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Etown is an exciting weekly radio broadcast heard from coast to coast on NPR, public and commercial stations. Every etown show is taped in front of a live audience and features performances from many of today's top musical artists as well as conversations and information about the world around us. At etown, we build community through music.

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A Garden of Variety From Our Region To Yours

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 00:29

Something happens to me every spring as the weather begins to warm, and the chances of snow become fewer and further between. I’m sure I am not the only one who gets the overwhelming sensation of newness, of starting fresh, shifting concentration to health and well being. It’s hard not to feel this way when you look around and see that all of the plants and trees are sharing in this experience. It’s undeniable, and after decades of experiencing it year after year, it never gets old to me. Music, much like everything else, can be a living, breathing thing. It can be planted in a musician at an early age, but it has to be nurtured. If treated with care, it can grow into a beautiful thing that can germinate and give life to the people, places and things that are close enough to it to absorb its seeds as they scatter into the air.

Forsters-0716Fittingly, this week’s broadcast/podcast features a dear friend of eTown who is equal parts gardener as songwriter. We are lucky to have Gregory Alan Isakov living in our neck of the woods, and even luckier to have been able to have him as a guest on the show several times in eTown’s more recent history. Just as a gardener takes great care to plant in fertile soil, and provide attention to his or her crop as it grows, it clear that Gregory takes the same great care in his songwriting process. You can hear patience in his music. The leaves are trimmed so that the plant can grow into something beautiful, without carrying the dead weight of elements that may drag it down. He sings about landscapes. He sings about the weather. His music is organic. Here at eTown we find his musical crop to be the perfect compliment to our conversations about common sense stewardship and living sustainably. It’s a great fit.

Forsters-0872Also with us this week is Denver-based singer/songwriter Nathanial Rateliff, who brings his own unique voice to the program. This was Nathaniel’s second visit to the show, and this time he comes stripped down to the bare essentials – his voice and a guitar. Nathaniel’s music is powerful in any format, and his sense of humor is keen and sharp. Both times I’ve heard him interviewed by our host Nick Forster, I’ve found myself cracking up behind the camera. It’s clear that Nathaniel takes his music seriously, but when he puts the guitar down, he can be a really funny guy too.

Along with the great music this week, we’ve got a really interesting eChievement Award story about a New Hampshire man who has come up with a creative way to reduce waste on college campuses by keeping reusable materials out of college dumpsters and getting them into the hands of people who can use them.

Very cool program all the way around this week. Be sure to tune in, podcast and watch the videos from this week’s episode.


Happy spring!

– Zack

The post A Garden of Variety From Our Region To Yours appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

eTown Back from the Road at EXPO West

Sat, 03/14/2015 - 00:23

eTown just got back from Anaheim where we were the featured event on Saturday night at the Natural Products Expo. Our show, which was a benefit for the non-profit organization Just Label It, raised over $100k for the effort to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws. Our guests included Ziggy Marley & his band, The Both featuring Aimee Mann and Ted Leo, Gary Hirshberg, founder & CEO of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt and chairman of Just Label It, and Adrian Grenier, star of HBO’s Entourage and an avid and outspoken environmentalist. The show, taped in front of nearly 1,000 people, marked eTown’s triumphant return to Expo West after many years.

The show begin airing on stations nationwide and abroad April 8th. To find a station near you, click HERE or check back to the eTown website & iTunes!

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The post eTown Back from the Road at EXPO West appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

A Lesson In Less Is More – The Beauty In Sparseness

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 00:00

This week we take a second look at a broadcast/podcast we originally aired last year. It was a pairing that turned out to be a gem, and we thought it might be nice to let it roll through our fingers once more. While both of this week’s artist’s origins are separated by a giant expanse of water, they both find musical grounding in the subtleties and nuances of using space and emptiness as a member or instrument in the band.

DSC_5487-Edit-EditFirst up, Laura Marling makes her first visit to eTown to share songs spanning her last five albums, as well as a wisely chosen Townes Van Zandt cover that had our taping audience on pins and needles on account of it’s beauty. (See the video for “Colorado Girl” below) There aren’t many distractions in Laura’s music, and that is the way it should be with her. Her voice is unique and captivating, and the space she leaves between her lyrics and guitar playing really reel you in.

