Episode 9: Langhorne Slim and Chris Frates (CNN and Storyline)

As the coronavirus crisis continues to keep most Americans isolated at home, it’s struggle to find balance between following the massive, global scale of a pandemic and the deeply personal challenges facing every individual and family. Each new day brings important public health and policy developments that require us all to act together and really come to terms with crucial questions about how we live as a society. At the same time, endless confinement at home with ourselves and our families during a moment of extreme stress can shine a spotlight on some of our own personal vulnerabilities that require attention and care. Balancing the deeply personal and the massively global nature of this moment hasn’t been easy for anyone.  

This week Bob spoke with two friends, one from the world of politics and the other from his life as a musician, about the practical and the personal dimensions of this crisis.  

First is Chris Frates, veteran CNN reporter and host of Politics Inside Out on SiriusXM, who in 2016 founded Storyline, which tells the stories of people and organizations whose perspectives fall through the cracks of large media companies. They discuss how and whether to cover the White House daily Covid briefings as news, how Joe Biden can run an effective campaign in a time without rallies and door knockers to get out the vote, who he might select as his Vice Presidential running mate, and Chris’ own challenges of running a small business during an economic crisis.  

Next Bob speaks to his old friend, singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim, who just played a show with Bob and The Avett Brothers in the Dominican Republic in early March, days before our world changed. Slim lives in Nashville and he returned from the DR to a community that was about to be ravaged by a tornado, then by Covid. He’s an unusually thoughtful and candid guy, and he digs into the personal difficulties that for so many are compounded by this crisis. 

We also pay tribute to the legendary Gene Shay who passed away on Sunday from Covid-19 in his native Philadelphia. Gene was a towering figure in folk music for more than a half century, but he was also a personal friend of both Bob’s and Slim’s from the early days of their careers. RIP Gene Shay. 

Politics of Truth is brought to you by Osiris Media. Executive Producer is Adam Caplan. Produced by RJ Bee. Edited, mixed and mastered by Brad Stratton. Art by Mark Dowd. To discover more podcasts that help you connect more deeply with the music you love, check out osirispod.com.

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