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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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

WTJU Marks World AIDS Day with Special Programming

November 28 through December 3

Please join your favorite WTJU Program Hosts as they mark World AIDS Day starting on Monday, November 28 with special programming, including several short audio stories from a number of the Charlottesville and UVa people who lead, and are witness to, the fight against HIV/AIDS and the attendent problem of violence against women.

As part of this week of special programming, Bruce of Radio Tropicale will host a panel discussion on Wednesday November 28 at noon that will include Claire Kaplan of UVa's Women's Center and Peter deMartino of Charlottesville's AIDS Support Group.

Also, please tune in at 4pm on December 1st, our regular hour of public affairs broadcast, which will feature testimony on the fight against AIDS in rural South Africa as witnessed by a team from the UVa Nursing School, and a discussion with UVa Law Professor Deena Hurwitz about her published reports on the crisis of violence against women and American law.  You can listen to this program at wtju.net, or download it here.

Suggested Resources:
Stories from local sources:
  • FOCUS was started in 1972 to empower women, starting a tradition of professionalism and volunteerism that continues to this day. FOCUS continues to plant the seeds for girls and women to grow and succeed in life and in their careers.
  • AIDS Support Group (ASG) shares offices with FOCUS.  Four ASG staff members contributed stories to WTJU’s coverage of HIV/AIDS issues.
  • Brendan Jamieson spent time with children suffering the effects of AIDS in Nairobi Kenya.   pambatoto.com is the business that supports the Sanctuary of Hope orphanages there.  Brendan spoke with WTJU about what he saw in Nairobi.
UVa sources:

Bill T. Jones reflects on Still/Here, a film produced in 1997 and dealing with mortality and the spirit of survival expressed by people suffering terminal illnesses. How does its spirit infuse his work? What does it show us about healing and resilience?

Submitted by Bruce Penner, WTJU Folk

Friday, November 25, 2011

Folk and Beyond Thanksgiving

Submitted by David Soyka, WTJU Folk

  • "Thanksgiving" - George Winston - December [Windham Hill: 1982]

  • "Thanksgiving Moon" - Danya Kurtz/DM Stith - Thanksgiving Moon [Asthmatic Kitty Records: 2004]

  • "Thanksgiving" - Mary Gauthier - Between Daylight and Dark [Lost Highway: 2007]

  • "The Day Before Thanksgiving" - Darrell Scott - A Crooked Road [Full Light: 2010]

  • "The Day John Kennedy Died" - Lou Reed - The Blue Mask [BMG: 1982]

  • "Pocahontas" - Neil Young - Unplugged [Reprise]

  • "Thanksgiving" - Loudon Wainwright III - Career Moves [Virgin: 1993]

  • "The Thanksgiving Story" - Stan Freberg - Stan Freberg Presents the USA Vol: 1 [Capitol: 2008]

  • "Suddenly It's Christmas" - Loudon Wainwright III - Career Moves [Virgin: 1993]

  • "Here Comes Santa Claus" - Bob Dylan - Christmas in the Heart [Sony: 2009]

  • "Getting Ready for Christmas Day" - Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What [Concord: 2011]

  • "Step Right Up" - Tom Waits - Small Change [Asylum: 1976]

  • "Thank You" - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II [Atlantic: 1969]

  • "Thanks to You" - The Deep Vibration - Vera Cruz [Dualtone: 2008]

  • "Now Be Thankful" - Lisa Moscatiello - Innocent When You Dream [Happy Cactus: 2004]

  • "Thank You" - Tori Amos - Winter [EastWest: 1992]

  • "Thankyou, Stars" - Kate Melua - Piece by Piece [Dramatico: 2006]

  • "Thank You Too!" - My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges [Ato: 2008]

  • "Thank You Girl" - John Hiatt - Bring the Family [A&M: 1987]

  • "Thanks a Lot" - Eilen Jewell - Letters from Sinners & Strangers [Signature Sounds: 2007]

  • "Thanks for the Dance" - Anjani - Blue Alert [Sony BMG: 2006]

  • "Thanks for the Information" - Van Morrison - No Guru, No Method, No Teacher [Mercury: 1998]

  • "November" - Tom Waits - The Black Rider [Island: 1993]

  • "November" - Portico Quartet - Black and White Sessions [B&W: 2010]

  • "Banquet" - Joni Mitchell - For the Roses [Asylum: 1972]
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    WTJU Folk's Podcast Page

    Life's too short for ordinary music...

