Bristol, Tenn.-Va. (May 11, 2021) – The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) is excited to announce the return of live, in-person music events to the Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum with the revival of WBCM Radio Bristol’scornerstone program Farm and Fun Time, featuring musical guests Parker Millsap and Alexa Rose on Thursday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Farm and Fun Time has been on a long hiatus due to the pandemic, and BCM is thrilled to welcome live music audiences back to the museum – masked and socially distanced, of course. Host Kris Truelsen and his house band Bill and the Belles will also return to the popular program with their unique, vaudevillian string band segues and delightfully crafted sponsor jingles.
Oklahoma-bred Parker Millsap grew up attending a Pentecostal church with his family three times a week for most of his youth. Though Parker doesn’t consider himself very religious these days, the experiences engraved upon him inform his songwriting. Blending that fire and brimstone preaching with rock, country, blues, and Waits-ian imagery, he has created a sound uniquely his own. His fifth album Be Here Instead emerged from a wild alchemy of instinct, ingenuity, and joyfully determined rule-breaking. In a departure from the guitar-and-notebook approach to songwriting that shaped his earlier work, the Nashville-based artist followed his curiosity to countless other modes of expression, experimenting with everything from piano to effects pedals to old-school drum machines (a fascination partly inspired by the early 1970s innovations of Sly Stone and J. J. Cale). As those explorations deepened and broadened his musical vision, Millsap soon arrived at a body of work touched with both unbridled imagination and lucid insight into the search for presence in a chaotic world.
Alexa Rose was born in the Alleghany Highlands of western Virginia, raised in the tiny railroad town of Clifton Forge. Though no one in her immediate family played or sang, she inherited a deep musical legacy. Growing up she heard stories of her great-grandfather who once lived and played music with Lester Flatt, and she was deeply influenced by the music culture of the mountains where she grew up. A self-taught musician, Rose’s album Medicine for Living is a stunning effort, bringing a wellspring of tradition to bear on an enlivening collection of contemporary roots songs.
Farm and Fun Time hearkens back to the days of classic live radio, featuring today’s top roots music artists. A revival of the popular program that aired in the 1940s and 1950s, the show is a celebration of Appalachian music culture. Like its vintage predecessor, Farm and Fun Time features musical guests, a Farm Report that highlights agriculturalists of the region, and an Heirloom recipe segment that’s more storytelling than instruction. As the show has grown in popularity, so has its reach to new audiences; Farm and Fun Time is now syndicated on Blue Ridge PBS, East Tennessee PBS, and PBS North Carolina.
Though tickets to Farm and Fun Time sold out quickly to BCM e-newsletter subscribers, the show will stream live on Radio Bristol’s Facebook page for free. It is also available for listening on the air at WBCM Radio Bristol 100.1 FM in the Bristol area and through the station’s free mobile app. For more information about Radio Bristol programming, visit ListenRadioBristol.org.