Archive for June, 2014

in performance: the holmes brothers/chatham county line

chatham county line

chatham county line: chandler holt, greg readling, dave wilson and john teer.

One of the major delights derived from sitting in on a live taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio comes when the program presents two acts, seemingly removed from each other as well as from the stereotypes that dog their respective genres, performing in peak but unassuming form.

Such was the case with a charming bill earlier tonight at the Lyric Theatre that featured The Holmes Brothers, a group generically labeled as a blues band despite obvious its reverence for vintage soul, gospel and juke joint rock ‘n’ roll, and Chatham County Line, a quartet that borrows generously from bluegrass instrumentation but operates largely as a folk group.

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the holmes brothers: sherman holmes, wendell holmes and popsy dixon.

The Holmes Brothers – real life siblings Wendell (on guitar and keyboards) and Sherman (bass) with longtime pal Popsy Dixon (drums) – remain ageless wonders. All three are in their ‘70s and revealed a natural affection for groove, soul and harmony. The three shifted vocals on four tunes from their new Brotherhood album, from Sherman’s rustic tenor lead on the lean blues excursion Drivin’ in the Drivin’ Rain to Wendell’s playful piano stride on the gospel-esque Stayed at the Party to Popsy’s syncopated percussion and low vocal pleading on Soldier of Love.

But the killer was a classic – a version of Amazing Grace led by judicious vocal whoops from Wendell and an otherworldly falsetto finale from Popsy that translated into serious testifying.

Chatham County Line, which has issued a decade’s worth of progressively minded string band music on the Yep Roc label, found a lot to like within bluegrass tradition without outwardly sounding like a bluegrass band. Singer Dave Wilson and mandolinist John Teer dressed songs from the band’s recent Tightrope album – specifically, the lightly driven Should Have Known and the spry jamboree tune Tightrope of Love – with elastic harmonies, while Wilson’s guitarwork on The Traveler possessed a delicate, autoharp-ish quality.

But this wasn’t a retro minded troupe. Instead, the band deemphasized bluegrass’ fondness of speed and soloing in favor of strong ensemble instrumentation anchored by bassist Greg Readling and story songs, like the cross-generational war requiem Hawk, that possessed the narrative detail of a fine folk ensemble.

That said, one of the program’s highlights occurred when Chatham County Line banjoist Chandler Holt was given roughly 90 seconds to “go cosmic” with a rollercoaster solo that succinctly showcased his technical prowess with being unduly flashy. The biggest reward wasn’t the vocal response from the audience in front of him but the very obvious approval from The Holmes Brothers at his back. All three beamed not like a pack of discerning blues elders but like a group of eager students cheering on a youthful comrade.

rolling with the brotherhood

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the holmes brothers. from left: popsy dixon, wendell holmes and sherman holmes.

The secret to the longstanding personal and professional bonds that have allowed the Holmes Brothers to make music together for over four decades might be as difficult to discern as the spark that holds a marriage in place.

But spend a few minutes with the trio’s new blues/soul/gospel drenched album Brotherhood and you soon discover just how strong the group’s foundation is and how effortless its upkeep has been.

“Let me tell you, that is the easiest question of all to answer,” said guitarist, pianist, songwriter and vocalist Wendell Holmes. “We love each other. Brotherhood is not a joke when we say that on an album. It’s for real. We’ve been through all kinds of experiences in 40 years, like playing the dives, the juke joints, the gigs that start at 9 and end at 4 in the morning, from making from 20 to 40 dollars a night. That breeds love. We have to look out for one another and care for one another.”

Brotherhood represents the latest chapter in a career that stems back to when Holmes, 70, older sibling and bassist brother Sherman Holmes, 74, and longtime friend, drummer and “brother from another mother” Poppy Dixon, 72, began playing together in 1967. They began performing as the Holmes Brothers in 1979.

Like so much of their past music, the new record is a merry scrapbook of gospel infused, juke-joint style rhythm-and-blues and organic, blues-referenced rock ‘n’ roll. All three members juggle lead vocal duties, from Wendell’s high soul tenor on the churchy album-opening Stayed at the Party, Sherman’s more rustic blues-soul lead on Last Man Standing and Dixon’s jubilant falsetto on the vintage Ike Turner rocker You’ve Got to Lose.

