Carving Their Niche: Kingsport Residents Create a Lasting Legacy for Community Carousel
“When pigs fly.” That was Valerie Joh’s knee-jerk reaction when, in 2008, her husband, Gale, surprised her by declaring that Kingsport (TN) needed a carousel like the one in his hometown of Binghamton, N.Y.
Everything you want in one state you’ll find the most of in Texas: It’s the biggest, the hottest, coldest, wildest, ruggedest country on earth. In short, (if anything can be in Texas), it’s the “greatest” hunk of land in this, and nearly any other, Union. In true Texas tradition everything is colossal…from the mountains, deserts, green pastures, ranches and rivers scattered at random over 260,000 square miles, to the pink grapefruit, red sunsets and blankets of bluebonnets. All this, plus enough natural gas under it to float it away, but enough dough, dogies and derricks to keep it ‘hog-tied’ — combines to produce that special breed called “Texan”. The tall men, tall-tales, long-horn steers and pretty gals are enough to shut my mouth and just say…”Howdy, from Texas!”
Sturgill Simpson‘s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is not quite like anything else you’ll probably hear this summer. It has deep roots in much-loved country music traditions – parts of it could pass as lost tapes of The Outlaws – but it explores the self and relationships with others using Buddhism and psychedelic experiences, among other points of reference. It’s a work that successfully blends trucking anthems, English pop hits from a quarter-century ago and psychedelicmusique concrète freakouts. Just before the album hit physical and digital shelves in May, American Songwriter caught up with Simpson to learn how he pulled that off.
Top Shelf Comics just released the cover for March: Book Two
Part of a trilogy, March: Book Two will continue the story of John Lewis, whose life started on a sharecropping farm in rural Alabama and ended up as one of the most respected representatives of the US Congress. He was deeply involved with the organization of the Civil Rights protests in the 1950s and 1960s.
Nate Powell’s powerful cover showcases (on top) the Freedom Riders’ bus set on fire by a white supremacist mob in Anniston, AL, May 14, 1961, and (on bottom) Lewis’ fiery speech at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.