by Debbie Gaylord
First Published in July 2014
THIS SUMMER......2015 ....SWAMP RADIO LIVE!
Friday, June 12 at 8pm
HOW’S YOUR SUMMER?
Join Swamp Radio’s sun-filled evening of songs, stories, sketches and interviews that celebrate the summer season in Northeast Florida. Special musical guests include The WillowWacks, Herd of Watts, and Mama Blue.
FLORIDA THEATRE, 128 East Forsyth, Downtown Jax
Read our take on Swamp radio from the July 2014 issue of St. Johns Magazine
Who are we? This is an age old question and one that Playwright and Creative Director, Ian Mairs and his band of storytellers, musicians, poets and performers has materialized for our community with the live show SWAMP RADIO, a celebration of the culture, arts and history of northeast Florida. This July, Swamp Radio will perform its latest with “Summer in the Ancient City” at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College July 18-19 at 7:30 pm.
Playwright, and Creative Director Ian Mairs says the Swamp Radio was inspired by NPR shows like The Prairie Home Companion and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Ian enjoyed these shows and thought it would be amazing to develop something similar for northeast Florida, the place where he grew up and which he loves dearly. “I hope Swamp Radio will chronicle the story of our community, and help people celebrate and mythologize where they live”. Ian moved here in 1970 and noticed right away that northeast Florida has what he calls a different flavor. Overall, he says, Floridians are optimistic.
Mairs describes his experience best. “My father moved us to Jacksonville from Los Angeles in 1970. From the minute we crossed the state line, I felt I had set foot on a new planet. The air was hot and wet. The trees were lush and green. Everyone spoke with a funny accent. It didn’t take long for me to be hypnotized by the place. I came to understand folks in North Florida had a certain way of doing everything: cooking vegetables (frying them), making iced tea (with a ton of sugar) and answering your elders (with a “yes ma’am” on the end of every response.) “
The name Swamp Radio first came to Ian about two years ago. He wrote it down on a post it note and stuck it on his refrigerator where it stayed for a while until the ideas began to flow and it gained a momentum of its own. He says the response has been amazing. The idea attracted many unique contributors and Swamp Radio was awarded a Spark Grant from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, allowing them to produce two highly successful shows focusing on Jacksonville this past Spring. The podcast (available on at swampradiojax.com) has listeners from all over the world.
This summer (2014) Swamp Radio will turn its attention on St. Augustine:
The best darn day trip you’ll ever take. Gas up the car, grab a Big Gulp, hop on Interstate 95 South and before you know it you’ll be parked in the oldest city in America. In this live episode, Swamp Radio will highlight the winning charms of St. Augustine — checking in with the groovy sounds of The WillowWacks (hometown duo), a quirky and not-so-serious side to the city’s rich history (provided by historian Wayne Wood) and the secret to making a Watermelon Mint popsicle from the folks at the Hyppo.
Here’s the lineup:
The WillowWacks — folksy, lyrical husband and wife singing duo from St. Augustine.
Derek Coghlan — Irish storyteller (and Swamp Radio audience favorite) will recount the day he landed on the shores of north Florida (from his hometown of Castlepollard) and discovered the sun, the sea …and the thong. (This is a great tale.)
Tim Gilmore — author and history buff, Gilmore will tell the story of Fanny and Butch, a pair of notorious sea lions known for their numerous escapes from Marineland.
Ask Swamp Lady — think Ann Landers with a north Florida country spin on things.
The Winter 2015 show....
UP NORTH Fasten your seat belts, grab your subway Metrocard and a bottle of water as Swamp Radio heads Up North to check in with a group of artists with significant ties to the Greater North Florida. As listeners make their way through the streets of New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, a group of formerly 904 folks wax poetic on their yearning for honest-to-God sweet tea, lament the absence of anything that resembles a Publix grocery story and wonder if they are ever really able to leave home.
Musical guests include Four Families, Walter Parks, The WillowWacks and the Middle Church Collegiate Community Choir.
Fasten your seat belts, grab your subway Metrocard and a bottle of water as Swamp Radio heads Up North to check in with a group of artists with significant ties to the Greater North Florida. As listeners make their way through the streets of New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, a group of formerly 904 folks wax poetic on their yearning for honest-to-God sweet tea, lament the absence of anything that resembles a Publix grocery story and wonder if they are ever really able to leave home.
You can listen to this hilarious show on the swamp radio website
For more information and to buy tickets to the show visit www.swampradiojax.com
St. Johns Magazine