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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
  • 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 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.
  • 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...
  • In this episode you will hear Olivia talk about her intriguing backstory and how she finds herself thriving in a much different place than where she grew up while she still embraces her homeplace, how she has a knack for bringing our worst impulses to life in a song, and much more, including music from her album Loose Cannon.
  • Rising Americana star Esther Rose talks about her new record, new home and more, and plays two songs from her third album How Many Times live
  • Southern Songs and Stories: Hard Work, History and Hope in Small Town Appalachia - Pony Bradshaw
  • There is a complexity to Tyler Ramsey’s music, and a corresponding simplicity. It makes for an intriguing yin and yang, with an abundance of lyrical and…
  • When people talk about artists like Aretha Franklin, St. Vincent, Paul Brady and Sam Cooke, they tend to talk about these artists’ best known work, their…