SOT Live Music

Balsam Range won 'Song of the Year' and 'Vocal Group of the Year' at this year's IBMA awards.
Courtest of Laughing Penguin Publicity

Balsam Range is a bluegrass band with the accolades to show for it.

The Haywood County quintet won two awards at this year’s IBMA awards: "Song of the Year" and "Vocal Group of the Year." The group was nominated for six IBMA Awards this year. The band’s fifth studio album, Five, combines traditional bluegrass and gospel with songs about home and hard times.

The Steel Wheels are an Americana roots band from Virginia featuring (L-R) Brian Dickel on bass, Trent Wagler on guitar and banjo, Eric Brubaker on fiddle and Jay Lapp on mandolin.
RubySky Photography

The Steel Wheels are an Americana roots band from Virginia taking influences from old-time and traditional string band music. Though they might look and sound like a bluegrass band to the average listener, The Steel Wheels do not consider themselves to be a bluegrass group.  Nonetheless they are bringing their music to the International Bluegrass Music Association’s festival in Raleigh for the second time.

Giorgio Ciompi (right) founded the Ciompi Quartet at Duke University in 1965. Pictured with him are (L-R) Claudia Warburg, one of the early quartet members, pianist Murray Perahia and Horst Meyer, a professor at Duke and a great patron of the quartet.
Ciompi Quartet

The Ciompi Quartet was founded at Duke University by renowned Italian violinist Giorgio Ciompi. Since its inception in 1965, the quartet has been an integral part of the classical music scene in the Triangle and has also built a reputation around the world.

The quartet begins its anniversary season with a performance at Baldwin Auditorium next Saturday, October 3. The event features celebrated jazz vocalist Nneena Freelon. 

Neil Cribbs is a blues and Americana guitarist based in Raleigh
Staton Carter Photography

Neil Cribbs has had a full tour of North Carolina scenery in his life. He grew up in Wilmington and attended college at Appalachian State University.

He spent a few years working outside the state after college but returned home and now lives in Raleigh. Cribbs is a guitarist and singer with many musical influences including folk, blues and Americana.

President Richard Nixon greeting Robert and his late wife Sallie Brown in the White House
Robert Brown

In the 1960s, High Point resident Robert Brown worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. as a fundraiser. Brown has also advised several prominent American politicians, including Senators John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, and Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Rhiannon Giddens
Michael Weintrob

For as long as she can remember, Rhiannon Giddens has been singing. Growing up in Greensboro, she sang in youth choirs, despite not knowing how to read music. But that was okay, because Giddens said she received the best kind of teaching as a child.

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management

 

Wisconsin native Phil Cook headed south for a new home in North Carolina 10 years ago.  Since then, he has been in a band with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, formed Megafaun with his brother Brad Cook and drummer Joe Westerlund, and has played on or produced records by everybody from Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls to Hiss Golden Messenger.

Along the way, Phil got married, had a son and settled himself deep in North Carolina's red clay.  Now he's releasing his first solo record called Southland Mission.  Fans of Megafaun will find Cook’s new music to be groovier with a more rootsy vibe than some of that band's work, but there are hints of the past in some of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation. On the whole, the album reflects a passion for southern music that’s been growing in Cook for decades.

"I had the title of the record before I had the songs written. I liked the idea that a title for a record is a theme for your life, a theme for your music, and seems to be the title of the chapter for wherever you’re at," Cook said. "To me, Southland Mission seemed like a great way to sum up being in the South for 10 years now, and longed to be in the South 10 years before that. I had built up quite a mission in my mind about, 'What was I coming down here for?' Well, it was the music."

Dale Watson
Sarah Wilson

Guitarist Dale Watson feels out of place in the modern country music world, and he is perfectly OK with that. The Texas musician believes the genre has changed so much that it lost its identity, so he created a new genre of his own—Ameripolitan.

Ameripolitan music is original music with prominent roots influence, and the genre’s tagline is, "We’re not about leaving country music behind, we’re taking the ‘real’ country music with us."

Southern Culture on the Skids
Ron Keith

Southern Culture on the Skids (SCOTS) formed in Chapel Hill more than 30 years ago. Since then, they have traveled the globe with their brand of southern rock.

BJ Leiderman composed the theme songs of several popular NPR shows.
Cole and Rian Photography

You might not know BJ Leiderman, but there is a good chance you have heard his music.

