Join Us. 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting

Our Blog Usage Policy

Want to comment on a blog?

Login and post your comment

Log In

Register for a free account

Forgot your Password?

Inside Appalachia

Mountain Blog

News and Notes

PHOTO BLOG: Amos Lee & Company

(Radio Shows) Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · February 27, 2009

Here are some photos from this weekend's radio broadcast. It's an encore presentation of Mountain Stage recorded in July 2008 with Amos LeeThe SteelDriversSharon LittlePeter Bradley Adams and Don Dixon. Click HERE for a list of stations and air-times in your area.

Here are some show-day photos to give you a glimpse of what happens on a typical Mountain Stage day. All Photos by Brian Blauser.


Before anything happens musically the stage gets "built" around noon on showday by a crew of about seven people.

Above: Our front-of-house engineer Jim Raines hooks up the splitter, which sends the audio signals to the theater,
downstairs to the radio mix, and to our monitor engineer on stage.


Technical Director Jeff Bosley meticulously places microphones on the grand piano before closing and covering it to prevent any audio bleed through.


Mountain Stage band electric guitarist Michael Lipton's guitar slide rests on his music stand next to what appears to be a coded message. Get out your secret decoder ring.


Amos Lee first appeared on Mountain Stage in 2005. When he returned in July 2008 he had reached a whole new level of popularity but he kept the same bassist, Jaron Olevsky, and drummer, Fred Berman, (seen here at sound-check) in his band this time around.


Before the recording begins host Larry Groce and the Mountain Stage band rehearse the theme song and get the theater audience geared up for some "spontaneous applause." Mountain Stage band vocalist Julie Adams (right) demonstrates.


Bluesy soul singer Sharon Little was on tour with Robert Plant & Alison Krauss when she took a detour through Charleston for Mountain Stage. She sang a stripped down set with her producer and co-writer Scot Sax on guitar and foot tamborine. Cassandra and Anna Sadler joined on backing vocals.


Peter Bradley Adams, formerly of eastmountainsouth, introduces his harmony vocalist Claire Small to the audience. Claire is a singer/writer in her own right. She suffered through some serious travel delays to be with us that night but her singing was beautiful and unwavering. 


Our good friend Don Dixon agreed to stop by to play a couple of songs for us when an artist had to cancel at the last minute. Dixon and his band the Jump Rabbits had just released their CD "The NU Look," from which Dixon performed "Skinny."


Nashville super group, and Grammy-nominees to-be, The SteelDrivers wowed the audience with their acoustic ability and the Kentucky-steeped vocals of singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton. From the Left are Richard Bailey, Mike Henderson, Tammy Rogers, Mike Fleming and Stapleton. You'll hear their Grammy nominated song, "Blue Side of the Mountain" during their Mountain Stage set.


The entire cast and crew, including Amos Lee's keyboardist Michael Bellar, join Groce and the Mountain Stage Band for a rendition of "Heard It Through the Grapevine" to bring the evening to a close.

I don't have the audio to post, but here is the entire finale song filmed from the audience and posted on YouTube.


Once the house is cleared, nothing remains but instrument cables, finale song lyrics sheets and an Amos Lee setlist.

Fountains of Wayne- March 29

(Live Shows) Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · February 26, 2009
We're thrilled to announce that pop-rockers Fountains of Wayne will be featured at our upcoming Mountain Stage recording, March 29, at the WVU Creative Arts Center in Morgantown, WV. The band's highly acclaimed and much anticipated new CD "Traffic & Weather" is out now. Hear more on MySpace.

Get tickets at TicketMaster or by calling 304.293.SHOW. Those of you in Morgantown can stop by the Creative Arts Center Box office or the Mountainlair box office.

