Tag Archives: jess phaneuf

9:13 Buzz with Cindy Howes


Once a month, for the past few months, I’ve been calling up my friend Cindy Howes to give her a brief life update and to share some tunes I’ve been loving. This is for a feature she does at 9:13am on Wednesdays as host of The Morning Mix at WYEP in Pittsburg!

Check out what I’ve shared with her so far HERE… and you can listen in tomorrow for another 9:13 Buzz featuring yours truly! 

Big thanks to Cindy, who is also an Emerson grad and former WERS DJ!


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phjess in Dressed MV Magazine

It seems like my To Do list is endless this Spring, but I’m so excited about every project…it’s a wonderful feeling that continuously pushes me past the exhaustion :))

I’m so honored to have a feature in Dressed MV magazine once again this year! Dressed MV is a local fashion magazine put together but the amazing Trena Morrison, who also coordinates Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week. I just finished my contribution for the June issue and you’ll be able to find the magazine in shops around the island soon!

The look/content of the page is always evolving, but here’s the feature from last September, so you get an idea…
Check out Dressed MV on Facebook!

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TPS Sessions: Jellybone Rivers

The music scene on Martha’s Vineyard sure does slow down in the offseason, but we find ways to keep busy! Over the winter, I asked some local musicians to record a bit of music and conversation with me at Phil daRosa‘s Oak Bluffs studio – The Print Shop. I also reached out to some local photographers to come by and capture these in-studio interviews. We’re calling the recordings “TPS Sessions” and I hope you enjoy them!

ROB_laughRob Myers, aka Jellybone Rivers, has spent many many years on Martha’s Vineyard as a fixture of the island music scene. You may have seen him behind a drum-set, for bands like Good Night Louise, The Hammerheads and Master Exploder. He also fronts the band Kahoots and has recently been honing in on some solo material that focuses on positivity. Below are some tunes that he played for me, and you can scroll down to hear a piece of our conversation.

“Chip Away”

“Thank  You”

“What To Do”

ROB_withJessAlthough Rob recently became a father (congrats!), he’s still heavily involved in the island’s music scene. Keep an eye out for him! And you can check out a recent Vineyard Gazette article he was featured in HERE. ROB_hands


Rob talks about an inspirational Positive Psychology course he took and how the song “Chip Away” came to be:

Good Night Louise

photos by Anthony Esposito
audio recorded by Phil daRosa
at The Print Shop, Oak Bluffs

ROB_groupPhil daRosa, Rob Myers and Jess Phaneuf
More from TPS Sessions, coming soon!

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Filed under Audio Blog, Check it out, LOCAL music, TPS Sessions

TPS Sessions: Garrett James

The music scene on Martha’s Vineyard sure does slow down in the offseason, but we find ways to keep busy! Over the winter, I asked some local musicians to record a bit of music and conversation with me at Phil daRosa‘s Oak Bluffs studio – The Print Shop. I also reached out to some local photographers to come by and capture these in-studio interviews. We’re calling the recordings “TPS Sessions” and I hope you enjoy them!

GARRETT_playinGARRETT_studioGarrett James is from upstate NY but has been coming to Martha’s Vineyard for the past few summers to do what a lot of young people do – work and make some extra money. This past winter was his first on the island and he found it an incredibly useful time to lock himself away to write, create, and plan for a busy summer. I had a great time getting to know Garrett and his songwriting process a little better…below are three original songs he played for me and you can scroll down for a few clips from our conversation.

“Country Music Keeps On Truckin”

“Burlesque House”

“Wish You Could Stay”


We discuss his songwriting process for “Country Music Keeps On Truckin”:

Garrett talks about how theater has influenced him:

GARRETT_talkingGarrett is playing out and about quite a bit this summer so watch for him! This month he’ll be playing in Oak Bluffs at Park Corner on Thursdays and Offshore Ale on Saturdays. Full list of dates HERE.

Garrett James WEBSITE
photos by Anthony Esposito
audio recorded by Phil daRosa
at The Print Shop, Oak Bluffs




Jess Phaneuf, Phil daRosa, Garrett James, Danielle Mulcahy

…much more to come from TPS Sessions, right here on pH balanced!





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I’ve been keeping this music blog for 4 years now, and I’m about to hit my 1,000th post! The site is due for an upgrade and I’d love a sweet logo and maybe even a slogan to go along with it! That’s where you come in…

If you’re good with art/graphics, take a crack at it! The more ideas, the better. And please pass this along to friends who come to mind.

**I’ll choose the winner in about a month – APRIL 13th will be the deadline for submissions.**


The site is called “pH balanced” (uppercase H, lower case b)
*pH comes from my last name Phaneuf – I’ve been “phjess” online since grade school.

