Chris Wienk

Afternoon DJ/Program Director

Chris Wienk
Mon-Fri 3-9pm

Chris grew up listening to his dad play the pipe organ. Chris always got into the deep bass notes. As a little boy, Chris could be found dancing in front of tiny, little stereo speakers that were playing old Simon & Garfunkel. To this day, Chris LOVES “The Boxer,” and can often be heard saying “groovy” (as in “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”).

Chris’ epiphany moment came in the summer of 1975 when he first heard Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug.” That was the beginning of his quest for music that had such power and emotion.

Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo,
Feelin’ groovy.

Katie Louise at WEXT

Local 518 Katie Louise, a pop singer-songwriter is looking for like-minded artists as she is open to doing some co-writing.  She's made some great pop melodies on her own, and she'll play those here for you to enjoy.

The Grady Girls

Based in Ithaca, NY, The Grady Girls dropped by to help us celebrate St. Patrick's Day with some great old Irish tunes.  The Grady Girls are:

Nora (fiddle), Marie (flute), Leah (bodhrán), and Saoirse (fiddle) who are based in Ithaca, NY, their hometown, and Oona (fiddle) and newest band member James (guitar), both reside in Saratoga Springs, where they perform as the duo Drank The Gold.  

Lucas Garrett

Lucas Garrett stopped by to play a few songs from his upcoming album, due out in April 2018.  While he's still at work on it, he has defined the sound, and created some rockin' riffs. Lucas is joined by long time partner Eric Bremer.

The Druids at WEXT

The Irish quartet known as The Druids were in town to play a show with Kevin McKrell. Kevin and Chris Shaw recommended we get the guys in for a visit, and boy did we learn a lot about Irish history and how it continues to be told by the singers and songwriters of today.

Bette Smith at WEXT

Born and raised in Bed-Stuy, Bette Smith grew up with the tough times and her parents gospel music.  As her older brother was on his death bed, he convinced her to make a change - to use her voice for what it was meant to be used for - singing blues, soul and R&B.

Her latest album is "Jetlagger," and she dropped by to sing songs from the album and talk about making music.

Birds of Chicago

The husband and wife duo of Allison Russell and JT Nero dropped by on their way to Caffe Lena.  They brought the band, and played songs as Birds of Chicago.

We talked about the EP, "American Flowers," and the forthcoming album, "Love in Wartime."

The Ballroom Thieves

Boston-based The Ballroom Thieves were making their way across to Rochester for a show, and on their way, they stopped by to play songs from the new EP, "Paper Crown," and to talk about music.  We learned that the band met while searching on Tinder. OK, that part is not true, but...  You just never know who might be at an open mic.  You'd be well served to stop by one sometime.


Sawyer Fredericks Live @ EXT

Sawyer Fredericks began playing around the area, busking on Saratoga streets, playing the Caffe Lena Open Mic. Then he rocketed to fame with a win on the reality show The Voice.  At just 17 years old, you might be quick to dismiss his rapid rise, but if you did, you would certainly miss out.

Darlingside "Extralife"

On February 23, the guys in Darlingside (Don, Harris, Auyon and Dave) gave us a few words about each of the songs on the new album - "Extralife."  "Extralife" is Darlingside's new album.  It's an imaginative exploration that follows the beautiful and lush "Birds Say" album.  It has been our pleasure to watch and listen as these guys morph from amazing singers and songwriters into an absolute tour de force.  

Chris Wienk with Stephanie Tommasone
Paul Gavry/WEXT

The Montgomery County schools All County Festival is Saturday, March 3rd at 4pm.  Come out to support our local student musicians, and the music program in our schools.

Select students from Montgomery County schools will be performing in one of four ensembles: elementary chorus, a high school chorus, middle school band and high school band. Doors open at 3:15pm. 

Grant-Lee Phillips

Grant-Lee Phillips has come a long way since his days as the lead member of Grant-Lee Buffalo.  He dropped by with his new album, "Widdershins," to tell us about it, and play some songs. He let it be known that "words just stick" on him.  The word "widdershin" was one of those words.  Listen in...


Gabe Stallman, the driving force behind the progressive rock band Ampevene dropped by to talk with Chris Wienk about the new single, "Valencia," and the forthcoming live studio album.

Ampevene play a special CD release show this Friday, February 9th at The Hollow. For more information about Ampevene, and the event, follow these links.

Ampevene website
Facebook event for CD release show

Lera Lynn at WEXT

Singer-songwriter Lera Lynn came to prominence as the singer in the dive bar on the second series of HBO's True Detective.  She co-wrote the songs she sang with T-Bone Burnett and Rosanne Cash.  In her own right, she's released a few albums of music, and is working on her next projects.

Before her show at the Massry Center for the Arts, she stopped by to play a few songs and talk up what she's been doing.

