May 3 Bourbon Express. A great retro old-school country style band with appealing original tunes, Bourbon Express earlier this year released their debut album One Big Losin' Streak, which has been getting critical praise and national airplay, including on WVIA's Mixed Bag. They make their Homegrown Music debut with a bunch of new tunes not on their album.
May 9 A Homegrown Music Concert with the ERIC MINTEL QUARTET. The Homegrown Music live concert-broadcast season concludes with an evening of jazz with a quartet led by Southeastern PA pianist Eric Mintel who was a featured guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz and also performed at the White House. He was also a friend and protege of the late Dave Brubeck. With Poconos sax luminary Nelson Hill, the Eric Mintel Quartet recently released a live album recorded at the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts. Nine years after their Homegrown Music debut we welcome the EMQ back for what some great appealing and often-energetic jazz. The group will be performing two sets in various configurations.
As usual, WVIA's members and listeners are invited to attend the concert in the station's Sordoni theater. Free audience reservations are available on a first-come-first served basis at wvia.org. (Note: start time 8:00 PM.)
May 10 Romy. Romy Balvers is a Dutch-born singer-songwriter-pianist known for her thoughtful, often-confessional songs. Her album Unbound was featured on WVIA's Mixed Bag, and last year, appeared on a Homegrown Music concert. This segment is an encore of her 2014 studio session.
May 17 Smash Palace. From the Homegrown Music archive comes the debut Homegrown Music session by a Philadelphia area band who has been going for nearly 30 years. Known for their melodic songwriting, they had the distinctive experience of being “discovered” while playing at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, where the Beatles also were discovered. Smash Palace recently released their 10th album Extended Play. This segment is an encore of Smash Palace's Homegrown Music session from 2006.
May 24 Robb Taylor. Veteran Poconos-based rock and pop musician Robb Taylor has shared the stage as opening act with luminaries such as Roberta Flack, Chubby Checker and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He made his Homegrown Music debut in 2007 and now returns with a new set of enjoyable original songs performed in a mainly keyboard-based setting with his band.
Radio - Local Programs
with George Graham
Part of Mixed Bag, Tuesdays at 9pm on WVIA-FM
Homegrown Music with George Graham presents a wide range of rock, folk, bluegrass, jazz, blues, reggae, World Music, fusion, etc., in short, all the types of music that Mixed Bag presents, with new studio sessions from the region's finest and most creative musicians. The emphasis is on all-original material, or highly original interpretations of old, obscure, or seldom-heard music. Each show features a different performance, with occasional encore broadcasts from the series' nearly 40-year archive.
The series presents monthly two-hour concert-broadcasts from the Sordoni High Definition Theater at WVIA. To reserve your seat for an upcoming concert,.
Listen to Full Episodes
Homegrown Music Sessions
Generally, a performer must has no less than 20 minutes of completed music to be considered to be part of Homegrown Music. The ideal length is about a half hour, with the maximum length of just under an hour. (Longer segments can be broken up and broadcast on two different programs.) The length of each song thus determines how many tunes would be involved. Submit a physical demonstration recording on CD (or even cassette) to the following address: WVIA-FM, George Graham - Homegrown Music, 100 WVIA Way, Pittston, PA 18640-6197. The sound quality of the recording is not important, as long as all the instruments and vocals can be heard. Homemade recordings or recordings made from the mixing board at a live show are fine. Include what you feel is representative of the music you wish to perform on Homegrown Music, and the recording should preferably include all the personnel you hope to use during the studio recording session. You may include a large selection of songs, or just a few if you feel they accurately represent your style, level of musicianship and creativity. Be sure to include an e-mail address or phone number at which you can be reached during the evening.
If you wish to check on your demo's status, phone (570) 602-1165, during weekday evening hours. Because of the huge proliferation of music and bands on the internet, there is no guarantee that sending a link to a website will result in an audition. To ensure that the music will get a fair hearing, please send a physical recording to the above address.
Meet the Team
One of the first staff members at WVIA. Produces and hosts Mixed Bag, All That Jazz and Homegrown Music on WVIA Radio, and the Homegrown Music Concerts on WVIA-TV.
Graham was the first employee of WVIA Radio, and has been on the WVIA staff since 1972. A native and resident of Carbondale, PA, he is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University, where he majored in electrical engineering. He joined the WVIA staff in connection with the studio design and construction of WVIA-FM, but with his four years of on-air experience at the Duke University radio station, he immediately moved into on-air work. He sought to bring the kind of eclectic contemporary music radio programming that marked student radio at Duke (where he was program director) in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He introduced Mixed Bag, which has become purportedly the longest continuously-running program of what is now called "album adult alternative" music in the country. Graham introduced Homegrown Music, a program to spotlight talented regional artists in performances from the station's studio. The series has been running continuously as a weekly series since 1976, and includes weekly recording session broadcasts, and monthly live concerts performed before a studio audience.
He also hosts WVIA's All That Jazz, and presents extensive annual radio coverage of the region's jazz festivals from Delaware Water Gap and Scranton. Graham has written for regional publications, and also works as a free-lance recording engineer, producer and mastering engineer.