Rain City Tales & Tunes with Auntmama, Colin Isler, and Willie Weir
Rain City Tales & Tunes is a brand-new radio show which brings the Northwest's best storytellers and musicians together onstage. Taped in front of a live audience at Empty Sea, the show features acoustic music and tale-telling. Each episode features a unique theme, and audience members are invited to volunteer for the storytelling spotlight.
Produced jointly by Empty Sea Studios and KBCS storyteller Auntmama (Mary Anne Moorman), Rain City will be available to public radio stations this fall.
June 15th's theme is "You Win Some, You Lose Some," featuring storyteller Willie Weir and singer-songwriter Colin Isler.
Seattle native Colin Isler began playing music before he could read. As a 4 year-old Colin's cello was almost larger than him, but as he grew older, and taller, his love for music also grew, prompting him to learn the guitar and
harmonica. Over the years Colin has performed and recorded a wide variety of music, from post rock to classical, with many different Seattle groups including The Head and the Heart, Post Harbor, Conrad Ford, Rebels &
Scientists, and The Tallest Building in the World. Most recently you can find him playing and singing with The Washover Fans, an American roots and folk group who released their debut album in May 2011. Colin, partnered with engineer and producer Steve Aguilar, co-owns and manages Bearhead Studio which recently relocated to a new recording and mixing space in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. When Colin is not making music he designs circuits and professional audio equipment.
Willie Weir has played the fools of Shakespeare and the nerds of musical comedy. He has worked as an actor, columnist, commentator, photographer, truck driver, bike courier, public speaker and tour guide.
He's broken a couple of world records and way too many dishes. He has lived in Seattle for 25 years and lived in a billboard for 32 days. He's received a couple of awards, but has thrown away all of his trophies. His wife's name is Kat. His cat's name is Deeter. He's written two books (*Spokesongs* and *Travels with Willie*) and read a few more than that.
He shares a birthday with President Obama but rarely shares dessert.
Named Auntmama by a nephew of choice, Mary Anne Moorman gathers audiences up in her blend of music, and storied southern lore. Her voice is a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at dusk, rolling and misted sweet. These stories are conversations with memory as well as with the audience that's enjoying them.
"I'd be a singer if I could sing, but I like music too much to mess it up," she says. Her Appalachian roots are intertwined with the music she grew up with, many of her stories reflecting that harmonic heritage through influences from Gershwin, Cole Porter, Flatt & Scruggs, and Porter Wagoner.
The Stranger has written of Auntmama's tales: "As a precious, southern belle, she's conflicted and her extremes and voice boil out the sweetest words I think I've ever heard in my life. A real gem, she is. Glad I saw it, haven't stopped hearing her lilting voice in my head."
Moorman, a former machinist, management consultant and journalist, teaches storytelling at Washington State's famous Wintergrass festival, Northwest Folklife Festival, Hugo House's Write-O-Rama, as well as offering workshops throughout the country. She is the recipient of grants from Artist Trust, 4Cultural and the City of Seattle. Her three albums are available through her website, in local bookstores or through iTunes. She can be heard every Sunday morning on KBCS 91.3 FM.
Empty Sea Studios
6300 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103