David Oliver, Marfa TX, September 2014.

Wednesday Interview: David Oliver and His Accordion on Traditional Folk Music from North-East England

Musician and music educator David Oliver has spent his life in Northumbria, in the North-East of England. He visits Talk At Ten today to discuss the English folk music tradition. He plays accordion, leads folk dance bands, and calls dances.

Formerly a high school principal, Oliver has served since 1993 as Education Director of Folkworks, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the promotion of the traditional music. He lectures widely and is a co-author of Folk Voiceworks (2008)  and English Folk Tunes for Accordion (2007).

On the program, he uses the accordion to describe different types of music and tells stories of the power of music worldwide. Oliver also makes a political prediction about the future of Scotland.


Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
The study explored different scenarios that may have accounted for elevated methane in the groundwater. (Thomas Darrah/OSU)

The study explored different scenarios that may have accounted for elevated methane in the groundwater. (Thomas Darrah/OSU)

Research Links Drilling Activities to Water Contamination in North Texas

For years, some residents of Parker County in North Texas have believed that nearby gas drilling was responsible for high levels of methane in neighborhood water wells. Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences appears to back that up.

The study looked at water contamination in Texas and Pennsylvania. It suggests that faulty cement jobs on drilling wells could be at fault in North Texas. Cement is poured between the rock wall and the steel tubing of oil and gas wells to block contaminants.

“We think either there isn’t enough cement in this location or more likely there are cracks or imperfections in that cement. That’s what allowed the strong gas to move up through the well and then out into people’s drinking water,” says Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Stanford, who co-authored of the study.

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A guard stands wait outside of the deportation processing center in San Salvador. Jose was bused here in August after being caught in Mexico. (Jude Joffe-Block)

A guard stands wait outside of the deportation processing center in San Salvador. Jose was bused here in August after being caught in Mexico. (Jude Joffe-Block)

The Day After Deportation: Salvadoran Teen Returns to the Town He Fled

American immigration courts are gearing up to decide the fate of tens of thousands of children from Central America who came to the United States border in recent months. Meanwhile, Mexico has been cracking down on these migrants en route north, and is already sending children back to their home countries.

REPORTING FROM EL SALVADOR — There’s an important bridge in this rural town in the Salvadoran state of La Paz.

Locals say the bridge divides the town between two rival gangs, on one side a gang tied to MS-13, and on the other, one affiliated with Calle 18 — commonly translated as the 18th Street gang.

These gangs originated in Los Angeles and have overrun El Salvador.

On the day that we visited this bridge, a man on a bike rode up, staring at us. He was wearing the white Nike shoes that only gangsters wear here. He stopped near us, still staring, and made a call on his cell phone.

This seriously spooked our driver, who is from the capital San Salvador. He motioned for me to stop recording and get in the car.

We drove away quickly to avoid any possible trouble.

But for many who live here, getting away from the gangs isn’t so simple.

“The way things are now, going out into the street means danger, or death,” said José, a 16-year-old from this town who tried escaping to the United States twice this summer.

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Tuesday Interview: William Vizcarra at The Wrong Store

Copyright William Vizcarra

Copyright William Vizcarra

Ciudad Juárez artist William Vizcarra will be showing About Lines at The Wrong Store.

About Lines is William’s study into the duality properties of lines in relation to contrasting mix-media. His use of concrete, paper and ink are inspired by Japanese calligraphy lines, woodcuts and the process of repetition.

About Lines will be shown until September 28.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
"Moon Over Prada," by Don Auderer.

TxDOT to Prada Marfa: Yes, You Are Art!

Art or advertisement? A long debate has come to a close in Far West Texas.

On Friday afternoon, KRTS News spoke with Dan Chamberlain, the Communications Coordinator for Ballroom Marfa, about the decision by the Texas Department of Transportation to close its case on Prada Marfa. Our conversation is linked in the podcast above.

Today Ballroom Marfa released a statement on their website:

After a series of productive negotiations with the Texas Department of Transportation, Prada Marfa is officially saved.

