Lunch with Books at Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling welcomes author, eyes W.Va. songwriters

“Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia: Profiles and Reflections” is the first book dedicated to telling the stories of West Virginia’s extensive community of songwriters.

Based on oral histories conducted by WVU associate professor of music history Travis Stimeling and told largely in the songwriters’ own words, these profiles offer a lively overview of the personalities, venues, and networks that nurture and sustain popular music in West Virginia. Presenting sketches of established personalities like Larry Groce, who oversees WVNPR’s “Mountain Stage,” and emerging musicians like Maria Allison, who dreams of one day performing there, Stimeling is attentive to the breadth and diversity of contemporary songwriters throughout West Virginia.

He will present the program at noon Tuesday at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library.

Stimeling is associate professor of music history at West Virginia University, where he also directs the WVU Bluegrass and Old-Time Bands. His previous books include “Cosmic Cowboys and New Hicks: The Countercultural Sounds of Austin’s Progressive Country Music Scene,” “The Country Music Reader” and “Fifty Cents and a Box Top: The Creative Life of Nashville Session Musician Charlie McCoy,” published by WVU Press.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch, and complimentary beverages are provided.

Call the Ohio County Public Library at 304-232-0244 or visit the library’s website at for more information.


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