New Releases, Guest Artist info

(Live Shows, Radio Shows) Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · February 25, 2009
Our show with Neko Case, April 22, is still two months away but her newest record, "Middle Cylcone" is only a week away from its release on March 3. Over at NPR Music you can hear the entire album via streaming audio. It's as adventerous as you've come to expect from the Canadian songstress and animal lover. (below) 
Get your tickets now at Ticketmaster or in downtown Charleston at Taylor Books. 
Here's a video package on the making of "Middle Cyclone."
I'm especially fond of her cover of Sparks' "Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth" and the title track. 
Brian Blauser
Tim Warren with what remains of his construction career.

Elsewhere the anticipation is over for Connecticut pop-rockers The Alternate Routes, whose latest record, "A Sucker's Dream," is available online and in stores now. You can hear the band in live performance on Mountain Stage-including "Future's Nothing New," which features a most creative percussive use of a microphone-wired toolbox (above)- by clicking over to NPR Music right HERE.

They already gave away an EP for free last year, so you owe it to them to pick up the new release.


Upcoming on Mountain Stage

(Live Shows, Radio Shows) Permanent link


We had a great time this weekend with the Drive By Truckers (Above), The Spring StandardsSometymes Why, the Belleville Outfit and Steve Poltz. The show will air the weekend of May 15, so listen for yourselves on the radio via these radio stations.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the show and made it a success. Stay tuned to the blog for some photos by our after-hours photographer Chris Morris, snapped at The Empty Glass post-jam where Steve Poltz put the entire congregation of post-Mountain Stage goers into the palm of his hand...and subsequently on the floor.

 (Below: The Spring Standards- Heather Robb, James Cleare, James Smith- and Steve Poltz during the finale song. Photos by Chris Morris )



Things are shaping up for our live show in Morgantown March 29. Tom Wilson (above) of Junkhouse, & Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, has joined with musicians from Canadian hit-makers Skydiggers, Michael & Margo Timmons of the Cowboy Junkies, folk artist Greg Titcomb and members of The Sadies under the moniker Lee Harvey Osmond (named for the least nurtured Osmond, according to Wilson). Here is an interview with Mr. Wilson on CBC NEWS  and a killer live performance of "I'm Going to Stay that Way" by LHO members Wilson (guitar, vocals), Ray Farrugia (drums, backing vocals) and Brent Titcomb (harmonica). It's an "artist collective" according to Wilson but  he'll be by himself on Mountain Stage. Although it's probably safe to say since Margo and Michael Timmons appear on "A Quiet Evil," the latest LHO record due out in spring, there's good chance there is some on-stage collaboration in store. "A Quiet Evil" is out in the spring- hear more on MYSPACE.

Clarence Bucaro joins us as well. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster, at the Mountainlair for those of you in Morgantown, or by calling 304.293.SHOW.


Our April 5 show for Charleston is coming together nicely with The Gourds and Backyard Tire Fire. We've just added influential singer-songwriter Tom Rush to the mix.

"What I Know," his first studio album in 30 years is out tomorrow. You can hear bits and pieces of it and his other records (including 2003's "Trolling for Owls" HERE. Having released his first album in 1962, Rush is still turning heads every day, "The Remember Song" video has 3.7 million views.




This coming weekend, tune in to Mountain Stage to hear blue-eyed soul singer and songwriter Amos Lee as well as Sharon Little, The Steeldrivers(Grammy nominees, above), Peter Bradley Adams (formerly of eastmountainsouth) and long time friend of the show Don Dixon. Click HERE for the playlist and find a station in your area by clicking HERE.

Photo by Brian Blauser


On the radio this weekend you heard a show we taped at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences back in June, featuring Jakob Dylan & the Gold Mountain RebelsHayes CarllPriscilla AhnAndy Davis and Krista Detor. Hear them throughout the week on NPR Music, and please, tell a friend about it!

(Left to Right: Krista Detor, Andy Davis, Hayes Carll & Priscilla Ahn rehearse the finale song, June 29, 2008)

Photo by Brian Blauser




March 15 - Canceled

(Live Shows) Permanent link

Mountain Stage is canceling the March 15 show at the Cultural Center due to circumstances beyond our control.


