Keith Weston

Web Producer & Back Porch Music Host @keithweston

Keith Weston was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He attended UNC-CH  where he earned a BA in English and Philosophy in 1984. His family (both sides) can trace roots in NC back to the 1770s and 80s.

Keith has always had an interest in radio. He built an AM transmitter from a Radio Shack kit when he was 7 and began broadcasting to his neighbors.  For more than 12 years, Keith also ran an alternative music on-line radio station, Deeper Into Music.

Keith Weston listening to a record player in his parents' living room circa late 1964/early 1965.
Credit Pat Weston

  Since then he's worked in both commercial and non-commercial radio - from classic rock to country music - landing at WUNC in 1987.

Keith hosted classical music and co-hosted the afternoon mix of jazz, classical, folk, and news on WUNC until 2001. Since then he's been a producer/director for The State of Things and currently is the station's web master and Back Porch Music host on Sunday evenings.

In his early teens he collected QSL cards by listening to shortwave stations broadcasting from Holland, Australia, USSR, South Africa, Canada, China, and dozens of other locations. He still dusts off his shortwave set from time to time to try to pull in a distant station.

Here's a video of Keith pulling in Radio Australia one morning in his home office:

Keith is interested in a wide range of music, from Gyorgi Legetti to Yo La Tengo and collects obscure 1960s psychedelic recordings. He owns a guitar - but hasn't yet fully captured the nuances of "Smoke on the Water."  He admits to being an Internet addict, reads too much E. A. Poe (his favorite) and likes watching movies by his distant relative, Oliver Hardy (of Laurel and Hardy fame).  

Keith's radio resume includes stints spinning adult contemporary hits at WCHL (Chapel Hill), playing hot country music at now-defunct WRBX (Durham), spinning "North Carolina's BEST rock" at WKZL (Winston-Salem), college radio DJing for WXYC (Chapel Hill). He also briefly played classical music at WFDD (Winston-Salem) and spun tunes at college radio station WXDU (Durham).

Personal website

Back Porch Music Center Stage Logo
American Tobacco / American Tobacco

The Celtic powerhouse band Solas will kick off the 2013 Back Porch Music concert series in Durham.  Bluegrass, local blues, and much more will be a part of the four Back Porch concerts scheduled between May and October.

The crowds at the annual Back Porch Music concerts On The Lawn at American Tobacco Campus in Durham have grown so much that "the lawn" can no longer contain the anticipated numbers. This spring and summer  the concerts will be in a much bigger space and have a more festival like feel.

NC Composer Robert Ward
Robert Willett / News & Observer

The acclaimed classical composer and Durham resident Robert Ward has died. He was 95 years old.

Ward was known and honored for his contributions to the world of classical music and was chancellor of the UNC School of the Arts (then called N.C. School of the Arts) from 1967 to 1974 before joining Duke University as a music professor.  He composed many symphonies and operas over his lifetime, including an operatic adaptation of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1962.

Keith Weston

Every weekend it's my pleasure on Back Porch Music to share with you scores of selections from WUNC's wide-ranging folk music library.  It's always a musical adventure that I often find surprising and inspiring myself - and I hope you do, too. From fiddle tunes to singer-songwriters, the term "folk" applies to such a large range of sounds and textures.

Back Porch Music Logo
Digital Chips

In addition to a pile of good music on Sunday night's Back Porch Music, you'll have the opportunity for two ticket give-aways.  Those are:

Karal Bonoff at the Carrboro ArtsCenter:

and The Gibson Brothers Brothers at the Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh:

For the first time since 2005, our friends over at UNC-TV will air a concert with Doc Watson and David Holt sharing stories and songs. The 1998 concert  features extended on-stage interviews with Doc Watson, relating the music to North Carolina and providing context and history.

Steep Canyon Rangers 'Nobody Knows You' wins Grammy for best bluegrass album of 2012
Steep Canyon Rangers

Here's an update on how some artists with North Carolina connections fared at the Grammys on Sunday February 10.  This article was originally prepared as a Grammy preview looking at the Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Avett Brothers with some of their recent appearances on "The State of Things" on WUNC.

Update 6:11 p.m.

"The Goat Rodeo Sessions" from Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile win for Best Folk Album 2012, edging out the Carolina Chocolate Drops.


With 57 minutes and 52 seconds of goodness from Back Porch Music, here's a sampling of our Best of BPM CD offered during the WUNC fund drives. 

WUNC's Back Porch Music hosts, Keith Weston and Freddy Jenkins, join Eric Hodge to chat about this past year's memorable acoustic and roots music releases and to remember some of the important musicians who left us this year.

Picks mentioned in the conversation:

Artist - Album Title
I Draw Slow - Redhills
Midtown Dickens - Home
Darrell Scott & Tim O'Brien - Live: We're Usually A Lot Better Than This
The Grass Cats - The Mountains My Baby and Me
Matt Flinner Trio - Winter Harvest

Marketplace Live from Raleigh in the Rialto
Anne Kendrick / WUNC

Kai Ryssdal and Tess Vigeland  hosted the Marketplace election, no-horse, no race road show live from the Rialto Theater in downtown Raleigh.  This was recorded in front of an audience and portions also broadcast on Marketplace.