The home of live music on public radio will rock the stage in Morgantown for its 31st season on Sunday evening, bringing electric, soulful melodies and visually aesthetic shows.
Mountain Stage with Larry Groce will record in front of a live audience as five artists perform harmoniously on stage. The two-hour radio show is recorded and produced daily in West Virginia and broadcasted on 150 stations internationally.
NPR Music and mountainstage.org distribute the live music show to audiences worldwide. Singer and songwriter Larry Groce, the signature host, artistic director and co-producer, is accompanied by the Mountain Stage house band as he introduces the evening’s artists.
Sunday evening, five performances will grace the Morgantown community, some of them for the first time in the area. Mountain Stage features a variety of music and succeeds at promoting not only legendary musicians, but also groundbreaking newcomers entering the world of music.
Sunday evening’s artists include Blitzen Trapper, Ruby Amanfu, Wild Child, Birds of Chicago and The Suitcase Junket. The artists’ genres span from Portland alternative country to one-man overtone throat singing.
Blitzen Trapper is an experimental country, folk and rock band from Portland, Oregon. The band operates as a quintet with unique instruments. Blitzen Trapper appeared on Mountain Stage in 2011 with Dawes and Jason Isbell. Guitar and vocalist Eric Earley believes Blitzen Trapper offers variety, loud energy and spunk to their performances but also soft music and stories through their ballads.
"We like to play the field, running from guitar rock with loud solos to intimate ballads and story telling numbers," Earley said. "It is variety we are generally after, and these days, that seems to be unique in and of itself."
Ruby Amanfu is a singer and songwriter from Ghana, but she is currently based out of Nashville, Tennessee. She is appearing on Mountain Stage for a second time, previously performing in the duo Sam & Ruby. Amanfu released an album in August in which she interprets songs rather than writing them herself, as usual.
"Listeners should expect an honest and emotionally naked offering. I will only be accompanied by one single electric guitar and that causes a vulnerability to exist within my performance which I very much like," Amanfu said. "I love when I sing in a setting that feels like having an intimate conversation. This will be
Wild Child is an American indie pop band from Austin, Texas making their debut in the Lyell B Clay Concert Theatre. The band experienced stepping into the potlight this past year, as they released their latest album in 2015 named "Fools" and spent time road tripping to festivals across the country.
The band’s manager Pat Cassidy describes Wild Child as a funny love story that is always changing.
"Listeners and audiences should expect a unique, heartfelt performance," Cassidy said, "We try to give a bit of ourselves on stage. We are different than other artists because we are a seven-piece band."
The one-man band, The Suitcase Junket, will appear on Mountain Stage for the first time, showcasing a visually pleasing vintage set up. Vermont native, Matt Lorenz, built his band around a resurrected dumpster-diamond guitar, an old oversized suitcase, a hi-hat, a gas-can baby-shot foot-drum, a cook-pot soup can-tambourine foot-drum, a circular-saw-blade bell and a box of bones and silverware that operate like a hi-hat. Lorenz pounds out rhythms with his feet and his twang-and-buzz guitar growls through old tube amps.
"Matt is not your run of the mill singer-songwriter. He plays a drum kit that he has constructed himself out of a suitcase, hence his stage name, and various pieces that he has up cycled from the dumpster," said Flora Reed, Lorenz’s press manager. "Pair that with his potent songwriting and Tuvan throat singing and you have a very different performance experience."
All of these heart-warming performances will be featured on West Virginia Public Radio on Fridays and Saturdays from 8-10 p.m. The live performance will be performed at 7 p.m. in the Lyell B Clay Concert Theatre of the Creative Arts Center on Sunday evening.
Advance tickets are $23-$35, and WVU student tickets are $10. To purchase tickets, call 304-293-SHOW, visit the CAC Box Office or visit http://www.ticketmaster.com.