Farm and Fun Time
Radio Bristol presents another exciting Farm and Fun Time variety show, live from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, featuring a special Celebration of Appalachian Balladry, highlighting the release of “Big Bend Killing.” Amythyst Kiah, Elizabeth LaPrelle, John Lilly, ETSU Old Time Ramblers, and house band Bill and the Belles perform.
Date: Thursday, January 10, 2019
Time: 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Audience must be seated by 6:50 p.m.)
Location: Performance Theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum
About Big Bend Killing
Big Bend Killing: An Appalachian Ballad Tradition CD project is a 32-track album divided into two parts: old world ballads from the British Isles with origins dating back centuries, and ballads from the new world, specifically Appalachia, that originated in the last 250 years. The project was released by The Great Smoky Mountains Assocation (GSMA) as a fundraiser for the organization in 2017.
Radio Bristol’s January edition of the Farm and Fun Time variety show is a celebration of the album’s Appalachian Balladry, and will feature a number of artists who performed on the Big Bend Killing release including Amythyst Kiah, Elizabeth LaPrelle, John Lilly, and Farm and Fun Time house band Bill and the Belles. East Tennessee State University’s Old Time Ramblers will also perform on the program, led by Associate Professor Roy Andrade; Andrade performed with Amythyst Kiah on the album.
Based in Johnson City, Tennessee, professed Southern Gothic folk singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah contributed her renditions of “Pretty Polly” and “John Henry” for Big Bend Killing. Kiah’s commanding stage presence is only matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past. Accoutered interchangeably with acoustic guitar, banjo, or a full band (Her Chest of Glass), this powerhouse vocalist and instrumentalist is inspired by her scholarship of American roots music and contemporary alternative music.
Appalachian balladeer Elizabeth LaPrelle performed “West Virginia Mine Disaster” on the Big Bend Killing project. LaPrelle has been performing Appalachian ballads and old-time songs since she was eleven. Her magnificent voice, her respect for the songs, and her authentic mountain sound and style brought her to the attention of first Ginny Hawker and then Sheila Kay Adams. Raised in Rural Retreat, Virginia, Elizabeth attended old time fiddlers’ conventions and sang harmonies with her family, who taught her traditional singing styles and encouraged her to sing their own favorite American folk music. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary with a major in Southern Appalachian Traditional Performance, and now tours the US regularly both performing and teaching.
Chicago, Illinois native John Lilly contributed two tracks for Big Bend Killing: “Explosion in the Fairmount Mines” and “I’ve Always Been a Rambler.” The multi-faceted performer and songwriter now resides in Charleston, West Virginia and is known for his mastery of the early country music styles of Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. Lilly is considered a fine yodeler and frequently teaches workshops in yodeling, as well as workshops in the songs of Rodgers and Williams.
About ETSU Old Time Ramblers
The ETSU Old Time Ramblers is a five-piece stringband of students from the Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies program at East Tennessee State University. The band focuses on songs and tunes from the early period of country music, a time when fiddles and banjos and a good song were to be found in just about every nook and holler of the Appalachian Mountains.
In addition to being the highly entertaining house band for Farm and Fun Time, Bill and the Belles contributed a live recording of “Mr. Frog Went a-Courtin'” for Big Bend Killing. What began as a project to explore the space created between hillbilly and urban, between vaudeville and down home, Bill and the Belles have arrived somewhere new. The quartet brings to the stage an uplifting show unlike any other, full of humor, high spirits, and all-around revelry. Nominated for four 2017 IBMA awards, it’s clear this group shares a rare musical connection and deep love for the music, and their excitement is contagious.