Josh Moore's Parted Ways

Aug 14, 2015
Josh Moore
Josh Moore

Josh Moore's musical career began in a Christian rock band in Kernersville when he was just 16. After five years, he jumped to a New York alt-punk band called Classic Case, and that led him back to Carrboro, North Carolina. 

Josh has been there for the last decade, composing music and playing in the local scene. But Josh’s friends noticed an increase in his drinking was affecting his music and relationships.

The Epic

Aug 7, 2015
Jazz musician Kamasi Washington
Mike Park

Kamasi Washington has long been known in the world of musical performers, but he is becoming a more popular name in mainstream music in 2015.

He performed on one of the most well-known and well-received hip-hop records this year, Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly. The album increased attention to the intersection of jazz and hip-hop.

Folk Musician Malcolm Holcombe

Jul 31, 2015
Image of Malcolm Holcombe playing guitar
John Gellman

Malcolm Holcombe was born and raised in the mountains of western North Carolina. His rugged voice and insistent guitar are the marks of a true folk musician who runs on clear passion.

He embarks on a North American tour next month, but first he performs in Hickory on Saturday, August 1 at 8 p.m. at the Acoustic Stage.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Holcombe about his life and music.

Set List:

"Pitiful Blues" (starts at 3:59)

The Music Of See Gulls

Jul 24, 2015
Image of See Gulls
Alex Boerner

After broken up bands and relationships, the pop punk band See Gulls formed two years ago.

They recently released their first EP, which they tracked at Fidelitorium Recordings with well-known producer Mitch Easter.

Host Frank Stasio talks to See Gulls: Sarah Fuller on lead vocals and guitar, Maria Albani on drums, Leah Gibson on bass, and Duncan Webster on guitar, about their music and lyrical inspirations.

Image of Joe Troop on the left and Diego Sanchez on the right, who play together to form an acoustic world music sound.
Joe Troop

When North Carolina native Joe Troop first moved to Argentina, he hoped to learn about Argentine culture. The musician had an interest in the lives, beliefs and music of Argentinean people.

And as a bluegrass musician, he thought the best way to jump into the scene was to start a band. He looked online for a local who could play the banjo and he found Diego Sanchez.

  

The Three Davids: Holt, LaMotte and Wilcox

Jul 10, 2015
Image of the Three Davids sitting together. The Three Davids are a new musical collaboration between Asheville musicians David Holt, David LaMotte and David Wilcox.
Lynne Harty

David Holt, David LaMotte and David Wilcox all knew each other as members of the Asheville music scene, but they'd never played together.

Holt and LaMotte ended up at the same airport in the summer of 2014, and some small talk led to the idea of the three of them linking up as one musical collaboration. Soon enough, The Three Davids was born.

The Music of Matt Phillips

Jun 26, 2015
Matt phillips
Adrian Gilliam

Singer-songwriter Matt Phillips has been involved with many musical groups in his life, from the North Carolina Boy's Choir to a high school band to his church band.

He started street performing after high school, alone, for some money and found a lot of fans. Phillips' music combines the singer-songwriter genre with pop, funk, blues and jazz.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Phillips about his solo career and upcoming album.

Jill Andrews press photo.
http://jillandrews.com/press-photos

Musician Jill Andrews began her music career in the early 2000’s as the cofounder of the alt-country group, the everybodyfields. After releasing three albums and touring the country with the everybodyfields, she decided to make a go of it on her own. 

She has been releasing music as a solo artist since 2009. Her music has been showcased on the TV shows Grey's Anatomy, Nashville, Hart of Dixie and American Idol. 

Image of The Old Ceremony, a Southern gothic pop band from Chapel Hill.
Soleil Konkel

The Old Ceremony is a “Southern gothic pop” band that has now been together for more than a decade. The Chapel Hill-based group will release their sixth album, Sprinter, this July.

Unlike previous albums, Sprinter was a collaborative effort with other musical friends and colleagues, including R.E.M.’s Mike Mills.

Image of Songs of Water, an orchestral indie band that just released its latest album, "Stars and Dust."
Songs of Water

North Carolina's own Stephen Roach started the band Songs of Water more than 10 years ago as an instrumental experiment. The group's first release was a collection of flowing, cinematic pieces.

