It all began with the desire to give a platform to all the great off-the-cuff conversations about music heard in the hallways at WNCW. A dozen years ago, as then morning music host, I started the feature What It Is, with journalists, artists and other music professionals taking on a wide array of topics ranging from album and concert reviews to debates on overrated icons, and everything in between. My love of producing multimedia projects rooted in music conversation continued with other independent projects that followed What It Is, and now that comes full circle, with Southern Songs and Stories becoming a part of the WNCW lineup, while remaining a proud member of the Osiris podcast network and Bluegrass Planet Radio.
This episode takes a detour from the very South-centric array of artists and history heard previously on the series with a show on The Ruen Brothers, from England. Their music is inspired by a lot of pioneering Southern artists, however: The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Muddy Waters and Johnny Cash, among others, are all acknowledged as being key to their sound.
I caught up with Henry and Rupert at the spring Albino Skunk Music Festival in Greer, SC. They talk about similarities between the rural area where they grew up and the rolling hill country of Upstate South Carolina, how people often forget that rock and blues greats from the mid 20th century had an air of danger about them, and how the Americana scene is booming in England; woven into these conversations are many live songs from their performance. - Joe Kendrick