Ithaca Blog

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Dueling Banjos on Ithaca Sunday Morning Radio

Ithaca now has two locally-produced, marathon folk music programs on Sunday mornings.

After years of hosting Nonesuch on WVBR, Tracey Craig packed her leaving trunk a few weeks ago to start a new show, Rootabaga Boogie [sic], on a new station, WITH-FM, a little further left on the dial.

After a couple of weeks of improvising, Nonesuch has installed a new permanent host, Nicholas Hill, for the first two hours of the broadcast; the remaining hours will be hosted by a rotating cast of jocks.

We are listening to both right now. Nick sounds a little uncertain about the this and that, but inviting nonetheless. So far, his selections are tried-and-true, such as Peggy Seeger, Ewan McCall, and Johnny Cash (singing "Joshua Gone Barbados," a cover new to us, and a great one).

Meanwhile, Tracey is doing what Tracey does, an idiosyncratic take on multiple genres that she construes as, foremost, an Ithaca blend; and she should know, having done it many years, as well as presenting live shows at venues large and small.

Tracey's new show is 2 hours, versus 4.5 hours at Nonesuch. Still, she manages to pack in interviews and live studio sets by local and visiting musicians.

We hope and trust the competition will be healthy and fun for all. Thanks to Tracey for keeping on and to Nick for jumping in.

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