If you have a radio project that you'd like to talk about, contact me.
Lives in MusicMy latest project, the Lives in Music podcast, launched on October 6 2019. This is a twenty-part series (so far), published in series of ten, covering musicians and music people who have spent 40 years or more in their field. This means great stories and some very interesting perspectives. Series 3 will follow once Covid-19 recedes and our music scene can recover and grow again - interesting stories guaranteed!
Radio Classic FinlandI've just (June 2020) wrapped up my third Classical database project: two months sorting out a very messy database inherited by Radio Classic in Finland, working remotely with their team, using GSelector. I was due to head over there but Covid-19 put paid to that. I love this work, demanding though it can be; this job was extremely multi-lingual! Each place is different and unique. Localness is so important, and Finland is an interesting place for Classical music. I'm working on a detailed account for future blog publication.
In April 2019 I wrapped up a six month consult contract for Bauer Media, setting up the scheduling database and systems for their new Classical Station, Scala Radio. Scala launched on March 4th 2019. It's the second Classical Station I've had the pleasure work work form, after RTE Lyric FM, working off a large music database, which is my preferred kind of radio.
I like to tell stories. It's what the blog is all about. I do radio for the love of it; the shows generally feature great local talent.Two birds, one stone. All current work is also available, gratis, for small-scale radio stations. Just get in touch.
A Conversation With Music: Gordon Giltrap aired on Brum Radio in March 2018. The concept is simple. I sit with a great musician; we talk; he or she plays; I record. Harder to do than you might think, as lots of stars need to align. They did for Gordon Giltrap, who is charm personified and has a fund of amazing stories.
Chris Bowden: The Lost Concert premiered on Brum Radio in January 2018: a 2 hour documentary with an explosive, as yet unheard concert from the CBSO centre, and frank interviews on the darker side of the music business.It took a lot of time to put together, and a number of friends on the Birmingham Music were instrumental in this project.
Brum Radio work
Musicians turn DJ! Local musicians talk - passionately - about their favourite music. It's always interesting, frequently a compelling listen. Some shows are in interview format, others are hosted by the musicians themselves.
Matthew Edwards Part 1 and Part 2
Carolyn and Mark Evans of Red Shoes
Rob Lloyd of the Nightingales Part 1 and Part 2
Call Me Unique
Horace Panter (The Specials)
Pete Williams Part 1 and Part 2
Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff)
Bob and Toby Wilson
Brian Travers (UB40)
Ryan Webb (Rhino and the Ranters)
Lydia Glanville (Boat To Row)
Terry and Gerry
Live and Local
Exactly what it says on the tin. Live shows, recorded locally. These shows feature West Midlands musicians playing live across the region. Acts range from up and coming to established names.
Goodnight Lenin say goodnight at the Hare and Hounds, September 2017
Snapshots from Moseley Folk, September 2017
The Jim Jam at the Robin 2 Bilston, June 2107
Mahalia playing her first Brum headliner at Glee Club, July 2016
Steve Ajao Blues Giants at Tenbury Wells Festival June 2016
Bentley Rhythm Ace with their standout hit live set at Lunar Festival 2016
Kim Lowings headlining Showcase night (a solo set) at the Blue Piano
Dan Whitehouse at Newhampton Arts Centre Wolverhampton Hannah Brown headlining at the Hare and Hounds
Ed Geater EP launch night at the Sunflower Lounge
Brum Radio Launch pt 2 Terry and Gerry
Brum Radio Launch pt 1 ViX and her MsChiefs, Bank Accounts, Anthony Price
Trevor Burton Powerhouse rock from a founder member of The Move
Tom Walker Trio Blues from a great young guitarist and a killer rhythm section.
Mellow Peaches Acoustic Americana from two genius guitarists
Chris Cleverley A fine new folk talent debuting his new album
Steelin the Blues Veterans Steve Ajao and Stewart Johnson
Ricky Cool and the In Crowd Very fiiiine 60s R and B and Ska grooves
Acoustic Night at the Jamhouse New talent at one of Brum's finest venues. Well worth exploring.
West Midlands music professionals, interviewed. Terrific stories.
Clare Edwards of Notorious Choir
Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals and a lot more.
Sam Slater, the jazz power behind Stoney Lane records
Surinder Sandhu Part 1 and Part 2
Ben Drummond, guitar player extraordinaire and go-to JamHouse muso guy
Caitlin Whitaker, much missed Brum Radio launch DJ
Andrew Morton of the extraordinary songwriter-oriented nights at the Blue Piano
Lisa Travers, Jazz booster of this parish
DJ Wilson long-term promoter and DJ
Gavin Monaghan of Magic Garden Studios Part 1 and Part 2
Cally Callomon: the man who sparked fresh interest in the music of Nick Drake
Joe Broughton runs UFQ, The Folk Ensemble, and a lot more. Amazing fiddle player
John Fell of Lunar, Moseley Folk and Mostly Jazz festivals (and Good Night Lenin)
Steve Broughton Lunt part 1 and part 2 A 70s hero in City Boy; now NYC power player.
Rob Bruce of the legendary Rich Bitch Studios. Everyone recorded or rehearsed there.
Matt Beck and Tom Hopkins of Birmingham Indie promoters This is Tmrw
Tom Hyland of Swingamajig and Electric Swing Circus
Dave Travis of the legendary Click Club at Burberries
Adam Regan part 1 and part 2 The owner of the UK's best small venue, Birmingham's Hare and Hounds, and a veteran live DJ in his own right.
John Mostyn Manager of fine bands; he ran Highbury Studio; 40 years in the biz
Roy and Jaci Davis Lovely stuff from the MadHouse team. 30 years plus in the biz.
Roy Williams part 1 and part 2 All about JB's Dudley and a certain Mr Plant
In The Studio
Recorded in a music studio - not a radio studio - musicians talk and play, live. A relaxed and intimate portrait of musicianship, this show aims to be much more than a straight interview with live songs. At its best, it's a unique portrait of musicians and their musicianship.
Steve Gibbons with John Caswell
Steve Ajao with Adrian Wakelin
Catherine Howe and Vo Fletcher
Kris Halpin Music, politics and the mi.mu gloves
Live on-air work
Quite rare nowadays. I was privileged to be part of Paul Murphy's team for the last years of his Songwriters Cafe concerts. Here is a short personal tribute, presented live on Brum Radio on Friday 29 January 2016, the day his family announced his passing.
Produced in 2010 for Birmingham Music Heritage, and first broadcast on BBC WM as well as a number of community stations, this Sony Awards-nominated documentary celebrates the great Birmingham musicians who launched British Reggae in the 70s and 80s. With interviews with Andy Hamilton, Muff Winwood, Robin Cambell, Rankin Roger, Ruby Turner, Apache Indian, Basil Gabbidon and many more.
In 2013, this programme was picked up for broadcast by PBS radio in the USA, and in 2015, by Radio New Zealand.
Follow this link to listen.
Up until 2014, a yearly summer season of shows was hosted by Paul Murphy - see above - in a secret venue. It showcased singer-songwriter talent new and old to invited audiences in a magical setting. This show, and subsequent Songwriters Cafe shows, went out on community radio, on Radio To Go and Paul Murphy's websites, to great acclaim.
Follow this link to listen to the first programme, and find later programmes in the series.
All of the above are available to radio. Contact me for details.
Robin Valk at Radio To Go 2019.