“You don’t stay with people for 40 years, even in a marriage, if you don’t have some compatibility on what you like,” Wendell said. “We like the blues and we like gospel, so we kind of bring all that stuff together.”

“For me, it’s just the honesty in their music,” said Glenn Patscha of the contemporary roots music band Ollabelle, who co-produced Brotherhood and played keyboards on several of the Holmes Brothers’ most recent recordings.

“These guys don’t play tunes they don’t like, they don’t sing things that they don’t believe in. There’s just that honesty along with the obvious soulfulness, and the blend that they have from singing together for so many years. It’s all that, plus their music just feels right. I love everything about them.”

Reception to the music of the Holmes Brothers has remained strongly positive through the years thanks a performance visibility that has seen the trio touring and recording with such notables as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle and Kentucky native Joan Osborne, among many others. But it’s the internal bond that continues to bolster the band (which continues to perform as an unaccompanied trio when touring on its own) as well a musical drive that informs and fortifies their family lives that matters most to the Holmes Brothers.

“The exposure goes in cycles if you stay in the business long enough,” Wendell said. “But I tell everybody the most important thing is the three of us working together, loving each other and playing music together because some of my best musical experiences have been right in my own house with my brothers Sherman and Popsy or just sitting down with my wife and my daughters around the piano and singing.

“So it’s not so much about exposure. Exposure is always good. But there has to be something in the belly, you know what I mean? So far, for the three of us, there has always been a fire in the belly, and it’s not fading.”

The Holmes Brothers and Chatham County Line perform at 6:45 p.m. June 30

at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 E. Third, for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Admission is $10. For reservations, call (859) 252-8888.

in performance: simone felice/dawn landes

SimoneFelice2

simone felice.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Following lengthy delays caused by a late afternoon cloudburst and an extended between-act soundcheck, Simone Felice delivered an involving and inventive trio set that was over and done with in 35 minutes.

The inaugural headline act of WUKY-FM’s Phoenix Fridays series at Phoenix Park, Felice constructed folk-based storysongs with loose, rockish settings that sported the novel instrumentation of Austrailian electric dobroist Matty Green and acoustic cellist Gabriel Dresdale with the star attraction doubling as drummer and vocalist.

The scant, six song sent was split between three works from the singer’s two solo albums, two from records cut with his Catskill-based brethren The Felice Brothers and a contemplative finale cover of Neil Young’s Helpless.

What was there was quite intriguing. A loose, ragged jam slowly gathered steam before bleeding into If You Go to LA (one of two songs pulled from Felice’s new Strangers album). The tune ended with a more dissonant, deconstructed exchange among the three players. A poppish drive later accented the Felice Brothers’ appealing Radio Song.

Felice also proved an intense and intuitive performer, both as instrumentalist and singer. The jams revealed a willingness to tinker with a song’s mood and groove, but he remained a storyteller at heart while singing the mantra-like verses of You and I Believe (from his untitled 2012 solo debut album) and constructing the almost spiritual cast given to Helpless.

And that was it. After six songs, he politely bid Phoenix Park adieu. The set was roughly half the length of the preceding set-up and soundcheck and considerably shorter than the fine opening outing by Dawn Landes.

dawnlandes

dawn landes.

The Louisville-born, Brooklyn-based Landes favored a set of spacious, midtempo Americana tunes with strong country undertows and a style of singing that was steadfast and confident despite the often vulnerable nature of songs like Straight Lines and Wandering Eye. Picture Natalie Merchant singing Nashville Skyline-era Bob Dylan and you get a partial idea of where Landes’ music was coming from.

Especially arresting was her cover of Southern Accents, the title tune to one of Tom Petty’s worst albums. The original version’s solemn pace would have fit in easily with the comfortable stride of Landes’ set. But the singer amped up the song and cut loose with a rootsy gusto that provided another dimension to an already strong performance.

in performance: gordon lightfoot

gordon lightfoot

gordon lightfoot.

