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World Travellers Lisa Otey And Diane Van Deurzen Bring Their Joyous Blues To The Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour

July 22, 2020

world travelersListening to Lisa Otey (pronounced O-tay) play piano is an entrancing delight. Her fingers dance up and down the keyboard in a boogie woogie style that is at once soulful and filled with delight. Her mastery of the blues style is so well-known that when Pinetop Perkins had his run in with a train in LaPorte, they called her to the studio to help finish the album he was working on because he had injured his hand. Paired with her remarkable playing is the enormously talented vocalist, Diane van Deurzen. Sustaining a natural vibrato and sultry singing style, they work together like a well-oiled blues machine. Leading off with the Bessie Smith classic, It Ain’t Nobody’s Business, Diane and Lisa trade verses and the fun, “If I go to church on Sunday, then cabaret on Monday. . . It ain’t nobody’s business if I do.” During their conversation with host George Schricker, Lisa and Diane discuss their rural upbringings in Oregon and Wisconsin and how they met up in Arizona to share their love of the Blues and singing. Diane reflected, “What I loved about Lisa is that she had such a depth—the feeling and emotion invested in every song.” Diane and Lisa finish the set with Ida Cox’s feminist classic, Wild Women Never Get the Blues, and a tune dedicated to the community of Plymouth—Get Happy.
The second part of the hour is filled with guest announcer, Wild Rose Moon intern and Hope College sophomore, Katy Smith’s, “Mount Olympus Radio Hour” play. The Mount Olympus Players, consisting of Ball State University Acting major Levi Crawford and IUSB professor Michele Schricker, join Smith on this second installment of her series. (The first of which featured an interview with the poet, Homer.) During the play, Greek gods Athena (Smith) and Apollo (Crawford) return to give a humorous and educational interview with the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace (Schricker). The play deals with the hard topic that the history of women and people of color alike has been erased, stolen, and altogether neglected in schools (and societies) around the globe. Ada Lovelace, a nineteenth century genius, is often discredited for her work, many scientists ascribing her contributions to Charles Babbage, a mathematician with whom she worked. The play attempts to clear Lovelace’s name and balance the narrative by presenting her story. A moving spoken-word poem entitled, “New-World Interface,” recited by Ada, helps to balance the record.

After the play, van Deurzen and Otey return with an improvised setlist. Straying from what they originally planned, the women, in sympathy with the theme of the Mount Olympus Radio Hour, continue celebrating women and feminism. Delivering the song, “Hard Working Woman,” a song Otey wrote in tribute to the great blues queen Candye Kane (who passed in 2016) the duet sings, “Hard working woman you sure look good to me.” The tribute to women continues with van Deurzen’s original, “You Got What I Want,” growling, “That shiny new engine is mighty fine but just rev your engine next to mine.” Carrying the message of strength, freedom, and love, Diane and Lisa stories and songs fill the show with compassion and joy. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss. You can catch this next episode on WTCA 1050 AM/106.1 FM at noon on Saturday, August 1st, and on Monday, August 3rd at 9 P.M. on WVPE 88.1. It’s the perfect place to drop in for a listen, The Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour – A Home for Humans