Music

The Lone Bellow dropped by WUNC to play The State of Things.
http://www.thelonebellow.com/

The Lone Bellow is a band is born from tragedy with songs told with heart and simplicity. 

Justin Johnson playing cigar box guitar
Justin Johnson Music

  

North Carolina Musician Justin Johnson has always been drawn to stringed instruments. Starting with the beat up, one-string Stella guitar his mother handed down to him, Justin has played music with any band that would take him.

So when he was handed a homemade cigar box guitar at a show a few years ago, he was instantly drawn to the sound and feel of the unique instrument. Ever since, he's been making and collecting homemade instruments to play on the road.

The Lone Bellow is coming through North Carolina and stopped by the WUNC Studios.
NPR Muisc

The Lone Bellow is a band made of up Southerners living in Brooklyn. 

Graphic for The Murphey School Radio Show
The Murphey School Radio Show

The Murphey School Radio Show takes place at the formerly abandoned but now renovated 1920s-era Murphey School in Orange County. The School serves as a community performance space and an incubator for small nonprofits. The semiannual show features skits, jingles, and musical acts to bring the community together to benefit local non-profits Student U and EmPOWERment, Inc. 

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. 

Host Frank Stasio and Béla Fleck prepare for their conversation.
Hady Mawajdeh (WUNC)

  

 The relentless Béla Fleck is known for taking his banjo on a wide array of sonic journeys. 

Durham Artist Rich James has like staying pretty anonymous while playing under the moniker of WowolfoL, but he's stepping out and into the light.
wowolfol.bandcamp.com

Music by the Durham-based Wowolfol band is difficult to describe. 

Durham band Delta Rae is lending a hand to the nation's farmers and playing Farm Aid in Raleigh tomorrow.
theriverboston.com/

Delta Rae has made it back home to North Carolina.

American Sacred Steel gospel group Campbell Brothers
kmuw

The Campbell Brothers, a New York-based sacred steel band, will be performing a reinterpretation of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme to kick off the Bull Durham Blues Festival this weekend.

Hopscotch Design Fest is the newest part of Raleigh's Hopscotch Music Fest.
http://hopscotchdesignfest.com/

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival and the event is bigger than ever. 

Tom Maxwell chronicles his time with The Squirrel Nut Zippers.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/23/4092005/tom-maxwell-and-squirrel-nut-zippers.html

“Hell” was the song that rocketed Tom Maxwell’s former band The Squirrel Nut Zippers to the top of the charts, but the success was short-lived.

    

Musician Laila Nur developed her “revolutionary love” music style when she moved alone to Greensboro at 19. 

Duncan Webster and Leah Gibson make up the Durham duo Beauty World.
the artist

Duncan Webster and Leah Gibson have each honed their chops with bands including Lost in the Trees, Hammer No More the Fingers, and Bowerbirds.  Recently the two Durhamites joined forces to form Beauty World.

The duo is also a couple. They've both played in several bands, but were introduced by a mutual friend.

The five-song E.P. features the song, "Architect". Webster wrote it about his own challenges in learning building design.

Sylvan Esso, live in concert. June 2014
still from video

"It's the dreamiest of scenes," Sylvan Esso singer Amelia Meath sighed as she looked out over the sold-out crowd at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club. Wearing six-inch platform tennis shoes and an all-black jumpsuit, Meath gyrated and pumped her fists, urging the crowd on. Meanwhile, the other half of Sylvan Esso, Nick Sanborn, tweaked the knobs on a small control panel plugged into a laptop.

Teen Reporters: 8 Essential Summer Jams

Jun 26, 2014
earbuds and a heart
Olivia Alcock / Flickr/Creative Commons

WUNC is working with several teen reporters this summer. The young people are learning Journalism 101 from seasoned NPR and WUNC reporters.

On their first day on the job, we asked each reporter to recommend a song. The idea is to pull together a fun 2014 summer playlist for you.

Here are the recommendations.

Jamayah Parrish: "Pumped up Kicks" by Foster the People:

John Howie Jr. and The Rosewood Bluff performing at a Back Porch Music On The Lawn concert in 2013
Kathryn Walbert / www.kathrynwalbert.com

John Howie, Jr. started off playing drums, but it wasn't long before he switched to guitar and began making some hard-core honky-tonk music, first in the Chapel Hill-based Two Dollar Pistols and now in his current band, The Rosewood Bluff.

The latest album is called "Everything Except Goodbye."  It's chock full of heartbreak, pedal steel, upright bass and John's baritone voice.

boy playing a video game
creative commons

When many people hear the words “video game,” they think of a stereotypical geeky teenage boy. But that image does not represent the true industry. Women account for nearly half of the gaming population and more than a third of gamers are over the age of 36. Video games have expanded into an art form that produces complex narratives, cultural critiques and symphony soundtracks. 

Chatham County Line
Michael Podrid / Yep Roc Records

“There’s a lot of growing up in this record,” says vocalist/guitarist Dave Wilson.

“We’re maturing in this world and seeing things through a different set of eyes – and that materializes in a lot of these songs.”

Chatham County Line is celebrating the release of their latest album, Tightrope from Yep Roc Records. The foursome stopped into the WUNC  studios to talk with Eric Hodge.

The interview begins with this song: Any Port in a Storm.

On Pop Studios

Stephen Murray has spent years making big, spirited sounds with the band Holy Ghost Tent Revival. Now, he has a new album of his own called “The Backlot Sessions.”

It’s a collection of songs that had been sitting in Stephen’s mind for years, and came together in just days.

He will be performing at On Pop Studios in Greensboro on May 30th and with Holy Ghost Tent Revival on Saturday, May 31st, at the Penguin Music Festival in Wilmington.

Bill Myers, 2014
NC Arts Council

Bill Myers was honored this week with a North Carolina Heritage Award. Myers is a saxophone player, and he's led the jazz band The Monitors for close to 60 years.

Bill's earliest introduction to music was when the minstrel shows came through Eastern North Carolina in the 1940s.

A picture of Joe Westerlund in a bird beak nose.
Spacebomb Records

Drummer Joe Westerlund is a busy man.  He plays with Triangle based band Megafaun as well as Califone and Durham's Mount Moriah.

But recently he's been working on something else altogether.  It's called Grandma Sparrow & His Piddletractor Orchestra. 

Westerlund describes it as a psychedelic children's song-cycle for adults.  It recons Frank Zappa, Monty Python and Firesign Theater.

image of hands welcoming sunset
http://womensvoiceschorus.org/

  When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it's a tragedy. But when writer David Wolman's wife contracted breast cancer, he chose to make the experience into art. He wrote an anthology of poetry, which composer Andrea Clearfield set to music.

A local community chorus, Women's Voices Chorus, is performing "The Long Bright" tonight at 8pm in the Hill Hall Auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Back Porch Music on the Lawn Logo
WUNC / American Tobacco

Update: 12:28 p.m. Southern Culture on the Skids to has been rescheduled for  Thursday May 22 at 6 p.m.

Update: 12:06 p.m. Due to the weather, the concert tonight with Southern Culture on the Skids and the Letter Jackets has been canceled.  We're hope to reschedule -- stay tuned for details. We'll post updates on the main Back Porch On The Lawn Concerts page.

King Mez album cover
http://kingmez.com/

  

The list of nationally-acclaimed rap artists from North Carolina is getting longer each year. The rise of Little Brother, Rapsody, 9th Wonder, and J. Cole, has solidified our state's place on the map of rap history. North Carolina's latest rap incarnation is Raleigh's King Mez. His newest album "Long Live The King," is helping him emerge from a more underground rap scene. 

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