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Inside Appalachia

Mountain Blog

News and Notes

Live Show News: Johnny Winter in Morgantown

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By Mountian Stage
 · October 31, 2011

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The Johnny Winter Band

Mountain Stage is thrilled to announce that Sunday, January 15 we’ll be welcoming legendary guitarist Johnny Winter to the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown. 

Tickets for this show go on sale Tuesday, November 1 at 10 a.m., online at ticketmaster.com, by phone (304.294.SHOW), and in person at the Creative Arts Center box office.



Johnny Winter totally pulls off elbow capes.

As one of the preeminent figures of the blues-rock explosion of the late 1960’s and 70’s, Johnny Winter needs little introduction. He was one of, if not the first guitarist to take the blues into bona fide hard rock territory, with his own incendiary takes on everything from “Johnny B. Goode” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” to Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.” Later, Winter produced a series of Grammy-winning albums for Muddy Waters, credited with breathing new life into the blues legend’s career.

After a life full of honors and accomplishments, Johnny Winter is now enjoying a resurgence of his own, with a triumphant appearance at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festivals alongside Derek Trucks and Buddy Guy; and headlining prestigious events like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival. Recently, Winter has been releasing a Live Bootleg series of recordings, definitive official versions of concerts that fans have passed around for decades.

We’ll also be joined by folk-blues artist Ruthie Foster. Her most recent album, The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, was helmed by roots-music producer Chris Goldsmith, and features contributions from guitarist Robben Ford, and The Memphis Horns. Other acts for this show are TBA.

Check back with us here, on Facebook and Twitter for the latest about this and other upcoming Mountain Stage shows.

Radio Preview: John Gorka & more in Grand Marais, MN

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 27, 2011

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Stephan Hoglund
John Gorka, live on Mountain Stage

This week's premier broadcast of Mountain Stage was recorded on the road in Grand Marais, Minnesota, in partnership with our friends at the North House Folk School, as a part of their tenth-annual Unplugged concert series. 

Captured in a tent on a chilly autumn night on Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior, you'll hear from acclaimed singer-songwriter (and frequent Mountain Stage guest) John Gorka, along with Cheryl Wheeler, Lindsay Mac, Michael Johnson, Pat Donohue and Mary Flower.

Lauded by Rolling Stone Magazine as “the preeminent male singer-songwriter of the new folk movement,” John Gorka’s songs have been recorded by Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Mary Black, Maura O’Connell and Nanci Griffith. A mainstay of the folk scene since the mid 1980's, Gorka most recently appeared on Mountain Stage in February as a part of the super-trio Red Horse.

As always, Gorka balances his rich baritone and introspective subject matter with his trademark dry wit and humor – a mix that makes for a set that is both moving and hilarious at the same time. (A theme that was carried by each guest throughout the entire show).


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Stephan Hoglund
Cheryl Wheeler, live on Mountain Stage
You'll also hear from Cheryl Wheeler. A natural entertainer and gifted storyteller, Wheeler is known for her ability to write both touching ballads and witty social satire. To understand what we're talking about, you need look no further than the playlist – Cheryl's set includes the tender, reflective song “Alice,” and closes with “Lady Ga Ga's Singing Program” – likely the first folk ballad written about the phenomenon known as Lady Ga Ga, and most certainly the best.

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Stephan Hoglund
Lindsay Mac, live on Mountain Stage

Classical cellist turned pop tunesmith Lindsay Mac makes her first appearance on Mountain Stage. Raised in Iowa, Mac earned a degree from Dartmouth before perusing music full time at the Berklee College of Music. Around this time she developed her own technique for integrating the cello into her music – playing pizzicato, while standing, like a large guitar. She closes her set with the touching musical parable “Seven Little Stones” from her album Stop Thinking.


