Music

NC Composer Robert Ward
Robert Willett / News & Observer

The acclaimed classical composer and Durham resident Robert Ward has died. He was 95 years old.

Ward was known and honored for his contributions to the world of classical music and was chancellor of the UNC School of the Arts (then called N.C. School of the Arts) from 1967 to 1974 before joining Duke University as a music professor.  He composed many symphonies and operas over his lifetime, including an operatic adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1962.

Keith Weston
MelShoots

Every weekend it's my pleasure on Back Porch Music to share with you scores of selections from WUNC's wide-ranging folk music library.  It's always a musical adventure that I often find surprising and inspiring myself - and I hope you do, too. From fiddle tunes to singer-songwriters, the term "folk" applies to such a large range of sounds and textures.

Carolina in the Morning
Johns Hopkins University, The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music

If you’ve ever attended a public event or high school choir performance in North or South Carolina, chances are you’ve heard the song “Carolina in The Morning.” But which Carolina does the iconic tune refer to?

Tokyo Rosenthal
tokyorosenthal.com

Tokyo Rosenthal is an Americana musician. And while Americana might be a traditional sort of music, Tokyo Rosenthal isn’t your traditional artist.

His sound combines rock, country and blues, and his songs revolve around issues of social justice. Host Frank Stasio talks to him about his newest album, and Tokyo Rosenthal plays live in the studio.

The Royal Hawaiian Quintet Performing on the U.S. Mainland
University of Hawaii at Manoa Library, via flickr, creative commons

  

The sound of American Country music owes much of it's success to an unlikely source: the 19th century Hawaiian music scene. Hawaiian music at that time was dominated by the steel guitar. During the instrument's century-long international migration, it influenced the direction of many genres.

We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day in true public radio form - a conversation with the award-winning host of NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock. Fiona Ritchie has spent more than 30 years digging into the evolving Celtic music tradition, bringing public radio listeners well-established and newly emerging recording artists in Europe and North America.Today, we got her to dish on the Irish, her children and NPR, too.

gravyboys.com / Christer Berg Photography

The Americana music of The Gravy Boys hit the scene about eight years ago. They’re now three albums in and expanding their acoustic sound. Their newest album is called Crackerjack Whistle, and they’ll be playing in Raleigh tomorrow night.

You're about to watch one of the best fiddlers on the planet and a subtle guitar master work their magic. For too many of us, Irish music is something that merely gets trotted out around this time of year, associated with St. Patrick's Day and the coming of spring — and made a cliche by commercialism and whatever other shallow notions make cliches what they are.

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle
annaandelizabeth.com

While many popular musicians today seek out the newest digital technology to enhance their performances, there’s a young musical duo from rural Virginia who are moving in the opposite direction. Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle call themselves simply “Anna and Elizabeth.”  Both accomplished traditional Appalachian musicians on a variety of instruments, together they have resurrected a storytelling tradition called the “crankie,” whose technology outdates their combined age (which is 50).

darkershadesofsymphony.com

Front man Michael Seebold describes his band, Darker Shades of Symphony, as neoclassical metal. If you’ve never heard of that genre, you’re probably not alone.

'The Next Best Thing' by Overmountain Men
Overmountain Men

Musicians David Childers and Bob Crawford bonded over a shared love of Appalachian music and history. The result is the second CD from their band "The Overmountain Men." Crawford is also the bassist for the Avett Brothers, while Childers has had a long career with the Modern Don Juans.

culturalequity.org

Alan Lomax dedicated seven decades of his life to recording and distributing the sound of as much of the globe as he could reach. Beginning as a 17-year-old from Austin, Texas, Alan traveled with his father, John Lomax, to plantations, farms and prisons in the deep South.

The Old Ceremony

Feb 15, 2013
www.oldceremony.com

The Old Ceremony is well-known to music lovers in the Triangle.

The band has been playing together for eight years and now their new album “Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide” will receive an international release. Host Frank Stasio will be joined by the Old Ceremony as they talk about the evolution of their music over the years.

Thistle And Shamrock: Sheila Kay Adams

Feb 13, 2013

For seven generations her family has passed down English, Scottish and Irish ballads that crossed the Atlantic with their ancestors in the 1700s. Join Fiona and an intimate audience at the Swannanoa Gathering's Traditional Song Week to enjoy Appalachian ballads and stories of a unique singer, author, tradition bearer and cultural treasure: Sheila Kay Adams.

Steep Canyon Rangers 'Nobody Knows You' wins Grammy for best bluegrass album of 2012
Steep Canyon Rangers

Here's an update on how some artists with North Carolina connections fared at the Grammys on Sunday February 10.  This article was originally prepared as a Grammy preview looking at the Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Avett Brothers with some of their recent appearances on "The State of Things" on WUNC.

Update 6:11 p.m.

"The Goat Rodeo Sessions" from Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile win for Best Folk Album 2012, edging out the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

jonshain.com

Jon Shain grew up in a run-down mill town outside of Boston, but got a sense for the finer things in life at Duke University. He also became aware that the well off don’t always recognize the plight of the poor.

