by Charlie Hansen
Greetings from the not-so-sunny, not-so-warm south. We hope all the turkey has been digested and life is beginning to get back to normal. We’d like to wish everyone, especially the music community, the happiest and most prosperous of new years.
The music scene in this part of the south is pretty quiet this time of year but an explosion takes place shortly after Christmas when all the northerners arrive and begin to thaw out.
Just a couple of personal notes to mention this month. Bluegrass Island, the radio program that I’m associated with turns eighteen-years-old a little later in January and it’s been a delight for all those years and all in all the program has been a labour of love as far as the music is concerned. We started on reel to reel tape, proceeded to a new building and recording to hard disc with the use of CD players to finally preparing the show where ever in the world we happen to be by way of digital downloads of music and uploads of the show via the Internet.
Over the years, due to the cost of postage, the flow of CDs has diminished to a trickle and most of the music for the show is downloaded from record company websites or such download sites as AirplayDirect or Radio Submit. These sites are very convenient and efficient, but they lack the feel of the product in your hand.
Many of the download sites don’t include any information on the writers, publishers, etc. which makes it almost impossible to use the material. A number of the record labels have come on board by allowing us to download the liner notes but many of the labels do not which makes it difficult to air a lot of great music.
The program, I hope, has allowed the listeners to hear a lot of great music that they normally wouldn’t hear and I’m grateful to those who listen faithfully and have for many years. I hope to be able to bring you many more years of great bluegrass.
Another personal note is that I am about to embark on a project that I have wanted to do for many years. I’m in the process of recording a project with my son, Charles Jr. This is a collection of songs that I’ve admired for many years and includes songs by Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, The Searchers, Sam Cook, Warren Zevon, Marianne Faithful, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Work. Much of the material was chosen by my son who is a teacher at Berklee College of Music in Boston so as you can see this will be a struggle for me but I’ve loved every note so far. This CD won’t be for sale so this isn’t shameless self-promotion.
That’s all for now so until next time don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass music and listen to (the eighteen year old) Bluegrass Island every Sunday at 9 pm on CFCY 95.1 FM in Charlottetown and on the web at cfcy.fm.