Last month we covered the sad end of KSON’s Bluegrass Special Radio Show hosted by Wayne Rice, which had been running for 43 years. We noted the irony that the show was cancelled by corporate headquarters at the same time that Wayne Rice was awarded IBMA’s highest award—the Lifetime Achievement Award. Well, the show is back—not on KSON but on Alpine Mountain Country Radio at FM 107.9 on your radio dial. The show will air every Sunday from 4pm to 7pm, one hour longer and at a better time slot than it had at KSON.
Mountain Country 107.9 is a small, low-power station, but there are multiple ways you can find the show if you are outside of their broadcast range, about 30 miles east of San Diego. Wayne says he is delighted with the show’s new home and new time.
“The new Bluegrass Special will be on Sundays from 4-7pm (PST), a much better time slot when people are still awake! And instead of two hours, we’ll have three, so I can play a lot more of today’s bluegrass, along with classics, oldies, Gospel, and local artists. I’ll also keep you up-to-date on local bluegrass concerts and events once they start happening again. This will still be San Diego’s bluegrass radio program.”
Wayne notes five ways you can listen to Mountain Country:
If you are in the east country (Alpine, El Cajon, Lakeside) just tune your radio to 107.9!
From your computer, or any other internet-connected device, use your browser to find TheMountainFM.com. There is a play button on the home page that will start the music!
From your smartphone or tablet, download the Simple Radio app for Android/iOS. Once it’s installed, search for Mountain Country 107.9 and it will appear. Another radio app that works the same way is Live365.
You can also listen on your amazon smartspeaker (Alexa) or any Alexa-enabled device like kindle fire tablet. To listen, you must first say, “Alexa – enable Mountain Country one oh seven point nine.” You only have to do that once. After that, you only have to say “Alexa – play Mountain Country 107.9.” On your Amazon fire tv/roku device, go to the app store and download the free alpine channel app. Press play to listen.
It’s terrific news for all bluegrass fans to learn that The Bluegrass Special will live on!
Supporting Bluegrass and Acoustic Music.
In normal times there are multiple events per week, where one can seek out great live bluegrass and acoustic music, where one can enjoy jamming, enjoy live concerts, and more. Alas, these are Covid, not normal, times. Summergrass and most other bluegrass festivals have been cancelled, while a few like Huck Finn try to hang on by going virtual. Local Tuesday bluegrass events are suspended. Few if any bands are playing out, and those that do are likely violating current health orders. The SDBS-instructed third Monday Bluegrass Slow Jam is still active, but only on-line. What’s to do?
There’re still many great ways to enjoy bluegrass music during these down times. Sign up for Spotify, iTunes, or something similar and listen to all the bluegrass you can handle online, from Bill Monroe to Molly Tuttle and everything in between. Check out YouTube—there’s an incredible amount of great bluegrass stuff to enjoy. Keep your membership up in the San Diego Bluegrass Society and North County Bluegrass and Folk Club, enjoy their newsletters, and help them be ready to fire up the local scene again when we get the covid “all clear.” And, of course, support and read your Troubadour! (The San Diego Troubadour is online only these days. Go to sandiegotroubadour.com to enjoy reading a variety of wonderful articles.)
There’s good news, too. Two covid vaccines (more coming) have shown preliminary data that they are 90%-plus effective. The roll out of these vaccines could start before the end of the year for first responders and healthcare workers, with teachers and other essential workers coming next and with general availability in spring or early summer. This could, finally, put a halt to Covid restrictions and get us back to normal in our live bluegrass music activities. So, hang in, think positively, and when you need a “pick-me-up” listen to your favorite bluegrass tunes—it’s guaranteed to help!