“Everything we’re going to play tonight was written in the 20th century,” remarked Gordon Lightfoot near the onset of his return concert last night at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

For the numerous elders in the audience, those were words of comfort. For nearly 50 years, Lightfoot’s catalog of pop-folk songs – which last night shifted from overtly sentimental ballads to tunes with vastly darker narrative undertows – have been rightly revered. As such, a promise from the singer to feature a repertoire from the last part of the last century seemed an enticing proposition even though the concert also proved certain technical elements from the past simply can’t be recaptured.

Let’s get the show’s most outward blemish out of the way. While Lightfoot’s songs have aged beautifully, his voice simply hasn’t. His vocals have been getting thinner and reedier over the past decade. Last night, Lightfoot lost considerable definition, especially in his upper register, which made songs like Carefree Highway and Cotton Jenny an obvious struggle.

But as a friend correctly summarized after the show, “He worked with what he had.” To that end, there were several songs that actually took on a new, sage-like maturity within Lightfoot’s limited vocal reach. One, quite ironically, was 1972’s Don Quixote. Unintentional as the song’s theme and intent were for the occasion, it was still apt for Lightfoot, at age 75, to inhabit the soul of Cervantes with a self-empowered drive that “shouts across the ocean to the shore till he can shout no more.”

Another example was Restless, one of several tunes pulled from 1993’s Waiting for You album. It came across as sleekly gray and decidedly autumnal meditation orchestrated by the light-as-air keyboard support of Michael Heffernan.

The hits were proudly welcomed, too. The sea chanty epic The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was acknowledged by Lightfoot as a “responsibility” to play (a nod to the 29 very real lives that perished in the wreck) while the breakthrough ballad If You Could Read My Mind still possessed a quiet but devastating sadness that earned the singer a standing ovation.

Despite the vocal liability, Lightfoot showed no signs of any impending retirement. In fact, the final line of the evening’s closing song – the title tune from Waiting for You – suggested an audience rapport triggered by a still adventuresome spirit: “Waiting for you to say ‘let us begin.’”

songs of strangers

SimoneFelice1

simone felice.

For his second solo album, Simone Felice adopted Strangers not only as a title, but as a point of reference for the 10 songs it contains.

There is a certain irony in that practice, as one of the many sub-themes that fall under the title banner is identity. For Felice, that’s an important and personal issue. After introducing himself as one of the Catskill Mountain-bred Felice Brothers, he parted amicably to begin a more folk-directed solo project called The Duke and the King. Now, he is two albums into a career that places his own music under his own name.

The new album may be called Strangers and its songs contain concise, roots-infused sagas filled with characters that, in varying degrees, reflect that title. But this year, Felice, the inaugural artist in WUKY-FM’s free Phoenix Friday summer concert series, is becoming less and less a stranger himself.

“I started to think about that word ‘strangers’ and the idea that we can fall madly in love, we can be intertwined with people and then time can just fly by,” Felice said. “You turn your head around and look in the rear view mirror and you wonder where those people have gone. They become strangers, you know? As you look in the mirror, you may even be a stranger to yourself. I really wanted to talk about that.

“Musically, we were lucky because we got to kind of stretch out over the course of a couple months last fall. It was the perfect autumn time up in the Catskill Mountains, where we’re from. All the leaves were changing, friends were around, my brothers came in to sing, as did a lot of my friends (including members of the Lumineers).

“Some of the songs have a lonely feeling to them. I’ve always been a fan of those lonely kinds of songs – you know, songs by Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell. But I also enjoy having a posy and making rock ‘n’ roll, too. So we got to do a bit of both and work on the arrangements and the instrumentation as we went along without having to really rush it or do it in a way that wasn’t fitting or serving the song. That was really my mantra for the whole record – to serve the song. If you listen to it closely, the music just leads you in the right direction.”

A novelist and poet as well as songwriter, Felice began making music in his teens as part of punk and noise bands with friends and later with his own songs in the clubs and streets of NewYork. But it was with The Felice Brothers, which sounded initially like a Cajun-esque variant of The Band, that he was introduced to a performance life outside of the Catskills and New York.

“I would never have learned how to be a musician or how to sing if I didn’t begin this journey with my brothers. We all learned how to play together. None of us had any musical training. I learned how to play the drums just because we needed a drummer. So I bought a snare drum and a high hat. We would busk in New York City subways and the streets. That’s how I learned to play music and sing.

