Tokyo Rosenthal Program Kicks Off New Season

A new season of “The Tokyo Rosenthal Program” is underway. The first show airs this Saturday at 8 pm on WCHL.

Rosenthal told WCHL’s Ron Stutts the show is a mix of musical performances and conversations with musical artists recorded live at the Pittsboro Roadhouse.

You can listen to Tokyo’s conversation with Ron below:


“We’re very rootsy. The show itself we put together, I call it old-timey radio. You know, I sit there, I do the spot live, and we have a lot of fun teasing our sponsor too,” Rosenthal said.

The program airs at 8 pm Saturday and Sunday nights on WCHL. But Rosenthal encourages listeners to come to the live performances, which are taped at the Pittsboro Roadhouse every Thursday at 8 pm.

“It’s a great atmosphere, it’s a great room there, great food, a great bar,” he said. “Just come on down there and watch us do it and fumble over ourselves, and hear what it really sounds like before it gets edited and shows up on WCHL.”

No tickets are required for entrance. This Thursday’s performance features singer/songwriters Glenn Spayth and David Dixon.

Check out videos of Glenn Spayth and David Dixon below:

Americana Legends Robin And Linda Williams Play ArtsCenter Friday

They’ve been together for more than 40 years, they’ve been regular guests on “A Prairie Home Companion,” they’ve been covered by Kathy Mattea and Mary Chapin Carpenter and Emmylou Harris and more – and on Friday at 8:00 pm, the singer/songwriters Robin and Linda Williams will take the stage at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro.

WCHL’s Aaron Keck spoke with Robin and Linda on “Aaron in the Afternoon” Wednesday – and played the song “On and On” from their latest album, “Back 40.”


Ticket information for Friday’s show is available at For more on Robin and Linda Williams, click here.

It’s Festifall Time!

It wouldn't be Festifall with out Ron Stutts and WCHL!

It wouldn’t be Festifall with out Ron Stutts and WCHL!

It’s October, and that means it’s time for Festifall!

Chapel Hill’s annual fall festival draws about 15,000 people each year to Franklin Street for a street party featuring arts, crafts, music, dance, magic, comedy, games, food, and more. This year’s event will run from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, on West Franklin Street from Mallette to Roberson.

Visit the Town of Chapel Hill’s official Festifall site.

Highlights include a Lego sculpture; a showcase of the painted goats from Galloway Ridge’s Goat Parade; and three performance stages, two of which will be MC’d by WCHL’s Ron Stutts and Aaron Keck. Performers include The Fox Fire, Cognitive Resonance, a Buddy Holly/Ritchie Valens tribute band called “Your Everyday Buddy,” and Tom Maxwell, a singer/songwriter formerly of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Check out the official event guide here, with a map and a complete performance schedule.

The weather is expected to be sunny, with temperatures in the low- to mid-60s.

WCHL’s Ron Stutts spoke with Chapel Hill special events coordinator Wes Tilghman…


…and Aaron Keck spoke with Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt about Festifall.


Also this week, Your Everyday Buddy’s Jack Vitaliz (AKA “Ritchie Valens”) and Kevin Baker (“Buddy Holly”) joined Aaron on the air – along with drummer Steve Dear – to promote their Festifall show and play a couple acoustic songs, “Donna” and “That’ll Be The Day.”


And Pat Richardson of Galloway Ridge joined Aaron on the air this week as well, along with artist Lisa Goldstein and Sarah Lamm of the Rivers Agency, to talk about the Goat Parade.

Tea Cup Gin Makes “Underground Love”

The local band Tea Cup Gin is releasing its first CD (“Underground Love”) – and they’re doing it in style, with an all-day party Saturday at Southern Rail.

Rain or shine, the “Cirque du CD and Full Moon Festival” gets under way at 3:00 and runs until midnight (at least), with musical performances, two drum circles, and a wide assortment of theatrical performances ranging from belly dancing to burlesque. (And it’s not just a celebration of the band: donations raised at the event will also benefit Carrboro Elementary School.)

Christy Benson, Mike Reid, and John Klonowski of Tea Cup Gin stopped by “Aaron in the Afternoon” with Aaron Keck this week to promote the show – and to play the title track from “Underground Love” live in the studio.


