WDVX Experience Podcast 1 : Chris Jones

This is the WDVX Experience  – sharing special moments in the 20 year history of  East Tennessee’s Own WDVX.


This podcast features WDVX fans, volunteers, staff, musicians and special guests sharing a special time they had with WDVX. For this experience Tony Lawson discusses the first live performance on WDVX in 1997 before the camper with Chris Jones.

 

Bullet Backstory Featuring Eli Fox

Eli Fox will be joining us for the Camperfest Reunion! Camperfest Reunion celebrates the iconic WDVX 14ft Camper Broadcast Studio that started it all in 1997 and the Camperfest Americana Music Festival, which happened from 1998 – 2007. This was WDVX’s annual happening where the station threw a great party that brought listeners and local and national artist from near and far together for a weekend of great music and fellowship.

Help support WDVX during our 20 year anniversary celebration by attending the special Camperfest Reunion May 5-6 at Dumplin Valley Farm in Kodak, TN just 25 minutes from downtown Knoxville. In the meantime, enjoy this Bullet Backstory featuring Eli Fox! He was gracious enough to answer our questions for this regular feature on the WDVX blog.

  • Biggest musical influences?Old Crow Medicine Show, Woody Guthrie, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and John Hartford
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career? I just enjoy making music. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I feel that now as a songwriter, I really need to share my songs. I feel almost obligated to because they may have an impact on someone just like other artists have had on me. It’s my way of having an impact on something and who knows, maybe my words and melodies will mean something particularly special to someone.
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? I’m still honing my craft, so it’s hard to give too much advice. It’s really something you have to be passionate about. I write and perform music because it really means something to me and maybe it can evoke something in someone else. I really get a thrill out of it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t play or perform. I don’t perform to get attention from anyone, in fact I would rather stay under the radar. I perform because I would like to share my songs and because I feel they can be interpreted in many ways, meaning something different to each individual that hears and experiences them.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? Right now, that would be fishing. It lets me spend time in the outdoors and puts me in a different headspace. Fishing really relaxes me and takes things off my mind, while also helping me to think about those things differently. I’m fortunate and grateful to live in in an area like this with so many great outdoor activities available. Especially right now in the spring when the weather’s nice. All I want to do now is to be outside catching some nice bass.
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why? This is a tough one. It’s hard to narrow it down to one, but I would have to say John Hartford. Unfortunately he passed away when I was only two years old so I never got to see him play live. He had such a great music mind and was an outside thinker. He was creative in such a progressive way, while crossing many boundaries musically. Other than that, he also had great melodies and outstanding lyrical creativity as well as uniqueness. No one quite did it like John and that’s why his music is so appealing, other than the fact that it’s just plain good music in my opinion. The man was an extreme music mind that I am truly grateful for. I’m so glad that he decided to share his creations and I feel that any musician in any genre or style could definitely learn something from John. He’s one of the best.
  • Anything else you would like to share? Favorite WDVX memory, etc?  I think it’s kind of funny that I got into music in the first place. I always got into trouble at school for not singing in music class and at one point was even failing band class. It wasn’t until I started playing the banjo and discovered WDVX’s eclectic variety that playing music really appealed to me. I’m so thankful that it did though because there’s nothing else I’d rather be so involved with. I can’t thank WDVX enough for all that they do in this community and for the great music that they share and inspire others to create. WDVX has been a very important part of my musical identity and helped me grow into the music appreciator and fan that I am today.

Bullet Backstory Featuring Jay Clark

The WDVX Blue Plate Special is going on the road this winter due to remodeling at our Knoxville Visitor Center location. Our next Blue Plate Special Road Show is Friday, February 17th with Pistol Creek Catch of the Day along with Jay Clark & The Tennessee Tree Beavers from Clayton Center for The Arts in Maryville. It’s at noon, it’s free, it’s the really special Blue Plate Special Road Show at the Clayton Center for The Arts. Catch the broadcast or webcast at wdvx.com.

In the meantime, enjoy this Bullet Backstory from Jay Clark. He was gracious enough to answer our questions for this regular feature on the WDVX blog.

Take it away Jay!