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Stephan Hoglund
Michael Johnson, live on Mountain Stage
Singer-songwriter Michael Johnson also appears. With a musical resume that ranges from folk to pop, to soft rock and country, Michael Johnson is both an accomplished singer-songwriter and classical guitarist. He earned recognition in the late 70's for his adult contemporary hit “Bluer Than Blue,” and charted several more times as a country artist in the 1980's.

During his set, Johnson shares a heartfelt story about how his life was recently changed for the better when he reunited with his adult daughter – a story that was later turned on its head by born joker Cheryl Wheeler – creating a running joke that persisted throughout all three nights of

Unplugged

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Stephan Hoglund
Mary Flower and Pat Donohue, live on Mountain Stage

The show kicks off with guitar-slinging duo Pat Donohue and Mary Flower. As the house guitarist for Prairie Home Companion, Pat Donohue is truly one of America's most gifted players, and one of a select few to have a Martin signature model that bares his name. His tune “Would You Like to Play the Guitar” is one of the most insightful – and hilarious songs ever written about the toils of being a working musician.

Based out of Portland, Oregon, Mary Flower is one of America's foremost masters of the difficult Piedmont-style of blues guitar playing, and the only woman to ever win the prestigious National Finger Picking Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Donohue and Flower close their set with “Grand Marais Blues,” a tune they wrote just hours earlier about their experience on the North Shore.

Click here to find out when and where you can hear this show in your area

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook for the latest news about our upcoming live shows and premier broadcasts. 

Thanks for listening to Mountain Stage.

 

Billy Joe Shaver, Matraca Berg- Dec 4

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 26, 2011

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The Honky Tonk Hero, Billy Joe Shaver.

We're excited to announce that the original Honky Tonk Hero Billy Joe Shaver will return to Mountain Stage for his sixth appearance on Sunday, December 4 at the Culture Center Theater along with Matraca Berg (see below), Noam Pikelny & Friends and April Verch. Tickets are on sale now.

With some 23 albums to his credit, Texas based songwriter Billy Joe Shaver's storied career is unparalleled. His autobiography "Honky Tonk Hero" released in 2005, is a page-turner filled with tales of the "Outlaw" movement of 1970s country music, ushered in by Waylon Jennings' landmark recording "Honky Tonk Heros," which featured 11 Shaver songs. His latest, "Everybody's Brother" was nominated for a Grammy and features duets with John Anderson, Kris Kristofferson and Marty Stuart.


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Songwriter Matraca Berg is back with a critically acclaimed release, "The Dreaming Fields."

A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Matraca Berg made a big splash with "The Dreaming Fields," her first CD in 14 years. Inspired by landmark albums like "Harvest" and "Pieces of the Sky," "The Dreaming Fields" conjures the same sparse and powerful production of those influential hallmarks. Berg's song "You and Tequila" has impacted the world of popular music with a version recorded by Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter.Hear her version on Amazon.

Get your December 4 tickets online, by phone at 800.594.TIXX or locally at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston. Visit our Live Show Schedule for more on our upcoming live shows and follow us on Twitter @MountainStage for the latest updates.

Berg, with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, perform "Oh Cumberland."

Live Show Preview: The Milk Carton Kids

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 25, 2011

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The Milk Carton Kids, appearing Sunday on Mountain Stage

This Sunday, October 30 at the Culture Center in Charleston, we’ll be joined by acoustic duo The Milk Carton Kids (along with The Nighthawks, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Chandler Travis Three-O, and Sarah Siskind).

The Milk Carton Kids describe themselves as a minimalist harmonizing duo who use two guitars and two voices to create a new combination of back-porch Americana and classic folk. Comprised of Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan, comparisons to classic folk pairings like Simon & Garfunkel write themselves, and dare we say the duo's intricate guitar picking is reminiscent of David Rawlings’ work with Gillian Welch.

But don’t take our word for it – watch the video:

The Milk Carton Kids perform 'Permanent'

Better yet – if you like what you hear, or even if you’re on the fence – you can download The Milk Carton Kids latest album Prologue for free, no strings attached, right here: This is a direct link. You don’t have to register or enter an email address or anything like that. So check it out.

