Back Porch Music

Back Porch Music Is Back On The Lawn In 2016
Red Star Media Group

Evenings of family fun and nights full of music are returning this summer in Durham.

The Back Porch Music On The Lawn concert series returns with eight shows at the American Tobacco Historic District. The shows start at 6 p.m.

Nicole Kibert / elawgrrl / Flickr

Two bands from the Triangle take to the Lucky Strike stage Thursday evening in the next-to-last double-bill  of our summer concert series. The free Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert begins at 6 p.m. Concert-goers are welcome to bring a picnic and coolers, but please leave any glass at home.

American Aquarium

An image of blues musician Albert White
Tim Duffy / Music Maker Relief Foundation

American music can be traced back to the blues, jazz, and many more roots music. The legacy of these roots comes alive this Thursday, June 13, with a roundup of Southern roots musicians from the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

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 mandolin player Jeff Austin
Dorothy St. Claire Photography

The Back Porch Music on the Lawn series rolls on Thursday, June 30  with a mandolin player igniting a bluegrass group, along with a slick banjo and violin duo.

A picture of recordings at the SFC
Steven Weiss / Southern Folklife Collection

McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA has seen more than 1,600 musicians perform in the store. Those live performances have produced thousands of recordings documenting the livelihood of folk music for the past 45 years.

A picture of the Gravy Boys
Christer Berg

[[Follow WUNC on Twitter for updates about this concert. There's rain and thunderstorms in the forecast.]]

The sweltering summer heat isn't going to stop the tunes from flowin' and the people from dancin' at the next Back Porch Music On the Lawn Concert on Thursday, June 25.

The show will feature the Gravy Boys performing acoustic Americana. Alice Gerrard and the Piedmont Melody Makers will open with new and traditional bluegrass and string-band music.

Image of Darren Hanlon, who will open the Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert June 11.
Darren Hanlon

Darren Hanlon grew up in a small town in Queensland, Australia with American legends like Kenny Rogers playing on the turntable.

His early musical education, a month in the Australian desert, and an Amtrak trip through the American South informed the kind of artist he is today; a roots music singer-songwriter with a passion for lyrical and narrative tracks. 

An image of Jim White playing foosball with the Packway Handle Band
Yep Roc Music Group

The 2015 Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert series is underway, and continues to heat up tonight with plenty of banjo pickin' and foot-stompin' from Jim White vs. the Packway Handle Band.

Darren Hanlon opens the evening festivities with amiable acoustic folk rock.

The free concert kicks off at 6 p.m. on the American Tobacco Campus lawn in Durham.

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.

Musician Captain Luke (right) is 88-years-old. He talked with Music Maker Relief Foundation's Tim Duffy

Legendary Blues Musician Captain Luke has entered hospice care and is now resting at his home in Winston-Salem.  He was born in 1927 and grew up driving mules, working the land and singing with family.  He met Tim Duffy in the 1990s and together they formed the Music Maker Relief Foundation.  Duffy and Captain Luke told their story in the StoryCorps Mobile Booth when it visited WUNC last year.


Back Porch Music on the Lawn Logo
WUNC / American Tobacco

Thursday evenings mean music and family-fun in Durham.

The Back Porch Music On The Lawn series of concerts returns with eight shows at the American Tobacco Historic District.

The free concerts run May through September on the lawn under the Lucky Strike water tower.

The shows start at 6 p.m. and most feature two bands. Picnics and coolers are welcome, but no glass, please. Food and beverages are available at American Tobacco restaurants that surround the American Tobacco Amphitheater.

Guitarist and vocalist Russell Moore leads IIIrd Tyme Out at a WUNC Raleigh Concert
Carol Jackson

Russell Moore's bluegrass career has included a stretch as a member of Doyle Lawson's Quicksilver band and as the leader of IIIrd Tyme Out since 1991. Born in Texas, he moved to North Carolina and later Georgia to follow his bluegrass dreams. Moore has been named IBMA Vocalist of the Year five times and the band has claimed Vocal Group of the Year seven consecutive times.

WUNC Back Porch Music host Freddy Jenkins introduces Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh
Carol Jackson

Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers' ramblings brought them to Raleigh during the IBMA World of Bluegrass in October. Just as the bluegrass gala was kicking off JMRR joined three other bands at a WUNC event at the Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.

