Band/Artist Profile

DBB13 Artist Profile: Schooner

Long-time local favorites Schooner first formed in the early 2000’s from Reid Johnson’s four-track recordings. In 2004 they played the first ever Double Barrel Benefit. Since then they’ve released several records and gained quite a following throughout the Triangle. Self described as disheveled-pop-indie-psych-soul, Schooner’s music has the ability to transport you to another place.
The live energy when Schooner performs is amazing. It’s easy to see why they have been such a big part of the triangle music scene for so long. I can’t wait to see them play at Kings on Feb. 13!

Matt Brown, WKNC General Manager

Local Music Music News and Interviews

October’s Local Artist of the Month: Schooner

Schooner have been one of North Carolina’s sleeper bands for far too long. Their 2007 full length debut Hold On Too Tight warranted heavy acclaim from critics and showcased the band’s sporadic indie pop stylings. Many would have imagined that Schooner would swiftly snowball into the state’s next powerhouse, however, songwriter Reid Johnson took some time off to re-evaluate his musical career and thus the band slowly began to dissipate from its original lineup. After receiving a lineup overhaul, Duck Kee Sessions in 2010 propelled the band to the national spotlight.

The band’s original lineup fell to the wayside, but this new roster clearly displayed a newly invigorated vision of Schooner. They were touted as one of Paste Magazine’s “Best of What’s Next” and even made their way down to South-By-Southwest after the heavy acclaim from Duck Kee. But with the release of Neighborhood Veins, the band’s latest full length, they’re prepared to bask in the spotlight that they’ve so patiently waited for.

Neighborhood Veins marks the first national release from local label PotLuck Records and it’s an excellent display of Schooner’s brilliance. It’s a collection of songs that range from fuzzed out pop gems to bleary-eyed folk-infused madness. By now Reid Johnson and the new lineup for Schooner have found their groove, they acknowledge their musical past while still looking boldly forward to the future. Neighborhood Veins’ closing track is a sprawling 12-minute adventure, something that one could have hardly imagined upon first glance from a band like Schooner.

After their bold step forward, you can expect Schooner to finally take their place as a North Carolina powerhouse amongst our brimming indie rock scene. That’s precisely why we’ve chosen Schooner as our Local Artist of the Month for October. You can check out their latest video for “Trap” below.  If you missed their interview and live performance, you can check it out and on our iTunes podcast!

Festival Coverage

A Safe Haven with Arbor Ridge Studios, Shuffle Magazine, and WKNC

Arbor Ridge Studios of Chapel Hill has put together a day party for Hopscotch – but this isn’t any day party.  Titled “Saved Haven” and presented in conjunction with Shuffle Magazine and WKNC, the party will present local bands at Tir Na NOg on Friday, September 9 from 12-5 p.m.  Oh, and the bands will be paired together on stage.

That’s right, instead of a set of just Mandolin Orange, it’ll be a set of Mandolin Orange and Josh Moore.  Not just Luego, but Luego and Wylie Hunter and the Cazadores.

The live collaborations are (in reverse order of appearance):

Sounds amazing, right?  Can it get any better?  Yes.  While all of this magic is going on, Arbor Ridge is giving listeners a sneak peak into what’s been recorded recently at their studio.

It’s a 2-in-1 day party – collaborations + listening party – and it is a must for Hopscotch.

Local Bands (together), Local Studio, Local Magazine, Local Station, Local Pub

12-5pm, Tir Na nOg, September 9. It will be beautiful.

Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Lineup to be Released 4.20

Hopscotch, the Independent Weekly’s annual music festival in downtown Raleigh will be releasing the lineup for their September 3-day festival on Wednesday, April 20th. Greg Lowenhagen of Independent Weekly will be on-air with our very own Chuck from 11-noon to talk about the show and this year’s line up.

Last year hosted names like Panda Bear, Public Enemy, The Rosebuds,  Sharon Van Etten, Megafaun, Best Coast and more than 100 other bands.  This year is sure to be even better; full of national acts as well as great local talent.  Tune in to find out who!

Tickets will go on sale as the lineup is released on April 20th. Free 3-day wristbands were given out at local record stores for Record Store Day April 16. Stay tuned to WKNC and keep reading Independent Weekly to find out ways you can win tickets.

For more musical fun, Hopscotch is hosting a few free local shows throughout Raleigh on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (4/21-4/23) in celebration of their lineup release!

Concert Preview

Moving Island Buoyancy Benefit!

