Striking a Chord: Our Thoughts on Stories of the Strings

A photo of an event
Joel Boultinghouse shows off his guitar during the first Stories of the Strings event. Photo by Casey Jones.

Bobby Roth was a heavy metal fan. His music grated on his mom’s nerves and irritated their neighbors in Broadmoor, but that didn’t matter to Bobby. He and his friends would hang out in the garage and play Slayer and Pantera covers until a patrol car inevitably slipped into the driveway. His dog was named Dimebag. His band was called Epitaph. Bobby Roth died suddenly on November 13, 2007. He was 34.

Michelle Honeycutt and Joy Roth, Bobby’s sister and mother, took the stage at Stories of the Strings – the storytelling event series that All Y’all has been hosting in partnership with the Shreveport Regional Arts Council – on Wednesday, June 21. Flanked by Bobby’s guitars, they shared their favorite memories of Bobby and his love for music. The most unforgettable moment of the night came when Michelle shared the story of Bobby meeting several members of Slayer while he was – get this – waiting in line to ride the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas.

A photo of guitars
Gary Paul Bertrand displays two of his Al Collinsworth guitars during Stories of the Strings.

The previous week, on June 14, Gary Paul Bertrand told the audience about Al Collinsworth, a master luthier who built immaculately crafted electric guitars – one instrument at a time, often from single pieces of wood – in his shed in Cedar Grove. Collinsworth, who retired from Bewley’s Furniture, also repaired guitars that others considered unfixable. But his real love was building guitars. Gary Paul brought three beautifully crafted Collinsworth guitars and played them live for a small but appreciative crowd.

What we loved most about the story of Al Collinsworth was its incredible localness. Ask a guitar player anywhere else in the world if they know about Al Collinsworth, and you’ll likely be met with a blank stare. Ask any veteran Shreveport guitarist and they may just smile knowingly, lean in, and say something like: “How on earth do you know about Al?”

That’s the kind of stuff that you’ve been missing at Stories of the Strings. These evenings are intimate, personal, moving and musical. They’re happening every Wednesday night in June and July beginning at 6 p.m. at Artspace. Upcoming events will include guitar tales from friends of All Y’all like Grant Nuckolls (July 19) and the wonderful Buddy Flett (July 26).

We’d love to see more All Y’all supporters at these events. These nights aren’t about famous people’s backstage anecdotes or wealthy collectors showing off the guitars that they never play. They’re about memories and love. They’re about Bobby Roth’s blistering power chords echoing through Broadmoor and Al Collinsworth slipping out to the shed, late at night, and turning on the light.

RSVP to an upcoming Stories of the Strings event.

Haunted: Steven Abney, “Personal Demons”

A photo of Steven Abney
Storyteller Steven Abney, photographed on the porch of his home in Shreveport’s South Highlands neighborhood.

Ghost stories can be a lot of things: visceral, frightening, unnerving. But very seldom do they drift into territory that could be described as intimate or personal. Storyteller Steven Abney took the stage at our Nov. 12, 2016 live event, “Haunted”, and delivered a ghost story that was as equally suited for Ghost Hunters as it was for Dr. Phil. This spine-tingling tale of a haunted house and one man’s struggle to shake loose of his demons continues to be one of the most unique All Y’all stories told to date.

Coming Soon: All Y’all Live, “The Skin I’m In”
On Saturday, Aug. 26, All Y’all will return to the Woman’s Department Club for our 12th live storytelling event, “The Skin I’m In”. We are looking for six great stories of identity, acceptance (or the lack thereof) and the journey of self-discovery. If you think you’ve got a story for “The Skin I’m In”, please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665 and leave us a message.

“Stories of the Strings”
If you’re reading this post during the summer of 2017, check out our upcoming “Stories of the Strings” nights. Chris and Sara from All Y’all host these “show and tell”-style evenings featuring guitar players and collectors discussing their most treasured instruments. Events will be held at Artspace Shreveport every Wednesday night in June and July. Shows begin at 6 p.m. and admission is $5. Join us!

Help Us Say “Thanks”…
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric. Without the support of these sponsors, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off. Please consider thanking our sponsors with your patronage.

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I Just Work Here: Amy Lynn Treme, “Monty”

A photo of Amy Lynn Treme
Amy Lynn Treme shares her story at All Y’all Live: “I Just Work Here.”

Some folks are just natural born storytellers. Amy Lynn Treme, a pre-K teacher who lives in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhoood, is one of those folks. When All Y’all announced that we’d be presenting a night of stories about work (“I Just Work Here” was held at the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport in April 2017), Amy was the first person to reach out with a story pitch. And, wow, it was a doozy.

Amy’s story — a side-splittingly funny tale of a simple task gone terribly wrong during her employment at a pet store in Bossier City — is one of the most outrageous and downright entertaining stories ever told on the All Y’all stage.


Please Support Our Sponsors

The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric. Without the support of these sponsors, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off. Please consider thanking our sponsors with your patronage.

