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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Full House for Hangman, Hangman!

Friends, if you weren't at last Thursday's Liars Bench show you missed a BIG one. This second of the "Balsam Chronicles" series was themed "Hangman, Hangman Slack Your Rope" and it was all about 'gallows ballads.'
Liars Bench Stars Paul Iarussi and William Ritter kicked the show off with "Down in the Willow Garden," an old Irish ballad about murder and hanging.

Gary talked briefly about West Virginia gallows orator John Hardy, Webster gallows elocutor Bayless Henderson, and Southern writer Harry Crews, adviser to the film "Looking for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus," where three ladies in a cafe in East Tennessee sang "Knoxville Girl."
William performed a song about North Carolinian Otto Wood who was a jail escape artist and was eventually killed in a shoot-out with the law in Salisbury, NC.
Liars Bench Star and master Cherokee story teller Lloyd Arneach told the story of the hard choice a Cherokee father was forced to make in the "black rattlesnake" and the story of Selu and Kanati and the 'wild boy.'

After intermission Gary drew, with the help of Megan, one of the Liars Bench interns, for a Liars Bench cap. Tom and Mary Lou McCarthy were the winners.
 Gary started in to the story of Jack Lambert and Dick Wilson--a story where Lambert was wrongfully accused, indicted, convicted, and hanged for the murder of Dick Wilson of Webster. The real murderer, Willie Jones, confessed to the sheriff of Jackson County on his death bed thirty years later.
William Ritter wrote and performed the catchy "Ballad of Jack Lambert."
 Liars Bench guest Star Karen Barnes performed a ballad about the 'bad man'  "Stagger Lee."

Paul and William performed "I'll Fly Away" to end the Liars Bench Show "Hangman, Hangman Slack Your Rope." You, the audience loved it.
On Thursday May 17 at 7:00 pm at WCUs Mountain Heritage Center, the third and final show of this cycle of the "Balsam Chronicles" will be performed by Gary and the rest of the Liars Bench cast. It is probable that former Cherokee Chief (and world-famous wrestler) Osley Saunook will be the main feature of this show. We hope to see you there. Thank you for supporting the Liars Bench, WNCs only live, authentic Southern Appalachian storytelling, music, poetry, drama, and folk arts presentation.
Woof, woof (thank you).!/TheLiarsBench
The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU: 828.227.7129

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Hangman, Hangman Slack Your Rope"

Coming this Thursday at 7:00 pm at the Mountain Heritage Center--the Liars Bench is proud to present the second in a series of "Balsam Chronicles"
"Hangman, Hangman Slack Your Rope"

Free Admission!
Supported in part by a grant from the Grassroots Arts Program of the Jackson County Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, the Liars Bench Show presents the compelling story of the circumstances of Jack Lambert being 'framed' for the murder of Dick Wilson, convicted, and unjustly executed in the last legal hanging in Swain County in 1886.

Dr. Gary Carden, Creator and Artistic Director of The Liars Bench Show said “hangings were a relative rarity in Appalachia. You would think from folklore and myth that it was just happening all the time. People came as if it was just dinner on the ground or a picnic. There's seems to have always been a confusion in people's minds as to whether hangings were a deterrent or entertainment. With this show, “Hangman, Hangman Slack Your Rope” there will be revelations—there will be a surprise ending!”

In addition to Liars Bench creator, host, and famous storyteller Gary Carden; Liars Bench also Stars Lloyd Arneach, the master Cherokee storyteller; 

Paul Iarussi, claw-hammer guitar specialist & nationally known old-time muscian co-Stars; 

William Ritter, vocalist and musician (and 'boy wonder') co-Stars; 

and special guest Star, singer/songwriter Karen Barnes. The April 19 performance will also feature descendants of both Dick Wilson and Jack Lambert.
Among the folklore of the Appalachians to be presented on this special show are the stories of John Hardy, Tom Dula, Jack Lambert, Dick Wilson and Cherokee myths and legends of figures who sacrificed themselves for the Cherokee people.
During the past year, Carden has designed and directed a series of shows that dealt with Cherokee history and culture; religious music, Jack Tales, and myths and legends. After a show from last October was recently featured on the regional television program Life in the Carolinas, both the performers and the staff of the Liars Bench became convinced that the show should move toward becoming a significant voice in defining and preserving the region's culture. This decision was confirmed by the cover story publication in a WNC newspaper (Smoky Mountain News) recently of Carden and his creation, The Liars Bench show.

Recently, The Liars Bench, in conjunction with the Mountain Heritage Center, developed a grant proposal that was funded by the Jackson County Arts Council. “This grant has given us the resources to develop programs that deal with topics such as Dr. John R. Brinkley, the hanging of Jack Lambert, and the historical basis for the belief that Abraham Lincoln was born here. We continue to do this with storytelling, music, poetry and drama.” The story of Dick Wilson and Jack Lambert is the second “Balsam Chronicles” presentation. For additional information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828.227.7129.

The North Carolina Arts Council works to make North Carolina The Creative State where a robust arts industry produces a creative economy, vibrant communities, children prepared for the 21st century and lives filled with discovery and learning. The Arts Council accomplishes this in partnership with artists and arts organizations, other organizations that use the arts to make their communities stronger and North Carolinians-young and old-who enjoy and participate in the arts. The Arts Council is a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
Bodine says "Hope to see you'uns there. Its gonna be great--woof!"!/TheLiarsBench

The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU: 828.227.7129

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"The just end of all murderers--the gallows."

 "The just end of all murderers--the gallows."

The second of the Liars Bench "Balsam Chronicles", "Hangman, Hangman Slack Your Rope" will play Thursday April 19 at 7:00 pm at WCUs Mountain Heritage Center.
Bodine's ready, are You?!/TheLiarsBench
The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU: 828.227.7129

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Cashiers Valley Tales" Great First "Balsam Chronicles"

Thursday March 15's show was great start to the "Balsam Chronicles." And you, the audience, were even better. Pam Meister, Curator of the Mountain Heritage Center, thanked the Jackson County and the North Carolina Arts Councils for their help in producing these first three of the "Balsam Chronicles."We, at the Liars Bench really appreciate their help.
Gary opened the show by promoting future "Balsam Chronicles" shows and his soon to be produced plays "Outlander" (Parkway Playhouse-Burnsville in June) and "Mother Jones" (Unitarian Church-Franklin, April 7, 6:00 pm).

Gary told the compelling story of the circumstances of Gus Baty jumping/falling off “Fool's Rock,” sliding sixty yards down the steep mountain side and coming to rest against a Laurel bush suspended on the very edge of Whiteside's cliff a thousand feet above the valley floor, and his heroic rescue by his friend Charlie Wright.

Eric Young played and sang a song about Jimmy Rodgers' last train ride.
And Gary told an abbreviated story about 'Spear-finger'.
 Joe Sam Queen came over from Waynesville and showed us some clogging steps.
Then he called a square dance with some of the audience members.
A good time was had by all.

Thank you for supporting WNCs only live, authentic traditional Southern Appalachian storytelling, music, poetry, drama, and folk arts presentation.!/TheLiarsBench
The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU: 828.227.7129