate lived up to his nickname of being "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora." An album, Faya, followed and the pair are now on tour and will be appear in Dayton as part of the University of Dayton's ArtsLive series.  Driscoll visited the WYSO studios ahead of the duo's UD performance for an acoustic set on Excursions and spoke with Music Director Niki Dakota about this unique collaboration.

Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate will perform on February 12th at UD's Boll Theater.

On Friday the 13th, Babbling April will celebrate the release of their debut EP with a show at Blind Bob's in the Oregon District.  They'll be joined onstage by Grenades!?, who recently released their own debut album, Interrobang.  Members of both bands visited the WYSO studios for a conversation with Niki Dakota on Excursions and shared tracks from these new releases.

Babbling April and Grenades!? will perform Friday, February 13th, at Blind Bobs in downtown Dayton.

Louisville's Vessel stopped by the WYSO studio on their way to a Columbus gig for a live set on Excursions.  The six-piece band chatted with Music Director Niki Dakota about their latest release, upcoming shows and more.

Vessel will perform at Old Crow in Middletown on Saturday, February 7th.

Guitar player Eric Loy returns to the WYSO studios for a live set on Excursions.  He spoke with Music Director Niki Dakota about his unique playing style, the visual nature of guitar music and more.

Eric Loy will perform at the Spirited Goat Coffeehouse in Yellow Springs on Saturday, February 7th. 

Both a drummer and bass player, Ryan Simpson is now exploring guitar and vocals.  Ahead of his performance at the songwriters in the round session at the 60s vs 70s tribute show, Simpson visited the WYSO studios for a live set on Excursions.

Ryan Simpson will perform at the 60 vs 70s tribute show on January 30th at Gilly's.

Craigslist originally brought the members of Top Hat Black together nearly two years ago.  With an EP released in August, the band is forging ahead and visited the WYSO studios for an acoustic performance on Excursions. 

Top Hat Black will perform on January 17th at Peaches in Yellow Springs.

Indiana band and Dayton-based artist Ridge Clint Higgins are among the over 30 participants in this year's Songwriters Solstice fundraiser at Ghostlight Coffee to benefit the Dayton Foodbank.  They visited the WYSO studios ahead of the event to perform live on Excursions and spoke with Niki Dakota about their musical roots and more.

Songwriters Solstice is December 19th and 20th at Ghostlight Coffee. 

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