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A Bluegrass and Old Time Music Radio Show

Jack Lewis ( - oldesurberstation)Howdy friends and neighbors! This is your host, Jack Lewis, letting you know that my show audience continues to grow. I want to thank all of you for listening. If you're new to my show then I want to welcome you and let you know that I'm trying to introduce you to the music of unsigned bluegrass, old time and gospel music bands, discuss their style of playing and let you know where to go to hear these bands live. I think you'll find the show both entertaining and educational. Others have had some very kind words to say about my show and I surely do thank them for their comments.

Enabled (What's this?) - Well, in keeping up with the times, these shows are made available as a podcast so you can automatically download the shows and listen to them on their mp3 player or computer when you have the time. And if you want to, you can download and listen to a show right now simply by clicking on a download link below. Got iTunes? Then click the iTunes button to read reviews of my show and to subscribe to the podcast. If you don't have iTunes then click the orange button labelled "XML".

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Show #26 - January 11, 2007 -- Here's a Christmas story you should never forget! My wife and I spent Christmas day 2006 on a pilgrimage to the banks of the Delaware River to celebrate George Washington's crossing and the historic battle with British forces in Trenton, New Jersey. That turning point battle came at a time when most felt the American Revolution was over. Washington's Continental Army had been badly beaten during the summer and fall of 1776 and the army reduced from 26,000 to just 4,000 men. Those left were tired, demoralized and their enlistments were about to expire at the end of December. All seemed lost. Listen to the story set to music of the time. Download now (12.2 Mb - 35 minutes).

Here are websites mentioned in this podcast:

American Revolution - The Complete History

Henry Knox Brings Cannon to Boston

Thomas Paine - The American Crisis

Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer

David and Ginger Hildebrand - The Colonial Music Institute

Trenton's Patriot Week

Cecilia Brauer playing the Armonica

About the Armonica

Virtual Armonica

Show #25 - December 20, 2006 -- Christmas time is comin'. Here's a variety of Christmas songs performed by old time and bluegrass bands for your holiday enjoyment. Merry Christmas to all and have a wonderful New Year. Download now (14.6 Mb - 46 minutes).

Show #24 - October 30, 2006 -- The Blue Mountain Boys, a Swedish hard-driving, high and lonesome bluegrass band in the tradition of Bill Monroe, is featured in this episode. I play songs from their new album "Tall och Gran" (In the Pines) and discuss the influence Sweden has, and continues to have, on America. You’re going to like the Blue Mountain Boys not only for their talent, but also for the fact they have their music for sale on Check out the websites. Download now (9.2 Mb - 26 minutes). Here are websites mentioned in this podcast:

Blue Mountain Boys website

Blue Mountain Boys album Tall & Gran on

Blue Mountain Boys on

Blue Mountain Boys on

Swedes in America

The Swedish Colonial Society

Swedish American - Wikipedia

Show #23 - October 11, 2006 -- Original Formula, a stimulating duet with wonderful vocals and expert guitar pickin', is featured in this episode. Alton Elliot (guitar and vocals) and Robert Perkins (lead guitar and vocals) will thrill you with music that harkens back to duets like the Blue Sky Boys, the Louvin Brothers, the Stanely Brothers and the Everly Brothers. Through my interview with Alton and Robert, you will also learn about Nick Lucas and his amazing role in the origins of guitar playing in every musical style we know today. You’re going to like Original Formula not only for their talent, but also for the fact they have their music for sale on iTunes and Check out the websites. Download now (16.1 Mb - 46 minutes). Here are websites mentioned in this podcast:

Original Formula website

Original Formula songs and albums on iTunes

Original Formula album Radio-Active on

Original Formula album Live at the Rex Theater on

Original Formula album Sound Doctrine on

Nick Lucas website

Damian Griffiths' Linguagum website

Show #22 - September 22, 2006 -- Songwriters, who needs them? Well just everyone who loves music and that means you and me. This episode contains a number of bluegrass and old time songs written by living songwriters. They're not real popular and you may not have heard of them, but then how many people think of who wrote the song they just heard and liked? Listen to the songs these people wrote and remember their names. Who knows, maybe ten years from now they will be famous. Download now (7.3 Mb - 42 minutes). The websites of songwriters and bands mentioned in this podcast follows:

James Lindsey: The Mountain Ramblers
Songs: The Vision and Clear Cold Water
Album: Visions

