May 7 Benefit for WCOM Community Radio

HT Flier May 2015


300-G E. Main St.

Carrboro, NC 27510

Office: 919.929.9601

Studio Call-In: 919.246.9639


Hickory Tavern to Host Fundraiser for WCOM-LP 103.5

CARRBORO, NC: The Hickory Tavern located inside the Hampton Inn at 370 East Main Street in Carrboro will host a fundraiser for community radio station, WCOM-LP 103.5, on Thursday, May 7, 2015 from 5PM until 10PM. Ten percent of food sales totals from receipts deposited will be donated to WCOM, a non-profit, all volunteer community radio station serving Carrboro and Chapel Hill. The event will include music by the Far From Done ukulele band and provide the opportunity for listeners to meet show hosts in a fun atmosphere. WCOM, the first station to go on air under the FCC’s Low Power program, celebrated its tenth anniversary of serving the community in 2014. The station, which rents studio space from The ArtsCenter in downtown Carrboro, reaches listeners around the globe through its Internet stream on It depends on donations and underwriting for its income.

WCOM provides a radio home for dozens of volunteer hosts creating original programming including outstanding talk and current affairs shows and music programs spanning many genres with especial strengths in roots, jazz, and blues. Guests on WCOM over the years have proven as diverse as Congressman David Price, blues star Shemekia Copeland, then State Senator Ellie Kinnaird, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Chris Hillman, the late Elizabeth Edwards, and mentalist The Amazing Kreskin. WCOM has trained and given a first broadcast opportunity to countless area residents.

According to its website, “Our mission at WCOM is to educate, inspire, and entertain the diverse populations of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and nearby areas. We cultivate local music and facilitate the exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas, with particular regard for those who are overlooked or under-represented by other media outlets. We provide a space for media access and education by providing equipment and training to our community.”

For More Information: Art Menius (, 919-675-2787)



Camp Springs Today Article in May 2015 Bluegrass Unlimited

camp springs BGU first page

The May issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine will include “Camp Springs Today,” a greatly expanded version of my most popular post here ever with color photographs by Becky Johnson (host of the Bluegrass Breakdown Wednesdays from 2-4PM on WCOM-FM.  The new version benefits from interviews with Bob “Quail” White, Tommy Edwards, and Fred Bartenstein and the research of Jordan Laney and Ron Roach.

You Can Make David Holt’s State of Music a Public TV Series

Please join me in contributing to the campaign to make David Holt’s State of Music a public TV series.

You can start by joining the email list for the campaign to make a national public TV series of David Holt’s State of Music

You can make it happen with with your contribution to the Indiegogo campaign for David Holt’s State of Music:

Watch the videos, read the story of David Holt’s State of Music, and look at the stunning set of perks rewarding donors from $25 to $5000

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You can join our Facebook community:

Making a series of this outstanding public TV program all starts with you. Please join me in this important effort for bluegrass, old-time, and folk music. I have known David Holt for more than 32 years now, since we first worked together on Fire on the Mountain for The Nashville Network. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has a great skill in introducing roots music to broad audiences through the mass media of television and radio. On January 29, David proved that once again when the one-hour special of David Holt’s State of Music debuted on UNC-TV to more than 32,000 live viewers of North Carolina public TV. Subsequently aired on Blue Ridge Public TV in Virginia, David Holt’s State of Music permits him to introduce people to roots music today, both rising stars like Rhiannon Giddens and Josh Goforth and established masters such as Balsam Range, Bryan Sutton, Bruce Molsky, and the Branchettes.

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The success of that special has created an amazing opportunity for David, the non-profit Will & Deni McIntyre Foundation which produces it, and all of us who care about folk music. UNC-TV wants David Holt’s State of Music to become a series for national public television distribution! The potential is enormous, but so are the costs. Raising the $484,000 needed to make it happen will take the contributions of foundations, corporate sponsors, and individuals, like you. Your opportunity exists right now!

You can make this amazing opportunity for roots music on public TV real. Regardless of whether you donate, please help spread the word of David Holt’s State of Music and our campaign. These opportunities don’t come along every day.

Why is our broadband Internet so Slow

We live in White Cross, Bingham Township, in southwestern Orange County, NC, the home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We have only slow DSL from AT&T as an option for Internet access. This retards my home based consulting and marketing business and diminishes our entertainment. Slow speed makes it difficult to sync business files on DropBox for both back up. Watching HD quality video is nearly impossible, so that we are forced to continue to subscribe to expensive satellite TV rather than being able to use lower cost Internet services that better fit our needs. Such a situation this close to the municipalities of Chapel Hill and Carrboro that are courting gigabyte Internet is unacceptable and the direct result of lack of competition. Sadly, MebTel delivers much better Internet service only a couple of miles from our house.

In very rural, low population (20,000 for Letcher County, KY), low income ($11,500 per capita), mountainous southeastern KY where we lived literally at the end of the road near the mountain top, we have 6mbps down via cable. In rural Maryland, we had 13mbps down via cable. Southern Orange County is more populous than either place, so the issue seems to be more lack of competition than population density.

Three solutions occur to me.
a) We are a tantalizing 200 yards from where our phones receive 4G LTE. Were a cell tower constructed nearer to us, we could switch over to an acceptable 10Mbps down via cellular.

b) Expansion of MebTel service area, again tantalizingly close, or

c) AT&T stepping up their game to provide better service to their captive customers.

Isn’t about time that rural Orange County, North Carolina broadband, where the towns talk about Gigabyte, quit lagging behind Letcher County, Kentucky?