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written by members of WTJU Charlottesville's folk department with stuff maybe of interest to listeners to the station. This blog is not an official WTJU or UVA website. Want to leave a message about any of our programs (or us in general) that we can broadcast over the air? Call 434-218-3655, and leave a voice mail.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

VA Folklife Director Jon Lohman Visits Tell Us A Tale

Sunday, August 28, 2011 ● 12-2 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

Virginia Folklife Director Jon Lohman will stop by Tell Us A Tale during the first hour this Sunday to talk about the upcoming Apprenticeship Showcase on Sunday, September 11 from Noon to 5pm at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in Charlottesville.  Jon will bring in recordings from some of the artists taking part in the day's festivities.

The Folklife Apprenticeship Program, which is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, helps to ensure that Virginia’s treasured folkways continue to receive new life and vibrancy, engage new learners, and reinvigorate master practitioners.

Please join them in welcoming the 2011-2012 class at the Apprenticeship Showcase on Sunday, September 11 from Noon to 5pm at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities:
  • Master Banjo player Sammy Shelor of Patrick County and apprentice Ashley Nale
  • Master Cobbler David Young and apprentice Yvonne Young of Waynesboro
  • Master of Oyster Aquaculture Dudley Biddlecomb of Northumberland County and apprentice Peter Hedlund
  • Master Cheesemaker Gail Hobbs-Page of Albemarle County and apprentice Kyle Kilduff
  • Master Shape Note Singers John del Re and Kelly Macklin of Clarke County and apprentices John Alexander and Diane Ober
  • Master Autoharp maker and player John Hollandsworth and apprentice Sam Gleaves of  Montgomery County
  • Master Mongolian Mask Maker Gankhuyag Natsag and apprentice Zanabazar Gankhuyag of Arlington County
  • Master Caribbean Carnival Costume Maker Earl Blake and apprentice Scotie Blake of Hampton
The Apprenticeship Showcase also will recognize the graduating class of master artists and their apprentices:
  • Master Menhaden Chantey Singers Elton Smith Jr., Edward Taylor, William Muse, Lloyd Hill, Christopher Harvey, and James U. Carter and apprentice Lewis R. Blackwell Jr. of King and Queen County
  • Master Clawhammer Banjo player Emily Spencer and apprentices Amanda and Kilby Spencer of Grayson County
  • Master of Galax-Style Dulcimer Phyllis Gaskins and apprentice Blue O’Connell of Rockingham County
  • Master Grist Miller Bill Savage and apprentice Bob Savage of Accomack County
  • Master of Persian Classical Music Nader Majd and apprentice Ali Analouei of Fairfax County
  • Master Flatpick Guitarist Steve Kilby and apprentice Leah Hall of Grayson County
  • Master Instrument Maker Randal Eller and apprentice Drew Plowman of Smyth County
  • Master of Traditional Forestry Jason Rutledge and apprentices Melanie Carrier and Adam B. Greene of Floyd County
Please join them for this free festival featuring the music, food, and crafts of the Commonwealth. This year’s Showcase also sees the return of Frances Davis, the “fried apple pie lady,” and the Brunswick Stewmasters. The stewmasters will make 300 quarts of their delicious Brunswick stew on site, and new this year, they will offer take-home quarts for sale, with all proceeds benefiting the Virginia Folklife Program.
The event is free and open to the public. Children and families are welcome. RSVPs are encouraged.

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is located next to the Boar’s Head Inn, 145 Ednam Drive, off Route 250 West in Charlottesville. For more information, call 434-924-3296.

Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Paul Curreri & Devon Sproule: Berlin Calling (with video update)

photo by Nick Strocchia

Folk & Beyond with Aer Stephen
Thursday, August 25, 2011 ● 6 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

When Paul Curreri and Devon Sproule take the stage at the Jefferson Theater on Saturday, August 27th, it will be their farewell concert - “Thank You & Goodnight”. Berlin is calling. Are they really leaving us? Say it isn’t so, Joe. But it is true. Berlin is the next stop for Charlottesville’s Folk Royalty. And we are not talking Berlin, Virginia, or Berlin, Vermont, or Berlin, New York, but the far away famous across the big pond Berlin….. Berlin, Germany. The shelves are bare and the furniture is gone. The dates on your calendar may be closer than they appear. A true life adventure is on the horizon. Please join me as I once again take Folk & Beyond on the road and visit the now sparsely appointed home studio that has been dubbed “Amanda’s Old Room” this one last time. This is a very special feature - funny, heartfelt, and liberating. Paul and Devon will each perform a song solo, they will do one together, we will talk about the impending move, the new projects in store, and wax about what the last 11 years has unfurled. Since Paul Curreri rolled into town as the last of the leaves stubbornly clung to the newly barren branches at the beginning of this century, no artist has appeared on Folk & Beyond as many times as he. I heard Paul for the first time that November when he strolled in with his brother, Matt, to play at the Acoustic Open Stage I hosted once a month at The Prism. “Senseless As A Cockoo” was the first offering and I was floored. He followed up with “Long Gone” and was anything but. I was witnessing a new star. I first saw Devon Sproule belting it out busking on the Downtown Mall. She must have been all of 15 or so. Such a petite young lady with a giant voice. As she grew into that voice, her songs and musicianship followed, bringing a depth and texture that captured my respect and admiration. They may be leaving, but my bet is they will not be strangers to us here in Charlottesville, and will achieve much success and critical acclaim on the European continent. Join us, won’t you? ~ Aer Stephen

photo by Jen Farriello

 Submitted by Aer Stephen, WTJU Folk
Update: Here's the interview in video form:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dirk Lind of Baaba Seth Visits Sunset Road

Friday, August 26, 2011 ● 5-7 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

Dirk Lind, member of one of Charlottesville’s best-loved and celebrated bands, Baaba Seth, will stop by during the first hour of Sunset Road this Friday.  Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the band is reuniting this Saturday, August 27, to headline the Devils Backbone Summerfest in Roseland, Virginia.  Dirk will chat about that and what else the band members have been doing since they last reunited.

The members of Baaba Seth are:
  • Dirk Lind - vocals and rhythm guitar, hugs and tickles
  • Hope Clayburn - vocals and sax, flute and dance madness
  • Mike Chang - lead guitar, vocals, minister of propaganda
  • Dylan Locke - bass, Floyd County crackalacka
  • Jim Ralston - drums, master illusionist/dancer
  • Len Wishart - congas, djembe, percussion and DNA cloning technology
  • Tim Lett - trumpet and the original Jazzneck
  • Mark Maynard - trombone and official storyteller, will travel for peanut butter.

 Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk

Atlantic Weekly Goes To Market August 27

Atlantic Weekly host Sumner Brown
Saturday, August 27, 2011 ● 8 am-12 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

This weekend  Atlantic Weekly will broadcast live from the Charlottesville City Market.   As always, they’ll bring to your Saturday morning everything you need in the way of folk and new acoustic music from both sides of the Atlantic.

And if you’re out at City Market this Saturday, stop by and say hello.  Our broadcast table will be located along 2nd street.  So tune in, or drop in - to City Market – Saturday, August 27th from 8:00 till noon, when Atlantic Weekly goes to market.  Right here on WTJU Charlottesville, The Sound Choice in Central Virginia.
 Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Banjoist Seth Swingle to appear on Sunset Road fri 8/19/11

Former Greene county, VA resident Seth Swingle will be a guest on Sunset Road on friday 8/19/11 at 5pm.

Seth, as well as being an accomplished and award winning banjo player,  is a former apprentice of Mike Seeger as part of the Virginia Folklife Master and Apprentice program, is (and has been for many years) an apprentice of Malian griot Cheick Hamala Diabate, has studied ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago, and is a current recipient of a Fulbright award to further his musical interests in Mali. In addition to playing live in the studio, he will be bringing various recordings to enliven the conversation.

