AM Country Radio Immersion Therapy

From here in my home office this radio only picks up KAFF Country.

Silvertone 5017 Tube Radio

Silvertone 5017 Tube Radio

This radio belonged to my grandfather. It stayed in the family thanks to my recently deceased Aunt Lynne. It still works thanks to my uncle Richard who had it repaired and restored.

As a rule, I avoid commercial radio. I’d rather endure a public radio pledge drive any day than listen to radio DJs and advertisements. Yes, I’m one of those guys.

And my experimentation with country music has always been highly curated: ironic and/or tribute country songs by rock acts (e.g. Elvis Costello), alt country recommended by friends whose taste I trust (e.g. Bela Fleck, Lyle Lovett, Mary Gauthier, Robert Earl Keen, and Todd Snider), and of course the artists of country’s pantheon (e.g. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, and Emmylou Harris).

When I found out that this AM-only radio can only pick up one station, I recognized it as an opportunity to challenge my snobbery on two fronts at once.

So far the music isn’t too bad. I could have done without The Huckabee Report.

But when KAFF played Highway Patrol, by Junior Brown (who I’d seen live once in Austin), I was encouraged. I can handle this.

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