Monday, April 24, 2017

Best of the Arts Hour (2011-2012)

From December 2008 until August 2013, I served as the Folk and Traditional Arts Coordinator at the Mississippi Arts Commission. I loved this job. I learned a great deal about grant making, special programming and project development. My 2001 Subaru logged many a mile traversing the state to meet with musicians, basket weavers, potters, blacksmiths, artists and everyone in between. It was a magical way to spend my post-graduate school years.

One of the greatest opportunities afforded to me while I was at the MAC was to host the Mississippi Arts Hour one Saturday a month on Mississippi Public Broadcasting Radio. You can still hear my colleagues Larry Morrisey, Diane Williams and Malcolm White on the show regularly, as well as other MAC staffers like my friends Melia Dicker and Turry Fluker. Since my freshman year at Ole Miss, I have been obsessed with National Public Radio, so the opportunity to host a show on our state's public airwaves was one of the greatest perks of the job.

It has been a lot of fun for me to peruse the well-kept archive of Arts Hour episodes (thank you to the diligent Larry Morrisey for this labor of love), and share with you a "dirty dozen" of my favorite interviews from 2011 and 2012. I hope you enjoy!

For a full listing of the Mississippi Arts Hour podacasts, click here.

*Note: All show descriptions and links are made possible via MAC website.

Documentary Filmmaker Joe York (Dec. 2, 2012) A nice visit with Joe York, a documentary filmmaker with the University of Mississippi's Media and Documentary Projects Center. We talk about York's interests in southern culture that led to his current work, as well as his most recent film projects, including Mississippi Innocence and Pride & Joy 

Delta Magazine Editor Melissa Townsend (Nov. 4, 2012) An interview with Melissa Townsend, then Editor for Delta Magazine. We talk about the origins of the magazine, their strong focus on local food and culture, and "The Delta," a new book containing photos and essays from the first decade of Delta Magazine.

Painter Jerrod Partridge (September 30, 2012) Conversation with friend and painter Jerrod Partridge from Jackson. We talk about his artistic development, his day-to-day work as a full-time artist, and his current one-person show at the Marie Hull Gallery at Hinds Community College in Raymond.

Singer/Songwriter Jimmy Phillips (August 5, 2012) A special remote recording from Tweed Studios in Oxford, talking with singer/songwriter Jimmy Phillips. We talk about his Delta roots, his circuitous route back to performing via a bootleg recording, and his latest album, Desperate Moon.

Saxophonists London Moffett & James Evans (July 8, 2012) An interview with saxophonists London Moffett and James Evans. The two have played together in several blues and r&b bands around Mississippi. They have also toured with many legendary blues performers, including Z.Z. Hill and Little Milton.

Fiddler Harry Bolick (June 10, 2012) A visit with fiddler and fiddle researcher Harry Bolick. Bolick is a native of Carroll County and has done extensive research on the music of that region. He is also an active old-time fiddler and released a CD highlighting the music of the Carroll County duo Narmour and Smith.

Chimney Choir (May 13, 2012) A fun convo with Chimney Choir, a Colorado-based musical group (featuring former Mayhem String Band member Kevin Larkin) that brings together multiple acoustic musical styles. The band talks about their new recording and performs live in the studio.

Jimmy King from the Subway Lounge (March 11, 2012) Fascinating chat with Jimmy King, formerly of the manager of the (now closed) Subway Lounge in Jackson. We talk about his origins as a blues singer and his many years running the Subway, one of Jackson's most legendary blues clubs..

Cigar Box Guitars by Archie Storey (Jan. 15, 2012) Interview with Archie Storey, a Jackson-based cigar box guitar builder. He tells about who influenced him in getting started and the unique aspects of his instruments. 

Artist H.C. Porter (Dec. 11, 2011) A talk with artist H.C. Porter about her early years working in the Millsaps Arts District, her series of work related to Katrina, and a new series on Mississippi blues musicians.

Musician Tommy Bryan Ledford (Nov. 13, 2011) A native of Louisiana, Ledford played in bands in Oxford for many years and was one of the founders of the Thacker Mountain Radio program. Ledford talks about his musical childhood in Louisiana, his years in Oxford, and his new CD, "Butcher Bird."

Bluesman Big Joe Shelton (Sept. 25, 2011) Big Joe Shelton is from the Black Prairie region. We talk about his musical roots, his current work as a touring musician and they play samples from his latest CD, "The Older I Get, the Better I Was."

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