Friday, July 28, 2006


The Impromptu Renegade House Concert at Whole Wheat Radio just ended. Two hours of Danny Schmidt, Larry Zarella and Esther Golton live from the Wheathole in Talkeetna, Alaska. About 20 people were lucky enough to actually attend. Another 75 of us tuned in online. The three artists are hardly household names but their music is excellent. Photos are here. I wish I could do audio but I can't so you'll have to trust me that the concert was a LOT of fun, even if I was sitting at a computer the whole time.

I had the opportunity to meet Jim Kloss (aka Jimbob) and Esther Golton in 2003 when I visited Alaska. They are Appalachian Trail thru-hikers--they met on the trail in 1991 and have been together since--who stepped away from normal life to live in Alaska and ended up running one of the most unusual internet radio stations on the web. If you are tired of the limited selection of music on commercial radio, Whole Wheat Radio is the answer. You will hear a far, far greater variety of singer songwriters and styles of music than you are likely to get anywhere else. You've probably never heard of The Clumsy Lovers, Garrison Starr, Sloan Wainwright, Nick Carter and Tracy Grammar, Bryndle or Lucy Kaplansky but they are featured along with many others on WWR And it's not just a passive listening experience; listeners can request music at any time. The only restriction may be a specific format for a show. Otherwise, requests come up quickly.

WWR is mostly automated, a testament to Jim's programming skill, but it's by no means formulaic. Sometimes it's hard to tell what the format is at many times--the variety is amazing--but it's almost always interesting. Occasionally, Jim and Esther are on live, ranting or just talking. In between, a community of "Wheatheads" are logged on to the chat, requesting music and offering ideas. And then, there are the occasional House Concerts, like the one tonight.

Give it a listen. Maybe someday you'll end up listening to live music in a small cabin in Talkeetna.


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