Today, Songs of Water is producing lyrical songs with six multi-talented musicians.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Stephen Roach on vocals and dulcimer, Luke Skaggs on vocals and guitar, Greg Willette on vocals and guitar, and Elisa Rose Cox on vocals and strings, and they play live.

Image of Shana Tucker, who created the musical genre Chamber Soul to reflect a mix of classical and jazz training with influences from 80s and 90s pop and world music.
Lei Rivera Photography

For many jazz or classical performers, the workplace is one of formality. But for cellist and singer Shana Tucker, the workplace last year was a zany mix of painted and costumed characters. Tucker literally joined the circus. The self-described “ChamberSoul” musician performs nightly with Cirque de Soleil’s '

Jon Stickley Trio
Jon Stickley Trio

Durham native Jon Stickley has jumped around from Indy rock bands to renowned bluegrass groups like Big Fat Gap and Town Mountain.

But he's found another musical home in Asheville with his newest creation, the Jon Stickley Trio. 

Jon has combined his experience with rock, bluegrass and Americana with two other talented musicians who have classical and hip-hop backgrounds.

Mitchell Oliver

North Carolina native Anne-Claire Niver has been singing since she was a young child. After studying music and vocal performance at UNC-Greensboro and traveling the world, she moved home to North Carolina and started work at a family-owned farm near Rougemont.

Stock photo of Steph Stewart and The Boyfriends in field.
Roxanne Turpen (c) 2014

Steph Stewart grew up in the foothills of western North Carolina surrounded by Appalachian folk music.

The sounds resonated with Stewart and she began creating porch folk music mixed with Americana.

Poet and Emcee G Yamazawa
Source gyamazawa dot com

Born in Durham, North Carolina and raised by Japanese immigrants, George Masao Yamazawa, Jr. has become one of the top spoken word artists in the country.

But, along with his talents as a poet Yamazawa, better known as Yamazawa, is also evolving into a hip-hop artist and a respected emcee.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Yamazawa about his poetry, his raps and the life experiences that have help to cultivate his lyrics. He will perform at the Pinhook in Durham on May 13th at 9 p.m.  

Mad Satta is a Neo-Jazz band out of New York City.
madsatta.com

The New York band Mad Satta is part of a new generation of jazz and soul musicians.

The genre is often referred to as neo-jazz, a genre that, perhaps like the origins of jazz, does not have a clear definition. It mixes classic jazz with soul, funk, rock and blues. The eight-member Mad Satta came up with their own definition of neo-jazz, and they are on tour to spread the "cool" at festivals across the country. 

Black and white photo of band on couch.
thegenuinemusic.com

The Genuine is a four-piece band from Winston-Salem. The band originally began as a project of husband and wife Mathew Allivato and Katelyn Allivato née Brouwer, but now includes an electric guitar, piano and percussion. They are one of the many bands performing at Phuzz Phest in Winston-Salem April 17th -19th, and they will preview their festival performance with a live in-studio performance.

Echo Courts

Apr 10, 2015
Echo Courts plays in Winston-Salem at Phuzz Phest, April 17-19.
Echo Courts

Echo Courts is a five-member surf-rock band out of Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Their second EP, "Ice Cream Social," will have you reaching for your beach towel. But their melancholy lyrics are a contrast to their dreamy, summery sound. The band is playing at Phuzz Phest, a three-day music festival in Winston-Salem next weekend that features more than 60 national and local acts.

Hindugrass
Will Michaels / WUNC

Hindugrass is a collective music project that has been around for 17 years. 

The Durham-based band can be anything from a quartet to an octet in live performances and the band describes its sound as "Indo-Appalachian fusion." It's a mixture of classical Indian sounds and Appalachian folk.

Host Frank Stasio discusses what that means with five members of Hindugrass: John Heitzenrater on the sarod, Laura Thomas on the violin,  Katie Wyatt on the viola, Chris Johnson on the tabla, and Ed Butler on percussion.

The Suffers are a Gulf Coast soul band out of Houston, Tx.
Daniel Jackson

The Suffers, a 10-piece band out of Houston, Texas, features a horn line, rhythm section and the gigantic soulful voice of front woman Kam Franklin.

The Suffers draw their inspiration from the diversity of their hometown of Houston. While the overall effect of their music harks back to the soul greats of the 1960s and 1970s, diverse elements, including gospel, cumbia and reggae, give their songs a fresh, eclectic feel.

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