Christy Benson Mike Reid John Klonowski TEA CUP GIN 1

Reid, Benson, and Klonowski tuning up for their live performance of “Underground Love.”

For more information, visit

“A Cappella Slam” For A Cause In Durham

You’re invited to the Bull City A Cappella Slam on Saturday, September 20, at Northern Durham High School, hosted by the Heart of Carolina Barbershop Chorus – an acclaimed musical group that includes WCHL’s own Matt Oakes.

Performing groups include Men In Black, GQ, Carolina Harmony, and Avante.

The show gets underway at 7:00 p.m. Tickets – $15 per person, $10 for students – are available online at A portion of the proceeds will benefit Urban Ministries of Durham.

Matt Gorman, Joe Simpson, Mark Haskell, and Adam Bridges, all of the Heart of Carolina Chorus, joined Aaron Keck on the air last week to promote the show. Listen to their conversation – including a live rendition of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

Love Bluegrass? Head To Moorefields

On Saturday, September 6, Hillsborough’s Historic Moorefields will play host to an afternoon of bluegrass music.

“Bluegrass at Moorefields” will run from 2-7 p.m., featuring music from four area bluegrass bands: the Nash Street Ramblers (based in Hillsborough); Cagle Family and Friends (from Efland); the Bethesda Bluegrass Band (from Durham); and Constant Change (from Raleigh). Food trucks will be on hand, and beer and wine will be available too.

Clifton Preddy of Constant Change joined WCHL’s Aaron Keck on the air last week.

Listen to two songs by Constant Change, “Mountain Man” and “A Song for Marie.”

And the Bethesda Bluegrass Band stopped by this past week for a chat with Aaron – and they brought all their instruments for a live performance of “Twister”!

Tickets for Bluegrass at Moorefields are $20 – free for children 12 and under. Buy them online, at the Hillsborough Visitors Center at 150 E. King Street, or at the gate on the day of the festival.

For more information – and for tickets – visit this link.

Elderberry Festival Hits Carrboro Saturday

This Saturday, downtown Carrboro will play host to the Elderberry Festival – eleven hours of music, with dozens of bands and artists playing on five different stages at Southern Rail and Second Wind.

Norm’s Farms, a Pittsboro-based elderberry business, is hosting the festival – which features more than 30 acts, including James Olin Oden, Tea Cup Gin, and Too Much Fun. Local craft breweries and food vendors will be on hand as well – and the whole festival is free and open to the public.

Rodger Lenhardt of Norm’s Farms and musician James Olin Oden stopped by WCHL on Tuesday and spoke (and played!) with Aaron Keck on the afternoon news.

The festival runs from noon to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday. For a complete schedule of events and more information, visit

“Be Loud 14″ Takes Over Cat’s Cradle – For A Cause

Head to the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro this Friday and Saturday for “Be Loud 14,” a two-day musical extravaganza to benefit kids with cancer.

The show begins on Friday at 8:00, with performances by the Pressure Boys (reuniting for only the second time in 20 years), the Connells, and the Dexter Romweber Duo. It continues on Saturday afternoon with a festival in the parking lot, featuring music, poetry, and food trucks – and concludes with another concert on Saturday night at 9:00, with A Number of Things and Let’s Active along with a repeat performance by the Pressure Boys.

It’s all to benefit the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation. Founded by Niklaus Steiner (director of UNC’s Center for Global Initiatives) in honor of his late daughter Sophie, the foundation exists to help teens and young adults with cancer “pursue their own interests whatever they are” – to live normal lives, even while undergoing treatments.

Niklaus Steiner and Pressure Boys drummer Rob Ladd joined WCHL’s Aaron Keck on the air Thursday afternoon.

Tickets to “Be Loud 14″ are $40 for the full weekend – or you can buy passes for each individual show as well, for $10-$25. For tickets, visit or – and visit for more information about the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation.

This Weekend In OC: Arts! Concerts! Tax Relief?

With tax season officially upon us, Orange County is once again offering the RSVP-VITA tax preparation service for low- to middle-income residents in need of assistance this year.

“VITA” is short for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. It’s a free program sponsored by the IRS. It begins in February in Orange and Chatham Counties.

