As my pal Corin Raymond has said before, “there will always be a Small Time.” What he’s talking about is the underground music scene, the independent artists and people who support them. Basement bars, house concerts, barn dances. All these things have been around, in some form or other, since caveman days (probably).
What isn’t always so clear is that for the Small Time to really flourish, rather than just to bip and bop along, you really need folks to champion the Small Time. Folks like John Scoles at the Times Change(d), the Rosenby Bros down at the Rose N Bee Pub. And folks like the volunteers and staff at CKUW and, not to toot our own horn here, but Stylus, too.
This Friday kicks off CKUW’s annual Fun Drive, where through generous community support the station raises a good chunk of its annual operating budget. With a literal ton of incentives and prizes to be had, it really is a great time to dig into your pockets and pony up some cashola for a good cause.
Seven days a week, CKUW pumps out original quality programming, shining light on the Small Time. From metal to free jazz, novelty records to world music, electronic to punk, everything has a place on 95.9 FM. For the purposes of those cruising the Hillbilly Highway, there are plenty of opportunity to tune in. Got a hankering for some bluegrass? Hit The Big Wide Strum on Tuesdays between 3:00 & 5:00pm. Into all this roots, country, & rock n roll? Stu’s got you covered down at the Twang Trust Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Start your Friday mornings off with The Mournin’ Shift (blues & roots) between 6:00 & 8:00am, followed by the juke joint sounds of Sunnyroad at 10:00. And if you’re looking to see what’s shaking around Winnipeg for the weekend? Tune in to ‘Peg City Groove at 5:00pm.
Here on the Hillbilly Highway, we try to shine our own little headlight on the Small Time every week. We do it for fun, and because we value the shit we come across on our travels, and want to share with our pals. Stylus has its own bite sized version of Fun Drive every time we drop an issue on the streets, by way of our Launch Parties. These shindigs are free, though we try to solicit donations so as to keep publishing into the future. This installment, I’ve commandeered the line-up to deliver a batch of my favourite local folks cruising the Highway. We’ve got the Reverend Rambler, Carly Dow, and introducing my pal Cal Austin Jr. These folks are the real deal, friends.
So come on out on Thursday, or pick up the phone and call up CKUW (204-774-6877) to donate now. Your contribution will help keep the Small Time rolling fine here in Winnipeg. You won’t regret it.