New present on KSKQ constructed round authentic songs written by Rogue Valley musicians
Gus Johnson prepares to document a radio present for KSKQ in his studio in Jacksonville. [Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune]
John Bartolero, left, and Steve Yungen heat up earlier than the “KSKQ Presents — Southern Oregon Songwriters” present. [Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune]
The solar was setting behind the Jacksonville mountains final Wednesday and the crickets have been on the point of sing as Gus Johnson listened to his visitors heat up his guitar within the yard.
John Bartolero and Steve Yungen, members of the Southern Oregon Songwriters Affiliation, have been getting ready to enter Johnson’s house studio, the place he hosts the brand new radio present “KSKQ Presents — Southern Oregon Songwriters.”
Each Wednesday at 6 p.m., authentic songs written by Rogue Valley musicians will probably be featured on KSKQ airwaves, launched by Johnson’s heat, soulful vocals.
The primary present, which will be heard on 89.5 FM in Ashland and 94.1 FM in Medford, is scheduled to air on October 5.
This system is a return to an important service for KSKQ, stated Jeff Westergaard, director of the nonprofit station’s volunteer program and a full-time third-grade trainer.
“Particularly after the pandemic, it is so vital to assist musicians — and to assist native musicians utilizing probably the most native type of media, which is group radio,” he stated.
The station had a program, “Hear My Tune,” Westergaard stated, but it surely collapsed throughout COVID-19 as a result of it wasn’t attainable to have individuals within the studio.
Now that social distancing restrictions have been relaxed, Johnson has his own residence studio the place he can document the whole present, bundle it up and ship it to the station.
Johnson and his buddies walked round the home with their guitars final week and stepped right into a again room lined with floor-to-ceiling rugs and materials. Getting into the room prompted a sinking sensation from the tender, dense carpet. The colours are heat and the sounds of the vocals and guitars are hotter.
For the third studio, Johnson defined, he used all his information of the way to management how sound can bounce round a room. With out naked partitions to create that boxy sound frequent in house recordings and podcasts, the softness of the room accentuates and sweetens the sound.
As Bartolero warmed up, Johnson turned to a pill arrange subsequent to a keyboard, his instructions for the present.
“It is a far cry from revolving tables,” he stated.
Johnson started with two songs from YouTube uploads, performed via a pc’s audio system and captured by a microphone within the studio. Bartolero watched the recordings on YouTube and carried out his personal work stay within the studio.
The completed session, Johnson defined, will probably be edited via the software program on his pill. As soon as it is positive it is away from any coughs and a shock announcement on YouTube, it will likely be despatched to the radio station for airing.
This hybrid recording type permits him to seize a variety of latest and long-recorded music. Johnson stated he hopes the present will probably be a highlight for native songwriters. Whereas it is by no means been simpler to document music and get it on the market, he stated, getting heard and located remains to be a problem.
“It is broad open for musicians; there may be the chance to publish. Getting individuals to listen to it’s a complete different story,” he stated.
native songwriters can submit entries to the present by way of an internet type discovered at https://bit.ly/3M7xYzt.
Johnson stated she likes to think about herself as tolerant and desires the present to have a variety of genres, types and voices.
“They’re dangerous songs,” he stated. “I’ll put up with quite a lot of issues. Generally I will assume OK, however different instances I will assume no, I actually do not take two minutes anymore enjoying that E chord.”
Radio prep is a very powerful factor he listens to, apart from a particular tune and staying on key. Technical points equivalent to tender vocals, an excessive amount of reverb or chatter will possible get a track rejected, he defined.
Johnson pointed to a stack of CDs on his digital keyboard and stated he was “mining” music — mining CDs he is collected from native songwriters through the years. He additionally despatched details about the present to native recording studios and makes use of his personal information to attempt to discover musicians previously affiliated with the Southern Oregon Songwriters Affiliation.
Every track performed within the present goes right into a spreadsheet, which helps information the present as Johnson works via the submitted songs and provides him the skeleton for an archive he envisions.
As soon as he has all of it—artist, style, track title, and artist bio—in his spreadsheet, he’ll convert it into the suitable software program and create a searchable database of native musical creativity.
“Lastly, there’s going to be entry to it — an archive that is particular to Southern Oregon songwriters,” he stated. “I hope to work my method via most artists within the valley within the coming years.”
Johnson is comfy and content material with massive black headphones on his head, nodding alongside to the music as he sings every track. This present is a return to the eagerness of his early years, he defined.
In highschool, he began working in radio. Whereas within the Air Drive, he had a gig as a disc jockey in Klamath Falls. When he went to Southern Oregon School (now Southern Oregon College), he earned a level in music. He graduated in 1976, the identical 12 months Patty Hearst was convicted of armed theft and “Frampton Comes Alive!” reached the highest of the charts.
“As soon as the computer systems referred to as me, I used to be off,” he stated.
After spending most of his life with computer systems, Johnson retired in December and returned to his past love.
Its cheerful vitality co-exists comfortably with ideas about what it means to be 75 years outdated. His little white canine – Spike the Surprise Canine – might be his final canine, and his home could also be his final house.
“After I was in highschool, I had this job cleansing flats, and it was filled with outdated individuals,” he stated. “I discovered that there have been outdated males who have been embittered by the world; there have been others who sat doing nothing, some who have been continually operating round doing one thing, concerned in all types of issues. Then there have been some who have been simply having enjoyable on a regular basis. I made a decision I wished to have enjoyable.
“The extra enjoyable you will have, the extra free you’re to pursue your pursuits.”
Contact Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-4487. Observe her on Twitter @MRothborne.