You can find out if you’re eligible and make appointments either online or by phone. Visit, or to make an appointment by phone, call:

Orange County: 919.245.4242 (English)
Orange County:  919.245.2010 (Spanish)
Compass Center for Women and Families: 919.968.4610 (English only)
Chatham County: 919.542.4512 (Angel Dennison)
Chatham County: 919.742.1448 (Spanish)


From now through March, the Hillsborough Arts Council is offering walking tours of the town’s sculptures. The guided tour is called “Take A Closer Look”; it will focus on four of the six sculptures that have been on display since last April.

Tours begin at the Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery on N. Churton Street, at 1:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. The tours are free (though donations are accepted), and they last one to one and a half hours.


This weekend brings the third annual “Mixed Concrete” art auction to Chapel Hill, with proceeds to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Featuring local artists working with a variety of materials, the show runs from Friday to Sunday, January 24-26, at TRU Deli + Wine Bar on the corner of Rosemary and Henderson. There will be an opening reception on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

To see some of the art online or to donate to the cause, visit


If you’re still unsure about the new federal Health Insurance Marketplace, UNC Family Medicine is holding a “Health Insurance Enroll-A-Thon” on Saturday, January 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Officials will be on hand to answer questions and help you enroll.

The event will take place in the UNC Family Medicine Center at 590 Manning Drive. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit


The Orange County main library in Hillsborough is hosting an exhibition of folk art from January 24-March 24. It’s called “Road Trip: Folk Art from Mike’s Art Truck”—and it’s comprised of 20 pieces all created by self-taught artists.

Curators Greg and Karen Mack of Hillsborough will be on hand for a reception at the library on Saturday, February 1, from 2-5 p.m.


Orange County’s Department on Aging and the Friends of the Seymour Center are inviting you to attend a Celebration Concert honoring the memory of Pearl Seymour on Saturday, January 25.

The concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. at the Seymour Center on Homestead Road; admission is free. Immediately following the concert, there will be a reception and a silent auction, with proceeds going to benefit the Department on Aging and the Friends of the Seymour Center.

For more information about the concert, visit


Saturday, January 25, you’re invited to a free performance of actor Mike Wiley’s “Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till” at 2:00 p.m. in the Chapel Hill Public Library. The performance is co-presented by the library and the UNC Program in the Humanities, part of a community dialogue on the legacy of Jim Crow and its impact today.

There will be an audience discussion following the performance.

Festifall to Crowd Franklin Street Sunday

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill’s 41st annual Festifall on Franklin Street is Sunday.

***Listen to the Story***

“We always get excited for this beautiful event. It’s been voted the last 3 consecutive years as Chapel Hill’s best event,” event organizer Wes Tilghman says.

Festifall is on West Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.  Tilghman and Chapel Hill Public Library staff member, Megan Rosen say this year the event is bigger than ever.

Attendees can expect art, music, live performances, local food, good reads, and plenty of dancing.

“We’ve got over 80 artists, 4 live performance areas, and we’re going to invite some of the local restaurants to the streets with us to join in,” Tilghman says.

Six blocks of West Franklin Street will be filled with all types of different artists, and community organizations from the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area. Over 120 different exhibitors will be at the festival.

Chapel Hill’s newly expanded and improved Public Library will host one of the exhibits with a digital book-mobile. And Rosen says it won’t be hard for the attraction to catch your attention.

“We’re bringing in an 18-wheeler that’s loaded for bear,” Rosen says, “It’s a 74-foot long tractor trailer, that’s tricked out with broadband internet access, HD monitors, an awesome sound system, and lots of interactive video and instructional material about downloading e-books from the Chapel Hill Public Library.”

Rosen says library staff members will be there to answer questions, help people browse the library collections, and see what it is the new library has to offer.

“We’re really hoping to expand people’s awareness of their community-owned resources at the library,” Rosen says.

WCHL’s own Aaron Keck will host the Dance Evolution stage. The stage will feature a lot of different types of dance, and dance productions.

“They’re going to get the crowd pretty involved, so you might find yourself on stage,” Tilghman says, “There will be lots of fun, local entertainers that everyone knows, and have heard before.”

Tilghman and Rosen hope you come out Sunday to support local artists, to purchase gifts, to grub on great, local dishes; or go to browse 6 blocks of Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s finest.

For more information about Festifall, click here.