Blues and Roots Radio The Way It Used to Be
Submitted by Sandy Graham
With my Scottish roots and my radio history, how could I not feel an instant kinship with Stevie Connor? The soft spoken burr of the lad from Scotland, now residing here in Canada is enchanting and his dream to make a difference in music is even more noble.
Six years ago, his wife to be Anne travelled to Scotland, to work for a short time in the land of her ancestors. The classic story; they met, fell in love and Stevie followed the lovely Anne back to Canada.
“Anne was instrumental in getting me to continue to do music when I got to Canada. She basically picked up the reins and managed me. I was a professional Piper playing at the highest level and spent 12 years in Edinburgh with the Edinburgh Police Pipe Band. I discovered Canadians have a place in their hearts for bagpipes. I could busk playing guitar, whistle and Pipes and making $400 in an afternoon. Anne would find the right pipe tunes or songs for me to play that would draw a crowd.”
Then fate opened a door. “In 2012 we were asked to do an internet radio show. Two hours was how we started. The short version of this story is we eventually were offered to lease the license and take over the radio station. We decided to do this and we never looked back, buying the station in 2013."
And so it became Blues and Roots Radio – The Voice of the Independent Artist.
“Supporting the indie artist is our mandate at BRR. We have presenters from all over the world who share the love of music. They are all knowledgeable and their shows reflect that knowledge. Most use their own personal collection for the playlists. We have an extremely good relationship with many Canadian community Radio Stations in Canada and around the world. We give the shows and the artists a greater audience globally, as well as having 20 shows that are produced exclusively for BRR."
A few of the presenters with regular rotation shows:
Neil King - Along the Tracks (U.K.)
James Doran – Inside the Blues (Ottawa, Canada)
Stevie Lawrence – Celtic Tapestry (Scotland, U.K.)
Zoe – The Secret Garden (Toronto, Canada)
Paul Long – Blues and Roots Connections (U.K.)
Hamish Douglas Burgess - The Maui Celtic Show (Hawaii)
Ian McKenzie - Wednesday's Even Worse (U.K.)
Stevie Connor – Wee Dan’s House (Toronto, Canada)
Dr. Michael Williams - The Teller and the Tale (Scotland, U.K.)
Neil Mitchell – New Horizon (Australia)
Craig Mills – The Eastern Passage (Toronto, Canada)
Brad Mennie – The Big Groove Radio Show (B.C. Canada)
Daria Kulesh- The 'F' Spot LIVE Sessions (England, U.K.)
Calum MacDonald - The Celticset (Scotland, U.K.)
Rick Stuart - Roots & Fusion (U.K.)
Mike Harding - The Very Best in Folk, Roots, and Acoustic Music (U.K.)
Barry 'Baz' Maxwell - Blues on the Hill (Australia)
For a complete run down visit http://www.bluesandrootsradio.com/shows.html
Just by seeing this partial lineup it is easy to see why there is a difference with this internet station compared to others. BRR also have developed their own Apps for Android and IOS and the player on the website takes the listener straight to iTunes when the playlist is on enabling the tracks to be downloaded straight away which benefits the artist and is at no cost from BRR to them.
The latest exciting announcement is a partnership with Festivals of Australia. Less than a week after launching their new weekend programming aimed specifically at the listeners in Australia and New Zealand, BRR Australia announced a partnership with Festivals of Australia, which will broaden the scope of their online presence, the promotion of artists and ‘Live’ music across Australia, as well as that of Festivals of Australia. “BRR in partnership with FoA will give the platform for Australian artists and promoters, to be seen, heard and read about on a truly global scale. We really want to thank and welcome Festivals of Australia to the B&RR extended global family and look forward to sharing the many exciting ventures already in the planning for this great affiliation."
So in a short six years, Anne and Stevie Connor have changed the landscape of internet radio on a worldwide basis. The amazing team that they have put together on a global basis is growing. Indie music is being given a chance, radio announcers/presenters are recording their own shows, no forced rotations, and individual personalities are encouraged to do their own thing. No Drake system, colour coding, CANCON. Just great music. It truly is radio the way it used to be.
For more visit www.bluesandrootsradio.com