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From August 24, 2006...
The tradition of Sacred Harp singing is more than 160 years old... but changes are afoot. One local musician talks about taking control of his life after spending years addicted to drugs. And, indie-folk, alt-country from The Saturdays. I'm Greg Bass and this is Tapestry.
All across Alabama - small, community churches dot the landscape. They're usually old, white buildings...often only one or two rooms big. Inside these inconspicuous little structures, a centuries-old, uniquely American music genre continues to thrive. But as Tanya Ott reports, influences from up North are knocking at the vestry door.
Want to learn more about Sacred Harp singing..perhaps join a local singing group? There are details on the Tapestry page of WBHM.org.
There will be a major Sacred Harp singing at the Birmingham United Convention taking place at South Highland Presbyterian on Septemper 9th and 10th.
There are a lot of clichés when it comes to music. There's the one about the young unknown whose career blows up big...and then just blows up. Then there's the myth that songwriting and drugs go hand-in-hand - that drugs enhance the creative experience. Another is that a life of music equals a life of heartache. And, as much as he hates admitting it, Duquette Johnston has lived all those clichés and then some. The Birmingham musician, known for his stints in the bands Verbena, CutGrass and the Blake Babies is re-launching his career after a not so minor personal implosion. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington has this profile of an artist on the mend.
There's more on Johnston's new CD, "Etowah", in the Tapestry section of WBHM.org...and in just a minute we'll hear from another band with ties to Johnston. They're sharing a CD release party this weekend.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
When Birmingham indie-folk band The Saturdays was looking for a title for its newest LP, it was a no-brainer, says singer and guitarist Bo Butler. Go Slow is not just the title of the new record, it's also the band's philosophy. Lyrically, Go Slow covers everything from love lost to love found, good times and bad, and a little social commentary for good measure. It's based on Butler's folk songs -- after they're stripped down in the studio, then rebuilt with help from lots of other musicians who stopped by to play. Duquette Johnston contributed, as did John Strohm from the Blake Babies, and musicians from other local bands including Through the Sparks, the Dexateens, 13 Ghosts and the Wes McDonald Band. It was basically an "open door" policy at the recording studio. This is "True Non-Believers" with guest vocal from Claire Cormany of "Kiss Me At the Gate". Bo Butler and drummer Shea Rives joined us in the studio. (AUDIO MONTAGE)
The Saturdays is singer-guitarist Bo Butler, bassist Alex Mitchell, and drummer Shea Rives. The Saturdays play Bottle Tree Saturday/tonight, along with Duquette Johnston. You can find more of their music on the Tapestry page of WBHM.org.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and Hunter Bell with additional reporting this week from Rosemary Pennington. Francesca Rosko tracks community events. Next week on the show, Bull Frog Jumped -- a collection of children's songs recorded across Alabama in the 1940's. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week.