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Mountain Blog

News and Notes

Radio Preview: Wanda Jackson & More

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 29, 2012
Wanda Jackson, Backstage at Mountain Stage

This week’s broadcast of Mountain Stage features the undisputed queen of rockabilly Wanda Jackson, with tunes from her recent Jack White-produced album The Party Ain’t Over. She’s backed by the Mountain Stage band, with a few of their friends sitting in on horns.You can catch a preview of her set here, via our Mountain Stage Song of the Week, and be sure to check out the Backstage at Mountain Stage video above, which features footage of Jackson’s performance, as well as a brief interview.

Click here to see a list of stations and times where you can listen in your area.

Joe Ely, Backstage at Mountain Stage

You’ll also hear from Texas troubadour Joe Ely. No stranger to Mountain Stage audiences, Ely has epitomized the rugged Texas singer/songwriter tradition. As a member of the legendary ‘70s band the Flatlanders - which also featured fellow Texans Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock - he helped pioneer the alt-country genre. His first release of new material in four years is Satisfied at Last.

 

Jimmy Dale Gilmore & the Wronglers, Backstage at Mountain Stage

And speaking of Jimmie Dale Gilmore -- he's also on this Sunday's show, backed by The Wronglers, a San Fransisco-based bluegrass band headed up by the dearly missed Warren Hellman: banjo player, one of roots music’s most dedicated stewards, and founder of the wildly popular Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Their record is called Heirloom Music.

 

Carolyn Wonderland, Backstage at Mountain Stage

Powerful blues-rocker Carolyn Wonderland also appears. Carolyn's incendiary guitar and raw, powerful vocals draw instant comparisons to fellow Texans Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Check out the video to see what we mean.

The New Rope String Band, Backstage at Mountain Stage

And finally, The New Rope String Band make their first ever appearance in the United States, all the way from the Scotland. Combining superb musicianship with comic genius, the three members of the New Rope String Band combine elements of circus, clowning, vaudeville, slapstick and silliness with beautiful acoustic music from various world traditions.

Follow us on facebook to stay connected with the latest news and information about the show, and subscribe to the Mountain Stage YouTube channel to see backstage and performance videos with our guest that can't be found anywhere else. Thanks for listening!

Live Show Preview: Martin Sexton & More

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 23, 2012

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Martin Sexton, appearing live on Mountain Stage in sunny Buckhannon Feb. 26

This week Mountain Stage makes the trip to sunny Buckhannon, where we'll visit our friends at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Our guests for this show will be incomparable singer-songwriter Martin Sexton, the exciting bluegrass band NewFound Road, West Virginia native and award winning songwriter and singer Belinda Smith, the Canadian duo Whitehorse, and the Ryan Montbleau Band.

Tickets for this show are on sale now, online, or by calling 800.594.TIXX. And if you’re a West Virginia Wesleyan student, you can purchase your tickets on campus at a substantial discount.

A native of Syracuse, NY, Martin Sexton relocated to Boston where he began making his mark in the city’s vibrant coffee house and club scene. A self-produced CD landed him a deal with Atlantic Records where he released a pair of critically acclaimed discs, one of which featured bassist Tony Levin and original E Street Band keyboardist David Sancious.

Sexton’s songs, which tap the American musical landscape - soul, gospel, R&B and country - inspired a Billboard Magazine writer to call Sexton "the finest new male singer-songwriter of recent memory." Following up 2010's Sugarcoating, Sexton issued an EP titled Fall Like Rain, None other than John Mayer described Sexton as "the best live performer I've ever seen."  


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NewFound Road, appearing live on Mountain Stage Feb. 26

One of the most exciting bluegrass bands of the new millennium, NewFound Road has shared the stage with a diverse array of artists including Oscar winner The Swell Season, Joe Diffie, Hall of Famer Mavis Staples, Grammy nominee Ryan Shaw and folk icon Judy Collins. In addition to powerful singer Tim Shelton, the group includes mandolinist Joe Booher, bassist/brother Jamey, and banjo/guitarist Josh Miller.


