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Mountain Blog

News and Notes

Live Show News: Tristen, June 5

 Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 25, 2011


We’re excited to announce that we’ve just added Tristen to our June 5 live show at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown. Fronted by singer/songwriter Tristen Gaspadarek, this 28-year-old Nashville-based Chicago native is quickly making a name for herself with her fresh, twangy take on the classic pop hook. Just last week she was featured in a live performance on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclecticwatch the video to see what all the buzz is about. Her new album is called Charlatans At the Garden Gate.


Tristen performs "Heart and Hope to Die."

We’ll also be joined by the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama, Bell X-1, Marti Jones & Don Dixon, and Amy LaVere.

Tickets for this show are on sale now, and can be purchased online by clicking here, or by calling 304-293-SHOW. We hope to see you there!

Radio Preview: Marc Cohn & more

 Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 26, 2011

Brian Blauser
Marc Cohn performs on Mountain Stage

This week’s Mountain Stage broadcast is an encore edition of one of our favorite shows from 2010. Recorded during FestivALL Charleston, Marc Cohn visited Mountain Stage for a special hour-long performance. Joined by former Lone Justice guitarist Shane Fontayne, Cohn performs a career-spanning extended set including “Walking in Memphis” and Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” Check out his version of "Long As I Can See The Light" as a preview on our Song of the Week page.

Also on the show is Platinum selling Australian artist Kate Miller-Heidke. She performs three songs from 2008’s Curiouser as well as her explicit, tongue-in-cheek ode to a past lover's reemergence on a social network, “Are you F*cking Kidding Me?”. (“If you wonder why we don’t do the show live anymore, perhaps you just found out,” host Larry Groce acknowledges.) 

Singer/songwriter Sahara Smith also appears, with songs from her album Myth of the Heart. World renowned producer T-Bone Burnett took notice of Smith and brought her into the studio to record Myth of the Heart, and his minimalist style pervades even this live performance.

Israeli born singer, songwriter and guitarist David Broza also appears. Educated in Israel, Spain and Britain, and known primarily in the USA as a balladeer, when legendary Texas songwriter Townes Van Zandt died, he left behind several poems meant for Broza. Two years ago, Broza released Night Dawn: the unpublished poetry of Townes Van Zandt.

Finally, a special performance by the Bob Thompson Unit. A staple of the West Virginia jazz scene for more than two decades, the Bob Thompson Unit still performs a weekly gig in Charleston and various venues throughout the state and the east coast. The group performs songs from the their latest album of modern jazz, Smile.

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. Thanks for listening!

k.d. lang on Mountain Stage

 Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 20, 2011

Brian Blauser
k.d. lang performs live on Mountain Stage

This Friday's Mountain Stage segment on NPR Music is a special encore performance by world renowned vocalist k.d. lang. In what was her second visit to Mountain Stage, lang brought along a small band, a four piece string section and songs from her album Hymns of the 49th Parallel.

The album includes songs written by heralded Canadian song crafters like Neil Young (“Helpless”), Leonard Coehn (“Hallelujah”), Bruce Cockburn (“One Day I Walk”) and lang herself (“Still Thrives” and “Constant Craving,” both co-writes with Ben Mink) among others. She performs here with Teddy Boroweicki on piano and accordion, David Piltch on bass, Danny Frankel on drums and Greg Leisz on pedal steel and guitar.

Taking advantage of what she calls an “auspicious occasion” to perform alongside the songwriter of “One Day I Walk,” lang invites fellow guest and fellow Canadian Bruce Cockburn to sing with her in the final number of this segment. Currently touring in support of her new album Sing it Loud, lang is joined now by the Siss Boom Bang, the first band of her own since breaking out with the Reclines.

Radio Preview: Patty Griffin and More

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By Mountain Stage
 · May 19, 2011

Brian Blauser
Patty Griffin on Mountain Stage

This week’s encore edition of Mountain Stage features singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, in on of our favorite broadcasts of 2007.

Known for her well-crafted songs and powerful, gutsy vocals, Griffin's songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris and the Dixie Chicks, among others. Her appearance on this show was in support of her album Children Running Through, which was hailed by AllMusic as "her masterpiece thus far."

You can hear a preview in our Song of the Week, "Burgundy Shoes," a hauntingly beautiful celebration and remembrance of a childhood afternoon spent with her mother.

Brian Blauser
Eric Bibb on Mountain Stage

Acoustic blues musician Eric Bibb, also performs.  The son of renowned NYC folk singer Leon Bibb, Eric Bibb spent his childhood rubbing elbows with legends like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. Bibb calls his music a “further exploration into the place where blues meets gospel and soul.”

Brian Blauser
Luke Doucet performs on Mountain Stage

The show opens with contemporary singer/songwriter and guitarist Luke Doucet who has exhibited a chameleon-like presence on the Canadian indie scene for more than a decade. In addition to leading the alternative surf rock band Veal, he has played with and produced Canadian acts like Sarah McLachlan and Chantal Kreviazuk. Doucet plays songs from his album Blood’s Too Rich.

Brian Blauser
Megan Hickey of Last Town Chorus on Mountain Stage

Also appearing on the show is Last Town Chorus, the brainchild of singer and lap-steel player Megan Hickey. Brooding and ambient, Hickey performs with vintage equipment, including a 1940’s lap steel, and her recording Wire Waltz was released to international critical acclaim.

