Brad Kolodner takes over for Barb Heller at Folk Alley

Folk Alley has announced that Brad Kolodner will serve as the newest host for their 24/7 radio streaming service, which features a mix of folk, bluegrass, old time, and Americana music. Brad is a well-known banjoist from Baltimore, who performs with Charm City Junction, and with his father as Ken & Brad Kolodner.

He has big shoes to fill at Folk Alley, coming in to plug the gap created by the retirement of Barb Heller, who spent the past 15 years hosting on the station. You can hear Brad in his new gig weeknights from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, and weekends from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST).

In a note to listeners, Barb shared how she reached the decision to step away, and gave her seal of approval to her successor.

“During the pandemic lockdown I discovered how much I love kayaking. I haven’t bought bread from a store since March. I didn’t miss commuting, wearing makeup, dressing up, or eating out. I worked from home and fit it in when the weather wasn’t suitable for outdoor recreation. It was kind of like being retired.

It was so much like retirement that I’ve decided to give it a try. Partially, at least. I’ll miss being your host at Folk Alley, but I’ll be thinking of you while I’m paddling down the Grasse River in St. Lawrence County in northern NY.

Brad Kolodner will be taking my place right away. He’s a colleague in bluegrass music, an International Bluegrass Music Association Broadcaster-of-the-Year nominee, a wonderful musician and singer, and he’ll be a terrific host for your Folk Alley listening. I hope you’ll welcome him as you have me over the years, and wish him all the best in his new job. Let him know what you’d love to hear! I’m sure he can swing it.

As for me, I would like to say thanks for the privilege of being your host for so many years. I’ve appreciated your emails, compliments, comments, and requests. I’m looking forward to listening to Brad hosting the music I love.”

Fans can continue to enjoy Barb on radio, as she will continue to host String Fever on North Country Public Radio, Thursdays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. She always spins good bluegrass music, along with interesting interviews with popular bluegrass, old time, and acoustic artists.

Kolodner has no plans to change things up during his on-air stint at Folk Alley, but said that fans of his music will find it comfortable listening.

“I’m thrilled at the chance to join the Folk Alley family. I’ll be spinning their typical blend of folk, bluegrass, singer/songwriter, old-time, Americana, etc.

That said, my background in bluegrass, old-time, and stringband music will most certainly play a role in my broadcasting knowledge, as that’s what I know best.”

Brad will continue to host his show on Bluegrass Country, Wednesdays from noon to 3:00 p.m. (EST), repeating on Saturdays from 7:00-10:00 a.m.

Best of luck to Barb in retirement, and to Brad at Folk Alley.

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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.