Coming Soon: Wild Card Night
This Summer, All Y’all will be trying something new: our first-ever Wild Card Night. For this live event, we won’t be booking storytellers in advance. We’ll ask that anyone who would like to try their hand at live storytelling drop their name in a hat, and we’ll draw six names to tell a story live onstage. It’s an experiment in spontaneity, community and “working without a net.” Watch for details to be announced soon.

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Haunted: Christopher Louis Wilson, “A Wing and A Prayer”

A photo of Chris Wilson
Storyteller Christopher Louis Wilson and his daughter, Camryn.

On May 11, 2016, Christopher Louis Wilson published a post on his blog, From the Desk of Mr. Coach Wilson, about his lifelong love affair with Shreveport-based restaurant Wing Taxi. Within 24 hours, the post had gone viral in Shreveport, with thousands of views and social shares leading the owner of the restaurant to reach out to Wilson. As it turns out, Wilson isn’t the only Shreveporter obsessed with the quirky, gypsy-like wing joint. For many locals, the taste of home is Cajun ranch lemon pepper garlic Parmesan.

For our November 2016 live storytelling event, “Haunted”, Wilson took the stage and shared a surprisingly personal, heartfelt story of love, loss and yearning.

All Y’all Live: “I Just Work Here” Tickets Available Now
The 11th All Y’all Live storytelling event, “I Just Work Here,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 1, 2017 at The Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport. For lots more information and a link to buy tickets, please check out the official event announcement. We’d also be thrilled if you’d consider sharing the official Facebook event.

A photo of Nate Treme
Nate Treme performs at an All Y’all live storytelling event in July 2016. Photo by Stan Carpenter.

Thank You, Nate Treme
If you enjoy the background music in this episode of the podcast, you can hear more work from producer Nate Treme on his Bandcamp page. Nate has performed live musical interludes at most of our live storytelling events to date and has become an integral part of the All Y’all family. He’s also an incredibly gifted graphic designer, whose work you can see here. Thank you, Nate!

Please Support Our Sponsors
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Maccentric and Williams Creative Group.

workinghoriz

I Just Work Here – April 1, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.

The 11th All Y’all live storytelling event, “I Just Work Here”, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 1 at the historic Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport. The event will feature six true tales of working for a living, living to work and the misadventures and magic that can transpire while you’re “on the clock.” Storytellers will include Ashlie Daigle, Julian Gutierrez, Pam Brown, Amy Lynn Treme, Luther Cox and Julie Gustafson. Admission is $15 and tickets are available now. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. A cash bar will be provided by Wine Country Bistro and live musical interludes will be performed by Nate Treme. Purchase tickets here.

RSVP to the Facebook event for “I Just Work Here” – and please consider inviting your friends! It helps us more than you know.

This live storytelling event, like all All Y’all events and podcasts, is made possible by our title sponsor Holiday Lanes. This event is also made possible by the generous support of live event sponsors Maccentric and Williams Creative Group.

All Y’all live storytelling events are recommended for mature audiences.

I Fought The Law: Meghan Shapiro, “Sentences”

Meghan Shapiro
Storyteller Meghan Shapiro. Photo by Stan Carpenter.

During the second half of our July 2016 storytelling event, “I Fought The Law,” we featured stories from three attorneys who shared an insider’s perspective of our complex legal system. Our last storyteller of the evening, Meghan Shapiro, moved to Louisiana in 2013 to practice death penalty defense law in a place with greater need than most. From 2010 to 2014, more people were sentenced to death per capita in Caddo Parish than in any other parish or county in the United States.

Meghan has almost exclusively represented poor individuals charged with capital crimes or sentenced to death, a cause to which she has been heavily devoted since her teens. This story is about her first death row client.

Please Support Our Sponsors
The 2016 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric.

Coming Soon: I Just Work Here
We’re currently recruiting storytellers for our Spring 2017 live storytelling event, “I Just Work Here,”  a collection of great stories about the working life. As always, we’re looking for all kinds of stories: funny, sad, inspiring, confusing – the only requirements are that your story is true and you’re willing to get up onstage in front of a few hundred friends to tell it. If you think you’ve got a story for “I Just Work Here,” please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665 and leave us a message.

All New Stuffed & Busted for Y’all

In addition to hosting our last live storytelling event in November, we’ve been hard at work building a new show for All Y’all. It’s called Stuffed & Busted, a podcast that takes an irreverent look at food in Shreveport and Bossier City as well as the fascinating folks who grow, cook and serve it.

We wanted to share the first segment from our second Stuffed & Busted episode, a hilarious and baudy interview with Robert “Bozz” Baucum, head chef and owner of Marilynn’s Place. We hope you like it and if you do, please listen to the full 45-minute long episode and subscribe by searching for Stuffed & Busted in your podcast app of choice or at stuffedandbusted.com.

