14 episodes

Conversation with artists and musicians about life, art, culture and current events

Lonesome Banjo Chronicles Brian Paul Swenk

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Conversation with artists and musicians about life, art, culture and current events

    Ep. 14 Calvin Ballenger

    Ep. 14 Calvin Ballenger

    Imagine getting a text from a friend saying "You're internet famous."  Then imagine finding out that it's from a viral meme that you didn't create, know nothing about, and claims that you're a Trump supporter....when you're not.
    That's what happened to Texan Calvin Ballenger.
    Now...imagine creating a Trump meme of a crazy looking guy with two assault rifles that goes viral.  Now imagine crazy looking guy with assault rifles tracking you down.
    That's what happened to me.
    In this podcast we discuss what it was like for Calvin to become "internet famous," the current political climate, and what people on the border towns actually think about Trump's plan to build a YUGE wall.
    The picture of Calvin with two assault rifles was originally taken on the set of an independent movie he was working on called "Tejano" by up-and-coming film maker David Blue Garcia.
    The process of creating this amazingly beautiful independent film is explained here:
    vimeo.com/174468215
    And here:
    www.indiegogo.com/projects/cast-a-…rom-the-border#/
    And here:
    www.facebook.com/tejanothemovie/?fref=ts
    Calvin also talks about how people who live on the border of Mexico feel about Trump's plan to build a giant wall.
    Keep up with Calvin:
    www.instagram.com/guyonabuffalo85/
    www.facebook.com/GOABB




     

    • 43 min
    Ep. 13 Kyle Travers from Travers Brothership

    Ep. 13 Kyle Travers from Travers Brothership

    In this episode, I catch up with Kyle Travers, one of the twin brothers that leads the Asheville based band Travers Brothership.  

    This is a band you're almost guaranteed to love from the moment you hear the first song. A funky, soulful, southern inspired groove that uses horn lines and 4-part harmonies with ease and playfulness. 
    We talk about how their dad inspired them to dive headfirst into music and how removing the ego is the best way to create great moments in the studio.  
    We listen to 5 songs from their new album "A Way To Survive"  
    1. Hold My Name -- 14:38
    2. Time Will Slip Away -- 37:37
    3. Be Here Now -- 57:03
    4. The Road Interlude -- 1:22:34

    5. Clothes On My Back -- 1:24:25
    _________________________________________________________
    This is our last week of partnering with Front Porch Fest for 2016. The festival is Sept 2-4 and my band, Big Daddy Love, will be playing Saturday evening from 7:00-8:30pm.  
    We want to thank them for everything and look forward to seeing everyone there this weekend!  

    Check out Lonesome Banjo Chronicles for past episodes and music reviews.  

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Ep. 12 Jeff Jackson, NC State Senate District 37

    Ep. 12 Jeff Jackson, NC State Senate District 37

    In this episode we talk with Senator Jeff Jackson of NC Senate District 37. Jeff talks about the realities of being a Democratic Senator in a state government that's beholden to far right interests, and how he's fighting for an independent commission to redraw district lines to better reflect the bipartisan realities of the state.   
    Jeff talks about how a master's degree in philosophy and his experience as a state prosecutor make him a better senator. He also breaks down the North Carolina gubernatorial election and gives tips on finding the humanity in local politics. 
    _______________________________________________________________
    We want to thank our two sponsors this week:
    The Photobooth: by Andy Cox Photography
    This is a full-service mobile portrait studio. Unlike those other "touch-screen" boxes they offer a professional studio photography experience with a professionally trained photographer. Prints are produced within minutes of a portrait session so that guests can leave after a session with a souvenir.
    Front Porch Fest:  Sept 2-4 near Stuart, VA.
    Headliners include Zach Deputy, The Hip Abduction, Laura Reed, Trongone Band and Big Daddy Love.
     
    --Brian Paul Swenk

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Ep. 11 Lee Crumpton of Home Grown Music Network

    Ep. 11 Lee Crumpton of Home Grown Music Network

    In this episode we talk to Lee Crumpton, the owner of Home Grown Music Network. Lee has been one of the most influential people in the southeastern music scene for the last 20 years. He talks about chasing down his passion for music by becoming a DJ at an early age--both the party and radio kind--and how that led him to forming a record label and working with some of the best bands in the nation. 

