Arts Talk

(PHOTO BY ELLIE BOGUE)

Meeting the music

Public radio program features local bands

By Bonnie Blackburn
Put Fort Wayne artist Julia Meek and public radio host Andrew Anderson in a room together, and you’ll be laughing within seconds. The two have an easy rapport that comes through loud and clear in their radio show, “Meet The Music,” which airs Thursday and Sunday evenings on Northeast Indiana Public Radio station WBNI, 89.1 FM.

The two finish each other’s sentences like an old married couple, even though Anderson, a native of Sheffield, England, has been in Fort Wayne for just one year.

Though Anderson joked that Meek was “slovenly and lazy,” Meek said of her on-air partner, “Andrew and I really like working together, and we have fun. We both love music, we both play music, and too, we both love public radio.”

Anderson came to Fort Wayne from Chicago after earning a master’s degree in journalism at Indiana University in Bloomington. Meek, a long-time presence on local public radio through her program, “Folktales,” and Anderson came up with the idea for “Meet the Music” as an offshoot of a “Midday Matters” program called “Artcentric,” which airs on Fridays.

“We have a way above average amount of talent in the community,” Meek said. “This is a way for us to share that music with the community.”

“Meet The Music” features a half-hour of live performance plus interviews with band members. More than 500 musicians have performed through the program, which began airing in October 2010. Sessions are recorded up to a month in advance of their airdates and are often done in several recordings. All recording is done by volunteers Ed Didier and Al Mozena.

“Together, Al and Ed are the ‘Meet the Music’ dream team,” Meek said. All shows are archived and bands are treated to a CD of their sessions.

Performers who’ve appeared on “Meet the Music” run the gamut from 8 or 9 years old to 80 years old, Meek said. The musical styles are also varied.

“We love to mix and match, and it’s important to balance the genres” that appear on each week’s two-hour program, Meek said. “We have found groups the broader (community) hadn’t been exposed to. We’ve helped them” get launched.

“A lot we’d helped, but they’ve have been found out themselves,” Anderson countered. “We were just in the right place at the right time.”

They are always looking for the non-mainstream groups, such as the End Times Spasm Band or Elephants in Mud, two groups whose local popularity took off after their appearances on “Meet the Music.”

“Do we have as much fun as it sounds like we do? Yes,” Meek said. “Do the bands have as much fun? Yes.”

Posted: Fri, 12/30/2011 - 11:00 am
Last updated: Wed, 05/23/2012 - 3:08 pm