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Justin Vernon unlocks tracks and treasures on ‘Song Chest’ premiere

“Welcome to the Song Chest Radio Hour. Whether it’s early in the morning or it’s the afternoon or it’s late night for you, we’re going to try and spread some joy and love and acceptance through playing some songs you may love or enjoy.”

With that, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon invited all of us to hang out for the first of many sonic variety hours. There were personal stories, poetry, documentary clips and songs pulled from every corner of the music galaxy — bluegrass and Americana, New Orleans jazz, rap, classic rock, electronic and more.

“We want to share a lot of music on this show,” Vernon explained. “Some stuff you might have heard before, some stuff you definitely haven’t and some stuff that isn’t readily available, and try to put the picture together of how we ended up where we are.”

You can replay the premiere and check out the episode’s playlist below, then get ready for a new one available this Sunday. Listen live at 5 p.m. CT by tuning to 88Nine in the Milwaukee area or streaming on our website and the mobile app.

Episode 1 playlist

  • Mazarin, “The New American Apathy”
  • Mahalia Jackson, “These Are They”
  • Clip from documentary on James Booker (Bayou Maharajah), “the greatest piano player that ever lived.” “The epitome of New Orleans music.”
  • Harry Connick Jr. broke down what made Booker so great, NFL analyst style.
  • James Booker, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”
  • infinite bisous, “The Past Tense”
  • Phil Cook, “Belong”
  • Curtis Mayfield, “Billy Jack”
  • Mobb Deep, “Shook Ones (Part II)”
  • Gerry Rafferty, “Right Down the Line”
  • Alvvays, “Archie, Marry Me” (orig. by Flyte)
  • Womack & Womack, “MPB (Missin' Persons Bureau) (Frankie Knuckles Paradise Ballroom Remix)”
  • Franz Wright, Selections from “One Heart”
  • John Martyn, “Small Hours”