Their statement came on the heels of a report from the Associated Press, in which TxDOT announced they had come to an agreement. According to TxDOT, “the complaint file will be closed.” The concern began in 2013, when a complaint was filed against Prada Marfa, claiming it was not an art installation but highway advertising and should be regulated as such. 
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Marfa Public Radio host Lonn Taylor, on the schedule to appear on Colbert Report, on Comedy Central, on September 11, 2014.

How One of Our Radio Hosts Found Himself Invited to The Colbert Report on 9/11

Here’s a link to Historian Lonn Taylor’s appearance on the Colbert Report.

Many West Texas viewers will be turned to cable TV on Thursday night at 10:30 PM CT when a local personality appears on national television.

On the popular TV show, the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, host Stephen Colbert plays a bombastic, patriotic, and self-aggrandizing news anchor. The show begins with the live studio audience chanting his name: “Stephen, Stephen, Stephen…”

But not everyone knows his name.

“I’ve never heard of the Colbert Report.

That’s Lonn Taylor of Fort Davis. And that was almost a problem

“Well I have to confess that since my wife and I do not have a television set. I have not really watched television in about 15 years.”

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Robert Earl Keen plays a benefit concert for KRTS Saturday, Sept. 27 at The Granada in Alpine.

Robert Earl Keen plays a benefit concert for KRTS Saturday, Sept. 27 at The Granada in Alpine.

Robert Earl Keen In Concert Benefits KRTS on Saturday, Sept. 27

Robert Earl Keen Plays Alpine’s Granada Theatre for Marfa Public Radio Fundraiser

KRTS Marfa Public Radio is pleased to present Texas country icon Robert Earl Keen in concert on Saturday, September 27 at The Granada Theatre in Alpine, Texas.

Long-regarded as one of the Lone Star State’s finest (not to mention top-drawing) true singer-songwriters, Keen remains as committed to and inspired by his muse as ever. From humble beginnings on the Texas folk scene, he’s blazed a peer, critic, and fan-lauded trail that’s earned him living-legend and pioneer status in the Americana music world.

With audience-favorite songs like “The Road Goes on Forever” and Big Bend-based tunes like “Gringo Honeymoon” (about Boquillas Crossing), Keen is a perfect fit for a radio station catering to “a wide range.”

“REK is helping us raise much-needed funds to keep public radio growing in Far West Texas. Our listeners love him, KRTS loves him, and we know it will be a tremendous show,” said KRTS General Manager Tom Michael.

Support for this benefit concert comes from Reata Restaurant, Pace & Associates CPAs, LLC, Malcolm and Anne Calaway, David Fannin, Liz Rogers, Joseph and Kelli Calaway, Kenneth Mills, and Kiowa Gallery & Custom Framing.

Tickets are $35 in advance (purchase them in our online store by clicking here) and $40 at the door. All proceeds benefit your public radio station, KRTS. Concert is for ages 21 and up.

Need more information? Call 432-729-4578 and check out Robert Earl Keen’s official website.




Become a Community Correspondent, learn new skills and make new friends.

Become a Community Correspondent, learn new skills and make new friends.

Become a Marfa Public Radio Community Correspondent

Never miss a city council meeting? Always finding interesting stories in the Big Bend? Go to a lot of community events or concerts? If you’re interested in sharing your knowledge and experience with Marfa Public Radio listeners, become one of our volunteer Community Correspondents.

We’re looking for engaged citizens from across the Big Bend. A Community Correspondent assists Marfa Public Radio with news gathering and producing stories from the community you live in.
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Mon. Sep 15 Interview: Lannan Foundation Poet-in-Residence Ishion Hutchinson Talks His Process, Reads Poetry

Image from www.ishionhutchinson.com

Image from www.ishionhutchinson.com

Host Cory W. Lovell interviews former Lannan Foundation poet-in-residence Ishion Hutchinson.

Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica.  His first poetry collection, Far District: Poems (2010), won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award. Other honors include a 2013 Whiting Writers’ Award and the Academy of American Poets’ Larry Levis Prize. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Granta, The Huffington Post, Poetry Review, Caribbean Review of Books, Poetry International, and The Los Angeles Review, among other journals and anthologies. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Weekend Sports Preview

The 2-0 Marfa Shorthorns took the 0-2 Sanderson Eagles 53 to 8 last Friday. Tonight they head to Balmorhea to take on the 1-1 Bears.

“It’s going to be a tough game. They’re number ten in the state,” said Marfa High School Head Coach and Athletic Director, Jeff Jones, speaking about tonight’s game. “We’re really looking forward to the challenge,” he added.

The 1-1 Alpine Fightin’ Bucks face off against the 1-2 Pecos Eagles, while the 1-1 Fort Davis Indians are slated to take on the 0-2 Fort Hancock Mustangs.

There are several games taking place in the Permian Basin at 7:30 tonight. The 2-0 Odessa Bronchos are matched up with 2-0 Tascosa, while the 1-1 Midland Lee Rebels take on Southlake’s 2-0 Carroll Dragons. The 2-0 Permian Panthers will play 1-1 Americas High.

The Sul Ross Lobos suffered a 15 to 61 loss to Texas Lutheran University last Saturday. Sophomore Derrick Bernard threw two touchdown passes, one of them caught by senior Cordrick Mobley. Tomorrow (Saturday Sept. 13th at 1pm) they play the Southwestern University Pirates.

Tune into your public radio station every Friday at noon — following the top-of-the-hour newscast — for our regional weekend sports preview.

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Susan Graham, 2010.

This Opera Star Is Tired of Texas Stereotypes

The Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale begins its 52nd season on Saturday, Sept. 13, with an opera performance by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. Tom Michael reports on this West Texas connection to the wide world of opera.

Susan Graham is known as “America’s Favorite Mezzo.” She’s won a Grammy Award and she’s sung at every major opera house in the world.

“You know when I was young, part of what attracted me to be an opera singer was that it seemed impossible.”

That impossible dream began in West Texas. Today Graham is known as an expert in the French repertoire. France even awarded her with the Legion of Honor.

“You know when you’re a kid and you dream of things very far away from West Texas. Mine always seemed to have an Eiffel Tower in it.”

Graham gets back to her hometown of Midland when she can. Her mother lives there. In 2006, the mayor proclaimed the 5th of September as Susan Graham Day.

“I have my background in Midland to thank for, really, for the life I have now, because I go all over the world to sing opera. Everyday is a pinch-me moment.”

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Fri. Sep 12 Interview: Minor Musics Japan Comes to Marfa

Host K. Yoland is joined by KRTS reporter Jefferson Yen to discuss contemporary Japanese musician-composers Ché-SHIZU, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, and A Qui Ave Gabriel, who are on a U.S nationwide tour. Organizer and musician Che Chen and producer J.D. DiFabbio join them to discuss the tour and the music.

Hosted by Marfa Live Arts, the bands will perform at the Crowley Theater in Marfa on Sunday, September 14 at 7 PM as a part of Minor Musics Japan.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Marfa Infrastructure Upgrades Cause City Water Outages; Last Shutoff Today

Because of an almost $300,000 Block Grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture, the city of Marfa has been upgrading dated infrastructure. This has meant city water has been shut off throughout the spring and summer. Today, the city says, is the very last water outage.

The sound of water running from our taps is something we tend to take for granted, that is, unless you live in Marfa.

“Well, the laundromat obviously comes to a screeching halt. Um, the coffee shop, we’re also at a screeching halt,” said Jessie Browning, mother of four little girls and owner of Frama Coffee Shop and Tumbleweed Laundry in Marfa.

“I mean, it’s hard to do anything during the day home maintenance as a stay at home mom, if you will, between dishes and laundry. I mean, we use a lot of Purell,” Browning says. “I’ve said this before, I like to joke and say, ‘This water outage is brought to you by Purell.'”

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