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Playlist: just listening

Compiled By: Arna Zucker

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Beyond a Song (Series)

Produced by ISOAS Media

Most recent piece in this series:

Beyond a Song: Angela Easterling (Part 1)

From ISOAS Media | Part of the Beyond a Song series | 01:00:00

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ANGELA EASTERLING (Part 1): PUBLISHED ON PRX 2 / 4 / 2023 - BEYOND A SONG originates in BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA and is sponsored by: THE BLUEBIRD NIGHTCLUB, REAL TO REELS RECORDING STUDIO, AND VISITBLOOMINGTON.COM


Beyond a Song host Rich Reardin interviews South Carolina singer/songwriter Angela Easterling . Angela lives with her musical partner, Brandon Turner, and their three young sons on the Greer, SC farm that has been in her family since 1791. She released her 6th album, “Witness” on October 28, 2022. It went on to be chosen by American Songwriter Magazine in their Top 24 Albums of the Year, was named “Album of The Year” in The Greenville Journal, and was chosen #6 in the Favorite Albums of the Year Reader’s Poll on Americana Highways. It has earned rave reviews in No Depression, Americana UK, Glide Magazine and more. Her 5th album, “Common Law Wife”, went all the way to number 1 on the Roots Music Report Americana Country Airplay Chart, and remained in the top 5 on that chart for nearly 2 months, closing the year out as #12 on the top 100 albums. Her 2nd album, “BlackTop Road”, produced by Will Kimbrough, remained on the Americana top 40 airplay chart for 7 weeks, and was chosen as a top pick in both Oxford American and Country Weekly. She was selected for an official Americana Convention Showcase, official showcases at both NERFA and SERFA (Folk Alliance) and is a four-time Kerrville New Folk Finalist, a Telluride Troubadour and a two-time Wildflower Performing Songwriter Top 10 Finalist. The Boston Herald named her song “The Picture” “Best Political Country Song” in their Year’s best music picks. WNCW chose Angela’s live performance of the title song on “Common Law Wife” for Volume 20 of their popular “Crowd Around the Mic” series.  Angela’s music was featured in commercials (Southwestern Bell) and several of her songs were used in the series “Horsepower” on Animal Planet. She has appeared on the WSM-hosted stage at the CMA Music Festival/Fan Fair, on the nationally broadcast public radio program “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know”, the popular ETV show “Making It Grow”, Sirius XM Outlaw Country’s “Buddy and Jim Show” with Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, “The Martha Bassett Show”, and was also interviewed by noted NPR journalist Bob Edwards. She was invited to perform at the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit New Harmonies: Celebrating American Root’s Music, as well as the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. In 2019, Angela had the distinct honor of performing her song, “Isaac Woodard’s Eyes” at the unveiling ceremony of an historical marker in honor of the late civil rights hero, Sgt. Isaac Woodard. 

Angela has toured the U.S., both solo and duo with Brandon, as well as with her crowd-pleasing band, The Beguilers. She has played numerous concert series and music festivals, including Six String Concerts (Columbus, OH), Shakori Hills, Fall for Greenville, NC Apple Festival, Strawberry Festival, Albino Skunkfest and more. She has opened for or appeared with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Jim Lauderdale, Scott Miller, The Steel Wheels, Sarah Jarosz, Elizabeth Cook, Lucinda Williams, Charlie Louvin, Robbie Fulks, Tracy Grammer, Mary Gauthier, Ray Price (at the Birchmere), Suzy Bogguss, Ellis Paul, Tom Brosseau, Eilen Jewell, Radney Foster, Will Kimbrough, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Lori McKenna. 

Angela is really great and her record is a joy.” Buddy Miller

Angela Easterling & Brandon Turner are the shining example of what Americana music is. It is inspiring. Great songs. Great singing. Great guitar playing. Everything is so tasty. They have got it.”  Jim Lauderdale

Angela Easterling is a bright shining star on the country/folk/alt.music horizon! Her gift is so special. I loved listening to her CD! Brought me back to the time the Byrds recorded “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” – tradition meets youthful exuberance!”       Roger McGuinn, The Byrds

Angela Easterling has the fire in her belly.  With songs inspired by Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones and A.P. Carter’s bones, power, corruption, sex, lies, videotape, French microphones, epic floods and plain old human heartache, Angela is creating literate, modern Southern music for the ages.” Will Kimbrough

