February 28, 2014
Charleston is on the verge of getting an exciting new addition to our diverse and vital music scene. Roots Town Radio is a new low-power FM radio station which hopes to begin broadcasting, and also streaming on the internet, later this summer or fall.
The brainchild of Burr Beard, a key player in the local music scene as the administrator of FOOTMAD, and his partner, Dawn Wells, Roots Town Radio will operate as a non-profit, and will feature a mix of American Roots music, including Alt-country, Blues, Folk, Bluegrass, Jazz, Celtic, and select tracks of Classic Country and Southern Rock. The station will feature local volunteer DJs and showcase local musicians and fill the airwaves with styles of music not normally found on commercial radio.
The low-power license means that the broadcast reach of what will be WXDB, 95.7 will be about 50,000 people in and around Charleston, but with internet streaming, the audience is limited only by internet access.
There is an IndieGoGo campaign, with about a month left, up and running. The goal is to raise $10,000 to help with the start-up costs for Roots Town Radio. You can check out the Roots Town Radio campaign here. There are a variety of levels to contribute, and the dividends will be terrific. Having a local broadcast outlet will elevate the local music scene to new heights.
I’ve been trying to shine an international spotlight on Charleston and West Virginia music for eight years with almost two hundred episodes of Radio Free Charleston, but despite very generous coverage in The Charleston Gazette, Radio Free Charleston has managed to fly under most people’s radar by being an internet-only entitiy.
Roots Town Radio, with a daily broadcast presence, will really draw in the community and be a constant reminder that Charleston has a diverse and enormous pool of talented creative people making music, and can compete with any city in America in terms of sheer musical power.
We have the musicians, now we need to build the audience. With Roots Town Radio we can make local music a daily part of life in Charleston. This could be the missing piece in the puzzle to establish Charleston as a vital music city, and not just a place that makes the news for misery and licorice water.