Back in March of 2009, In The Country aired its first online episode. That adds up to 5 years and hundreds of interviews. I’ve been a country fan my whole life and had worked in radio for many years. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine my love of country music with my passion for talk shows. I wanted to create a program that had enough time to go deeper in the artist’s world and allow for conversations on a range of topics related to music. My hope is that listeners can sit back, relax and enjoy a conversation along with some of the best music around.
It’s exciting to interview the bigger names like Anne Murray and Ronnie Milsap but also a thrill interviewing new artists on the scene. I’ve even had the chance to speak with TV star Vicki Lawrence about her show Mama’s Family. The country connection on that show was her original recording of The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, which Reba later famously covered.
Dave with Jaida Dreyer
People often ask me who my “dream guest” would be. There are many, but Kenny Rogers is at the top of that list. He’s been a favourite of mine since I was a kid. I’m working on that one. Some of my first country discoveries as a young person were Alabama, Steve Wariner and Lee Greenwood. I also grew up in a household where my parents played the classics which always included Hank Williams. Talking about country music – and with country artists – is something I feel very comfortable doing. The music has simply always been a part of my life. I appreciate how country artists seem like a big family. And it’s always a rush to hear that new song on the radio that stops you in your tracks. I can still recall hearing Georgia by Carolyn Dawn Johnson on the radio for the first time while driving and wondering who the beautiful voice belonged to.
Dave with The Lovelocks
As a listener, I can’t get enough of hearing the story behind an artist’s song. It adds so much depth to the listening experience. To know how much of their heart and soul went into a song is simply amazing. A regular topic of conversation on the show is about the life-changing power of music. So many artists have stories about hearing from fans explaining how a song has touched and impacted their lives.
I’ve been fortunate enough to write songs with some great Canadian artists. The first one that hit the charts was If I Didn’t Call It Love recorded by Colin Amey and written by Colin, Barry Brown and me. Recently, Ontario’s Western Avenue has had airplay with Highway Headin’ Out Of Town (written by band members Nikki English, Keith Robertson and me), and Wherever You Are (written by Nikki and me.)
Also out at radio now is All We Need Tonight, recorded by Alberta Country group Domino. This one was written by Domino member Luanne Carl and me.
One of the greatest compliments was from Dan Hill, who said at the end of our hour conversation that it felt like 5 minutes. Time always does seem to fly on the show. It’s been a great experience getting to know these artists and, in some cases, continuing the conversation beyond the show.
If you haven’t heard In The Country before, I hope that you’ll click on the link at the bottom of this column and visit the site. You’ll find podcasts featuring great country artists like Michelle Wright, Patricia Conroy, Lisa Brokop, Dean Brody and Deric Ruttan. You’ll get to know the stories behind the songs, how artists got their start, who influenced them – and the list goes on. Five years of interviews and great music. Five years of memories. Stay tuned for more.