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Amplifier

Charlotte is known for banking and football. But what can be said of the Charlotte music scene? Join award-winning host Joni Deutsch every other Thursday for Amplifier, the music podcast from WFAE, where we shine a light on the artists who call Charlotte home. You just might find a new favorite song along the way.

In 2019, Amplifier was named Charlotte Magazine’s “Best Podcast,” received a local Edward R. Murrow Award for “Excellence in Innovation” and was honored for innovation in music/arts podcasting by The Webby Awards (named “The Internet’s Highest Honor” by The New York Times). In 2021, it was Charlotte Magazine's "Best Podcast" again.

Are you a musician or music professional from the Charlotte-area? Submit your information for future podcast consideration! Click here (or go to wfae.report/amplifier/submit-your-cltmusic-to-amplifier).

Latest Episodes
  • This has been a historic year for women in rap and hip-hop, all the way to the 2021 Grammy Awards when Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé broke records as the first pair of women to win in the best rap performance category. As NPR Music put it, “To know what tomorrow sounds like, one need only listen to the women in rap today.” And to know what the future of Charlotte hip-hop is, one need only turn to rhythmic lyricist ReeCee Raps.
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    'Those roots are really here': From the Carter Family to Bill Monroe, unearthing the hidden history of Charlotte country music
    Back in the 1930s, more country music was recorded in Charlotte than in Nashville, Tennessee. Some of the Charlotte recordings from that period have become part of the essential canon of traditional country music, from "the first family of country" — the Carter Family — to the first career steps of "the father of bluegrass" Bill Monroe. So how did Charlotte become the center for country music? And why isn't it any longer?
  • Amplifier is a biweekly podcast, not a full-length documentary. If it were the latter, we could easily dedicate a few hours to the work of Jim Brock, the Charlotte Native American music veteran who has been heralded by various publications as one of the best drummers alive.
  • Modern Moxie is a kaleidoscope of musical genres and generational styles, taking dance-happy cues from The Cars and David Bowie and bringing them to a contemporary pop-rock stage. On the heels of their 2019 debut full-length “Claw Your Way Out” and their recognition as “Charlotte’s Best Band” by Queen City Nerve, Modern Moxie bandmates Madison Lucas and Harry Kollm share how the Charlotte band’s success can be traced all the way back to a small dorm room closet in South Carolina.
  • When was the last time a voice stopped you in your tracks, a voice so pure that it simultaneously paints a lush soundscape and transports you to a magical place and time? Because cinematic jazz singer Emily Sage can do just that.
  • After gracing the world’s stages (both physical and virtual), Grammy-nominated acoustic R&B group The HamilTones share some harmonious Christmas memories and hopes for Charlotte in the new year in this encore Amplifier.
  • Long before the coronavirus pandemic, Charlotte musician Si Kahn understood the power of resilience. For the past 55 years, Kahn has dedicated his life's work to civil rights activism, chronicling the ebb and flow of progress through world-renowned labor anthems like "Aragon Mill" and "Go to Work on Monday." Over the course of 19 records, several books and a FolkVote initiative, Kahn has tapped into a passion for shared history and righteous humanity.
  • Charlotte's Lunchbox Records is known for hosting in-store performances for all ages, stocking records from local acts and receiving signed music memorabilia from Grammy-winning fans (hello, Taylor Swift!). In the age of music streaming, Lunchbox Records owner (and Late Bloomer vocalist) Scott Wishart shows that we’re actually in a record renaissance.
  • Justin Fedor was in the news recently when he was among five "Local Legends" selected by actor Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey to receive $10,000 to donate to a community-based music initiative. The honor was intended to recognize musicians who contributed to their local music scenes during the pandemic.
  • For this 100th Amplifier episode, we talk to up-and-coming rapper Lute, who embodies “the Charlotte music dream." He was born and raised in the 704, recruited by rap legend J. Cole and signed to his Dreamville Records label, received a Grammy nomination and earned a Platinum plaque for his collaboration with DaBaby and Kendrick Lamar.