FAIRMONT — Looking for something different to do this weekend?
Come listen to some blues. Listen to some stories.
The West Virginia Blues Society is holding a “Blues Night Out” Saturday at Christopher’s Banquet & Conference Center, 104 Van Kirk Drive, Fairmont.
“They have something here twice a year,” said Butch Tennant, owner of Christopher’s.
“Last year we had a tribute to Muddy Waters.”
Buffet begins at 6 pm. followed by featured artist Johnny Rawls at 9 p.m.
The Mississippi native began playing professionally while still in high school with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations. In the mid-70’s, he went to work for OV Wright as Wright’s band director. After Wright’s death in 1980, Rawls led Little Johnny Taylor’s band until 1985, when he began touring as a solo artist and made his first solo recording under the Rainbow label.
Rawls is accomplished in producing, songwriting, horn arranging, rhythm, lead and bass guitar, keyboard, vocals and background vocals. He started his own record company, Deep South Soul, in 2002. His 2006 CD, “Heart and Soul,” was nominated for “Best Soul Blues Album of the Year (2007)” by the Blues Foundation.
He’s been nominated four times for the W.C. Handy Award. His most recent award came from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame for RB Male Vocalist of the Year 2006.
Rawls has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival twice, The Russian River Blues Festival, The King Biscuit Blues Festival, The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, Poconos, as well as festivals in Sweden and Poland. He tours constantly, playing well over 200 dates a year.
Still want more?
Go on over to Fairmont State Friday and Saturday for some fine storytelling.
FSU, FSU’s Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center and the West Virginia Storytelling Guild present the Mountain State Storytelling Institute Friday and Saturday at the Falcon Center. “Creating the Tapestry of Culture: Weaving Stories for a Lifetime” is this year’s theme.
The Institute is a two-day conference featuring scholars and storytelling professionals. The intent is to provide academic, professional and personal development of those interested in storytelling as scholarship, art, a teaching tool and a profession. Workshops will feature members of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild, Fairmont State University and West Virginia University faculty, and FSU students.
Potential session topics include the following: oral history collection, incorporation of sound effects into story, “The Story Box Project,” the use of technology in storytelling and story collection, preserving family stories, the use of folk literature in storytelling, storytelling in the classroom, the creation of historical storytelling, storytelling techniques, storytelling in writing and multicultural stories.
A storytelling presentation will take place Friday from 7-7:30 p.m. at the Wallman Hall Theatre. It is free and open to the public, said Francene Kirk, FSU associate professor of speech.
The storytelling begins at 7:30 p.m. with keynote scholar Kevin Cordi, storyteller in residence at Ohio State University. His story work has been commissioned by the National Youth Storytelling Hall of Fame, Newsweek and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As a story teacher, he is considered one of the nation’s primary advocates for youth storytelling
Keynote speaker will be Connie Regan-Blake, “the premier female storyteller in the United States,” Kirk said. She has been featured on five audio and two videos produced by PBS and has performed at the nation’s top folk music and storytelling festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.
“She tells folk tales, children’s tales, personal tales. She’s a performer,” Kirk said.
“A lot of people use storytelling in their work. Teachers and ministers very often tell stories to make a point without beating their audience over the head. Storytelling is the passing down of culture from one generation to the next. Dad talking about his parents. It’s a transition of culture.”
Workshops on using current technology to preserve history, culture and storytelling will also be presented, she said.
At 1 p.m. Saturday, the Mountain State Storytelling Institute will feature “Potluck,” a theatrical “feast of stories, poems and songs about food and the community.”
Admission is $5 for the general public. Tickets will be available at the door. The Potluck performance is sponsored by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.
Potluck creators and performers Karen Vuranch, Julie Adams and Colleen Anderson are well-known throughout the state. Vuranch has toured the state telling stories and performing her one-woman shows, “Coal Camp Memories” and “Homefront.” She also portrays Pearl S. Buck and Mother Jones.
