When we began Great River Radio three years ago (our first show was on November 15, 2006), this is how we introduced ourselves and described what we were trying to do:
We are two guys for whom music is essential to the way we experience the world on a daily basis – it’s about people and relationships, love and faith, brokenness, grace, redemption; it’s work and food and it’s hunger and satisfaction, it is about conflict and rebellion, peace, poetry, art and energy; it is Saturday night and Sunday morning.
We are going to focus on good songwriting and real instruments played by real people. We are also going to surprise, because the world is surprising.
Something that Warren Zevon said about why he writes might apply here as well:
‘People write because the world strikes them as being a marvelous place, and they want to keep bringing that to everybody’s attention. You know, a scary place, a menacing place, an exciting place because it’s scary and menacing. but mainly, kind of glorious.’
That’s how we feel about music.
In the nearly three years since that evening, we’ve produced almost 100 Great River Radio shows. Many have been very carefully planned around certain themes – guilty pleasures, ghosts and saints, road music, movie music, summer, fathers and sons, love. And there have been our Social Justice Awareness Week shows, in which we’ve highlighted music and information around issues of importance to our society: work, the health of the river, food, criminal justice. More shows have just happened – we’ve met in the studio a few minutes before the show began, got out our ipods and started playing music, not sure where the evening would go. Some of those shows have pleased us the most – the serendipitous blending of the music of the preceding week, coming together out of two guys’ experience and somehow making sense.
There have been changes, of course – we no longer bring a bag of CDs to play as we did on that first evening in 2006, the KUST studio has been moved and upgraded, our show has changed days, we now have this spiffy web page and we’re archiving most shows so that you may listen to them whenever you wish.
We hope you have enjoyed the show as much as we have enjoyed the process of delivering it to you. Over the years, we’ve heard from a great many of you and we really do consider Great River Radio to be a conversation between all of you and the two of us.
In the coming year, we want to continue that conversation, bring you the music that captures our attention each week – for whatever reason – and spend a couple hours just listening and talking. An important part of our conversation will be to continue to hear from you – either during the show via Twitter (kustradio) or iChat (kustradio), or throughout the week via posting here on the Great River Radio website or directly to Brian or Dan via email.
This season, we would like to develop a short theme for each show. Let’s call it “Confluence” – your river joining our river. You – the savvy listener – can suggest a broad theme and we’ll see what music we can come up with. You can even request a song to be included during that weekly segment. (For instance, “Bread” or “Desolation” or “Pie”.) It’s the Great River Radio version of a request line … or stump the chumps. We’ll keep a running list of possible segment themes on the Great River Radio website and use them for inspiration.
The 2009-2010 season of Great River Radio kicks off tomorrow afternoon. Thanks again for all your heartfelt support and regular contributions to the show these last three years. As we’ve said before, without you we’re just a couple of guys sitting in a basement listening to good music. It helps to know that you’re with us for the ride at Great River Radio.
Dan and Brian