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Belinda Smith, appearing live on Mountain Stage Feb. 26

A Dove Award Winning songwriter and singer, WV native Belinda Smith moved to Nashville in 1997 to pursue a career in songwriting. Since then, she has charted multiple No. 1 songs, BMI play awards and owns an award winning publishing company, 7th Row Music. Her songs have been recorded by by artists ranging from FFH to Ty Herndon. She is also the founder and president of Belinda Smith Creative, an online company providing creativity mentoring for writers.


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Whitehorse, getting together live on Mountain Stage Feb 26

Combining the unique talents of Canadian singer-songwriters Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, Whitehorse is greater than the sum of the parts. Individually, Doucet and McClelland have been recognized with awards and nominations from the Juno Awards, the Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Hamilton Music Awards, the Independent Music Awards and Polaris. Together, they create vital music that plays off of their personalities and chemistry.


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Ryan Montbleau band, appearing live on Mountain Stage Feb 26

Once an acoustic solo artist, Ryan Montbleau released One Fine Color, his first full band project in 2006. Following an acoustic tour that Martin Sexton and Montbleau did together as solo performers, Sexton hired the entire group to back him this spring and summer on a tour that included a run of shows opening stadium gigs for the Dave Matthews Band. In addition, Sexton produced the band’s latest CD, Heavy on the Vine.

Mountain Stage doesn’t get to make its way up to Buckhannon but about once a year, so we hope we get the chance to see as many of you as we can.

Get your tickets via the trusted interwebs, or by phone (304.594.TIXX).

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest about Mountain Stage. And click here to see our entire upcoming live show schedule.  

Radio Preview: Blind Boys of Alabama & More

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 22, 2012
Larry Groce interviews Ricky McKinnie Backstage at Mountain Stage

This week’s broadcast of Mountain Stage features the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama, Bell X-1, Marti Jones & Don Dixon, Amy LaVere, and Tristen; recorded live at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center.

After singing quartet-style gospel together for more than 65 years, The Blind Boys of Alabama need little introduction. They recently released Take the High Road, their first ever album of country tunes, featuring collaborations with Hank Williams Jr., Vince Gill and others. Their rousing, soulful performance brought -- and kept -- this Mountain Stage audience on its feet for nearly their entire set.

You can catch a preview of the Blind Boys exciting Mountain Stage appearance right now, via our Song Of The Week: Jesus Built a Bridge to Heaven.

Bell X1, Backstage at Mountain Stage

Second only to U2 as Ireland’s most popular rock band, sophisticated indie rockers Bell X1 evoke early Radiohead, Coldplay and the Talking Heads. With two guitar players pulling double duty on keyboards and laptop computers, Bell X1 creates melodic rock that is layered and complex, but completely uncluttered. Their most recent record is Bloodless Coup.

Marti Jones and Don Dixon, Backstage at Mountain Stage

After hearing husband and wife duo Marti Jones and Don Dixon, you will understand why they’ve earned a reputation as the first family of jangle-pop. Dixon has produced bands ranging from R.E.M. and the Smithereens to James McMurtry, and spent much of the last two years playing bass in Mary Chapin Carpenter’s touring band.

Marti Jones' (who is also an accomplished painter) music career began with the Ohio-based band Color Me Gone, and has continued with a string of solo releases and a tour with singer-songwriter Amy Rigby in 2005. The duo’s album of duets is called Living Stereo.


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Brian Blauser
Amy LaVere performs live on Mountain Stage

Singer/songwriter and upright bassist Amy LaVere was born near the Texas and Louisiana border, and moved 13 times before she finished high school in Detroit. After stops in Louisiana and Nashville, LaVere settled in Memphis, where she began to perform as a solo artist.

She played with pioneering rockabilly femme Wanda Jackson in Walk the Line and appeared in the film Black Snake Moan. Her forthcoming record Stranger Me (available July 19) was produced by Craig Silvey, who also produced Arcade Fire’s Grammy winning release The Suburbs.

Tristen, Backstage at Mountain Stage

Tristen has been rapidly making a name for herself throughout the indie music scene. Fronted by Tristen Gaspadarek, the group’s debut album Charlatans At the Garden Gate boasts twang-infused pop sound and rich vocal hooks.

