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FolkAlley RJ's stellar vocal harmony

Alexander Alexeenko - 19.04.20

FolkAlley is a community service created by the FreshGrass Foundation that seeks to bring the world's folk, roots and American music to the world via the Internet, spanning many miles and generations to provide a global exposure for an art form with a long tradition. and a loyal fan community. The radio station adheres to the principles familiar to every lover of such music: passion for history, lively sound and sincere texts on FolkAlley.

We want to introduce you to the most popular presenters of FalkAlley, whose voices you can hear in programs and podcasts.

1. FolkAlley host: Barb Heller


FolkAlley Barb lives in Canton, New York, and is a popular presenter on the Nordic Public Radio (NCPR). After receiving a degree in biology and chemistry at the University of St. Lawrence, Barb after graduating from the university did the most logical thing, she became a folk singer. She played and taught guitar and put together four albums: a duet album with Tom Richter, a collection of originals, one for children only, and an instrumental Christmas album of guitar arrangements with Danny Gotham.

When Gotham quit his job as a bluegrass show host for the NCPR 15 years ago, he invited Barb to apply for a job and, having slightly changed the schedule, she accepted the challenge and added “DJ” to her skills list on FolkAlley. By tradition in upstate New York, her first husband (who passed away in 1997) was a farmer. Barb is a familiar face at the Gray Fox Bluegrass Festival, where she regularly performs as a host.

2. FolkAlley host: Cindy Howes


From the day her parents bought her a radio for her 12th birthday, she listened toit almost all the time, every day, specially FolkAlley. Here are the words of Cindy herself: I’m not quite sure what made me think of this as a sixth grader, but I decided that I would be a DJ, what I was going to do. I made my mission to join the high school radio club and broadcast my first show in September of my first year.

Near the house, I ran and ran the WERS morning folk program at Emerson College in Boston. My proximity to folk music flourished in the rich music scene of the city. If I were not at the radio station, I would be in the Passim club, soaking in as much live music as possible. I have good memories of how I made my way through 21+ clubs and got a band member bracelet so I could stay and watch.

This desire to be close to Boston’s folk music continued after college, when I was lucky to get into one of the country's most talented music communities. In 2007, after working at several stations in Boston (Triple A, AM News, Folk and NPR News), I was hired as the organizer of the Morning Mix at WYEP in Pittsburgh, PA. I am honored to be part of the FolkAlley team, where I can once again combine my passion for radio and folk music!

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