Getting Ruened With Henry And Rupert Stansall Of The Ruen Brothers

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. 

The Ruen Brothers perform at the Albino Skunk Music Festival. Photo: John Gillespie

The Ruen Brothers perform at the Albino Skunk Music Festival. Photo: John Gillespie

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




SpringSkunk Music Fest Podcast part 1

April was a packed month. It began with the conclusion of our spring fund raiser at WNCW, went on with SpringSkunk Fest at the Albino Skunk Farm the next week, followed by a few days off to decompress, and MerleFest a couple of weeks after that. Plus, life -- a week on the air to fill in for vacationing colleagues (a somewhat rare treat these days), baseball games, yard work, and so on. It felt like there was never much time to devote to making the companion audio piece to our video work, which did see a couple of videos released soon after the festival, thanks to Aaron Morrell.

The   Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band   closes out Thursday night at SpringSkunk

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band closes out Thursday night at SpringSkunk

It was time to buckle down and take a crack at making this podcast a reality. It was daunting. Sure, I have produced a lot of audio for WNCW -- interviews, round table discussions, even a long form series on refugees in North Carolina. But this was new territory, with about a dozen interview subjects, the full compliment of music played at the festival, and a story line that remained nebulous.

Nikki Talley   and husband Jason Sharp play Thursday afternoon at SpringSkunk

Nikki Talley and husband Jason Sharp play Thursday afternoon at SpringSkunk

It wound up being a big project, with more pieces and parts than I had ever managed. But the memories were still with me, the ideas kept coming, and the technical hurdles of dealing with widely varying sets of audio were overcome. I finally began writing, and then stitched together the episode you find here.

Pretty Little Goat  , who seem to relish playing music at any hour of the day

Pretty Little Goat, who seem to relish playing music at any hour of the day

I hope you enjoy this, the beginning of a three part documentary podcast series. Please support the artists you like here, as well as the festivals in spring and fall on the Skunk Farm in Greer, SC. We would appreciate your help in continuing our endeavor, too. You can find out how on our Patreon page here. Stay tuned for more video from the Jon Stickley Trio, and a lot more. Fes-taa-vul!!