I'm in Chicago at the moment, and that seems as good a reason as any to bring up Stephen Wade.
In the 1970s, a unique performer named Stephen Wade developed a unique theatrical act. He combined banjo playing, storytelling and percussive dancing into a stage show called Banjo Dancing. It was hugely popular in the city and ran for 13 months, which included a performance at the White House. He then took his show on the road, and ended up in Washington, D.C., where he had a longer run. That would be 10 years.
In the ensuing years, he's developed another show On the Way Home which had another successful run in Washington, won him the Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago, and toured. He's written books, essays, and as recently as 2012 released his latest album, Banjo Diaries, which got a Grammy nomination (albeit for liner notes).
I haven't heard or seen a great deal of Stephen Wade, though enough to really admire him. And this may be my favorite thing he's done, though I'm biased. It doesn't have much banjo, except as accompaniment, but rather is sort of a rhythmic poetic essay that for eight minutes grows and builds and is endearing and ultimately moving (and unique) in its heartfelt and effusive love for its subject matter. One near and dear my own heart. Chicago, from the good to the rough-hewn edges,. It's called "The Best Kept Secret in America." Something, I think, that closely describes the effusive Stephen Wade, as well.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor