Sarah and Savannah Church were born twenty minutes apart, almost twenty years ago in Norton in far southwest Virginia. They grew up singing around the house and later, naturally, in church and for community events until it became clear that they had something truly special…that undeniable blood harmony. They’ve spent the last few years perfecting their singular gift and touring with one of the most tasteful bunch of young instrumentalists on the circuit today, including Spencer Strickland on mandolin, Josh Pickett on guitar, Jacob Eller on bass and Rusty Grubbs on percussion.
In Your Ear
JT Nero is a product of the Windy City. His wife Allison Russell is a native of Montreal. His rough-as-a-cob soulful snarl is perfectly complemented by her soaring, like-butter vocals. In 2012, JT and Allison forged their music and their lives together forming the band Birds of Chicago, that strives to take a thoughtful and poetic look at love and life. They hit the road with their baby daughter Ida and a fine band including Michelle McGrath on guitar and vocals and Chris Merrill on bass, and never looked back. Much to the critics delight, and ours.
This edition of In Your Ear is a double dose of authenticity starting with a captivating brother duet who not only look but sound like they could be contemporaries of honky tonk heroes like Ernest Tubb, Faron Young and Webb Pierce. Their retro persona is way more than just an act…it’s an earnest and loving effort to preserve an era of country music that for many people defines it. Down to earth authenticity not part of today’s mainstream commercial country.
On this episode, we hear from a fearless neo-traditional quartet from the Carolina mountains, River Whyless--experimental, undefinable, completely original and cutting their own path through a crowded field of young indie-folk string bands. When the music is this thoughtful, this interesting, labels are impossible and irrelevant. With Ryan O’Keefe, Halli Anderson, Alex McWalters and Daniel Shearin, we invite you to spend a thoughtful and riveting hour with River Whyless.
Justin Kauflin was born in Silver Spring, Maryland but has spent most of his 29 years in Virginia Beach, with the love of music driving his life.
This program featured a duo that shares some fertile common ground. Jacob Groopman is a native Richmonder who now calls Richmond, California home and Melody Walker is from the bay area of San Francisco. From their west coast vantage point they’ve led the band Front Country to winning the prestigious Telluride and RockyGrass competitions. And Melody’s song “Black Grace” won the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest a few years back.
Here at In Your Ear, we continue to marvel at the abundance of creative young, string bands based in North Carolina…making their own way through an enduring tradition. In this program, we spotlight a quartet from piedmont NC called Mipso, which is a name that they just made up back in 2010…a word that didn’t previously exist, but a word that’s now come to mean well-crafted tunes, haunting harmonies and wonderfully casual and engaging stage presence.
The boy from Boston by way of Florida would become one of the most noted and beloved musicians ever to call Richmond home. Over his four decades of writing songs and sharing his commanding stage presence, Robbin Thompson made legions of fans including prominent players like Bruce Springsteen and Eagle Timothy B Schmit. Robbin fought a long and courageous battle with cancer that ended in the early morning of October 10, 2015.
His name is Warren Hood, born and raised in the all-American music town of Austin, Texas, son of a prominent bandleader and a product of that potent mix of influences. Enjoy a full hour with the Warren Hood Acoustic Trio, featuring Warren on fiddle and vocals, his cousin Marshall Hood on guitar and vocals, and lifelong pal Willie Pipkin, also on guitar.