Caring and sharing – bluegrass radio resources while quarantined

In these days of severe, but necessary, restrictions, we are all looking for ways to relieve the monotony of ground-hog days with little changing, nor prospects of much changing soon. So, responding to a request, the host of Bluegrass Signal – San Francisco’s NPR station KALW 91.7 FM – Peter Thompson has compiled a list of bluegrass and old-time music stations and programs available online.

Thompson explains ….

“Because of the ‘Shelter-In-Place’ directive as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, at-home music-related activities are encouraged. These include online concerts and lessons, gift certificates and Patreon memberships, band camp and artist web sites, woodshedding and projects like Tristan Scroggins’ #quarantunechallenge [of which this is just one offering], and … listening to bluegrass and old-time music on the radio.

Based on the recommendations of other listeners as well as my own experiences, I’ve compiled a list of 11 stations and 74 programs that might be of interest during these trying times.

This list is far from exhaustive, and I’ll add programs/stations sent to me by email.

Thanks for your additional suggestions and … be well!”

At the time of going to press, the list of stations with multiple bluegrass and old-time music programs is shown below. Many are internationally known.

A preliminary list was originally posted on the California Bluegrass Association’s (CBA) web site.

Thompson continues ……

“I knew about most, posted a preliminary list on the California Bluegrass Association’s web site, got a few suggestions, dug deeper, and you have the result.

…… it’s not complete – and some of these shows are not happening these days because of stations going to automation – but it does provide possibilities for those sheltering-in-place to hear the music.”

The two lists can be found at the afore-mentioned CBA website, and Peter’s own Bluegrass Signal website.

So, we hope that you find something of interest to you, and if you locate others do not hesitate to contact him by email, or add them here in the comments.

Thompson concludes …

“I’ll continue to update as additional suggestions come my way.

Enjoy, and, wherever you are… stay safe.”


Bluegrass Signal is also broadcast on Bluegrass Country.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.