Back Porch Music Friday

Fri 8p-12M

Freddy Jenkins presents a smart variety of the best folk, blues, bluegrass, singer-songwriter and other acoustic based music. 

Current BPM Friday playlist and playlist archive

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In 1955, John R. Cash was a sometime auto mechanic, sometime appliance salesman who liked to play the guitar and sing, mostly gospel songs. The "R" in his name didn't stand for anything — and, in fact, he'd been named J.R. at birth and had to come up with "John" when he joined the Air Force. He'd spend the rest of his life reinventing himself.

Emmylou Harris' first solo album, "Pieces of the Sky," was released in 1975 after the death of her singing partner, Gram Parsons. The opening track on the album is a song called "Bluebird Wine," by a then-unknown songwriter named Rodney Crowell. She recorded two more of his songs on her next album, got him to join her band in the mid-'70s and now, after an almost 40-year friendship, the two musicians have recorded an album together called Old Yellow Moon. The two talk with Terry Gross about their long, enduring careers, their friendship, their influences and singing harmony.

You're about to watch one of the best fiddlers on the planet and a subtle guitar master work their magic. For too many of us, Irish music is something that merely gets trotted out around this time of year, associated with St. Patrick's Day and the coming of spring — and made a cliche by commercialism and whatever other shallow notions make cliches what they are.

Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle
annaandelizabeth.com

While many popular musicians today seek out the newest digital technology to enhance their performances, there’s a young musical duo from rural Virginia who are moving in the opposite direction. Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle call themselves simply “Anna and Elizabeth.”  Both accomplished traditional Appalachian musicians on a variety of instruments, together they have resurrected a storytelling tradition called the “crankie,” whose technology outdates their combined age (which is 50).

culturalequity.org

Alan Lomax dedicated seven decades of his life to recording and distributing the sound of as much of the globe as he could reach. Beginning as a 17-year-old from Austin, Texas, Alan traveled with his father, John Lomax, to plantations, farms and prisons in the deep South.

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.

DCD / WUNC

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
 

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Here's one good old broadcast tradition that's still going on. Every Saturday morning, musicians in Mount Airy, North Carolina, gather at a historic downtown theater. They've been doing it since 1948 when AM radio station WPAQ began airing a live show called the "Merry-Go-Round."

The program features regional old-time and bluegrass music. And today, the "Merry-Go-Round" is one of the last shows of its kind on the airwaves.

From North Carolina Public Radio, Jessica Jones reports.

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