Bluegrass Stories podcast launches with Katy Daley and friends

What immediately follows when a group of retired friends get together? They start telling stories, of course. And if they have worked a full life in and around bluegrass, they will be bluegrass stories.

If one of them is a recognized and experienced broadcaster, the idea pops up that other people might enjoy the stories as well. And that’s how the new Bluegrass Stories podcast was born.

Katy Daley, and good friends Howard Parker and Akira Otsuka meet often for lunch in the DC area. Between them they have seen just about everything that has transpired in bluegrass music around the nation’s capitol. And beyond, even. The interest in the music they share in common, but their professional experience gives them different perspectives.

Katy, of course, had been broadcasting in DC more than 30 years when she recently retired. She was the morning voice on Bluegrass Country much of that time, and her deep knowledge and easy humor led to her twice being named IBMA Bluegrass Broadcaster of the Year. Akira Otsuka sees the bluegrass scene from the stage, as a musician and performer. Growing up in Japan, he moved to the US as a young man after visiting with Bluegrass 45 in the early 1970s. And Howard Parker, while also a performer, has been deeply involved in event management as a board member of the Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music, who put on the annual Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival.

So, at these recurring lunches, which often include other DC friends, like Kitsy Kuykendall, widow of Bluegrass Unlimited founder Pete, and Elise Auldridge, widow of Seldom Scene reso-guitarist, Mike, it was suggested that they find a way to share their stories. With Katy’s broadcast experience, Akira’s knowledge of the recording process, and Howard’s experience with all things digital, it was decided that a podcast was the way to go.

The three of them obtained suitable recording devices to capture interviews, and set to work collecting stories. Their plan is to release a season of six episodes periodically. None of the three partners wants to get locked into a rigid schedule, so there will be some flexibility in the recurrence, but each time they get six together, a new season will be announced.

Instead of the usual interviews about an artist’s newest release, these stories will focus on more personal aspects of their lives, and what it’s like to do what they do. Each interview will be kept short, under 30 minutes, so you won’t be bombarded with minutiae.

Today the first episode of the first season of Bluegrass Stories goes live. To start, it’s Howard’s interview with Ryan Paisley about Growing Up Paisley. Even had he wanted nothing to do with bluegrass, Ryan was in before he was born. His grandfather, Bob Paisley, and his dad, Danny Paisley, have been bluegrass icons for decades, and Ryan, now 18, grew up a part of the music. He was on stage with his dad in his early teens, and is now a seasoned professional touring musician.

Here’s a taste of their discussion…

New episodes in this first season will go live each week on the podcast web site, and it will soon be available through iTunes and other popular podcast aggregators.

Welcome Bluegrass Stories, which will surely be a valued part of online bluegrass media.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.