Radio Memphis Keeps Memphis’ Heritage Upfront

Radio Memphis Keeps Memphis’ Heritage Upfront… and personal!

If ever there was a musical “bunker”, it’s where Radio Memphis calls home: located deep in the basement of an undisclosed strip mall in the general area of 4745 Poplar Ave., Suite B100 in Memphis, Tennessee, this little radio station has made waves and good vibes since its inception… it is now the “go to” groove joint for any and all music-makers whose travels bring them through the Memphis area.

What we do here, what we’ve created and what we try to maintain every day, is an outlet for the Music, The Culture and The History of Memphis… and The Blues; it’s never easy, but everyday we have experiences at The Station that make us so happy and so proud to be a small part of the musical fabric of Memphis, Tennessee!

It is directly plugged into the amazing musical and historical culture that is Memphis, from Beal Street to the Delta, and from P&H Cafe to Little Rock, there is no singularity that rocks harder with more groove than Radio Memphis. Access to The Bunker ain’t a given. And there may be a pop quiz at the door…

Four things you must do before entering the Radio Memphis Bunker:

  1. Know something about the local Memphis Blues scene
  2. Order a Cheeseburger from Matt at P&H Cafe (get a receipt)
  3. Get a cuppa Joe from Java Cabana up in Cooper-Young
  4. Know what “BB” stands for in BB King

Master the answers to these deceptively simple questions, do a little research, and you’ll be all set. And if you like Blues, and really rockin’ music in general, you will have a wonderful time down in the Bunker!

Now for a few introductions:

Rick Chetter is the eye of the storm, the water spout from which the Radio Memphis “groove” emanates and is broadcast throughout the known Universe… Rick mans the mic in the Radio Bunker.

He’s there just about any time of day or night, and chances are good he can be found rockin’ the mic surrounded by the flotsam and jetsam of what is generally called The Radio Life.

And he’s always got something goin’ on like new recordings or new guests, because any number of A-List Blues Artists who are in town may stop by for an on-air interview or a quick in-studio showcase. They’ll just show up.

So many make it to the radio list: Paul Butterfield, Howlin’ Wolf, Stevie Ray, and a host of new and up and coming players from around the world.

If you send it in, they’ll play it.

Dirty D – otherwise known as Dianna Fryer – has been with Radio Memphis since the very beginning. Not only does she host several shows, but she serves as the General Manager for the station. Good radio attracts good people and with the Dirty D (street jive for “Detroit”), you hit the Jackpot!

The D is the driving force when it comes to keeping the Station alive, keeping the lights on, and keeping the doors open, so be nice, be polite, and don’t test her musical knowledge – you’ll lose!

This is our labor of Love: sure, it is challenging and infuriating, and sometimes the difficulties of running a Radio Station can be overwhelming, but at the end of the day, when all is said and done, there is no place on the planet or in the known universe I’d rather be than here at Radio Memphis, working with these remarkable people, making a difference in Memphis!

Dianna is a wonderful on-air personality, too, and an experienced and accomplished interviewer – just like Ric, she makes you feel at ease immediately, and talking with her is easy, effortless, and very enjoyable!

There are a number of other wonderful Radio people working on the station with their own shows, too: Phil Berger, Jeff Janovetz and for the rest of this fantastic team, check out the crew.

Connected Locally to The Universe

The Memphis Blues Society is a very important link in Memphis to all things Blues, and in particular to all things Radio Memphis.  If you are heading to Memphis or passing thru, you need to reach out to Mark Caldwell from the Memphis Blues Society – he is a top-notch guy and would be worth cloning, but until that time comes, you can meet and hang out with him at the Station.

And don’t forget Muscle Shoals and FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios…!

Anyone who is anyone has been thru Radio Memphis. You never know who you’ll meet, hear or make friends with and these are acts you’ll see nationally at some point: Slim and the Percolators, a killer band from Philadelphia, is one act the comes to mind. I saw Slim in Philly at The Twisted Tail, and he ended up in Memphis at the IBC a few years later and is still rockin’ the block and spankin’ the flock!

That’s the other thing here, Dear Reader – everyone I have met at the Station has been so real, so natural and so focused on the mission of the station that it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement,  and the wave!

The International Blues Competition, held yearly all around Memphis, is known around the world and in certain areas of Jupiter and Mars, and draws the best Blues artists from around the Universe every year. If you haven’t been to it yet, you are missing out.

At some point, you’ll be sliding up to The Pearly Gates, and St. Peter may ask you “Dude, was that you I saw in Memphis last year at The P&H Cafe?”

Think about it.

 

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Eric Sommer: About the Artist

“If there’s a place for musical perfection, it’s wherever you’ll find Eric Sommer – A blistering acoustic style plus a variety of slide and open tuning formats will knock you for a loop…” wrote Studdie Burns, New Melody Maker/UK in 2013. “How one guy can do this so well is remarkable, but if you look a little deeper there’s a batch of road miles around this lad… and it all makes sense.”

Eric started his musical career in the Boston area under the eye of legendary promoter Don Law and was onstage at The Paradise Theatre in Boston for a record 40 appearances. He has been a regular player on many national and international tours and showcases, and worked in Europe for two years with Nick Lowe and acts Bram Tchaikovsky and Wreckless Eric; during this period Eric worked on Danish, German and British rock stages, returned to Boston and formed The Atomics.

As a founding member of Boston’s legendary pop/new wave cult trio “The Atomics”, who toured non-stop with Mission of Burma, Gang of Four and The Dead Kennedy’s and were on the leading edge of several musical transformations, Eric never lost sight of his acoustic roots, returning to his heroes and mentors often: David Bromberg, Steve Howe(YES), Duane Allman (Allman Bros.), Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Robert Johnson. Mr. Sommer’s current project with power trio “The Solar Flares” shake up Chet Atkins and David Bromberg’s influences with those of Randy Travis and British Rocker Elvis Costello – a remarkable mix.

And to keep track of it all, Eric started keeping notes, which evolved from napkin scribbles to paper and pen efforts, writing stories, making poetry and capturing the roads and bridges as they went by, plus people, places and… more people which become his notes, then become characters for songs, stories, and prose.

Eric currently has four volumes of verse, 5 studio albums, a LIVE in AUSTIN DVD as well as an electronica project titled “The Smallest Particle” and more on the way… this blog is an attempt to keep track of it all…

Amen.

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You can reach Eric directly at ericATericsommer.com and see more of his projects here on this website. Red Chairs, Black Pancake and Blue Turtle are all available here, as well as all current releases. Please share and comment below.

Ric Chetter in the Studio
Dianna Fryer; Station Manager
img src="Mark-E.-Caldwell-2.png" alt="man with hat and smile gives thumbs up to audience">
Mark Caldwell, Memphis Blues Society
Natalie Gabel, Eric, Dave L, Ric, Willie Hall
Ric Chetter working On Air
Eric Sommer doing LIVE in-studio spot
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