I’ve been angling to get onto the public-television program “North Carolina Bookwatch” pretty much ever since I started writing books two decades ago. So it was a thrill when the show invited me on to chat about “Step It Up and Go.” As one does in the Coronavirus age, we taped it via Skype this afternoon — host D.G. Martin from the UNC-TV studio, me from my basement against a backdrop of CDs — and when nobody was looking, I did a little screengrab to remember the experience by.
The “Step It Up and Go” episode of “Bookwatch” should air in October, publication month for the book.
I’m bummed to be missing Saturday night’s Yesterday’s News/Strangers Almanac show back home at Raleigh’s Berkeley Cafe. But I’ll be in a fun place, Austin for the Texas Book Festival, and at least there will be something decent to watch on TV that same night — “Comin’ Right at Ya” subject/star/co-writer Ray Benson playing on “Austin City Limits” with Asleep at the Wheel, alongside Sturgill Simpson plus guests including the Avett Brothers (with whom the Wheel will play on New Year’s Eve), Amos Lee and various Texas Playboys.
That’s cool, even if the timing of it is pretty ironic for yours truly: The book festival brings me to Ray’s hometown on the same weekend he’s on a television program I would have been able to watch from anywhere in the country. The Wheel and “ACL” go all the way back to the show’s very beginnings, episode no. 1 in 1976 (after Willie Nelson played the pilot), and the group has been on it enough times since over the years to be inducted into the “Austin City Limits” Hall of Fame this past June.
Anyway, check here to find exactly when and where in your area it will air. Here in Austin, looks like it’s on at 7 p.m. local time on public station KLRU-TV. And in the Raleigh/Durham vicinity, it comes on at midnight Saturday on UNC-TV.
Tags: Amos Lee, Austin City Limits, Avett Brothers, Berkeley Cafe, KLRU, Strangers Almanac, Sturgill Simpson, Texas Book Festival, Texas Playboys, UNC-TV, Yesterday's News