Sunday, March 19, 2006

Folk music tonight

After finally going to see Transamerica tonight [EXCELLENT movie, Brokeback * 3, IMO], I retired home for an evening of folk music streams from my old standby, Jim Blum and his weekend folk show on WKSU (Kent, OH). The reason I call it my standby is that it is always consistently good. I've been listening since I was an undergraduate at the College of Wooster. Jim Blum has an engaging personality style, which is on the one hand, very professional; and on the other, very community-oriented and sounds very in-the-moment. His show features music, interviews, reports about the environment, and mentions of pets that need homes. He defines folk music very broadly, which I appreciate. It's also the philosophy I took when I hosted the Kitchen Party for two years on WIUS.

WKSU also produces Folk Alley, which is very good. Folk Alley is always on, so I like to listen to it at other times. The live show is really good for a weekend night, like this one. It's no secret that public radio listening played a major role in my music tastes or my dedication to broadcasting. I cannot imagine not having the soundscapes that public radio provides: Prairie Home Companion, This American Life, Performance Today, Thistle and Shamrock, and all the local programming from the places I've lived: Erie, Interlochen, Wooster, Bloomington, and D.C. There's something about driving around and having my favorite drive-time companion on. There are too many wonderful announcers to attempt a list of my favorites. But tonight's post is a tribute to one who has been in my life since 1993. Keep up the good work Jim!

Blum played a couple of excerpts from an exceptional Canadian bluegrass band, named The Bills (formerly known as the Bill Hilly Band). I played them on The Kitchen Party back in 2004. I found them while I was researching Canadian artists by surfing the Net.

On a recordings note, I recently purchased the most recent album "The Hard and the Easy" by the Newfoundland band, Great Big Sea. The cover art speaks for itself:

There are some great songs on this album, including The River Driver, the Mermaid, Captain Kidd, and Cod Liver Oil. It's nice to see redeem themselves after their last two albums which were basically folk-lite, "soft-rock" efforts. I hope they play the Birchmere soon.


Post a Comment

<< Home