And definitely check them out at our show this Sunday. Tickets are available online, by phone, (800.594.TIXX) and in person at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston.

And check out our entire schedule of upcoming live shows here. Get your tickets in advance and save yourself a decent chunk of change.

Thanks for supporting Mountain Stage.

Hubert Sumlin Cancels Oct. 30

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 24, 2011

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The Nighthawks, appearing this Sunday on Mountain Stage

Unfortunately, Hubert Sumlin will not be able to perform at this Sunday’s taping of Mountain Stage due to illness. We sent our best to this living legend of the blues.

However, the Nighthawks, Lucy Wainwright Roche, The Milk Carton Kids, Chandler Travis Three-O and Sarah Siskind will still be there.

Tickets are available online, by phone (800.594.TIXX) and in person at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston. We hope you’ll join us.

Stay tuned for the latest information about this and upcoming shows.

Mountain Stage Radio Preview: Vince Gill & More

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 20, 2011

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Brian Blauser
Vince Gill, performing live on Mountain Stage

This week’s premier broadcast of Mountain Stage features one of our most exciting shows of 2011. Recorded live in the border town of Bristol TN/VA, in partnership with our friends at the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, you’ll hear from country music icon Vince Gill, along with Jim Lauderdale, the David Mayfield Parade, Red Molly, and John Lilly.

Vince Gill, Backstage at Mountain Stage

One of the top-selling country music artists of all time, Vince Gill appears on Mountain Stage in support of his first studio album in five years, Guitar Slinger. Gill cut his teeth in the 70’s as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with outfits like Ricky Skaggs’ Boone Creek before joining country rockers Pure Prairie League – a group his high school bluegrass band had opened for – in 1979.

He left in 1981 to join Rodney Crowell’s renowned backing band The Cherry Bombs. By the late 80's, Gill was a bona fide superstar, releasing multiple Top 10 platinum-selling albums, and hosting the CMA awards a record-setting 12 consecutive times.

You can see part of his Mountain Stage performance, and hear him talk about his new album and musical roots via our Backstage at Mountain Stage above.

The David Mayfield Parade, Backstage at Mountain Stage

You’ll also hear from the David Mayfield Parade. A Mountain Stage veteran already, Mayfield has appeared with Cadillac Sky, Among the Oak and the Ash, and alongside his sister Jessica Lee Mayfield. David Mayfield’s solo project builds on his solid roots in bluegrass, combining it with folk, indie rock, and his trademark humor and showmanship. See Mayfield and his band in action, and hear him talk about his new record via our Backstage at Mountain Stage above.

Jim Lauderdale also stops by. A multi-talented performer and songwriter with successes in both country and bluegrass music, Jim Lauderdale’s career has taken him all over America’s musical landscape.

He’s among Nashville’s “A” list of songwriters, with tunes recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, George Jones, The Dixie  Chicks, and Vince Gill. Not content to just write hits for the stars, he’s toured with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Elvis Costello. His latest release is Patchwork River.

Red Molly makes their first appearance on Mountain Stage. This bluegrass and old-time trio began around a campsite at the 2004 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in upstate New York.

After six years of touring, the New York-based group has expanded its audience and performed at events like Merlefest and the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. Founding members Laurie MacAllister and Abbie Gardner were recently joined by Austin-based singer/songwriter Molly Venter. Their latest is Light in the Sky.

Finally, you’ll hear from West Virginia’s own John Lilly. The editor of Goldenseal Magazine since 1997, John Lilly’s music recalls the sounds of a different era. Bluegrass Unlimited called 2000's Broken Moon one of the "most unusual and interesting acoustic disks of the year" while 2005's Blue Highway was a collaboration with legendary Tennessee fiddler Ralph Blizard. His current release is John Lilly: Live on Red Barn Radio.

