You may not really care much about me as much as the music but I’m going to tell you anyway!
I have lived in Frome, Somerset, since October 2008 – before that, I was mainly a Blandford Forum, Dorset man. I met my wife-to-be, Jen, at the local Tesco where we both worked and soon found out she was from Frome [ about 30 miles away from Blandford ]. Once we were together, I began visiting Frome to see her family and slowly grew to like the place! It is a bigger town than Blandford with much more going on, including the Community Radio Station.
We eventually settled down and decided after a couple of years to re-locate to Frome for a variety of reasons I wont bore you with here. Just to say, I live here with Jen, 6 years married as of December 2011, with our little lad, Dan [ who is sometimes in the studio when I do the show, not always happily though! ).
I then bugged Phil Moakes @ FromeFM and he seemed only too willing to let me have a crack at doing a show. My original first wish was to do a rock show but this was already being done very well. My next choice was a sport show, as I had been Managing a Sunday League football club and had previously played volleyball to a very average level. This was something FFM was looking for, so SPORT PIE was born. [ This is still my log-in name for this site ].
I started that in 2009 and after the first year of doing it, the show was the number one rated on FFM! Eventually, I felt the need to do a music based show, as guests were becoming a little harder to find for the sport show and it involved a lot of talking and hardly any music. I had always enjoyed blues music, without it being my first love [ which was rock music ] but I did have quite a few blues CDs and had seen the likes of Gary Moore, Dave Hole and Jeff Healey in concert, along with the likes of The Hamsters. So I suggested it as a show and was lucky enough to be given the green light.
After coming up with a list of possible names for the show, between a few of us, it was thought that BLUES TRAIN was a cool name and this stuck. I have since thought of a few names I would maybe have preferred but too late to change now!
I was struck immediately by how the blues community help each other – as a brand new name, I still found that promoters, musicians and fans were only still too happy to help. I had loads of music sent to me and so in January 2011, the first show went out on a monthly basis. Obviously, across the globe and in the UK in particular, there are so many quality blues show each week – community radio being particularly strong. I may well never reach the heights of those guys but I seem to have slowly gained a foothold among the community and hope this will carry on in 2012.
I feel so lucky to have been accepted as a trusted name – the show is fortnightly and with new names contacting me almost every day now, I can hopefully keep growing. I still don’t have enough time on air to play every great song on each show but this is what I have to work with for the time being. Family committments means a weekly show is just not achievable right now.
I may not be a blues encyclopedia, I might not be able to tell you who first performed a particular track in 1923, I may not be able to pin point who played bass on The Thrill Is Gone, I may have no musical skills whatsoever. I can’t bring you live sessions very often, or live phone calls.
However, what I can bring you, is a real down to earth show. I play what I like and what I think you’ll like too. No airs or graces, you can enjoy this whether you know everything, or whether you are not sure yet. Its a 60 minute bite-sized portion of great blues from around the world, much of which you haven’t heard on other shows yet. I love to find new names and play them for you! The weekly two hour shows are amazing and you should listen to them all – however, I offer an alternative – if you haven’t got time for them, an hour is easily found.
Make sure you have subscribed on iTunes or one of the podcast Apps and its a great show for your mp3 player.
Blues Train was recently shown to be the most popular show on FFM for 2011, which is amazing for a supposed niche musical market and I thank everyone that clicked my link to have a listen. I will strive to improve across 2012 and hope that if you like what you hear, you will keep listening and also help me spread the word to even more people!