Betty Jo Rockwell: Allegheny Uprising
Songs: In Love With You Before and Frosty Mountain
Album: Pretty Little Dog

Rita Parady: Oriskany Strings
Songs: Bluegrass Harmony
Album: Live at the Rex, Volume 1

James Christian: Craig County Boys
Songs: Springtime on the Mountain and Home I Used To Call Mine
Album: Springtime on the Mountain

James Christian: Oriskany Strings
Songs: Jesus is Hiring and If These Walls Could Talk
Album: The Train Don't Run Here Anymore

Show #21 - August 31, 2006 -- The new Blue Ridge Music Center is the subject of this 1.5 hour episode. I recently held an interview with Joe Wilson and Debbie Robinson of this fantastic mountain music show case when my band, the Oriskany Strings, and another nearby band, the Craig County Boys, played there. The Blue Ridge Music Center is a part of The Ridge Parkway National Park and is located at Mile Post 213 near Galax, Virginia and Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Joe Wilson is a magical person and I know you will enjoy listening to this educational interview about the center and mountain music. The interview is interleaved with the music of the three bands that played at the center the evening of August 19, 2006. Download now (16.3 Mb - 93 minutes).

Show #21 Slide Shows: Blue Ridge Music Center, Oriskany Strings, Craig County Boys

Show #20 - August 15, 2006 -- The Athy (Ireland) Bluegrass Festival 2006 is the subject of this episode. I recently learned that bluegrass music is alive and well in Europe, so I contacted Tony O Brien (songwriter, vocalist and musician) who manages this festival. Tony sent me two CDs loaded with music from the festival and I was blown away with the quality of the bluegrass and old time music played at the festival. The Bluegrass Patriots from Fort Collins, Colorado was the first headline band and the No. 1 European Bluegrass Band, 4 Wheel Drive, was the second headline band. There are plenty of great Irish bluegrass and old time bands to listen to and some play original music they wrote. Download now (10.1 Mb - 57 minutes).

Show #19 - July 25, 2006 -- This episode is about live performances and what a band must do to insure the audience hears the band as the band wants to be heard. It's no easy task and knowing something about sound engineering will help you better enjoy a live performance. Nearly all musicians love to perform before a live audience and nearly all musicians wonder if the audience spotted all the mistakes they made. When a band's in the studio, they get to correct their mistakes before their album is released. In a live performance, all the band's mistakes are out there for the audience to hear and see. I use a live performance of the Oriskany Strings to present and discuss my points. Download now (10.5 Mb - 59 minutes).

Show #18 - July 9, 2006 -- The Itinerant Band is featured in this episode. This band plays music from the 18th century and uses instruments seldom heard or seen in a band. I bought their Jefferson and Liberty album while attending a reenactment of the 1757 battle between French and British forces at Fort Ticonderoga in upper state New York. This is another of my history of old time and bluegrass music episodes and I think you will like it. You can learn more about the band at You can learn more about Fort Ticonderoga at Download now (7.1 Mb - 40 minutes).

Show #17 - June 21, 2006 -- The Wolfe Brothers String Band is featured in this episode. This wonderful old time band has a smooth sound and great rhythm. The Wolfe Brothers have been around since the early 1970’s and have opened for professional bands like Mountain Heart and Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. You’re going to like this band and want to check out their website and collection of four CDs at Download now (5.7 Mb - 32 minutes).

Show #16 - June 10, 2006 -- Jack gives a third installment of the history of old-time and bluegrass music. (Listen to Episodes 9 and 14 for the first and second installments.) He discusses the major contributions the "Monroe Brothers" and "Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys" to the music style now called bluegrass. If you like bluegrass music, you will not want to miss this episode. Download now (6.7 Mb - 38 minutes).

Show #15 - May 27, 2006 -- The state of West Virginia was a part of the state of Virginia prior to the American Civil War. So no wonder oldtime and bluegrass music is as alive in West Virginia as it is in the mountain regions of Virgina. In this episode you'll visit the Vanadalia, a festival hosted by the Division of Culture and History, located in the state capital of Charleston, West Virgina. Listen in to some fantastic oldtime music from the "mountain" state. Its going on right now, this Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28 just as it has been for the last 30 years. You won't want to miss this show and be sure to view the accompanying websites listed in Jack's blog. Download now (6.4 Mb - 36 minutes).