Brian Blauser
Ann McCue performs on Mountain Stage
We're also joined by Australian alt-country singer/songwriter and guitarist Anne McCue. An expressive singer and strong guitarist, McCue's release Koala Motel featured contributions from a diverse palette of artists, including X's John Doe, Ann Wilson of Heart, and Lucinda Williams.  

Brian Blauser
The Red Stick Ramblers on Mountain Stage

Finally, Baton Rouge Louisiana natives The Red Stick Ramblers meld musical traditions of Cajun, Western Swing, Gypsy Jazz and a little southern honky-tonk. The band joined Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy for her 2006 release Adieu False Heart, which earned a Grammy nomination.  

Click here to see the playlist from the show, and click here to find a station where you can listen in your area.

Check in with Mountain Stage on Facebook to connect with fellow fans and receive the latest news and information.

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

Shawn Camp, Diana Jones: June 26

(Live Shows) Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 16, 2011

Shawn Camp

We're excited to welcome two renowned songwriters and recording artists back to Mountain Stage on Sunday, June 26 at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston. We will be wrapping up FestivALL Charleston with Shawn Camp (above), who is re-releasing his debut album as "1994," and Proper American recording artist Diana Jones (below), whose "High Atmosphere" is getting great recognition in the Americana world. 

Both of them join us for the second time, along with Mountain Heart, Greensky Bluegrass and the Charlie Sizemore Band. Tickets are on sale now online, by phone at 800.594.TIXX or locally at Taylor Books in Charleston.

Visit our Live Show Schedule for more information on each guest and be sure to check out our events on Facebook

Alen Messer
Diana Jones
"High Atmosphere" preview video

Amy LaVere: June 5

(Live Shows) Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 16, 2011

Amy LaVere returns to Mountain Stage June 5 in Morgantown.

Memphis singer/songwriter and bassist Amy LaVere will appear for the second time on Mountain Stage Sunday, June 5 in Morgantown, WV at the WVU Creative Arts Center. Tickets are on sale now online, by phone at 304.293.SHOW and at the Mountainlair box office at WVU.

Amy's new album "Stranger Me" on Archer Records is due stateside on  July 19 and judging by samples you can hear here, her sound has broadened into a shimmering pop-oriented sound, with her straight-shooting lyrical approach as sharp as ever.Check out the video below from Jools Holland and hear her last performance on Mountain Stage at NPR Music.

It's a roots music sampler on June 5, as we also welcome The Blind Boys of Alabama, whose new album "Take the High Road" is getting universal praise. Ireland rockers Bell X1 will bring soaring alt-rock from their latest "Bloodless Coup," and you'll also hear the duo of Marti Jones & Don Dixon, who are finally releasing "Living Stereo" after 25 years of working together and almost as many years of marriage. Get your tickets now and join us in Morgantown Sunday, June 5. 

For more on our upcoming events, visit our Live Show Schedule and be sure to check us out on Facebook

Radio Preview: Bela Fleck, Dar Williams, Raul Malo & much more

 Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 11, 2011

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.

This audio player requires Adobe Flash

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.

Brian Blauser
David Wax Museum on Mountain Stage

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.

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!

Radio Preview: Ra Ra Riot & More

 Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 5, 2011

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

This week’s 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.

This audio player requires Adobe Flash
Our Song of the Week: "Too Dramatic" by Ra Ra Riot.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Blind Boys of Alabama- New Album

(Live Shows) Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 3, 2011

The Blind Boys of Alabama

Legendary gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama, who will record with us on Sunday, June 5 in Morgantown, WV, released a brand new album, "Take the High Road," this week. You can order a CD or Amazon Mp3 and a portion of your purchase benefits Mountain Stage at no extra cost (Learn More).  

Tickets are on sale now for June 5, when we also welcome Bell X1 and Marti Jones & Don Dixon. Charge by phone at 800.594.TIXX or pick them up at the Creative Arts Center Box Office or Mountainlair on the campus of WVU.

"Take the High Road" features country flavored material, performed by the Blind Boys and such country music luminaries as Jamey Johnson (who co-produced), Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys and Hank Williams Jr

The making of "I Saw the Light" with Hank JR. from "Take the High Road."
A promo package for "Take the High Road," recorded at RCA's famed Studio A in Nashville.

Charlie Sizemore: June 26

 Permanent link
By Mountain Stage
 · May 2, 2011

Charlie Sizemore appears in Charleston, WV June 26 .

We've added another big name in bluegrass music to the line up for our Live Event Sunday June 26 at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, Charlie Sizemore. A clear, crisp tenor and a respected songwriter, Sizemore spent nine years as a singer for Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, directly following in the footsteps of Keith Whitley.

Balancing his career as a lawyer, family man and bluegrass singer, Sizemore has released several acclaimed albums, including his latest, "Heartache Looking For a Home," released in February, 2011.

Tickets are on sale now online, by phone at 800.594.TIXX, and locally at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston. Also on the bill are Mountain Heart and Greensky Bluegrass. This is one of two Mountain Stage shows taking place during FestivALL Charleston, the city-wide arts and entertainment festival here in Charleston. Visit FestivALLCharleston.com for more.

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