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WKNC Program Spotlight: Americana, Blues & Co.

One of the reasons I love highlighting WKNC is because of the exposure it gives to genres of music that not only are impossible to find on commercial radio, but even on internet radio broadcasts as well. Americana, Blues, & Co. (Saturdays from 10AM until noon) is a great example, playing the likes of Townes van Zandt, Neko Case, and Willie Nelson. With soothing and soulful tracks, it’s the perfect way to ease in to your Saturday morning.

The show is hosted by Sweet Annie Rich,  who along with former host Steve McCreery was a finalist for Best DJ is the 2008 National Student Production Awards. She took over the show about a year ago.

According to her, one of the main underlying ideas of Americana music is the storytelling nature of it. She went a bit further in explaining it on the WKNC blog:

1. Wait, your DJ name is Sweet Annie Rich?  But that’s not your real name…
2. What is Americana?

To answer the first question, I must say to you: Gram Parsons.  If you do not know who he was, look him up.  It will make answering the second question much, much, MUCH easier.

Secondly… Americana is a LOT of things.  It’s not simply country or bluegrass or rockabilly or what-have-you.  It’s an amalgamation of the genres born right here in America (hence “Americana”), and, to quote the late great Gram Parsons himself: it is Cosmic American Music.  It is where all of the purely American styles come together to create the true spirit of music.  It is pure and transcendent.

–Sweet Annie Rich

Occasionally the show will revolve around a common theme. Past shows have played tracks that centered on religion, or outlaw culture. The next one on the docket is a Southern Gothic theme on Halloween.

The days in which I stayed up late partying and drinking are long gone, but I can say this – if there was a perfect couple of hours to listen to when waking up on Saturday morning with a headache and general malaise from a night of late night fun, this is it.

Sweet Annie Rich does a great job of finding the right balance between traditional favorites (Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, etc.) and playing the lesser known emerging artists in the Americana genre. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the older classics or a recent admirer for this style of music, you’re bound hear something new.

Tune in to 88.1 or catch the web steam on Saturdays from 10AM until noon to hear one of the greatest shows on radio: Americana Blues & Co.

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