Rachel Hurley and I decided to kick off The Ardent Sessions on BreakThruRadio.com 3 years ago this December. The idea was to give up-and-coming bands some internet radio exposure, and to give them an introduction to the Memphis music tradition and current scene by performing in front of a small live audience in one of our studios.
When possible, I enjoy combining that experience with a personal tour of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, as Stax is such a huge part of Ardent’s early history. It’s always fun for me to meet these young artists, and I am always amazed at how much they know about what all of us were doing in Memphis almost 50 years ago, not to mention how much they seem to enjoy some of that music.
Ardent Sessions, and its companion show, Ardent Presents (singer/songwriter acoustic) is now available on Ardentsessions.com in addition to BreakThruRadio.com.
Although this may seem like a new idea, it really goes back to the early 70s at Ardent. That’s when we had a pair of 15kHz equalized telephone lines to WMC-FM100, and we would originate live broadcasts from our Studio A with artists like Lynard Skynard, Pure Prairie League, Martin Mull, Big Star, Cargoe, The Groundhogs, Stories, Hookfoot, Elton John’s recording band on Tumbleweed connection, Ry Cooder with JLD, Wishbone Ash, Nazareth, and Charlie Daniels.
Yes, I do mean live – no delay, no opportunity to bleep or re-mix – no need to, really.
We started The Ardent Sessions because we thought it would be helpful to young musicians, and we have managed to keep it totally free of cost to the artists.
However, in the current economic conditions, this is becoming harder to do. At the moment we have no offsetting advertising income from the shows, so we thought we might ask fans to help us keep this a free service by donating to our Kickstarter campaign. Let us know what you think.
-John Fry 9/22/2010