12:50 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Life Size, Author Karen Abbott, Film Critic Dale Pollock, The Johnny Possum Band and More

Does gratuitous violence in movies bring you down? Well, take heart, ‘cause film scholar, educator and reviewer Dale Pollock feels your pain and then some. WFDD summer intern Mekaela Nance breathes some life into Live in Studio A with the band Life Size, and you’re going to like what you hear. We’ll burn a few carbon credits with the New Zealand-based Johnny Possum Band. Their U.S. tour brings them to the Triad this weekend, and banjoist, singer, songwriter Sean Whitaker shares their original sound and collaborative spirit. From New Zealand we’ll take you down to the New River and some of the best Blues you’re liable to hear, live in beautiful Grassy Creek, North Carolina. The New River Blues Festival is back! And Bethany Chafin’s back, this time with author Karen Abbott and her new book, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War.

Life Size

Life Size has a distinctive sound and a style all its own.  The band draws from histories in blues, gospel, and funk.  Drummer Tevin Carr and Bassist Greg Moore couldn’t make it, but the songwriting trio, Allijah Motika, Jake Martin, and Silas Boyle did stopped by WFDD for a special performance and to talk with Triad Arts intern Mekaela Nance about songwriting techniques, new live album Live at Lee Street, and more. 

On Saturday night August 30th from 10 to 1 at Foothills Brewing Company in Winston-Salem, the full band will perform.  The event is free and open to the public for ages 21 and up.  Life Size has a live album coming out and a website coming soon.  


Author Karen Abbott and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

New York Times Bestselling author Karen Abbott has a new book out, and it has not one, not two, but four protagonists.  Abbott's book is Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War.  The women she writes of are varied - a socialite, a farm girl, abolitionist and a widow, and while their methods of espionage differ, they're united by the shared quality of fierce loyalty.   Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy will be on sale September 2nd (from Harper Collins), and Karen Abbott will be at Bookmark's 10th Annual Festival of Books and Authors on September 6th.  She will be speaking in the Mountcastle Forum at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts from 12:45pm to 1:45pm, with a book signing at 1:45pm.  Karen spoke to Bethany Chafin from her home in New York City.   Karen Abbott is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine's history blog, "Past Imperfect" and also writes for "Disunion", the New York Times series about the Civil War.  


Behind the Scenes with Dale Pollock

Now it's time for Behind the Scenes with film producer, writer and educator Dale Pollock. Dale’s produced thirteen feature films. His movie Blaze starring Paul Newman was nominated for an Academy Award for Cinematography. He’s also the author of “Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas”.

You can catch up with Dale daily with his Movie a Day blog.


The Johnny Possum Band

The Johnny Possum Band set sail on its 4th US tour, and they had a lot of ground to cover just to get here. The band hails from New Zealand, but they’ve played their own unique brand of Americana at venues all across the Southeast including Music City Roots in Nashville. This year they’ll be swinging through the Triad with outdoor concerts at Zick's Bar on the upper quad at Wake Forest University on August 30th, and the next day at Muddy Creek Cafe in Bethania. Since 2005 The Johnny Possum Band has transitioned from playing mostly Bluegrass covers to their latest CD Love & Truth with 8 original songs. We sample from that CD in today's show.

Johnny Possum Band banjo player/guitarist/singer/songwriter Sean Whitaker spoke with David Ford from his home studio in New Zealand.


New River Blues

Dancing in a mountain meadow, by an ancient river with the sounds of live, world class blues wafting all around you. It may sound just too good to be true—I was getting a little misty eyed just going there for a second---but believe you me it is NOT too good to believe. Why it’s the 12th Annual New River Blues Festival, and it’s coming up this weekend in beautiful Grassy Creek, NC, on the shores of the New River. Gates Open at Noon, the music Starts at 1:00pm and it’ll be performed live by another stellar line-up: Johnny Neel, Charlie Sayles & Tony Fazio, Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen, Boo Hanks, & New River Blues festival directors Penny “Queen Bee” Zamagni and Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville. Together they are The King Bees, they’ve been stingin’ and swingin’ together for more than 25 years, and we’re sampling from their latest album right now.

The New River Blues Festival, bringing the luminaries and lifeblood of blues to the heart of rural Appalachia, and it is this Sunday, August 31st, at the River House Inn, in beautiful Grassy Creek, NC, on the shores of the New River. Gates Open at Noon, with live music from 1-6:00 p.m. 

It’ll be five full hours of hot blues in the cool mountains, with food provided by Farm to Flame food truck. Advance tickets are 17 bucks, 20 at the door. 


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