Historian Willard Sterne Randall and Musician Vanessa Lively on Woman-Stirred Radio   Leave a comment


This week on Woman-Stirred Radio I welcome Austin TX-based singer- songwriter, Vanessa Lively at 4:15 and then at 5:00, historian Willard Sterne Randall.

    “For a woman who thrives on jumping into the unknown with both feet, Vanessa Lively took an unusual approach to her new album, Uncovering Stones. She and her producer-husband, Jason, planned it practically down to the last note before stepping near a recording studio – a room in their Austin home, tricked out for the sessions by co-producer/engineer Keith Gary. Vanessa even painted the album art beforehand – on 42 canvas squares she sold individually to help fund the 12-song disc.

Lively recorded her first album, Let Me Rise, while she was living in Ecuador, followed by her second A Chain Unbroken,  recorded in Northern England. Her third, Canto y Cantera, was a tribute to Argentinean singer Mercedes Sosa and the nueva canción song movement she popularized.

Making music constantly during her sojourn in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, she observed how strongly it connected people.  Uncovering Stones is, she says, an expression of that experience. With a compelling mix of tempos and styles that embrace “hints of urban, world, Latin, funk and pop,” Lively’s songs fully capture her compassionate nature and love of community. Lively is thrilled with the result; she says Uncovering Stones is the album she dreamed of making—an inspiring album full of energy and beauty.

Then at 5:00, I welcome historian Willard Sterne Randall, author of Alexander Hamilton: A Life (Henry Holt, 2004), and Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor (Morrow, 1990). His latest biography, Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, has just been published by WW Norton.

The book is accessible and cogent, bringing to life an historical figure at once iracible, brilliant, and passionate. Ethan Allen, as Randall describes him  as “part Davey Crockett, part Paul Bunyan, and two parts Jack Daniels.”

Randall brings Ethan Allen to life in this in-depth and fascinating narrative; the first extensive biography of Ethan Allen in fifty years.

Willard Sterne Randall is the author of twelve books, including Thomas Jefferson: A Life; George Washington: A Life; Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor; and Alexander Hamilton: A Life. Randall is professor of history at Champlain College and lives in Burlington, VT.

So please join us on Woman-Stirred Radio, this Thursday, November 17th from 4 to 6 p.m. (eastern) for a lively and historically interesting two hours of ideas, questions, and creativity! Want to join the conversation? Call the air studio at 802.456.1630, or email questions and comments to merrygangemi@gmail.com. 

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