Where Musicians Come to Play
July 19, 2008 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Larry Groce has been producing Mountain Stage in West Virginia for 25 years. This weekly radio and public television program has been broadcasting the best mountain music in Appalachia, usually from the WV Cultural Center. This month NPR began distributing the show nationally in the U.S. Also, last year Mountain Stage began archiving podcasts of the programs ... many, many hours of wonderful mountain music.

Some featured artists on the podcasts include Kathy Mattea (a native West Virginian), Ani DiFranco, Duncan Sheik, Suzanne Vega, They Might Be Giants, Asleep At the Wheel, Joan Osborne, Judy Collins, Bruce Cockburn, Jorma Kaukonen, Arlo Guthrie, and the Cowboy Junkies, plus much, much more.
posted by netbros (16 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Mountain Stage is one of the great gems of public radio. Our local NPR station gets a lot of programming from PRI, so we've been listening to MS for years.
Thanks for the links.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:29 PM on July 19, 2008

"Junk Food Junkie" Larry Groce? Cool!
posted by evilcolonel at 3:34 PM on July 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

Unbelievably, KUT (Austin public radio, University of Texas) took Mountain Stage off the air about ten years ago -- it's such a perfect fit for the Austin market, so many singer/songwriter types on that show, I surely lamented that decision; if I wasn't busy in its time slot I didn't miss it. I read somewhere (I don't think online, I think this was prior to the prevalence of "Hey, google it.") a short blurb with someone involved in the show (perhaps Larry Groce?) and their questioning why it was taken off KUT, some verbal head-scratching, how puzzled they were by that action, as the show really is a perfect fit for Austin. I've got a few of their compilations but nothing beats an entire performance. IMO.

I'm glad to know now -- I ought to have thought to look online but hadn't -- of their online presence.

Just looked -- their archive only goes back a year -- too bad. Lots of great shows I've missed over the years, etc and etc. That said, the shows they've archived in just that time are filled with spectacular artists -- I've just found a new source of great music performances! Alejandro Escaveda! Patty Griffin! Guy Clark! The Cowboy Junkies! Mary Gauthier! Patty Larkin! Lucy Kaplansky! Tab Benoit! Kim Richey! Todd Snider! Etc and etc! Hurray!

Thanx for the post.
posted by dancestoblue at 3:37 PM on July 19, 2008

it's crazy that npr is just now doing national syndication on this show. it's pretty fantastic, and it has been for oh, about 25 years now.
posted by msconduct at 5:15 PM on July 19, 2008

Wow, I'd always assumed that this was nationally syndicated. My NPR station is WVTF, in western Virginia, which is how I've listened to it for years. I guess they've gone to the extra trouble of carrying it because it's from a neighboring station.
posted by waldo at 6:51 PM on July 19, 2008

What waldo said, more or less. I've been listening to Mountain Stage for so long, in West Virginia and Baltimore and Asheville, that it never even occurred to me it wasn't nationally syndicated. Damn, NPR - a little slow on the uptake?
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:01 PM on July 19, 2008

The other public radio, Public Radio International has distributed it forever.
posted by ethansr at 9:08 PM on July 19, 2008

This is great stuff. Is there a way to get this as a podcast into my favourite podcast playing software? I can't find any RSS feed anywhere (neither on the Mountain Stage nor the NPR website).
posted by bjrn at 4:17 AM on July 20, 2008

Being that I'm from West Virginia, I was lucky enough to go to a live airing with my sister and friends about 13 years ago. I was lucky enough to see John Cale, Ann Magnusom, and
Lloyd Cole at that airing. Oddly enough, I can't seem to find it on my now local NPR station (WBEZ).
posted by Chocomog at 5:04 AM on July 20, 2008

it's crazy that npr is just now doing national syndication on this show. it's pretty fantastic, and it has been for oh, about 25 years now.

I'll try and clear up what this means - as has been pointed out, PRI has been distributing Mountain Stage forever. It's been available to any station, and has been (as is every other nationally syndicated public radio show) distributed over NPR's satellite network - it's the only one there is, so NPR runs/maintains it, but it's used by NPR/PRI/APM.

So mostly, this means that NPR will start streaming shows from Mountain Stage like it has been with shows in DC. Actually, now that I check, there's at least few recent shows up already. This would be a lot cooler if they hadn't moved over to their proprietary flash player and made it nigh-impossible to download mp3s of the shows.
posted by god hates math at 8:10 AM on July 20, 2008

This is great! I've been a long time since I've been to a taping (I used to go as often as possible). Wilco were absolutely superb on the show last time I went. Best WV export ever.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:17 AM on July 20, 2008

I got the podcast from iTunes (free)
posted by Peach at 11:53 AM on July 20, 2008

Oh, indeed you can get it directly through iTunes. For anyone who doesn't use iTunes but still wants this as a podcast there is a feed here.
posted by bjrn at 2:10 PM on July 20, 2008

I checked out the podcast(s) at iTunes, too -- there's an unofficial one and an official one. Thing is, neither one has been updated in quite some time.

The official podacst seems to have been only active in July 07. The unofficial one seems to have taken the mantle up not long afterwards, and published every week... up until about three months ago.

GHM, you said nigh-impossible (re getting npr music mp3s). Does that mean there's a way to do it? Can you drop us poor souls a hint as to how???
posted by sesquipedalia at 2:14 PM on July 20, 2008

GHM, you said nigh-impossible (re getting npr music mp3s). Does that mean there's a way to do it? Can you drop us poor souls a hint as to how???

Well, some of the older shows used to be fairly easy to download, even if there wasn't a link. They used a fairly obvious file naming scheme, and it was pretty easy to guess at what the file name for a particular show would be. If you dig around in the archives, I think you'll see what I mean.

As for the current flash-based system, I haven't gotten anything out of it yet. Were I any good at all with flash, I'd probably have figured a little more out by now, but alas, I'm still in the dark. Which is a shame, because I really want to download that Fleet Foxes show.
posted by god hates math at 7:47 AM on July 21, 2008

I'm going to point out here that I'm apparently dumb, and NPR has moved a lot of the concert downloads to the All Songs Considered Concert podcast. Hopefully this will be the case with the Mountain Stage shows as well, either as part of the ASC-C podcast, or instilling new life into the Mountain Stage podcast.
posted by god hates math at 7:15 AM on July 22, 2008

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