Introducing The Company Stores…

The Company Stores are my favorite local band. They are very well known and beloved in Charleston, WV. With their recent set at Mountain Stage, I think/hope the band is poised for a national break-through soon. Their lovely, eclectic new album, Little Lights, has quickly become a favorite of mine.

Lead singer-songwriter Casey Litz’s lilting, robust voice at times reminds me of Rhiannen Giddens, Natalie Merchant, and Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom, but their genre-bending, self-described “Hill Hop” sound–a mix of clangy Appalachian folk fiddles, swirling psychedelic rock guitars, big band brass, and occasional splashes of classical piano–is incomparable.

Standout tracks are “Fall From Heaven,” “Nightingale,” “Optimistic,” and “Shenandoah Fall,” but the album is fantastic in it’s entirety.

The Company Stores Official Site

Crystal Good: Appalachian Blackface (Poetry)

West Virginian poet Crystal Good debuted her amazing new poem “Appalachian Blackface,” a commentary on political pandering to coal miners as well as racism, at last night’s Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia and she received a well deserved standing ovation for it. Crystal’s powerful, brilliant spoken word performance begins around the 18:50 mark on the following video, but I highly recommend watching the entire video no matter who you are or where you are from. Then share it. This poet, and this subject, should be nationally known.




Discount Ballet Tickets for WV Parents

West Virginian parents who receive CHIP and/Medicaid assistance for their kids can get discount Charleston Ballet tickets for just $5 each thanks to the Ballet For All program. You just have to purchase tickets in advance at the box office as supplies are limited.

I cannot emphasize enough what a positive impact Charleston’s arts scene had on me as a very poor child – one who went from a turbulent home of domestic violence to a loving but struggling single-parent home. I’m so grateful to the kind friends and their parents who took me to the WV Symphony, The Charleston Ballet and Mountain Stage, all of which gave me an intense interest in and love for the arts that I may not have developed otherwise. Those experiences had a direct influence on my pursuit of writing about music, first through this blog and eventually for The Charleston Gazette.

So take your kid to the ballet, it’s a memory that will have lasting effects.

Music, Shakespeare, Books, Art & Nature at Festivall This Weekend!

West Virginians have an exciting weekend of arts-related events this weekend thanks to Charleston’s Festivall. We at Muruch will happily attend the following:

Friday, 7pm: Hamlet by The American Shakespeare Co.
The Scottish Rites Center, Capitol Street
Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students.
Buy tickets in advance at Taylor Books or at the door

Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm: Romeo & Juliet by The Charleston Ballet
The Civic Center Little Theater
Tickets: Adults $20 in advance, $25 at door; students $15 in advance, $20 at door.Group rates also available.
Buy tickets online, Civic Ctr box office or at the door

Saturday, 8am-5pm: Library Used Book Sale
The Civic Center Little Theater
Free Admittance, books 50ยข-$2

Sunday, 1-4pm: Nature Walk w/ Live Music & Art
Sunrise Carriage Trail
Free!

Sunday, 7pm: Kate Miller-Heidke, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Janiva Magness & Storyman at Mountain Stage
Culture Center Theater
Tickets: $15 advance, $20 at the door
Buy tickets online, at Taylor Books or at door


Crystal Good: Boom Boom

Crystal Good is West Virginia’s (and possibly America’s) coolest poet. I’ve talked about her poetry to everyone I know offline and mentioned her a few times on Muruch’s Twitter, but just realized I’ve neglected to post about her here on Muruch until now. Here’s my fave Crystal Good poem/spoken word performance, “Boom Boom.”

Crystal Good Official Site

Buy Crystal Good’s Poetry @ Amazon