Something different this week. We’ll be reflecting on the Spring Issue of a magazine that cuts through the heart of what we love doing here on both Blue Moon Americana as well as Deeper Roots. There are a handful of publications that make the cut but No Depression magazine is truly special and the Spring 2021 issue is something to revel in. The writing, the artists, and the arc of ‘The Great American Songbook’, from Stephen Foster to Louis Armstrong is given thoughtful and insightful treatment. Our show this week puts a soundtrack with a century of America’s music explored: Dock Boggs’ Pretty Polly, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, The Blue Sky Boys’ cover of Knoxville Girl, and some incredible Latin vocals from one Omara Portuondo. The magazine is worth the read and the music is worth a listen. Tune in on a Saturday among the Sonoma County skies for the best of community radio.
While the clouds of war and fascism were spreading in earnest across Europe, here at home the movies Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With The Wind premiered and Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was first published. Lou Gehrig bid farewell, A pound of hamburger cost 14 cents and the average price of a new car was $700. And the music was both dance crazy and uplifting, with the music of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and film dominating. This week’s show will feature the music of 1939 with performances from Crosby, Garland, The Ink Spots, Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday. We’ll also be featuring the jazz and big band sounds of Jimmie Lunceford, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, and a handful of others. Deeper Roots sounds from over eight decades past on community radio for Sonoma County coming to you each Friday morning and evening.
We just can’t get enough of this sound, a blend of sounds that cannot be pushed away with the urban renewal of auto-tune and electronic pasteurization. It’s long history of inspiration whose roots are driven by centuries of influence, from Congo Square to Rampart Street, and beyond. Our show today returns to the humid southern climes at the mouth of the Mississippi for some of the very best of rhythm, from Cosimo Matassa’s studios to the clubs that pepper the Crescent City on Bourbon Street. Popular rhythm and blues today from Nawlins inclues some Fats, Professor Longhair, Huey “Piano” Smith, Paul Gayen, Frankie Ford, and a couple dozen others giving us that signature percussive backbeat embellished by pounding piano. It’s a Friday evening celebration here on Sonoma County Community radio.
Sing it loud! It’s a whole new year and our country can take heart without letting our guard down. We’ll celebrate a fresh new start knowing that hard work lies ahead with a two hour show featuring the theme of ‘singing’. Join Dave Stroud once more for a mixed bag; an eclectic blend of sounds from the past century featuring the likes of Ukulele Ike, Wingy Manone, The Cats & The Fiddle, John Sebastian, Cat Power, and a couple of dozen more, all belting out songs about the very act of singing. We’ll take you down Memory Lane with old fashioned songs, simple songs of gospel and freedom, swinging low, singing high, and those joyful sing-alongs we’ve shared over the past century. That’s right. It’s theme time on this week’s Deeper Roots show and we’d love to have you. Join in the festivities.
It’s hard to put into words the grief we have experienced over so many great performers lost this past year, including those who lost their battle to COVID-19. When assembling our annual list of tributes it became clear that no two hours would suffice so we’ll be doing some abbreviated observations to make sure they’re not forgotten. And we’ll also be thanking those behind the scenes, the songwriters, the session folks, and we’ll even have a short collection of British influencers who touched our lives with their talent. Tune in for a comprehensive and reflective show, our first Deeper Roots show of 2021, this new year that is filled with so much promise. And it’s likely that we can all agree that the bar couldn’t have fallen much lower than it did last year.
Happy Holidays! Proving that there is no war on Christmas and looking forward to the coming year, join Dave Stroud as he shares some of the great holiday chestnuts from years past. He’ll be sharing celebratory sounds from every decade, moving the needle from the 40s to the 10s in a new Deeper Roots Christmas shindig. Tune in for everyone from Sister Rosetta Tharpe to Frank Sinatra to Ella, The Andrews Sisters, Los Straitjackets and Otis Redding’s Merry Christmas Baby. As we barrel out of 2020 as fast as we can, we remind ourselves of the fortunes of the few and the need of the many in this season of desperation. So get out that Georgia vote, folks, and stand steadfast against the anarchy of this dying administration’s push towards fascist principles for power. We have the power to do this. We do.
Swing with us here on Deeper Roots on a Friday morning, one week ahead of the Christmas festivities. The big band sound is that apple pie sound that grew out of the traveling musicians and dance hall bands of the 1920s. From the radio to ballrooms across the land, as the jazz orchestras grew in size, the arrangements had to be formalized to avoid mass confusion. The arranger became the focal point of the band. Improvisation during solos was written into the arrangements but their location and duration were controlled and the vocal stylings grew around the easy flowing style of the evolving jazz that would become known as ‘Swing’. Tune in for two hours of exploration of a century of America’s music.
It’s blues time once more. We’re in for a hard winter and before we roll out the Christmas cheer and jingles, it’s time for some deeper reflection. This week’s Deeper Roots show features music from the great blues performers, acoustic and electric, of the past century: Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo, Elmore James, Ray Charles, and a large contingent of the usual suspects. We make our way from Highway 51 to 49, the waterfront to the crossroads, buzzin’, shufflin’, walkin’ blues…all for you this week on KRJF community radio here in Sonoma County. Let your conscience be your guide.
With a new album just released, Dan Penn reminds everyone that there are few songwriters, and only one living, that have influenced (if not defined) the Memphis soul sound as he has. At 78, Dan Penn’s legacy is already sealed with songs that are enduring: “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”, “Dark End of the Street”, “Cry Like a Baby”, and so many more. Our show this Friday had to carefully curate tracks from Irma Thomas, Percy Sledge, Solomon Burke, Arthur Alexander, and a couple dozen more to pay proper tribute. As a musician and songwriter, this Muscle Shoals legend deserves a spot in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and, while never considered a performer, his catalog includes three solo studio albums, one from 1973, another from 1994, and this year’s Living On Mercy. You’ll hear tracks from these and so much more in this morning’s episode of Deeper Roots.
The Great Depression brought to the forefront the blight of runaway capitalism and a country that was not prepared to put safeguards in place for working people, let alone the working poor, until FDR’s New Deal in the 30s. By then it was too late for the many itinerant homeless and impoverished migrant workers who moved from town to town by any means necessary, looking for hope amongst communities of those equally disenfranchised. The itinerant life brought about its own language, hieroglyphics, and rule of law. Our show today rides the rails with the music; songs of the itinerant life. We’ll hear from the likely suspects like Woody and Cisco, Doc Watson, Jimmie Rodgers, and Harry Choates as well as the Goose State Ramblers’ story of Ole Olson, Norman and Nancy Blake’s tale of Hobo Bill, Montana Slim, and Bob Dylan. Tune in Friday morning for the best in roots sounds on the might KOWS Community Radio. 92.5 FM on your dial.