All blues, all the time!

Yeah, I know it’s just for one day, but I’m enjoying WNIB’s broadcasting today. Earlier this week I bade farewell to classical music on WNIB as ownership transferred to Bonneville Broadcasting. Until the new format, whatever it turns out to be, starts in March, they are featuring a single artist or, as today, genre all day and without commercials or disk jockeys. Monday was Streisand (barf!), then Garth Brooks (vomit noises!), the Stones (“Memo From Turner” twice in one day!), the Beach Boys (plenty of odd album tracks!), Sinatra (well…), and, today THE BLUES! Not just BB and Stevie Ray, but Robert Johnson AND Henry Thomas–just about his only airplay EVER, although Canned Heat got plenty of mileage out his quills riff on “Bull Doze Blues!”

Okay, I don’t think that if I had spent $165,000,000 on a radio station I could justify turning it into a blues station, but I’d be hard-pressed to find a better demographic–middle-aged, middle-class, over-educated, white folks who like a good time. People with a few bucks and a little time for the first time since the kids were born, itching for some fun. What a market! And I can’t imagine ANY format making them enough money to pay back their investment, even if radio stations are supposed to be licences to print money. I wonder what their long-term plans are–it has to be something to do with the bandwidth. Broadcast radio, as it stands today, just doesn’t seem to have much future.

Enough thinking! I’m cranking the radio and getting down!

Might as well throw in a Henry Thomas link with sound samples so you know what I’m talking about.

dz, meet Mr. Persephone, blues guitarist extraordinaire.

He shares your feelings on an all-blues-all-the-time radio station. However, it won’t sell. Unless, of course, it’s mostly blues-rock with the occasional roots thrown in for good measure, instead of the other way around.

Don’t get me wrong–blues-rock, IMHO, is great. SRV certainly does not suck (although I myself am more partial to his better brother, Jimmie). Unfortunately, the roots music just isn’t commercial enough, no matter how hard the current crop of blues artists tries to get the masses to appreciate where they’re getting their stuff.

Sigh. Sad, isn’t it?