NPR released their “Favorite 100 Songs of 2016 (So Far)” this week and Winston-Salemite, Caleb Caudle, made the list with his hit song, “Uphill Battle.” (click here for link to NPR’s list) Caudle stopped by a/perture cinema to perform an acoustic version of the song in s/tudio 1 at a/perture and to talk about the song.
“It is an honor to be on a list as diverse as NPR’s,” said Caudle. “The coolest part is to see all of these various artists with different areas of success featured on the list.”
Caudle grew up just outside of Winston-Salem (read my blog interview with him about Winston here). “Uphill Battle” is the fifth track on Caudle’s third studio release, Carolina Ghost, which was released on February 26th. The record was recorded by Jon Ashley at Fidelitorium in Kernersville, and released by This is American Music.
“It’s cool to be included in a list with Radiohead and Kanye West,” said Caudle about the NPR list. “It is always great to be on any list that praises your work, but it is better for it to be this diverse.”
Jewly Hight from NPR said, “There are times when Caleb Caudle gives his songs the scruffy, alt-country treatment, but he’s most affecting when he takes the softer, finessed approach on display in “Uphill Battle.” The North Carolinian delivers the wilting melody with beguiling subtlety, gently submerging himself in melancholy rumination on how his lover’s been burdened by his unsteadiness.”
Caudle will perform again in Winston on August 6th at Summer on Liberty. Admission is free to the event on Liberty St. in Downtown Winston.
Thanks to a/perture cinema for the unique recording spot. If you need something to do this weekend check out these films now playing – Swiss Army Man, Genius, Weiner, A Touch of Zen and Deephan. Visit aperturecinema.com for more info.
If you enjoyed this blog or other jmclaincallahan.com blogs, please vote for me (jmclaincallahan.com) for best blog of Winston here: Click for Smitty’s Notes “Best of Winston”. Voting lasts until July 10th, and the blog vote is #9 on the first page.
Last week, I met up with Matthew Bivins, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of Jump, Little Children, for breakfast at Mary’s Gourmet Diner. We were joined by the diner’s owner, Mary Haglund, for much of the meal, and I was able to sit back and enjoy as Matt and Mary talked about Winston over my delicious meal of Eggs Benedict. I had already done blogs on Jump, Little Children (blog link) and Mary (blog link) previously, so it was great to reconnect with them for brunch.
Matt’s breakfast sandwich
My Eggs Benedict
Mary and Matt had a lot in common, which included their love of the Lighthouse Restaurant and a former Winston mainstay restaurant, The Rainbow Cafe. They both spent time working at The Rainbow along with other Jump band members, Jay Clifford and Ward Williams, and Mary remembers hearing Jump perform on the back porch when the band was just starting out. Matt grew up right up the street from the restaurant on Second Street, and his cousin was married to the former owner of the restaurant.
Matt and Mary also spoke a lot about The Lighthouse and its founder Nick Doumas, who passed away in October in an ATV accident. I grew up going weekly to The Lighthouse, since it was just a rock’s throw away from my West End house, so I was really interested in this portion. Mary worked at the Lighthouse for a long time, and she remembers waiting on my parents when my mom was pregnant with me. Matt’s dad, John Bivins, was good friends with Nick and they would go on hunting trips together. John also designed the sign that still hangs up outside the restaurant.
The two spent most of the brunch talking about their love of Winston-Salem. Mary is a transport here from Gary, Indiana, while Matt grew up here and now lives in Chicago. They agreed how special of a place it is here in Winston, especially how the city focuses on the arts. Matt spoke about his desire to potentially move back to the area and Mary tried her hardest to encourage him.
Jump, Little Children is going back on tour in April, and Mary plans to go see them in Chapel Hill at Cat’s Cradle (click here for tickets). I was lucky enough to be surprised by my wife with tickets to the Highwater Festival in Charleston in April. So I will get to see Jump play with some of my favorite bands like The Avett Brothers, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, The Shins, and Shovels & Rope.