Seth Swingle with an Ngoni, a Mali instrument and ancestor of the Banjo

As always, the show can be heard live here and for two weeks after original airtime here.

Update: Videos from Seth's appearance on the show below

Posted by Sunset Road cohost Pete, WTJU Folk

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bluegrass Sounds of The Get Down Boys...

Sunday, August 21, 2011Noon-2 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

You like your grass blue?  Then don't miss Tell Us A Tale Sunday, August 21, when The Get Down Boys stop by the WTJU studios during the first hour for some traditional bluegrass.  In town for a couple performances, including one at The Southern the next night, the boys will not only play live, but also talk about some of their influences along the way.

The Get Down Boys are a Santa Monica-based string band who perform traditional and original Bluegrass music, along with other modern favorites. They are all graduates of Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

The Boys recently shared the stage with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and Country Joe McDonald. They've also opened for Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers at Ed Helms’ 2nd Annual Bluegrass Situation, made an appearance on FOX11’s Good Day LA, as well as a performance at the Grammy’s 10th Annual Producer’s & Engineer’s Wing Party, honoring T Bone Burnett.

They’ve made their debut on the major west coast festival circuit with appearances at Parkfield Bluegrass Festival, Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest, Father's Day Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival, Beerfest & Bluegrass at Northstar Tahoe, & will perform at the King’s River Bluegrass Festival later this year.

The Get Down Boys are:
Andrew Keathley - Guitar, Vocals (Charlottesville, VA)
Evan Winsor - Upright Bass, Vocals (Fairfield, CT)
Matt Bruer - Banjo, Harmonica, Vocals (Springfield, MO)

Below are videos of the Get Down Boys appearance on Tell us a tale

Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reggae Vibrations Gets "Wild And Free" With Ziggy Marley

Friday, August 12, 2011 ● 2-4 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

Tune in this Friday when your Reggae Vibrations selector Goldfinger airs a recent interview with the great Ziggy Marley on the eve of Ziggy's upcoming tour to Japan in support of his new CD, "Wild And Free".

A five-time Grammy winner, humanitarian, singer, songwriter, producer and Reggae icon, Ziggy Marley has had a fruitful career, in which he has released twelve albums to much critical acclaim. His early immersion in music came at age ten when he sat in on recording sessions with his father, Bob Marley. As front man to Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers, the group released eight best-selling albums that garnered three Grammys, with such chart-topping hits as "Look Who’s Dancing", "Tomorrow People" and "Tumbling Down." Ziggy's first solo album, Dragonfly (RCA Records), was released in 2003. His second solo release, Love is My Religion (Tuff Gong Worldwide), won a Grammy in 2006 for Best Reggae Album. His third solo album, Family Time (Tuff Gong Worldwide), scored him a 5th Grammy award for Best Childrens Album.
Recorded in Los Angeles and Jamaica, and co-produced with Grammy winning producer Don Was (The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elton John, George Clinton), "Wild And Free" is the 3rd album they have worked on together.  From the album’s first single “Forward to Love,” fans will hear the evolution of Marley’s sound: Wild and Free affirms Marley as a master storyteller with an innate sense of soul.  The title track of the album, “Wild and Free,” features friend Woody Harrelson.

Submitted by Goldfinger, Reggae Vibrations & WTJU Folk

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Remembering Mike Seeger, Part II

Saturday, August 13, 20116:30-8 am (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

In honor of what would have been Mike Seeger's seventy-eighth birthday on August 15, Peter Jones will air the second half of a very special three hour program he did with Mike's widow, Alexia Smith, back in April of 2010.  The first half aired last month.  There might even be a giveaway or two from our friends at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, a label Mike not only recorded for over the decades, but also for which he produced other artists and projects.

