DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

BluzNdaBlood Podcast

Posted in Music Stories by darielb on January 29, 2009

Twice a month Dave Harrison records a one-hour
segment of his increasingly popular blues podcast, BluzNdaBlood.
Recording from his studio in Roanoke, Virginia,
Dave still considers this his hobby. “By day,” he says,
“I’m a 30-year veteran in information technology at a
nearby community college.”

Even so, he’s attracting a growing number of fans,
artists and industry folks who recognize
the value of what he has to offer. For one
thing, the guy loves the blues and he’s committed to
promoting blues musicians – both household names
and unknowns.

BluzNdaBlood is available
for for listening and free download through
iTunes at www.bluzndablood.com. If iTunes isn’t
your thing, visit bluandablood.libsyn.com where
you can pick and choose which podcast you want.
You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel at
www.youtube.com/user/bluzndablood. You’ll find
performances by Coco Montoya, Watermelon Slim,
Big Bill Morganfield, Janiva Magness, E.G. Kight
and more.

Dave figures there are typically 2,000 downloads
each month from blues lovers in about 70 different
countries. His loyal fan base emails him with kudos
and suggestions on a regular basis.

“Sometimes, if I take longer than usual to produce
a show, I’ll start to get emails from people
checking on me. They want to make sure I’m okay,”
he told me.

Producing the podcast since 2006, Dave is currently
working on his 62nd show.

The commercial-free production has four basic
formats. Most often, BluzNdaBlood is presented in a
standard radio format. Often, a show is themed,
such as the upcoming Blues Yule Love holiday
show. One of his highest ranking shows has been
the Funny Bone Blues Show, featuring a mix of
sometimes raunchy, always irreverent tunes such as
“Sleeping With Michael Jackson” by Papa Joe
Grappa
. Dave goes so far as to find equally outrageous
“commercials” to run in between tunes. “This
show is really a lot of work,” Dave laughs, “People
love it though; I get lots of email on the Funny Bone
show. In fact, I’ve done two of them now.” Another
recent theme show was last month’s podcast, The
Devil’s Music
, especially for Halloween.

Other recording formats include interview
shows, featured artist shows and festivals.
Earlier this month, Dave had the opportunity to
interview Braille Blues Daddy, Bryan Lee and he
devoted a whole show to him. Bryan Lee, if you
aren’t familiar with him, heads up his own band
and plays on the Kenny Wayne Shephard DVD, “Ten
Days Out.” Before listening to this show, I’d never
heard of Bryan Lee, which is exactly why Dave’s
podcast is so important. It’s helping to expose more
listeners to the rich heritage that is the blues.

Another engaging interview, and one of Dave’s
favorites, was with Watermelon Slim. “He was such
a great guy, so down to earth. The interview was in a
hotel room, though, so the quality wasn’t the greatest.”

The interview was especially meaningful for
Dave because it took place right after the Virginia
Tech tragedy. “It helped me move past that,” said
Dave. “You know, it was right here. Anyway, I gave
him a Tech hat and he wore it that night.”

Featured artist shows have included blues guitarist
Debbie Davies (who, you may remember, put
on a great show at Ducks during last February’s DJ
Throwdown
) and Janiva Magness.

The fourth category is festival format. Dave often
helps promote various blues festivals by producing a
podcast that features the festival’s artists. For the past
two years he has featured the National Women In
Blues Festival
, held in Wilmington, North Carolina.

“You asked how I got involved with Women In
Blues,” he said. “I had found this book … with a bright pink
cover. It was called “A Bad Woman Feeling Good: Blues
and the Women Who Sing Them” by Buzzy Jackson. I
did some research on the Internet and a link showed up
to the National Women In Blues Festival. I contacted
Michele Seidman [festival organizer and lead singer for
Michele and the Midnight Blues band]. Michele is just
someone who has music in her soul. I did two preview
podcasts and videotaped the 2007 festival.
Through that I interviewed [headliners] Deanna
Bogart
and E.G. Kight, although I haven’t released
those interviews yet.

Other BluzNdaBlood festival podcasts include the
Blue Ridge Blues & Barbecue Festival and
the Big Lick Blues Festival, both held in Roanoke.

When I asked Dave during our telephone interview
which were his favorite shows, his voice took
on a pained quality. I think it was tantamount to
choosing a favorite child. “I hand pick every song,
so I love every show. I used to worry that I’d run
out of music, but it hasn’t happened.”

BluzNdaBlood has recently cut a deal with
KCOR, Kansas City Online, a weekly Internet radio
show airing on Saturdays at 2 p.m. Central time. In
between Dave’s current podcasts, KCOR will run
Blues Blast From The Past (from Dave’s archives of
podcasts). Airing this coming Saturday, Dec. 6 is the
original Funny Bone Blues Show.

If you’re on MySpace, Dave invites you to visit
his page (www.myspace.com/bluzndablood) and
add him to your friends list, and I definitely recommend
adding Dave Harrison’s BluzNdaBlood podcasts
to your iPod.

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