Live from the Downtown Eastside is a new radio program featuring a trio of Maple Ridge music lovers spinning music from the local scene.
The show is called Two Hicks and a Lady, featuring locals Chris Horne, Pam Burns and Patsy Thompson.
They chose the name because it is catchy and also makes fun of what they believe people who live in Vancouver think about when they think of Maple Ridge.
“We know everyone in Vancouver thinks we live way out in the sticks so we play right into the stereotypes,” laughed Horne.
“Patsy is definitely a hick,” chuckled Horne, adding that Burns and Thompson consider him the lady.
“It’s just an ongoing joke. I will proudly wear that,” he said.
The program is pegged as eclectic with some jazz, blues, country and more.
“It’s a kind of music festival format, it allows us to have everything we want,” explained Burns on the Co-Op Radio website.
The idea of hosting a program started when the group went to the station to promote the Variété D’Arts Society summer concert series and the Art Yeah Music Festival in September.
“The three of us had so much fun being on there that when an opportunity came up to do a show weekly, we decided to go for it,” said Horne.
The show focuses mostly on music from the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows area. But they also include musicians from Langley, Surrey, Port Coquitlam and Mission, “if they are nice to us,” joked Horne.
“If we’re going to do 52 shows a year, I don’t think our own friends have 52 hours of music,” said Horne about branching out into other communities.
“Although they would love it if we played it every week,” he laughed.
Around 12 songs are played during each interspersed with phone-in music trivia, updates on shows in the area and live guests.
Last Monday’s show featured music by local artist Bruce Coughlan, with the group Tiller’s Folly, who called in the show to talk about his latest work.
Horne says Burns is the biggest source of music for the show, from running the Kanaka Open Mic for nine years now at Kanaka Creek Coffee along 102 Avenue in east Maple Ridge.
“She could probably do the show by herself with her collection [of music],” said Horne of the music given to Burns.
Horne, Variété D’Arts Society president and member of Band For Good, has connections in the B.C. Music Festival scene and country singer/songwriter Patsy Thompson, who has shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Clint Black, Rusty Weir and Stop The Truck, has connections as far away as Nashville.
“There are a whole bunch of different levels of people that we have access to, that we know personally, that it makes for an interesting show,” said Horne.
Vancouver Co-operative Radio, CFRO, 100.5 FM is a non-commercial, co-operatively owned, listener supported community radio station that is located at Columbia and Hastings Street, downtown Vancouver. The station, “strives to provide a space for under-represented and marginalized communities.”
The station has more than 300 volunteer programmers with programming 24 hours a day covering arts, public affairs, music and “in third languages”, languages other than English or French.
Learning the ropes at the station has been a bit of a struggle for the group.
“It is basically a three step process for turning the signals on,” explained Horne.
“There are two buttons and a slider. Then, depending on what the source of your music is, if it’s coming from the computer or if it’s coming from the CD player. Or if you want to get crazy you can play tapes and vinyl. I’m happy with the memory stick myself,” he said.
The most challenging aspect of hosting a radio show for Burns is being organized.
But for her it is her dream job, although none of them get paid.
“It’s my ultimate ideal job because I listen to the radio and I hear Justin Bieber and stuff like that and I think that’s just absolute boring to me,” she said.
“I mean he may have a beautiful voice but it is way overproduced. And I’ve always said, well, I would like to play the people in my café because they’re much better. And now we can,” she said.
The Oct. 29 show will feature locals Caden Knudson and bandmate Aaron Connaughton promoting their new album called Professional men of Music.