Eric Hodge

Host, "Morning Edition"

Eric Hodge hosts WUNC’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and files reports for the North Carolina news segments of the broadcast. He started at the station in 2004 doing fill-in work on weekends and All Things Considered.

In August 2004, he took over the Morning Edition slot where he enjoys the challenge of bringing North Carolina news to listeners each weekday. Eric moved to Carrboro from New York City in 2000. He worked for the BBC and XFM radio while living in London, England. He has also run his own music marketing company, worked for major record labels in both New York and London, and worked on the Grammy Award nominated Harry Belafonte project, "The Anthology of Black Music."

Eric grew up in Michigan, trained at the Broadcast Center in St. Louis with CBS's KMOX radio and worked at a variety of stations in the Midwest and upstate New York.

Ways to Connect

IBMA World of Bluegrass Raleigh
IBMA / IBMA

Tonight's the night the spotlight shines on the best and the brightest from the world of bluegrass music.

Moses / Creative Commons

Calexico has been crossing musical borders for almost 20 years now.  Joey Burns and John Convertino have worked with a multitude of musicians and styles across eight albums from their base in Tucson, Arizona. 

Their latest record is called Edge of the Sun.  It pushes that shared musical concept even further with guests Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses, Neko Case and members of a Greek band among others.

An image of Langhorne Slim & The Law
All Eyes Media

Langhorne Slim has come a long way since his last album three years ago. He left behind booze, drugs, Brooklyn and a longtime relationship on his way to recording his latest record The Spirit Moves with his band The Law.  

 

 

A picture of autumn trees along a roadway.
Jared Kay / exploreasheville.com

The fall foliage season begins later this month in the western part of the state.  Officials say it can run from late September until late October or early November depending on weather. 

Cat Kessler works for the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.  She says biologists and other experts are calling for especially vibrant colors this year.   

An image of the cover for 'Criminal'
Julienne Alexander / yssrs.com

In 2002, a professional soccer player living in Philadelphia found himself working alongside homicide police to try and solve a grisly murder.  Adam Bruckner's story is the topic of the latest episode of the Durham-based podcast, Criminalhosted by Phoebe Judge

An image of musician Phil Cook
Middle West Management

 

Wisconsin native Phil Cook headed south for a new home in North Carolina 10 years ago.  Since then, he has been in a band with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, formed Megafaun with his brother Brad Cook and drummer Joe Westerlund, and has played on or produced records by everybody from Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls to Hiss Golden Messenger.

Along the way, Phil got married, had a son and settled himself deep in North Carolina's red clay.  Now he's releasing his first solo record called Southland Mission.  Fans of Megafaun will find Cook’s new music to be groovier with a more rootsy vibe than some of that band's work, but there are hints of the past in some of the vocal harmonies and instrumentation. On the whole, the album reflects a passion for southern music that’s been growing in Cook for decades.

"I had the title of the record before I had the songs written. I liked the idea that a title for a record is a theme for your life, a theme for your music, and seems to be the title of the chapter for wherever you’re at," Cook said. "To me, Southland Mission seemed like a great way to sum up being in the South for 10 years now, and longed to be in the South 10 years before that. I had built up quite a mission in my mind about, 'What was I coming down here for?' Well, it was the music."

An image of young kids learning to play the harmonica
National Council for the Traditional Arts / NCTA

Musicians and dancers across the country are converging in Greensboro this weekend for the 75th annual National Folk Festival.  The festival begins Friday, September 11 and goes through Sunday, September 13. It is the first time the festival has come to the Tar Heel State.

An image of Mipso
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

Mipso's new album Old Time Reverie soars with the group's sharp bluegrass composition and lilting harmonies. It also delivers complex and nuanced songwriting, strengthening Mipso's craft as storytellers.

The band has been on the road for most of the last two years since the release of their last album Dark Holler Pop, venturing further away from their origin days as college students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This process of growing up is reflected in "Everyone Knows," featuring fiddler Libby Rodenbough.

Charlie Asher was just a normal guy, until he died in battle with creatures from the underworld, but his soul lives on in a small animal—a "meat puppet"—with a crocodile head. And he's just learned that his 7-year-old daughter is now the Luminatus, a being with power over Death. 

An image of the Lawson family
Criminal

In 1929, one of the worst murders in Stokes County occurred when a tobacco farmer killed six of his seven children and himself.  Since then, the Lawson family murders have gained widespread attention with continuing questions about why Charlie Lawson committed the crime.  The event is the subject of the latest episode of the Durham-based podcast Criminal, hosted by Phoebe Judge.

An image of jazz musician Kamasi Washington
Mike Park

Kamasi Washington is putting his mark on jazz this year in a big way, venturing outside the world of backup saxophonist to an explorative and evocative bandleader.  

An image of the band Goodnight, Texas
Sideways Media

Patrick Dyer Wolf is from Chapel Hill. Avi Vinocur is from San Francisco. The musicians' hometowns are separated by almost 3,000 miles, but right in the middle is Goodnight, Texas. It is a small town of 28 people and the namesake of the duo's musical partnership.