Click here to find out when and where you can hear this show in your area

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook for the latest news about our upcoming live shows and premier broadcasts.

Thanks for listening to Mountain Stage.

Live Show News: Will Hoge & Lake Street Dive

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 17, 2011

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Will Hoge, appearing live on Mountain Stage November 20

Mountain Stage has confirmed two more acts for our fall live show schedule.

On November 20 at the Clay Center in Charleston, we’ll be welcoming Nashville-based singer-songwriter Will Hoge. Known for his blend of Americana, soul, and heartland rock (as well as his relentless touring schedule) Hoge was recently a guest at the Grand Ole Opry (where he was joined for a song by recent Mountain Stage guest Vince Gill). He released his seventh studio album just a few weeks ago, appropriately titled Number Seven.

Also appearing will be iconic roots rock singer-songwriter Dave Alvin and his band The Guilty Ones, Catherine Russell and Catie Curtis. 

Tickets for this show are available now online (TheClayCenter.org) by phone (304.561.3570) and at the Clay Center Box Office.

Will Hoge's first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry
Lake Street Dive, appearing on Mountain Stage November 13

At West Virginia University’s Creative Arts Center in Morgantown on November 13, we’ll be joined by Boston-based indie jazz quartet Lake Street Dive. The four combine elements of jazz, Motown, and country with singer Rachael Price’s distinctive, powerful vocals.

They’ll be appearing alongside singer-songwriter Jill Sobule and the legendary Booker T. Jones.

Tickets for this show are ON SALE NOW, online (www.ticketmaster.com)  by phone (304.293.SHOW) or in person at the CAC Box Office.

Mountain Stage Radio Preview: Grupo Fantasma and more

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 13, 2011

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Brian Blauser
Grupo Fantasma, performs live on Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage is back this week with another premier broadcast, featuring Latin-funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma, along with The Greencards, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Tracy Nelson, and Musikanto.

Based in Austin, the 10-piece, Latin-funk band Grupo Fantasma formed in 2000. Comprised of two guitarists, two bass players, three drummers and a three-piece horn section, the group quickly established a reputation for high-energy live shows. It’s earned them two appearances on Austin City Limits, and spots backing up Prince in Las Vegas and London. Just this year, their album El Existential won the group a Grammy for “Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.”

The Greencards make their fourth appearance on Mountain Stage. This multi-national bluegrass trio, led by Australians Kym Warner and Carol Young, has racked up serious accolades. None other than Robert Earl Keen said of the Greencards’ music, “It’s the best bluegrass I’ve heard in 20 years,” and in 2006, the group won “New/Emerging Artist of the Year” at the Americana Music Association Awards. With two new members, young fiddle phenom Tyler Andal and flatpicking champion Carl Miner, the band has released The Brick Album, which was funded by contributions from fans.

You’ll also hear from Canadian roots rock supergroup Blackie & the Rodeo Kings. You can get a taste of their Mountain Stage performance via our Backstage at Mountain Stage video here:

Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, Backstage at Mountain Stage

Blackie & the Rodeo Kings is a collaboration between three well-respected blues, folk and rock musicians: Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson. The three joined forces in 1996, and under the name of Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, released an album of songs written by Canadian singer-songwriter Willie P. Bennett.

In 2011, The Rodeo Kings released Kings and Queens, featuring duet vocals from Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, Cassandra Wilson, Patti Scialfa and others.

Vocal powerhouse Tracy Nelson returns to Mountain Stage. See her backstage interview, as well as clips from her performance here:

Tracy Nelson discusses everything from hanging out with Hendrix and Muddy Waters to saving her new album from a house fire with host Larry Groce.

During the late ‘60s, Nelson fronted the group Mother Earth, which added a country flavor to its rock years before it was hip. At the time, Nelson was often compared to Janis Joplin. Now based in Nashville, she has also become known as a songwriter, seeing her tunes covered by Etta James, Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt. The digital master of her current release, Victim of the Blues, was pulled by firemen from her 100-year-old farmhouse as it went down in flames.

Finally, you’ll hear from Chicago-based newcomer Musikanto. Walking the line between indie blues and urban americana, singer-songwriter Michael Musikanto grew up listening to his father's obscure folk & roots records. With heartbreaking ballads and melodic melodrama, he’s been compared to Leon Russell, Ray Lamontagne and Amos Lee. Get to know him through our Backstage at Mountain Stage video here:

Musikanto, Backstage at Mountain Stage

Click here to find out when and where you can hear this show in your area

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook for the latest news about our upcoming live shows and premier broadcasts.

Thanks for listening to Mountain Stage.

Live Show News: Dave Alvin at The Clay Center

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 11, 2011

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Dave Alvin, appearing on Mountain Stage November 20

Even more live show news, folks.

The 2011 Mountain Stage schedule continues to take shape with the addition of Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones, at the Clay Center on November 20.

A true icon of roots music, this will mark Dave Alvin’s 6th appearance on Mountain Stage. From his early work with his brother in The Blasters, to his eclectic career as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Alvin has had richly varied musical path. After The Blasters, Alvin was briefly the lead guitarist for seminal L.A. Punk Band X before releasing a series of solo albums in the 80’s and 90’s that are widely regarded as classics.

In 1989, Alvin scored a hit when he penned the Dwight Yoakam chart topper “Long White Cadillac” – an accomplishment that now seems like a footnote with Alvin’s career is viewed as a whole. His latest album, Eleven Eleven, takes Alvin back to his electric side. You can hear previews from the release via his website.

Alvin will be joined Catherine Russell and Catie Curtis, with other artists TBA. Tickets go on sale October 17 at 10 a.m. – you can get yours online at theclaycenter.org, by phone (304.561.3570) or in person at the Clay Center box office.

The show starts at 7. Stay tuned for more information about this show (and others) as it becomes available. See you there. 

Roche, Siskind, & Verch added to upcoming shows

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 10, 2011

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Lucy Wainwright Roche, appearing October 30

Mountain Stage is announcing a few recent additions to our slate of upcoming shows at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston.

On October 30, we’ll be joined by Lucy Wainwright Roche and Sarah Siskind. Roche, who is no stranger to Mountain Stage audiences, was originally set to appear back in April but had to reschedule. Her most recent album Lucy features contributions from The Roches, The Indigo Girls, and This American Life’s Ira Glass.

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Sarah Siskind will also appear on the 30. Highly regarded among her peers, Siskind has seen her work covered by Alison Krauss, the Infamous Stringdusters, Randy Travis and Bon Iver.

Roche and Siskind will be joined by Hubert Sumlin, the Milk Carton Kids, and the Chandler Travis Three-O. Tickets for this event are on sale now, online, by phone (800.594.TIXX) or in person at Taylor Books, Downtown, Charleston.

Finally, on December 4, we’ll be welcoming Canadian fiddle phenom April Verch. You learn more by checking out her website here. She’ll be appearing alongside Noam Pikelny & Friends.

Tickets for this show are available now online, by calling 800.549.TIXX, or in Taylor Books in beautiful downtown Charleston. You can also purchase advance tickets to upcoming Mountain Stage shows at our merch table whenever you come to see us live.

See you at the show!

Mountain Stage in Scotland: Friday, 9:30 on WVPBS

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 6, 2011

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Mountain Stage in Scotland, airing this Friday at 9:30 on WVPBS

This past January, Mountain Stage kicked off it’s 28th season in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the 2011 Connections festival. We were fortunate enough to bring West Virginia Public Broadcasting videographer Bob Wilkinson along with us to document the trip, and now we’re happy to announce that the fruit of his work, the half-hour Mountain Stage in Scotland documentary will air this Friday, October 7 at 9:30 p.m. on WVPBS.