    WTJU Folk is delighted to announce we now have a podcast page, where we will be putting up some of our special programs.  We have started with:

    Americana singer/songwriter Rita Hosking's interview with Lonesome George last Thursday on The Cosmic American Jamboree 
    Signature Sounds recording artists Joy Kills Sorrow's live visit with the Monster of Happiness last Saturday on Jumpin' on the Bed
    Todd Sheaffer, lead singer for Railroad Earth, Interview with Brian Keena in advance of the band's concert at The Festy Experience

    Signature Sounds recording artists Lake Street Dive's live visit with Bill Tetzeli on Sunshine Daydream before their appearance at last month's Festy Experience.

    A special tribute to Mike Seeger we originally aired on WTJU in the spring of 2010 with Mike's widow, Alexia Smith.  Included in the segments are archived segments from the legendary Prism Coffeehouse, and testimonials from musician and historian Joe Ayers, Virginia State Folklorist and Director of the Virginia Folklife Program Jon Lohman, and ballad singer Molly Andrews.

    These particular segments are only available for streaming, and not download.

    Irish supergroup Lúnasa dropped by WTJU's Sunset Road for a visit on September 12th, 2008 and squeezed in a few tunes right before their double header at Charlottesville's Paramount Theater with Mali's Vieux Farka Toure; a benefit concert for Darfur. This podcast includes an exclusive radio world premiere of Lunasa's "Burning Snowball" set.

    We're just getting started with our podcast, so keep checking it out.  Most of our podcast programs are now available at iTunes.

    As always, thanks for listening to WTJU Folk.

    Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Joy Kills Sorrow is Jumpin' on the Bed...

     Saturday, November 12, 2011 ● 4 pm (edt)
    WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

    Before heading over the mountain for their performance at the Mockingbird Music Hall in Staunton, Signature Sounds recording artists Joy Kills Sorrow will stop by Jumpin' on the Bed for some great live music and conversation.

    With its bold new brand of acoustic music, Joy Kills Sorrow pushes right through the envelope and out the other side. The Boston-based stringband brings a decidedly modern sensibility to an old-world sound, channeling the prodigious talents of its individual members into elegant arrangements and well-crafted songs. While the group pays due homage to its Bluegrass roots—its name refers to one of the first radio stations to broadcast the music of Bill Monroe—the band truly excels in its rich and textured treatment of more contemporary material. Boasting a full arsenal of original songs, Joy Kills Sorrow plumbs the entire spectrum of its spare instrumentation, effortlessly merging influences as diverse as folk, rock, pop, and jazz. The songs that emerge are dark and often funny, ruminating on modern life and love with eloquence and wit. The result is a radical new strain of folk music, one that bravely breaks with tradition even as it salutes the past.

    Since its inception, Joy Kills Sorrow has performed at theaters, listening rooms, and festivals across the continent and has been featured on nationally syndicated radio programs. In 2007, the group won first prize in the Podunk Bluegrass Festival Band Contest; that same year, they were deemed the “‘poster children’ for the burgeoning Americana format” by Sing Out! magazine. The band has evolved considerably in the years since then, and their sophomore effort promises to deliver. Slated for release in 2010, the new album, entitled Darkness Sure Becomes This City, was produced by Eric Merrill and features a wealth of original material from members of Joy Kills Sorrow as well as some fine new songs from other composers. Darkness Sure Becomes This City is an accomplished piece of work, laced throughout with polished arrangements and pop-inflected melodies. With it, Joy Kills Sorrow gracefully combines the old and the new, and the outcome, however surprising, is sublime.

    Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Rita Hosking on The Cosmic American Jamboree

    Thursday, November 10, 2011 ● 12-2 pm (edt)
    WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

    Americana artist Rita Hosking will sit down for an interview with The Cosmic American Jamboree's Lonesome George.  She will be in the area for a performance with friends, The Steel Wheels, at the Mockingbird Music Hall in Staunton Friday, November 11th.

    Rita Hosking, a country folk artist from California, has just released her fourth album, Burn. Her third, Come Sunrise, won best country album in the 2010 Independent Music Awards, and this one should be received as well as Come Sunrise was.

    California isn’t noted for music inspired by rural traditions, but Rita grew up in rural Shasta County in the north, which is surrounded by mountains, and absorbed mountain music from her life there. Her songwriting is tight; spare verses and a few well chosen words suggesting more than she says. She has a knack for projecting herself into her characters and writing from those varied points of view (e.g. the child of a miner who loves her father or an 80 year old woman looking back on what she has learned). In Dishes, the everyday task of washing them becomes a meditation on life: the tasks done to sustain it, what gives it meaning and its fragility. She also writes of broader themes – the lost way of life of Native Americans in Indian Giver, and her perspective on the difference between Abraham and Jesus in My Golden Bull, with Gaia noted in the chorus. While she can infuse small details with larger meaning, she can also make what seems large personal. For example, in Ballad for the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf was not polluted, it was murdered.