Click here to find a list of stations where you can listen in your area.

Follow us on facebook to stay connected with the latest news and information about the show, and subscribe to the Mountain Stage YouTube channel to see backstage and performance videos with our guest that can't be found anywhere else.

Thanks for listening!

Live Preview: In Athens, GA with Patterson Hood & more

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 16, 2012

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Patterson Hood, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 19th

Mountain Stage returns to the town of Athens Georgia this weekend to visit our friends at WUGA and the University of Georgia. We’ll be recording at the UGA Performing Arts Center, where our guests will be Patterson Hood, Van Dyke Parks, Randall Bramblett, Teitur, and Caroline Aiken.

Only a handful of tickets for this show remain, available both online and by phone (888.289.8497).

Patterson Hood & The Downtown 13, "After It's Gone"

The co-founder and frontman of Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers, Athens resident Patterson Hood is the son of famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section bassist David Hood. Hood formed the Drive By Truckers in 1996 with Mike Cooley, a bandmate from their previous group Adam’s House Cat.

Throughout his long tenure with the Truckers, Hood has penned a starker set of songs, the most recent set of which were released in 2009 as Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs). The collection shows an intimate, more acoustic side to Hood’s writing, while showcasing the trademark dark wit the Truckers are known for.


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Van Dyke Parks, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 19

For music fans who pay attention to album credits, the name Van Dyke Parks is nothing short of legendary. As a session musician, composer, arranger, lyricist, and singer, he's made significant contributions to several decades' worth masterpieces, as well as releasing notable projects of his own.

Working with a wide array of musicians, from The Byrds and Sonny and Cher to Lowell George and Vic Chesnutt, Parks is perhaps best known for collaborating with Brian Wilson on the storied album “SmiLE.” In 2011, Parks released his first new music in more than 15 years, a series of singles that features the artwork of artists including Art Spiegelman and WV’s Billy Edd Wheeler.


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Randall Bramblett, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 19

Dubbed the “the William Faulkner of Southern music,” Randall Bramblett came to prominence in the ‘70s as a member of the fusion band Sea Level. Since then, his credits include work with Steve Winwood, Gregg Allman, Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson.

Called “One of Georgia’s musical treasures” by Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools, Bramblett is a multi-instrumentalist who excels on keyboards, saxophone and guitar, and a respected songwriter whose songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Widespread Panic, Jorma Kaukonen, Bonnie Bramlett and Delbert McClinton.


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Teitur, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 19

Hailing from Denmark's Faroe Islands, Teitur Lassen issued his debut, Poetry & Aeroplanes on Universal Records in 2003. Supporting the disc, he was featured on MTV’s “You Heard It First,” VH1 and CNN, and his songs were included on the soundtracks of the films My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Aquamarine.

In 2006, his CD Stay Under The Stars included the radio hit “Louis, Louis” and was certified Gold in Denmark while 2007's Kata Hornid was sung entirely in his native language. His latest is titled Let the Dog Drive Home.


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Caroline Aiken, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 19

Born and raised on the Georgia Sea island, St. Simons, Caroline Aiken’s first musical influence was Emma Lee Ramsey of the Georgia Sea Island Singers. She moved to NY in the late ‘60s and joined the rock band Father Time. From there, music took her to California during the early ‘70s, to South America, Seattle, east to Greenwich Village and, in the early ‘80s, back to Atlanta. It was then that she heard the Indigo Girls - still teenagers - singing a CSNY song in an alley behind the club Good Old Days.

Aiken invited them onstage and sang on their first recording. Aiken opened shows for Bonnie Raitt in 1985, and Raitt performed on Aiken’s 1988 debut Line of Vision. She has headlined the famed Kerrville Folk Festival numerous times since 1995 and, in 2010, released Welcome Home.

Get your tickets for this show while you can! Mountain Stage would like to extend a special thanks to WUGA for their support over the years, and to the University of Georgia for being such gracious hosts.

Check us out on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for the latest about this and upcoming shows.