Get your socks on!  The 28th and 29th is going to be a music packed weekend! A new warehouse for music and art is opening up in downtown Raleigh called Moving Island. Moving Island is a community education facility focused on emerging arts, empowering technology, and the business of living. Top founders include Chris Riddle, Adam Crane, Maria Albani, and Kelly Crisp. A couple of these kids are going to join me in the station on Friday the 28th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  Be sure to tune in!

The benefit will feature some of the best bands in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area as well as DJ sets, comedy, and dance. These artists are donating their time and skills to help jump-start Moving Island for their opening in March:

The Big Picture 7:30 p.m.
Organos 8:15 p.m.
Wowser Bowser 9:00 p.m.
Gray Young 10:00 p.m.
Veelee 11:00 p.m.
Lonnie Walker 12:00 a.m.

Young Volcanoes 3:00 p.m.
Old Bricks 4:00 p.m.
Special Mystery Guest! 5:00 p.m.
Schooner 6:00 p.m.
Intermission/Q&A About what Moving Island is/does/plans to do! 7:00 p.m.
Kid Future 9:15 p.m.
Naps 10:00 p.m.
Juan Huevos 10:45 p.m.
Heads on Sticks 11:30 p.m.
Motor Skills 12:15 a.m.
DJs presented by Denmark Records 1:00 a.m.

Tickets are $8 per day in advance ($10 per day the day of) or $15 for both days in advance. Tickets will be available through Schoolkids Records in Raleigh, CD Alley in Chapel Hill, and Bull City Records in Durham, as well online through Brown Paper.


Information was found at the Moving Island website found >> HERE! (click me)

Music News and Interviews

Superb Giveaways: Start off November Right!

It finally feels like fall in the Triangle, and we’re keeping you warm with some HOT giveaways (okay, so, they won’t actually keep you warm…)

11/2: Zane Lamprey (comedian) at Cat’s Cradle

11/4: Ra Ra Riot at Cat’s Cradle

11/5: Schooner at Slim’s

11/5: Soft Company at King’s

11/6: Wolf Parade at Lincoln Theatre

11/7: Punch Brothers at Cat’s Cradle

11/7: Robert Earl Keen at Lincoln Theatre

Remember you have to listen to win! Also, check out the rock report for the latest updates on local shows—remember Troika is this weekend!

DJ Highlights

Local Beat recap 10/1/10

Two weeks ago on the Local Beat was a full evening of fantastic interviews featuring some amazing musicians in our area.

Greg Humphreys has been making music locally for over two decades now. His newest and second solo album Realign Your Mind has been available for download for a couple months but only recently has he put the album out on CD. Greg came in and chatted with us about his history in the area and his evolution as a musician. In addition, Greg played several brand new tracks, which you can listen to and download in the music player to the right.  Listen to our interview below:
Greg Humphreys on the Local Beat 10/1/10

Songs of Water is a band out of Greensboro, and I am not afraid to say they have taken the top position as my favorite new band with their incredible release of The Sea Has Spoken, which came out earlier this year. Only three of the eight members made the trip down I-40 but that was plenty as they brought so many instruments into the studio, one could hardly walk around. We only had a short time with the group as it took them several minutes to set up but check out the amazing songs they played for us live:
Songs of Water on the Local Beat 10/1/10

Maria Albani (Schooner, Organos), John Harrison (North Elementary), Drew Robertson (Phon), and Lincoln Hancock (Strange) came in to present Minus Sound Research, a visual art exhibition featuring works from only North Carolina musicians that is going on throughout the month of October at the Carrboro Arts Center. This interview turned out to be one of the most hilarious and entertaining I have had in awhile so be sure to give it a listen:
Minus Sound Research on the Local Beat 10/1/10

DJ Highlights

Local Beat recap 9/3/10 (Hopscotch Edition)

September 3 was the Friday before Hopscotch Music Festival, and I was joined by Grayson Currin, music editor of the Independent Weekly who was also Hopscotch Curator. Hopscotch is the biggest music event to ever happen in Raleigh, so I dedicated the entire three hours of the show to chatting with Grayson about everything associated with the festival.  Caitlin Cary (Small Ponds, Tres Chicas), Reid Johnson (Schooner), and Brian Corum (Lonnie Walker) also came on the show, and Reid and Brian played some brand new tunes (which you can download here). What ended up happening was three hours of a fascinating, entertaining conversation with insight into Hopscotch. Listen below:

Hour 1:
Hopscotch on the Local Beat 9/3/10 (Hour 1)

Hour 2:
Hopscotch on the Local Beat 9/3/10 (Hour 2)

Hour 3:
Hopscotch on the Local Beat 9/3/10 (Hour 3)

Concert Preview Local Music

LBLB September 30—Luego and Schooner!