“Then going further as a solo artist, I was really able to find my own voice as a singer and producer just by going out there touring and singing in old churches, on the streets, in a theatre or a venue – wherever. To me, it’s been like on the job training. Every night, I’m learning something new about the mystery of what it means to be a singer and a player.”

Simone Felice and Dawn Landes perform at 5 p.m. June 27 at Phoenix Park, Main and S. Limestone for WUKY’s free Phoenix Fridays series. Call (859) 257-3221 or go to http://wuky.org

critic’s picks 328: the led zeppelin reissues

ledzeppelinRecommending a listen to the new reissues of Led Zeppelin’s first three albums is like endorsing a look at a restored Picasso. The art at hand was revolutionary to begin with. Now, both figuratively and literally, it is even more so.

The leg up Led Zeppelin has in what might seem an obligatory reissue campaign is considerable. Jimmy Page, the band’s pioneering guitarist, doubled as producer of these initial recordings. He has also overseen the remastering process, which provides especially vivid detail to the acoustic passages of 1970’s Led Zeppelin III and makes the spaced out interplay of the majestic Dazed and Confused (from Led Zeppelin II) sound like a true trip into the cosmos. But it is with the bonus “companion” discs of unreleased material now accompanying each recording that Page hits serious paydirt.

In the case of II (the second of two 1969 albums) and III, he has patched together a scrapbook of rough mixes, blueprint versions and alternate mixes of songs fans have known by heart most of their lives. The results are similar in intent to what the Beatles did nearly 20 years ago with their Anthology series. There is little by way of actual unearthed songs. But these works-in-progress act like liked a guided tour through one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most formidable catalogs.

Whole Lotta Love, the breakthrough hit from II, is presented as a live sounding beast with little studio embellishment. Even Page’s frenzied squeals come with minimal trickery, sounding like atomic duck calls as a result. But the charge provided when drummer John Bonham kicks the band back into gear after a trippy interlude is pure, handmade fury.

At the other extreme is the isolated backing track to Thank You, which makes the song into a largely pastoral instrumental. With only drums and Page’s rhythm playing as a backdrop, the lead winds up in the organ colors of bassist John Paul Jones, who makes the mighty Zeppelin sound like the more contemplative Traffic.

The companion disc for III digs a bit deeper. Immigrant Song is presented with the same unadorned clarity as Whole Lotta Love, while Friends is served as a raga-like instrumental. Then the surprises emerge.

We recognize in the guttural shuffle of Bathroom Sound the root of what would emerge on the finished album as Out on the Tiles just as Jennings Farm Blues is a jam-style predecessor to Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp. Page’s acoustic medley of the blues chestnuts Key to the Highway and Trouble in Mind with vocalist Robert Plant serve as a loose, cryptic coda.

The companion disc to Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album differs in design to offer the biggest treat of the batch – a 70-plus minute concert recording from Paris’ Olympia Theatre that represents – especially in the electric folk frenzy Page triggers on a medley of White Summer and Black Mountain Side – the performance abandon Led Zeppelin embraced when it fled the studio and hit the heavens.

horace silver, 1928-2014

horace-silver

horace silver, as photograped by francis wolff during the blue note recording sessions for ‘song for my father.’

Once my ears accepted the music of the post-Ellington jazz giants – people like Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and especially Miles Davis – a growing interest in bebop led me to the golden age of Blue Note Records. There, a series of ’50s and predominantly ‘60s albums by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon and a dozen or so others brought me to the kind of jazz that excited me most – a sound that was sleek but substantial and cool but continually risk-taking in terms of composition, groove and improvisatory prowess. Two of the first Blue Note albums that introduced me to those possibilities were Morgan’s Search for the New Land and Horace Silver’s Song for My Father.

To this day, Song for My Father remains, to my ears, one of the most listenable jazz recordings from any era. Released in 1965 from sessions held the two previous years with two different bands, the album boasted four extraordinary Silver originals, one by the great tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson (who greatly heightened his career visibility with this record) and an exquisite after-hours trio reading of Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman that sounded for all the world like Bill Evans. (A wonderful 1999 CD reissue of the album doubles the playing time with four wonderful outtakes from both sessions and bands.)

