Radio Free Charleston returns, as seen above, with episode 119, “Transformer Shirt.” This episode features the RFC debut of Sasha Colette, a song from “Norman Rockwell’s An American Love Story,” a special surprise song from Symphony Idol winner Ryan Hardiman and DEVO/Valentine’s animation by Frank Panucci.
Our first musical guest is Sasha Colette, a musician we’ve wanted on RFC for years. Thanks to Adam Harris and LiveMix Studio, we’re finally able to bring her music to you. “Leave It Alone” is the title track from Sasha’s new CD, and it’s a little bittersweet that this performance was recorded at LiveMix Studio, our longtime production partner. LiveMix was shut down by evildoers last year, just a few weeks after Sasha performed a concert with John Lilly and Jonathan Wood.
Sasha Colette and The Magnolias will be performing at The Empty Glass this coming Friday, and she’ll also be back in town at Taylor Books on March 12. If you enjoy her lovely folk/country blend of music, you’ll want to be sure to come see her perform live.
Our animation this week is a special musical Valentine by Frank Panucci. See kids, DEVO is for lovers!
This week we’re bringing you another song from the Contemporary Youth Arts Company production of the Dan Kehde/Mark Scarpelli musical, “Norman Rockwell’s An American Love Story.” This time we include almost the entire cast, with featured solos by Nick Foster and Taylor Henderson.
The song they’re doing is called, “The Italian Song.” As with all the musical numbers in this production, it’s based on a painting by Norman Rockwell. While I was struck by the beauty of this bi-lingual song when I recorded it during a rehearsal, I didn’t get the full emotional impact until I saw how it had been staged. It’s powerful and striking and will leave even the most hardened theater-goer with moistened eyes.
But the version we have on the show is just the cast, gathered around Mark Scarpelli’s keyboard, singing their hearts out.
You have three more chances to see “Norman Rockwell’s An American Love Story,” February 17, 18 and 19 at The WVSU Capital Center Theater, 123 Summers Street. For reservations and group discounts call 304-342-6522 during regular business hours.
Closing the show this week we have Maestro Scarpelli at the keys once more, backing up Ryan Hardiman. Last New Year’s Eve, Ryan performed as part of Charleston’s “Good Night” event at Trinity Lutheran Church, which made for a surreal setting for his lovely rendition of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars.”
You may notice that the host segments this week, and last week, seem a little sedate. Last week we shot our host segments right outside RFC’s Resident Diva Melanie Larch’s house. This week we shot in the courtyard at Hubbard Hospice House. Mel’s mother, Betty Larch, has been fighting cancer for most of the past year. Mel didn’t want to be too far from her, and that’s why we shot in both locations.
About an hour after we shot the host segments for RFC 119, Betty Larch passed away. This episode of the show is dedicated to her memory. She loved that her daughter performed on so many stages here in Charleston, and it’s nice that we just happened to feature Mel’s extended family in CYAC and her co-star in “Jack The Ripper,” Ryan Hardiman, on this installment of Radio Free Charleston. We think she really would’ve enjoyed it.