Radio Preview: Amos Lee, the Wailin' Jennys & More

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 17, 2012

AmosBlog
Brian Blauser
Amos Lee performs live on Mountain Stage

This week’s Mountain Stage broadcast features the third appearance by neo-soul singer/songwriter Amos Lee. Recorded in front of a sold-out audience in Charleston, Lee delivers a smooth set of songs in support of his acclaimed album Mission Bell. Backed by a seven-member band that includes pedal steel guitar, keyboards, and banjo, Lee's rich voice that evokes singers ranging from Otis Redding to Steve Winwood and John Fogerty.

Check out a preview in our Song of the Week, with Amos Lee performing "Jesus" from the Mission Bell. 

Nellie McKay, backstage at Mountain Stage

Making her fifth appearance on Mountain Stage is the vivacious and multi-talented Nellie McKay. Her most recent album, Home Sweet Mobile Home, was produced by McKay and her mother, actress Robin Pappas, with artistic input from David Byrne of the Talking Heads. McKay is backed during her set by the Mountain Stage band. For a preview of her set, be sure to check out our Backstage at Mountain Stage video above.

The Wailin' Jennys, backstage at Mountain Stage
The rootsy, harmonious, award-winning and widely popular Canadian folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys also appear. Their Mountain Stage set includes songs by Julie Miller and Emmylou Harris, and the band’s most recent release, Bright Morning Stars, has drawn comparisons to both Gillian Welch and Fleetwood Mac.  
Lauren Pritchard, "Backstage at Mountain Stage"

Finally, we’re joined by young singer/songwriter Lauren Pritchard Pritchard’s throaty, powerful voice evokes everything from Patty Griffin to the sweet sound of 70’s soul. Her new album is called Wasted in Jackson and, as you'll learn in her "Backstage" interview, she starred in the original production of the Duncan Sheik-written, Tony winning musical "Spring Awakening."

Click here to check out the performance playlist, and click here to find a station where you can listen in your area.  

Check in with us on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest Mountain Stage news.   

Thank you for listening, and thanks for supporting live music on your radio! 

Saying Goodbye to Irene McKinney

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 9, 2012

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West Virginia lost its poet laureate last week, Irene McKinney.

West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board and John Nakashima put together a wonderful remembrance of McKinney that was broadcast on Tuesday morning. If you missed it, or if you’d like to hear it again, you can listen here.

Mountain Stage was fortunate enough to have McKinney as a guest, most notably on our 400th show. Host Larry Groce paid tribute to McKinney on stage last Sunday:  

“Mountain Stage is saddened to note the passing of West Virginia’s Poet Laureate, Irene McKinney on February 4, at age 72. She succumbed to cancer at her family farm near Belington in Barbour County.

Irene published six books of poetry: The Girl With the Stone in Her Lap (1976), The Wasps at the Blue Hexagons (1984), Quick Fire and Slow Fire (1988), Six O'Clock Mine Report (1989), Vivid Companion (2004) and Unthinkable: Collected Poems 1976-2004 (2009). I believe she is scheduled to have another published posthumously.

She served as the state’s Poet Laureate since 1993 and read her work on Mountain Stage four times including our 400th show. Her voice narrated the radio production of Louise McNeill’s “Gauley Mountain” and at the passing of Louise, who was West Virginia’s last Poet Laureate, we asked Gov. Gaston Caperton to appoint Irene to the post. I’m sure many others made the same recommendation.

For some years Irene taught creative writing at West Virginia Wesleyan College and during the last three years founded and directed a Master of Fine Arts degree there.

In an introduction to the 2003 anthology, “Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia” Irene said:  ” I’m a hillbilly, a woman and a poet, and I understood early on that nobody was going to listen to anything I had to say anyway, so I might as well just say what I want to.”

And so she did.”

