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Southern Songs and Stories
Podcast on the WNCW Web Site

Southern Songs and Stories is a documentary series about the music of the South and the artists who make it. Hear their performances and discover the stories behind their songs with a look at their lives on stage, in the studio and at home as well as the family, friends, fans and music professionals around them. The series is based in western North Carolina and the surrounding Appalachian and foothill regions, covering an incredible array of musicians and bands. Podcast episodes are produced in partnership with public radio station WNCW as well as the Osiris podcast network, and are also carried on Bluegrass Planet Radio. Host Joe Kendrick produces Southern Songs and Stories, documenting the current music of the South and the story of how it came to be, from styles that are centuries old to genres that are just emerging. Episodes typically spotlight individual artists and bands, and occasionally focus on historical topics, issues surrounding musicians and the music industry, and even a song itself, like in the podcast on “Wagon Wheel”. It is a show for everyone who loves music and for anyone who wants to explore the South.

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  • Conversations with two rising stars in the roots and country music world making their MerleFest debuts, along with excerpts of their latest music and commentary from host and producer Joe Kendrick
  • A short history of a gospel niche, with interviews of artists performing at the spring 2024 GospelSHOUT! event as well as live music, plus the unlikely story of how Henry Louis Gates Jr. helped lead us to discover something so surprising and unique in our own back yard
  • Music and conversation from cosmic country pioneer Daniel Donato, who talks in depth about his life’s work is a service to listeners, his ever-present muse, playing with Bob Weir of Grateful Dead fame, and perhaps surprisingly, having been an angry kid who was an avid wrestler and more, along with commentary from host Joe Kendrick
  • Tony Trischka talks with host Joe Kendrick in this episode, which includes music excerpts from his extensive catalog as well as his forthcoming album, Earl Jam.
  • 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. But even the most casual reading of the events and people of Madison County, North Carolina from 1863 should raise a lot of red flags about our own worst tendencies. Even a pulp fiction version of the Shelton Laurel Massacre would lend plenty of insight into the all too often dark heart of humanity. But pull the lens back, and consider these events, their beginnings and repercussions in the arc of history, and you might come to an even more chilling conclusion. What caused neighbors and kinfolk to terrorize and murder one another in the Appalachian mountains all those generations ago, 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. It would be nice to think that because America went through its Civil War, and Shelton Laurel had its Massacre, that it cannot happen again. But once you get sight of the forest beyond all its trees in this bit of history, you might wonder.