The Blog

  • Rich Kassirer

Issue 34: Feeding the Soul

It’s easy to knock commercial radio stations. Most are owned by corporations out to keep profit margins high and risk-taking low.

This translates into computer-generated playlists that strictly follow formats – adult contemporary, alternative rock, classic rock, dance music – that cater to the public relations machines of record companies and their stable of stars.

It leaves little space for DJs to play something different or for listeners to hear something new.

But Lisa Garvey, at WXRV-FM out of the Boston area, has actually broken out.

In a time when jazz has all but disappeared on commercial radio, Garvey embraces it, along with soul and blues on her Sunday morning show “Brunch By the River.” It’s a mix of music that has an uncanny groove, and is a perfect weekend wake-me-up.

And guess what? Listeners love it.

Check out what Garvey’s fans already know: Her show has soul.

And if you are looking for other cool radio stations to tune in to, check out our list of favorites. Even if you don’t live in the city they broadcast from, you can listen to them all via the Internet.

Also, in this issue, we take you along with us on our whirlwind summer of concerts.

We go from intimate clubs to see songwriting duo Thao & Mirah and up-and-comer Amy Black, to large-scale outdoor venues to catch the Green River and Newport folk festivals featuring such acts as Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers, jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, Gillian Welch and the Decemberists, as well as the Bank of America Pavilion to catch up with Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. You can relive all the excitement in words and pictures.

And after that, it’s on to the fall for more shows. See you there!

To download the new issue, click HERE

Song that helped us survive this issue:

1. “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Just as I am,” Bill Withers. This blast from the past is always welcome.

2. “The Way It Goes,” “The Harrow & the Harvest,” Gillian Welch. The most upbeat tempo on the album.

3. “Comfortably Numb,” “My Better Self,” Dar Williams. A cool cover, with a little help from Ani DiFranco.

4. “Masters of War” “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” Bob Dylan. Once in a you need a good dose of cynicism.

5. “Captain Kirk,” “I’m Good Now,” Bob Schneider. A fun little ditty.

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