Americana

Image of blues musician Scott Ainslie
Scott Ainslie

When Scott Ainslie was just three years old, his mother found him sitting at the piano playing melodies from records she played around the house. His proclivity toward music seemed innate, and his musical career evolved from there. He went on to learn every instrument he could get his hands on from flute to guitar, fiddle, and banjo. But he has also devoted his career to learning the deep history of American music and translating those stories to a public audience.

Tokyo Rosenthal (middle) poses with Roger Maris (left) and Mickey Mantle.
Tokyo Rosenthal

As Tokyo Rosenthal has grown older, he has had more and more conversations about death and dying. He’s also watched close friends and family members fall ill. All of this inspired his latest album “Afterlife”—a meditation on end-of-life issues released last September.

The Steel Wheels are an Americana roots band from Virginia featuring (L-R) Brian Dickel on bass, Trent Wagler on guitar and banjo, Eric Brubaker on fiddle and Jay Lapp on mandolin.
RubySky Photography

The Steel Wheels are an Americana roots band from Virginia taking influences from old-time and traditional string band music. Though they might look and sound like a bluegrass band to the average listener, The Steel Wheels do not consider themselves to be a bluegrass group.  Nonetheless they are bringing their music to the International Bluegrass Music Association’s festival in Raleigh for the second time.

Neil Cribbs is a blues and Americana guitarist based in Raleigh
Staton Carter Photography

Neil Cribbs has had a full tour of North Carolina scenery in his life. He grew up in Wilmington and attended college at Appalachian State University.

He spent a few years working outside the state after college but returned home and now lives in Raleigh. Cribbs is a guitarist and singer with many musical influences including folk, blues and Americana.

Stock photo of Steph Stewart and The Boyfriends in field.
Roxanne Turpen (c) 2014

Steph Stewart grew up in the foothills of western North Carolina surrounded by Appalachian folk music.

The sounds resonated with Stewart and she began creating porch folk music mixed with Americana.

Chris Staples' newest album American Soft was released earlier this year on Barsuk Records (cover art).
http://www.chrisstaplesmusic.com/

  

Singer-songwriter Chris Staples has spent much of his career as a backup musician for other artists. 

Nick Vandenberg
Nick-Vandenberg.com

This was originally aired on  10/17/2014

Nick Vandenberg is a man of many talents. 

In the early 2000’s Nick ventured from his home in the Mid-Ohio Valley out to L.A. in hopes of writing scores for films, and guess what? It happened. He worked wrote music for indie flicks that have made their way to the Sundance Movie Festival and has even had his music featured on Nickelodeon. But, now the multi-instrumentalist is based in Chapel Hill and he’s working on his second album of folk/roots music. 

A picture of Jason Isbell with a guitar.
Michael Wilson / Jason Isbell

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jason Isbell has covered a lot of ground since leaving the Drive-By Truckers seven years ago. He's released several albums with his band The 400 Unit. He spent a lot of time on the road and last year put out his solo album Southeastern. Great reviews followed.

This fall, Isbell scooped up Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year at the 2014 Americana Music Awards.

Nick Vandenberg is a Chapel Hill musician (posing outside the Durham studios).
Hady Mawajdeh (WUNC)

Nick Vandenberg  is a man of many talents. 

Joe Woodson prepares for the show.
Hady Mawajdeh

Joe Woodson and The Bean Trees have released a new album of Americana music that has an old-fashioned grounded by solid songwriting. 

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