    Rita’s vocal style is also informed by rural musical traditions. Those who enjoy Appalachian mountain music won’t find western mountain music all that different. Her vocals move from soft to intense, often in the same verse, building and receding, which holds listener interest. She sings her lyrics as though she means it, and she does. The band includes veteran bassist Glenn Fukunaga and guitarist Rich Brotherton, who has worked with Robert Earl Keen and Caroline Herring. Brotherton, also produced this album and wisely chose for the music to  complement Rita’s vocals rather than overshadow them.

    Bottom line: This is a fine release from an exceptional songwriter, and she will be in our area on November 11 to perform at The Mockingbird in Staunton. She is worth the trip.
    --George Dayton, WTJU September 2011 Newsletter
    Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Seth Swingle now blogging from Mali

      Back in August, Fulbright scholar Seth Swingle was a guest on WTJU's Sunset Road, playing his banjo and ngoni, and talking about his upcoming nine month stay in Mali studying, primarily, ngoni playing, but also kora.

      Seth is now in Mali, and is blogging (hopefully) weekly, and it promises to be a fascinating window on Malian music from someone who already knows a fair amount about the culture, the players and the music. In one of our conversations, Seth told me that one time he had been talking to Bassekou Kouyate about a performance he had witnessed of Bassekou's band Ngoni Ba playing during one of his previous trips to Mali, and Bassekou revealed that that just happened to be the inaugural performance by the band! (Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba are now the darlings of the world music scene, and were, in many of the 200,000 attendees' opinions, THE stand out performers at the recent Richmond Folk Festival.)

      To check out Seth's blog, go HERE. (His latest post has this field recording of his kora teacher Toumani Kouyaté, playing "Salimu," a traditional Malian song about the dangers of alcohol. )

    Posted by Pete, WTJU Folk

    Elizabeth Mitchell LIVE Concert Radio Broadcast on WTJU

    Sunday, November 6, 2011 ● 12-1 pm (edt)
    WTJU 91.1 FM/Streaming at WTJU.net

    Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Elizabeth Mitchell will be performing at the Southern Cafe & Music Hall the first Sunday in November, and WTJU will be broadcasting the concert LIVE during the first hour of Tell Us A Tale.

    Elizabeth Mitchell has been recording and performing music for children and families since 1998. At the suggestion of friend Dan Zanes, Elizabeth was the first new children’s music artist signed to Smithsonian Folkways in the 21st century.  She has performed on NBC's The Tonight Show, the National Folk Festival, and most recently in concert with Natalie Merchant, to name just a few of her accomplishments.

    Elizabeth discovered her passion for making music with children in the early 1990s during her time as an assistant teacher at the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery School in New York City. There was a large international population in the school, with many different languages spoken among the children in her class and Elizabeth found that music was a common language that they could all share. At the same time she was discovering traditional American music, immersing herself in the songs of The Carter Family and other music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and the recordings of Elizabeth Cotten. A trip to Stereo Jacks Record store in Cambridge MA provided a turning point for Elizabeth, when she found a vinyl ten inch copy of Woody Guthrie’s “Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child.” As Elizabeth states in the liner notes of her album You Are My Little Bird, ”The songs that jumped off the vinyl of the Woody Guthrie record were the first songs I heard that accessed the poetry of the emerging language of children. One of my jobs as an assistant teacher was to write down the children’s descriptions of their artwork. Woody’s songs sounded like the stories I would hear from my students as they explained their drawings to me. I cherished these windows into their imaginations; as a songwriter it was inspiring, their minds were so free. I heard that same freedom in Woody’s lyrics.”

    Elizabeth’s first album, You Are My Flower, was recorded in one afternoon in 1998, at the home studio of Warren Defever of His Name is Alive. It was not intended for commercial release, but after much word of mouth demand, she released the album on her own label, Last Affair records. Her next album You Are My Sunshine was released in 2002, following the birth of her daughter Storey in 2001. She signed with Folkways in 2006 and released her first album with them, You Are My Little Bird, later that year.

    That fall Elizabeth appeared on All Things Considered with Melissa Block,where she talked about the importance of singing to your children and sang a song live with her husband Daniel and daughter Storey who was five years old at the time. The album was voted Best Children’s Album that year by the critics of Amazon.com and garnered generous critical praise.

    Her newest release, Sunny Day, features collaborations with Levon and Amy Helm, Dan Zanes, Jon Langford of the Mekons and the Children of Agape Choir from South Africa. Elizabeth has also recently collaborated with Ziggy Marley, singing the duet “Wings of an Eagle” with him on Ziggy’s 2009 release Family Time.

    Submitted by Peter Jones, WTJU Folk