I spent two years in Asheville, North Carolina and during that timespan I have many fond memories of people, places, and things. The soundtrack to my time spent in Asheville comes from both the amazing live music scene, and the most amazing public radio station that I have encountered in my life to date, WNCW 88.7
You can listen live to their radio stream through iTunes by clicking here.
What initially attracted me to this radio station was the mountain music. Growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania my only outlet to traditional styled mountain music was the occasional recommendation. WNCW's "Goin' Across the Mountain" program (10:30am to 7pm EST every Saturday) introduced me to more fabulous mountain music than I could keep track of. Every time I would hear the radio in the car I would be frantically writing down artist names and song lyrics (I found out months later that they have a very user friendly section of their site to help you find a song's information. There is also a Sunday block called "This Old Porch" (2:30pm to 6:30pm EST every Sunday) which features some good ol' fashioned pickin'.
But Goin' Across the Mountain and This Old Porch are only the beginning.
Let's jump forward to "Frank on Friday's" (12pm – 1pm EST every Friday) where you get an hour of Frank Zappa tunes and Frank Zappa themed conversation. I don't care if you like his music or not, nothing gets you ready for the weekend quite like "Frank on Friday." This was the soundtrack to my Friday lunch breaks.
How do you feel about the Grateful Dead? Because Wednesday nights you get hit with an insomniac's dose of it with "The Grateful Dead Hour" (8pm to 9pm EST every Wednesday) and "Dead Air" (9pm – 1am EST every Wednesday.) Both these programs (especially "Dead Air") play live tracks and obscure songs mixed in with the popular stuff. This time block reminds me of post roller hockey time, drinking PBR and recapping the nights game.
WNCW often broadcasts live performances. One (at least) has been featured on this site already. Check out a video "The New Familiars" playing in Studio B, and broadcasting live to the world. WNCW will also broadcast live from area shows. The annual event Christmas Jam is heavily covered by the Spindale, NC station. By the way if you are unfamiliar with the Christmas Jam, check it out. I was lucky enough to attend last holiday season. Star studded and for a great cause. What would Warren Hanes Do?
Dave wrote an article about listening habits and I have been doing my best to begin one. Saturday mornings, 10:30am, listening to WNCW's "Going Across the Mountain" and eating breakfast. I'm sure in the future this ritual will become more specific, at this point in my life this is about as much routine as I can commit to. If you love mountain music, I urge you to check out "Going Across the Mountain" (10:30am to or "This Old Porch" (2:30pm to 5:30pm EST every Sunday). For everyone else, I am confidant that if you are reading this blog you fancy yourself a music appreciator. You have to give this station a listen. Check out their schedule and click on a program to learn more about it. Kyle wrote recently that all the new music he is digging is coming out of North Carolina. This station let's you tap into the main line. Hear something you love? Tell me in a comment, because there is a good chance I missed it, because there is just too much great music to absorb it all. Listening to this radio station will become a life long (wonderful) endeavor.
WNCW has everything from Gospel and Celtic Fiddle music to rock and roll. There is a feature about the Dirty Projectors on right now, and a live track just began playing. (11:22 EST). This station has something for everyone, and thanks to the Intraweb everyone worldwide can now share this slice of mountain radio heaven.
Do you know of any great radio stations? Don't hold out on us, leave a comment and let us know.