Tinsley Ellis at WEXT

Blues guitarist extraordinaire, Tinsley Ellis came to town to play a show at The Linda. Before he went there, he stopped by to talk about his latest album, "Winning Hand."  He played us a couple tunes, including a Leo Kottke instrumental.

Lera Lynn

The young woman who was the performer on the second season of HBO's True Detective, Lera Lynn - singer, songwriter, performer, is coming to The Massry Center on February 2nd. For more information, visit the Massry Center website. To buy tickets, click here.

Enter to win tickets by sending email with this link.

Nora Jane Struthers at WEXT

NPR and Rolling Stone said Nora Jane Struthers' album, "Champion," was one of the best records of 2017 that you likely didn't hear.  If you listened to WEXT, you did.  And if you're a fan, you're likely looking forward to listening back to the session she did when she and her band stopped at The Linda in Albany this January.

Chris Smither at WEXT

Chris Smither is a legend. Chris Smither is a singer, a songwriter, an incredible guitar player.  His influence is wide.  And in 2018, he released "Call Me Lucky."  He dropped by the studio to play a few songs, including a tune from his vast catalog.  

Hop City Hellcats

A cool blend of alt-country, old time string band, honky-tonk - we just call it great music.  Hear this special session celebrating the release of the new album called "Relics" from a band with two band members Local 518 and two from the 315 - Hop City Hellcats.

Mary Scholz at WEXT

Mary Scholz has moved a long way from her native Philadelphia - to the warm sun of California. Her new album is "California." Hear songs from that album, and she and Chris Wienk talk about music and the songs.

Carolyn Wonderland

January 13
Massry Center for the Arts

Critics have compared Carolyn Wonderland’s soulful voice to Janis Joplin and her guitar slinging to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her fans include Bob Dylan and Ray Benson, founder of Asleep at the Wheel. A singer-songwriter and high-energy performer, Wonderland reaches deep into the Texas blues tradition and enlivens her repertoire with dashes of humor.

Eddie Berman

Singer-songwriter Eddie Berman stopped by to catch us up on his latest release, "Before the Bridge."  If you get the chance, you should definitely check him out.  Below, we'll post some videos he did with Laura Marling.   Hear the story of the album, who is the Bridge, and learn about his time in London.

See our Facebook video page for a couple of the songs performed live to Facebook.

The Big Takeover at WEXT

It was a chilly afternoon in December when the rockin' reggae band from New Paltz called The Big Takeover worked their way up Interstate-87 to our little studios.  They packed all seven members into our studio.

Their latest album marks their ten year anniversary.  "Silly Girl" takes us on a trip to Jamaica for serious ska and reggae influences.  Hear the results of the session we did below.  

Carmen Lookshire at WEXT
Kiki Vassilakos

Local 518 singer-songwriter, Carmen Lookshire dropped by to share her new song and to sing a holiday favorite to get us in the mood for her Merry Little Carmen special performance at Eden Cafe in Loudonville.

Cradle Switch

Cradle Switch, a five-piece acoustic Americana group, based in Cambridge, NY. Their self-titled debut is out featuring originals and a range of songs drawing from bluegrass, country, folk, and a little blues. Singer-songwriters Ferrilyn Sourdiffe and Dave Lawlor swap out guitars for banjo and mandolin. Kate Ritter brings it on the fiddle, along with some angelic vocal harmonies. David Cuite plays the upright bass as well as lead and harmony vocals, and David Norman plays percussion. 

Hear their Local 518 Session here.

All Poets & Heroes at WEXT

The Syracuse indie trio brought their acoustic set up to play a few songs from their EP "Where We Lived and What We Lived For." Hear how the band got it's name - All Poets and Heroes, and the inspiration for their music.

Mile Twelve

The Boston-based band Mile Twelve pass through the area now and again stopping at our friends The Cock N Bull Restaurant to play their songs. On their way to a show, they stopped to get us hip to them and their latest album, "Onwards."

Peter Annello

Local 518 singer-songwriter, Peter Annello is just 16, but he plays guitar like a musician with many years of playing under his belt.  He's been playing out at open mics, and opening sets for other Local 518 musicians in the area.  Enjoy his latest session with a couple new songs.

The Accidentals at WEXT

The Michigan trio The Accidentals came by the station on their way to their first show in the area on November 17th. We had so much fun when they were in town. We hope they come back again soon.  They were in town on the last day of their 70-day CD release tour for the new album, "Odyssey."

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams

Known throughout the music world as the King and Queen of Americana, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams have deep roots in the music world.  To celebrate the release of the second album, "Contraband Love," we visited with them at The Egg when they were in town to play with Shawn Colvin.

Shawn Colvin and Chris Wienk at The Egg

Shawn Colvin's album, "A Few Small Repairs" celebrated it's 20th anniversary. Shawn made a stop at The Egg on her way around the country.  She talks about the album, plays a Tom Petty cover, and dishes on her "favorite" of her own albums.  Oh, and did you know that "A Few Small Repairs" was not a divorce album?