Wesleyan announces artists added to Mountain Stage

BUCKHANNON – West Virginia Wesleyan College and Mountain Stage with Larry Grose are pleased to announce the addition of three musical artists to perform on April 6 at the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts in the Culpepper Auditorium.

Added to the list of artists are Della Mae, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, and Karen Staley. These artists will join Amy Ray, former singer with Indigo Girls, and Teetotallers, an Irish folk’s band.

In a short period of time, Della Mae has become a sensation in the music world. Commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent to spare, the Boston-based combo mines time-honored elements to create music that is unmistakably fresh and contemporary.

The group quickly won an enthusiastic following through their high-energy live performances at festivals around the country. The band expanded its reputation with their self-released first album, 2011’s I Built This Heart.

This World Oft Can Be, Della Mae’s second album and Rounder debut, shows that like the Avett Brothers, Lumineers, and Punch Brothers, these five multitalented young women are respectful of American musical tradition, but not restricted by it, combining centuries’ worth of musical influences with an emotionally tough, undeniably modern songwriting sensibility.

For more information, visit dellamae.com.

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West are two of the most innovative and subtle roosts musicians today. Their music draws from old folk sources. Morrison writes songs that sound like a Cormac McCarthy novel: simple, beautifully crafted, and seemingly formed from raw natural elements. West brings jagged, angular arrangements based in bluegrass and old-time, but refracted through a 21st century lens.

Together, Cahalen and Eli tap the root of the old country and bluegrass duets. For more information about Cahalen & Eli, visit cahalenandeli.com.

Born in Weirton and raised in nearby Hookstown, Pa., Staley graduated from Wesleyan in 1984 with a degree in Social Welfare and is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She is a 30-year veteran of the Nashville music industry and has been involved in virtually every facet of the business from songwriting and performing to touring, recording and producing.

Staley’s songs have been played on radio over 12 million times and counting. Collectively, those songs have sold more than 20 million albums, singles, and downloads.

Staley was one of the original mainstays at the now historic Bluebird Cafe popularized by the TV show “Nashville.” As a member of Women In The Round, she and fellow singer-songwriters Tricia Walker, Pam Tillis, and Ashley Cleveland, along with their male counterparts SKO, were pioneers of the in-the-round concept of setting up in a circle in the middle of the Bluebird with the audience around them. This allowed for a living room type intimate experience that made the audience feel a part of the performance. It was here that Staley honed her skills not only as a singer-songwriter, but also as a comedian.

Staley’s songs have been nominated for Dove, Grammy, and International Bluegrass Awards, and she won the ACM Song of The Year award with Tracy Byrd’s classic “Keeper of the Stars” which was also featured on CMT’s “100 Greatest Country Love Songs of All Time” TV special.

She is also the founder and president of Music Row Mentors, a talent development company, as well as her newly formed Music Row Teambuilders, a popular and entertaining special event where some of Nashville’s best songwriters work together with corporate executives and tour groups visiting the music city to write, perform, and record a fun song about their group in under two hours.

To learn more about Karen Staley, visit www.karenstaley.com.

The two-hour radio program showcases five guest artists on each episode and records the show for later distribution to 130 NPR stations nationwide and overseas via the Voice of America satellite system.

General admission tickets for the event will be $30 in advance and can be purchased at the Office of Campus Life, www.mountainstage.org, or by calling 800-594-TIXX. A limited number of student tickets will be available on campus through March 7 for $20.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the performances beginning at 7 p.m. Mountain Stage is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. This episode will be scheduled for later distribution by NPR in spring 2014.