Listen to Austin 360 Radio

KGSR's 'Lone Star State of Mind' spotlights Texas artists

Gary Dinges, Static

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Live, local radio isn't dead.

You just have to know where to look, and KGSR's "Lone Star State of Mind" is a good place to start.

Airing from 10 p.m. to midnight Fridays, the show has featured a diverse mix of music from Austin artists — as well as those with Texas ties — for the past 15 years.

"Giving Texas artists airplay is a good thing – not because they're Texas artists, but because they're talented musicians," says Roger Allen, who has served as host for the past 3½ years.

Allen spends much of the week prepping for each show, selecting 35 to 40 tracks he'd like to play — even though only 20 or 25 will make it on the air. Some weeks there are themes, such as salutes to artists celebrating a birthday. Other weeks it's just a mix of tunes that caught Allen's ear.

"I feel like every song is important," he says. "It's always hard to figure out who's going to get left out."

Allen's go-to artists include Joe Ely, Bob Schneider, Eliza Gilkyson and Bright Light Social Hour, among others. But you're just as likely to catch acts you've never heard before. And that's the point.

"I try not to be pigeonholed in the music I play," he says. "This two hours gives me a chance to dabble in all of it."

Once a month, Allen ventures out of the studio and hosts the show from Saxon Pub or Threadgill's, giving fans a chance to meet their faves.

"We've been able to bring in some pretty amazing folks," he says. "It's really gratifying to see the Austin audience respond."

And, thanks to live streaming on kgsr.com, "Lone Star State of Mind" has an audience that extends far beyond Central Texas. Allen has received emails from listeners in places such as Cambodia, Korea, Madagascar and New Zealand.

"Texas music transcends borders," he says. "We're reaching people who are hungry for the music and are appreciative.

"The KGSR audience is very smart. If I can win them over, then I'm doing something right."

Sounds of summer

KGSR's Blues on the Green is back for another year.

The 21st installment of the concert series gets started this Wednesday with Bob Schneider, and it continues through Aug. 17.

Schneider is, so far, the only performer who's been announced.

Shows are free, start at 7:30 p.m., and are held at Zilker Park every other week.

Food from six local restaurants will be available for purchase, and concert-goers may bring blankets, lawn chairs and leashed dogs.

More details at kgsr.com/blues.

KHFI leads the pack

Yet again, there's a new No. 1 on Austin's radio dial.

Clear Channel-owned KHFI, home of the "Bobby Bones Show," was the city's top-rated station in April, knocking corporate cousin KASE into second place.

NPR affiliate KUT, which spent several months in the No. 1 spot last year and earlier this year, remained in third for a second straight month.

Average quarter-hour ratings as of April 27, courtesy of radio-info.com (numbers in parentheses indicate rank as of March 30):

1. KHFI (2)

2. KASE (1)

3. KUT (3)

4. KLBJ-AM (5)

5. KPEZ (4)

6. KBPA (6)

7. KVET-FM (7)

8. KKMJ (8)

9. KAMX (9)

10. KLBJ-FM (11)

gdinges@statesman.com; 912-5987

'Lone Star State of Mind'

When:10 p.m. to midnight Fridays

Where: 93.3 FM and 102.7 FM, KGSR

Online:kgsr.com

Around the dial ...

Marc Maron's ‘WTF,' a podcast featuring interviews with big-name comedians, has found a home on Austin's KUT. The station says it should pop up regularly during ‘O'Dark Thirty,' which airs Sundays at midnight. ... Pam McKay, Clear Channel's Austin market manager, is now overseeing the company's San Antonio stations, as well. She replaces Matt Martin, who was bumped up to regional senior vice president.