From June 16, 2005...
It's that time of year again – City Stages! And tonight, on our one-hour edition of Tapestry, we bring you the music and the people. People like bluesman Willie King, and the acoustic instrumental sounds of husband and wife duo Montana Sky. Also, singer-songwriter Mindy Smith, the Birmingham Rhythm Orchestra and more. I’m Greg Bass. Thanks for joining us!
Hundreds of thousands of people will converge on downtown Birmingham this weekend for City Stages. It's a huge logistical fete – basically, constructing a "city within a city" for three days. And behind it all is George McMillan, founder and president of the group that produces the music festival. As the 17th annual Vines and Waldrep City Stages gets underway, WBHM’s Tanya Ott sat down with McMillan to talk about the festival's past and future.George McMillan interview
WBHM's Tanya Ott, talking with City Stages founder and president George McMillan.
This weekend's lineup is very diverse...from the urban sounds of Michael Tolcher to Summerfest's Cabaret, the glam rock of Def Leppard, and country tunes from Trace Adkins. If blues are more your thing, Willie King is your man. He knows the blue about as well as anyone. King has lived it for most of his life in rural Pickens County, Alabama. In the tradition of Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, King began playing the music as child and Saturday afternoon he brings that music to City Stages. I talked with him this week about his life in music.Willie King interview
Alabama Bluesman Willie King performs Saturday afternoon on the Momentum Telecom Stage with his band, the Liberators.
Later on Saturday – on the same stage – you can catch the tunes of singer/songwriter Mindy Smith. Smith hasn't been at it nearly as long as Willie King, but she's certainly making a name for herself. She figured she’d start her recording career quietly and work to build it slowly. She didn't expect to make a big attention-grabbing splash right away, but that's exactly what happened when she sang "Jolene" on a Dolly Parton tribute CD -- Dolly even joined her on the chorus, and a video on Country Music Television soon followed. Smith even appeared on late night talk shows and cable music specials. All this before her debut album "One Moment More" was ever released. She talked about her whirlwind debut with WBHM's Michael Krall...Mindy Smith interview
Mindy Smith performs at the Momentum Telecom Stage Saturday night at 7:40. You can hear an extended interview with Smith at the Tapestry section of WBHM dot org.
Mindy Smith opens for headliner Mary Chapin Carpenter...who you can bet will draw a crowd of people and flamingos! That's right, the dainty pink birds hold a special place in the Chapin Carpenter world! You know how many bands have their special "groupies" – the Grateful Dead's "Deadheads", for instance. Well, some of Mary Chapin Carpenter's Birmingham and Atlanta-based fans could be called "Flamingo-heads". Lissa LeGrand finds out why as she talks to a friend who is a devoted follower of the popular singer-songwriter.Cameron Tichenor interview
WBHM’s Lissa LeGrand, talking with Cameron Tichenor, proud member of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s flock of flamingoes.
You've heard of Southern Rock – and alternative rock – but what about Southern alt-rock? That's how critics are describing Wes McDonald’s music – though it's hard to classify a blues-tinged country rocker who manages to work in the glockenspiel. Confused? You can check it out Sunday afternoon on the Homegrown Stage. McDonald talked with WBHM's Rosemary Pennington.Wes McDonald interview
Wes McDonald fine-tuned his skills Nashville and alt-rock mecca Athens, Georgia --- the same stomping grounds as our next group. Deep in the bustling suburbs of north Georgia -- about an equal distance between Atlanta and Athens -- Jonathan and Jennifer Adams are not-too-far from the place they met in college years ago. While, back then, it was a mere dream for them to impress critics and fill venues, the duo known as "Montana Skies" is now enjoying success as sweet as a Georgia peach... and as busy as I-285. WBHM's Steve Chiotakis caught up with the Adams' during practice, in of all places, their dining room.Interview with Jonathan and Jennifer Adams
Jonathon and Jennifer Adams, also known as Montana Skies, perform Saturday night at 7:15 at the Mason Corporation Music Oasis inside the Cathedral of the Advent Episcopal Church.
You've got your sunblock -- you're ready to beat the heat. You've got your chair --you're ready to beat fatigue. You are *prepared* for City Stages. But are you ready for the food? You might want to brace yourself -- as commentator Francesca Rosko found out, the food can catch you unawares...Francesca Rosco's commentary on City Stages food
Earlier in the show, we heard how the stages for this year's festival are reorganized. There are, in fact, fewer stages...and that left organizers scrambling to figure out where to put some performers. There’s no World Beat Stage – no New Arts Stage – so where is the Birmingham Rhythm Orchestra playing? The Children's Stage, of course! Even if you don't have kids, you'll want to wander over to the Children's Stage to check out the Rhythm Orchestra. WBHM's Hunter Bell prepared this audio postcard.Birmingham Rhythm Orchestra
WBHM's Hunter Bell produced our audio postcard from the Birmingham Rhythm Orchestra. John Scalici, Matt Kimbrell and Jay Burnham will play the Children's Stage at 2 o'clock on Saturday afternoon.
So much music these days is derivative – "in the tradition of so-and-so". But at least one artist on this weekend's lineup has carved out a territory of his own – giving new meaning to the phrase "alternative music". Dale Short has this reflection on Alejandro Escovedo.Alejandro Escovedo
Reporter Dale Short. Alejandro Escovedo plays the Momentum Telecom Stage, Friday night at 11 o'clock.
The Killers! ... Government Mule! ... Black Crowes! ... First Aid! Okay, so that last one is NOT really a band. But still, when you get this many people together in one place, you've got to have a first aid tent. We talked with two of the professionals who'll be providing that service at City Stages.First Aid at City Stages
Some advice from Birmingham Fire and Rescue’s C.S. Mardis and paramedic Ross Sheffield - for staying healthy and happy as you venture out this weekend for City Stages.
What's going on in and around the Birmingham area. For additional details, go to our online version of the Community Calendar.Community Calendar
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Reporting this week from Steve Chiotakis, Rosemary Pennington, Dale Short, Lissa LeGrand, Francesca Rosko and Hunter Bell. I'm Greg Bass. You can learn more about all of the artists we profiled on this week’s show – on the Tapestry section of our website, wbhm.org. There are links, extended interviews, photos and more – so check it out! And, if you're out at City Stages this weekend, be sure to stop by the WBHM booth. We'd love to meet you!
Support for Tapestry comes from the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Funds administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.