Amie Penwell


Show me to the river, somewhere to wash away this feeling,
these days of disbelieving.

~ Show Me to the River, Amie Penwell

Marin County singer-songwriter Amie Penwell just released her debut full-length album King in a Temple this past November.  The first thing that hits you on hearing the album is the voice. A voice for Gospel, or like the voice of an angel lowered an octave as it says on her website.  It's an apt description.  Amie's voice not just soulful, you really do feel like it's a healing balm to sooth away the pain of life she sings about in her songs, and turn it into something beautiful.

Join me Tuesday from 9-10 am for new songs from the new Catie Curtis and Meg Hutchinson albums, plus the interview with Amie at 9:30.

Kate Graves


The lovely Kate Graves is busy getting her new album "Love Songs For The Neurotic" ready for release but she's taking some time out for an interview on Lyrical Venus this Tuesday. I've gotten to preview some of the songs and they are delightful little gems I've had on repeat all day! I love this quote about her voice:

"Kate's voice is the Long Island Ice Tea of voices. It's One part
Lucinda, two part Emmylou, with a twist of Norah Jones." ~Paul
Godbout, lead singer of Secret Sobriety

Come have a listen yourself and see what Paul means.

Tune in Tuesday from 9-10am for songs by female singer-songwriters, interview at 9:30.

Truckstop SouvenirI cannot say my daddy farmed these fields
and I cannot say my mama roamed these hills
I've been high in the mountains, in the desert and by the sea
and now this rolling land is calling me.
~ Song For Iowa, Lauryn Shapter

I've been eagerly awaiting the new CD by husband and wife Americana duo Truckstop Souvenir for a while now, and the release party is this weekend!  Under A Big Blue Sky was recorded in Lauryn and Dennis' home studio here in Fairfield, which is no easy trick with all the frequent trains passing by.  

And you just may hear a train whistle during their interview on Lyrical Venus this Tuesday, what with the station being right by the tracks!  Luckily it's a nostalgic sound that fits with their themes - dusty roads, wide rivers, tiny mining towns, old time rodeos and lonely motels. 

If you need an escape to the good ole days, tune in at 9am for some Lyrical Venus-y tunes, and the Truckstop Souvenir interview at 9:30.

Rachel Ries

Hey folks.  Another great weekend in Fairfield, Iowa means more great artists passing through.  This Saturday, November 22, Rachel Ries and Anais Mitchell will grace the stage at Cafe Paradiso.  I have the honor of having the lovely and talented Ms. Ries on the show for a phone-in interview on Crooked Sisters Radio Hour.  Rachel and Anais have joined forces to release their "Country EP" out on Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe label.  It's a charming collection of five songs with their voices blending beautifully.  We'll talk about the project, their upcoming show, the influences of the South Dakota prairies where Rachel was raised and the contrast of that life with life in Chicago.

Pieta Brown


Hey y'all, it's Thursday, so of course that means some great roots and Americana music on Crooked Sisters Radio Hour.

This week I'm honored to welcome Iowa's own Pieta Brown to the show at 11:30am.

Over the course of three albums, Pieta has developed her own unique take on roots music, all in support of passionate story telling and powerful lyrics.

So join me, Lauryn Shapter, for a conversation with Pieta Brown, this Thursday on Crooked Sisters from 10 until noon.

Kevin Hosbond


This Thursday join host Ken Malloy on GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR. Ken speaks with local high school faculty member & Harper's Brush 2008 Teacher of the Year Kevin Hosbond.

Mr. Hosbond talks about his 8 years in Fairfield and his love affair with everything Fairfield. Energetic, creative and open-minded, Hosbond credits many of his past teachers for his success.

Listen in Thursday @ 1pm (Tuesday re-air @ 8am)

Set your dial and stay awhile.

First Lady Mari Culver


Iowa First Lady Mari Culver talks about her upcoming visit to Fairfield with Around Town host Melinda Arndt. The wife of Governor Chet Culver will keynote a SEVA-sponsored luncheon fundraiser for the Ottumwa Crisis Center and Women's Shelter at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center on Thursday October 2nd.

For reservations, visit SEVA's website at, or call Coralie at 472-7148.

Donations to the Ottumwa Crisis Center may be sent c/o SEVA, P.O. Box 1564, Fairfield, IA or online at

Dr. Vernon Katz

Holocaust memoirist, Dr. Vernon Katz, discusses his beautifully-written recently-released book, The Blue Salon and Other Follies, about growing up in the 1930s in rural Lippe in the shadow of Nazi Germany.

Professor John Solow

University of Iowa Professor John Solow talks about his research with host James Moore using the Iowa Creativity Index which correlates the creative class and economic growth, and places Jefferson County 6th out of 99 counties, the leading rural county in the state. Gives a new meaning to the art of commerce.

[Click John's pic for blog by Brent Willett, Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield Economic Development Association Executive Director.]

Hallie Pritts of Boca Chica
Some girls cry for wedding bells
and some for diamond rings
What I want for right now
is a quiet place to think
~ Boca Chica, Beasts

This week on Lyrical Venus I'll be interviewing Hallie Pritts of the indie alt-folk band Boca Chica. Their quiet, lush and sometimes quirky sound has drawn comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine and Bright Eyes with flavors of Old Crow Medicine Show and Gillian Welch. Boca Chica means "little mouth", and just like the small fruit they sing about in their song Blackberries, Hallie and company provide sweet-tart morsels of sound that leave a stain of faded purple behind and satisfied smile on your lips. Voted one of the city's best bands by the 2006 Pittsburgh City Paper poll and featured on NPR's Open Mic podcast, Boca Chica has been charming audiences across the country since 2004. Tune in Tuesday at 9 am to hear from Hallie!

Sharon Bousquet

Howdy y'all and welcome to another edition of the Crooked Sisters Radio Hour. On today's show I'll be joined live in the studio by Fairfield's own lovely and talented, Sharon Bousquet. Last time Sharon was on, she played some great original songs, and this time she will be joined by a few special guests. Always an intelligent, thought provoking speaker, it's a pleasure to have Sharon back on Crooked Sisters Radio Hour.

So be sure to join me, your host Lauryn Shapter, this Thursday, from 10 to noon, for some great roots, Americana, country, bluegrass and beyond!