Show #14 - May 13, 2006 -- Jack gives a second installment of the history of old-time and bluegrass music. (Listen to Show #9 for the first installment.) The Carter Family made a major contribution to old-time, bluegrass and country music from 1927 to 1943. They recorded over 300 songs, many of which became big hits and were played by many later bands including those that play today. Maybelle Carter forever changed the way the guitar is played and everyone who plays the guitar now uses her style of picking. You won't want to miss this show and be sure to view the accompanying websites listed in Jack's blog. Download now (9.8 Mb - 56 minutes).

Show #13 - April 29, 2006 -- Jack plays cajun country music from a live concert he attended at Mulates' restaurant in Breaux Bridge, Louisianna. Jack listened to Jay Cormier and Cajun Country band and plays some songs from their album "Two Lives To Give You." Download now (5.5 Mb - 31 minutes).

Show #12 - April 16, 2006 -- from a new album by James Christian and the Oriskany Strings entitled, "The Train Don't Run Here Anymore." Using individual band member tracks taken during the recording session, Jack analyzes one song so the listener can appreciate the contribution of each member to the entire sound of the band. Download now (16.9 Mb - 35 minutes - stereo).

Show #11 - December 8, 2005 -- Jack plays the entire Christmas concert of the Oriskany Strings which they performed at the historic Buchanan Theatre in Buchanan, VA on December 1, 2005.. Download now (12.1 Mb - 64 minutes).

Show #10 - November 10, 2005 -- Jack plays songs from four bands who have recently submitted albums for play on Olde Surber Station Radio. He asks the audience to help decide which albums should be played on his radio station. Download now (5.5 Mb - 31.6 minutes).

Show #9 - October 27, 2005 -- Jack describes the history of old time mountain music and plays songs that correspond to this history. Main emphasis is on the work of Wayne Erbsen and his selected songs. Original songs by Ernest V. Stoneman and The Carter Family are included. Download now (9.1 Mb - 51.4 minutes).

Show #8 - October 13, 2005 -- Jack plays songs by three bluegrass bands comprised only of kids. These kids range from 8 to 14 years of age and they sound terrific. The bands are Galax Little Leaves, The Wright Kids and The Puny Pickers. All bands are from Virginia. Download now (7.7 Mb - 43.6 minutes).

Show #7 - September 28, 2005 -- Jack plays songs by bands that only have a wash tub bass in their band and explains some washtub designs and playing styles. The bands include Hoot 'n Holler, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, Alexander Whizzbang and Oriskany Strings. Download now (7.3 Mb - 41.4 minutes).

Show #6 - September 15, 2005 -- Jack plays songs by the bands that opened the fall season at the James River Music Hall in Eagle Rock, Virginia on Saturday 10 September. The bands include Oriskany Strings, Orchard Grass, Love Buzzards and Little Mountain Boys. Download now (7.4 Mb - 42.2 minutes).

Show #5 - September 1, 2005 -- Jack plays an old time country gospel song by each band he plays on his station that also plays this type of music. He provides comments on each band and their playing style. Download now (9.6 Mb - 54.5 minutes).

Show #4 - August 20, 2005 -- Jack introduces each band playing on his radio station by playing one one of their songs. He provides the names of each band member and the instruments they play. He also provides the band's web site address. Download now (10.4 Mb - 58.5 minutes).

Show #3 - August 4, 2005 -- Jack introduces the James River Music Hall in Eagle Rock, Virginia - a popular venue where you can go every 2nd and 4th Saturday night and listen to live bluegrass and old time bands perform on stage. Listen to music by Bluegrass Trail, Love Buzzards and an ad-hoc band. Download now (9.3 Mb - 52.4 minutes).

Show #2 - July 21,2005 -- Jack introduces the Rex Theater in Galax, Virginia - a popular venue where you can go every Friday night and watch and hear live bluegrass and old time bands perform on stage at the WBRF 98.1 FM Blue Ridge Backroads Live Radio Show. Take a virtual tour of the theater and listen in on parts of four shows when the bands: Oriskany Strings, Jugbusters, Heather Berry and Virginia Carolina, and Rush Hour Bluegrass performed on stage at this historic theater. Download now (9.5 Mb - 54.1 minutes).

Show #1 - July 7, 2005 -- Jack introduces the Craig County Boys, Original Orchard Grass Old Time Band, the Oriskany Strings and Todd Taylor - Banjoman while describing the differences in bluegrass and old time band playing styles. Download now (9.8 Mb - 55.3 minutes).


© 2005 Olde Surber Station


Website by Jack Lewis Oriskany Strings