If Steve Earle was re-born a girl, he’d very likely be Angela Easterling.”  Vintage Guitar

“‘Common Law Wife’ is a wonderfully cohesive, brilliantly crafted and beautifully sung record that draws on traditional country, Americana and folk music to deliver a host of timeless songs. If Angela Easterling was celebrated before, then this record is sure to help the cause.” For The Country Record

Slipping into the spot vacated by Nanci Griffith, South Carolinian Angela Easterling provides her perspective on modern country music, motherhood, the state of her nation, lost love, hometown shut downs and matrimony…. Easterling throws nothing but strikes on her fifth release.. Like Griffith, Easterling can flat out sing, and whether the song is reflective and hopeful or carrying significant historical heft, she delivers a full-bodied performance. Songs inspired by family and Pete Seeger, faith and Springsteen-like nostalgia connect with the universals of our daily survival. “Arkansas Murder Ballad” is a pretty terrific modern day tale of desperation and death: no ham and jam stand here, once Earl is dispatched. Lively country music with lyrical substance – no beers, no tailgating, no gals in shorts – and memorable melodies and arrangements make “Common Law Wife” an album well-worth the search.”     Country Standard Time

Angela Easterling’s autobiographical song (Common Law Wife) is full of charm, humor, and love.” PopMatters

Common Law Wife” is a delight from beginning to end and could be the record that helps raise Easterling’s profile considerably…This one’s a winner, y’all”    Pittsburgh In Tune

Common Law Wife is an album rich in reasoned clarity and insightful observance of the world in which we currently live. A majestic and atmospheric collection of her most intimate songwriting, the album showcases Angela’s skills as a master storyteller and lyricist, delving into very personal and sometimes melancholy subject matter, swathed in melodic hues and moods ranging from the bright to the very, very dark. An incredible stylist, with a tremendous voice and character in the way she delivers her music…. These individual songs are gems that reveal more and more beauty as you approach them from different angles, but their combined effect is greater. Her haunting singing voice, which twinges and aches throughout, infuses the tales with emotion that is at once unnerving and soothing. You don’t need to take my word for it; you should seek out this album and hear for yourself what a special and uncommonly good singer-songwriter Ms Angela Easterling is.”  Alan Cackett

Angela’s new album is one of the best I’ve heard this year….” Ear to the Ground Music

Common Law Wife” is a rootsy album that showcases Easterling’s sweet voice and a stellar band….(She) peppers “Throwing Strikes with metaphors to expose rust belt decay, where once-prosperous mills are shuttered. It could fit neatly on a Springsteen CD….The musicianship is outstanding.” Denison Newspapers

Angela Easterling knows about telling story and creating character through word and melody. The South Carolina native tells stories which reach from the jaunty, celebratory title track to a murder ballad that’s certainly in the tradition of such songs but seen from a bit of different point in the story. There’s also a piece about letting go of an old love which offers fresh and poetic imagery, a meditation on generations past and present and yet to come, a story of baseball, mill towns, and the small town south, a tale from the Civil Rights Era, and the opening track, Hammer, which among other things is a powerful yet understated thought about the strength of songs. Easterling knows how to fashion these varied songs while keeping her own steady point of view and identity; she knows how to sing them too. If you have not heard Angela Easterling yet, you should: she’ll give you a lot to think about.”  Perceptive Travel

4 1/2 out of 5 Stars. In this critic’s opinion, Angela Easterling is a huge talent…perhaps she shouldn’t settle yet for not being a star. This new album is very strong…Fans of Amy Speace and Gretchen Peters should give this a listen and then buy it!”  Country Music People

Easterling has quickly become a sought after talent thanks to her honesty and authenticity, capturing a true, salt of the earth aesthetic with her gorgeous pipes and commitment to carefully crafted lyrics. The beautiful harmonies between Easterling and her longtime partner and musical collaborator, Brandon Turner, are perfectly, delicately balanced and contrast the harmony she speaks of in the song—finding peace and beauty in the hard work done side by side with ones neighbors. The lonesome, yearning quality of the song, drawn out by rich instrumentation, mirrors the simple, pastoral landscape of the video, with Easterling and her partner’s presence helping to evoke the emphasis placed on bloodline, commitment to a land to which you and your forebears rightfully belong.” Elmore Magazine