In 2017, I will be Uberring throughout Winston and writing about it. Each month, I will collect donations for different Winston organizations. For the month of January, all of the donations will go to The Forsyth County Humane Society. Lookout for me on the road, and on your Uber app!
In addition to celebrating Winston-Salem natives that have moved on to do significant things outside of Winston, this blog will also celebrate local people who make a difference currently in Winston-Salem.
“Winston-Salem means everything to me,” said Tucker Tharpe. “Winston is a big part of me as a person. It is beautiful here and I love it.”
Tharpe most likely will be the only person I ever blog about that I almost got in a fight with and a fight against (both on the soccer field). He is a very passionate person and his passion (just like mine) always came out on the soccer field. It also bodes well in his line of work as the owner, producer, and talent buyer at The Garage on 7th Street in Winston-Salem (Garage website).
Tharpe purchased the Garage with one of his best friends, Brian Cole, in 2012, and became the sole owner in November of 2015. Along with bringing bands to the popular venue, he also has produced videos for up and coming bands like Must be the Holy Ghost and All Them Witches with the help of Justin Reich.
Besides his four years majoring in business administration with a minor in marketing and as a member and captain of the Greensboro College soccer team, Tharpe has always called Winston home. He grew up in Pfafftown, and moved downtown after moving back from Greensboro. Between 2003 and 2012, Tharpe worked two stints with his father’s company, Spevco, and one stint with the Winston-Salem Downtown Partnership as their director of events.
With the help and advice of his dad, Marty, Brian Cole, and the founder of The Garage, Richard Emmett, Tharpe took a risk the second time he left Spevco when he took over The Garage. “I am an overly passionate person in everything I do,” said Tharpe. “Watching a crowd at The Garage enjoy a concert, gives me the same thrill that scoring a goal in soccer does.”
Tharpe married his long time girlfriend, Cayce, almost three years ago. They currently live downtown, but plan to take their dog (Duke) and cat (Messi) to their first house and yard in Ardmore this July. Cayce is an artist and bartender downtown.
Along with his work at The Garage, Tharpe is also the Co-Chair for 88.5 WFDD. He is very involved in the community and charity events through Twin City Santa, Movember, and Family Services of Forsyth County. “If you give to Winston, it will give right back,”said Tharpe.
He is also still very close to his family. Marty is still the CEO of Spevco, while his older brother, Tii, is currently the COO. Tharpe was joined by Tii as recipients of the 2015 Winston Under 40 Winners. His mom, Dare Smith Tharpe (co-founder of Spevco), is one of his biggest fans and the two are extremely close. He is also close with Tii’s wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Kyle and Marty.
Below Tharpe answers questions about his favorite things about Winston:
Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
I grew up in Pfafftown on Vienna-Dozier Road. When I was fourteen, we moved to Stone Oaks in Winston. After going to Greensboro College, I moved in with my mom for a year and then I bought a condo at Tar Branch on Marshall in Downtown Winston.
Why are dachsunds so important to you?
I grew up with dogs and my family has always loved dachsunds. Duke is a lot like me. He is small, doesn’t know how to back down, and he is very loyal. I have never met a dachsund that I didn’t like.
What different Winston-Salem schools did you go to?
I went to Old Richmond through fourth grade, and then to Vienna for fifth grade. I went to Northwest for middle school, and then to Mount Tabor for two years and North Forsyth for two years of high school.
What are your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants?
There are so many great places to eat here. I definitely would say Finnegan’s. I love it for its proximity to The Garage, and Opie is just a great guy. I used to love going to the old Staley’s Steakhouse on Reynolda with my dad. I have unbelievably fond memories of going to business meetings with my dad there. A favorite of the bands that come to The Garage is Mooney’s. You can get whatever you want there and it is all very authentic. I think some bands come back into town just to eat there!
If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuit, or Krispy Kreme doughnut?
Without a doubt, sugar cake!