DSC_5566Also with us is singer/songwriter Matthew Houck who performs under the moniker Phosphorescent. I enjoyed getting to know Matthew while he was with us. We share a lot of the same roots, and it is always cool to see where those initial roads can take people. Matthew is originally from Alabama (where I lived for several years) and got his musical start in Athens, Georgia (another town I played music in quite a bit in my 20’s). When I was a kid, Athens, Georgia was the musical mecca of the south. Countless bands were sprouting there, and growing into legendary musical groups. It’s a cool town, and I wasn’t surprised to learn that Matthew got things going there. I could hear the town buried in some of his music. Much like Laura Marling, Matthew’s music is sparse and beautiful, and translates well no matter how he chooses to interpret it instrumentally on any given performance. Nick, Helen and the eTones join him for a beautiful rendition of his tune “Song For Zula” that you can check out in the video links below. Great stuff!

award shot for blogLots of great music and conversation with these two artists this week, plus an inspiring eChievement Award story about a woman who came up with a simple way to help AIDS-affected families in Tanzania – All in this week’s broadcast/podcast.

Be sure to listen, watch and come back again next week!


– Zack

The post A Lesson In Less Is More – The Beauty In Sparseness appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

Thoughts on Global Warming . . and Details About Our HOT Show This Week

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:42

Sigh. It’s snowing. Again. Check out these photos from my backyard:

IMG_1895This has been one heck of a winter so far for many parts of the country, Colorado being one of them. Not many people know this, but March generally is, on average, the biggest snowfall month for our great state, followed closely by, oddly enough, April (strange I know but its those one or two late spring blizzards we tend to get in April that make that a fact). This winter, though, only a few days into the month of March, I’m told we’ve already had as much snow here in Colorado as we sometimes get in a season. Yikes.

That of course pales in comparison with what the poor folks in Boston, New York and other east coast communities are dealing with. But still, it’s significant.

Now, some people will use the fact that our winter weather in general seems to be getting more and more extreme to try to claim that global warming is a myth – they say “How can our winters be so cold and harsh if there’s global warming?” Of course the majority of scientists and experts continue to point out that climate change caused by global warming negatively impacts our weather patterns overall (resulting in hotter, longer, drier summers as well as colder, more severe winters). But try to explain that to Rush Limbaugh.

I’ve always wondered why we as a nation (read: our government) still haven’t embraced alternative fuel sources and energy sources as a concept to actively aim for. I mean, I have to say to those who claim ‘the jury is still out’: Why would you even take a chance on maintaining the status quo, if global warming is even a slight possibility? Where’s the harm in throwing the type of financial subsidies toward alternative energy research and development that oil, gas and ethanol industries have enjoyed for years (and in some cases for decades)? At the very least we create much needed jobs, not just in research but in execution (think solar panel manufacturing and installation, the building of windmills, etc. etc. Its endless if you think about it). We could at the very least be reducing our need for fossil fuels, right? And call me overly optimistic, but I believe that American ingenuity rocks . . so maybe we could eventually, given a concerted, united effort, even one day replace fossil fuels completely. Goodbye dependence on foreign oil . . . that has a nice ring. Something I can continue to hope for.

Anyways, as I sit in my cozy little office here at eTown world headquarters (heated with solar energy), I can see the huge thick snowflakes falling outside my window (probably why I just had the stream of consciousness above) as I gear up to share with you what’s happening on our broadcast/podcast this week:

You know we’ve been having a lot of young, up-and-coming musicians on the show of late. But far be it from eTown to neglect our elders. This week, we feature two truly legendary artists, a respected folk/rock icon and the first lady of Rockabilly. Quite the combo!

20131208-DSC_9735An exceptional singer/songwriter (and old friend), David Bromberg graces the eTown stage this week (his rendition of his song “I’ll Take You Back” is priceless; he and Nick have a great conversation, too, that you’ll enjoy hearing). He’s a beloved musical artist whose still vibrant career dates back to the early 1960’s.


We’re also so honored to welcome back the legendary ‘queen of rockabilly’ as she’s affectionately referred to, Wanda Jackson. I defy you to name an accomplished professional female artist who is not aware of her significant impact on women in rock n’ roll. She’s definitely a musical idol for so many. And her sound is totally recognizable: as soon as you hear her, you’ll know exactly who she is.

Plus, we’ve got another uplifting eChievement Award story for you, this time about a young woman who’s using perfectly edible food, that would otherwise end up in the landfill, to feed the hungry in her community. Very inspiring stuff.

Join us this week in eTown!



The post Thoughts on Global Warming . . and Details About Our HOT Show This Week appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town