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Farm and Fun Time
January 12 @ 7:00 pm
Be part of the live studio audience for WBCM Radio Bristol’s variety show hosted by Kris Truelsen and his house band Bill and the Belles. Join us in the intimate performance theater at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for WBCM Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time live variety show with special guests The Deslondes and Erika Lewis.
Hosted by Kris Truelsen and his house band Bill and the Belles, Farm and Fun Time is a re-imagining of the classic WCYB Radio program of the same name that aired in the 1940s and 1950s. Radio Bristol’s Farm and Fun Time broadcasts live before a studio audience and recorded for television syndication on Blue Ridge PBS, East Tennessee PBS, and PBS North Carolina. It can be accessed on 100.1 FM in the Bristol area, or online at ListenRadioBristol.org and on Radio Bristol’s free mobile app. Viewers may also tune in to watch through Radio Bristol’s Facebook page.
The Deslondes revealed their self-titled debut to widespread tastemaker applause during 2015. However, they really hit their stride on “Hurry Home” in 2017. Right out of the gate, Noisey proclaimed, “The Deslondes have found a comfortable sound to create art in, and it serves them well,” while Rolling Stone noted, “The Deslondes’ take on country relies on gritty, grimy mix of early rock ‘n’ roll and lo-fi R&B.” In addition to praise from American Songwriter, Paste, The Boot, and more, the record closed out on the year on Uncut‘s “Favorite Albums of 2017.” The band’s latest record, “other side,” might just be its brightest yet.
Known for her lengthy tenure touring and busking with beloved New Orleans jazz band Tuba Skinny, prolific songwriter and singer Erika Lewis has been churning out American originals all her own for the past several years. From classic country to cosmic Americana to dreamy indie folk, Lewis continues to dip her toes more deeply into an every expanding pool of roots music styles. Her new record, “A Walk Around the Sun,” was produced by John James Tourville of The Deslondes and is a testament to Lewis’ songwriting prowess and exceptional vocal ability.
Bill and the Belles is a Johnson City, TN-based band known for combining a stringband format with their signature harmonies, candid songwriting, and pop sensibilities. Their delightfully deadpan new album, Happy Again, is full of life, humor, and tongue-in-cheek explorations of love and loss. Bill and the Belles is Kris Truelsen on guitar, fiddler Kalia Yeagle, banjo/banjo-uke player Aidan VanSuetendael, and bassist Andrew Small. The group has a knack for saying sad things with a bit of an ironic smirk, and anyone who’s been to one of their shows can attest that you leave feeling lighter and refreshed. This is a band that revels in the in-between: deeply engaged with the stringband tradition and eager to stretch those influences to a contemporary setting. A timeless place where Jimmie Rodgers and Phil Spector can overlap, and a driving fiddle and banjo tune makes way for a sentimental parlor song. And while Bill and the Belles’ latest chapter offers a bigger, moodier, and more decade-ambiguous sound, they maintain their status as the most refreshing stringband around.