Country Fried Rock: Saving American Radio One Hour at a Time
There was a time, not too long ago, when a road-trip across America meant channel surfing and cultural discovery. Drivers would hear the music morph as the view outside their windshield evolved. Accents would change. The food at roadside diners had a local flavor. These days? Not so much. Massive commercial radio behemoths have gobbled up the airwaves and churn out the same “mainstream” music from town to town. Corporate rock, commercial country and top-40 pop sound frighteningly similar. Discovery? Adventure? The spirit that once defined American radio is all but gone. It is into this musically bleak reality that a match has now been struck.
Enter Country Fried Rock, a one-hour, weekly radio road trip that features some of the most exciting off-the-radar artists talking about, and playing, the music that moves them. From legendary veterans like James McMurtry to newcomers playing clubs and sleeping on couches, each episode features an in-depth conversation that explores motivations, fears and victories as America’s truest musical artists unpack their own tunes and the songs that inspire them. The sounds may range from bluegrass to indie-rock, but the heart beats true.
Host and producer Sloane Spencer has been on-the-air at major radio stations for over a dozen years and is every bit as passionate about great music as she has ever been. You can hear the experience in her easy, conversational style. This unapologetic lover of all things “musically real” turns up the volume on Delta Blues, Western Swing, Rock & Roll, Singer-Songwriter, Folk, Honky-Tonk, R&B, soul, Gospel and many other Made-in-America treasures. “Rock and roll and country are really amalgams of so many incredible indigenous styles,” Spencer explains. “You don’t have to dig too deep to find a sort of creative spring that seems to feed all of these things.” Tapping that spring is what Country Fried Rock is all about.
Each fully-licensed episode contains the eclectic, educated conversation of the best NPR programs, with top-drawer production and charisma of major commercial shows. “This is no fly-by-night podcast,” Spencer explains. “Each show is produced to the highest standards, is fully licensed with the PRO’s and Sound Exchange and is ready for air.” Her first 100 episodes are in the can and have featured acclaimed artists like Dawes, Joe Pug, Courtney Jaye, James McMurtry and many more. Now, after years of prep on college and satellite radio, Spencer’s musical adventure is ready for prime-time. The show is currently available for syndication on college, commercial, public and satellite radio and is looking to expand across America. “I appreciate and respect mainstream radio for what it is,” she adds, “I still work in that environment, but when I see thousands of people of all ages packing into clubs and festivals to enjoy this kind of music it lights me up. There is obviously a market for authentic American music and radio is not really reaching those people. That’s what Country Fried Rock is all about.”
If you remember the romance of radio road trips, or if you’re too young for all that and just wish your iPod could introduce you to exciting new music and let you eavesdrop on the kinds of conversations that happen among artists at late-night diners after gigs, Country Fried Rock is for you. If your job is to make your radio station sound interesting, or if you’re just a fan of great music, come on in. You can smell the soul in the air as the door closes behind you and your mouth begins to water. Everything is better when it’s country fried, right?