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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 12, 2005

WSUI/KSUI's 'Java Blend' CD Sells Well; Second Volume Planned

Public radio WSUI/KSUI's "Live Java Blend" benefit CD has quickly brewed up success. The compilation features 20 local artists performing their original music on "Talk of Iowa Live from The Java House" broadcast Friday mornings on WSUI AM 910. In the five weeks since its release, more than 500 CDs have been sold, bringing total sales to over $7,500 to support local public radio.

"We're very grateful that it's found such an eager audience," says Joan Kjaer, director of broadcasting at WSUI and KSUI. "We've decided to get to work on a second volume and hope that it will be available in the early fall."

Many people have found the CD to be an irresistible gift. Margie Davis of Iowa City says she bought one for friends who had just moved to Iowa City. "It's a nice introduction to the Iowa music scene," says Davis, "Now when our friends want to go out to see live music, they'll know what these artists sound like." Davis and her husband have lived in North Carolina, Indiana and Illinois. She says the local talent on the CD is comparable to anything they've experienced elsewhere. She also loves the idea that you can buy something that you enjoy and support local public radio at the same time.

The collection has also gained high praise from the state's music reviewers. "Intimate and beautifully recorded," are the words of Iowa City Press Citizen Music Reviewer Jim Musser. He calls it "an elegant and eloquent set" and adds that the Java House series has drawn "an embarrassment of musical riches" in its three-plus years on the air.

"Here's a jolt," says Kyle Munson, music reviewer for the Des Moines Register. "Some of the state's finest singer-songwriters all on one CD, recorded live in an intimate, acoustic setting -- a cozy coffeehouse in downtown Iowa City where Ben Kieffer's Friday-morning radio broadcast has championed good music as the necessary companion to good conversation."

The collection ranges from the jazzy American songbook style of Susan Werner to the harmonious folk-rock melodies of The Nadas and Big Wooden Radio, and from a tragic Celtic ballad by Border Lord to a powerful love song by rhythm and blues artist Kevin "B.F." Burt. Well-known folk veterans John Gorka and Dave Moore also contribute songs, as do such notable talents as Mike and Amy Finders, Bob and Kristie Black, Scott and Michelle Dalziel, Stuart Davis, Jen Gloeckner, Dave Zollo, Will Whitmore, Robert Morey, Patrick Brickel, Amelia Royko, Ben Schmidt, No River City and Burn Disco Burn.

Java House show host and producer Ben Kieffer is excited about the go-ahead to produce volume two. "Looking at my Java House broadcast schedule over the coming months, I know that the next CD will be at least as good as the first. We have some awesome musical talent lined up," says Kieffer. Kieffer is also looking for additional retailers around the state who are interested in selling the CD. People wanting more information should contact the station at 319-335-5730.

The CD is $15 and is currently available at all Java House locations in Iowa City, New Pioneer Co-ops in Iowa City and Coralville, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa Artisans Gallery, Real Records, The Galleries Downtown and, in Cedar Rapids, it can be purchased at the CD Warehouse on Collins Road and at Brewed Awakenings café on 1st Avenue. It can also be purchased directly at WSUI/KSUI studios or by sending a check for $15 per CD plus $2 shipping to WSUI, 710 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

An online order form is also available at the WSUI website http://wsui.uiowa.edu/, where there are online audio samples from "Live Java Blend" and a list of other locations around Iowa where the CD is on sale.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu; Program: Ben Kieffer, 319-335-5730 or 319-325-0900

OTHER INFORMATION: See initial release on "Live Java Blend;" see also http://wsui.uiowa.edu/