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Community Connection: BRIMS Spring Classes

The Blue Ridge Irish Music School (BRIMS) is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating community through Irish music.

BRIMS’ next semester of online classes in Irish music, song and dance begins on March 22nd. BRIMS welcomes students of all ages and skill levels.

You can find more information on their website

2021-03-02T15:49:47-05:00March 2nd, 2021|Community Connection|

Hear Together: Reach Out And Read

From fairy tales and Dr. Seuss rhymes to mystery books and science fiction, storytelling has always sparked imagination and creativity in early childhood development. But research proves that the cognitive benefits don’t stop there. Reading leads to better social and emotional outcomes, and facilitates school readiness and language development.

Reach Out and Read is a book-sharing program where pediatricians prescribe parent/child reading and provide a book during wellness check-ups. The national program began 30 years ago in Boston; Now, there’s 100 Reach Out and Read sites statewide in the Commonwealth of Virginia that serve over 100,000 children.

Dr. Bergen Nelson is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, one of the latest offices to offer Reach Out and Read. Since their start last July, they’ve given out an upwards of 4,000 books. We spoke with Dr. Nelson for this Hear Together profile. Listen at the audio link below, and learn more about Virginia’s Reach Out and Read programming here.

2021-03-02T15:04:15-05:00March 2nd, 2021|Hear Together|

Decade of Difference: Coldplay

Happy birthday to Chris Martin, vocalist for British band Coldplay. Formed in 1996 at University College London, the band played under several different names before settling on Coldplay in 1998. Drawing on the varied musical upbringings of the four bandmates, the band delivered a fresh rock sound at the right time. Popular rock bands Radiohead had gotten into a more electronic sound and Oasis had headed more into psychedelia.

On the strength of two early limited pressing releases, the band was signed to a record deal and recorded their first full album Parachutes for a 2000 release. Headed by the international hit Yellow, the band placed four songs on the UK charts from the album, and when the album was released in the US in late 2000 it exceeded the success it found in the UK.

The first three albums from Coldplay had similar success with multi platinum sales and a combined four Grammys.

Coldplay found themselves on the same commercial success level as U2 and along with it came criticism for their earnest and formulaic sound. The band reacted by recording an album with Brian Eno producing and generating another hit with Viva La Vida in 2008. It won three additional Grammys for the band.

Activism and social awareness is central to the band. Coldplay was noted for giving 10 percent of their profits to charity, a practice they continue today. The band has performed in benefit of Amnesty International, Artists’ Project Earth and Chris Martin and Johnny Buckland from the band performed in the Concert for Charlottesville.

Coldplay is in the Guiness Book of World Records as the Best-Selling Digital Album Act.

2021-03-02T08:02:51-05:00March 2nd, 2021|Decade of Difference|

Support WNRN This Spring!

Early Birds: Make a contribution before Friday March 26th and you will be entered to win a private movie theater rental at either Common House Richmond or the Alamo Drafthouse in Charlottesville!*

Click on a button below to become a member, an  auto-renewing Evergreen member, or if you are already a member you can make an additional contribution. You can also mail checks to WNRN / 2250 Old Ivy Road, Suite 2 / Charlottesville, VA 22903. Thank you for supporting WNRN!

All new & renewing members will get access to our weekly VIP email, plus our brand new Spring 2021 t-shirt designed by Richmond artists and friends of the station Matt Lively and Tim Harper! Scroll down to get a sneak peek at the design before they’re printed.

Contribute Here:

Regular Member
Evergreen Member
Additional Contribution

Spring 2021 T-Shirt Design:

*Movie room rentals will be dependent on the schedule of Alamo Drafthouse and Common House RVA. Common House RVA movie room rental must be redeemed Tuesday- Thursday. You may enter to win either room rental by emailing

2021-03-02T13:51:31-05:00March 2nd, 2021|Featured, Membership|

Stream Our Latest Sessions On Demand

While working from home WNRN is connecting you to some of our favorite musicians near and far with our Home Studio Sessions. Tune in all next week for new interviews and performances!

