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Undercurrents: getting Native music into the mix


UnderCurrents—one of the best syndicated public radio music shows around, has hit a milestone. “After six years of subverting formatting conventions across the USA, we’ve somehow reached 100 stations!” the show’s host Gregg McVicar wrote to us this week. The magic number loomed when the program was picked up by seventeen members of the Wyoming Public Radio network. Next the new KGUA on California’s North Coast signed on, followed by WSGE in North Carolina this past Sunday night.

“Talk about blowing into town!” McVicar’s e-mail noted. UnderCurrents is a five-hour daily music program for public radio stations. It is distributed by Native Voice One (NV1): The Native American Radio Service, and created at RadioCamp.

McVicar is the former host of the Earth Songs syndicated program, and hails from Tlingit country. His show features lots of great material from terrific groups like the Little Wolf Band and Laurence Laughing, skillfully embedded in a broad mix of rock, folk, blues, country, Americana, and electronica.

The result is compelling, original sound that reaches a host of public radio stations and introduces talented artists to a broad audience. The program now airs in seven of the top 25 Arbitron markets.

Here’s a chunk of a recent UnderCurrents playlist.

40:10 El Manisero Chira And Septeto Nacional Cuba – The Greatest Songs Ever
42:29 On This Old Farm Si Kahn Acoustic Rainbow Bluegrass Sampler Vol 01
45:45 Sweet Home Chicago Robert Johnson The Centennial Collection
48:39 See My Friends Ray Davies See My Friends
52:39 Way Hey Hey Lunar Drive Altogether Here
56:04 Cool Sanson low in the sky Dear Birds
00:12 Monster Ozomatli Music That Changes The World (Vol.1)
03:47 Prayers In The Wind Little Wolf Band Sacred Ground: A Tribute To Mother Earth
07:48 A-Punk Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend
10:04 (Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again L.T.D. L.T.D.: Greatest Hits
15:18 Up From Below Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Up From Below

UnderCurrents has a passionate following on its Facebook page. Typical comments: “Where did you find that wonderful playlist man?” and “I LOVE this program.” More love comments here.

If you want to listen to UnderCurrents, you can tune in on a wide variety of stations (100 at this point, as mentioned earlier). If you’d like to hear it right now, here’s a little trick I use. Go to Tunein Radio ( and search for UnderCurrents affiliate public radio station KXT in Dallas. Access the “lineup” link and you’ll find UnderCurrents there. Or just search Tunein for UnderCurrents. That usually will get you to an UnderCurrents station first up. It works for me.

Then just listen and enjoy!

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One Response to Undercurrents: getting Native music into the mix

  1. Susan the Brainiac September 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    Congrats Bud!! This is an awesome milestone for you and all of us “Native Radio Survivors!!!”

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