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Interview: The Audio Ranch Show Debuts on KWSS 93.9 FM

The Audio Ranch Show, Jason Patrick Woodbury, interview

Local music enthusiasts have a little extra to look forward to this week. On Sunday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 7 P.M. The Audio Ranch show will premiere on KWSS 93.9 FM.

The radio show pairs Jason P. Woodbury— an Arizona native and music journalist who currently works in purchasing and promotions for Zia Records— with Johnny Dixon— a longtime Valley DJ (Johnny D) and Arizona music historian.

During The Audio Ranch, the duo will cover old and new music from a range of genres rooted in the Sonoran. The program will air every Sunday night on KWSS 93.9 FM, online at the KWSS website.

Below, read The Spec‘s interview with Woodbury to learn more about The Audio Ranch…

How long have you and Johnny D known each other, how did you get connected?
I’ve known John for a few years now. I’ve collected records for more than a decade now, and collectors I’d meet around the Valley talked in mythic tones about “Johnny D,” this longtime radio deejay and serious record collector. When he launched his “Mostly Vinyl” show on KWSS in 2011, I interviewed him for the Phoenix New Times, and after that we kept in touch. I’d invite him out to lunch each time I needed a historian’s point of view for a story, or just to pester him with questions about Phoenix music, and he’d always amaze me with behind-the-scenes knowledge and hilarious details.

Early in 2013, John and Zia Records, the company I work for, put together an archival Arizona single featuring Waylon Jennings and Sanford Clark for Record Store Day. When he asked me to work with him on a new radio show, I was honored. He’s not only a music lover of the highest level but a tremendously kind and funny person. He’s a delight to hang out with.

What can we expect to hear on the program? New music, interviews?
We’re definitely going to play new and archival music. The biggest thrill of doing this show for me is getting the chance to be in the barn with John and his record collection, pulling out things I’m curious to hear. It’s hard for either of us to focus on one genre in particular, so there’s going to be soul, R&B, country, funk, roots, blues, garage rock, surf. I don’t think we could narrow it down much more than that – it’s a very freeform format.
Eventually there will be some interviews, maybe even live performances. I keep a long list of folks I want to get in there with us.

We know John “Johnny D” Dixon is more of the “AZ music historian,” but you’ve been deeply involved with the music scene for years — what is one interesting, little known fact that you know about the Arizona music scene?
John is indeed the more qualified historian of our duo. I don’t know how “little known” this is, but I’ve been captivated by a specific Phoenix record from the past for a few years now, one recorded by Reverend Louis Overstreet at his church in South Phoenix in 1962. Arhoolie Records released recordings from the church as Rev. Louis Overstreet His Guitar, His Sons and the Congregation of St. Luke’s Powerhouse Church of God in Christ, and a few years ago Mississippi Records in Portland reissued it on vinyl, which is when I picked it up. It’s an incredible record, raw, fuzzy, and utterly moving. There’s footage of his congregation on YouTube taken from the documentary “Down Home Music: A Journey Through the Heartland 1963 and it’s so beautiful. I don’t know if people think of music like that as “Phoenix music,” but there’s a kind of hot intensity to it that I don’t think would occur anywhere else. Or maybe that’s just me being romantic.

What are some of your favorite music-themed podcasts?
I’m partial to a bunch of programs. All the Sidecar (Transmissions) my buddy Justin Gage does for Aquarium Drunkard are essential listening. I’m a big fan of Sound Opinions, which Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis host on WBEZ Chicago. There’s a lot of great back-and-forth between those guys, and it’s interesting even if I don’t care about the music they’re discussing.

Joe Bussard’s Country Classics is always a hoot. Sinner’s Crossroads with Kevin Nutt on WFMU and Mike McGonigal’s Buked & Scorned: The Gospel Radio Hour are two essential gospel podcasts I always dig. The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn is a key listen each week — everything that guy pulls out, from punk, garage, to crooner standards or whatever, slays me. I love Chance with Wolves , Backroad to Nowhere, all of the Platter Playlist podcasts, and Good Times! Bad Times!, which is a killer roots podcast based here in Phoenix, for now anyway, as its host Jeremiah Sazdanoff is moving to Portland. So many of the good ones move to Portland, don’t they?

If you could bring anyone, dead or alive, on The Audio Ranch, who would it be and why?
That’s pretty brutal question. My first answer – and if I think too much about it I’m likely to change my mind – would be Lee Hazlewood. I’ve always wanted to ask him about his roots on the radio in Coolidge, Ariz., which is where I grew up, bug him about his work with Nancy Sinatra, ask him about his time as “cowboy in Sweden.” Hazlewood feels distinctly like an “Arizona guy” to me, someone open to the psychedelic weirdness, but also a no B.S. kind of dude more content kicking dirt and drinking Chivas Regal than getting down with loopy hippies or whatever. But I’m sure he’d challenge my every pre-conception of him during an interview, which is one my favorite thrills.

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