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Joe Kendrick

Joe Kendrick

Director of Programming and Operations

Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods at in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.

After several years and two stints in radio on the coast in Wilmington, Joe was back in western NC where he returned  to volunteering at WNCW while he started his first business, a landscape lighting franchise with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. In 1999, he met his future wife Amy at the Isotope 217 concert at Vincent's Ear in Asheville, and a year later they wed. The landscape lighting business grew but so did Joe's presence on the radio, and the desire to follow his heart led him to sell his business in 2006. Soon thereafter, he garnered the morning host slot on WNCW and has been full time in Spindale ever since.

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  • Writing songs is seldom easy. But for Amanda Anne Platt, writing songs seems free of anxiety. In fact, keeping a journal and writing songs is her way of processing life. Whereas we might take a walk or talk to a friend to decompress after long hours of doing the hard things, Amanda would likely take those hard things and put them into a melody, melodies which we can in turn crank up on the ride home to loosen up from our static filled day. Joe spoke with Amanda at the Albino Skunk Music Festival in Greer, South Carolina when she and the Honeycutters performed in the late spring of 2021. Included here is their conversation as well as excerpts from the new collection titled Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea as well as a live performance from Skunk Fest.
  • Andrew and Emily talk about their new album and making music the most honest way they know how, the Venn diagram of Watchhouse music which overlaps with both The Stanley Brothers and Pantera, how they have yet to cross the event horizon that could pull them into Nashville, and much more.
  • Joe Kendrick writes about Ric Robertson's new music for NPR's #NowPlaying blog, which publishes song reviews from contributors and member stations here.
  • Joe Kendrick had an opportunity to meet and interview Sierra Ferrell at the Albino Skunk Music Festival "SpringSkunk" in May. Listen here to the full podcast episode. The music and conversation are lively and free-spirited, and hint at greater things to come in a moment when Sierra is already emerging as a singer, songwriter and instrumentalist to be celebrated. You'll also hear many songs that Sierra Ferrell and her band played at the festival as well, which include several from her new collection.
  • She wowed the bluegrass world a few years ago with her incredible guitar skills, but in the last couple years she’s shown her interest and virtuosity in other styles, too. Molly and her trio played their really cool Rolling Stones cover, along with some originals you might recognize, during their sound check at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre in Asheville, NC 7-7-21.
  • Jerry Douglas was effusive and ebullient all afternoon. He and his band approached their soundcheck session with a mixture of patience, focus and glee; it was the warm up for their first performance in front of a live audience in over a year. After sitting out the pandemic for all that time, the main hurdle to their exercise in knocking the rust off seemed to be finding what gear was in which bin, serving only to slightly delay them in getting things back into fifth gear. Jerry’s energy and enthusiasm continued afterwards, when he spoke about everything from his latest album project with John Hiatt to his analogy of the cyclical nature of musical tastes, which gave us the title to this episode.
  • In the conclusion of this two podcast series, you get to hear some surprising facts about the Shelton Laurel Massacre and related events, which by themselves are still surprising to many people just considering the events of those tragedies. Even once you get past the shocking nature of the executions, there are lots of ironies and unexpected twists to the story. This episode features details on the Massacre itself as well as another big surprise that Vicki Lane, Sheila Kay Adams and Taylor Barnhill revealed in their interview, plus a theory on how the seeds of this terrible event were sown. Also featured is music about the Civil War and songs that were widely popular in that era.
  • There are stories where the characters and events are so extraordinary and gripping that one can miss their overall meaning. It can be easy to take stories like the one you are about to hear at face value, and leave their larger context unrealized. What caused neighbors and kinfolk to terrorize and murder one another in the Appalachian mountains during the Civil War, what larger forces that worked to bring out the cruelty and violence this chapter of history reveals, and what hatred and divisions that earned the place the moniker “Bloody Madison” are not only in history books; they are with us today. Read more...
  • WNCW's Joe Kendrick spoke with Dom Flemons recently at the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, NC ahead of his performance as part of the Earl Scruggs Center's Summer Concert Series. There, The American Songster talked about his new hometown of Chicago as well as the life and work of Sonny Terry, who called Shelby, NC home from the time he was three years old until his early twenties.An excerpt of this interview aired as a special presentation of "Spoonful Of Blues" on Monday, June 21st. Here is the full interview.
  • WNCW’s Sean Rubin and Joe Kendrick traveled to the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre in Asheville, NC recently to record a session and interview with dobro legend Jerry Douglas as he played his first show in over a year. The Jerry Douglas Band gave us a performance of “From Ankara to Izmir”, an instrumental going back to Jerry’s album Skip, Hop & Wobble with Russ Barenberg and Edgar Meyer. Joe got to talk at length with the dobro master, and he gave the backstory for that song as well as a primer on the origin of dobro guitars (or resonator guitars as they are often called), why he thinks roots and acoustic music is so long lived and vital, and more. Much more of this conversation will be the centerpiece for an upcoming podcast episode of Joe’s music documentary series Southern Songs and Stories.