Program Archive

Jamie Ford - program 49

This month on Of the West :  Phil talks with Jamie Ford, author of “Songs of Willow Frost” and “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.”  Writing, music, graphic novels, history, family, lutefisk, hungry dogs, falling ice, falling in love – it’s all here. This program aired Monday September 30 at 6:30pm MDT on […]

Team Aaberg - KCRW's 24 Hour Radio Race - program 48

On Saturday, August 17 Phil, Jake and Patty Aaberg participated in the KCRW 24 Hour Radio Race, along with approximately 200 other teams.  Everyone received the topic “The Last Thing You’d Expect” at 10am PST and we had 24 hours to write, record, edit and upload a 6 minute non-fiction radio story. 

Kelly Roberti - program 47

How does a kid from the little town of Malta, on Montana’s hi line become a jazz bassist?  More to the point, how does he manage to make a living as a jazz bassist in Montana? Listen to recipient of Montana Governor’s Award for the Arts Kelly Roberti, and hear excerpts from a new CD […]

Bryan Schultz - Roughstock Distillery program 46

Bryan Schultz, distiller and founder of Roughstock Distillery, makers of Montana Whiskey. Roughstock is Montana’s first whiskey distillery in over a hundred years, and has been listed by Forbes as one of the top ten distilleries in the United States. This is not the whiskey you might imagine is being served in Charlie Russell’s painting […]

Arni Fishbaugh - program 45

Arni Fishbaugh, Executive Director of the Montana Arts Council is one of a kind.  The path she traveled to becoming the voice of the arts in Montana was an interesting and varied one -and no one could represent us better than she.  Arni and Phil met in Helena to talk about that path and the […]

Thad Suits - Program 44

Monday January 28 at 6:30pm on Yellowstone Public Radio – stream live at   Philip welcomes Thad Suits, who, besides being the principal cellist of the Great Falls Symphony and member of the Cascade String Quartet, is a chessmaster, computer programmer, and teacher of the Arabic language. Thad’s performance schedule is at  (see […]

Kendall Flint - program 43

Dr. Kendall Flint, physician at the Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning and current president of the Glacier Two Medicine Alliance talks with Phil about medicine, music, wilderness and the importance of community.         Listen now: Download: Kendall Flint

John Barsness - Program 42

Meet Montana writer John Barsness, author of the classic outdoor books “Montana Time”, “Western Skies”, and “Born To Hunt”.  John believes it is in our DNA to hunt, and he is the man to convince you with his enthusiasm and his thoughtfulness about the hunt. Having enjoyed amazing deer kabobs and venison sausage at his […]

Angella Ahn - program 41

Angella Ahn of Bozeman, MT travels the world with her sisters in The Ahn Trio.  they’ve played at The White House, on MTV Unplugged and underground in a Roman ruin in Germany – and their music has the same range.   Phil talked with Angella at Montana State University Bozeman, where she is currently the Adjunct […]

Nicholas Vrooman - program 40

Historian and scholar Nicholas Vrooman is one of the few people studying Métis culture over the last generation.  He was the first State Folklorist of North Dakota, Dakota Field Representative for ArtsMidwest (a regional consortium of state arts agencies), second State Folklorist for Montana, Nevada Arts Council Folklorist for Indian Traditional Arts, Program Manager of […]

Peter Bowen - program 39

Novelist Peter Bowen of Livingston, Montana. Publishers Weekly says, “The lure of [the Gabriel Du Pré series] is in the texture of the storytelling, soaked in folklore, mysticism, and wry humor in the face of human folly.” Midwest Book Review says “Peter Bowen does for Montana what Tony Hillerman does for New Mexico. Anyone who […]

Scott McMillion - program 38

Scott McMillion is one of Montana’s premier journalists, and the author of the best-selling “Mark of the Grizzly”. Scott says he has a passion to learn all he can about Montana, and we’re lucky he chooses to share that with us in his clear, clean, prose. Listen in on Philip’s interview with Montana Quarterly’s Senior […]

Blues Odyssey - program 37

Of the West with Philip Aaberg, “Blues Odyssey”, with Perry Welsh and Steve Ehrmann. Phil interviewed them at The Bin while mixing the Perry and The Pumpers CD “Movin’ at Midnight“. Blues is a highly expressive form that will never die.  Tune in for some of its great practitioners, and for tales for the phenomenal […]

Janine Benyus - program 36

Listen to writer and biologist Janine Benyus for half an hour and you’ll feel better about the world. Great things often happen at the intersection of science and the arts. Janine’s book, Biomimicry, opened windows for amazing changes in the way we think about how we do things….lessons from the masters (species who have thrived […]

Charles Nichols - program 35

Composer Charles Nichols is doing very interesting things around the world with computers and traditional instruments from his home in Missoula. The Montana Arts Council named him as one of the recipients of their 2011 Innovator Awards   Listen now: Download: Charles Nichols   For more information on Charles:

