Wayne & Aaron, Then & Now

We first met Wayne Brewton & Pastor Aaron Hannah on the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road back in 2017. This episode, we reunite with Wayne & Aaron, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, "How's life changed in the past four years?"

Sissy & Shaniqua, Then & Now

We first met Okhui 'Sissy' Benlein & Shaniqua McCready on the 1900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue back in 2018. This episode, we reunite with Sissy & Shaniqua, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, "How's life changed in the past three years?"

George & Gus, Then & Now

We first met Gus Zissimos & George Anagnostou on the 4700 block of Eastern Avenue back in 2015. This episode, we reunite with George & Gus, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, "How's life changed in the past six years?"

Arlo & Lei Ann, Then & Now

We reconnect with Arlo Iron Cloud, our partner at KILI Radio, The Voice of the Lakota Nation, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He tells us how life has changed for him and his family over the past few years. We also check back in with Lei Ann Shiramizu in Seattle's Chinatown International District to hear how she and her neighbors have coped with the pressures of the pandemic.

Foots & Lateef, Then & Now

We first met Gregory Hill (AKA Foots) and Lateef Aderomilehin on the 2100 block of Edmondson Avenue back in 2017. This episode, we reunite with Foots & Lateef, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, "How's life changed in the past four years?"

Tymekia & Will, Then & Now

We first met Tymekia Spellman and Will Jackson on the 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue back in 2015. This episode, we reunite with Tymekia & Will, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, "What's changed in your life in the past six years?"

James & Theresa, Then & Now

We first met James Carter and Theresa Marable on the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue in back 2012, in the very first episode of Out of the Blocks. This episode, we reunite with James and Theresa, we listen back together to their original recordings, and we ask them, "What's changed in your life in the past nine years?"

Young Wisdom

Have you ever been a mentor to someone? Maybe you had a mentor of your own? How did it change your life? January is National Mentoring Month, and this episode we turn our attention to the voices and the stories of some young Baltimoreans we met through a network called Maryland MENTOR. They're young, but they've got life-lessons for a willing ear of any age.

Sidewalk Serenades

This pandemic's been a tough time for musicians. Clubs are closed, and gigs are cancelled. But our friends at Baltimore's Creative Alliance had a lightbulb moment. They thought: These musicians that we usually book on our stage, what if we start booking them on stoops and porches? They'd be outdoors, the crowds would be small, just the neighbors on the block. People would be masked up and socially distant. But it'd be a little moment of community, and it'd give these musicians some work. They called the series, Sidewalk Serenades. And it ended up bringing little spontaneous moments of genuine joy to Baltimore neighborhoods during a really dark time. Out of the Blocks decided to book some of these Sidewalk Serenades on different blocks around the city. And we recorded them for this special episode. Mask up & head out with us for some great live music and neighborhood togetherness!

Space Sonification

They have access to the collected astronomical data of the world's most powerful space telescopes, and they're stuck at home in quarantine. Here's what they're doing: Scientists Jenn Kotler, Clara Brasseur, and Scott Fleming have been using their time in isolation to design a radically new way of understanding the dynamics of the cosmos. Inspired by a blind colleague halfway around the planet, Australian astrophysicist Garry Foran, they're pioneering a new method to study the motion of the universe, through sound. Curious to learn more about their work? Check out this link and this link

James' Block: An Outlier

This episode is about a virtual block that makes up the current world of one fascinating and unusual young man. His name is James Burrows. He's a musical genius, and he's autistic. This week, he's graduating from high school in the midst of a pandemic. What might James be able to teach the rest of us about living in the shared social isolation of the moment? NOTE: All the music in this episode was composed and produced by James. Check him out on SoundCloud.

Lexington Market, part 3: On a Humble

Well, this long-overdue episode wasn't originally intended to be an audio time-capsule, but, you know... life. Here's a final look back at a venerable city market that's now temporarily closed to the public, and partly demolished.

Um, Now What?