Peter supplied archived recordings from Mike's myriad Prism Coffeehouse appearances, while Alexia shared some of her favorite Mike recordings in between a few personal memories.  Virginia State Folklorist Jon Lohman, ballad singer Molly Andrews, and musician and historian Joe Ayers also contributed some memories, with Molly even doing a Carter Family ballad she recorded specifically for this program.

Mike of course helped "rediscover" artists such as Elizabeth Cotten and Dock Boggs, and influenced so many of today's musicians, including Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan), and 2011 Fulbright Scholar Seth Swingle.  Seth was actually Mike's apprentice as part of the Virginia Folklife's Master & Apprentice Program.  So tune in for a very special tribute to the great Mike Seeger this Saturday morning, August 13, starting at 6:30.

Mike Seeger and Apprentice Seth Swingle
Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk, Leftover Biscuits

Steve Michael Smith LIVE on Folk & Beyond

Thursday, August 11, 2011 ● 5-7 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

Aer Stephen welcomes Steve Michael Smith to Folk & Beyond for the first time. “After seeing Steve play solo acoustic at a small festival called Azurat, I wanted to have him play on the show”. Steve’s music experience began in the Shenandoah Valley growing up in Staunton, Virginia. He played guitar in the Stage Band at Robert E. Lee High School and later in the Jazz Band at James Madison University, where he also sang in Jazz Vocal Choir. Upon graduation, Steve began playing music on the road, working with such notables as Charles Neville of The Neville Brothers, Ike Willis from Frank Zappa’s band and Graham Lear of The Santana Band. Steve did studio work as a vocalist at Bill Scream Studio in Portland Oregon with John Smith of Nu Shus and as a guitarist at Big Red Studio with Billy Oskay of Night Noise. He also did quite an extensive amount of work as an actor, the most notable part he had was Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors at the Portland Repertory. Steve performs as a solo guitarist (jazz and flamenco), performs straight ahead jazz in The Funky Urban Southern Ensemble - F.U.S.E. - and with Funk45. Steve will be performing solo on Folk & Beyond.

In F.U.S.E., three distinct musical streams collide - the R&B/jazz vocals and compositions of the virtuoso guitarist Steve Michael Smith; the fluid percussion of Reggae master Darrell Rose; and JimWray on keys and t-bone. F.U.S.E. creates music that is joyful and will lift you out of your seat. The nucleus of Steve Michael Smith and Jim Wray came together almost by accident as performers at the Azurat Festival in Montebello, VA, July 4, 2009. Jim was on the bill with his partner in the ensemble 2x88, Hod O'Brien, a two jazz piano styling. But Hod had to cancel and at the last minute Jim contacted through a 3rd party a musician he thought he had played with a year prior. Confident of the quality and chemistry with this other, Jim brought Steve Michael Smith on as his duo companion at Azurat. The joke was that they had actually never met before that afternoon of the concert. Nonetheless, the magic was there, and they connected. Piano, guitar, voice and trombone flowed like brothers who had been playing together since the womb. After about 6 months of cabaret work as a duo, Smith-Wray morphed into F.U.S.E. with the addition of Darrell Rose, Brian Mesko and Peter Matthews.

Submitted by Aer Stephen, WTJU Folk

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Art Wheeler & Friends on Folk and Beyond

Thursday, August 4, 2011 ● 5-7pm pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

Aer Stephen welcomes the return of what some have called, “The Most Versatile Musician In The World”, the Charlottesville enigma, Art Wheeler. This edition will take us to the “beyond” that only Art can lead us to, as Mr. Wheeler stops in for this vey special episode of Folk & Beyond bringing with him a virtual who’s who of Charlottesville’s top shelf musicians. “The History of Jazz Piano on the 12 Bar Blues Progression” has been updated by going further back in time, “Piano Compositions for the Piano for the Left Hand Only” with be showcased, and no doubt we will visit nooks and crannies of music that can only be described by the tatterdemalion hypersesquipedalion himself, Artimus Idioticus Artimus Harmonicus Artimus Pianicus Afro-saxon Afrodisiaction. Well known as a keyboard virtuoso, Art Wheeler will be debuting Harmonica solos with the band, and I have inside scoop that it is groundbreaking. We will also explore the music that includes some of the many other instruments that this most versatile virtuoso lays it down with. The show will start just after 5, and we will undoubtedly be able to fill the whole 2 hours.