Singer-songwriter Julie Adams is the featured vocalist on “Mountain Stage” and has performed with Kathy Mattea, Sarah McLachlan and others. Colleen Anderson is a noted writer who work has been published in Redbook and Arts and Letters. Her essays are featured on West Virginia Public Radio.
For those attending the Mountain State Storytelling Institute, the performance cost is included in the registration fee. Vuranch, Anderson and Adams will also present workshops for the Storytelling Institute.
“Our culture takes storytelling for tranted,” Kirk said, “It’s a natural part of Appalachian life. As technology takes on so much a part of our lives, we fail to recognize the importance of oral transmission of information.
“Storytelling provides lessons and entertainment ... and cultural elements. Our identity is based on stories. From our grandparents and parents, we learn what’s important. Where did we come from?”
Eileen Evans will talk about creating historial characters and will do a presentation as Coralei Franklin Cook, a suffragette who had taught at Storer College in Harpers Ferry.
A workshop will also be given on collecting oral history and “really listening to people. That’s a gift you can give. People don’t feel listened to anymore.
“These are solo performers,” she said of the presenters. “Each brings his or her own specific talents. If you like theatre or reading or stand-up comedy, you will like storytelling.
“Sometimes people think of storytelling as a children’s activity, but if you go to the national storytelling festival, you will recognize this is an entertainment and educational opportunity for adults.”
This project is being presented with financial assistance from The West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Registration for the entire institute is $50 for the public and $35 for students. Participation is limited to 100. For more information or to register, contact Susan Bailey at (304) 347-4203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-mail Debra Minor Wilson at email@example.com.
FAIRMONT — Looking for something different to do this weekend?
Three acts featured in family-friendly show scheduled March 15-16
Morgantown Dance and Morgantown Ballet Company will present “The Magical Carnival of Dance” at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown next weekend.
The family-friendly show will feature three acts: “The Carnival of Animals,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Premieres!”
‘It’s fun and it’s cheap’
The Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown will open its 2014 season with the comedy “Love, Sex and the IRS” Friday.
Have a heart and help child advocacy
The Marion County Child Advocacy Center is holding its inaugural Have a Heart Benefit Dance and Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Fairmont State University Ballroom.
‘Honey Dewdrops’ coming to Kingwood
The musical roots duo of Laura Wortman and Kagey Parish will bring their blend of folk, acoustic, old-feel Americana and bluegrass music to the Preston Community Arts Center in Kingwood on Feb. 8, at 8 p.m.
‘Godspell’ brings gospel story to CAC
The West Virginia University Creative Arts Center will bring the musical “Godspell” to Morgantown this weekend for a night of entertainment.
The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
‘Memphis the Musical’ coming to WVU
“Memphis the Musical” will take over Morgantown with what audiences have described as “exhilarating dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling plot.”
The show is set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center.
Shatner bringing one-man show to WVU
Have you ever wondered what’s in William Shatner’s iconic head? What makes the man best known as Captain James T. Kirk tick?
‘Nashville New Year’s Eve’ planned
Bringing Nashville to Fairmont this New Year’s Eve, with the theme of “Boots and Blue Jeans,” Westchester Village invites residents to come out and enjoy a country take to the inaugural New Year’s Eve celebration.
‘Wizard of Oz’ performance Saturday
The final performance of the West Virginia Public Theatre’s holiday production of the “Wizard of Oz” is set for Saturday at the Metropolitan Theater in Morgantown.
Michael Licata, artistic director of WVPT, said the live performance brings the familiar movie, which first came out 75 years ago, to life.
Tea with a Twist and More Saturday
On Saturday, the GFWC Woman’s Club of Fairmont will be hosting a Tea with a Twist and More during which guests will have an opportunity to tour the Thomas and Annie Fleming Mansion as well as view various exhibits and pieces of artwork.
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- Three acts featured in family-friendly show scheduled March 15-16