Wednesday, April 5 – Dr. Ray Christian will present a VIRTUAL workshop entitled “Storytelling for Podcast, Podcast for Storytellers” – 7:00 pm
During this workshop participants will learn how to pitch stories for Public Radio, Network supported, and individually curated podcasts, and use podcasting to obtain, gain, or magnify their storytelling audience. The workshop will focus on the use of storytelling in the Podcast landscape, and review examples of various styles and formats of podcasts that focus on storytelling, followed by Q & A. No previous podcasting experience is required.
Dr. Christian produces a podcast entitled “What’s Ray Saying” which is full of “deep fried history, smothered in social commentary, and served with a slice of real life!” He has been featured on the podcasts The Moth Radio Hour and on Risk! True Tales Boldy Told. Dr. Christian is a 2022 Black Appalachian Storytelling Fellow, an award from the National Association of Black Storytellers which celebrates the importance of stories and storytelling.
During his time as an adjunct professor at Appalachian State University, his most popular courses were “The Souls of Black Folks: An Examination of African American Social Culture” and “Storytelling: Life in the Narrative,” which explored historic and contemporary uses of storytelling and oral history in America. He has made appearances on stages around the world.
Saturday, April 8, Dr. Christian will join Rhonda and Sparky Rucker for an evening of Appalachian music and storytelling at the Appalachian Theater of the High Country in Downtown Boone – 7:30 pm
Sparky and Rhonda Rucker are internationally recognized as musicians, authors, and storytellers who sing songs and tell stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky and Rhonda weave their music into captivating stories that history books don’t always tell, and they share this knowledge in many schools, colleges, and libraries.
Sparky and Rhonda accompany themselves with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, blues harmonica, old-time banjo, piano, spoons, and bones. Rhonda Rucker is a musician, children’s author, storyteller, and songwriter. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances. Over fifty years of performing, they have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as NPR’s All Things Considered, Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and Morning Edition. Their recording, Treasures & Tears, was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award, and their music is also included on the Grammy-nominated anthology, Singing Through
the Hard Times.
Sparky has also been honored as a 2022 Black Appalachian Storytelling Fellow. He describes his roots in Black Appalachian storytelling as coming from his grandfather and two uncles, who were Church of God Sanctified preachers. He states “nobody tells tales better than a fundamentalist preacher.” Hearing various ministers give sermons from the Old Testament [the King James version] every Sunday helped him develop his “style” and showed him the way to naturally express himself on stage.
Dr. Christian’s virtual presentation is one of Mountain Home Music’s First Wednesday Workshop Series presented with support from the Watauga County Arts Council. Register by 6 p.m. on April 5 to participate live via Zoom. Tickets for the April 8 program at the Appalachian Theatre are available through the theatre box office and online at AppTheatre.org.
Since 1994, Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music has proudly celebrated Appalachian music, singing, storytelling, and dance, supporting working artists and providing accessible cross-generational arts experiences for High Country audiences.
Wednesday, September 6 – DaShawn Hickman, Sacred Steel VIRTUAL workshop – 7:00 pm
DaShawn Hickman is one of the foremost contemporary practitioners of Sacred Steel, a blues-gospel tradition dating back to the Pentecostal-Holiness churches of the 1930s. Hickman will walk workshop participants through the tradition of the Sacred Steel, what makes it unique from other types of steel guitars, and demonstrate its versatility. Part performance, part workshop, participants will enjoy an evening all about the beauty, versatility, history, and future of this sacred instrument from one of the greatest Sacred Steel players in the region.
One of the foremost contemporary practitioners of Sacred Steel, a blues-gospel tradition dating back to the Pentecostal-Holiness churches of the 1930s, DaShawn Hickman grew up hearing the pedal steel in the tiny House of God church his family attended in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, and listening to his mother play lap steel in their home. Hickman picked up the instrument at the age of 5. In his teens, he formed a group with three of his cousins that found fame as The Allen Boys, North Carolina’s only touring Sacred Steel band. Now, Hickman puts his own spin on the Sacred Steel tradition with Drums, Roots & Steel, his debut album on Little Village, produced by Charlie Hunter (who also plays bass on the recordings), and featuring the soulful vocals of Hickman’s wife Wendy on several tracks. “We just want to spread love and joy to people,” says Hickman. “That’s our mission, me and my wife both. We love what we do, and we just want to take it out and let other people experience it, and be heard in the right manner.”
FREE (Donation Suggested)
Mountain Home Music First Wednesday Workshop series presented with support from the Watauga County Arts Council
Live Online via Zoom – Registration is required
Suggested Donation of $10
Register by 6PM on the day of the workshop to participate live. All programs start at 7PM EST