June 18, 2009...a one-hour City Stages special!
For the last 20 years Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have created a string of elegantly layered, acoustic guitar-driven folk-rock albums on their own terms. Better known as the Indigo Girls, the group has won a Grammy Award and has a legacy of CD's and tours behind them. Once signed to major label, Saliers and Ray have weathered the ups and downs of the music industry and have now released their 11th full length recording -- this time as independent artists. They spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall...
The tradition of City Stages includes great music and fantastic food, but there's one tradition the festival would rather do without - years of mounting debt. For the last decade City Stages has struggled while operating in the red. WBHM's Colin Quarello explains how getting back in black is not an easy task for the Birmingham festival.
City Stages is now 21. In people years, that means you can buy it a drink. But in the ever-changing world of music festivals, it can be an awkward age. We've already discussed the festival's financial challenges, but what about the artistic side of things? As WBHM's Bradley George reports, cash problems and the emergence of other festivals create a new set of obstacles.
Over the years, Alabama-based bands have been invited to perform at City Stages on the Homegrown stage. But, not this year. The festival decided to do away with the smaller venue. Les Lovoy talked with local artists about the elimination of their personal slice of City Stages.
It really is all in the family when it comes to sister act Abram & Sarah. 19-year old Kayd Parker and 17-year old Karoline may be young, but they are certainly no stranger to the stage. The Birmingham-based band got its start two years ago and been bringing the crowd ever since. Reporter Nat Bonner has their story...
Many people will be moving to the music at City Stages, but it won't just be while watching their favorite bands. Arms, legs, feet...they'll all be in motion at the Dance Depot. There you can not only watch dancers tearing up the floor, but join in too. We sent our resident dancer, WBHM's Andrew Yeager, to sample some of the Dance Depot's offerings.
There are few bands that can bring a crowd to its feet like The Neville Brothers. They're synonymous with New Orleans music. Beginning with Aaron Neville's hit Tell It Like It Is in 1966, the Neville's Brothers, forged a musical identity by channeling R&B, jazz, country, blues, rock and gospel into a sound like no other group. Individually and collectively, they've have played with the biggest names in music from the Rollings Stones to the Grateful Dead. Aaron Neville won Grammy Awards singing duets with Linda Ronstadt and Tricia Yearwood. Birmingham has been a frequent stop for the Nevilles over the years and, as they enter their 4th decade together, they return to City Stages Saturday night. I asked Aaron Neville how they've managed to stay together so long.
Almost a decade ago a group of five guys from Birmingham agreed to help a friend with a music project. While playing back-up, they gelled as a group. They called themselves Overfloe and put out a debut CD. They played gigs around town, quickly learning there's more to being a band than just playing music. There are contracts to sign, promotion to do, and other management tasks that saxophonist De'Lon Charley admits they just weren't prepared for. Enter UAB music professor Henry Panion. He's works regularly with Stevie Wonder and other notable musicians - and now, he's taken Overfloe under his wing to distribute their sophomore CD. And De'Lon Charley couldn't be happier!
Tapestry's City Stages special is produced by Bradley George and Michael Krall, with help from Nat Bonner, Les Lovoy, Tanya Ott, and Colin Quarello. Next week, playwright Del Shores tells of his sordid life of growing up a Southern Baptist Sissy. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.
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