Momma and Daddy: Jaya McSharma, “#DaddyIssues”

Jaya McSharma shared a sweet, inspiring story of the power of love at All Y’all Live “Momma and Daddy” on March 11, 2016. Photo by Chris Jay.


Few All Y’all storytellers have ever seemed so comfortable in the spotlight as “Momma and Daddy” storyteller Dr. Jaya McSharma. Jaya had our sold-out audience in the palm of her hand from the moment that she stepped onstage, eliciting roars of laughter and more than a few tears. Her story takes us inside an Indian-American family on the cusp of gaining a new family member.

For more storytelling from Jaya, check out her writing in the Shreveport-based grassroots media outlet Heliopolis.

All Y’all Live: “Haunted” Tickets Available Now
The 10th All Y’all Live storytelling event, “Haunted,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at Remington Suite Hotel & Spa in downtown Shreveport. For lots more information and a link to buy tickets, check out the official event announcement.

RSVP to the Facebook event for All Y’all Live: “Haunted.”

Please Support Our Sponsors
The 2016 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group, as well as Maccentric, Rhino Coffee, Shreveport Magazine and Twisted Root Burger Company. Please consider supporting these community-minded businesses when you’re out and about.

If you enjoyed this episode, please post it on your Facebook wall! You’d be surprised how much this helps us.

I Fought the Law: Samuel Mims, “Generally Irritated”

A photo of Colonel Sam Mims
Colonel Samuel Mims shares his thoughts on the State of Louisiana at All Y’all Live: I Fought the Law on Saturday, July 16, 2016. Photo by Stan Carpenter.

I will never forget the first conversation that Sara and I had with Colonel Samuel Mims, a pastor, environmental activist and community organizer who spoke at All Y’all Live: I Fought the Law on July 16, 2016. Colonel Mims was sitting in his pickup truck in a gravel parking lot in Minden, Louisiana, where we’d arranged to meet. When Sara and I began to explain how the All Y’all process works (we meet with storytellers, rehearse and help them refine their stories in the weeks leading up to each live event), Colonel Mims gently but firmly held up a hand and said: “Now, I’m not going to be doing any rehearsals. That’s just not me.”

When he took the All Y’all stage, we had no idea what Colonel Mims was going to say. He delivered a fiery call to action fueled by his righteous indignation over what he sees as systemic failures of leadership in Louisiana. In his voice, we hear anger and exasperation, but we also hear love and hope.



All Y’all Live: “Haunted” Tickets Available Now

The 10th All Y’all Live storytelling event, “Haunted,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at Remington Suite Hotel & Spa in downtown Shreveport. For lots more information and a link to buy tickets, check out the official event announcement.

RSVP to the Facebook event for “Haunted.”

Please Support Our Sponsors
The 2016 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group, as well as Maccentric, Rhino Coffee, Shreveport Magazine and Twisted Root Burger Company. Please consider supporting these community-minded businesses when you’re out and about.

If you enjoyed this episode, please post it on your Facebook wall! You’d be surprised how much this helps us.

Stuffed & Busted Episode 1: “All-You-Can-Hear”

The Stuffed and Busted logo
Stuffed & Busted is a new podcast about food in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana and the people who grow, cook and eat it. Stuffed & Busted is produced independently by All Y’all.

Tell your ears to put on their stretchy pants! The first-ever episode of Stuffed & Busted is here, and it’s about all-you-can-eat buffets. In this episode, you will (hopefully) be entertained by such segments as:

  • Chris’s dad, Donny Jay, talks about his love of all-you-can-eat crab leg nights at DiamondJacks Casino in Bossier City.
  • Chris and Sara take video game designer Alex Gold to Golden Corral for Sunday brunch.
  • Chef David Bridges shares his “expansive” method of systematically eating his way through the Sumo Supreme Buffet in Shreveport.
  • Pancho’s Mexican Buffet enthusiast Michael Zuniga reflects on a lifetime spent raising the flag for more sopapillas.
  • In a recurring segment called “Ask a Dang Farmer,” we visit with Newt Lynn of Lynn Family Farms in Belcher.
  • Chris and Sara share their personal (and possibly worthless!) opinions on the local food and drink scene. Good stuff gets “stuffed” and the bad stuff gets “busted.”
A photo of soup
This beautiful bowl of bun bo hue is a topic of discussion in this episode of the Stuffed & Busted podcast.

Our goal is to produce a new podcast each month. Please like Stuffed & Busted on Facebook and, if you enjoyed the episode, please share it with your millions of followers on social media, in virtual worlds, Pokémon Go, etc. If you hated the episode, please keep that to yourself.

Stuffed & Busted is currently seeking advertisers. If, after hearing the first episode of this crazy podcast, you still want to promote your business to our listeners, you can do so for as little as $100 per episode. We promise that great fortunes will immediately be showered upon the businesses of our advertisers.* To request more information on sponsorship opportunities, e-mail chris@allyallblog.com, call (318) 272-1696 or message us via our Facebook page.

*In bed!