Upcoming Website Move

Article written by on Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 in Announcements

Over the next several days, Ken and I will be taking the final steps to transfer The Back Porch News website from him to me, including a change in hosting location. Please be patient if you run into any difficulties using the site. Hopefully that won’t happen and the transfer will be invisible to you. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

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Saturday is Record Store Day

Article written by on Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 in Organizations

Started in 2007 to honor independently owned music retailers, and celebrated the third Saturday in April, Record Store Day is April 18th this year. With special promotions, artist appearances, guitar giveaways and fun activities, it is becoming a popular event. Find your nearest participating record dealer here.

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KRNN Streams Alaska Folk Festival This Week

Article written by on Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009 in Festivals

The annual Alaska Folk Festival started Monday in Juneau and continues through this weekend. This year’s “guest artists,” the only paid act in the festival, are De Temps Antan, a traditional band from Quebec. The festival mixes amateur and professional music. Public radio station KRNN is streaming the festival live.

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Sample New Dylan Album

Article written by on Tuesday, Apr 07, 2009 in People,Releases

Newsweek is offering Bob Dylan fans a free listen to one of the songs on his new album, Together Through Life. The magazine will also be carrying Dylan’s ongoing conversations with music author and VH1 exec Bill Flanagan. The album streets April 28. More details in this article.

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North Carolina Songbird

Article written by on Tuesday, Apr 07, 2009 in People,Releases

If you live anywhere near Hendersonville, North Carolina, you might want to find a way to listen to folk singer/songwriter Jenny Arch. According to a recent BlueRidgeNow article, she plays regularly at the Back Room in nearby Flat Rock, has recently left a band to concentrate on solo work and plans to record a CD this month. I’ve listened to song samples on Jenny’s MySpace page, and believe we will be hearing much more from this musician. I’ll watch for the CD release and keep you posted.

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Two Festivals Down Under April 9-13

Article written by on Sunday, Apr 05, 2009 in Festivals

New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia, is the location for two festivals over Easter weekend: the East Coast Blues and Roots Music Festival (“BluesFest”) in Byron Bay, in the far northeast corner of the province, and the National Folk Festival in Canberra, 1,000 kilometers to the south. Both festivals have attracted some outstanding musicians.

Artists playing BluesFest include local acoustic folk performer Cheynne Murphy, gospel legends Blind Boys of Alabama, alternative country husband-and-wife duo Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, folk duo Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs, known as Stiff Gins (their name a reclamation of a derogatory term for Aboriginal women in Australia) and (I just have to mention this guy) rockin’ blues musician Seasick Steve, a former hobo who became an “overnight success” after years of performing music people didn’t hear.

The National Folk Festival offers folk music and dance performances and workshops. Among the many scheduled artists are Australian band Wongawilli, Scottish-born Canadian singer David Francey, Australian trio The Fiddle Chicks (Emma Luker, Kim Perry and Dee Trewartha) and Australian singer/songwriter Neil Murray. There are so many excellent musicians playing this festival that it was hard to pick just a few representative performers. You can listen to highlights here or check out the program for the full list.

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Bernice Johnson Reagon Honored by Berklee College of Music

Article written by on Sunday, Apr 05, 2009 in Awards,People

Assuming all went as scheduled, Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts presented Bernice Johnson Reagon with an honorary doctorate of music last Friday at their annual Liberal Arts Symposium. Reagon founded the a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock and is curator emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. She already holds a doctorate in U.S.A. History with a concentration in African American History, Cultural and Oral History Methodologies, earned at Howard University near the beginning of her long career as a folklorist, singer and composer.

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Willie Nelson Documentary Wins National Headliner Award

Article written by on Sunday, Apr 05, 2009 in Awards,Organizations

A National Headliner Award in the Public Affairs category was recently given to the “Texas Music Matters” program of KUT 90.5 radio, based at the University of Texas at Austin, for the audio documentary “Amazing Grace: The Story of Willie Nelson.” The documentary was produced by David Brown of KUT along with journalist Michael May. The awards are given by the Press Club of Atlantic City.

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