Gene Sentz - program 34

Gene Sentz co-founded Friends of the Rocky Mountain Front in 1977 and has been a tireless advocate of this land in the decades since. A retired elementary teacher and outfitter, Gene is dedicated to keeping this land pristine for generations to come.  He and Phil visited in Choteau, Montana. Listen now:    Download: Gene Sentz

George Winston - program 33

Pianist George Winston and Phil have been friends for many years. They finally got a chance to record one of their talks. George sat at a piano in a San Francisco recording studio while Phil sat nearby and got George to play a song he’d recently composed and will release to benefit the Occupy movement. The two […]

Justin Lubke - program 32

Justin Lubke is an innovative filmmaker, telling stories inspired by his travels around the world and his home state of Montana.   His award winning films have covered subjects from indigenous tribes, the natural world and girls basketball in rural Montana.  Listen in as Phil and Justin discuss the complexities of film making and basketball. Listen now: Download: Justin Lubke Class […]

Glenn Brackett - program 31

Glenn Brackett of Butte Montana helped bring Winston Rods to the pinnacle of fly rod making, then started Sweetgrass Rods in Twin Bridges. Visitors from around the world arrive un-announced at his door, hands joined in prayerful respect, to speak with the Master Rod Builder. I spoke with Glenn in his workshop, and had to turn […]

Al Wiseman - program 30

Montanan Al Wiseman, 74, has lived for most of his life in Choteau on the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains. A Métis and a member of the Little Shell Band of Chippewas, Wiseman is the foremost local historian of the Old North Trail and archivist of Michif fiddle tunes. Listen: Al Wiseman Download: Al Wiseman […]

Karen Kitchel - Program 29

Karen Kitchel is that rare bird, a full time artist.   Join us for an audio version of a painter’s odyssey. “Kitchel proposes a new way of seeing both the land and landscape painting.  She strives to document reality as she finds it, to combine overlooked elements of mundane, non-spectacular surroundings with the grandiosity and romantic allure […]

Brett Earl/Earl Fisher Biofuels – Program 28

“Grown locally, manufactured locally, consumed locally” is the slogan of the Earl Fisher Biofuel company, the first and only biofuel plant in Montana. Logan Fisher and Brett Earl are fourth generation farmers on Montana’s High Line. They convert locally grown crops into clean burning biofuels for industry, ag, home and garden use. Philip spoke with […]

Mel Lehman - program 27

Mel Lehman, Director the the Wind Montana Project in Great Falls, says it’s time to go beyond traditional Democratic and Republican politics, which he considers excess baggage, and seriously address world energy questions brought on by the end of the cheap oil era. He says,”We need to have a conversation about Sustainable Energy….that is, renewable energy, plus […]

Greg Johnson - program 25

Director, teacher and actor Greg Johnson has led the Montana Repertory Theatre as artistic director since 1990.  Based at the University of Montana in Missoula, this national touring company has a reputation for consistently excellent productions.   Greg and Phil met in Missoula to talk about the state of theatre in the Rocky Mountain west. Listen now: Greg […]

Deirdre McNamer - program 24

When Philip was reading Dee McNamer’s fourth novel “Red Rover”, he would glance up every so often and say something like “This is an incredible story”.  “Her writing is like poetry…”.   When I replied, or attempted to have the briefest conversation, he’d look at me as though I was REALLY interrupting him – couldn’t I see he was very engrossed […]

Michael Millard - program 23

Michael Millard has been crafting guitars for over 4o years.   He has also made an annual trek to Montana for decades, bringing generations of his beloved golden retrievers to recharge, hunt and keep his connection to the high plains.  He and Phil visited during his last Montana sojourn, about guitar making, music, fishing, and their common love […]

Henry Real Bird - program 22

Cowboy poet, Crow Indian, Montana’s Poet Laureate – in 2010, Henry Real Bird rode 415 miles on horseback through western North Dakota and northern Montana, handing out books of poetry and connecting with people along the way. Listen now: Henry Real Bird Download: Henry Real Bird photo courtesy of Western Folklife Center – additional interviews with Henry […]

Jack Gladstone - program 21

Jack Gladstone is a Native “PoetSinger” and lecturer from the Blackfeet Indian Nation of Montana. Regarded as a cultural bridge builder, he delivers programs nationally on American Indian myth, legend and history.  He talked with Phil in the Sweetgrass Music studio “The Bin” at the completion of his most recent release Native Anthropology. For more information about Jack, […]

Eric Funk - program 20

Eric Funk is an American contemporary classical composer and conductor residing in Bozeman, Montana, where he teaches music courses at Montana State University.  From 1994-2002, Eric was conductor of the Helena Symphony Orchestra in Helena, Montana. From 1994-1999, he was also the conductor of the Gallatin Chamber Orchestra in Bozeman, Montana.  Eric also serves as […]

