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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).
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The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU: 828.227.7129

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