What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
The Outer Banks are beautiful. I have the best memories as a child at Sunset Beach with the Flavin family, though. That is the epitome of a family vacation place. It was so quaint. I do love Outer Banks though, every place there is beautiful.
Where is your favorite place in the mountains in North Carolina?
Banner Elk. We have a family home there on Sugar Mountain. Tii and I are avid snowboarders. We have gone there my whole life, and I go every chance I can get there.
If you lived in (Old) Salem in the late 18th century, what do you think your occupation would have been?
I am not very handy so not a carpenter or blacksmith. I feel like I would have had to do something physical though. Some sort of civil service. I would say something with music, but I am not a musician. I don’t think I could have put on rock shows back then.
If there was one restaurant you wish we had in Winston, what would it be?
A twenty-four hour diner in downtown. When I get off at 4:00 in the morning, I just want a crappy cup of coffee and a hearty meal.
What about a retail store?
I would like a camera store with dark-room availability. I call myself a hobby photographer, and I want to be able to go to a place if a camera breaks to get it fixed, without having to wait for something to be shipped to me or buying an all new one.
If there was a musical show you could see from a deceased artist and one from a current artist that have not been to Winston, who would you most want to see?
I can’t help but go straight to David Bowie and Prince. They were both alive during my time, and I will regret not seeing them. They are obviously fresh on my mind, but I can’t think other musicians that have influenced my life more.
For current bands, I would say Cage the Elephant and Queens of the Stone Age. I feel that we could get both of them here, and I wish we did.
I had the pleasure of watching Matthew Troy conduct a concert with another famous Winston-Salemite, Ben Folds, this past December at The Lawrence Joel Coliseum (Video of Rock this Bitch with Ben Folds, Matthew, and The Piedmont Wind Symphony). Matthew came to the the Winston-Salem Symphony in 2008 as the Associate Conductor. In January of 2015, he became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony.
After earning his bachelor’s (music as violist) and master’s degrees (orchestral conducting) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Matthew has conducted orchestras all over the country from New York to the Pacific Northwest. Although he travels frequently, he has always called Winston and the Triad his home.
Along with his work with the Piedmont Wind Symphony, Matthew also currently works with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as their Education Director. He is an advocate for music education, and created an innovative program partnered with the African Library Project, which helped to to raise over 50,000 books for 50 libraries in Botswana (Read his full bio and see videos of his performances here).
Read Matthew’s thoughtful answers about his time in Winston-Salem and his favorite parts of our great city:
Where all have you lived besides Winston? Although I have traveled extensively around the world, I have always lived in Greensboro or Winston-Salem. The Triad area has been a wonderful place for me to call home.
What did you miss most about the Triad when you were gone? Often when I travel to other cities I notice the energy and the pace of my surroundings, and also the character that you find through people, restaurants, architecture, etc. So, when I am away I always think about the incredible vitality of Winston-Salem that is literally growing before our very eyes, and I think about the joy of running into my friends and colleagues on every street corner.
When all have you lived in Winston-Salem? I have lived in Winston-Salem since around 2007…my how time flies!
What are three things that you think make Winston-Salem a great place to live? I love that our city embraces the old and the new. That is something very appealing to me as a musician, and more specifically a classical musician. I love the new restaurant, bar/brewery scene; not only does it help the local economy but it adds personality to our city. And finally, the people that make up the fabric of the city. It has always been my goal to provide great art and musical experiences to the larger public to help enrich the community.
Which Winston-Salem streets/neighborhoods have you lived in? Too many to name! But, I have lived in West End, near Robinhood Rd., Ardmore, and in the Washington Park/Sunnyside neighborhoods. They all have their charm!
Are there any music teachers/musicians in the area that have been a key to your success? I think that my musician colleagues have helped me nurture and develop my talents here in Winston-Salem, and for that I am forever grateful. The truth is that there are too many to name, but names like David Levy from WFU, and Scott Rawls from UNC-G come to mind by being great role models. Also, Bu Scherf for being a great “idea” person and even better conversationalist.