Art last appeared on Folk & Beyond in January of 2010 just before the World Premier Performance of Art’s composition of “Aesop’s Fables”. This wonderful new composition was performed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center on January 23, by the Charlottesville High School String Ensemble with two Premier performances that day. It brought the daughter of the long time conductor of the New York Philharmonic to town, Jamie Bernstein, to narrate Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. We will have, in studio, a special version where Art performs all the music, and narrates as well. We will also be spinning addition original compositions of Art’s, and hear some of 1,107 transitions of the “Polyphony Epiphany”, and live explorations of it by Art’s guest, Steve Kessler on piano. The studio band also includes Pete Spaar on bass, John D’earth on trumpet, and Jeff Decker on tenor sax.

Keyboardist and Composer Art Wheeler loves music, all great music - New Orleans jazz, Memphis blues, Chicago blues, jazz, salsa, you name the style, he's listening, studying and playing it. But that's not all. Gershwin, Beatles, Kern, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, African American gospel, ragtime, stride, swing, Motown soul. He's a musical encyclopedia and can play it all. Robert Jospe, drummer-percussionist who has played with jazz greats Michael Brecker and Emily Remler says, "In my 25 years as a professional musician I don't know anyone anywhere who can play as many different styles with the insight and authority as Art Wheeler". Art Wheeler's virtuoso skill came to the attention of Oscar winner Jessica Lange. As a result they began rehearsing songs for the film "Blue Sky". Their work together led to a small role for Art who composed and performed original material in the movie. Lange would go on to win an Academy Award for her performance. As a music teacher Art Wheeler has been in the employ of Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepherd, John Kluge and Tommy Lee Jones. Art has recently completed his book "Polyphony Epiphany - The Unique Collection of 1107 Modulations From C to A minor". In addition, Art composed, performed and produced an album for Grammy Award nominee Guitar Slim Junior. Recorded at Sun Studios, "Nothing Nice" features the legendary Memphis Horns. Art has lectured on the history of blues and jazz piano at the University of Virginia, and for several years, improvised to great acclaim accompaniment for silent films at the Virginia Festival of American Film. He has also performed. to acclaim, gospel music in African-American churches from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Selma, Alabama to Los Angeles. Art Wheeler continues to challenge himself by studying and playing all the world's great folk, classical and other musical styles.

Submitted by Aer Stephen, WTJU Folk

Monday, August 1, 2011

Floyd Fest Wrap Up (Part I) on Walk Right In

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 ● Noon-2 pm (edt)
WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net  

Leftover Biscuits and Tell Us A Tale host Peter Jones will Walk Right In for regular host Rebecca this Tuesday, as he takes a look back at Floyd Fest X.  He will focus during this program strictly on the wonderful music workshops and performances at the Virginia Folklife Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' Workshop Porch.  While many of the artists, including David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Dirk Powell, Sam Bush, Jorma Kaukonen and Del McCoury, also performed on the the larger Floyd Fest stages, it is their Workshop Porch appearances that really resonated.  And of course The Porch, as it is commonly called among the Floyd Fest regulars, also highlighted some up and coming treasures such as The Morwenna Lasko and Jay Pun Quartet, The Barefoot Movement and The Boston Boys

Peter will do a second Floyd Fest wrap up later this week, where he will focus on the other stages.  Stay tuned for details!

Photo by Gary Reckard

Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk