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Dixie Bee-Liners: Musical Hospitality

The Dixie Bee-Liners are an intriguing story. Rumor had it Buddy Woodward was musical director for an off Broadway show and Brandi Hart was the understudy who memorized every part. The fiddler, Renee Johnson, still a teenager, had graduated from the country's only bluegrass program at East Tennessee State. The group supposedly found its guitarist, Jonathan Maness, though an internet want ad, and the banjo player, Sam Morrow, was from England, a long way from Appalachia. All of these rumors were answered once and for all during the interview.

When the group pulled up at our studios, a polite and smiling young man (Jonathan) bounced into the lobby to announce their arrival. We soon discovered the whole group carried their southern hospitality with them, including Sam the English banjo player. Not only were they pleasant, they were thirsty. It was a hot day and in their hurry to be on time they had run out of water. During a time in the music business when extensive contract riders might demand Jagermeister and Jarlsburg cheese, it was refreshing to know that plain old water was the Bee-Liners only request. There's a message in the experience about this kind of music and the people who play it.

Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.

Copyright 2009 WKSU

Jim Blum
Jim Blum has been sharing his love of folk music as a radio host on WKSU-FM for more than 25 years and, since 2003, also on FolkAlley.com. Blum graduated with a B.A. from Kent State University, played bass in a bluegrass and swing band and used to be a landscaper. As host and music programmer for Folk Alley and WKSU's weekend folk music, Blum has nearly three decades of experience broadcasting to a folk community that is now, thanks to the Internet, global in scope. His broadcasts include his own mix of musical influences featuring classic folk heroes, acoustic instrumentals, world rhythms, contemporary singer/songwriters, Americana, bluegrass and other roots-based sounds. He also acts as a valuable resource for area venue owners and concert coordinators as well as holding the position of artistic director for the Kent State Folk Festival, the nation's second oldest folk fest held on a college campus.