In knowledgeable music circles, Joe Craven already has quite the reputation.
He can play just about anything with strings on it and has … and very, very well, they say.
And he can make just about anything into a percussion instrument, whether it’s his body, a credit card, a pickling jar or a random object found on the ground.
Yes, but can he play radio deejay?
KVMR 89.5FM radio listeners will get quite the chance to find out Oct. 31 when the Davis-based music artist and educator is the Nevada City station’s guest host during its fall membership drive with Craven’s show running noon to 2 p.m. that Halloween day and repeating, Nov. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m.(89.5FM, kvmr.org streaming).
Craven is a former member of the fabled David Grisman Quintet, but he’s also the kind of guy who lists his influences as including Jimi Hendrix, dumpster diving, Frank Zappa, thrift stores, Looney Tunes cartoon music composer Carl Stalling and beachcombing.
So his KVMR radio special is likely to be quite the combination of sounds, songs and schtick.
“I will wish to spin a variety of musical things, both influential … therefore, things I like and in keeping to some degree with the season,” said Craven.
That would be something called Halloween, of course.
“I suggest it will be fun, as Halloween is one of my fave days of the year,” Craven said with a sly look. “This will be a grand warm up to jetting back down to the great central valley after the show to wreck havoc upon the citizenry of select neighborhoods of Davis.”
But what about the actual radio show, Joe?
“There will be a pinch of spoken word, a sprinkle of theater and all in keeping with FCC guidelines,” Craven playfully predicts. “I look forward to working with whoever will be engineering … and will wish them my sincerest luck.”
Double uh oh.
Locally, Craven has been a mainstay over the years at the annual summer California Worldfest music festival at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, where his good humor and sharp improvisational musical skills have grown quite a following from stage to stage.
Now he’ll be joining blues artist Roy Rogers, master fiddler Alasdair Fraser and folksinger/storyteller John McCutcheon as “celebrity” program hosts in recent membership drives at the eclectic Nevada City radio station.
“Joe’s got a real KVMR sensibility, and our listeners respect his offbeat style,” said Program Director Steve Baker. “He’s a natural choice.”
Besides, it’s Halloween at high noon.
‘Rare Medium Well Done’
KVMR’s actual fall membership drive kicks off Monday morning with a vat of comedy and eclectic music selections on The Morning Show (7-10 a.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr streaming) with the appetizing theme “KVMR: A Rare Medium, Well Done.”
Special shows, including Craven (see above), will fill the airwaves throughout the week in hopes of attracting listener financial support for the independent, noncommercial station. Donations and contributions can be made via the station website, kvmr.org, or by calling the membership department at 530-265-9073, ext. 203.
KVMR Monday afternoon oldies host Jimmi Accardi found himself onstage answering questions last weekend after a special screening of “CBGB,” a film about New York City’s most storied punk music club, at the Crest Theater in Sacramento. Jimmi and his band The Laughing Dogs were club regulars and had two tunes on the first “Live at CBGB” album, and their song “Get Outta My Way” is featured in the movie and on the soundtrack album.
Booking the 20th
KVMR’s Music Department is still seeking resaleable books for a special books/art/music sale Nov. 9 at the Nevada City Veterans Hall. Contributions may be left at the station, 401 Spring St. in downtown Nevada City, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays through Oct. 31. And Music Director Alice MacAllister’s “Avant Garage” program turns 20 years old this Friday (2-4 p.m., 89.5FM, kvmr.org streaming)
A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 150 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” A video about the station’s new building is at vimeo.com/63303996 Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org.