NC Musician

singer and songwriter BJ Barham embarks on a tour to promote his solo-recording "Rockingham."
Courtesy of All Eyes Media /

Fans of Raleigh-based American Aquarium are in for a treat as lead singer and songwriter BJ Barham embarks on a tour to promote his solo-recording "Rockingham."

John Paul White
Allister Ann / Sacks and Co.

John Paul White was one half of the four-time Grammy winning duo The Civil Wars.  Since finishing with that band, he has founded a record label, built a studio and collaborated with artists including Jason Isbell, Roseanne Cash and Emmylou Harris. 

When he paused long enough to write some songs, his new solo recording Beulah was born.

Echo Courts

Apr 10, 2015
Echo Courts plays in Winston-Salem at Phuzz Phest, April 17-19.
Echo Courts

Echo Courts is a five-member surf-rock band out of Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Their second EP, "Ice Cream Social," will have you reaching for your beach towel. But their melancholy lyrics are a contrast to their dreamy, summery sound. The band is playing at Phuzz Phest, a three-day music festival in Winston-Salem next weekend that features more than 60 national and local acts.

N.C. musician Ari Picker tries his hand at orchestral composition.
Duke Performances

Ari Picker is best known as the front man for the acclaimed indie rock band Lost in the Trees, but the North Carolina native is now entering orchestral composition.

Inspired by the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, specifically Book of Hours, Picker has assembled a group of local musicians to debut his piece titled Lion and The Lamb

Josh Oliver is playing tonight at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.
Logan Wentworth

Musician Josh Oliver was a very shy performer for most of his life. Growing up in eastern Tennessee he often heard hymns and traditional music in his church, but he never liked singing very much.

That all changed when he decided to study music at East Tennessee State University. In the music program, his instructors had him performing solos and writing music for himself.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Oliver about his career and Oliver performs music from his latest solo album, Part of My Life.

Mary Johnson Rockers and the Spark
Derek Anderson


Mary Johnson Rockers and the Spark recently released their second record, Remedy, that celebrates the many ways in which the band has found their niche in the Triangle music scene. 

Kat Robichaud crowdsurfed while singing during one of her 'The Voice' performances

Raleigh glam rocker Kat Robichaud finished in the top ten of NBC's program The Voice last season. Robichaud says that she never could have imagined the kind of success she found on television: "I was an awkward little girl, I just didn't fit in anywhere. High school sucked. College, honestly wasn't too much better. And it wasn't until I joined my band that I started finding my voice. When my band broke up I was devastated. I didn't know what to do.

Anna Rose Beck
Anna Rose Beck /

When singer-songwriter Anna Rose Beck last appeared on our show, she was trading engineering studies at Duke University for a full-time career as a musician. Now she is fully devoted to her musical career and her newest album, Glass House in Outer Space, garnered a lot of support on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

Anna Rose Beck performs live in-studio, and talks with Frank Stasio about her new album. She is joined by Elana Scheiner on cello and Marc Harkness on guitar.

Jazz great Branford Marsalis joins the State of Things to speak about his work.
Palma Kolansky

Grammy-award winning artist Branford Marsalis is one of the world’s leading jazz artists. 

Christmas music. It's nearly inescapable at this time of year - on the radio, in shops, in cafes, everywhere. When Phoebe Judge sat down to talk about "Christmas" with jazz double bassist John Brown, the question arose: Why would musicians want to add to the large catalog of existing Christmas songs and recordings?

"It comes from a place of joy," said the double bassist. "We wanted to take this material that's tested, tried and true and say something different about it."

African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina / unc press

Maceo Parker, Billy Taylor, Thelonius Monk: many soul and jazz legends have North Carolina roots. The new book "African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina," creates a road map of African American musical history.

Carolina Chocolate Drops co-founders Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemmings
Carolina Chocolate Drops

Dom Flemons, a co-founder of North Carolina-based Grammy award winning string band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, will leave the band in mid-December following a series of concert dates. He will be starting a solo career. 