But it was the title song that lit up everyone’s ears. It was a light, bossa nova melody with a slight autumnal undertone that I must have listened to a couple of thousand times since I was exposed to the album roughly a decade after its initial release. In fact, my introduction to Song for My Father coincided almost directly with the radio popularity of Steely Dan’s 1974 hit Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, which appropriated exactly the bouncing bass intro of Silver’s tune.

Silver died Wednesday in New Rochelle, New York at the age of 85. While there are numerous other classics in the pianist’s catalogue, the record I listened to again last night as the welcome rains hit was Song for My Father. And the front of the album cover I held in my hands didn’t boast a picture of this Blue Note pioneer. It instead sported a regal but relaxed portrait of his Cape Verde-born father, John Tavares Silva. I smiled, thought of my own dad and savored every blue note that came from Silver’s fingertips.

critc’s pick 327: joe henry, ‘invisible hour’

Joe-Henry-Invisible-Hour“It wasn’t peace I wanted,” sings Joe Henry at the onset of his quietly fantastical new album Invisible Hour. “So it wasn’t peace I found.”

Such rumination could be said of his entire career. A one-time Americana ambassador, avant-pop stylist and go-to producer (whose clients have ranged from Allen Toussaint to Mose Allison), Henry has shed musical skin with nearly every recording, moving from alt-country confessionals to scorched abstractions with storylines as expansive as they are impenetrable.

Invisible Hour is perhaps the most relaxed and subdued of Henry’s 13 albums. The theme that binds its 11 songs together is love, which might not seem like much of a revelation. But the vantage points these songs take possession of are what make the recording so arresting.

Conventional pop thinking dictates that modern love songs approach their subject matter from one of two extremes – the seemingly blissful sense of discovery that marks the beginning of a relationship or the scorn and unfaithfulness that trigger its demise and inevitable fallout. Henry has taken the middle ground to explore love both a constant and a mystery. In other words, Invisible Hour‘s unifying topic is marriage.

Then again, the record isn’t some guidebook to domesticity either. There is gospel imagery at work on the album-opening Sparrow (“my eye is on the sparrow, but she looks the other way”) as well as a reference to the end of days. Not exactly lovey dovey stuff. Yet love endures (“I wait for one grave angel and I know she waits for me”). That, of course, leads into a song called Grave Angels where two enjoined souls brave “love’s growling weather.”

Invisible Hour doesn’t address conflict directly, even though it never seems to be far at bay. “The loss of love one day may bear me out and away,” Henry sings later on the album. “But let’s be clear, my streaming volunteer, I want nothing more than you to see me now.” Somewhat ironically, the title to this open-ended ode is Plainspeak.

As always, the musical palette Henry chooses for his songs makes or breaks the mood. For Invisible Hour, the songs sound mostly like summer serenades. They utilize light, airy and patiently paced acoustic settings with subtle jazz colorings from son Levon Henry (on clarinets and saxophones), folk atmospherics from Greg Leisz and John Smith (on various guitars and mandolas) and subtle, otherworldly rhythm from one of the most distinctive drummers on the planet, Jay Bellerose.

Don’t mistake the results as some sort of valentine. Like love itself, the music of Invisible Hour is never obvious. But the mix of aloof contemplations and sunny soundscapes greatly freshen the perspective of modern love songs while embracing the indefinable emotions that summon them.

in performance: elvis costello

Elvis-Costello-Solo-2013

elvis costello.

Elvis Costello decided the theme for his deliciously rough-cut performance last night at the Louisville Palace would be “life in exile.”

“That means we can play this anywhere,” said the veteran songsmith.

Well, technically, yes. But if anything represented an exile, it was Costello’s self-imposed separation from onstage collaborators. A band man since his breakthrough days with The Attractions, Costello is now in the midst of a rare solo tour. Armed with five guitars, a keyboard and 35 or so years’ worth of champion songs (the astonishing set list, in fact, pulled material from 17 different albums), Costello took to the Palace stage alone as an artist in his own exile. That was the case, however, until a couple of Louisville pals helped out at encore time.

