26 March 2008
Gulch Radio (Ghost Town Radio)
The station I listen to most these days is Gulch Radio. It was the name that attracted me, but I quickly became hooked by their playlists, which often wander into the contemporary blues and country-rock neighbourhoods but are in fact truly eclectic: just about anything can turn up, and the mix is artfully put together.
Gulch Radio goes out on 1670AM from a transmitter up on Mingus Mountain, above Jerome, Arizona, an old mining town with a colourful past that had a population of 25 000 in the late 1920s but is now somewhere in the 300s or 400s, hence Gulch Radio's tag, Ghost Town Radio.
(You may hear a song called Ghost Town Radio on The Gulch, by Patrick Thomas: it fits in fine as an unofficial station theme song, but I believe it was just a nice coincidence.)
My radio over here on Australia's Great Dividing Range can't pull in the signal from Mingus Mountain. I listen on the Net through Winamp player where I first found The Gulch on the Shoutcast radio menu.
Gulch Radio seems to be run by two guys called Ric and Chaz. My head spins when I try to figure out the time differences and check the program schedule, but I think I'm often listening to Ric's breakfast slot, or their early early morning show The Night Train, or various mixes put together by Chaz. At other times I hear a couple of excellent syndicated programs: Gregg McVicar's Undercurrents and Tom Fallon's Motown Memories. I've also chanced on Gulch's own oldies show called The Geezer Rock Show.
It all sounds laid-back and friendly, small-town but tuned-in, just what you'd expect from Jerome if its Internet press is accurate: a bustling tourist magnet and artistic community... of artists, craft people, musicians, writers, hermits, bed and breakfast owners, museum caretakers, gift shop proprietors and fallen-down-
building landlords. (DesertUSA.com); small ghost town/artist colony/hippie hang-out..; a funky tourist destination with unique characters, stories and happenings. (JeromeAZ.com)
Okay, I'm a sucker for that charming picture postcard, but it's the music I come back for. In fact, most of the music I've discovered in recent months I first heard on Gulch Radio. It's at GulchRadio.com.
Photo by Andrew Dunn, 1992.