2021-03-02T13:49:11-05:00March 1st, 2021|Featured, In-Studios|

Decade of Difference: Martin Sexton

The tenth of twelve children, Martin Sexton had little interest in music as a child, but got his first guitar at fourteen and proceeded to play in a series of rock and roll bands. Eventually he gave up rock and roll and his native Syracuse New York and moved to Boston to join in the folk scene there.
Initially busking on the streets around Harvard Square, Sexton had surprising success with recordings he made in a friend’s attic, eventually selling 15,000 copies at his performances. Recognition came in 1994 when the National Academy of Songwriters named him Artist of the Year. A series of strong albums in the mid 90s through the early 2000s brought greater support, and slots in tours with John Hiatt and Jackson Browne.

In 2000 Martin Sexton formed his own record label that has been home to his last seven albums. 2007’s Seeds was his most successful release, reaching the Billboard top 10 and constant touring keeps him in front off his fan base.
Sexton’s versatile performance style has placed him in many different venues from collaborations with John Mayer and Peter Frampton to spots on stage at Bonnaroo, the Newport Folk Festival and the New Orleans Jazz Fest.

The latest album Mixtape of the Open Road highlights this versatility with Martin Sexton taking on many different musical styles and it may be his most refreshing and unique release in years, and perhaps his finest yet as an elder statesman of the folk scene.

2021-02-27T09:37:46-05:00March 1st, 2021|Decade of Difference|

Country Feedback Playlis for Feb 28, 2021

Country Feedback Playlist for 2/28/2021
Artist – Album – Title – Release Year
Dillard & Clark – The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark – In the Plan – 1968
Brent Cobb – Keep ‘Em on They Toes – Keep ‘Em on They Toes – 2020
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material – Pageant Material – 2015
Jones & Leva – Light Enough to Find My Way – Smoke and Mirrors – 1997
Dale Watson – Under The Influence – Lonely Blue Boy – 2016
Rob Ickes & Trey Hinsley – The Country Blues – Biscuits & Gravy – 2016
Red Simpson – I’m A Truck – Nitro Express – 1972
Jake Blocker – I Keep Forgetting – I Keep Forgetting – 2021
Robinella – Ode To Love – There’s More – 2013
The Mavericks – The Mavericks in Espanol – No Vale La Pena – 2020
Various – Texas Road Trip – 42 Miles – 2001
The Barlow – Horseshoe Lounge – Fixin’ to Run – 2021
T Sisters – T Sisters – The Road – 2016
Loggins & Messina – Loggins & Messina – Holiday Hotel – 1972
The Yayhoos – Fear Not the Obvious – I Can Give You Everything – 2001
Chris Stapleton – Traveller – Parachute – 2015

2021-03-01T11:08:45-05:00February 28th, 2021|Country Feedback|

Devon Gilfillian and Illiterate Light Find “Freedom” With New Collaboration

(Hear the full interview above)

Desiré Moses chats with Devon Gilfillian and Illiterate Light about food, pandemic lifestyles, and how their collaborative single “Freedom” took shape in this wide ranging Home Studio Session. Plus, the trio teams up to share an exclusive acoustic version of “Freedom” and Illiterate Light revisits an early NRN favorite (videos below) (more…)

2021-03-02T13:22:52-05:00February 26th, 2021|Featured, In-Studios|

Decade of Difference: Broken Bells

James Mercer, lead guitarist and vocalist for the Shins and Brian Burton, producer and multi-instrumentalist better known as Danger Mouse first met at a festival in 2004, and began to consider playing together after discovering they had mutual admiration for the other’s work.

It took until 2008 before the pair actually took action, recording in secret in Burton’s home studio. Both artists chose to diverge from their normal styles for the combined project they called Broken Bells. Burton relied more on live instruments versus sampling and Mercer broadened his vocal range. Their first single came in 2009 followed by an album in 2010 and that got them a Grammy nomination. After an EP the following year, the pair put the project on hold as they focused on their other work.

Mercer and Burton reconnected to release a second full length album in 2014. Aiming for a fuller sound, the band used a four member choir and a seventeen piece string orchestra in the recording.

Again the pair reverted to the primary musical endeavors, and since then have released a handful of singles most recently in 2019. The 2019 song was reported to be the first of what would become a third Broken Bells album.

2021-02-26T13:46:43-05:00February 26th, 2021|Decade of Difference|