If it's Sunday afternoon, we're almost certainly listening to No Time to Tarry Here, hosted by Pablo Meshugi on KDHX (88.1 FM). In past years we've been a bit loath to admit this. Old-school folk music has been falling out of fashion since the 1960s. It's just too darned earnest. But our Sundays with Pablo Meshugi, the nom d'air of Paul Stamler, remind us that folk music can be pretty badass. This is the radio program to listen to if you want to hear a good old-fashioned murder ballad — and the back-story about who was pissed off enough to write said ballad and set it to music. Stamler's style is reminiscent of Pete Seeger's: calm and deceptively bland. But don't be fooled: The man knows his shit, not just about murder ballads, but love ballads, too, and Anglo-American fiddle tunes and African-American spirituals and a wide swath of protest music, from 1930s work songs to 1960s civil-rights hymns. No Time to Tarry Here has been tarrying here since 1987, and it remains the Best sort of history lesson: the kind that brings the people of the past back to life through the songs they sang and makes them seem as vivid as a knockdown, drag-out fight.
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