The Only Place You Can See It Live On the Radio, Gate City Port Authority

Pardon the “musician face” in this thumbnail image. It happens sometimes when I hit a wrong note.

Regardless, remember Avant On Air? That renegade music show on WUAG hosted by musician Matty Sheets and writer Rae Alton? The duo have recently launched  a second iteration of the radio program on Wednesdays night, this time, it’s got video.

Subscribe to the show’s YouTube channel and watch interviews, odd questions, and the general mayhem that ensues whenever Matty Sheets is in the room. Previous guests include Crystal Bright, Sam Frazier, and yours truly. It’s always good to see what Matty’s up to. It’s always something.

Gate City Port Authority

103.1 FM WUAG, Thursdays from 7-9pm. Local music and culture. Hosted by Matty Sheets and Rae Alton. Stream live at or use the TuneIn app.

We’re happy to be partnering with Cameron Hetteen to bring you two video series here. Live In The Booth, featuring live performances from musicians from Greensboro and surrounding areas, and Transmission, featuring interviews with our guests.

Four new digital citizens stand in front of the lunch counter at the ICRC&M 55 years after four A&T students launched the 1906s sit in movement. Left to right: Alexis Anderson, April Parker, Irving Allen, and Kristen Jeffers. Photo by Stephen Charles.


It’s “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” a gesture that’s brought a mix of respect and revolt since it first appeared at protests in the wake of the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. And it’s just as clear a sign about where you stand on the issues facing black America today as it was for a black man or woman to sit at a lunch counter in 1960s. Only today there’s a museum rope around the lunch counter.

The International Civil Rights Museum preserves the lunch counter that launched a movement.

Letting Go of the Lunch Counter

“People are saying, ‘My vision is…,’” Lacy Ward says, leaving off the end of the sentence. “People have been disappointed that their vision has not been fulfilled by an institution. That doesn’t mean you give up on your vision.”

Exterior of the International Civil Rights Museum in downtown Greensboro. PHOTO CREDIT: ICRM

Fresh Eyes: Hard Cider, Hard Issues with Lacy Ward

If you could create a handbook on how to have a conversation from here, post-Ferguson, to strengthen the relationship between the community and the police, what would it look like? Where do you start? Here’s what he said.

Floating underwater in a saltwater pool.

The final postcard | 6 of 6

I floated on my back in a saltwater pool in my favorite Nordstrom dress. My friend Harvey and I had spent the afternoon at a friend’s house taking pictures for the album. The house and pool sat on the highest point of the property, a country estate in Davidson County with a long gravel driveway and landscaped gardens—265 miles east of the Great Dismal Swamp.

Searching for the James Adams Floating Theater by rented kayak in Merchants Mill Pond.

Girl, Where’d Your Church Clothes Go? | 5 of 6

In 1913, the Great Dismal Swamp saw the grand opening of the James Adams Floating Theater. It was one of the last active showboats in America, a tradition born in the southern United States where rivers, not railroads, brought the goods to town. Founded by a circus aerialist, the theater company and crew inspired the great American novel—“Showboat.” The novel inspired the musical and the epic ballad, “Ol’ Man River.”

We recorded the songs Stax style: with an emphasis on players and mic techniques, not slick production tricks.

Rocking Cane: The Sardine Sessions | 4 of 6

The Stax recording method—one that defined the southern and country soul sound of the 60s—put an emphasis on the players, not production tricks. Put the right people in the room, mic the instruments right and let the soul, Holy Ghost, whatever you want to call it, take over. To the session, I brought seltzer and snacks and four orderly folders full of lyrics. We rehearsed Friday night, recorded Saturday and tweaked vocals and overdubs Sunday afternoon.


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