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April 2005

Homegrown Music is WVIA-FM's exclusive series which each week showcases the talents of regional contemporary music artists in recordings produced in the WVIA-FM studios by series host George Graham. Homegrown Music (HGM), presents new performances most Tuesdays at 9:00 PM. April specials include a Concert Clips anthology on the 19th, and a live Homegrown Music concert with the Reese Project and Coleman & Austin Smith on the 25th. Further information on Homegrown Music may be obtained via the World Wide Web at http://homegrownmusic.info

Apr. 5 One Star Hotel. From the Philadelphia area comes One Star Hotel, a fine alternative/roots rock quartet, whose recent CD Good Morning West Gordon, has been winning national-level accolades. They combine intelligent songwriting with tight musicianship and the appealingly plaintive vocals of Steve Yutzy-Burkey. The group performs a collection of all-new material, not yet available on CD.

One Star Hotel
One Star Hotel in the recording studio at WVIA for Homegrown Music

Apr. 12 The Fat Cats. This first-rate Northeastern Pennsylvania blues band has been together for a few years, and make their Homegrown Music debut performing original music that ranges from straight-out electric blues to swing-oriented material. They include some infectious instrumentals in addition to their strong vocals.

Apr. 19 A Homegrown Music Concert Clips Special. Each month Homegrown Music present a live concert, each of which features two performances. As part of WVIA-FM's spring on-air fundraising campaign, Homegrown Music producer George Graham will present a 90-minute special with memorable highlights from the concert series. (Note: Start time 8:30 PM.)

Apr. 25 A Live Homegrown Music Concert with THE REESE PROJECT and COLEMAN & AUSTIN SMITH. WVIA-FM's unique series of monthly two-hour live concert broadcasts features an evening of jazz with strings.

The Reese Project is headed by flute player Tom Reese and his cellist-wife Laurie Haines Reese. This incarnation of the group also includes an organ, as well as a rhythm section. The somewhat unusual instrumentation for a jazz group makes for some interesting but very appealing sounds. Tom Reese divides his time between performing jazz and composing for groups up to a full orchestra. The band will be performing a combination of original music plus some jazz standards.

Coleman, Doug and Austin Smith
Coleman, Doug and Austin Smith
Brothers Coleman and Austin Smith are two young classically-trained violinists who grew up in Texas and developed reputations as child prodigies. Their twin fiddles have shared the stage with such legends as The Texas Playboys, Johnny Gimble and Asleep at the Wheel, and they also performed with the Fort Worth Symphony. They recently returned to Northeastern Pennsylvania and have been studying and performing regionally. Their style ranges from hot jazz to Western Swing. They are joined by their cousin, bassist and long-time Homegrown Music regular Doug Smith, pianist Jim Waltich and drummer R.J. Kennedy for an eclectic set running from jazz standards to some bluegrass swing.

As usual, WVIA's listeners and members are invited to attend the concert at the station's Public Broadcasting Center studios in Pittston. Admission is free by advance reservation on a first-come-first-served basis. Phone 570-655-2808 to reserve seats. Note: Start time 8:00 PM.

Apr. 26 A Homegrown Encore featuring NEAL CASAL. Originally from Western New Jersey, Neal Casal appeared on Homegrown Music three times in the late 1990s, before moving to California, where he has been busy in the music business there as a studio and touring musician and backing vocalist, appearing on many albums with popular performers. He is also currently a member of the band Hazy Malaze. But it is his solo work, as represented on a series of at least seven albums that has won so much critical praise, as well as many fans as far away as Europe. This 1997 solo session contains acoustic versions of songs that would later appear on some of his albums in more electric settings. We get to hear Casal by himself, with his remarkable vocals and tasteful, literate songs.

Neal Casal
Neal Casal recording for Homegrown Music in 1997

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