Kling: Teller of lingering stories

Published 3:00 am Friday, January 29, 2016

Anybody who lives in Minnesota on purpose must be some kind of interesting fellow.

And, Kevin Kling is just about as interesting a fellow as anyone can be.

“When you freeze paradise, it lasts longer,” said Kling who will be a featured teller at the Pike Piddles Storytelling Festival this weekend in Brundidge and Troy.

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If living in Minnesota isn’t interesting enough, Kling is somewhat of a modern day hobo. He’s hopped freight trains and ridden the rails from coast to coast. He’s been hit by lightning and lived to tell about it and fished more ice holes than everybody south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

To say that Kevin Kling is one heck of a storyteller would be an understatement, said Annette Bryan, a member of the sponsoring Brundidge Historical Society’s storytelling committee.

“Kevin has been a featured teller at our festival twice and we’ve had to wait three years to be able to get him back,” she said. “But he’s worth the wait.”

Kevin Kling is best known for his popular commentaries on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and for his storytelling stage shows. He has performed all across the United States and abroad, in Europe, Australia and Thailand.

He has been called part funny guy, part poet and playwright and part wise man. Add to that, one of the most entertaining and versatile storytellers in the country and that would be Kevin Kling in a nutshell.

His stories are often hilarious and sometimes tender but always memorable.

Kling had built his storytelling career on telling strong sense-of-place stories but, after surviving a near-fatal motorcycle crash, his tales have moved from hilarious nostalgia to something weightier and more spiritual.

“Long after the storytelling festivals end, those of us who have had the good fortune hear Kevin will remember him and his stories,” Bryan said. “He connects with his audiences. He’s like a old best friend that has suddenly come back into your life and is eager to fill you in on all that has happened to him over the years.”

The Pike Piddles Storytelling Festival opens tonight with a sold-out performance at the We Piddle Around Theater and will continue with three storytelling concerts at the Trojan Center Theater on the campus of Troy University. Tickets are available for the 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. concerts at $10 each. The 2 p.m. concert is sold out.

Tickets are available at The Messenger or may be reserved by calling 334-685-5524 or 670-6302.

All concerts feature pre-show music 30 minutes prior to the storytelling concerts and stories by all four tellers. Different stories are told at each concert.

The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival is sponsored in part by the Alabama State Council on the Arts with support by the National Endowment for the Arts.