  • Biggest musical influences? John Prine, Gillian Welch, Darrell Scott, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, George Jones, my Uncle Jerry
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career? I have always played in bands and wrote songs since I was 16. However, I went to college for 11.5 years, got a PhD in Wildlife Ecology, & pretty much looked at music and songwriting as a hobby. That is, until my wife, Stacy (also has a PhD but in Forestry), beat me to a full-time research position! If your are married to someone in our field (i.e., natural resource management), it is really difficult for both spouses to end up in the “job of their dreams”. So, we agreed that whoever got the job as close to East TN as possible, the other would fend for themselves. Luckily, we ended up in Knoxville, she got the job of her dreams, & I started recording records & touring. Although I don’t tour like I did for the last 12 years or so, I am still going to do music to some extent for the rest of my life… have to!
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? Write what you know! It is too easy to stray from that, especially given what folks hear on mainstream radio. However, my motto has always been, “If I can’t sell a song to myself, then how the hell can I touch someone else with it?”
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? I am kind of a home body. However, going to live shows, usually sponsored by WDVX, gets me out of Blount County. So does UT football!
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why? Well, that is a hard one. It is easy to say any of the influences listed above. However, I would have to say some of the old mountain folk singers that were active across southern Appalachia during the labor movements associated with the coal mines in the 60s & 70s. I have a lot of that ordeal in my family history & would have loved to have shared the bill and stage with some of those folks that used their music for a cause. However, that kind of music is very much still alive today, you just have to look for it!
  • Anything else you would like to share? Favorite WDVX memory, etc? One of my favorite WDVX memories is when I played the Blue Plate Special dressed as Elvis in 2008. It was a bet I made with Tony Lawson. He lost & had to dress up as Red Hickey!

 

Bullet Backstory Featuring Josh Daniel

Photo Credit: Justin Fedor

Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project are performing on The Tennessee Shines Radio Show tonight (4/19/2017)! Josh Daniel answered these bullet backstory questions for us earlier this year when he performed on Tennessee Shines with Peter Gray. Josh Daniel is a North Carolina singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose passion and enthusiasm are evident every time he takes the stage. Daniel describes his sound as “Rock n Roll” but it’s much broader than that. Josh is able to mold his influences in to a unique sound that is entirely his own.

Blending rock n roll with bluegrass, funk and soul music with a reggae backbeat, you never know which way he will lead the crowd. By the tender age of 19 Daniel had a full length CD of original music under his belt and performed hundreds of live shows. Since then he has released a catalog of music with his critically acclaimed band The New Familiars that includes several EPs, a full length CD, a live effort and a 45 single with a wonderful cover of the classic soul song “My Girl”.

Raised on the vinyl of the 1970′s where Soul and Rock n Roll played equal parts, Josh’s repertoire is stunning, and estimates he knows “a couple hundred” songs along with countless original compositions which range from complex bluegrass instrumentals to full blown pop classics.

Tennessee Shines Radio Show is performed for a live audience every Wednesday at 7pm at Boyd’s Jig & Reel musical pub in Knoxville’s historic Old City. The show is broadcast live on WDVX FM and WDVX.com. Tickets are $7 plus applicable fees in advance, available at http://jigandreel.ticketleap.com/ or $10 at the door starting at 6pm.

In the meantime, enjoy this Bullet Backstory featuring Josh Daniel!

  • Biggest musical influences? Grateful Dead, Beach Boys, Allman Brothers, Beatles.
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career? I just LOVE music!! I love listening to records, going to live shows and just the magic of making music with folks of all backgrounds.
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? Play everyday, play with lots of different people and be open to all styles!
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? Go to the Blue Plate Special!!! What a great thing you guys have going in Knoxville! I’m very jealous that we don’t have something like this in my hometown of Charlotte NC.
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why? Wow, what a great question… my initial thought was Prince but there are so many greats in every genre it would be tough to narrow it down… how bout an all star band with John Bonham on Drums, Jaco on Bass, Miles on Trumpet, Jerry Garcia on guitar, Elton John on keys and Aretha Franklin singing backup!
  • Anything else you would like to share? Favorite WDVX memory, etc? I’ve had many great sessions on WDVX!  I enjoyed having Knoxville’s own Sam Quinn on upright bass the last time I played!