Dynamite honky-tonk singer Angela Easterling brings a tough traditionalist sound to ballads and ravers alike on her fine album “Black Top Road.”  The Philadelphia Inquirer

Innocence and clarity so fresh as to be dangerous.”  Maverick

Angela Easterling’s voice reminds me of Emmylou Harris. It has that same range and purity. Her songs reflect the authentic Southern life with a contemporary twist….”Common Law Wife” is a beautiful album which captures the heart and soul of authentic country and folk music. It belongs in the collection of any lover of Americana and roots music.” Making A Scene

Easterling, can be political, personal or simultaneously both, serving up humor as well as grim horror. The gorgeous opening track, “Hammer,” was inspired by Pete Seeger and her grandfather, who built the house she lives in on a farm that her family has owned since 1791. Written in a Bruce Springsteen/Steve Earle vein, “Throwing Strikes” ends in emotional release reminiscent of a scene in Depression-Era Bonnie and Clyde. Her voice can be angelic when a song’s story line isn’t at all. Intense “Arkansas Murder Ballad” calls to mind Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ “Caleb Meyer.” Easterling’s earlier “The Picture” may be the most devastating song I’ve ever heard on race relations. Someone should recommend Easterling’s CDs to Mr. Earle the Elder.  Goldmine Magazine

The percussive ode “Manifest Destiny” is an easy nod to Carrie Rodriguez or Alison Krauss with its bleak, piercing fiddles and Easterling’s spotless vocals – which emulate those of Krauss – as she sings of the inevitability of land theft and development, but it’s more than just tradition; snappy youth is why Beguiler sparkles. But wizened lyrical depth is what could make it last.” American Songwriter

Angela Easterling has a golden glowing voice and she writes observant songs about contemporary life. She can weave urban sprawl and cultural shifts into songs as gingerly as love and relationships. She’s taken her very promising career to a new level with her new album Beguiler.” Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots


Musical selections include: Have You Seen My Friend, Little Boy Blues, Baby Bird, Hero, California, Earning Her Wings, River Jordan

For more information, visit BEYOND A SONG.COM

The Emotion Roadmap: Take the Wheel & Control How You Feel (Series)

Produced by Chuck Wolfe

Most recent piece in this series:

The Emotion Roadmap 2 1 23 Help with Sobriety and Overcoming Fear of Rejection

From Chuck Wolfe | Part of the The Emotion Roadmap: Take the Wheel & Control How You Feel series | 54:24

Charles_j Two callers share. Scotty wants to talk about how he has benefited from both the Emotion Roadmap and Psylocibin. In particular, he is proud that he is sober and feeling good with life. Norman has a need for a favor from a neighbor, but he has a fear of rejection that he needs to overcome. The show ends with my thoughts about the power and relevance of empathetic concern for others.

A Way with Words (Series)

Produced by A Way with Words

Most recent piece in this series:

Word Hoard (#1593)