The guests for that show will be rescheduled. Backyard Tire Fire will join us on April 5 along with The Gourds. Tickets can be found HERE or at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston.


Refunds or exchanges should be made at the point of purchase on any advance sales.


Finale Song- GLORIA

(Radio Shows, Recollections) Permanent link

At the conclusion of every episode of Mountain Stage our host Larry Groce invites as many of the guest artists who wish to participate back to the stage for one final song. Basically it gives us a good music bed for Larry to read the show's credits and provides a unique opportunity for our guests and the Mountain Stage band to have a little fun jamming together. Its always a great treat for those in the audience during the recording but seldom do more than a few seconds get heard on the radio.

So as a special treat to our blog readers, I'm posting the finale song from last week's show in its entirety for your enjoyment. This show featured two guests from Ireland (Paddy Casey and Bell X1), so it seemed natural for Larry to choose the Van Morrison-penned garage-rock anthem "GLORIA" to close out the show.



After Larry reads the credits he sings the first verse and Paddy Casey the second. Mountain Stage Band electric guitarist Michael Lipton takes the first solo, followed by Chris Thile on mandolin, Gabe Witcher on fiddle and Noam Pikelny on banjo. The first piano solo is either by Fiona Melady or a member of Bell X1 (my memory fails me). Our pianist Bob Thompson  takes over before the final verse is sung by Bell X1 lead singer Paul Noonan. And of course everyone, including Brooke Miller, Tyler Ramsey and everyone in the audience, singing back-up.



Above: The crowded stage at the Little Theater on May 18, 2008, with Larry Groce (far right) and Company. Below: (Left to Right) Paddy Casey, members of Bell X1, Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, Gabe Witcher, Larry Groce, Mountain Stage bassist Steve Hill and vocalist Julie Adams.


Bell X1 & Punch Brothers LIVE!

(Radio Shows) Permanent link

Bell X1 live2008

Irish rockers Bell X1 (above) visited Mountain Stage in May of 2008 (Here's the Playlist). At the time their record "Flock" was just catching on stateside. The band has a new album called "Blue Lights on the Runway" coming out in the states March 3 (it's already out in Ireland).

There are a few subsequent major market tour dates in February and March, but you don't have to wait to get a glimpse of them live. They perform songs from "Flock" on Mountain Stage and you can hear it now (along with the story on how they got their name) on NPR Music.


Punch Brothers Live

Or perhaps a modern string quintet playing on bluegrass instruments is more up your alley? Then check out a set by progressive chamber-folk band The Punch Brothers featuring Noam Pikelny, Chris Thile, Greg Garrison, Chris Eldridge and Gabe Witcher (above, Left to Right). You can hear two movements of Thile's daunting 40 minute suite "The Blind Leaving the Blind" duringer their set, captured completely live, RIGHT HERE.

Stay tuned for sets from Prince Edward Islander Brooke Miller, Band of Horses newest member Tyler Ramsey and Irishman Paddy Casey.

(Photos by Brian Blauser)



Live, On-Air and On-line(2)

(Live Shows, Radio Shows) Permanent link


Thanks to everyone who came out to our sold out show last night at the Cultural Center Theater, and to our wonderful guests The Derek Trucks BandLenkaDr. DogScrapomatic and Jeff EllisHere's a review in case you missed it.

If you already have a ticket for February 22, consider yourself lucky because we are indeed sold-out. If any tickets are available last-minute we will put them on sale at 5 pm at the Cultural Center.Be sure to check out the rest of our upcoming shows and grab your tickets now.


Some folks made it out to our post-jam with the Carpentar Ants at the Empty Glass. It seems that a good time was had by all. Above: Mountain Stage host Larry Groce (far right) joins the Ants and members of Lenka's band for a gospel sing-a-long. Below: Kofi Burbridge of the Derek Trucks Band solos while Paul Olsen (seated) of Scrapomatic and Erik Kertes of Lenka's group, joins on bass. Drummer Stella Mozgawa (barely visible) joined in on the fun as well.   