You’ll get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to move a West Virginia radio production across the Atlantic, as well as a look at our performers – the legendary Mavis Staples, Dougie MacLean, Joy Kills Sorrow, Tim O’Brien, Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore. We hope you’ll tune in.

Radio Preview: Ollabelle & more

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 5, 2011

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Brian Blauser
Ollabelle, live on Mountain Stage

This week’s premier broadcast of Mountain Stage features Manhattan-based roots band Ollabelle, with songs from their first studio album in five years, Neon Blue Bird.

Taking their name from influential Appalachian songwriter Ola Belle Reed, the five members of Ollabelle (who all sing and play) blend indigenous American music styles, mixing folk, blues, and gospel.

Ollabelle’s self-titled first album was produced by roots music legend T-Bone Burnett, and their second album Riverside Battle Songs was co-produced with former Bob Dylan band member Larry Campbell. Their latest, Neon Blue Bird was released in August.

You’ll also hear a set from country-pop pioneers Foster & Lloyd. Reuniting after more than two decades, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd scored hits including “Crazy Over You,” "Sure Thing," and "What Do You Want From Me This Time.”

When the two decided to call it quits in 1991, they chose Mountain Stage as the venue for their final show. The duo’s stellar new release, It’s Already Tomorrow, features a number of guests including Cheap Trick bassist Tom Peterson and Sam Bush.

Acoustic folk and blues singer Chris Smither also stops by. Smither has released nearly a dozen albums of his own material for the Flying Fish, Hightone, and Signature Sounds labels; and his songs "Love You Like a Man" and "I Feel the Same" have been recorded by guitarist and singer Bonnie Raitt. Smither’s most recent album, Time Stands Still features songs by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan, and he just released a third live CD, Lost & Found, exclusively for fans through his website.

Making their first American appearance are the Henry Girls. Comprised of three sisters - Joleen, Lorna and Karen McLaughlin - from Inishowen in County Donegal, Ireland, the Henry Girls create an eclectic mix of folk, blues and traditional Irish, framed by their 3-part sibling harmonies. They appeared at the 2011 Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, Scotland (where they first came to the attention of Mountain Stage), and count West Virginia’s The Fox Hunt among their musical friends.

Speaking of The Fox Hunt – the Martinsburg-based string band rounds out the show. Upon returning from a tour of Ireland this spring, the Fox Hunt became the first act to sell out the Shepherdtown, WV Opera House. On the road 150 days a year, the band has amassed a loyal following.

Click here to find out when and where you can hear this show in your area

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook for the latest news about our upcoming live shows and premier broadcasts.

Thanks for listening to Mountain Stage.

Live Show News: Booker T. Jones

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 4, 2011

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Booker T. Jones, appearing live on Mountain Stage November 13.

Mountain Stage is excited to announce that Sunday, November 13 we'll be returning to the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown, where our guest will be Booker T. Jones.

As one of the architects of the Memphis sound, and as the leader of the Stax Records house band, Booker T. Jones earned a lifetime's worth of achievements before the end of the 1960's. But in the decades since, he has remained one of the most sought-after instrumentalists, songwriters, producers and arrangers in the music business. His production work with Bill Withers and Willie Nelson in the 1970's and 80's resulted in career-defining, landmark albums.

In 2009, Booker T collaborated with the Drive-By Truckers and Neil Young for the Grammy-winning instrumental album Potato Hole, and his most recent album, The Road From Memphis features backing from The Roots, and vocals from Lou Reed, Jim James and Sharon Jones, among others.

Also appearing is Jill Sobule. She's returning to Mountain Stage with songs from her new release A Day at the Pass, a collaboration with John Doe (of the seminal L.A. punk rock band X) that was funded entirely by her fans.

Tickets for this show go on sale Wednesday, October 5.

You can get yours online at ticketmaster.com, by phone (304.293.SHOW) and in person at the CAC box office. Stay in touch with us here and on Facebook for the latest news about this and other live Mountain Stage events. We hope to see you in Morgantown.

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