Ironing Board Sam / Music Maker Relief Foundation

  Ironing Board Sam has been playing rhythm and blues professionally since he was 16 years old in Rock Hill, SC. He's now 73, living in Chapel Hill and his passion for music-making is as strong as ever. Sam is part of Hillsborough's Music Maker Relief Foundation, and he's just released a new album, “Going Up.”

This segment was originally broadcast on January 11, 2013. The following is new information:

Jazz great Branford Marsalis joins the State of Things to speak about his work.
Palma Kolansky

Grammy-award winning artist Branford Marsalis is one of the world’s leading jazz artists. In a career spanning more than three decades, the saxophonist has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music across an array of genres. 

Faye Hunter was the bassist for 80's band Let's Active.
Faye Hunter, Facebook

The Winston-Salem community mourns the loss of local musician Faye Hunter, who was found dead in on Saturday of an apparent suicide. She was 59 years old. Hunter was the bassist in the 80’s band Let’s Active, which was led by Mitch Easter. Yesterday on "Here & Now," host Jeremy Hobson interviewed Easter about his former bandmate.

Cover of Jeanne Jolly's album 'Angels'.
Celeste Young / Family Love Photography

Jeanne Jolly visited our studio a year ago in the early stages of working on her album, “Angels.” Now, she is back in the midst of a national tour promoting her album.

Black and white image of a desert road
Alex Klaes &

After spending some time on instrumental projects, Triangle music scene fixture Ryan Gustafson decided it was time to write lyrics again.  His latest project is The Dead Tongues, which released an album earlier this year. 

David Holt took this photo of Doc Watson's final Merlefest performance in 2012. Watson died a month later.
David Holt

If you’re searching for the who’s who among bluegrass, Americana, folk, and traditional country musicians, MerleFest is a good place to start. The annual four-day festival kicks off today in Wilkesboro, just as it has every April for the past 25 years. Headlining artists include The Avett Brothers, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Jerry Douglas, Steep Canyon Rangers, Matraca Berg, and others. But this year for the first time, the festival will lack a performance from its founder, Doc Watson, who died May 29, 2012.

'Lovesick Blues' by Chris Stamey

Chris Stamey has been a fixture on the local music scene for decades. He grew up with Mitch Easter and played with the likes of Alex Chilton, The Sneakers and the DBs. He's a sought after producer, and he even studied classical music and composition at UNC-Chapel Hill. But through it all, he's also been writing songs.

Chris Stamey has a new album of his own music out Wednesday called "Love Sick Blues."

Greg Humphreys has been a fixture on the Triangle's music scene for 20 years. He was part of influential bands of the 90s and 2000s — Dillon Fence and Hobex. And he most recently has performed as a solo artist on the forthcoming album "Bohemia." Greg is leaving North Carolina for New York City, but first he joins host Frank Stasio to look back on his career in the Triangle and perform live in the studio.

Pop-Up Music Club: Kevin Roughton

Dec 15, 2012
For more than 25 years, Kevin Roughton has made his living singing and playing guitar in the bars of North Carolina's Outer Banks
Biff Jennings, copyright Shooters at the Beach

Last Saturday, we launched an experiment we’re calling WUNC’s Pop-Up Music Club. It’s a series made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council – a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Pop-Up Music Club: Tshombe Selby

Dec 8, 2012
Bryan Blake

This weekend and next, we’re trying something new here at WUNC. We’re calling it the Pop-Up Music Club. It’s a kind of mobile performance adventure, where we hit the road to hear from working North Carolina musicians — up-close and in their element.

We’ll hear them play impromptu gigs on their home turf. We’ll hear the stories they tell in church, and at the bar. And we’ll hear how the culture of the places they call home shapes their music.

Pop-Up Music Club: Tshombe Selby

Dec 8, 2012
Bryan Blake
Tift Merritt

Raleigh native Tift Merritt has been releasing albums for a decade now. In that time her songs have caught the ear of fellow musicians like EmmyLou Harris who says Tift stands out 'like a diamond in a coal patch'. She's spent time in Paris and New York City, where she lives now, but enjoys returning to the Triangle --a place she still calls home. It was here where the U-N-C creative writing student got her start singing with John Howie, Jr. and the Two-Dollar Pistols in the late 90s.