We just added Sonos, an captivating vocal group who has recently covered Radiohead and Fleet Foxes a cappella, to the line-up on April 22. Here's a YouTube video for previewing. Greg BrownCrooked Fingers and Neko Case will all be joining us. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com and here in Charleston at Taylor Books, 226 Capitol Street.


On the radio this coming weekend, most of you will be hearing an encore broadcast featuring Jakob Dylan and the Gold Mountain Rebels (above), along with angelic-voiced Priscilla Ahn, honky-tonk songwriter Hayes Carll, pop-singer Andy Davis and the lovely Krista Detor.





You can get a preview of the show a bit early thanks to our Song of the Week page, a cooperative effort between Mountain Stage and our news department here at WV Public Radio. Each week we'll preview Mountain Stage with one song during our state-wide news program WV Morning with Beth Vorhees. The song is also available all week at the Song of the Week page. This week's preview is Jakob Dylan's haunting, "Will It Grow."


Over at NPR Music we've got fantastic sets from Kathy MatteaTim O'BrienAbigail Washburn & Sparrow Quartet and Tift Merritt (above) just to name a few. Keep scrolling down for more live performances from Nellie McKay, the outrageous 17 Hippies and the everybodyfields .

And finally, if you have six minutes, take the time to check out this news feature by Kristi Fowler & Mona Seghatoleslami on late Charleston jazz singer Ann Baker, who was inducted into the WV Music Hall of Fame this past November.

Grammy Winner on Mountain Stage, NPR Music

(Radio Shows) Permanent link



We'd like to congratulate banjo-master Bela Fleck on his Grammy win last night in the Best Pop Instrumental Album for his Christmas release, "Jingle All the Way."

Coincidentally you can hear Bela as a member of Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet today on NPR Music, from their March 2008 appearance on our show from Ashland, KY. It's a beautiful brand of chamber-folk, played impeccably by some of the world's best string players: (pictured above: Bela and Abigail on Banjo, Ben Sollee on cello and Casey Driessen on violin).

Stay tuned for sets by Sonny LandrethTift MerrittKathy Mattea and Tim O'Brien. 

Feb. 15 SOLD OUT!

(Live Shows) Permanent link

Our February 15 show here in Charleston is SOLD OUT! If any tickets become available we will put them on sale at the Cultural Center at 5pm. Doors are at 6:30pm and showtime is 7pm.

The Cultrual Center Theater is located on the State Capitol Grounds at the intersection of Greenbrier & Washington Streets in Charleston, Exit #99 off of I-64/I-77. See you in Charleston!


Thanks for a Great Pledge Drive!

(Radio Shows) Permanent link





Thanks to everyone who pledged
their support during WV Public Broadcasting's 2009 Holl's Chocolate Challenge. Same goes to all of the volunteers, food vendors and staff who donated their time and efforts to make the pledge drive a success . Your overwhelming support is invigorating to everyone in our organization and we remind you that your contributions go directly to our programming funds to keep the shows you love and respect on the air- including Mountain Stage.

If you haven't done so yet, consider a contribution to the mother station of Mountain Stage by clicking HERE.

Check out the delicious chocolates from Holl's, made in the Swiss style in Vienna, WV.

Also visit West Virginia artist Chad Pitts who donated some very beautiful, unique pieces of jewlrey and swizzle sticks as pledge gifts as well.

Guest Artists, New Show Just Announced!

 Permanent link

JeffEllis 2009

The line-up for our February 15 recording here in Charleston has been solidified with the addition of Huntington, WV's own Jeff Ellis. A co-winner of the 2008 Mountain Stage New Song competition for performing songwriters, Ellis released "Covering The Distance" last year and is already working on songs for its follow-up. Produced by Eddie Ashworth (sublime, Pennywise, Izzy Stradlin) in Athens, OH, "Covering the Distance" offers some of Jeff's most personal songs done with his distinctively earthy tone. Get a glimpse at MySpace and hurry up and get your tickets HERE.