Solo performance settings for contemporary singer-songwriters can’t help but summon a folk connotation. Certainly there were elements of that last night, especially when Costello took some of his chestnut post-punk tunes and toyed with their pace (Watch Your Step), their central melody (Veronica) and even their very intent in unvarnished acoustic deliveries. The latter came into play when an encore of Radio Radio was slowed into a quiet affirmation that Costello confessed had little to do with literal airwaves, but “the radio inside you, broadcasting out.”

But there were several solo electric segments, as well, that upheld Costello’s rock ‘n’ roll heritage. The popular Watching the Detectives employed loop-like effects to establish a dub style groove. The guitar solo Costello hammered out on top of it was hardly full of masterful chops. Instead, blunt, raw instinct was implemented, which rekindled the some of the dark glory the song was born with. Ditto for the jagged lyrical edge and noisy intuition summoned late in the program for the new and unrecorded The Last Year of My Youth.

The solo setting became a hootenanny of sorts when Jim James (who is collaborating with Costello and others this year on Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, a project generating newly composed music for unpublished Bob Dylan lyrics) and accordionist/musical saw stylist Brigid Kaelin joined Costello for a set of encore covers that included Dylan’s You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, the pop-soul classic Bring It On Home and an especially lovely and longing version of Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground gem Femme Fatale.

Costello got the last word in, though, by ending the show with a solo electric reading of (What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding that sounded coarse, vital and eerily topical.

Return of the Carter girl

carlene carter

carlene carter.

When you grow up a singing member of what is widely viewed as country music’s most prestigious family, a record honoring your roots would seem an inevitable undertaking.

So when Carlene Carter released such a project this spring, a tribute to the heralded Carter Family titled Carter Girl, it was easy to consider the work as an essentially predictable chapter in a lengthy and stylistically far-reaching career.

But as the veteran singer explains, Carter Girl was more a work of destiny than a formulated career move.

“I got started singing Carter Family songs before I ever wrote a song myself,” said Carter, who performs at tonight’s taping of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. “But it’s really just going back to my roots. Throughout my entire career, whenever I would get to the point where I didn’t know where I should turn musically, I went back to the Carter Family and somehow managed to work with them a little bit. That would always bring me back to who I am.”

The granddaughter of Mother Maybelle Carter, daughter of June Carter Cash and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, the singer actually got her first view of individual mainstream popularity not with Carter Family songs dating back to the late ’30s but through a series of late ’70s and ’80s albums cut with such Brit rock elite as Graham Parker and the Rumour, Rockpile, Paul Carrack and now-former husband Nick Lowe.

Flash forward to early ’90s and Carter was embraced by Nashville for a trio of more retro-fitting country albums led by 1990’s I Fell in Love and its Grammy-nominated title song. “The thing that Mama instilled in me a lot was to always follow my heart and all of my own intuition into any kind of endeavor, and to never try to fit in. She said to just be myself and that would serve me best. And that’s what I’ve done. Sometimes I’ve been successful, sometimes not. But every single thing that I’ve done has brought to where I am today.”

Carter Girl boasts help from such notables as Don Was (who produced the album), Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Elizabeth Cook, Kris Kristofferson and, by way of tracks recorded in the late ’80s, members of the then-current Carter Family. But taking on the Carter Family legacy full force also required some self-schooling.

“It was quite a feat to go through about 500 Carter Family songs and still have room for some of my own. So it seems really appropriate that I would do Me and the Wildwood Rose again (Carter first cut it for I Fell in Love) because it means even more to me today than when I wrote it back in ’88, about 10 years after grandma had died.

“This is probably the greatest gift in my entire career, to be able to have this wealth of material that I can draw upon and share with other people. It has inspired me to be a better writer and better singer. They feel easy to me, even when I’m learning them. And I’m learning them every day, I’ve got to tell you. Every so often, I mess up onstage. I’ll start into something and go, ‘Oops, that’s just unacceptable. Mother Maybelle is rolling over in her grave. Let’s get this right here.'”

Carlene Carter and Jason D. Williams perform at 6:45 tonight at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 E. Third St. for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Tickets are $10. For reservations, call (859) 252-8888.

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