From The Vault: Interview with Myf Warhurst, Spicks and Specktacular (2011)

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In eight days’ time (Sunday 30 October 2016), Overheard Productions is closing its doors OR it might be transitioning into something similar only different.

Yeah, I’d put money on the latter!

Hold on. 30/10/2016 = 13 = 4 = death. Strangely appropriate in one way, but a bit final given my plans! Meh, that numbers game is like a horoscope to me. Interesting for shizs and giggles, but not to be taken overly serious.

[Just look over there while I throw some salt over my left shoulder and turn around three times.]

Over the next eight days, I’m going to (as time permits) resurrect some old interviews and sound files. I’m paying these days for unlimited Soundcloud space, so I might as well make use of it.

This is one that I strangely never attached to a WordPress document, which is very weird since it’s one of my favourites with one of my all-time favourite on air/screen people.

When the Spicks and Specks offered me a choice of Alan Brough or Myf to interview, I did think that Alan would be a fascinating man to speak with given his encyclopaedic knowledge of music and his brilliantly dry and funny wit.

But dude. Myf Warhurst. MYF WARHURST!!!

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I was like a cat on a hot tin roof, though not as alley cat-like as my daughter figured (as mentioned in the interview).

Enjoy.

Myf is currently presenting the lunch show (11am to 2pm ADST) on Double J radio (digital radio, online and Channel 200 on Free To Air television). Though at the time of writing (Saturday 22 October 2016), I believe she may still be overseas and the chair is being skillfully warmed by the aforementioned Alan Brough.

No, that must have been a pack of lies, as my late mother would say. Looks like she’s back!

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Interview: Michael Johnathon of Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour

Image courtesy of Woodsongs dot com and Michael Johnathon. Photo by Larry Neuzel.
Image courtesy of Woodsongs dot com and Michael Johnathon. Photo by Larry Neuzel.

Image courtesy of Woodsongs dot com and Michael Johnathon. Photo by Larry Neuzel.

From humble beginnings in 1998, from a small venue that sat just 20 people in the audience, Michael Johnathon has built the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour into a public broadcasting colossus. Woodsongs is heard and seen around the globe each week from its current home in the Lyric Theatre, Lexington KY.

The program showcases bands, performers and troupes from across the broad spectrum of bluegrass, Americana, roots, acoustic and alt-country, and a few others around the blurred edges of folk.

It’s a 100% community and volunteeer-run operation, making its longevity and sustainability all the more remarkable. And laudable.

It gets even better than that – but you’ll have to listen to the interview for the part that rocked me back on my heels.

And upturned kayak.

The show has reached an eye-watering 750+ episodes as of April 2014, many of which are freely available from the Woodsongs website in audio and video formats. Apart from its legion of individual listeners, Woodsongs has spawned a string of coffeehouse groups which meet to experience the show as a community.

The log cabin. Image courtesy of Michael Johnathon.
The log cabin. Image courtesy of Michael Johnathon.

And it’s not like Michael has anything else to do with his spare time.

Like being a singer-songwriter of many years standing. Or touring. Or arranging other concerts. Or building a log cabin and surrounding structures plus landscaping and bridges etc. bare-handed. Or being a father of two adult children (and two more on the way in one hit).

No, I lied. He’s all of that and more.

An just get a load of where he got his folk beginnings from. I can only interpret my silence at hearing who his neighbour was in upstate New York as a little mild shock and awe.

On a chilly autumnal morning in Sydney, I stepped off the Manly* Ferry and found a suitable-ish place to record an interview over the shaky airwaves from Australia to Lexington, Kentucky. A picture of my luxurious chair in the ‘recording studio’ appears below.

*¬†For international audiences, ‘Manly’¬†refers to a suburb and location on the north side of Sydney Harbour named ‘Manly’. We don’t believe in forcing gender stereotypes onto our aquatic transport vessels. Actually, if anything, we refer to them as ‘her‘ for the most part. Continue reading