We're working through how to best proceed on near-future episodes of the show, and we want to invite you into the conversation. Got an interesting online 'block'? Hit us up on Instagram @outoftheblocks1 or on twitter @outoftheblocks1

Lexington Market, part 2: Engines of Change

Conversations with vendors & market-goers about the past & present of Lexington Market, a look at hopes for (and doubts about) the market's future, and a talk with the idealistic developer responsible for the big changes that lay ahead.

Lexington Market, part 1: Survival of the Fittest

Change is knocking on the door of Baltimore's iconic Lexington Market. Ground has been broken on a new market building, and local vendors are wondering if they'll have a place in the much-hyped new structure. In this episode, merchants, artisans, security officers, and custodians reflect on their lives and the uncertain future of the market they call home.

Melody & Verse

We love it on this podcast when we meet people who are natural storytellers. And it's an extra bonus when they happen to be talented musicians or poets, too. This episode, we celebrate some of our favorite musical and lyrical moments from Out of the Blocks.

Charleston,WV, West Side, part 2: We May See a Harvest

Our audio tour through Charleston's West Side continues with a community gardener, an antique collector, a symphony clarinetist, a deli owner, and a retired pro basketball player. Plus, a visit to a local auto shop, a barbershop, a Girl Scout meeting, and Mary C Snow West Side Elementary. Special thanks this episode to West Virginia State Folklorist Emily Hilliard, The West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Charleston, WV, West Side, part 1: History Laid Down Like Shellac

We take the show to Charleston West Virginia's West Side neighborhood to visit a family barbecue joint, a country music jamboree, a faith-based after-school program, a women's drug recovery house, and a bustling Goodwill headquarters. Plus, conversations with an activist preacher, a vacant-home rehabber, an open-eared neighborhood planner, and a retired theater technician who's projected more than 50 years of movie history. Special thanks this episode to Maryland State Folklorist Emily Hilliard, The West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Scars

Every scar comes with a story. And if you're telling the story, it means you survived whatever gave you that scar.In this episode, stories about things that left a mark.

Barbershop Stories

Tales of camaraderie, mentorship, second chances, prosperity, and style, from barbershops in Baltimore and beyond. Have a seat, grab a newspaper, and make yourself comfortable... the next available barber will take you shortly.

Juneau, Alaska, part 2: Learn How to Fall

A game hunter consults his conscience, a Native Rights advocate remembers being separated from her heritage, a local chef plays host to TV personality Gordon Ramsay, a widow remembers her late husband's grace and humor, a Native Youth Olympics coach connects kids to culture through athletics, plus an artist, a musician, a cross-country bicyclist, two roller-derby girls, and a family in a half-built cabin on an island in the wilderness Special thanks this episode to Juneau field producer MK MacNaughton and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Juneau, Alaska, part 1: We Belong to Each Other

A visit with a Chilkat Ravenstail weaver, a rain-forest hike in search of Devil's Club, the tale of a rudely awakened Black Bear, an afternoon with a fishing boat captain, a mountain jog with a champion ultra-runner, hair and make-up tips with a renowned drag queen, a sound-check at the home-studio of a Juneau-based hip hop musician, and a window into the life of a local poet and her 10-year-old son. Special thanks this episode to Juneau field producer MK MacNaughton and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Eastern Ave, East to Highland, part 3: Our Life is True

A therapist plumbs his own psychology by creating artistic collages, a Central American kitchen staff cooks the menu at a Peruvian chicken restaurant, a general store sells everything from microwaves to original artwork, a neighborhood handyman makes his living out of a Radio Flyer wagon, a marketing firm gets caffeinated, and high school sweethearts get married, open up a wine shop, and stay in love.

Eastern Ave, East to Highland, part 2: Do What You Do for the Love of it

In this episode: The perfectly nice lady behind one of the most menacing overdubs in television history, the tireless purveyor of Baltimore's most famous pizza, two barbers who've paid their dues to learn their trade, the operators of a make-it-from-scratch ice cream shop, and a tenacious entrepreneur for whom failure is not an option.

Eastern Ave, East to Highland, part 2: Do What You Do for the Love of it