KVMR strikes gold near Sutter’s Mill | TheUnion.com

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KVMR strikes gold near Sutter’s Mill

When KVMR 89.5 FM says it's doing a live remote broadcast, rarely is it, well, this remote.

But a few years ago, the Nevada City station discovered some musical gold just north of Coloma and Sutter's Mill when it began broadcasting the American River Music Festival.

Set along the natural beauty of the banks of the south fork of the American River, the festival's main site is in Henningsen-Lotus Park off Highway 49 with camping and lodging scattered throughout the area. Some music festival tickets even include a rafting trip.

This year, the eclectic noncommercial station hauls its remote broadcast gear and crew to the rather rugged and remote spot to air all of the main stage acts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (KVMR 89.5FM, kvmr.org streaming).

The legendary mandolinist and composer David Grisman, fabled for his "dawg"-style music combining swing, bluegrass, Latin, jazz and gypsy (whew), is the headliner at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with his band the Bluegrass Experience.

Other Saturday main stage performers include San Francisco's Sean Hayes (3 p.m.), jam band New Monsoon (1:30 p.m.), "best new act in country music" winners Poor Man's Poison (12:15 p.m.) and Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally (11 a.m.).

Blues/roots artist Paul Thorn headlines the Sunday performers with a 4:30 p.m. show, and Texas troubadour Ray Wylie Hubbard (who wrote "Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother") appears that day at 1:30 p.m.

Hot Buttered Rum jams at 3 p.m. Sunday, with Tahoe's Dead Winter Carpenters at 12:15 p.m. and Trevor Green opening Sunday at 11 a.m.(89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).

Individual campgrounds have some of the main stage artists as well as other musicians in the evenings.

Tales of Trails

KVMR broadcaster Walkin' Larry Hillberg first earned his radio stripes by calling in and talking about his adventures each week during an early morning show as he walked one summer all the way to his high school reunion in northern Michigan. He's a veteran of the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to Canada as well.

This Sunday night he'll spotlight the "Pacific Coast Trailside Reader," a book featuring hiking stories of mainly unpublished authors (including Hillberg) and a few well-known writers like John Muir, Wallace Stegner and Gary Snyder, as he guest hosts the KVMR reading series, "A Word in Edgewise," 9 p.m. this Sunday (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).

Featured readings will include former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas writing about the value of wilderness from "Of Men And Mountains," Eric Ryback talking about being the first person to hike the entire continuous Pacific Coast Trail as a 17-year-old in 1970, and Hillberg himself reading a story about his father.

Gen 'VMR?'

A newer, younger generation is coming to the aid of community radio…this very weekend.

In Pulse Productions is holding "Compatitude," a day-long benefit for KVMR in Pioneer Park, Nevada City, this Sunday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with a suggested donation of $10.

Bands playing include Achilles Wheel, Softbombs and Lasher Keen, plus area spoken word artists will hold a reading. The young producers of the event say they'll also have "family friendly" local food, arts and crafts, to boot.

Board deadline looms

Monday is the deadline to apply for a seat on nonprofit KVMR's board of directors.

Vice President Mary Ross says the board "is looking for new members with experience in fundraising, business, marketing, strategic planning, public relations or nonprofits."

Information and application forms are available by email from boardelections@kvmr.org or by contactig election coordinator Tim Ogburn at 916-838-2509.

Mark your calendar

The Bridge Street Project Benefit Concert is coming up at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Miner's Foundry, downtown Nevada City.

It's a dance party featuring Sacramento's Joy & Madness, Buck Love & The Humperheads and James Carlson & Steadyhand that's also a capital campaign fundraiser for the new KVMR building and Nevada Theatre backstage expansion project that organizers say is "connecting arts, media & history" from the station, theater and foundry.

$20 member tickets and $25 general admission will be available at the door only.

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.