Oh, & I’ve always thought having “Music Blog” right under the blog name was appropriate, but that isn’t 100% necessary.

**I LOVE the idea of the pH scale visuals being incorporated because I LOVE COLORS. I do want the logo to be simple enough that I could get it put on tshirts in the future, etc.**

That’s pretty much all I’ve got! You can always ask me more specific questions…


If you can come up with a short slogan (ie “Just Do It”, haha) for the site, add that to the design. If you read my blog, you might have ideas…if you don’t – this is the sort of music blog that I like to keep really simple. I always want it to have the feel of a friend telling you about some awesome music that they’re excited about. Because that’s exactly what it is :))


I’ll use the logo (and maybe slogan too) for my new site! You will be credited always!

**And I’ll handpick 6 CDs for you…all artists that I’ve blogged about!

(Titles I’ve got on standby include:

The Black Keys – El Camino
Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
Lisa Hannigan – Passenger
Alexi Murdoch – Towards The Sun
Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
The Brew – A Garden In The Snow)


You can send your entries to my email address:
and also post them to the Facebook wall of this event!!!



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NEWPORT: Did That Actually Happen?

Breaking the silence…

First off, I apologize. It’s been an entire week since my last post and I’ve felt like a slacker. But I have an excuse! Newport Folk Festival 2011 rocked my world. In my last post, I explained how I’d be spending the festival…mostly working my tail off, and enjoying whatever I could catch here or there. Well, the entire experience was quite stunning…and left me somewhat in a state of shock (and exhaustion). So it took me a week before I could bring myself to log on here, click ‘new post’, and attempt to get my feelings across to you. And here we are.

The strongest feeling I’ve come away with is a sense of pride and accomplishment. I was part of an awesome team who kicked ass covering the festival…bringing the main stage acts LIVE across the radio airwaves in Newport (96.5FM) and on the Cape & Islands (92.7FM) as well as posting recordings of nearly every set of music performed throughout the weekend on our website along with tons of exclusive interviews and photos (and not to mention our stellar Facebook coverage). 

Aside from that, I was also a sponge soaking in every little drop of amazing music that came my way. Even while sitting at my post backstage for almost the entire festival, I witnessed impromptu performances and jams and got to meet many of the artists who came to our tent to be interviewed. I could also hear the Quad stage quite clearly (especially when the louder bands rocked it), plus there was a pair of headphones right next to me with the main stage feed coming through, so I put those on and blissed out pretty frequently. With all of that and a few jogs to catch a song here or there while my files were saving, I experienced quite a bit of musical magic. Here are some highlights:

*photo by Scott Wurster

Meeting Amos Lee was probably one of the best moments of the festival for me. He was super super sweet and SO striking in person. You hear the word SOUL used a lot when talking about music these days…but I think this man is the real deal…his voice is the epitome of SOUL. Listen to Barbara interview him HERE. And listen to his amazing set on the main stage HERE.

*photo by Scott Wurster

I got to hear a good portion of The Decemberists and their set was just dynamite! They played a perfect mix of new and old songs in their catalogue to please every fan. Colin Meloy was hilarious too! I can’t be sure, but I’d like to think that this picture was taken right as he was telling the crowd to scream like they were being eaten by a whale, haha… definitely check out their performance …LISTEN HERE.

*photo by Scott Wurster

Mavis Staples is such an incredible performer AND person. While she’s on stage of course, but also anytime you see or talk to her, she just exudes a light that makes you smile and feel good about the world, and you can really hear that in her interview with Barbara…LISTEN HERE.

*photos by Scott Wurster

Although they were probably the farthest from ‘folk’ at the festival, performances from Delta Spirit and Middle Brother were exceptional. I think Delta Spirit has long been one of my new favorite bands and their rockin’ set really sealed the deal for me. Then, put the singers of Delta Spirit, Dawes, and Deer Tick together and you’ve got Middle Brother – one of the best supergroups I’ve seen in several years. LISTEN TO DELTA SPIRIT. LISTEN TO MIDDLE BROTHER.

 *photo by Scott Wurster

When you hear just a few minutes of stage banter and half a song and then you include that in your list of highlights, that’s when you know The Civil Wars are really something special. I was bummed they were playing on the stage furthest away from me at the festival, but when I ran over there quickly I really was struck by how they commanded the stage and the audience’s attention. You could hear a pin drop in the tent as their intoxicating harmonies cut through the quiet, hot air. Hear part of their performance and Barbara’s interview with them in OUR ARCHIVES.

