Eric Hodge Interviews

Underhill Rose
Lynne Harty / UnderhillRose.com

You may have heard the music of Underhill Rose on WUNC's Back Porch Music.  The trio of Eleanor Underhill, Molly Rose and Salley Williamson has been singing and playing together since 2011 from their base in western North Carolina.

Their latest recording is called The Great Tomorrow

A picture of Sarah Shook
disarmers.com

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers' debut album, Sidelong, tells the story of someone who wants to be left alone, but can't quite resist the glance of an admirer. That might, or might not, prove to be a bad move.  Broken relationships and broken bottles inspire many of the songs on this collection.

An image of musician Noah Gundersen
Philip Harder

Noah Gundersen grapples with some big topics on his latest album Carry the Ghost. The Seattle-based songwriter's introspective excavations range from understanding the meaning of life and letting go of faith.

A photo of Clyde Edgerton
Brent Clark

 

Author Clyde Edgerton has written 10 novels, a book of advice, and a memoir.  Three have been made into movies, and several have made it to the stage.

 

The North Carolina native has written about small-town bigotry, religious hypocrisy and greed but in a darkly comic vein with a focus on characters.  Edgerton is also a musician and a professor of Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington.

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.  

 

 

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 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 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."

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.

 

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.

A picture of 6 String Drag.
Michael Traister / 6stringdrag.com

Raleigh-based roots rock quartet 6 String Drag is back after more than 16 years in hibernation. Front man Kenny Roby came into the WUNC studios recently to talk about getting the band back together, and their new album.

Before Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll was released last year, Steve Earle produced 6 String Drag's celebrated album, High Hat in 1997. After that, Roby says, the band drifted apart.

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