Here’s what folks are saying about Art of the Song

Art of the Song is a refreshingly original hour of public radio. It examines the creative process of perhaps the only art form on Earth that can bind us all — music. It’s a classy, intelligent production that we’re proud to present to Baltimore area listeners not once, but twice a week.

- Gary Helton, Station Manager, WHFC, Bel Air, MD

I was pleasantly surprised when I [first] listened to Art of the Song because the interview style is so refreshing. John and Viv put their guests at ease and the conversation sounds natural and relaxed. I might never have the chance to interview some of these artists and I’m glad my listeners will benefit from hearing them tell their stories on Art of the Song.

- Abby Goldstein, Program Director, New Hampshire Public Radio

The musical guests make Art of the Song an entertaining show, but the how-to segments on songwriting and the creative process make it an informative—almost instructional—program that’s very compelling radio.

- Bob Kirby, PD, High Plains Public Radio, KS, TX

I have been a disc jockey and station manager for nearly 20 years in Philadelphia radio… I must say Art of the Song is one of the best [programs] I’ve ever come across…

- Bonnie Hart, WBCZ, Pemberton, NJ

With the addition of Art of the Song to our program schedule, Thursday nights just got a lot more interesting on South Texas radio. I highly recommend other stations around the country pick up this program and then brag all they can about it. Art of the Song is an anti-trendy, super polished, oasis of originality… I love it.

- Johnna Zimmerman, Director of Music, KEDT/KVRT

I am very, very pleased with the show. I like the questions, the answers, the thoughts and suggestions, certainly the music. What’s not to like? I enjoyed listening to Nanci Griffith yesterday afternoon, for example. I am familiar with her music, but not her background. It all was a pleasant and informative learning experience. As winter hits us (about 6 inches of snow so far today, a winter storm warning and a lake effect snow warning), listening to more from “the land of enchantment” is going to be warming!

- Steve Shulman, Program Director, WRFA, Jamestown, NY

It doesn’t matter where you come from or where you’re going – the show is about the singer, the song, and the important idea that creation is a magical mystery that is nonetheless accessible to all. [5 stars!]

- Marjorie Van Halteren, Morbecque, France

I first heard this series at this years NFCB conference and I thought ‘what a great idea for a show!’ I still feel that way. Art of the Song, is as tight and smartly produced as most shows with national distribution. The breaks, cues and segue’s roll along without a hitch.

A nice bonus however, are the two workshop featurettes that are tossed in at the end – The Creativity Corner and Songwriters Toolbox. These would be great content for almost any musician or artist.” Informational, Light-hearted, Polished [4 stars!]

- Adam Allington, producer, Red Hook, NY

Art of the Song is about music the way Car Talk is about internal combustion. Car Talk is all about the talk. And Art of the Song is art – something godlike that can transpire between mere mortals. Like Judy Carmichael’s Jazz Inspired, Art of the Song is about creativity. It is turned-on variety and fusion that’s the apex of what public radio can achieve. Program 7 in the series shows off beautiful negative-space interviewing, where Robert Mirabal warms up and pours through the mic and makes the radio invisible, with a perfectly mixed flute score in and out of audibility like wind in the trees.

Mirabal’s spoken word pieces over traditional song produce an especially accessible presentation of both new idea and traditional aesthetic. Diverse, wry, and challenging, Robert Mirabal is just plain hard to resist, as in Blue Lake: ‘Maybe I’ll understand the man, Nixon, America, and the Holy Land when I get older. What was more important now was catching up to smelly Starchy Montoya and riding to the dump to look for old bicycle forks to make me a modified chopper with a white banana seat.’

And Mirabel’s broad sweep finds the perfect counterpoint with Eliza Gilkyson’s emotional scalpel singing The Beauty Way, and with Michael Shorr offering accessible explications of honest songwriting. I was impressed with the honesty throughout these programs – the editing drives toward narrative, with enough pauses that the listener is compelled to be there with his own answers as well.

I’m not one easily hypnotized by New Age revelations, which are too often revealed to be ‘aged news’. I do like to be surprised by something that bravely goes beyond the confines of genre. It takes a daring eclecticism and some unwashed western humanity to make a common ground in radio land, and here it is.

Low-key hosts John Dillon & Vivian Nesbitt’s Art of the Song is programming that makes a genius PD – there’s not a national show outside the tentpoles you couldn’t knock off your schedule and come out better with this series.
5-Stars, and a bit of the Heavens thrown in.” [5 stars!]

- Geo Beach, journalist, radio producer, Anchorage, AK