Bullet Backstory Featuring the Lonetones

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East Tennessee’s Own WDVX has been bringing you Real Live Music from the heart of Downtown Knoxville for more than a decade on the WDVX Blue Plate Special… As we head into the new year, the building that houses the Blue Plate Special stage is being remodeled to create a more useful and comfortable space for visitors and Blue Plate Special attendees. This means our live noontime shows will be taking a break through February 2017. You will still hear Blue Plate programming and live in- studios on your radio, and we are planning Blue Plate Special Road Shows throughout our community… the first one is January 13th at the Open Chord in West Knoxville, featuring The Lonetones and the The South Carolina Broadcasters… For updates and information on Blue Plate Special Road Shows, stay tuned to WDVX and WDVX.com In the meantime, enjoy this Bullet Backstory from Steph Gunnoe of The Lonetones. She was gracious enough to answer our questions for this regular feature on the WDVX blog.

Take it away Steph!

  • Biggest musical influences?It probably goes without saying, but I’d say we all share that endless fascination with pioneers of any music, folks that dig deep for original sounds and voices: Bill Monroe, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Neil Young, Billie Holiday, David Bowie, The Pixies.  But also maybe overlap in more personal faves like Michael Hurley, Wilco, ELO, Hazel Dickens.
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career? Seems like musicians’ minds are just trained on obsessing over patterns of melody and rhythm, and themes. You just keep following those threads through your life, whether it pays the bills or not.
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? Listen to lots of music but also spend time in silence so you can make way for new sounds.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? Love the outdoors here, hiking the Urban Wilderness and enjoying the quarry swimming scene in South Knoxville. Always love having access to Knoxville’s amazing music scene.
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why? Knoxville has enough musical talent for a lifetime of collaborations. I fantasize about writing a musical and utilizing so many of the musicians, actors and artists I admire in this town.
  • Anything else you would like to share? Favorite WDVX memory, etc? I will never forget driving down I75, being on Jellico Mountain and hearing WDVX for the first time. Being in those mountains while getting to hear some beautiful old bluegrass songs that a very young Alex Leach was spinning. I knew I had found my new home. One of our first (and coziest!) gigs was playing on Local Licks at Six with Grace in the camper. Over the years, WDVX has been such a nurturing force in supporting and helping to develop the Knoxville music scene and beyond.

 

Bullet Backstory with The South Carolina Broadcasters

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East Tennessee’s Own WDVX has been bringing you Real Live Music from the heart of Downtown Knoxville for more than a decade on the WDVX Blue Plate Special… As we head into the new year, the building that houses the Blue Plate Special stage is being remodeled to create a more useful and comfortable space for visitors and Blue Plate Special attendees. This means our live noontime shows will be taking a break through February 2017. You will still hear Blue Plate programming and live in- studios on your radio, and we are planning Blue Plate Special Road Shows throughout our community… the first one is January 13th at the Open Chord in West Knoxville, featuring The Lonetones and the The South Carolina Broadcasters… For updates and information on Blue Plate Special Road Shows, stay tuned to WDVX and WDVX.com In the meantime, enjoy this Bullet Backstory from The South Carolina Broadcasters. They were gracious enough to answer our questions for this regular feature on the WDVX blog.

  • Biggest musical influences? The Carter Family, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, Benton Flippen, George Pegram, Roy Acuff,Wade Mainer, Roscoe Holcomb, Hank Williams Sr.,  Early Upchurch, pretty much all the oldtime country and bluegrass pickers from before 1960. We’ve got a room full of old 78s and early bluegrass 45s and 33s. Pick a day, pick an influence. Andy had the privilege of playing with Benton Flippen and the Smokey Valley Boys from age 13 till when Benton passed ten years later. Ivy met Bill and Janice Birchfield of The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers at a fiddlers convention one day, played on stage with them the next, and subsequently traveled with them for several years before forming The Broadcasters. David learned directly from Elizabeth Cotton and the Rev. Pearly Brown. Although our influences are many and varied, it was those real life experiences of playing with our “heroes” that has helped shape us as the musicians we’ve become.
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career?  If you can make a living doing what you love most, why not? We feel that we’ve got something to offer folks that’s not out there already. We’re not really sure it was a choice.
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? Stay true to who you are and your roots. Don’t let the industry try to sway you away from that. Always dig back further in the music, listen to the influences of your heroes. Play it how you feel it.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? Play on WDVX and at the Laurel Theater, of course!
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
    Pretty much most of our heroes have passed on, so playing with any one of our musical influences would be an absolute honor and dream. I’d say the original Carter Family probably tops that list, or maybe…

