In the summer of 2020, a group of musicians met in an open-air pavilion in a small town along the banks of the Mississippi. The musicians, of the band Coulee Creek, represented a variety of musical influences and training in jazz, blues, country, classical, and bluegrass that would all come together over a period of five months. They brought in a poet to write and record four original poems for the project, providing new connections for the old-time music and the lyrics of two bluegrass pioneers.
That’s the premise behind the latest episode of Sprouts: Radio from the Grassroots, facilitated by WORT. The members of Coulee Creek take a deep dive into bluegrass pioneers Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard. Plus, hear from the bluegrass pioneers themselves, as well as WORT’s own Bill and Bobby Malone, hosts of Back to the Country on Wednesday mornings. And of course, cuts from Coulee Creek’s new album, Matriarch: Song and Verse.
Coulee Creek is David Strudhoff, Sarah Jackson, and Rita Mae Reese. Special thanks to Bill and Bobbie Malone for lending their time, and to Pacifica Radio’s Stephanie Schubert for mixing and producing this episode. Sprouts is a weekly collaborative program from Pacifica Radio showcasing local stories produced by community radio stations and grassroots media groups around the world, and heard on more than 50 radio stations a week.