Garner radio station’s program to focus on local acoustic music

The Clayton News-Star

Fans of acoustic music will have a good reason to rise early on Sunday mornings in the future.

WBZB, a Garner-area AM radio station specializing in all local music, will debut “Acoustic Alarm Clock” on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Studio 415 producer Paul Barton is the host of a new radio show, Acoustic Alarm Clock, which debuts Sunday at 9 a.m. Paul Barton, producer of Studio 415 in Clayton, will be the host of the two-hour program, which will run from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sundays. There will be plenty of local artists’ music in an unplugged (acoustic) format.

“The show will feature anything non-electric and all styles of music,” Barton said from his studio. “You will hear everything from Celtic to plenty of bluegrass to country to Americana, and it’s all unplugged.”

Each week will feature an artist of the week. The interview segments, done by Barton, will be weaved in with the music.

“The plan is for the featured artist to receive about an hour of the two-hour program,” Barton said. “There will be an interview segment with the artist, but bits and pieces of it will be blended with several of their musical selections. The featured artist will get a ton of exposure just by being on the show for that particular week.”

The idea for the show came from the radio station, and Barton envisioned having artist interviews. “They ran the idea by me for the acoustic show, and the interview segments were my idea, so we put them together,” he said.

The Feb. 2 show will feature Emerson, Smith and Phelps, collectively known as ESP, who have just released their debut CD, Acoustic Americans. In their own words, they will talk about what brought this diverse trio together and how lots of humor and a love of music keeps them going.

Barton heard last year that WBZB would feature the all-local music format and was interested in working with the station.

“My job is to basically promote the artists on my label (Studio 415) in every way possible,” he said.

WBZB broadcasts local music from sunrise to sunset over 1090 AM, and offers a 24-hour broadcast over the Internet.

An artist needs to have recorded acoustic material in order to be played on Acoustic Alarm Clock.

If the CD is not of good quality, Barton can clean it up in his studio to make it ready for broadcast.

The interview segments can be done at Studio 415, at WBZB or on location. This past Saturday, Barton interviewed Partners In Crime at The Coffee Mill for a future show.

“The interview segments will be pretty generic,” Barton said. “The main focus is ‘what makes you different or special?'”

So far, Barton has had “an overwhelming response.” He has received 26 CDs of local artists interested in being on the show. He promises there will be a variety of artists played each week.

“There are no restrictions as far as style. It’s anything and everything acoustic,” he said. “Any format is viable. You could have a bluegrass band followed by a heavy metal act.”

Barton hopes the show will be popular enough to warrant development of an “unplugged” series and possibly expanding into other styles of music.

“If an acoustic unplugged show works, maybe we will do other shows specific to other genres,” he said.

Article and photo by Jim Green, Staff Writer