Musicians from around the region who would rather spend time performing their tunes than marketing them might find a new friend in Todd Mack.
The owner of Off The Beat-n-Track recording studio in Southfield, Mass., is the host of a new weekly radio program on WKZE (98.1 FM) that features musicians from the station’s listening area of Dutchess and Ulster Counties, western Connecticut and southwestern Massachusetts. The hour-long program debuted last Thursday and can be heard tonight at 10 p.m.
Mack, a singer and guitarist who has released four albums on his own, didn’t waste last week’s hour by talking, but instead offered simple introductions and played music that was worth a listen even though it has yet to be discovered by a cigar-chomping executive from a big record company. Last week’s show featured “On the Verge,” by Helen Avakian of Pleasant Valley, “Easter Sunday,” by Bar Scott of Woodstock and “Fat Cat,” by Amy Fradon and Small Town News of Ulster County, among other songs.
“It’s about time,” Fradom said of the arrival of such a show. “I think it’s a fabulous thing that he’s doing.”
Mack also played several songs by the Beartown Mountain Ramblers, a band based in the Berkshire Mountain region of southeastern [sic] Massachusetts.
This choice likely pleased anyone who drove to great Barrington, Mass., in March to see the band open for Doc Watson at the Mahaiwe Theater, then popped over to Club Helsinki a few blocks away to see the group’s late-night set at the tiny club. Songs by the Beartown Mountain Ramblers that Mack featured were recorded that evening and can be found on the band’s new album, “Live at the Historic Mahaiwe Theater.”
Mack, a former resident of Atlanta whose musical tastes lean toward the Jayhawks, String Cheese Incident and Bob Dylan, said he wants to raise the awareness of a huge musical community that spans three states.
“The immediate goal is to make people aware of the amount and quality of talent that is out there in the six counties that we broadcast to,” he said.
Musicians should send press kits and compact discs to Mack, even if they are unsure that their style suits the listeners of WKZE, which is based in Sharon, Conn..
“I have to keep it within the bounds of WKZE, which are pretty darn broad,” Mack said. “If people are unsure, send it anyway.”
Bands interested in having their music played on Mack’s program can call him at (413) 229-9939.