Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shortwave Blues

There are all kinds of local blues radio shows around here, just check the WQRZ-LP and WWOZ web pages.  But if you want long-distance up-north blues, the shortwave show Last Radio Playing (from a line in Bob Dylan's song Shooting Star) is the answer.  Because it's on shortwave, the frequencies and times are all over the place.  You'll have to go check the hosting station's schedule over at the swamp that calls itself WWCR.  Here's a direct link – search on "Last Radio" and even then it's not easy viewing.  Currently Last Radio Playing is on starting at 7pm Friday @4840 kHz, again at midnight Friday (well, Saturday morning) @3215 kHz, 11pm on Saturday @3215 kHz, 6pm Sunday @9350 kHz, again Sunday at 8pm @3215 kHz, and 6pm Tuesday @9350 kHz.  There, got all that?  Yeah, no wonder shortwave's not so popular with the kiddies.  And for added fun, the frequencies shift with the seasons, usually to lower frequencies for better propagation as the nights get longer, so you got to keep checking the schedule.

But.  It is worth it.

Look at last weekend's line-up (forgive the spelling, I'm not going to go look these up, bunch aren't on the web anyway): JB Hutto & The Hawks, Chris Duarte, Memphis Slim, Slim Harpo, T-Bone Walker, Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen, a big long interview with Todd Edmunds the bass player (way better than the one Mr. Rogers did), Shawn Starsky, and wrapped up with Link Ray.  And I've left some out. Tonight was the Halloween run-up show, with everything from BB King to Echo and the Bunnymen then back to Screamin' Jay Hawkins doing I put a spell on you.  "Eclectic" isn't a strong enough word here.  (the term scattershot sorta works, and so did the show)  Bonus, you can pretty well get this anywhere on the globe you happen to be with the right receiver and a big enough wire hanging out of it.

But if you stray outside of this show and maybe the country music show that sometimes follows, hoo-boy, watch out.  WWCR is indeed a swamp, a very strange swamp.  Enjoy this island of blues in its midst.

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