The Spinney Brothers at the Museum of Natural Sciecnes
Carol Jackson

Allan and Rick Spinney were born in Ontario, Canada, in the mid 1960s. Even that far north, the sound of southern bluegrass and country music caught fire, especially with Allan, at an early age.

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper warming up prior to their performance.
Carol Jackson

It was a grand night for banjos and fiddles and song. On Wednesday October 1, 2014, during Raleigh's Wide Open Bluegrass event, WUNC hosted four bands on the Daily Planet stage at the Museum of Natural Sciences.

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. 

Chatham County Line
Michael Podrid / Yep Roc Records

It promises to be another fine evening for coolers, blankets, lawn chairs, and toe-tappin'.

The 2014 season of Back Porch Music On The Lawn closes with a free concert double bill, part of the 10th anniversary celebrations for American Tobacco

Michael Rank

Back Porch Music on the Lawn Logo
WUNC / American Tobacco

WUNC's Back Porch Music on the Lawn series back on the lawn under the Lucky Strike tower in the heart of the American Tobacco CampusThe free concerts are on Thursday nights from May to September.  The series is part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the American Tobacco Campus.

The Steep Canyon Rangers 'Tell The Ones I Love'

Our series of Back Porch Music album reviews continues this week with three new releases reviewed by the hosts of Back Porch Music.

Steep Canyon Rangers - Tell The Ones I Love
review by Freddy Jenkins

North Carolina-based bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers follow up their 2013 Grammy Award-winning Nobody Knows You with their second recording for Rounder Records, Tell The Ones I Love. The group’s profile has been raised in recent years by their collaborations with Steve Martin and this new recording showcases their many strengths.

Working with producer Larry Campbell at Levon Helm’s Studio in Woodstock, NY, the band continues with their blend of bluegrass, country and folk-pop, adding just a bit more percussion on this outing. They are fine instrumentalists and have a great vocal blend. And the songwriting of Graham Sharp and Charles Humphrey is first rate as well.  A train song, “Tell The Ones I Love,” kicks off this collection of a dozen original compositions and is a highlight. Other notable selections include “Camellia,” which brings to mind Helm’s group, The Band, the shuffling “Mendocino County Blue,” and the somewhat melancholic “Boomtown.” 

Here's another installment of Back Porch Music album reviews. We're posting these periodically here with two or three CD reviews each week and we hope you enjoy them. Leave your comments below. 

Lucinda Williams - self titled

CD 'Southern Comfort' by Regina Carter
Sony Music Masterworks

This is the first in a series of Back Porch Music album reviews that Freddy Jenkins and I will be writing periodically. We'll feature new and significant historical releases worth mentioning. You'll hear some of these and hundreds of other CDs every week on the program. Leave your comments below.

One of the best parts of working at Back Porch Music is sampling all the music that comes our way from remarkable artists and sharing these artists with you. Here's a look at three that are well worth your time.

Regina Carter: Southern Comfort

30 second samples of all the tunes on the Best of BPM Vol 16 - new for Fall 2013 and our thank-you for supporting WUNC Radio! Pledge Now. See more of our thank-you gifts.

1 Tift Merritt—Traveling Alone . . . . . . 4:45

Beth Herzhaft / Yep Roc

Friday night WUNC, Yep Roc Records, and American Tobacco present the next Back Porch Music Center Stage Concert at Diamond View Park in Durham.  The free event starts at 6 p.m. and runs for three hours with music from The Aoife O'Donovan Band and Dave Alvin with the Guilty Ones. Both performers record for Yep Roc Records based in  Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Tom Dooley sign, Blue Ridge Parkway
Jan Kronsell, 2002 / Wikipedia, Wikicommons

On June 18, 1866, the body of 21-year-old Laura Foster was found in a shallow grave in Wilkes County, NC. Thomas C. Dula (Tom Dooley), a veteran of the Civil War, was tried, convicted and hanged on May 1, 1868, in Statesville, NC, for the murder.  Dula had fled to Tennessee before the discovery of the body.

Controversy surrounded the trial and conviction. The trial was covered widely in national papers including The New York Times. Dula is reported to have said on the gallows, “Gentlemen, do you see this hand? I didn’t harm a hair on the girl’s head.”