Roaring into the 20s with Farm and Fun Time! - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Roaring into the 20s with Farm and Fun Time!

From honky tonks to desert isles, we definitely roared into the 20s (the 2020s, that is) at January 9’s Farm and Fun Time! Thanks to our sponsor Eastman Credit Union, Radio Bristol was able to bring Farm and Fun Time to not only those in the audience or tuned in to WBCM-LP, but to viewers far and wide via Facebook Live. Be sure to like WBCM – Radio Bristol on Facebook to tune in every month!

Host band Bill and the Belles got the crowd going with their signature harmonies, blending their voices on new and old songs alike, while our “Heirloom Recipe” segment for January was award-winning storyteller Tony Marr. With the holiday season coming to a close, Tony delivered not a tasty recipe, but instead a warning of what can go horribly awry with all the leftovers. Though leftovers seem harmless, Tony proved to the audience that they can also be the stuff of nightmares – and hearty laughs. Moving forward, hopefully the audience will heed his warning and diligently use his guide to identify mold and other food-related horrors. Finally, to break up the nauseous mood surrounding this story, Bill and the Belles delivered a fresh jingle all about the food we leave behind.

Three photos:
Left: All four members of Bill and the Belles singing at the mic together.
Center: Storyteller Tony Marr telling his funny stories.
Right: Three members of Bill and the Belles at the mic -- fiddler Kalia, guitarist Kris, and banjoist Helena.
Bill and the Belles always bring the right song to the Farm and Fun Time stage, including their hilarious jingle to celebrate storyteller Tony Marr’s comedic tale of leftovers gone wrong. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Following the “Heirloom Recipe,” our first guest of the evening was the Vaden Landers Band. Vaden is a familiar face to folks in Bristol and across our region. At an early age, Vaden hit the road riding the rails and learning about American roots music, singing in smoky bars and on street corners. Vaden had previously appeared on Farm and Fun Time with the Fly-By-Night Rounders, but tonight’s show was totally different. Maintaining his ties to the country blues and blue yodels popularized by Jimmie Rodgers, Vaden brought his full, electric honky tonk band over the mountain from Asheville and rocked the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s Performance Theater like it was a smoke-filled dance joint. Performing new songs that sound like the ones that made the jukebox play in days gone by, Vaden’s show is not to be missed. With frequent performances across the region, be sure to catch him when he’s near you! 

Four photos:
Top left: A close-up of Vaden Landers, wearing a blue cowboy-style shirt and cowboy hat, singing at the mic.
Bottom left: A close-up of the pedal steel player's hands on his instrument.
Top right: The band on stage.
Bottom right: A close-up of the drummer and her instruments.
The Vaden Landers Band’s performance was a musical and energy-driven treat. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For this month’s “Radio Bristol Farm Report,” we visited A Different Chick Farm in Johnson City, Tennessee, to learn about grafting fruit trees. Grafting is a process that involves splicing pieces of trees together to ensure a better product. Here’s the video from our visit:

Our final musical guest came to us all the way from Australia via Nashville: C. W. Stoneking! On his first visit to the Twin-Cities, C. W. delivered one of the most awe-inspiring performances ever on the Farm and Fun Time stage. A musical chameleon and a man of mystery, C. W. blends strains of blues, calypso, jazz, and countless other styles together into something that is stunningly unique. Growling songs of voodoo gone wrong and crooning songs of an island paradise, he has a distinct and powerful voice that matches his deft abilities on the electric guitar. A highlight of the evening was C. W.’s moving performance of “On a Desert Isle,” a masterpiece of songwriting. This was a rare treat, and we hope to see C.W. in Bristol again soon!

Three images:
Left: A close-up of C. W. singing in to the mic.
Top right: C. W. on guitar at the mic.
Bottom right: A close-up of C. W.'s tattooed hand on playing his guitar.
C. W. Stoneking put his heart and soul into his performance, and the audience responded in kind. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped get the new year off to a good start! Tickets are on sale for February’s show featuring The Kody Norris Show, Wayne Henderson and Presley Barker, and host band Bill and the Belles. We hope to see you there!

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