Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2008

KIOS' fm Mike Jacobs Celebrates 11 "blue" years on the radio

KIOS Jacobs celebrates 11 blue years

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mike Jacobs KIOS celebrates 11 years of ‘Blues in the Afternoon. Yes, the blues is still alive and well in Omaha! Over that last eleven years, every Monday except one,(since October 4, 1994), from 2:00 until 3:30 p.m., Mike Jacobs has returned to the same studio where he had earned his High School diploma . Mike goes in to play albums and share his love of an American folk art with listeners throughout most of Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa. “Our (KIOS fm) mission is to encourage student involvement and education (in the broadcasting industry)” says the Jacobs. But when it comes to his love for blues and jazz, “They are going to have to carry me out of here in a casket” say the thirty-nine year old ‘84 graduate of Tech High School (their last graduating class). “I know I never want to give this up.”

After graduating from the Omaha Public School’s broadcasting program Jacob’s attending UNO and was an instrumental voice on the inter-campus station KBLZ. From there Jacobs graduated to commercial radio including a weekend stint at KKCD. These days the man behind “that” voice works full-time with Omaha’s National Public Radio affiliate KIOS (91.5 fm) that is owned and operated by Omaha’s school system. His show, Blues in the Afternoon’ celebrated its eleventh year on Monday, October 3rd.

When asked what he tries to accomplish with the music that gets aired, the youthful middle aged deejay chimes in, “I don’t think the price of CDs is going to come down anytime soon and my show allows fans to hear some of the album before they go out and spend their hard earned money. During the show I try to touch as many blues bases as possible; from R.L. Burnside to Marcia Ball to Kansas City jump and of course our acoustic set. When it makes sense I also try to feature an album so the listener gets a real feel for the album. I suppose I look at an album as a body of art.” It also sounds like relaxed education process so listeners get a chance to keep up with the flood of albums in the market. Chicago based Alligator Records owner Bruce Iglauer recently went on record as saying that Whites are incapable of playing blues. “Oh I don’t know about that. Sure. Yes, anybody can play the blues! Europeans really love the blues, I think (blues) will make in-roads into China over the next ten years. The blues are a global experience and everyone is invited to join in...sometimes whether they want to or not!” laughs Jacobs.

But what about the students? “This is really why we are here. We usually have about a dozen students in the program. I help with production, pronunciation and programming issues. The students are required to create a show about a significant jazz artist that is worthy to air on the station.” Jacobs goes on to discuss that it is important to help kids learn about their culture and feel a sense of pride even if jazz & blues are not what they are listening to at this stage in their lives. Jacobs proudly notes, “We did have one young kid that did a show on (jazz saxophonist) Coleman Hawkins. Afterwards he told me it was some of the best stuff he‘d ever heard; so I got him a list of essential Coleman’s recordings. It was cool to turn a kid onto something great like that.”

“My favorite living blues player is probably Buddy Guy” a contemplative Jacob’s finally says when asked. “But I love the old guard such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush and Magic Sam. Right now I am especially enjoying Kansas City’s Jay McShann “ Whether it’s on his blues show or the Wednesday & Friday afternoon Jazz programs Jacobs lends the power KIOS’ audience to local artists. “We’ve had Dave Stryker and Karyn Allison as well as Luigi Waitts, Preston Love, and Jorge Nila on the air live. I’d like to do more of that in the future” says Mike. “Interviews sound better in the studio (than over the telephone).”Local blues artist Kris Lager says, ‘Blues in the Afternoon’ is a show I have to catch every week. Mike’s one of the wells I can go to discover great music... I really love that show.” Jacobs makes it a point to talk about local acts, “I really enjoy Sarah Benck & the Robbers, Matt Whipkey & Anonymous American have a future in front of them and The Tijuana Gigolos - who I saw open for Link Wray at the Zoo Bar. You can really feel the area’s music scene is healthy.”

Like so many blues fans today young Mike Jacobs came to the blues through rock & roll. “I loved the Rolling Stones, Clapton, Allman Brothers, and Janis Joplin. A couple of weeks ago I played ‘Back of My Hand’ off the newest Rolling Stones album. It was an appropriate blues track. I’d read the album credits and see a song was written by C. Burnett. Who’s that?, Oh, Howlin’ Wolf, and off I would go to find about more about this Howlin’ Wolf character. The Stones were great about that.” When asked about the heritage of so-called spotlight programming in Omaha’s radio market Jacob’s lights up, “I can remember working with Steve Sleeper. I was working over-nights and he would come in on Sunday mornings to do his show, ‘Jazz Brunch.’ I remember when Steve was on the original KQ98 (along with Mike Cody, Paxton West, and Kevin Casaria). It was a golden period in radio. Today the playlists (on commercial radio) are so tight and the medium is so competitive that there are a lot of dissatisfied listeners.” Is the ‘art’ of radio is dead? Jacobs thinks for a moment and says, “I can’t say that but there are more and more people looking for vibrant, intelligent alternatives. I try to have a good show that is entertaining. I know when it’s good, all the songs fit together, time flies by and things are just groovin’. And the emails or phone calls come in.”

More and more public radio fills a listener need and keeps an artform out front. “I don’t know that the blues has died. It’s coming back in terms of programming. The Blues Society of Omaha has about 1,000 members now and with the opening of live music venues such as Mick’s Tavern in Benson or Sokol Auditorium you could say the blues is ‘still alive and well’ in Omaha: that rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated he repeats.”

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