WMM with Sara Swenson + Calvin Arsenia + Christena Graves

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Sara Swenson + Calvin Arsenia & Justin Randall + Brandon & Christena Graves

Mark plays New & MidCoastal Releases from: Emmaline Twist, Flare Tha Rebel & Bob Pulliam, Sara Swenson, Christena Graves, and Calvin Arsenia.

At 10:15 Mark talks with Sara Swenson one of our most played artists of the last 12 years. Her self titled debut album was #1 on WMM’s 100 Best Recordings of 2009. In 2010 Sara released her 2nd full-length, ALL THINGS BIG AND SMALL, working with Don Chaffer in Nashville. In November of 2011, Sara released her EP, NEVER LEFT MY MIND featuring her band The Pearl Snaps. She won two KC Singer-Songwriter of the Year awards, performed with Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair, and placed a song on the season finale of ABC’s “Private Practice.” In 2012 Sara Swenson left her job as an English & Journalism Teacher in Platte County High School and flew off to the United Kingdom, where she got married. In the spring of 2014, Sara returned to KC and performed at Folk Alliance International Conference and then released her 4th album, RUNWAY LIGHTS that captures snapshots of her 18-month experience of living in the U.K., marriage, and transitions. On March 26, Sara released the single, “I Wont Let You Feel Alone”, with Mark Lowrey on piano, featured in her husband, Michael Price‘s film “The Hidden Pandemic” that aired on PBS. More info at: www.saraswenson.com

At 10:35 Christena Graves & Brandon Graves share details about Christena’s new album, FINDING MY FOOTING. Christena grew up in western Michigan, and after leaving to attend college in Missouri, she met her husband Brandon and joined the band Waterdeep as the keyboard player. After touring for several years, she stepped away from the band to raise their children. Once the kids were old enough, Christena and Brandon decided to form a new project. In mid 2020 Greg Lafollette, a long time musical friend, moved back to Kansas City from Nashville where he had built a successful career as an artist and producer. Greg offered his help to record a collections of songs that have become her new record. The album is titled, Finding My Footing. A nod to the difficulty of reengaging in a music business that has changed dramatically over the last 20 years but also a humble acceptance that life can be hard at times but it is important to keep moving forward. FINDING MY FOOTING is Christena’s first full length solo album since 1996 and her first as a band leader. More info at: www.christenagravesmusic.com

At 11:00 Mark welcomes Calvin Arsenia for the entire second hour! Calvin came home to KC in 2014 after working in Edinburgh, Scotland. His EPs: Moments, Prose, Catastrophe, Caviar, and album Catastrophe led to his signing with Center Cut Records where he released the albums Cantaloupe in 2018, and L.A. Sessions in 2019, along with the EP HONEY DEW, an EP with Quixotic, and the Holiday album, ALL IS CALM. In 2020 Calvin released new music on the Soundtrack to “Summer in Hindsight,” a collaborative feature-length film created by The West 18th Street Fashion Show and Film Society KC that also starred Calvin as an actor. In 2021 Calvin has been featured on recordings by Making Movies, True Lions, and Rob Rice. Voted KC’s Best Musician in The Pitch in 2018, and 2020, and featured in Billboard, NPR.org, and GRAMMY.com, Calvin’s classically trained voice, visually striking 6-foot-6 presence, and deft harp playing have built his reputation as an incredible live performer. Calvin Arsenia plays Lemonade Park 1628 Wyoming, on Saturday, July 10, at 7:00 AM with The Black Mariah Theater. More info at www.calvinarsenia.com

Also joining us is Justin Randall, Calvin’s childhood friend and co-host for their incredibly fabulous podcast “We Were Christian Kids.” The podcast dives into their pasts as super Christian kids, at church camp, speaking in tongues, and LOTS of sexual frustration, and explores how they’ve wrestled with their ideas of religion & de-conversion in adulthood as queer entertainers. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and podcast platforms. Justin Randall is an NYC based stand-up comic and actor who has appeared in Buzzfeed, The New York Post and whose tweets have been featured by Twitter in the London Tube. Justin performs stand-up all over New York City, and and has been seen onstage at Stand Up NY, The Bell House, Broadway Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, The Creek & The Cave and many more. He was a finalist in the Yaaas! Queer Comedy Festival and the Comedy Mob Competition. Internationally, Justin has performed in London and in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Follow him on all social media at @imjustinrandal

Calvin Arsenia art work created by Levi Miller www.levimiller.com
Justin Randall photo by Michael Kushner Photography

Show #897

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