 

Bullet Backstory Featuring Matt Woods

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The first Tennessee Shines radio show of 2017 features Knoxville’s own Matt Woods performing songs from his brand new album HOW TO SURVIVE along side crowd favorites. Joining him for the evening is long time touring partner and songwriter Adam Lee who is also touring in support of his brand new album, SINCERELY ME. The duo is hitting the road this January and kicking everything off with Tennessee Shines on WDVX! Join us in the audience at Boyd’s Jig & Reel in Knoxville’s Old City or listen live on WDVX in East Tennessee on 89.9 and 102.9 FM and streaming online at www.wdvx.com

www.therealmattwoods.com
www.adamleeband.com

Tennessee Shines Radio Show is performed for a live audience every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Boyd’s Jig & Reel musical pub in Knoxville’s historic Old City. The show is broadcast live on WDVX FM and WDVX.com. Tickets are $10 at the door starting at 6 p.m.

Listen online at http://wdvx.com/listen-live/

In the meantime, enjoy this Bullet Backstory from Matt himself. He was gracious enough to answer our questions for this regular feature on the WDVX blog.

Take it away Matt!

  • Biggest musical influences? Early on Kris Kristofferson and John Fogerty. But you can find influence in many places.
  • What made you decide to pursue music as a career? I felt like it was the best way to say the things I want to say and share this experience. (Also, the half-price beer didn’t hurt.)
  • What advice do you have for young musicians who are trying to hone their craft? Try to write what you know and don’t waste time trying to chase trends or worrying about whether people like your music. Be yourself.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in Knoxville? Dig through records at Lost & Found Records
  • If you could work with any musician (living or deceased) who would it be and why? I would go back to Kristofferson on this one. I think his life is as fascinating as his music and would love the chance to talk with the man.
  • Anything else you would like to share? Favorite WDVX memory, etc? WDVX has been such a big part of the Knoxville experience for me, it is hard to pick a favorite memory, but I can say the nights I have spent with Wayne Bledsoe talking about music and playing tunes on the All Over The Road show sure have been as fun as any

Mark Murray’s Album Favorites for 2016

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Mark’s Super Scientific Selection Process:

  1. Actually liked it enough to download the album
  2. Liked it enough to make a CD copy to put in my car
  3. Still in my car after surviving multiple CD holder purgings.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers        Sidelong

Hard country/ honky-tonk songs about bad breakups and excessive drinking are the rule here. Sarah is a little rough around the edges, kind of like real life. She definitely gives the impression that she’s lived her lyrics, not just written down a bunch of words. Her band is outstanding. Favorite track: “Heal Me”

The Royal Hounds                Poker All Night

East Tennessee’s Own Rockabilly band on par with anyone in rockabilly. These guys make music fun, with a mix of good musicianship, showmanship, and clever lyrics. In addition, they prove that they are not an auto-tuned, over-produced studio band by delivering it all live. Favorite track: “On The Verge”

Rod Melancon                LA 14

5 song EP following 2014’s Parish Lines. A good combination of country/rock/swamp. If Rod is new to you, listen to Parish Lines first. Can’t wait to hear more. (He has promised a follow-up.)  Favorite track: “Perry”

Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms        Innocent Road

My favorite west coast duo. This album has a classic country honky tonk feel that really works. If you like the vintage twang of traditional Country, you will definitely like this. Artist trivia: Reeb spells beer backwards. Favorite track: “New Shoes”

The Honeycutters                On The Ropes

There is something about Asheville’s Amanda Platt and her band that is instantly likable. My capsule description: “They make hurtin’ feel so good!” I’m apparently in good company, evidenced by packed live shows and their recent signing with Brad Hunt and the WNS Publicity Group (Steve Forbert, Sonny Landreth, Tim O’Brien, etc.) Favorite track: “Blue Besides”

NOTE: Since I am an old-time music fan, a 2016 must-mention is the 4 CD box set “The Knoxville Sessions 1929-1930”. Not really material you would normally hear on Americana Mix (tune in to Clinch River Breakdown on Sundays from 12-4), but this CD set documents one of the places and some of the artists where it all began. Grammy nominated for best album notes.

