I’m pleased to include KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 16 as one of the first album reviews on earbender.com (send me yours!) “Broadcasts” is a great example of one of the oldest ideas – live recordings made at and compiled by your local radio station. There are countless versions around the country, but KGSR is a cut or three above, and here’s why I think so.
Quality, diversity and catching the beginning of campaigns because of SXSW, combined with the station’s broad vision of music add up to a non-homogeneous line up that is sizable too (over 30 songs on most of these discs). The disc is released as a fund-raising item for the SIMS (Services Invested in Musicians Support) foundation in December, and very often several of the artists “just starting out” in March have a major career by December.
As a result, Broadcasts includes many local Austin arists on an equal playing field with the artists/songs that have built a crossover in the interim, such as Sara Bareilles on the latest album or someone like Fastball in previous years. With the changes in the industry, there are even some multi-media crossovers on this year’s edition, with Ingrid Michaelson, signed off the net and popularized by tv shows and Swell Season, riding on the success of the film Once also appear.
A few other great artists included on Broadcasts Vol. 16 are our friends Bobbie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Shelby Lynne, along with Daniel Lanois, Asleep at the Wheel, Tift Merritt, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Austin’s Alejandro Escovedo.
The SIMS foundation, named for Sims Ellison of the band Pariah who were on Geffen when I worked there, has raised hundreds of thousands over the years through these limited edition discs. The check is usually presented by Jody Denberg at the Austin Music Awards held during SXSW, thereby beginning the process of creating the discs anew. December is a nice time to look back at the past year or so in music with KGSR Broadcasts
Click here to buy KGSR Broadcasts 16, listen and read more.
2008 marks the Austin institution’s 25th year on air, and my friends Jody Denberg, Susan Castle, Bill Johnson, Big Jyl, Bryan Beck and all who work there and have worked there have my sincere thanks, congratulations, and best wishes for many many more years playing great music in Austin and around the world. Tune in!