'Lovesick Blues' by Chris Stamey
www.chrisstamey.com

Chris Stamey has been a fixture on the local music scene for decades. He grew up with Mitch Easter and played with the likes of Alex Chilton, The Sneakers and the DBs. He's a sought after producer, and he even studied classical music and composition at UNC-Chapel Hill. But through it all, he's also been writing songs.

Chris Stamey has a new album of his own music out Wednesday called "Love Sick Blues."

  Not so long ago, Anna Rose Beck didn't think she could sing. She came to Durham to study biomedical engineering at Duke University, but eventually music pulled at her, and she decided to make it her life.

George Higgs
Tim Duffy, Music Maker Relief Foundation

North Carolina blues musician George Higgs died on Tuesday. He was 82 years old.

Richard Luby
music.unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill music professor Richard Luby died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday. Luby was known among his colleagues and students as a charismatic teacher and a passionate musician. He joined UNC-Chapel Hill in 1979, when he was hired as a professor of violin and chamber music.

Wagner

Jan 24, 2013
Cory Weaver, San Francisco Opera

German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner brought to audiences such operatic treasures as “Tristan and Isolde,” “Parsifal” and the “Ring” cycle. But his influence on music extended further than his mainstream popularity. He changed the way theater-goers saw opera, and his impact reverberates to the modern day. The North Carolina Opera is doing a performance of portions of his works. Host Frank Stasio talks with Timothy Myers, conductor for the opera’s upcoming performance; and Elizabeth Bishop, the lead actress.

laurelyndossett.com

Laurelyn Dossett's Appalachian style is well known. Music legend Levon Helm covered her song "Anna Lee" on two grammy winning projects, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops named their recent grammy nominated release after Dossett's song "Leaving Eden." Host Frank Stasio talks to her live at the UpStage Cabaret at Triad Stage about her upcoming shows, and she performs live in the studio.

At the ceremonial inauguration of President Barack Obama on Monday, January 21, James Taylor took to the stage to strum and sing an acoustic rendition of “America the Beautiful.” His performance was greeted by cheers from the crowd and a hug  from President Obama. Other musical guests at the inauguration included Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé.  In 2011, President Obama awarded James Taylor the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House.  Taylor grew up in Chapel Hill.

allyourscience.org

Duo Ellen Stevens, aka Lu Lubenstein, and David Zielinski believe that scientists can do cool work in the lab and rock out on their free time. They make up the music group All Your Science, and together they have released two albums and an EP. When they’re not making tunes, Stevens is a pharmacologist working on cancer research at Duke University and Zielinski works at Duke’s virtual reality lab. Host Frank Stasio talks to them in the studio, and they’ll perform live.

 

http://greghumphreys.blogspot.com/
http://greghumphreys.blogspot.com/

Greg Humphreys has been a fixture on the Triangle's music scene for 20 years. He was part of influential bands of the 90s and 2000s — Dillon Fence and Hobex. And he most recently has performed as a solo artist on the forthcoming album "Bohemia." Greg is leaving North Carolina for New York City, but first he joins host Frank Stasio to look back on his career in the Triangle and perform live in the studio.

WUNC's Back Porch Music hosts, Keith Weston and Freddy Jenkins, join Eric Hodge to chat about this past year's memorable acoustic and roots music releases and to remember some of the important musicians who left us this year.


Picks mentioned in the conversation:

Artist - Album Title
I Draw Slow - Redhills
Midtown Dickens - Home
Darrell Scott & Tim O'Brien - Live: We're Usually A Lot Better Than This
The Grass Cats - The Mountains My Baby and Me
Matt Flinner Trio - Winter Harvest
 

beatmakinglab.com
beatmakinglab.com

Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have some alternatives when it comes to music education. Instead of the traditional forms of music, they can also explore their beat making capacity in a special class taught by Stephen Levitin, aka Apple Juice Kid, and Pierce Freelon. Host Frank Stasio talks to them about their class and taking the beat lab to the Congo.

The Blue Ribbon Healers
The Blue Ribbon Healers

Not long after Rob Pate went to see Cindy Rose perform, they became a couple and musical collaborators. They formed the bandThe Blue Ribbon Healers, and for four years now, they've traveled coast to coast making music together. The Blue Ribbon Healers will join host Frank Stasio in the studio to show off their self-described "swanky tonk" sound.

South Carolina Broadcasters
scbroadcaster.com

When Ivy and David Sheppard chose a band name, they wanted something that referenced the old time music they played. Many American bands of the 1920s and ‘30s had words like “broadcasters” or “telecasters” in their names, since it was new technology at the time. So the Sheppards chose to go by The South Carolina Broadcasters. Along the way, they have picked up a third band member, Sarah Osborne.

The Mighty Clouds of Joy

Nov 16, 2012

They’ve played with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye, and their music has been a gospel mainstay for more than 50 years.

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