Bruce Springsteen recently released the first single from his new CD, Magic. The song, “Radio Nowhere,” is a slam on the industry – terrestrial and satellite – and the lack of local broadcasting. While I agree with Springsteen that commercial radio has gone out of its way to eliminate a local “voice” and lower costs by creating generic music hubs, I don’t see the big stars making an effort to connect with those of us who are actually playing their new music. We played the newest releases by Springsteen, Dylan, and Neil Young both on Folk Alley and on Jim Blum’s terrestrial radio show and I don’t recall any of them stopping by our studios for an interview (which we would have been happy to do). If Springsteen’s going to go around producing an album that doesn’t sound like his massive E-Street Band hit machine, he might actually need to do a little work and do some promotion to seek out new fans.
I realize it must be frustrating to have a promotional arrangement with Clear Channel that gets your CD on their website, but not their on-air programming. That’s why we deserve a little love – we’re playing these CDs because the artists are still producing excellent work and we know how much you want to hear new music (along with favorites you can’t find anywhere else on your dial). When Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions came out, I talked it up because the material was very folky (Pete Seeger for heaven’s sake) and warranted the broad exposure that commercial radio was unlikely to offer. So, maybe along with railing at the mainstream, the big boys could pay a little more attention to the new radio reality that lives slightly off the grid and brings them a much more interesting and interested audience.