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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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Latest Episodes
  • Justin Golden expands the tent of what we think of as blues music by both pointing back to the Piedmont blues, fingerstyle guitar tradition of his native Virginia, and by charting a new direction of his own. As he said in our interview, one thing people tend to get wrong about blues music is thinking that it is all about electric guitar jams: “acoustic blues was about expression, you know, especially the country blues. It's not really jammable music if you don't know the song.
  • Discovering the music of Jamestown Revival’s fourth album, Young Man, is a pleasant surprise: having brought in an outside for the first time (fellow Texan Robert Ellis) and opting for an all acoustic setting for its ten songs, the duo brought their already potent harmonies to a new level. Their songs are as good as ever, too, reflecting a period of isolation and contemplation, lending the collection a feel of exquisite melancholy.
  • In this episode, Sarah Shook talks about everything from the evolution of sound in their new album Nightroamer, their road to sobriety, how Southern culture is reflected in their music, how things we might think that negatively affect just the LGBTQ+ community also extend to everyone else, and more.
  • Tammy and Thomm talk about everything from the making of Surely Will Be Singing to the unique nature of the music of the South to how they were inspired as young children to take the musical path they have pursued all their lives, as well as perform songs from their new album.
  • Peter Holsapple talks with us about the dB’s new retrospective, how his musical upbringing in the hyper local scene in Winston Salem North Carolina served him well as an adult, his lifelong musical friendships, the seemingly unlikely influence of Mott the Hoople and much more. We feature music from I Thought You Wanted To Know as well, a collection that sounds as fresh and innovative now as it did when it was first put on tape.
  • We take a trip south and west to the Lone Star State for this episode on two great songwriters comparing notes on each other’s latest music, and reaching for a mutual favorite from western North Carolina to talk about in our Three Song Set with Tony Kamel and Kelley Mickwee.
  • There may never be an episode of Southern Songs and Stories featuring music as far flung as this one, and at the same time there may never be an episode with a storyline that is so unexpectedly close knit. It started out by bringing together two artists I knew but who did not know each other, and who have differing styles of music. Then came a serendipitous revelation that set the stage for a great conversation, and concluded with another surprise when both artists picked a mutual favorite song to talk about in this Three Song Set, one from Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, whom you probably know better as George Michael.
  • It is always heartwarming to witness the spirit of generosity that is central to so many music artists. When you come across musicians who are not only kind but also are incredibly talented and well spoken, magic can happen. All of these things came together when Alexa Rose and Joseph Terrell came to WNCW’s Studio B in early November, 2021, where they played a live session and then stayed for extra innings to record a conversation for this episode.
  • There are few people working in the music business today that can say that they have worked in several of its eras. Rick Miller, Mary Huff and Dave Hartman are three who can, having started out in a time when radio airplay was the first step in becoming known outside of their hometown of Chapel Hill, NC. Back then, in the mid to late 1980s, getting your music in the hands of your fans meant you would make cassettes, 45s or LPs. At first, you would make them via the DIY route, sending those out to small regional record labels and select radio stations, usually radio stations in towns where you had some foothold by having played shows there and already being on that music scene’s radar. Once your band got airplay on radio (typically college radio), you would leverage that along with your successful shows to get picked up by an indie label, and keep going from there. Essentially, this is how Southern Culture on the Skids began. Many others did not make it past this era, but they did.
  • Jeremy Pinnell seems to find himself most comfortable in settings filled with high degrees of difficulty. Find out about his life story and his remarkable third album in this episode of Southern Songs and Stories.