KVMR to air sold out Franti show live Friday night | TheUnion.com

KVMR to air sold out Franti show live Friday night

Miss out on getting a ticket to the Michael Franti show Friday? Your pot of gold has arrived in the form of KVMR 89.5 FM, who will broadcast the concert live that evening.
Courtesy of Michael Franti |

The sold out Michael Franti concert this Friday night will be broadcast live on KVMR 89.5 FM and streamed at the Nevada City radio station’s website, kvmr.org.

A Center for the Arts production, Franti’s performance sold out within hours of being put on sale earlier this fall.

Franti’s management company and the Center gave KVMR permission to broadcast the “One Heart, One Soul” acoustic dance concert, which begins at 8 p.m. at the Grass Valley Veterans Hall.

“It was only apparent with a huge fast sellout and saddened members of the Spearhead family left out that this had to happen for so many reasons,” said KVMR volunteer broadcaster Cheri Snook, who will co-host the radio broadcast.

Station officials say the live remote Franti concert — and a Paul Emery Nevada Theatre show this Saturday — are “thank you presents” for listener and community support during the station’s recent on-air fall membership campaign.

The 8 p.m. Nevada Theatre performance and broadcast will feature a reunion of the Foothill Flyers, which Emery describes as “disco-folk pioneers from the mid ‘70s.” Emery and Ray Mann will be joined by Tom Schmitt, John Girton and Bob Woods .

Also included on the Saturday bill is the local band Earls of Newtown, and tickets will be available at the door, according to Emery.

It will be KVMR’s first live broadcast from the Nevada Theatre since the two non-profit arts groups announced a collaboration on a new building adjoining the theater.

This won’t be the first time that KVMR has aired a Franti live show, however.

In 1996, Snook arranged a performance of Michael Franti and his longtime band Spearhead inside the New Folsom Prison near Sacramento. KVMR recorded the noon performance and broadcast it nationally on Thanksgiving Eve on the Pacifica Radio Network that very night.

That was the first live prison concert aired across the country on the same day, according to KVMR Program Director Steve Baker.

Meanwhile, Friday night’s broadcast performance will be “a mix of old, new and songs still in their seedling form,” Franti said.

Which is one reason why it’s the veteran Bay Area performer’s first full acoustic tour.

“I find inspiration in simplicity and when I write a new song it has to stand up as an acoustic song before I record it with other instrumentation,” explained Franti.

“In every show I do with Spearhead, I always take time to do a few songs with just me and my guitar and strip it down to the bare bones so the lyrics and melody can shine through,” the poet/musician/composer added.

Franti’s work with Spearhead now dates some 20 years, blending hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock.

Well, that about covers it.

In any event, Snook, also the host of this Thursday’s KVMR Morning Show (7 a.m. to 10 a.m., 89.5 FM), is looking forward to the concert.

“The Spearhead family vibe is one enormous embrace of beauty,” she smiled. “The stories and personal journey through Michael’s music is nothing sort of a magical, hopeful unification of love.”

Hmm, better put her in the “can’t wait” category.


After promising listeners a seven day on-air fundraising campaign only, KVMR ended its fall membership drive last Sunday night as the station reached its $60,000 goal for the week during a Neil Young music special.

Over 570 listeners contributed $60,303 — and counting — as part of the eclectic community station’s “Be The Solution”-themed drive, including 72 new members making up over 12 percent of the total.

The station’s Tuesday totals ($10,152) were the best for that day since 2010, and Saturday’s $14,383 was the highest in three years.

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 180 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” A video and other information about the station’s new building is available at <bridgestreetproject.org> Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org

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