-Larry Groce

Live Show Preview: Fountains of Wayne

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 9, 2012

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Fountains of Wayne, making their way to Mountain Stage this Sunday
Mountain Stage is back in Charleston this weekend with a live show featuring power pop heroes Fountains of Wayne, Marc Broussard, Ben Lee, Amanda Shires and Grace Weber. Tickets for this show are still available – for now. Get yours while you can at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston, by phone (304.549.TIXX), and online. 
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Oh yes - it's Fountains of Wayne

Host Larry Groce is an excitable guy, but he seems especially excited about Fountains of Wayne – if you haven’t already, you should check out the radio promo Larry recorded above. Please don’t ask us how you can turn it into a ringtone.

Marc Broussard

Marc Broussard will also stop by, with his acclaimed brand of bayou soul. His vocals call to mind performances by heavyweights like Otis Redding, John Hiatt and Dr. John.

Best of luck not liking Ben Lee.
Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee will also be there. Lee first gained America's attention in the late 90's, at a time when loud alt-rock was dominant. Ben Lee does not make loud alt-rock. So if you happened to see one of his videos on TV at the time, chances are, you still remember it. His latest album Deeper to Dream, is said to be his most personal yet.
Amanda Shires

We'll also be welcoming young Texas singer-songwriter and fiddler Amanda Shires. If you've been listening to Jason Isbell's excellent new album Here We Rest, then you've already heard Amanda sing and play. Her CD "Carrying Lighting" has garnered rave reviews as well, and she most recently wrapped up recording sessions for the latest release from Justin Townes Earle

Would Grace Weber do this at the East Washington St. 7-11?

You'll also hear a set from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Milwaukee singer-songwriter Grace Weber. She's already performed on "Showtime at the Apollo," played the Kennedy Center, and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her jazz infused pop has also caught the eye of Billboard Magazine, which dubbed her an "artist to watch." Her latest album "Hope & Heart" is on Amazon for only $6.99.

Tickets are selling fast, so get online or over to Taylor Books so you don't miss out!

Click here to check out our entire schedule of upcoming live shows.

Radio Preview: Fleck, Hussain & Meyer

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 8, 2012

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Brian Blauser
Bela Fleck, Edger Meyer and Zakir Hussain perform on Mountain Stage

This week’s broadcast of Mountain Stage features the trio of Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain. Moving between the realms of bluegrass, classical and world music, Fleck, Meyer and Hussain are widely considered to be the leading virtuosos on their respective instruments.  

Arguably the world’s premiere banjo player, Bela Fleck has reinvented the image and sound of the instrument in a remarkable recording career that has taken him across the musical universe.  

Bassist and composer Edgar Meyer was hailed by the New Yorker as "the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument," and in 2002 was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.  

Zakir Hussain, undisputed master of the Indian hand drum known as the tabla, is often credited as a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement.  

You can hear a preview of their performance via the Mountain Stage Song of the Week, a composition titled "Canon." The trio’s most recent collaboration is called The Melody of Rhythm.  

 


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Brian Blauser
Dar Williams on Mountain Stage
Also on the show is singer/songwriter Dar Williams. In her fifth appearance on Mountain Stage, Williams teams up with the Mountain Stage band to showcase her always beautiful soprano and lovely, idiosyncratic and intriguing songwriting. Her most recent release, a career-spanning two disk set, is titled Many Great Companions. 

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Suz Slezak of David Wax Museum with her donkey jawbone - a percussion instrument that is the inspiration for the modern vibraslap

Making their first appearance on Mountain Stage is the young duo David Wax Museum. Their exciting and vibrant hybrid of traditional Mexican folk and Americana has earned accolades from the Boston Music Awards and their performance from the 2010 Newport Folk Festival was highlighted by NPR’s All Songs Considered. The pair was joined onstage by fellow guests Dar Williams and Bela Fleck for two of their songs. David Wax Museum’s new album is Everything is Saved.


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Brian Blauser
Raul Malo on Mountain Stage

Raul Malo also returns to Mountain Stage for a lively acoustic performance. One of the most powerful singers working in any genre, Malo is best known as the founder and frontman of Grammy-winning, multi-platinum band the Mavericks. Drawing on the years he spent growing up in the Cuban neighborhoods of Miami, his post-Mavericks career has crossed cultures and stretched traditional boundaries. His most recent recording is called Sinners and Saints.