Come down to WKNC and Tir Na Nog’s Local Beer Local Band to see LUEGO and SCHOONER! The show is FREE and starts at 10 p.m. Ages 21 and up.

Don’t forget to visit our fancy new Local Beer Local Band Homepage for the Fall schedule for LBLB and to download a FREE MIXTAPE with one song from each artist playing this season.


“I cannot emphasize enough how the sincerity of Phelan’s lyricism makes this album a cut above. If you can appreciate alt-country sounds like Wilco and Blitzen Trapper, you’ll also appreciate Taped-Together Stories.” -Tara Lacey, Performer Magazine

“Ocho thrives on trying more. Influences are a burden. Finally folding them until they’re beneath your tunes rather than simply on top of them—which Luego does on Ocho—is an accomplishment that can’t be understated.”-Grayson Currin, The Independent

And some feedback of our own… “Ocho relies much more heavily on background harmonies and a thicker and deeper sound that is stacked with layer upon layer of grooviness and cool.  The bluesy ruggedness and heartfelt emotion of Phelan’s voice is still present but the album seems to be much more of a family affair and holds a certain friendly attire about it….”


“…rarely has a sibling relationship created something this harmonious….swooning vintage pop, fuzzy Guided By Voices-ish rock and
woozy Sinatra/Hazlewood-like country for an overall effect that’s equal parts dreamy, deadpan and doomed.” -Rebecca Raber, CMJ

“This is the best, most balanced material by Schooner yet…Sonically, lyrically and structurally, Schooner supplies a perfect mix of apathy and anguish to these songs, and there’s no better conduit for such than the voice of Reid Johnson.-Grayson Currin, The Independent

Tune in this Thursday, September 30 at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to hear a full interview with Luego! Schooner might show up too so listen in!! See you on Thursday, friends!

Concert Review Local Music

Wildwood release party Saturday at the Cradle

Magic happened in the form of live local music Saturday night at the Cat’s Cradle as Chatham County Line had their album release show for Wildwood.

Birds & Arrows were invited to open for a late arriving crowd who were chit-chatting quite loudly at the start of the set. That was until the war painted lead singer Andrea Connolly opened her mouth for the first time and her strong but enchanting voice immediately silenced the entire venue as B&A jumped right into one of their favorites, “Honeymoon Song.” The group debuted several brand new songs including their new single “Pride of Lions” which is slated to be released this Friday evening in Durham. Needless to say, I believe many in the crowd were not followers of our local music scene, and I heard nearly a dozen people exclaim how impressed they were with this “unknown” band. After their set, the crowd gave B&A a well deserved rousing applause.

Birds & Arrows are playing this Friday in downtown Durham for the release of their new 7" single off of 307 Knox Records. Billy Sugarfix who is also on the release and Schooner are playing as well.

Chatham County Line took the stage a short time later to a cheering and delightful near-sellout crowd. There was an immediate hush followed by an ecstatic breakout as the acoustic band dived right into to a couple of brand new songs off of Wildwood. If you still have not had the opportunity to hear the new album yet, which is being released officially tomorrow, you will be happy to know that it is the band’s best to date, even outshining its famous last release, IV. Where IV was poppy, Wildwood is hesitant, teetering on the edge of a jumpy hook and laidback mountain picking culminating in a highly pleasing and overall satisfying listen that keeps you coming back (I’ve had it on repeat for almost two weeks now). The crowd in Carrboro was kind enough to stay mostly quiet through the show until the end of each song (save for a few drunken loudmouths) as the group plays acoustic and using only one microphone stand to play around. Dave Wilson even commented that “Carrboro was always more polite than our hometown of Raleigh.” In total, CCL played 22 songs (by my count) in its entire set including 7 from Wildwood bringing the audience to their knees at the end of the final encore begging for even more.  After this show, it is obvious that CCL owns the Triangle and the entire Southern bluegrass scene.

Chatham County Line is playing several shows on Tuesday including free ones at Sadlack’s Heroes in support of Schoolkid’s Records and another at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

Listen to CCL on the Local Beat 7/2/10:
Chatham County Line on the Local Beat 7/2/10