Willi Carlisle is a folksinger and writer from the Ozark hills. He performs internationally at places like the Kennedy Center and the Ozark Folk Center and has spent many years living in an intentional community near Fox, Arkansas. With years of collecting folklore and playing/calling square dances, Willi is a multi-faceted writer, performer and instrumentalist. He plays banjo, accordion, fiddle and guitar, and has toured extensively and performed with Dom Flemons, Mary Gauthier, Los Texmaniacs, Cory Branan, Carson McHone, and more. Willi prefers to perform songs for the oldest reasons: love, heartache, and joy. His albums, Too Nice to Mean Much and To Tell You the Truth have garnered critical success.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/04/2020.
Melissa Carper grew up playing bass and singing in her family’s country band. She went on to study upright bass at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln before performing a repertoire of old-time country, Western swing, and bluegrass with multiple groups across the South, including the Austin, Texas-based band, The Carper Family, which won Best Country Album in 2011 at the Independent Music Awards and again in 2013 with their album, Old-Fashioned Gal. In 2013, the group also made an appearance on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion (this was the second time Melissa had been featured on A Prairie Home Companion). Carper has spent many years moving back and forth between her home base in Arkansas and now Texas, where she continues to perform with the Buffalo Gals Band, whose debut album, Brand New Old Time Songs, made it to Number 2 on the European Americana charts in 2018.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/14/2020.
Ricardo (“Ricky”) Carrido learned to play flute and Latin percussion from his father, Romeo Carrido, as well as Afro-Cuban traditional master drummers from Cuba. He has performed and recorded with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Jessica Simpson, Alfredo de La Fe, Chuchito Valdez, Chucho Valdez, Pete Escovedo, Charanga Cubana, B-side Players, and Poncho Sanchez, among others. As of the winter of 2008, Ricky Carrido became a sworn batá drummer (Omo Añá, or child of Añá, the deity that lives in the batá drum) from the batá set by the name Obbá koso that belongs to the Obbá Enrique Barriero, from Mantanzas, Cuba. Ricky resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he teaches Afro-Cuban Folklore Drumming at the New Mexico Jazz Workshop along with his father, leads the Cuban band called Luna Llena, and plays with the group Son como Son. Ricky is also active as a private instructor.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/30/2020.
A professional son jarocho musician, luthier, and instructor, César Castro has been an active liaison between communities in the US and Veracruz, Mexico, for over fifteen years through Radio Jarochelo, a community-based podcast series he started in 2010, as well as various cultural projects, artist residencies with musicians from Veracruz, and cultural events in local communities, cultural centers, schools, universities, and California state prisons. He is very active as a community activist working to promote community building through music and participatory projects, particularly traditional Mexican son jarocho music. He conveys vast knowledge and experience in son jarocho/fandango musical practices and engages disenfranchised communities in building self-sustaining projects that tap into and build upon cultural knowledge, embodied experience, and memory. He plays requinto, jarana, improvises lyrics, and dance son jarocho.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/15/2020.
Zion S. Charity is a bass guitarist and native of Surry County, Virginia. Inspired by his uncle, bassist Alvin Parker, Zion picked up the instrument and later studied with jazz and gospel musicians Alvin “Web” Wilson and Randolph “Randy” Ellis. In college, Zion studied with James Holden, Jr., Harold Houghton, Sr., and Mark Johnson. Zion has toured internationally and performed alongside artist such as Earl Bynum, Cora Armstrong, and DeeDee Bridgewater. As a recording artist, Zion plays bass for artists worldwide, as well as produces his own solo work. He has performed with many groups in the Virginia area, including the Carl Waterford Band and the KGExperience (Detroit, Michigan), and served as music director for Damon Little (Baltimore , Maryland). As an educator, he is the CEO of Zionite Bass University, a privately-run bass guitar school for students of all ages. Beyond music, Zion is involved in community service both locally and nationally.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 10/02/2020.
Oscar Chirinos has been playing flamenco guitar since he was a little child. Born in Lima, Peru, his family moved to United States when he was nine. He picked up his passion for flamenco from his Spanish grandfather, a guitar player himself. He now lives in Ogden, Utah, where he works for an advertisement company so that he can pursue his passion, music. In 2019, Oscar and Romina Notaro formed the flamenco fusion band AmoRoma along with Rodrigo (percussion), Jaesi (violin), and Barbara (dancer).
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/14/2020
For more than a decade, Nebraska singer-songwriter Daniel Christian has been sharing his songs and stories with audiences nationwide, including at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, the SXSW Festival in Austin, and a coast-to-coast tour of the United States. Daniel has released eight studio albums, a Christmas single, and a live recording. His Coffee & Toast project was released on the South Carolina label, Tremulant Records. He has also collaborated on eight albums of children’s music as a member of the band, the String Beans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel created the “Empty Spaces Series,” playing online concerts from “empty rooms that shouldn’t be empty,” including opera houses, churches, schools, and more.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/01/2020.
Singer-songwriter Andrea Colburn is one-half of the musical duo Andrea and Mud, who categorize themselves as “surf western music.” Based in Atlanta, they spent many years operating a very demanding touring schedule. Growing up in St. Louis, Andrea Colburn says she wanted to learn guitar from a young age, but never particularly excelled at the instrument. When she moved to Georgia in 2012, however, a shift happened, and she found herself performing on a new level. When she connected with Kyle “Mud” Moseley, they found the right match. The duo released their album Bad News Darlin’ in 2020. In addition to guitar, Andrea Colburn also plays the musical saw.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/24/2020.
First Nation drummer Brian Coleman was born in Summerville, South Carolina, where he resides with his wife Shantrice and their daughter, Alijah. Brian is a Tribal member of the Edisto Natchez-Kusso Tribe of South Carolina. He serves as Chairman and Treasurer of the Board for the Tribal Council and the Edisto Indian Free Clinic. As a musician, he is a member of the Edisto River Singers Drum group, with whom he regularly performs at pow wows and other functions. He received his degree in electrical engineering from South Carolina State University and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Charleston Southern University, and continues to work as an electrical engineer.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/09/2020.
Samantha Crain is a Choctaw singer, songwriter, poet, producer, and musician from Oklahoma. She is a two-time Native American Music Award winner and winner of an Indigenous Music Award. Her genre spanning discography has been critically acclaimed by media outlets such as Rolling Stone, SPIN, Paste, No Depression, NPR, PRI, The Guardian, NME, Uncut, and others. She has toured extensively over the past eleven years nationally and internationally, presenting ambitious orchestrated shows with a band and intimate folk leaning solo performances. She has toured with First Aid Kit, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lucy Rose, the Avett Brothers, the Mountain Goats, Brandi Carlile, Langhorne Slim, and many other bands and artists.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/02/2020.