An image of the music group Future Islands
Tim Saccenti

Future Islands might have bumped up its fan base after impressing David Letterman last year with vocalist Sam Herring's stirring dance moves and contagious energy when it performed "Seasons (Waiting on You)."

But the synth-rock group has been performing together for more than a decade, and is getting ready to do its 1,000th show Sunday at the Carrboro Town Commons.

Years before appearing on Letterman, or signing onto acclaimed record label 4AD, Future Islands met in an art program at East Carolina University. Herring said the trio connected immediately.

An image of The Old Ceremony
Yep Roc Records

Ghosts, grocery store clerks, jetlag and the "Magic Hour." Those are just a few things you will hear on The Old Ceremony's new album Sprinter.

The Old Ceremony has crafted its sound for more than a decade. With Sprinter, guitarist and lead singer Django Haskins said the band welcomed some exciting outside help from R.E.M.'s Mike Mills, whose contribution comes to fruition in the song "Fall Guy."

An image of the UNC School of Law
Caroline Culler / Wikipedia Creative Commons

The UNC Law Foundation is offering a new venture for people interested in researching causes and solutions for economic hardship in North Carolina.

Rick White, UNC-Chapel Hill's Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs, said the new North Carolina Poverty Research Fund will be overseen by an independent board.

A picture of Chris Stamey playing guitar.
Gardner Campbell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gardnercampbell/8554646232/

Chris Stamey has been on a busy streak over the past couple of years. 

He organized a tour of musicians to play Big Star's third album around the world, reunited with his band The dB's and put out his own record Lovesick Blues.  He's also been lending his talents to artists like The Old Ceremony. 

Now he's back with a new recording called "Euphoria."

An image of musician Josh Moore
Soleil Konkel

 

Josh Moore has been pouring coffee in Carrboro and playing music for years. His smooth and soulful vocals have backed up local acts Mandolin Orange and Skylar Gudasz, but Moore is now stepping to the center stage with his long-awaited solo album, Parted Ways.

 

Members of the Cherokee Nation bike from North Carolina to Oklahoma to remember those forced to march on the Trail of Tears.
Remember the Removal / Facebook

Members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee are on a bike ride with members of the Cherokee Nation from Oklahoma.

The 950-mile ride commemorates the Trail of Tears forced march in 1839.  Michell Hicks is the Principle Chief of the Eastern Band based in North Carolina.

"We have riders from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee and we have riders coming home from Oklahoma with the Cherokee Nation that are going to be on about a three week journey."

A picture of Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal
StoryofAmerica.org

The mayor of Belhaven, N.C. is walking to Washington, D.C., again, over hospital closures.

Mayor Adam O'Neal made the trek last year when Belhaven Hospital shut down because of financial problems. 

Now he says there are as many as  283 rural hospitals across the country in danger of closing by the end of this year.

"All we're doing is trying to bring awareness, national awareness to a horrific tragedy that's taking place in our country right now and that's the failure of rural hospitals."

One of Progress Energy's solar energy farms.
Duke Energy/Progress Energy

The General Assembly is caught up in a possible overhaul of the state’s commitment to renewable energy. A bill moving through the state legislature would scale back the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (REPS).

 

REPS are important because they mandate how much renewable energy a company like Duke Energy produces as a part of its total electricity sales.

 

Merge Records Co-Founder and Frontman for the indie band Superchunk, Mac McCaughan professional photo.
Lissa Gotwals / Merge Records

 

Mac McCaughan has worn many musical faces. Twenty five years ago, he helped start the band Superchunk and the independent music label Merge Records. He has also recorded under the name Portastatic.

 

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Many North Carolina residents are asking questions about the state's train safety after an Amtrak train derailed last week in Philadelphia, killing eight people.

Paul Worley, NC Department of Transportation Rail Director, said the system that would control train speed and other safety factors through GPS is being fitted on trains and switches across the state.

John Howie Jr.

The Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert series returns Thursday night at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham with a performance by honky-tonk musician John Howie Jr. The concert is free and will start at 6 p.m.

 

The Chapel Hill country singer will play with the Rosewood Bluff and will be joined by Tonk. But before he gets on stage Thursday evening, Howie Jr. decided to stop by WUNC to talk with Eric Hodge about his approach to writing country songs and life as a parent.

Window and Wooden Boards
Sherrie Thai / https://flic.kr/p/6vjNqk

The city of Durham is no longer using plywood to cover up windows and doors in abandoned buildings.

Faith Gardner works for city's Neighborhood Improvement Services Department.

"If you're living in a neighborhood with boarded structures, they don't look good, you can tell that they've been abandoned, there's also an attraction there for criminal activity."

Gardner says a new, clear, polycarbonate material has been installed in ten vacant homes, with more to come. She adds that it improves the appearance of the buildings and allows police to look inside.

An image of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz of Mandolin Orange
Alex Loops

 

Chapel Hill musicians Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz have been busy the past year touring as the folk duo Mandolin Orange. But all roads lead back home for the pair.

 

Their new album, Such Jubilee, is a celebration of home and a revered tribute to the places and people they cherish.

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