The ArtsCenter Photoblog

November 24, 2009

Backstage at The Arts Center: The CD Playing In My Car 30 Minutes To Work And Back This Week, by Tess Mangum Ocana (Concerts & Facility Director)

Tess circa 1978!

We’re starting something new! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Backstage at The ArtsCenter, a new series of posts written by members of the ArtsCenter staff, talking about things they see at The ArtsCenter, why they do what they do, and what that whole “arts” thing means, anyway.

Our very first post is by Tess Mangum Ocana, the concerts and facility director at The ArtsCenter. You may have seen Tess introducing a band at a concert or heard her on 1360 WCHL’s The Arts Spot.

Let us know what you want to hear about the ArtsCenter by commenting on this post!


The CD Playing In My Car 30 Minutes To Work And Back This Week
Tess Mangum Ocana

I live in Durham, so the drive to Carrboro takes a while.  I’ve discovered a new “back way” that seems to not zap my soul as much as the chain stores, car dealerships and construction on 15-501 but I’m not going to give away the secret because it will become like 15-501.  Anyway, what I’m listening to this week is Ray Lamontagne’s debut album, Trouble.  He played here back in ’05 and I still remember the energy in the air as people took their seats in the Earl & Rhoda Wynn Theater.  Women were especially excited to see their bearded, beautiful lumberjack-looking Montagne.  I was running back and forth between my office, the gallery and backstage but remember listening to Van Morrison’s Veedon Fleece as my own mood music.  Music critics were going nuts about Montagne, saying how brilliant his first release was, and that it sounded like Neil Young and Van Morrison.  It does, but only musically.  Vocals are his own.  Some tracks sound like The Band, which ain’t a bad thing either.  Listen carefully for Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins (who played this year’s American roots Series) on fiddle and vocals.

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