    We also talk about what it takes for bands to expand their reach beyond just a couple of states, as well as what he sees for the future of his company.   


    We listen to three songs:
    "Damn!" by The Motet
    "The Shadow" by The College Conservatory of Music featuring Fareed Haque and the music of Garage Mahal
    "Roll River" by the first band Lee ever worked with, Purple School Bus
    ________________________________________________________
    We want to thank our two sponsors this week:
    The Photobooth: by Andy Cox Photography
    This is a full-service mobile portrait studio. Unlike those other "touch-screen" boxes they offer a professional studio photography experience with a professionally trained photographer. Prints are produced within minutes of a portrait session so that guests can leave after a session with a souvenir.

    Front Porch Fest:  Sept 2-4 near Stuart, VA.
    Headliners include Zach Deputy, The Hip Abduction, Laura Reed, Trongone Band and Big Daddy Love.  
    --Brian Paul Swenk

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Ep. 10 Sam Calhoun of FloydFest

    Ep. 10 Sam Calhoun of FloydFest

    In this episode we talk to Sam Calhoun about being one of five full time, year-around employees of FloydFest.
    From being a stage actor in NYC, putting on hippy music festivals in Boone, NC, and trying to single-handedly change the mission of a small town newspaper, Sam's experience within the American arts and culture scene is both unique and expansive.
    He talks about what happens behind the scenes at the festival, what it costs to pay all the bands, and how FloydFest almost became too commercial one year and how they've made changes to not let that happen again.
    We check out three bands playing the festival this year:
    Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats "SOB"   32:32
    Con Brio   "Never Be The Same"   49:53
    Femi Kuti "Dem Bobo"   1:16:32
    ______________________________________________________________
    A big thanks goes out to the main sponsor of this show, Photobooth: by Andy Cox Photography
    Andy Cox Photography is a proud sponsor of FloydFest for the second year, and will be located on the left-hand side of the main stage of vendor row. They will be offering three different instant print products: classic photostrips, a 4x6 photo collage, and single 4x6 prints, all branded with the FloydFest logo and artwork. VIP's should look for their free print coupons in their VIP swag bags!
    Sign up for Lonesome Banjo email updates at www.lonesomebanjochronicles.com 

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Ep. 9 Nick McDaniels of Big Something and The Big What? Festival

    Ep. 9 Nick McDaniels of Big Something and The Big What? Festival

    In this week's episode we talk with Nick McDaniels, singer and guitarist from the Burlington, NC band Big Something
    Nick talks about what it takes to balance the growth of a band as well as running their festival, The Big What?.
    He describes how the festival got started and what it's like behind the scenes. He also talks about what's the most important lessons he's learned, and why he thinks The Big What? experience is unique for both fans and musicians.
    He also tells us about the worst moment Big Something has had onstage and how they overcame it.
    Nick chose three bands from this year's festival to feature:
    Turkuaz from Brooklyn, NY -- "X.Y.Z" 15:21
    Dr. Bacon from Asheville, NC -- "When I'm Gone" 29:16
    Spiritual Rez from Boston, MA -- "Bring It On" 40:52
    We also listen to one of the first Big Something songs ever written, "A Simple Vision" 53:24
    A big thanks to Floyd Fest for making us an official partner last week! Floyd Fest is consistently voted as one of the best southeastern experiences by numerous publications every year.
    This year's headliners include: Greg Allman, Bruce Hornsby, Greensky Bluegrass, The Wood Bros, Warren Haynes, Railroad Earth, Femi Kuti and Positive Force, and many others.
    This year's festival is July 27-31st. Check out www.floydfest.com for more info.
    Sign up for the Lonesome Banjo email list at www.lonesomebanjochronicles.com 

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

GardenJess ,

More than banjos

Great commentary on music, politics, and society. I would recommend this to any of my friends for a listen. The viral meme episode is a new favorite, but I do love discovering new to me bands through the reviews.

Strum22 ,

Top notch

This podcast spans way more than just bluegrass. Music, life on the road, recording, social issues, and even politics. If your a music fan with a conscience, it's a good listen.

Megantrexler ,

I'll take it

Pretty good for a banjo player from the sticks.

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