Where all have you had jobs in Winston-Salem? Currently, I am the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony. Previously, I have been the Associate Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Music Director of the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony, taught conducting on the faculty at UNCSA and conducted the orchestra, and I have taught on the faculty at Wake Forest University and conducted the orchestra there. Additionally, you can still see me perform as a violist with various string quartets.
What are your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants? Truthfully I have more than three, but here goes.
If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts? Moravian Sugar Cake!
What is your favorite North Carolina Beach? Topsail Island
Where is your favorite place in the mountains of North Carolina? I love the Boone/Blowing Rock area. But Asheville is always a fun place to visit!
What are some of your favorite shows that you have conducted since you took over as the Artistic Director and Conductor for the Piedmont Wind Symphony? I loved conducting our “Frankenstein” concert which showed the old black-and-white starring Boris Karloff while we played the soundtrack live! It is always a challenge as a conductor to work on a project like this, but it was very innovative and unique! Also, our holiday concert a few months ago with Ben Folds is a real standout in my career as one of the most artistically gratifying and fun evenings I can imagine! We finish this season with an all Gershwin program featuring the original jazz version of “Rhapsody In Blue,” this promises to be a very memorable and entertaining concert!
Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that lived in Winston-Salem and now have moved on to do great things.
With all of the news typically covering depressing events, my blog has opened my eyes to just how nice people can be in this world. Paul Defiglia, a member of one of our country’s biggest bands, The Avett Brothers, is a prime example of how there really are good-natured people out there.
I had a small connection with Paul through Becca Stevens (my blog with Becca), who has also become a very successful musician and I sent Paul a message on a whim. He not only got back to me, but we had a long conversation about his time with The Avett Brothers and growing up in Winston.
Paul currently resides in Nashville with his wife, Mickela. She has a television show called Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozi. Paul grew up in Winston-Salem and says, “I always felt like Winston was a home to me. Winston isn’t trying to be what it isn’t and I really like what is happening with the downtown there.” In fact, Paul took his wife to a movie at my sister’s theater, a/perture cinema, last time he was in town. “I am really proud of being from Winston-Salem.”
After Paul graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) in 2001, he went to school at New York University and majored in jazz performance. In 2004, he met Langhorne Slim, and he was the double bass player of Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles until 2008. During that time, he met fellow North Carolinians, The Avett Brothers, at a show with Langhorne Slim and Paleface. “I was from North Carolina too, but I hadn’t heard of them at the time.”
In 2011, after taking some time off from music, Paul was working at his aunt’s farm in North Carolina one summer and got a call “out of the blue” from The Avett Brothers asking him to sub-in on bass for Bob Crawford, who was expecting the birth of his son. Later that year after the band returned from Europe, Bob’s two-year-old daughter, Hallie, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Bob took some time off from the group, and they again asked Paul to step in on bass. Paul had just been married the previous week to Mickela. “I was floored, because these were the biggest shows ever,” said Paul.
For the next year and a half, Paul subbed off and on for Bob. After Bob started to return more regularly to the road, Paul really didn’t know what to expect. “They heard me tinkering backstage with the piano, and they thought I knew how to play piano, even though I am not a piano player,” said Paul. He was able to use a lot of the information he learned at NCSA to “kind of fake it,” when playing piano for the band.
In 2012, right after the band’s album, The Carpenter, came out, Paul started to play piano on a more regular basis. He started to take piano lessons and practice it a lot more. It speaks volumes of his musical abilities that he could play an instrument that he didn’t have a background with in front of thousands of fans in one of the biggest bands in the world. “There were a couple of times I really freaked out. I was learning to play piano in front of thousands of people,” said Paul. Here is a video of Paul playing bass with just Scott and Seth Avett (Pretty Girl from Annapolis) and one of him playing bass at Austin City Limits (Satan Pulled the Strings) with the full band.
