Leon Botstein: Music is so important because it has no purpose
“Music is so important because it has no purpose. Its only purpose is to remind us as human beings, about the power of our own imagination.” -Leon Botstein
UAB has awarded the 2014 Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Prize to Dr. Leon Botstein. The award brings to campus outstanding scholars who are generally recognized as leaders in the arts and sciences. While at UAB, Botstein conducted a special performance of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Botstein also lectured and met with students and faculty in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. He spoke with WBHM’s Michael Krall and the conversation began with Botstein describing his reaction when he found out he won the prize.
The Lee Family Singers have been singing gospel music in and around Birmingham for more than 40 years. Now six of their offspring have formed a new group, The Second Generation of the Lee Family Singers. Both groups are committed to introducing younger people to music that was created hundreds of years ago, music born out of suffering and hope — the spirituals. For WBHM, Darlene Robinson Millender went to see the Lee Family Singers in action.
Guitar, banjo and harmonica player Willie Watson was a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, a popular Nashville-based Americana band. He left in 2011, after almost fifteen years performing with the band. Since then, Watson has been exploring his love of old folk music. His first solo album, “Folk Singer, Vol. 1″ comes out next month. Watson plays Wednesday, April 2, at The Bottletree Cafe.
Callie Courter can’t remember when she wasn’t writing poetry and singing around the house. The Birmingham native started writing song lyrics while majoring in music at UAB. As a graduation present, her dad financed the production of her first album, called ‘Love Is For The Brave.’ She now lives in Nashville, where she’s chasing her dreams of being a professional musician. Courter sat down with Les Lovoy to tell WBHM about the new album, her first experience in the studio, and her songwriting process.
The Birmingham acoustic quartet features influences from jazz, rock and pop and just released an album of Christmas songs. WBHM’s Michael Krall spoke with band members Adam Wright and Chris Griffin and produced this audio postcard. (Note: Click the title bar above for music downloads.)
Singer-songwriter Dar Williams has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez but with a bit of an acidic twist. Her ninth studio album is called In The Time of Gods. Williams performs in Birmingham Tuesday night and she spoke with WBHM’s Michael Krall.