Traveller Band and a Travelin' Man: An Adventurous Farm and Fun Time - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Traveller Band and a Travelin’ Man: An Adventurous Farm and Fun Time

Left pic: Close up on ; center pic: full band in front of audience; right pic:

Farm and Fun Time launched into its third season on May 10 with another show for the ages! From down-home blues to space age songwriters, this month’s program showcased the full spectrum of music that makes Radio Bristol the station you know and love. 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 started the evening off with a set of inventive and light-hearted music that set the mood for the rest of the evening. Debuting an original piece entitled “Get Up and Give It One More Try,” host Kris Truelsen brought the house down with a fantastic scat singing solo, followed up by the classic “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More.” Following a brief word from our sponsors, “Heirloom Recipe” presenter Jack Beck took the stage. Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, Jack was a founding member of Heritage, one of the premier traditional Scottish bands of the 1970s, but he now makes his home in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, where he runs the Tales of the Lonesome Pine bookstore with his wife Wendy Welch. Jack has long studied the connections between Scotland and Appalachia, including food. Jack talked about his grandfather’s recipe for porridge – with salt not sugar! – and shared porridge’s place in Scottish culture. It turns out that there are many different ways of preparing oats, so Bill and the Belles cleared up any confusion surrounding the topic with a jingle called “Totes for Groats.”

Left pic: All four band members clustered around the microphone playing their instruments and singing; right pic: Jack Beck standing at the microphone holding a can of porridge.
House band Bill and the Belles brought great music to the audience at usual, while Jack Beck waxed lyrical, and even sang, about porridge – oatmeal to you and me! © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

Our first musical guest of the evening was the legendary Roy Book Binder. Following a stint in the Navy, Book traveled with and learned from the likes of country blues giants such as Reverend Gary Davis and Pink Anderson. Stopping by Bristol on his never-ending world tour, Roy brought his particular brand of music, combining raw blues guitar with light-hearted storytelling, to our Farm and Fun Time audience. Book performed a diverse selection of songs, including Pink Anderson and Blind Blake classics from the days of 78rpm records to his own compositions including “It Coulda Been Worse” and “Step Right Up,’ an homage to his near brush with stardom in Chief Thundercloud’s Medicine Show. Book was the definition of a showman, and his witty stories about his decades in show business added another layer of entertainment to an already brilliant set. It was a privilege to have a true legend of American roots music on Farm and Fun Time.

Roy Book Binder at the microphone playing his guitar and singing.
Roy Book Binder had the audience on the edge of their seats and laughing with his storied songs. © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

For our “ASD Farm Report,” Radio Bristol visited Barry Bales’ Farm in Mosheim, Tennessee. When he’s not on the road with the likes of Allison Kraus or The Earls of Leicester, Bales can be found working on the farm that has been in the family for six generations producing the finest pastured meat. Here is a video from our visit:

Closing out the evening was a once-in-a-lifetime set from Traveller. Blending the voices and songwriting prowess of acclaimed songwriters Jonny Fritz, Robert Ellis, and Cory Chisel, Traveller is a country music super group. Performing songs off their new record Western Movies, the band is blazing across the United States playing high-profile gigs in major cities and illustrious venues, including the storied Newport Folk Festival, so it was an extra special occurrence for them to make a stop here in the Twin Cities. Taking songwriting beyond the classic country music themes of heartbreak and home, Traveller performs songs about the mental fatigue experienced in a Kroger during the holiday season and an unyielding love for cowboy movies. One of the highlights of the evening was when Traveller launched into “Hummingbird,” arguably the most infectious piece of music ever written. Not only are the members of Traveller amazing songwriters, but they know how to put on a show! With the rockin’ lead guitar of Robert Ellis and Jonny Fritz’s trademark zany antics, this was a performance those in attendance will never forget.

Left pix: Close up of Robert Ellis on electric guitar ; center pic: full band in front of audience; right pic: Close up on Cory Chisel on acoustic guitar
Traveller’s performance was electrifying – a great end to a fantastic Farm and Fun Time! © Birthplace of Country Music; photographer: Billie Wheeler

We had a blast kicking off our third season of Farm and Fun Time with Roy Book Binder and Traveller, and we hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did. If you couldn’t join us in May, fear not! Though we’ll be taking a break in June, we will reveal our lineup for the July 12 show shortly, and tickets will be available soon!

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