“At some point, I convinced them to get a Hammond B3 Organ and it made a lot of things come together,” said Paul. He still plays bass for the band when Bob switches over to fiddle. “It is like a musical chair situation for the band now. Within one band, there are three different looks, which is really cool to me.”
Paul said, “the Avetts and Bob are some of the most honest and generous people I know. It really became their decision if I stayed. They could have easily said thanks for your time, but they didn’t and I am extremely grateful to them.”
At that point the band had already added the talented cellist, Joe Kwon as a full-time member. Scott Avett would give Paul small clues like, “I don’t know if you are ready for this.” Paul would think, “ready for what?” In 2013, Bob, Scott, and Seth Avett brought Paul in and asked him to become a full touring member. Since then, Mike Marsh (drummer) and Tania Elizabeth (fiddle) have joined The Avett Brothers to make it a seven-member touring band.
Paul recently helped the Avett’s with his first studio album with the group. They recorded at famed-producer Rick Rubin’s studio in Malibu, California. “They really didn’t have to ask me to be a part of it,” said Paul. “I can’t believe I am a part of a record this big. The longer we play together, the better we sound. It is awesome to be a part of this.”
Paul mentioned that The Avett Brothers have a great respect for Winston-Salem. They have done a lot of recording in Winston and Kernersville. Along with playing with The Avett Brothers, Paul also is interested in exploring outside projects as much as he can. He likes to play gigs with different people and try to keep working on improving his abilities. “It is important to constantly refresh my musical environment and keep growing, and the Avetts have helped to facilitate my growth.” Here are a couple videos of side gigs Paul has done: (With Nashville Musicians) and (With Matt Haeck).
It will be exciting to follow another Winston-Salem native continue to grow in his successful musical career, both with The Avett Brothers and in his side opportunities. He will be touring all over the country this spring, and if you haven’t seen them in concert, watching Paul and The Avett Brothers is one of the greatest musical experiences you can have. Paul answers several questions about his time in Winston-Salem:
When all have you lived in Winston-Salem?
I went to school at Lewisville Elementary for four years and to Hanes Middle School. I also lived in Greensboro, Raleigh, and Florida growing up. My dad lived in Greensboro, so I went to Grimsley for a couple years. Then I came back to Winston to go to the School of the Arts for 11th and 12th grades from 1999 to 2001. I left to go to New York University in 2001.
Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on?
I lived off of Polo Road across from Speas Elementary. My aunt also lived off of Robinhood, and I hung out there a lot growing up.
What are some of your favorite Winston-Salem restaurants?
I used to go to Little Richard’s a lot. I liked going with my family to the Zevely House and The West End Café. I also hung out a lot at Morning Dew and Rubber Soul. I used to go to a lot of punk-rock shows at The Werehouse. I also really liked hanging out at Recreational Billiards, The Garage, and Elliott’s Revue.
What were some areas that NCSA really helped you with your career?
I specialized in classical bass performance at The School of the Arts. I had a lot of great teachers there. The School of the Arts was such a good primer for me musically. Ear training and music theory at NCSA were so important to me.
How did you get to know Becca Stevens, another famous Winston-Salemite?
I actually grew up with my mom playing her family’s band, The Tune Mammals, in the car to my sister. So the first class we had together, I recognized her immediately and asked her about being in that band. I actually dated Becca for a while in high school.
Were you in any bands in Winston?
Yeah, I was in a band with Becca called Cabbage Row. It was right around the time the movie, O Brother Where Art Thou? was in theaters and it was my first attempt at bluegrass. I was really into jazz and hip-hop at the time. I played in a band that ended up having a lot of the same members as Gomachi.
If you were on a stranded island and could just have one breakfast for the rest of your life, which would you choose: Moravian sugar cake, Bojangles biscuits, or Krispy Kreme doughnuts?
Man that is hard because I love Bojangles. I took my wife to the Krispy Kreme across from Thruway last time we were in town. I would have to say Dewey’s sugar cake though. My wife also loved the Moravian sugar cookies.
