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Arts & Culture
For more than 30 years, Mountain Stage with Larry Groce has been the home of live music on public radio. Produced by West Virginia Public broadcasting and distributed by NPR Music, each two hour episode of Mountain Stage can be heard every week on more than 240 stations across America, and around the world via NPR Music and mountainstage.org.

Watch Live: Mountain Stage This Sunday, July 25

Amy Helm
Ebru Yildiz
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Amy Helm returns to Mountain Stage on Sunday, July 25 in Charleston, W.Va.

Mountain Stage will record this Sunday at the Culture Center Theater with guest host Kathy Mattea and performances by Amy Helm, Chris Pierce, The Suitcase Junket, Christian Lopez and Erin & the Wildfire. There are still tickets available for anyone in the area who wants to be a part of the radio audience. If you’re not in the area, or if you’re not ready for in-person events yet, you can watch from anywhere with an internet connection at MountainStage.org starting at 7p.m. EST.

Anyone who wants to support the show can purchase a “pay what you want” ticket via Eventbrite, and you’ll receive email reminders to tune in. Below is more info on each of the guests, culled from promotional materials.

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Amy Helm will make her third appearance on Mountain Stage this Sunday, with songs from her third solo album, What the Flood Leaves Behind. Released June 18th via Renew Records/BMG, the songs represent a gathering of ideas and experiences, friends and collaborators. Yet, the album also marks a landing — a pause for the traveling musician and mother of two young boys who was seeking clarity in her calling and career. After making multiple albums and performing in far-flung places, Helm returned home to Woodstock’s Levon Helm Studios just before the pandemic to record What the Flood Leaves Behind and reclaim a sense of self.

Modern folk and blues singer Chris Pierce recently gained national prominence in 2021 with his acoustic version of "No One" from the hit ABC television series "A Million Little Things.” His hit co-write "We Can Always Come Back to This," which aired on multiple episodes of the NBC primetime series ‘THIS IS US’, also went on to peak at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart, #12 on iTunes Top 100. His new album AMERICAN SILENCE was released this year to glowing reviews from NPR Music, No Depression, Rolling Stone, Acoustic Guitar, Sirius XM, and many more.

Western Massachusetts-based one-man-band Matt Lorenz performs as The Suitcase Junket. What instruments he requires, Lorenz builds from scratch and salvage. What parts five players would perform, he performs alone. The spectacle of his one-man set bears constant comparison to legends of showmanship, brilliance, madness, and invention. His latest, The End is New, was produced by trusted friend Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, who produced The Suitcase Junket’s acclaimed 2018 release, Mean Dog Trampoline. "I told Steve I wanted to make a doom-folk record," says Lorenz. "That’s what I’d started calling my music when people asked. He was game. Neither of us knew quite what that meant at the time, but I think we found out with The End is New.

Now at 25 years old, Martinsburg, West Virginia-born Christian Lopez just released his 3rd full-length album, The Other Side, on March 5th, 2021. Produced by Robert Adam Stevenson, it is a muscular record, dynamic and unencumbered by genres, but with hints of Lopez’s influences: the Avett Brothers, David Byrne, Tom Waits, and Johnny Cash. A collection of 12 eclectic songs that veer from sprightly indie-rock to brutally vulnerable ballads, The Other Side, is the sound of a man who knows precisely who he is.

Virginia’s Erin & The Wildfire combine elements of funk, soul, and pop into a unique experience for fans. Featuring the core four: Matt Wood (bass), Ryan Lipps (guitar), Nick Quillen (drums) and Erin Lunsford (vocals) – who’ve been together since 2012, have been making waves since their inception and have been featured on some of the Commonwealth’s biggest stages including LOCKN’ Festival (2015, 2018), FloydFest (2017, 2018, 2019), Roosterwalk (2016, 2017, 2018) and many more. The lyrical content comes from Lunsford’s life, loves, and the passions of her and the rest of the Wildfire – including those of female solidarity, body positivity, and pizza. The demanding presence of Lunsford’s voice, combined with the talent and charm of Quillen, Lipps, and Wood, makes for a high energy, inspiring performance.


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