Click here to find a list of radio stations where you can listen in your area, and be sure to check in with us on Facebook for the latest news and information. Thank you for listening!

Live Show News: Arlo Guthrie, Paul Thorn

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 8, 2012

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Arlo Guthrie, appearing live on Mountain Stage April 29

Mountain Stage is excited to announce that this April 29, we’ll be visiting our friends in Huntington for a special show at the Keith Albee Theater, as a part of the 75th anniversary of the Marshall Artist Series.

So far, we know we’ll be joined by folk icon Arlo Guthrie, and iconoclastic singer-songwriter Paul Thorn for a special solo set. Tickets for this show are on sale now at tickemaster.com, and by phone (304.696.6656).

If there was ever an artist who needs no introduction to Mountain Stage audiences, Arlo Guthrie might be the one. Carrying on the legacy of perhaps the most important songwriter in American history was tall enough an order, but Arlo Guthrie has long been regarded as folk icon in his own right.

His 18-minute long counter culture anthem known as the “Alice's Restaurant Massacree” continues to be discovered by new generations, thanks in part to the near constant rotation it enjoys on classic rock stations across America on Thanksgiving day. This year, Arlo is celebrating what would have been his father's 100th birthday.

We’ll also be joined on the Group W bench by singer-songwriter Paul Thorn. The son of a Pentecostal preacher, the nephew of a pimp (so the story goes) former boxer turned musician Paul Thorn has earned a loyal following over the years through his signature blend of the sacred and profane. His most recent album, Pimps and Preachers combines elements of folk, country, rock and blues with Thorn’s unique, often humorous outlook.

More acts for this show will be announced in the upcoming months. Stay connected with Mountain Stage for the latest.

Live Show Preview: Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Darrell Scott, More

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 2, 2012

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Mountain Stage returns this weekend with our first live show in Charleston of 2012. Joining us will be The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Darrell Scott, Solas, Rosi Golan and Jimmy LaFave.

Tickets to this show are sold out at Taylor Books, but a few are still available online, and by phone (304.549.TIXX). All remaining tickets will be on sale at the door before showtime. Click here to see our full schedule of upcoming live shows, and subscribe to us on Facebook to stay in touch with the latest news and info about Mountain Stage.


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The Dirty Dozen Brass Band appearing live on Mountain Stage February 5.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is perhaps the only group that can claim to have shared stages with the Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, Al Jarreau, 2 Live Crew, and the Black Crowes. They're credited with revitalizing the brass band tradition in New Orleans, spreading it around the world, to more than 30 countries on five continents.

They’ve been featured guests on albums by David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Dr. John and the Modest Mouse; and the city of New Orleans now has an official Dirty Dozen Brass Band Day. The group is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now, and preparing for the release of a new album in April.


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Darrell Scott, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 5

Highly regarded as a performer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter, Darrell Scott has seen his songs covered by more than 70 artists including the Dixie Chicks, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Guy Clark, Sam Bush, Tim McGraw, Kathy Mattea and Garth Brooks.

A Kentucky native, Scott excels on dobro, mandolin and guitar, and earned a degree in poetry from Tufts University. He has played on hundreds of sessions, and in 2001 was named “Songwriter of the Year” by the Nashville Songwriters Association. In 2010, Scott joined Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, along with Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin and Byron House. His new album is Long Ride Home.


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Solas, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 5

Celtic supergroup Solas has been called “the first truly great Irish band to arise from America.” Leader Seamus Egan was a teen prodigy who recorded his first album at age 16 and toured with Ralph Stanley and Peter, Paul and Mary. He formed Solas in 1994, and their current lineup includes co-founder Winifred Horan, Guitarist Eamon McElholm, Mick McAuley, Eamon McElholm, and Niamh Varian-Barry. Solas fans include Bela Fleck, Emmylou Harris and rap producer Timbaland, who sampled a Solas track on his radio hit “All Ya’ll.” Their latest is Turning the Tide.