As we do four times a year, we'll take the show on the road March 29 to Morgantown, WV at our "home-away-from-home" the Creative Arts Center on the campus of WVU. Our good friends and mood-makers The Cowboy Junkies will grace our stage for the 7th time!

I'm reminded of a story that Last Town Chorus founder/guitarist Megan Hickey told during her first appearance on the show about traveling from Pittsburgh to see the Junkies on Mountain Stage (click HERE to hear Megan from our archives). I wonder if any future guest artists will be in the crowd March 29. Ticketmaster has the tickets, or you can call 304.293.SHOW.

UPDATE: We've just added songwriter Clarence Bucaro to the line-up on March 29. Combining elements of Wait Until Spring, Bandini, a 1938 novel by author, John Fante and "You Must Believe in Spring," a 1977 record by the great jazz pianist Bill Evans, Bucaro will release "'Til Spring" on March 3. With appearances by Ollabelle-member Glenn Patscha and recent guest Anders Osborne playing in the band.


Another show just added to the Live Show schedule will be back in Charleston on April 5, featuring Austin Texas' proud sons The Gourds. Their new record Haymaker from Yep Roc just debuted at #2 on the Americana charts, a genre they far preceded. Fetch a listen right HERE then fetch some seats HERE before they're gone.


Greg Brown will be making his 7th appearance on the show April 22 along with Neko Case and Crooked Fingers. This is a Wednesday show at the Little Theater in the Charleston Civic CenterTicketmaster can get you into this show too, or call the Box Office at 1-800-745.3000. There's some other helpful info HERE.


Our Thanks to fans, Dierks

(Live Shows) Permanent link



A huge thank you to everyone who came out to see Mountain Stage this past Sunday in Charleston. It was an exceptional effort on behalf of Dierks Bentley (above) and crew to drive over 900 miles overnight to be with us and it helped shine a spotlight on our other guests, Andy Friedman & the Other FailuresReagan BoggsGrayson Capps, and Jessica Lea Mayfield



The music continued into the morning at the post-jam , traditionally hosted by the Carpenter Ants at the Empty Glass. One of our promotions specialists Chris Morris snapped a couple of shots. Above: (L to R) Tommy MacLuckie, John Milham, Josh Kerin and Grayson Capps. Below: Kerin & Capps.



Andy Friedman & the Other Failures got some extra stage time and treated us to Dave Van Ronk's "Sunday Streets." Friedman's latest, "Weary Things," is out now and contains the eight-minute recitation "Freddy's Backroom," which he performed on the show. 
Listen for this particular episode in April. Visit our broadcast schedule for more.
Above: (LtoR) Matt Walsh, Adriane Palikat, Greg Donahue and Andy Friedman.


Bentley's new album "Feel That Fire" hits stores today and you can get the mp3 download of the album for $3.99 at Amazon.com.

He did a bright and early performance on the TODAY SHOW this morning with a short interview. The song is great- can't say much for the mix however.

Trust me, the album version has a bunch more guitar.

Mountain Stage welcomes WQCS-HD, Fort Pierce, FL

 Permanent link

Mountain Stage is happy to welcome a brand new HD radio station into our fold. WQCS, 88.9 Digital HD-2. Based out of Indian River State College. "More radio for the Treasure Coast." Now you can hear Mountain Stage every Saturday from 8-10pm on 89.9-2.

If you're not familiar with HD Radio service and how it works, here's a concise crash course. It's very simliar to the radio you hear now, except it provides each station with an extra signal they can fill with other programming. Digital signals are free from static and atmospheric interferance and profess to provide "CD Quality" music. Its still free as long as you have purchased a compatible radio. There are several brands/styles available in the NPR Shop.

You can also stream both HD channels from WQCS. I tried it out, and Diane Rehm sounded loud and clear.


West Virginia Public Broadcasting is a member station of: