Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rocking a local beat, because we just can't help ourselves

You know how every now and then you have an idea you just have to implement, knowing it’s going to add to your workload? Yep, that’s what I did. And I’m loving the results.

A couple of months ago I was singing along with the tunes coming out of the 93.5 Rock It FM studio while working on a news story, when my eyes landed on a CD I had brought to work. It was recorded by the band Close Clearance, of which my son is the drummer. They’re a group of guys out of Sioux Falls. I hadn’t gotten much of a chance to listen to it, so I popped it in my computer.

As I was listening, I started thinking about how much incredible talent there is in our little corner of the world. I’ve been involved with local theater productions in Slayton, attended others all over the area and listened to bands in a variety of venues. At churches and schools, voices lift in song so beautiful people become still just to listen. The amazing thing is that some of these people are your neighbors, your clerks at the local store, your UPS driver or that guy you pass on the street often enough to recognize each other. In the words of the crew from Sesame Street, they’re the people that you meet each day.

Still listening to my son’s drum riffs, I opened a new document and starting jotting down ideas for a new project featuring local talent. What if we put aside a segment of time to feature music by local artists? After all, how many bands out there made it because a local station was willing to give them a listen? Well, before Youtube, that is. I recently read that the Andrew Sisters (I know, old school) got their start on Minnesota radio stations. They later became an icon and inspiration for soldiers during World War II.

So, maybe Rock It could help launch some talented local musicians, right?

Because there’s no way this project could survive without him, I enlisted the help of Rock It DJ Jaime Salinas. He heard me out, and one eyebrow went up, signaling intrigue.

And so, a project was born. We started chatting about it on the air, Jaime and I, and a few CDs and mp3 files showed up.

Can You Rock It? premieres Feb. 16 on 93.5 Rock It FM at noon. If you aren’t within our listening area, don’t despair – this bad boy is live streamed. Just go to our website at and click on the live stream link.

Now, to keep this baby humming along, we need more. If we get enough people sending stuff in, we could expand to a larger or more frequent session. If you know someone with local ties to southwest Minnesota or northwest Iowa, tell them to send us some tunage. Covers, original songs – whatever they’re playing. I’ve got great submittals from Spirit Lake, Iowa to Sioux Falls, S.D. If your kid grew up in Fulda and now lives in Florida, as long as he or she is rocking out, we’ll play their stuff. Does your nephew from Seattle who once visited you in Heron Lake know how to rock? Tell them to send me their stuff.

Bands can send stuff via the good old snail mail to 28779 County Highway 35, Worthington, MN, 56187. You can email mp3 files to And if you have any questions, give me a call at 507-376-6165.

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