Art and Culture

Art and culture

Another amazing adventure with surprises, treachery, and suspense by Peter Heller

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

Peter Heller is a relatively new writer, and The River is his fourth novel.  Of the three I have read, I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense and the thrills.  Peter Heller has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in poetry and fiction.  He lives in Denver Colorado.

Jack and Wynn are college buddies who decided to take a canoe trip through parts of Canada.  They are skilled at navigating white-water, and they have all the equipment they need.  Early in the trip, they smell smoke, but it does not seem close enough to pose a threat.  They encounter two men who are armed, and the boys warned them of the fire.  (more)

David and Art - "Art and Religion"

Jun 17, 2019
Joe Riley

Hearing an unexpected piano piece in church can open doors we didn’t even know existed.


Blind Willie Johnson provides a link between the spirituals and modern gospel. This brilliant steel-guitar player was a street musician in Texas in the 1930s and '40s and only recorded two dozen incredibly rare 78s and yet he is considered one of the greatese of all American musicians. 

From Dad jokes to childrens theatre... a Waco walking tour, Juneteenth celebrations and an icons 75th birthday celebration, there's plenty happening in and around Waco this week.


A tangled story of two families, intertwined by divorce and marriage

I'm Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

Numerous individuals have urged me to read something by Ann Patchett.  But I could not uncover some special character or an interesting idea to grab onto.  I decided to forgo my Rule of 50 as a test of the efficacy of that rule.  Commonwealth is Patchett’s tenth novel.  According to the dust jacket, Ann Patchett has authored nine novels and three works of non-fiction. She was the editor of The Best American Short Stories: 2006.  She has won numerous awards, notably the PEN/Faulkner and the Orange Prize for Fiction.  She has been translated into more than 30 languages.  She co-owns Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their dog, Sparky.

The story comprises three parts: the first is the intro duction to two families and a half dozen children.  Part Two mixes all these individuals.  Finally, the last is an extensive examination of these people as the family fragments and falls apart.  I had a difficult time keeping the family’s names and relations straight.  I began to understand the makeup of the family just as Part Three re-tangled them all together.  (more)

David and Art - A Painter On D-Day

Jun 10, 2019
Joe Riley

On D-Day in World War II, a French painter came ashore with the Allied armies. His art would be forever changed because of it.


On "Standing Here Wondering Which Way to Go," Marion Williams is accompanied by the best studio musicians Atlantic Records has to offer - and the resulting 45 is one of the classics of gospel music. 


A story of Korean women who dive in dangerous waters to gather food

A few years ago, our book club read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.  That novel told a story of the horrific practice of “foot-binding.” Several others followed along similar lines. (more)

David and Art - Once in a Lifetime

Jun 3, 2019
Joe Riley

The greatest works of art circulate slowly through the world.  We may only get one chance to see some of them.

I was speaking with a friend of mine recently about a particular piece of music and she commented that she would like to hear it live sometime in her life.  I agreed and later her comment got me thinking about how a direct, in-person encounter with a piece of music or a painting can literally be a once in a lifetime experience.

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The popular Skyways, led by W.C. Johnson, toured heavily in the 1960s and '70s as one of the vanguard artists of the new contemporarary gospel sound. 


(Isaiah Scott/KWBU Radio)

On Conversations with Creative Waco, Rae Jefferson interviews Adam Moore who created Analog Waco - a local storytelling event that's developed a following over the past year. She also talks with Wendy Gragg, a local storyteller and journalist, about her participation in the event. 


Exhaustive tour through the libraries in the Ancient world from Gilgamesh to the Romans


David and Art - "I. M. Pei"

May 27, 2019
Joe Riley

From Paris to Dallas, architect I.M. Pei created timeless art in the buildings he designed.

Growing up in Dallas, and having heard of architecture, I knew the name I. M. Pei before I had any inkling of his story and his significance in the world of art. (more)

With mighty voiced Liz Dargan as the lead vocalist, the Gospelettes released a number of memorable singles in the early '70s, including a fiery version of "Lord, You've Been Good to Me."

(Kateleigh Mills/KWBU Radio)

On this episode of Conversations With Creative Waco, host Rae Jefferson talks with Jacob Green and Katie Selman from Keep Waco Loud, a new project that’s connecting music lovers with hard-to-find genres of music in Waco.

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