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Thu, Apr 11

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Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Farm and Fun Time Featuring Pony Bradshaw, Shay Martin, and Lovette

Farm and Fun Time Featuring Pony Bradshaw, Shay Martin, and Lovette
Farm and Fun Time Featuring Pony Bradshaw, Shay Martin, and Lovette

Time & Location

Apr 11, 2024, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Birthplace of Country Music Museum , 101 Country Music Wy, Bristol, VA 24201, USA

About the event

Date: Thursday, April 11, 2024

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET (Doors open at 6:30 p.m., guests are asked to be seated by 6:55 p.m.)

Location: Performance Theater, Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Tickets: $40

BUY TICKETS: https://www.tixr.com/.../farm-fun-time-featuring-pony...

Hosted by Kris Truelsen and the Farm and Fun Time House Band, 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.

About Pony Bradshaw

On his new album North Georgia Rounder, Pony Bradshaw leads the listener on an exploration of the woods, rivers, and mountains of Appalachia, more specifically, the area for which the album is named and he’s called home for the past 15 years. “It’s got its hooks in me,” Bradshaw says of North Georgia, and it shows, with songs that quickly establish a setting, much like the one he initiated with the album’s predecessor, Calico Jim. The sonic excursion includes stops along the Conasauga River, visits to the holler, and a few diversions—nearby Knoxville plays a supporting role, as do Louisiana and Arkansas. It’s an impressionistic journey of introspection and connection all at once.

Will Stewart’s tastefully-understated guitar leads and Philippe Bronchtein’s atmospheric pedal steel provide the perfect backdrop for Bradshaw’s impassioned vocals in lead-off track “Foxfire Wine.” Its swampy, bluesy intro makes way for an interesting amalgamation of Sturgill Simpson and The Grateful Dead, serving as the perfect aperitif for “a hell of a heaven and a hell of a show.” From that point on till the album wraps with the aptly titled “Notes on a River Town,” not only do you see and hear North Georgia, you even smell and taste it.

Take, for example, “Safe in the Arms of Vernacular,” a pensive, melancholy track that delights all the senses and is reminiscent of Ray Lamontagne’s mellow side. When Bradshaw sings of the “bonafide gas mask” his Dad brought back from Desert Storm and describes the Saudi Arabian sand as turning to “glass sharp as a sultan’s sword,” one can almost see it. As quickly as it sets the ever-vivid stage, the track shifts its focus to a waitress downtown. “Draped in Bedouin gown, smoking Kent cigarettes in the underground” in an attempt to “escape all those voices,” she naturally drinks white wine—”Riesling room temp from a coffee cup,” to be exact.

A voracious reader, Bradshaw credits his talent for expressing such rich details in his songs not so much to other songwriters but instead to books, fiction, short stories, essays, and literary criticism. With such colorful descriptions as “teeth stained red with Lebanese wine, long hair … in sweeps of oil blacker than a cypress pool,” one might assume he bases the subjects of his songs on real-life people he interacts with in North Georgia; instead, Bradshaw describes them as “nameless characters” compiled from “fragments” he’s collected, pieces that usually start with just a line or two. These fragments all add up to a remarkably cohesive 10-song collection, despite Bradshaw being a self-professed admirer of (and writer of) the non-sequitur. This is thanks in no small part to his own masterful vocal delivery and the expert musicianship of his backing band, one that includes the aforementioned Stewart and Bronchtein with Robert Green on bass, Ryan Moore on drums, and Jenna Mobley on fiddle.

“I really enjoy records that are actual records of time,” he explains. With this in mind, Bradshaw looked to create an album that relied less on innovation and experimentation, aspiring to capture the songs’ live spirit. He and his band did just that, making North Georgia Rounder—vocals, overdubs, and all—in just five days at Jason Weinheimer’s Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he had also tracked Calico Jim in 2020.

“Me and balance … we’ve never really worked out,” he confesses, acknowledging the irony of his quest for order and structure despite having chosen a path that is often chaotic. But as he sings in the moody yet catchy “Holler Rose,” “you’ve got to be willing to play the long game.” “If it’s worth it, there’s a beauty in suffering,” he explains. “It’s taken me a long time to realize that, but I’m thankful for all those terrible decisions I’ve made.”

“Every day, I wrestle with the moral consequences of being a touring musician,” he adds. “I’m always finding ways to make it okay to be doing this. I feel irresponsible sometimes,” he professes, “because I basically make my living off the goodwill of others and chance. So I’m always trying to battle those two things.”

“The poet soon stops experimenting and innovating and starts his life’s work,” Bradshaw expounds, citing a quote from one of his favorite writers, Wendell Berry. A single album as a life’s work may seem like a grand, overambitious aspiration. But for Pony Bradshaw, North Georgia Rounder is just that – a life’s work, one that, as he describes it, is a culmination of “sweat and work and joy and pain and anger and patience and restraint.”

About Shay Martin Lovette

The tale of wayfaring songwriter Shay Martin Lovette is shaped by an enduring creative pursuit, an inseparable connection with the natural world, and a deep appreciation of the nonpareil musical voices of the past. The True As They Come EP, a new batch of homespun songs weaving intricate tales of retrospection, self-discovery, and the serene majesty of water will be released on April 26, 2024. Like the winding rivers and tributaries of his Appalachian homeland, Lovette’s music flows with emotional depth, poetically exploring the beautiful melodies of the land and the human soul.

Lovette’s songcraft has elicited high praise from American Songwriter, The Bluegrass Situation, No Depression, Under The Radar Magazine, Glide Magazine, and New Commute. In April of 2022, Lovette and band capped off a tour in support of his album Scatter & Gather with a performance on the esteemed Watson Stage at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Farm and Fun Time is made possible by our generous sponsors Eastman Credit Union and Toyota of Bristol

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