There was a whole lot more over the course of the weekend, but I’ll leave it at that for today. Now that I’ve had some time to process the experience, I hope to keep sharing it with you here. I’ve said it before, and here I go again…Fort Adams is a magical place, and Newport Folk is one of the most incredible festivals I’ve ever attended. The history, the gorgeous setting, the knowledgeable and well-behaved festival goers, the talent, the collaborations…it all makes for such a special, peaceful place to enjoy the music.

*photo by Jess Phaneuf

If you’ve yet to click on any of the above links to the mvyradio archives,


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mvyradio HOT SEAT

Tune in tonight as I take you to the beach…with music that has a sunny, CHILL, fun, relaxed feeling…

Sublime – “DJs”
Bob Marley – “Bend Down Low”
Brett Dennen – “Comeback Kid”
Rilo Kiley – “With Arms Outstretched”
The Strokes – “You Only Live Once”
Frightened Rabbit
– “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
A Fine Frenzy – “Electric Twist”
Vampire Weekend – “White Sky”
Feist – “Mushaboom”
311 – “Stealing Happy Hours”
Led Zeppelin – “Friends”
Paolo Nutini – “Pencil Full Of Lead”
Paul Pena – “Gonna Move”
Regina Spektor
– “The Calculation”
Shawn Lee – “Throwing Shadows at the Wall”



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mvyradio HOT SEAT

Tonight on the Hot Seat, I decided to talk about some upcoming concerts/festivals since the summer season has unofficially been kicked off this holiday weekend. There are a TON of great live acts coming through the area, so I had to narrow it down and focus on just a few things that sound exciting to me. Here is my setlist, and where/when these artists are playing:

*Naukabout Music Festival in Falmouth (August 6th)*
Zach Deputy – “Coconut” [LIVE]
Jason Spooner – “Half a Mind”
Will Dailey – “Down the Drain”
Ryan Montbleau Band – “Slippery Road”

*Nectars MV in Edgartown*
Dwight & Nicole – “Cry, Cry” (August 20th)
Taj Mahal – “Lovin’ in My Baby’s Eyes” (July 24th)
Deer Tick – “Twenty Miles” (July 9th)

*Newport Jazz Festival (August 5-7)*

Esperanza Spalding – “Little Fly”
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue – “On Your Way Down”

*Newport Folk Festival (July 30th & 31st)*
The Secret Sisters – “I’ve Got a Feeling”
M. Ward – “For Beginners”
The Civil Wars – “I Want You Back”

*Cape Cod Melody Tent*
Guster – “What You Wish For” (August 2nd)

*Bank Of America Pavilion*
Florence and the Machine – “Dog Days” (June 23rd)

LISTEN tonight at 9PM!

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mvyradio HOT SEAT

I struggled for probably half a day trying to think of a theme for my Hot Seat tonight, but then I kinda gave up. There’s so much great new music out there, I figured I could just play some that I’ve really been digging lately. Then I thought about my habit of listening to a particular song I love on repeat, and figured I could narrow it down to about 10 or 15 songs that I’ve been playing over and over again. So, “Songs On Repeat”… that’s what I’ll do tonight for the Hot Seat, and here’s my playlist:

“Dazzling Blue” Paul Simon
“Rumor Has It” Adele
“World News” Local Natives
“The King Knows How” Over the Rhine
“Doc Pomus” Ben Folds/Nick Hornby
“Helplessness Blues” Fleet Foxes
“They’re In Love, Where Am I?” The Weepies
“Little River” The Tallest Man On Earth
“Barton Hollow” The Civil Wars
“White Table” Delta Spirit
“Colors” April Smith and the Great Picture Show
“Dog Days Are Over” Florence and the Machine
“Second Chance” Peter Bjorn & John
“The Chain” Ingrid Michaelson

I’m very happy with how this came together! Hope you can check it out tonight at 9pm…

“Songs On Repeat”


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Why I Do This

Inspired by listener feedback

With everything that goes on in this world, with life at times so complicated and so difficult for so many people, I occasionally ask myself what the hell I’m doing. I’m a radio DJ. I get paid to play and talk about music every day…that’s my job. I keep up this little blog on the side because I can reach out to even more people to share what I think is quality music.

On Saturday, I was live on the air for the afternoon and I had a blast. I played a lot of artists I thought were new and exciting and took a lot of listener requests which is always fun. I sat alone in the studio, cut off from the outside world for 6 hours, and enjoyed some good music. But what did I accomplish?

That night my boss forwarded me a listener email from Heidi in Texas, who was streaming my afternoon shift online while at home. She wrote, “I was working on a photo project and the music was perfect for inspiring/supporting me as I created. I was really happy…with my work, the music, the world…”

So, I was reminded of why I do what I do. If I can reach out to even just one person and make them feel that way for a little while, even for just one song, I’ve done my job.


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