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Mebanesville: A ‘Town’ With No Exit

Courtesy of Mebanesville

The musical project Mebanesville started 20 years ago with just five friends playing in a new coffee shop.Two decades later, the project has seen band members come and go, but nobody ever really leaves for good.

The band specializes in taking Sicilian, American and Celtic folk songs and changing the musical arrangement to suit their group. They call that “stamping the songs with Meb-tonic.” Host Frank Stasio talks with co-founder Larry Vellani about the genesis of the group and the upcoming festival Sicily in Saxapahaw, an event organized in part by Mebanesville to celebrate Sicilian culture and lore. It takes place Sunday, Feb. 16 in Saxapahaw’s Culture Mill. Also joining Vellani are band members Peggy Boswell on the pennywhistle; Jane Davis on the violin and vocals; Fernando Suárez González on the accordion; and Eli Addleman on the double-bass.

Josie Taris left her home in Fayetteville in 2014 to study journalism at Northwestern University. There, she took a class called Journalism of Empathy and found her passion in audio storytelling. She hopes every story she produces challenges the audience's preconceptions of the world. After spending the summer of 2018 working in communications for a Chicago nonprofit, she decided to come home to work for the station she grew up listening to. When she's not working, Josie is likely rooting for the Chicago Cubs or petting every dog she passes on the street.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.