From October 13, 2005...
I'm Greg Bass and tonight on Tapestry we're talking about the world of the play, Phantom of the Opry, It's on stage this weekend at the Virginia Samford Theatre. Down south, in Greenville, Alabama - musicians will play tribute to 1920's bluesman Ed Bell and his weird guitar pickin'. And the Alabama Symphony welcomes back a guest conductor from last season. Country, blues and classical music --- what more could you ask for? How 'bout a little rock! We've got Birmingham band Model Citizen...
But first - Phantom of the Opera. Of course, it's a famous novel and musical. But now, it's a famous Country Music show?! This weekend in Birmingham, CenterStage productions stages the world premiere of the musical, Phantom of the Opry. "Phantom of the Opry" creator Lloyd Schwartz and CenterStage's artistic director and regular Tapestry contributor Frank Thompson joined WBHM's Tanya Ott in the studio this week to talk about the show.
Coming up next for Lloyd Schwartz - the world premiere of his new musical, "Phantom of the Opry", this weekend and next at Birmingham's Virginia Samford Theatre.
Ansel Strickland has had a lot of jobs over the years - from digging ditches to working as an attorney in Birmingham. But the latest entry on his resume is "concert producer". A couple of years ago, Strickland stumbled upon the story of Ed Bell. In the 1920's, the Greenville, Alabama native shook up the music world with tunes like 'Mamlish Blues' and 'Hambone Blues'. Strickland was so inspired by Bell's story and his music, that he created Sweet Gum Bottom Blues - a two-day music festival this weekend in Greenville. Acoustic blues artists from around the country will compete for cash prizes... among them, Birmingham musician Sam Pointer, who brought his guitar to our studio recently. Pointer and Strickland shared Ed Bell's story with Tanya Ott.
Birmingham musician Sam Pointer and concert producer Ansel Strickland. Sweet Gum Bottom Blues Festival is Saturday and Sunday in Greenville, Alabama. Details about the festival on our website. There's also an extended version of this interview. Sam Pointer talks about what Birmingham's local music scene has over San Francisco, Washington DC and other major cities. That's on the Tapestry page of wbhm.org.
Last season, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra had a string of guest conductors to lead the Masterworks series. Several of them were candidates for the ASO's music director position. The ASO continues its search for a music director and one of the candidates who was here last year -- Conductor Justin Brown - has been invited back for an extended stay. Brown spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall about retuning to Birmingham and conducting the Masterworks concert Friday and Saturday night...
Conductor Justin Brown...he leads the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in two Masterworks concerts this weekend.
Okay - so we've covered country opera, Hambone Blues, and Dvorak. What's next? How about some aggressive, beer-soaked rock-n-roll? This is Model Citizen's song Empty Room, from the forthcoming CD "Save It for the Campfire". Matt Patton is the group's singer and guitarist. (AUDIO MONTAGE) The song is "Empty Room" from the forthcoming CD "Save It for the Campfire". Model Citizen just signed to the Italian record label Nicotine Records. They play the High Note Lounge - Saturday night... and we've got downloads of their music on our website.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Hunter Bell produces the musician profiles and Francesca Rosko tracks community events. I'm Greg Bass. Thanks for joining us!
Support for Tapestry comes from the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Funds administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.