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Jan. 12, 2024: Revamps rethought

Even though it’s a new year, it’s still cool to revisit older things.

Singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey is celebrating an album for which he's just launched a Kickstarter to help fund. In addition to hearing his fantastic songs and getting a little life advice, we get to hear his take on some of the nuances of recording, and why it’s still important to connect with audiences.

Since we love music and absolutely want more of it, we head down the street to hang out at Symphony Hall. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is hosting the program “Classics & Jazz” this weekend, an event put together in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, featuring an ensemble of Black soloists and compositions by African Americans. The program is assembled by an equally remarkable Black conductor and composer, and it includes one of his own works. We join SSO President Paul Lambert, Conductor Damien Sneed, pianist Jason Flowers II, woodwind and brass player Mebrakh Haughton-Johnson, and second violin Beth Welty just before their first rehearsal to talk about widening the perceived scope of Black music and how music is a bridge connecting communities and worlds together.

Finally, we head to Franklin County to pop open a bottle of very, very old Rioja with sommelier Ken Washburn. It wouldn’t be a Thunderdome without a second wine to compare it to, so we pit the 1947 Rioja against a similar one from 2017, and taste if age really does matter.

Christopher “Monte'' Belmonte is host and executive producer of NEPM's The Fabulous 413. He was born and raised in Massachusetts and has been a radio host in western Massachusetts for the last 20 years — the last 17 of them as host of Mornings with Monte on The River 93.9/WRSI.
Kaliis Smith is a radio host and producer for NEPM's The Fabulous 413. She was most recently host and producer at The River 93.9/WRSI where she appeared on Mornings with Monte for the Nerdwatch segment and hosted weekday evenings.