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New Bluegrass iTunes Podcast - The Bluegrass Byway

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The Bluegrass BywayNashville, TN -- Podcasting is by no means a new medium or format. Ever since the release of iTunes version 4.9 back in June 2005, any amateur broadcaster with the desire to create content, or a show, which could potentially reach the millions of users on iTunes, could do so at very little to no cost. While the format is still in its infancy, the number of podcast subscribers has grown substantially in recent years due to the popularity of shows such as Serial, This American Life, Welcome to Night Vale, and The Moth Podcast.

Many celebrities have jumped into the arena as well to capitalize on the ever-growing number of podcast subscribers - Chris Hardwick, Stephen Colbert, and Marc Maron, to name a few, have all created weekly shows that are hugely popular on iTunes and claim listeners in the hundreds of thousands. But, despite this growing popularity, podcast junkies who are Bluegrass fans have no doubt noticed the marked lack of content in their podcast apps relating to Bluegrass music. This is what a veteran musician and producer from Nashville hopes to change with the recent launch of his new podcast, The Bluegrass Byway.

Joe Caliva, a professional musician in Nashville for the past 17 years, is a long-time fan of podcasting and a fairly recent convert to Bluegrass music. "My love and appreciation for Bluegrass music has been growing steadily since coming to Nashville in '98," Caliva explains, "but it wasn't until this past year that I decided I really wanted to dedicate my musical pursuits to becoming as good of a Bluegrass musician as possible, and to be an ambassador for the genre as well."

So, as he has done in the past with many of his other interests, Caliva started to search for a Bluegrass podcast that would provide in-depth interviews with artists, frank discussion about Bluegrass topics, news, music, and historical facts, all to help further his knowledge and understanding of the genre. "I was surprised to see that not only was Bluegrass grossly underrepresented in the podcast format, but many of the shows I did find seemed to play to the stereotype of Bluegrass as 'hillbilly' music, and there wasn't much support for newer artists."

After waiting and hoping that a podcast would be created that contained the type of content for which he was looking, Caliva decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns: "I guess all great ideas are born out of necessity, and I saw a need for a podcast like this... Bluegrass has evolved into a much more sophisticated art form, and it's time we change people's perception of it." With over 500 million registered users on iTunes, the show is poised to reach a large audience of fans who are hungry for this type of content, and convert more podcast listeners who aren't necessarily Bluegrass fans, but who love discovering new music that's independently driven and that features musicians and artists who are technically proficient in a style that is more organic and roots oriented.

The Bluegrass Byway debuted on Memorial Day last month and has been enjoying a steadily growing number of subscribers and listeners. In its first month, the show already boasts episodes with artists such as Kelsi Harrigill from Flatt Lonesome, Larry Stephenson, Donna Hughes, Ashley Lilly, and Joe Mullins. Future episodes will feature interviews with Missy Armstrong from Detour, The Barefoot Movement, and many more.

Those who subscribe to the podcast via iTunes will get each new episode of the show automatically delivered to their computers or mobile devices each Monday when the new episodes premiere. Subscribers can find the podcast on iTunes simply be searching for "Bluegrass Byway" in the iTunes store. Direct links are available on the show's web site, www.TheBluegrassByway.com, where fans can also listen to new and old episodes without being required to subscribe through iTunes.

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