Mokey McNeilly - program 19

Michael “Mokey” McNeilly spent 17 years as a professional actor in Hollywood appearing in over 40 productions, with the Mark Taper Forum, the John Ford Theatre, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Theatre Exchange. He has appeared in movies, television, commercials and was a Mighty Carson Art Player with Johnny Carson. His company Mimeprov has […]

Bob Quinn - program 17

Bob Quinn grows high quality organic grains in Big Sandy, Montana.  For over 20 years he has utilized environmentally sound practices to produce Kamut brand Khorasan wheat, buckwheat, lentils, hard red winter and spring wheat, hull-less and feed barley, oleic sunflower & safflower, black Indian corn, peas, alfalfa, clover, dry land vegetables – winter squash, potatoes, onions […]

Kate Hunt - program 16

Sculptor Kate Hunt visited Phil in our Chester studio to talk about small town sensibility, and the realities of sending her work out into the world. see Kate’s work at Listen now: Download Kate Hunt ________________________________

From Yale to the Prairie - Tales of Dr. Buker program 15

  Dr. Buker came to Chester in the 50s and established a rural hospital that today boasts 25 beds, emergency services and a clinic.  In these parts he is legend.  What brought him to a small town in Montana?  For that matter, why did he pursue a career in medicine?   Philip talks with Doc about his life before arriving in Montana, and […]

Steve Aaberg -- program 14

Over the course of his career, archeologist Steve Aaberg has crafted an interesting specialty, paleoethnobotany: the study of plant use in pre-contact cultures.   On a recent fishing trip he and Phil talked about music, archeology, their home town Chester, and Steve’s profound respect for the Plains cultures.   He reminds us that in order to preserve the future […]

Sharon Dynak --program 13

As president of the Ucross Foundation, Sharon Dynak wears many hats;  advisor, juggler, economist, politician, soother of  egos.  Wrangling creative people can be challenging, but Sharon has a way of making the artists feel at home, supported and appreciated for what they do.   Philip talked with Sharon at the new composer’s cabin at Ucross, about the transition […]

Philip Aaberg: Music & the River - program 12

photo courtesy of Jill Brody Philip Aaberg is known for creating music that evokes a feeling of Montana’s rivers, sky, mountains and plains.  Explore the idea of nature as inspiration in music – complete with some examples from the keyboard. Listen: Download: Philip Aaberg ________________________________

Jack Mahood: A Short Story - program 11

Jack Mahood was a classic.  He played his horn at The Ozark Club in Great  Falls, Montana, caring about the music and not about race.  He loved jazz, he loved art, and most of all he loved his wife Dora. Philip had the privilege of getting to know Jack and hearing his stories about “back in […]

David Lake - program 10

“Lake|Flato’s architecture can serve as a lesson for us all: how a building stands to the sun, how it welcomes the cooling breeze, how it partners with plant materials. Nothing sensational or exotic, no visual fireworks of fashion, just architecture that intrigues the mind, delights the soul, and refreshes the eye with its elegant detail […]

David Romtvedt --program 9

Poet, musician, professor, a true Renaissance man.  David Romtvedt is all of these things, with a generous spirit and zest for life that shines through, even on the radio. Listen: Download: David Romtvedt ________________________________

Gary Thieltges --program 8

After decades behind a movie camera, Gary Thieltges founded Doggicam.  He creates innovative camera mounting and moving systems, enabling cinematographers to create on film the shots they imagine. In 2005 he was awarded a Technical Achievement Oscar for invention of the Sparrowcam. Gary visited his hometown Chester, Montana and spoke with Phil at the Sweetgrass […]

Margaret Saunders Ott --program 7

I’ve always wished that everyone could have a lesson with my teacher, Margaret Saunders Ott. Her students left her home with a powerful sense that somehow, in that 45 minutes, the world had become a better place. Margie May, as all her friends call her…Mrs. Ott as all her students call her…has been very active […]

David Duncan --- programs 5 & 6

David James Duncan is a father, a fly fisher, a practitioner of what he calls “direct, small-scale compassion/activism,” and the author of the novels The River Why and The Brothers K, the story collection River Teeth, and the nonfiction collection My Story as Told by Water.

Adrian Arleo - program 4

For nearly two decades figurative artist Adrian Arleo has created haunting ceramic sculptures combining human and animal imagery suggesting mythologies of transformation.

Mark Gordon -- program 3

Rancher Mark Gordon takes stewardship of the land very seriously. Integrating time honored ranching practices and modern innovative techniques, he is ensuring a legacy that will last generations.

Paul Zarzyski --programs 1 & 2

We’re proud to introduce the very first Of The West episodes, featuring poet and ex-bareback bronc rider Paul Zarzyski.

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