Vince’s Notes: ‘Dirt Simple’ and ‘Divorce Talk Radio’

"Dirt Simple" perform. (Photo by Courae Photography in Dixon, Ill. See

By Vince Chiarelli

What do the band “Dirt Simple” and the Divorce Talk Radio show have in common? Well, nothing, except being two very original concepts coming out of the Rock River Valley. So, let’s dive right in.

Dirt Simple” is a band like no other in the area. It is composed of Kendra Beth Swanson (banjo, fiddle and vocals) and Marques Morel (guitar, harmonica, washboard, kick-drum and vocals). These two are great musicians in their own rights, but when they come together, “Dirt Simple” is simply stunning. They can transform a sports bar into a barn dance concert hall that simultaneously evokes the spirits of Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe. If you listen carefully, you might even hear Janis Joplin and Gregg Allman singing along. When they play, there is an energy that penetrates the room and makes everyone take a step back and listen. Their mixture of old roots music, folk personality, and young age gives them quite a niche.

While there are many folk/Americana musicians around, none has stood out to me as much as “Dirt Simple” has. For that reason, I thought they would be a great addition to the Vincent Records artist catalog.

Just as a quick recap, my grandfather started the record label Vincent Records in the mid-’60s and signed many prominent local and national musicians. Recently, I have been handed the reins to the record label, and I have made it my goal to continue his musical legacy in the Rockford area.

My grandfather always tried to promote artists that were truly original and possessed something that set them apart from other artists. Continuing to abide by that philosophy, I decided to help promote “Dirt Simple” and sign them to Vincent Records this past year.

If you would like to listen to “Dirt Simple,” they are playing live this Saturday, March 9, at Val’s Place in Dixon, Ill. However, Vincent Records sponsors the live music at Stumpy’s Pub on Harrison Road, and as a result of audience suggestion, “Dirt Simple” plays there every first Saturday. So, be sure to catch them at Stumpy’s Pub on the first Saturday in April. For more about “Dirt Simple” and their music, visit and search for “Dirt Simple” under Artists.

Now, what is Divorce Talk Radio? Well, this is a new program on Rockford College Radio, of which I am the station manager. Following the same mindset as finding new original musicians, when people come to me with new radio show ideas, I try to pick the ones that are unique and original. So, when the concept of this radio program was brought up, I couldn’t resist.

Divorce Talk Radio consists of frank legal talk about divorce, custody, visitation and child support issues. It is hosted by attorney Brad Tengler, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m., and then made available on podcast shortly after on While divorce is not a topic many people like to talk about, this show consists of interviews with other local attorneys and important divorce-related topics that can help ease the process of a divorce.

For more about Tengler, visit his website, Also, please visit, where you can listen to Rockford College Radio live and find past episodes of Divorce Talk Radio and our various other programs.

Please contact Vince Chiarelli if you have any original Rockford music or radio suggestions. He can be reached at

From the March 6-12, 2013, issue

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