I’m very impatient sometimes – I want things to happen NOW, if not, then yesterday. Occasionally I can get very frustrated that BLUES TRAIN doesn’t always get the feedback it deserves. I see other shows on Facebook that get more ‘likes’ when a show is announced, or more people saying they will be or have tuned in. I do get some regular names saying nice things, for which I will always be grateful but would love some more. For any presenter, especially on community radio I would imagine, feedback is about the biggest thing that can happen. As long as its good feedback! I sometimes get paranoid – over 300 ‘likes’ on my group but a tiny % that ever say anything. [ Although when compared to other shows, its probably not that different to be honest…]
When I think about it though, I’ve done really well so far, for such a new show, compared to many others. I’ve done less than a year – only started on January 2011 – and have only been doing it four weekly up until now, when I have just been able to start a fortnightly edition. Up against shows that have been around for much longer and that go out weekly, for two hours, on full FM stations…I’ve still been able to get the name out there and recognised as being half decent. I’ve been picked up by KCOR, one of THE best blues stations on the globe. And now Charlietown Blues have approached me to be on their schedules, one of only three scheduled shows. There is also the possibility of another slot on a Canadian station and I’m on the trail of another in Oz.
I’ve had contact with the guys at Nottingham Blues Society, with a view to being among the stations involved with the 2012 British Blues Awards. I’ve had the backing of some key promoters in the UK and the US. Great musicians have given me their music to play and given me good feedback when I’ve sent the completed show to them. I get new contacts pretty much every week at the minute – people that have seen my show details somewhere and taken the time to find me. I have had Jon Amor visit the studio for a chat and had an appointment with Paul Jones!
So…that’s not too bad for a show that has gone out about twelve times so far, is it??
I don’t like using the word ‘compete’ in relation to other shows. So far, the experience I’ve had is that blues presenters help each other, whether it be plugging or giving advice or contacts and that has been one of the best things so far. Even when shows clash [ there are only so many days in the week, its bound to happen ], it doesn’t seem to matter too much, although some programmes will always get more listeners than others. I am quite happy that I will probably always be a smaller show that has to battle for whatever listeners it can find! I will always battle though because for me, its all about the music I play and it deserves to be heard, whether it be by 50 or 500 or 5000 or…
I pride myself that some of the artists I play, haven’t been played on other UK shows yet. I will keep doing this as I only play songs I like and with it being two hours each month, it means its all killer and no filler. Some other shows are lucky enough to have live sessions each week and that is great – I won’t be doing that on a regular basis though, as 1) they will always have better facilities to do that and 2) I want Blues Train to offer and alternative, not to just try and copy what others can do. If we were all the same, that wouldn’t be so good!
Not everyone has the time to listen to all the great two hour shows each week, so again, the alternative is to offer an hour show, filled with great tunes, with some artists they won’t have heard much if at all, that can be downloaded to the iPod and listened to on the way to work or while chilling at home.
During 2012, I’d like to slowly keep building what I do and keep trying to find new people to listen. I’d like to establish myself as a good name in the blues radio world. I’ll never be so lucky as to get nominations in awards and all that kind of thing but maybe, if I got even one or two votes, that would be awesome. Just to be recognised as ‘quite good’ at what I do. Good enough to be mentioned in the same circles as some of the awesome shows that are out there. Even Gary Grainger admitted it took him a long time to build to where he is now – I may never get that far but halfway would be great!
I don’t shout about things as a rule, maybe that has held me back in various ways but really, on a pro rata [ ie: that I can do two hours a month, not two hours a week! ], I feel the music I play is as good as most shows out there and I just want it to keep nudging people and finding the audiences that don’t know I’m here yet but am sure would enjoy it!
Any help in telling people you know would be most welcome….and thanks for reading!