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The Birthplace of Country Music presents Radio Bristol’s Farm & Fun Time live variety show featuring musical guests Lula Wiles and McKay and Leigh.
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST (Doors open at 6:30 p.m., audience must be seated by 6:50 p.m.)
Location: Performance Theater, Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Radio Bristol brings back appointment programming with Farm &Fun Time, a throwback to the golden era of radio when families crowded around their consoles to enjoy live variety shows filled with music and laughter. Farm & Fun Time pays homage to the classic WCYB Radio program that broadcasted from Bristol in the 1940s and 1950s. The show helped launch the careers of Curly King, The Stanley Brothers, and Jim & Jesse McReynolds.
Farm & Fun Time features live musical guests and a Farm Report segment highlighted regional farmers working to preserve their way of life. Friends share recipes and great stories from their Southern tables in the Heirloom Recipe segment, and house band Bill & the Belles delights audiences with their vintage radio sponsor jingles.
Listeners are invited to be part of the studio audience for Farm & Fun Time, recorded live from the “acoustically perfect” Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol, VA-TN, tune in online at ListenRadioBristol.org, or view the show on Radio Bristol’s Facebook Live.
What will we do? For Lula Wiles, the trio made up of Isa Burke, Eleanor Buckland, and Mali Obomsawin, the question is central to the creation of their music—and it’s the title of their sophomore album, out in 2019 on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. “We wanted to make an album that reflected, in a current way, what we are all staying up late thinking about and talking about over drinks at the dinner table,” says Obomsawin. “What is everyone worried about, confiding in their friends about, losing sleep about?” Anchoring the band’s sharp, provocative songcraft is a mastery of folk music, and a willingness to subvert its hallowed conventions. They infuse their songs with distinctly modern sounds: pop hooks, distorted electric guitars, and dissonant multi-layered vocals, all employed in the service of songs that reclaim folk music in their own voice. The musicians take turns in different roles––Burke and Buckland on guitar and fiddle, Obomsawin on bass, all three singing and writing—but no matter who’s playing what, they operate in close tandem. All three members grew up in small-town Maine, and the band came of age in Boston’s lively roots scene. Since then, they have toured internationally, winning fans at the Newport Folk Festival and the Philadelphia Folk Festival, garnering acclaim from NPR Music and two Boston Music Awards nominations, and sharing stages with the likes of Aoife O’Donovan, the Wood Brothers, and Tim O’Brien. Lula Wiles exists in the tense space where tradition and revolution meet, from which their harmonies rise into the air to create new American music.
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay craft story songs with equal measures heart (“Before the World Was Made”) and humor (“Breaking Up And Making Up Again”). Evidence: Before the World Was Made. The Nashville based songwriters’ 2013 collaboration spotlights celebrated troubadours in peak form (“Before We Come to Our Senses”). “These are modern day country duets à la George Jones and Melba Montgomery,” producer Gurf Morlix says, “but with very sophisticated songwriting.”