- Joe Kendrick
2022 has been a year of firsts at Southern Songs and Stories. Beginning with our first guest host, WNCW’s Corrie Askew took stock of her favorite episodes of this series in the previous year. We went even further back in time to revisit Green Acres Music Hall with an episode summing up the first three podcasts on the beloved music venue, and focusing on previously unheard conversations with Green Acres alumni Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, John Cowan and Acoustic Syndicate. Speaking of Bela, we profiled him on his own episode which was based on a conversation we had at the IBMAs, one of many with artists there who will be featured in coming episodes. There was even an episode without a guest, when I asked the question “Why is live music so good?”, which was also made into an NFT. In addition, we collaborated with author and The String podcast host Craig Havighurst on an episode based on our conversation at the inaugural Earl Scruggs Music Festival, titled Southern Strings and Stories.
And now, another first, a collaborative episode with a Christmas theme. Plus ukuleles. And Bigfoot.
Cleveland County, NC is home to ukulele band The Dancing Fleas, and is also reported to be the stomping grounds of Knobby the Bigfoot (while it is definitely home of the Yeti, the mascot of Cleveland Community College) . Collaborating with band leader Jason Lineberger on the concept, script and production of this episode, we dreamed up an old time radio theater setting with his sprawling party band at the center of this tale. Amidst the backdrop of the grand Southern tradition of the Christmas Casserole Cook Off, the Fleas seek to recapture the spirit of the holiday season in a quest which finds them taking on a rival Poison tribute band, disdain for all things New Jersey, even Knobby himself.
Songs heard in this episode:
“The Fleas Are Here!” by the Dancing Fleas
“The Funky Flea” by the Dancing Fleas
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Southern Songs and Stories is a part of the podcast lineup of Osiris Media, with all of the Osiris shows available here. You can also hear new episodes of this podcast on Bluegrass Planet Radio here. Thanks to Corrie Askew for producing the radio adaptations of this series on public radio WNCW, and to Joshua Meng, who wrote and performed our theme songs. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it. – Joe Kendrick