From A Way with Words | Part of the A Way with Words series | 54:00

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Following up on our conversation about what to say when coming up behind a stranger so as not to startle them, a Sacramento, California, listener raises another question about communicating quickly with someone in your vicinity: Is there a gesture drivers can use to acknowledge and apologize for an error, such as accidentally cutting someone off in traffic? Perhaps the American Sign Language sign for "Sorry"? 
A Vermont listener says that if she has to be absent from work due to illness, she would call in sick. Her 20-something daughters, however, use the phrase call out sick. Is this a generational difference, or a regional one, and is one more prevalent or correct than the other? Both are grammatically correct, but most Americans say call in sick. The call out version is largely associated with the New York metropolitan area, but spreading to adjacent states.
David from Black Mountain, North Carolina, is fond of the Spanish term that originally meant "someone who shares the same name as another person" and has expanded to mean "someone with whom you have an emotional kinship or fellow-feeling": tocayo or tocaya. A word with a similar meaning in parts of Latin America is cuate, which originally meant "a fraternal twin." Along with its more familiar forms cuatito and cuatita, cuate has expanded to connote a kind of "spiritual twin."
Need an Old English word for "sneeze"? How about fnēosung?
​​Quiz Guy John Chaneski's puzzle is a take-off -- literally. The challenge is to take off the letter I or J from the beginning of one word, leaving another word entirely. For example, find the two words clued by this sentence: My factory makes statues of the saints, and we employ men only recently out of prison. 
Connie in Santee, California, is curious about a term she read in Isabel Wilkerson's acclaimed history of the Great Migration out of the Jim Crow South, The Warmth of Other Suns. (Bookshop|Amazon) A shotgun house is a narrow house, the width of one room, with no hallway, just one room leading into the next. Researcher John Vlach has done extensive work connecting this type of structure with architectural traditions in Haiti, and suggests that this term derives from togu-nan, which in a Dogon language of Mali means "large shelter" or "house of talk," where men gather to discuss local affairs. Another helpful resource: A Creole Lexicon: Architecture, Landscape, People Jay Edwards and Nicolas Kariouk Pecquet du Bellay de Verton. ​​(Amazon)
In Mexico, echar un coyotito -- literally, "throw a little coyote" -- means "to take a short nap." In Venezuela, it's more common to talk about a quick snooze using echar un zorrito, the word zorrito being a diminutive for zorro, or "fox."
Betsy in Murray, Kentucky, reports that a friend was baffled when Betsy told her Quit your mulligrubbing. She was advising her friend to stop complaining. Since the 16th century, mulligrub meant "a state of depression," or "a bad mood," and to have the mulligrubs meant "to suffer a stomach ache" or "have an intestinal upset." These words may be etymologically related to megrim, an old word for "migraine." The Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English notes that mulligrub is used as a verb as well, meaning "to complain for no good reason" or "to be slightly unwell." (Bookshop|Amazon)
Sean from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is an editor who reads lots of fiction from the 1930s, in which he often runs into the words spondulix and simoleons, meaning "a large amount of money." They're both Americanisms. Spondulix, also spelled spondulicks or spondulux, may derive from the Greek word spondylos, meaning “vertebra” or “spine,” suggesting the similarity between a column of those bones and coined stacked for counting. Simoleon is more of a mystery, although some have suggested a link with semolina flour, given that there's a long list of food names that are used as slang for "money," including cabbage, cheddar, chicken feed, peanuts, and coliander, a variant of coriander.
A delightful new book offers a taste of life in early medieval England through everyday vocabulary of that time and place. It's called The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English, by Hana Videen. (Bookshop|Amazon). The book includes helpful vocabulary lists and pronunciations, as well as information about Old English kennings, or poetic compounds of words, such as the ones that translate as "sky-candle" to indicate the sun, "whale-road" indicating the sea, and "sea-guest" to mean "sailor." For an Old English word of the day, follow Old English Wordhord on Twitter. Incidentally, even if you don't understand Old English, it can be mesmerizing to listen to. Check out this reading of "Widsith," and this one of "The Wanderer," and this one the opening lines of the epic poem Beowulf. 
Kelly from Cincinnati, Ohio, says her father uses the word gradoo to mean "clutter" or "a bit of litter." Also spelled gradu or gradeau, our listeners report using this word in a variety of ways, to mean "gunk," "grime" and even "bits of meat left in a skillet used to make gravy."  It might be related to French gadoue, which once meant "manure." It might also be somehow connected with the French Canadian expression gras dur literally means "really fatty," or figuratively "happy" or "lucky" or "fulfilled," as in Il est gras dur, "He is happy," although how that sense might connect with gradoo's negative sense is unclear. What is clear is that it's not just Kelly's family who uses the word. 
Some of the music you hear on this show is the work of Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, a San Diego-based Afro-funk and soul-jazz band. Their keyboard player is Tim Felten, who, as it happens, is also the editor and engineer for A Way with Words. He selects the musical interludes on this program, and you can always find a list of all the songs played on each episode on our website, waywordradio.org.
Janine in Charleston, South Carolina, is curious about the derogatory term feather merchant. In the mid-20th century feather merchant was used among members of the military to mean "a weakling," or "a shirker."
During introductory class at Sky Falconry in the mountains outside San Diego, California,, Martha learned the term feaking, the action of a hawk wiping its bill on something to sharpen or clean it. Feak may derive from an old German word meaning "to clean."
This episode is hosted by Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette.