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In Stephen Wade's hands, the lowly banjo is the key to the American experience

The other highlight of the show is Wade's rather phenomenal folk erudition. He has mined the depths of the Library of Congress for every old banjo piece, folk tale, and historical anecdote he can find. He's logged countless hours listening to old folk and blues records, sea chanties, convicts singing to the rhythm of sledgehammers, stump speeches...anything to put him in touch with the sound of history.

It has made Wade a conduit to the sounds and stories that have mostly been drowned out by the storm of electronic noise surrounding us.

It's just our luck that he was watching the "Ed Sullivan Show," along with 73 million other people, that night. Passing strange are the forces and fates unleashed by four Liverpool lads singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."

On the Way Home plays at the TCU Theatre Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. through August 27. Call (817) 784-9378.

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