Hickory Wind: Marshall Chapman and Mourning Dove

Have you ever gone somewhere and wound up with time on your hands, which led to a longer stay? In a way, that’s what I am doing with this episode. In our last podcast, on Mac Arnold, the takeaway was that there was much more about the artists and history of Upstate South Carolina than I had figured on, so I gave it another go. I sought out artists who were born across a span of forty years — Marshall Chapman, and Niel Brooks and Lisa Stubbs, who make up the duo Mourning Dove — and uncovered more rich history, and a vibrant current scene.

Niel Brooks and Lisa Stubbs are Mourning Dove

Niel Brooks and Lisa Stubbs are Mourning Dove

“Hickory Wind” is a song that Gram Parsons wrote about the time when he lived in South Carolina, and both Marshall Chapman and Niel Brooks talk about it in their interviews. The music of Marshall Chapman and Mourning Dove would not have been the same, maybe not even possible, without the backdrop of pine trees that Gram sang about in that song. For Lisa, Nick Drake was more influential, and we sample one of his songs as well.

Marshall Chapman

Marshall Chapman

I encourage you to spread the word about this independent project and consider helping by subscribing, rating and commenting on the show where you get your podcasts, and by becoming a patron. You can find out more about Mourning Dove on their website here and you can find out more about Marshall Chapman at her site here. Also, you can check out Peter Cooper’s music on his website. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it. - Joe Kendrick 

Mac Arnold: The Blues That's Got Nothing To Prove

Music so often gives you more than you bargained for. Talk to an artist, talk to a friend, talk to anyone with an interest in music, and it will lead to discovery. You find out about great artists you did not know about; you trace whole branches of the tree of song. Listening to more and more unfamiliar albums along the way is a given, and part of uncovering this joyful essay.

To discover Mac Arnold is to realize that not only does his branch of the song tree have much more substance to it than you might have expected, but also that it directly touches so much more of this mythological and historic giant. He played with the biggest names in the blues, he was behind the scenes of hit TV shows, he has a crack band and a love for farming the same clay soil he did as a boy. There is a great deal more to Mac’s story, and in this episode we feature interviews with the South Carolina artist along with Plate Full O’ Blues band mate Max Hightower, fellow Upstate blues veteran Freddie Vanderford, and writer and musician Peter Cooper, along with a sampling of studio sides and live music from Mac Arnold, John Lee Hooker, Pink Anderson and more.

(Left to Right): Austin Brashier, Mac Arnold, Max Hightower  While on stage, to be dressed in your best clothes and to look sharp is habit to artists everywhere, a habit that serves to make the player feel good, to know that he looks good. Mac looks almost the same on stage as he does everywhere: cowboy hat, jeans, maybe a flannel shirt. When founding Plate Full O’ Blues member Max Hightower once asked him if he was going to change clothes before their show, he smiled and said “I’ve got nothing to prove!”. It was said with more joy than bravado, and sums up Mac’s outlook on life.

(Left to Right): Austin Brashier, Mac Arnold, Max Hightower

While on stage, to be dressed in your best clothes and to look sharp is habit to artists everywhere, a habit that serves to make the player feel good, to know that he looks good. Mac looks almost the same on stage as he does everywhere: cowboy hat, jeans, maybe a flannel shirt. When founding Plate Full O’ Blues member Max Hightower once asked him if he was going to change clothes before their show, he smiled and said “I’ve got nothing to prove!”. It was said with more joy than bravado, and sums up Mac’s outlook on life.

Thanks for being here! We encourage you to spread the word about this podcast and the artists we spotlight, and consider helping us by subscribing and commenting on our show, and by becoming a patron. You can find out more here on our Patreon site -- and you can keep up with us on our Facebook page, on twitter and Instagram. Also, this series is available wherever fine podcasts are found.

There was so much of our many conversations that did not make it into this episode, that I will bring a lot of that to light in a future episode focusing more on Piedmont blues. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it.  - Joe Kendrick