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Jimmy LaFave, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 5

For eight years, the Texas singer-songwriter and guitarist Jimmy LaFave honed his skills by hosting open mike nights in Austin. With a grassroots approach that blends country, blues, folk and rock 'n' roll, LaFave was named Best Singer-Songwriter at the Austin Music Awards, and veteran writer Dave Marsh called him “One of America's greatest voices."

LaFave was a participant in the "Ribbon of Highway - Endless Skyway” tour which paid tribute to the spirit of Woody Guthrie, and featured on the resulting live double album. In 2007, LaFave’s showed off his country side on Cimarron Manifesto. His latest release is Favorites 1992–2001.


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Rosi Golan, appearing live on Mountain Stage February 5

This Israeli born singer-songwriter Rosi Golan didn’t pick up a guitar until she was 19. But since then, she’s amassed quite an audience thanks to songs from her debut The Drifter & The Gypsy being featured on One Tree Hill and Private Practice, and in the film Dear John. Recently, Golan sang “Set The Fire To The Third Bar” with Snow Patrol on the band’s recent appearance on David Letterman. Her current release is Lead Balloon.

Radio Preview- Ra Ra Riot and More

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 2, 2012

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Brian Blauser
Ra Ra Riot perform on Mountain Stage in Charleston, West Virginia

This week’s Mountain Stage broadcast  features alt-rock band Ra Ra Riot, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, West Virginia.

Formed while the band’s six members were students at Syracuse University, Ra Ra Riot combine energetic indie rock with chamber pop flourishes, courtesy of a small string section. The band’s most recent album, The Orchard, was recorded at a peach orchard in upstate New York. Hear our Song of the Week, "Too Dramatic" by Ra Ra Riot, posted here, as a preview. Purchase the album version via Amazon here.

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Our Song of the Week: "Too Dramatic" by Ra Ra Riot.

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Brian Blauser
Elizabeth & the Catapult live on Mountain Stage
Also appearing on the show are Brooklyn-based trio Elizabeth & the Catapult. Showcasing the songs and voice of Elizabeth Ziman, the music of Elizabeth & the Catapult ranges from lean coffeehouse folk to scrappy downtown jazz and pop. Their most recent album, The Other Side of Zero, takes its name from Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing. 

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Brian Blauser
Susan Werner on Mountain Stage.

Making her seventh appearance on the show is the talented and versatile Susan Warner, an artist the Chicago Tribune called “the most innovative songwriter working today.” Her most recent album, Kicking the Beehive, was produced by Rodney Crowell.


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Brian Blauser
Khaira Arby on Mountain Stage
You'll also hear a set by Khaïra Arby, Timbuktu's reigning queen of Mali-soul. Born in the village of Abaradjou in the Sahara Desert, Arby’s full-throated, supple vocals carry her energetic, electric band between modern and traditional Malian desert blues that you won't hear anywhere else.  

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Brian Blauser
JJ Grey on Mountain Stage

We also have a special treat from JJ Grey, who performs a stripped down acoustic set. Growing up in a small town south of Jacksonville, Florida, Grey’s music mixes raw, rural blues with tough, swampy Southern rock. His new album on Alligator Records is titled Georgia Warhorse.

Click here to find a list of radio stations where you can listen in your area, and be sure to check in with us on Facebook for the latest news and information.

 Thanks for listening!

Live Show News: Justin Townes Earle in Morgantown

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By Mountain Stage
 · February 1, 2012

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Justin Townes Earle, appearing live on Mountain Stage June 3.

Live show news, Mountain Stage fans. On June 3, Mountain Stage will be at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown, where our guests will be Justin Townes Earle, The Quebe Sisters Band, and the always popular TBA. Earle, who has been with us before, was named 2009’s Emerging Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association, and in 2011 earned their Song of the Year award for his tune “Harlem River Blues.” His new album, Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me will be released March 27th on Bloodshot Records.

Tickets to this event are on sale now, online at ticketmaster.com, by phone (304.293.SHOW), and in person at the CAC Box Office in Morgantown. More acts will be added to this show in the days and weeks ahead, so check back with us here and on Facebook for the latest. We look forward to seeing you there!

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