Mavis Staples reflects on more than half a century as a singer. A profile for the National Folk Festival published in The Carolina Peacemaker.
Rising bluegrass stars Mipso have deep roots in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad. A profile of the band for Go Triad.
James Taylor’s generosity toward his fans was evident in a Greensboro Coliseum concert I reviewed for the News & Record.
“Just because you use a hammer to build a house don’t mean it’s an old house.” A profile of traditional country singer Dale Watson for the National Folk Festival, published in the News & Record.
New River Trail
A ride through Virginia’s “longest and skinniest state park” on the New River Trail. A travel feature for 1808.
“The world of music is so huge, and I like to explore.” A Relish profile of Winston-Salem singer Martha Bassett, a classically trained vocalist and jazz singer who reinvented herself as a roots singer-songwriter.
Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra
The Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra has brought big band jazz into the 21st century. One of my music columns for 1808 magazine.
The Church Sisters
“They’ve got such a God-given talent, and I know good and well that he didn’t give it to ’em not wanting people to know about it.” A Relish profile of the Church Sisters, 18-year-old twins who have begun to make their mark in the world of country music.
“Can you take that steak and sorta run it through the blender?” A story for the Greensboro News & Record about my unforgettable lunch with the Hardest Working Man in Show Business.
“When T Bone says, ‘Let’s do your first solo record,’ it’s hard to say no.” For my February 2015 column in 1808: Greensboro’s Magazine, I talked to Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops about her new album, produced by the man behind the soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
“David Holt’s State of Music”
“We just thought that would be the perfect place to introduce drone photography to old-time music.” David Holt was in a teenage surf band produced by Kim Fowley, played for years with Doc Watson, and now has a a new show on UNC-TV called “David Holt’s State of Music.” Here’s my Relish cover story about the show.
“The ballads always really move people, and they move me, as well.” I interviewed Raitt for Go Triad in 2013 before her show at the old War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro. The story also included a sidebar about a memorable day for Raitt in Chapel Hill 40 years earlier.
“Being a fan of John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, you just wanna get it as perfect as it can be.” A recent Go Triad cover story, about Winston-Salem roots-rocker Caleb Caudle.
Sound designer Lindsay Jones
“He has a sense of grandeur that a lot of us strive to achieve.” A story for the Winston-Salem Journal about theatrical sound designer Lindsay Jones.
“This record is definitely a coming-of-age record for me personally, just because it’s me facing down what was really keeping me down.” A Relish story previewing an American Aquarium appearance in Winston-Salem.
A review of the final show on Paul McCartney’s Out There tour: “Beatle boots and McCartney’s familiar bent-knee stance drew a direct line to the Beatles’ first appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ half a century ago, and a crowd that clearly came to hear Fab Four songs got its fill.”
“He was just a wonderful little munchkin of a guy. I would go listen to him play all the time.” A look back at Steve Goodman’s time on St. Croix for the Virgin Islands Source.
“I tell people all the time I’m a North Carolina guitar player but a Texas songwriter.” A profile of internationally renowned singer-songwriter Jonathan Byrd.
The Mamas and the Papas
“He was a sweetheart. I have a lot of stories — maybe not stories I could tell.” The death of Denny Doherty inspired this reflection on how the Mamas and the Papas got their act together in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The “5” Royales
The “5” Royales were a pioneering R&B group, influencing James Brown, Steve Cropper, Motown, and Eric Clapton. I interviewed the four surviving Royales for this Goldmine story in 1993, along with Cropper, King Records producer Ralph Bass, Motown producer Clarence Paul, and others.
“I must admit that I’ve been willing to make some ugly commercial compromises.” One of my earliest musician interviews was with one of my heroes: Warren Zevon.
Other pieces archived here.