Tune in Saturdays from 2 until 6 for the Americana Mix with Mark Murray!

Nelson Discusses His 2016 Favorite Americana Releases

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My top 10 songs are:

  1. “Hands of Time” – Margo Price
  2. “Heaven Sent” – Parker Millsap
  3. “What it Means” – Drive-By Truckers
  4. “Wrong Side of the Dream” – Austin Lucas w/Lydia Loveless
  5. “Old Men, Young Women” – Lori McKenna
  6. “How Quickly Your Heart Mends” – Courtney Marie Andrews
  7. “Same to You” – Lydia Loveless
  8. “Call to Arms” – Sturgill Simpson
  9. “Dreaming in the Day” – Aubrie Sellers
  10. “If Only” – Michaela Anne

Here’s a list of my 10 favorite Americana releases of 2016:

10.) Sidelong – Sarah Shook & The Disarmers

This is officially a 2015 release, but it was not sent out to radio until January. Sarah’s brash brand of full

throttle honky-tonk made sure she was a staple of WDVX playlists for much of the year.

Top Track: “Misery Without Company”

9.) Real – Lydia Loveless

Want the fire of Sarah Shook, but with a little less twang? Try Lydia Loveless on for size. Lydia has always

been a bit of a chameleon, but you get the sense that the energy and emotions on display here are, like

the title of the record, Real.

Top Track: “Longer”

8.) On the Ropes – The Honeycutters

Asheville’s Amanda Anne Platt is an amazing songwriter, penning heartbreaking country tunes better

than most coming out of Nashville. The band’s take on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is at once

completely original and familiar.

Top Track: “On the Ropes”

7.) Mosey – Daniel Romano

Romano has morphed from the Gram Parsons style crooning of his New West Records label debut in

2013 into the artist who released one of the most gloriously weird albums of 2016. Strings? Check.

Horns? Check. Guest vocals from Rachel McAdams? Check.

Top Track: “Mr. E. Me”

6.) Are You Serious – Andrew Bird

Bird continues to be the best whistling chamber-pop violinist working today. His sense of melody and

intricate arrangements never cease to grab me.

Top Track: “Capsized”

5.) case/lang/veirs – case/lang/veirs

I’ve seen many critics compare this collaboration to a modern day version of The Trio (Dolly Parton,

Emmylou Harris, & Linda Ronstadt). It’s hard to argue when you hear Neko Case, k.d. lang, & Laura Veirs

meld their voices together.

Top Track: “Atomic Number”

4.) A Sailor’s Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson

Simpson proved he doesn’t need the guiding hand of Dave Cobb to make a great album on this country-

rooted-yet- genre-blending love letter to his newborn son. Rock, soul, psychedelia, and R&B all enter into

Simpson’s intricate equation here.

Top Track: “Keep it Between the Lines”

3.) American Band – The Drive-By Truckers

The most politically charged offering in this band’s vast catalog is also the most vital album they’ve

produced since the Isbell days. Mass shootings, police violence, immigration, and what it means to be

Southern in today’s America all come under Mike Cooley & Patterson Hood’s microscope.

Top Track: “What it Means”

2.) The Bird The Rifle – Lori McKenna

This is my pick for the best written album of 2016. McKenna’s tales of domestic discord are heart

breaking in their honesty and devastatingly precise in their perceptiveness. It’s no secret why McKenna

has won the last two Song of the Year trophies at Nashville’s CMA Awards.

Top Track: “Old Men Young Women”

1.) Midwest Farmer’s Daughter – Margo Price

Price is so amazing, I flew to London just to watch her perform. Well. That’s not exactly true, but I did

catch a show in the UK this summer. Her honesty in revealing details about her life make this not only

the best album of 2016, but one of the most stunning debuts in recent memory as well.

Top Track: “Hands of Time”

Grace’s Favorite Albums of 2016

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In the spirit of the “Americana Mix” I tried to choose from a variety of genre’s…
Rock – Mudcrutch 2 –
Bluegrass – The Earls of Leister – Rattle & Roar
Blues – Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat
Alt Country – Dwight Yoakam – Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars
Singer Songwriter – Mark Radice – Audio Quicksand