What was your favorite concert at the Ziggy’s on Baity Street?
I saw Medeski Martin and Wood and that was probably my favorite show there. It was packed. I also saw P Funk and Junior Brown there. It was really a cool place.
What is your favorite nickname for Winston’s minor league baseball team: The Spirits, The Warthogs, or The Dash?
The Spirits because they used to be a farm team for the Cubs and that is my team. My dad took me to see Mark Grace when he played for them.
Do you have a favorite team in the ACC?
I never had an ACC team, but if I had to choose, I would say Wake Forest. I remember watching Tim Duncan play there.
Winston-Salem is one of the greatest small cities in the world. Famous Winston-Salemites will feature some accomplished people that lived in Winston-Salem and now have moved on to do great things. All of the questions will be about their time in the Twin City.Byron Hill’s family moved to Winston-Salem in 1953. His mother was a public school teaching assistant and his father was a technical illustrator. In 1978, he moved to Nashville and became a ten-time American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award winner and has thirty-two U.S. and Canadian top-ten chart hits. His songs have generated more than 700 recordings and seventy-seven Radio Industry Association of America (RIAA) gold and platinum awards.Hill has written songs for eleven artists who have gone on to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame perform his songs. Performers of his songs have included artists like Ray Charles, Alabama, Brooks & Dunn,George Strait, Reba McEntire, George Jones, Randy Travis, Jason Aldean, and Kenny Rogers. His songs have been recorded by artists from twelve different countries over his four decades of writing music. Hill is currently a staff writer at Dan Hodges LLC and serves on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. He currently lives in Nashville and is married and has one daughter.Follow Hill at his website: http://www.byronhillmusic.com/. Below Hill answers questions about his time in Winston-Salem and his favorite things about our city:
When all have you lived in Winston-Salem? I lived in Winston-Salem from 1953 until 1978. My family still lives there. I have three younger siblings.
Which Winston-Salem streets have you lived on? As a very young child, we lived in Cloverdale Apartments, then moved to the South Fork area when I was 5. We lived on Kyle Road in Gordon Manor. After I returned from college at Appalachain State University, I lived on Sunset Blvd., Crafton Street, and West End. My family remained in the South Fork area until the mid-1990’s. My mother now lives near Ardmore and I have a brother in Clemmons.
What different Winston-Salem schools did you go to? South Fork Elementary, Southwest Junior High, and West Forsyth High School.
Who were your favorite teachers?
Many, but my sixth grade teacher was Mr. Richard Snyder and he encouraged me to be creative with my writing. My band teacher at Southwest was Richard Conklin. He was great. There were many others at junior high and high school…too many good ones to name.
What got you interested in music? My father played guitar and I started playing when I was ten. My influences were The Carter Family, Bluegrass, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and especially Kris Kristofferson. I started writing songs when I was sixteen.
Who all in your family are musicians?
Just my father. He played guitar and Harmonica
Where all did you have jobs in Winston-Salem?
My first job was mowing lawns and picking blackberries. Then I worked for Dr. Eubanks (a veterinarian in South Fork), at Club Haven Pharmacy, for O’Hanlon-Watson, at Baptist Hospital Pharmacy, a part-time job at Cheap Joe’s Jeans, a part-time job at a wine distributor, also Hanes Dye & Finishing (a summer job that turned into a year), Ridgetop Records, Hunter Publishing Company, and my favorite job was at Dixie Music Co. (where I taught guitar for 3 years before moving to Nashville).
What are your top three local Winston-Salem restaurants of all-time?
Way back it was Staley’s. A longtime fave has always been Vincenzo’s, and now my fave is West End Café.
What is your favorite place to go in Winston?
Downtown Fourth Street.
What is your favorite North Carolina Beach?
My family rarely went to the NC beaches, so I’ve never been an expert on where to go, but I really do like Southport and the Outer Banks in general.
Where is your favorite place in the mountains in North Carolina?
That would be the Boone/Blowing Rock area, but I also like Black Mountain.