NPR's All Things Considered has a terrific radio piece on the late Killian Mansfield, a masterful ukelele player from Woodstock who died of cancer last August at age 16. Mansfield's first and last album, Somewhere Else, was recorded last year.
Host Guy Raz speaks with Laurel Masse, one of Killian's mentors and one of the original members of The Manhattan Transfer, along with Killian's mother.
"Killian set a really high bar, and it was a bar that was clearly defined by determination," Barbara Mansfield says. "The last recording session was [at] Levon Helm's studio. And Levon really wanted him to come over. And I think he really identified, having had the same struggle — cancer — in his life, with Killian. And really wanted it to be an opportunity to come into his home as well as record some music. And he could not have been warmer and sweeter.
Hat tip to local music writer Tony Fletcher for spotting the story.