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The volume of great music coming to WNCW is incredible these days, and in this episode we dive into a collection of outstanding songs from favorites like Bruce Cockburn, Joan Osborne and Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton, who were co-founders of the Be Good Tanyas. We’ve got newcomers like Big State from Austin, TX, and Midnight Sister from Los Angeles. Also, host Joe Kendrick has a conversation with radio veteran Steph Beckett on DJ For A Day, talking about her experience in both commercial and public radio, and how many diverse skills are called for in the business today.

Two great musicians take the stage in West Asheville Wednesday evening, and we're excited to bring you a preview with both of them that afternoon. Phoebe Hunt showcased her great Texas/Americana jazz and swing foundation with the Belleville Outfit earlier this decade, and now she breaks out on her own with a new sound, inspired by some intensive study time in India. Dori Freeman impressed us with her first full-length album last year, and it sounds like her great Galax, Virginia foundation continues to show on her forthcoming album, too.

Doc Watson’s signature baritone voice and unique lead bluegrass guitar licks became synonymous with traditional and bluegrass music. Born in Deep Gap, N.C., Doc lost his vision before his first birthday but never let his blindness slow him down, learning ballads and teaching himself harmonica, banjo and guitar. Since his death in 2012, Doc remains the most highly respected flat-pick guitar player in the history of traditional American music.

When English, Irish and Scottish settlers moved into Appalachia, they brought an ancient form of music with them – the ballad. The isolated mountains drew song collectors like Englishman Cecil Sharp. In Madison County, Sharp collected several hundred songs – including 70 from Jane Hicks Gentry from Hot Springs.

Brasstown, in the far southwest corner of North Carolina, is home to the John C. Campbell Folk School founded in 1925. Its founder Olive Dame Campbell collected the music of the region, including ballads and fiddle tunes. Today, people from all over the world travel to the Folk School to begin their day with Morningsong and attend classes in everything from mandolin playing to blacksmithing. Evening entertainment includes Southern Mountain Square Dance, jams and concerts.

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