05 April 2017

'Wayfaring Stranger' series on BBC2 NI TV: begins TOMORROW (6 Apr.)

Phil Cunningham
Thanks to Des Butler for drawing attention to this three-part series beginning tomorrow (Thursday 6 April) at 7.00 p.m. Des gave us all the salient facts; the full details, given on the Northern Ireland Screen website, are:

'Wayfaring Stranger with Phil Cunningham' combines music and history in a new series, presented by acclaimed Scottish musician, composer, and broadcaster Phil Cunningham. The three-part series is a 'Below the Radar' production for BBC Northern Ireland in conjunction with Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.

Across the series, which begins on Thursday 6 April on BBC Two Northern Ireland at 7.00 p.m., Phil explores age-old musical connections between Scotland, Ulster, and America and celebrates not only an extraordinary history, but a vibrant, living tradition.

The migration of music unfolded over many generations and many journeys. Phil follows in the footsteps of the Ulster-Scots pioneers who brought their music to America’s furthest frontiers.

The series uncovers the fascinating story of how the songs, hymns, and tunes they carried with them became a cornerstone of American music – country, gospel, bluegrass, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Phil’s journey takes him from Scotland, via the hearths and homes of Ulster, across the Atlantic and down the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to the Appalachian Mountains and beyond.

As he traces the music, and those restless travellers who carried it with them, Phil joins an international cast of performers, helping viewers experience for themselves the power of hymns, tunes, and songs that have endured for centuries.

Among the artists appearing in the series are country legends Rosanne Cash and Ricky Skaggs, rising star Rhiannon Giddens, bluegrass virtuosos Tim O’Brien and Jerry Douglas, along with Paul Brady, Mairéad Ní Mhaoinigh, and celebrated Appalachian singer Sheila Kay Adams.

'Wayfaring Stranger' with Phil Cunningham is a part of BBC Northern Ireland’s 'Keepin’ ’er Country' programming across radio and television.

Update 6 Apr.: Tonight's episode dealt with the movement of music from Scotland to Ireland; next week's will deal with the movement from Ulster to America.

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