CHSR FM unveils new format and hosts for long-running program, Sessions.
CHSR’s long-running, live-in-the-studio program, Sessions, is now under new management. Earlier this summer, local musicians/music enthusiasts Brendan MaGee and Dylan Ward approached the station with the idea of taking over the show and giving it a new life.
MaGee and Ward each bring a wealth of experience to the program. Magee has a background in both commercial and college radio and hosted the music podcast Ferocious Coasts between 2014 and 2016. Ward is an accomplished audio engineer and has contributed to numerous recording projects over the past few years. And as musicians, they perform together with drummer Josh Steeves under the name, Brookside Mall.
“What spoke to me most was the idea of doing a live-off-the-floor session with meaningful conversations attached to the songs,” said MaGee. “Most music criticism and interviews I read these days are so trite and formulaic. We’re both very passionate about our local community, and the idea of creating a discourse with it is neat, especially with several people moving on from Fredericton these days. It feels really important to take a snapshot of this moment in time.”
While Sessions has existed at the station for a number of years, it has struggled to remain consistent due largely to limited time, volunteers and experienced hosts/engineers willing to commit to such an involved program. Unlike some other programs that can be recorded and edited in a single setting, a program like Sessions requires booking guests, conducting interviews, recording and editing live performances and then distilling it all down into individual episodes. In short, an episode of Sessions can take several sessions to complete.
“Dylan and I logged about thirty hours at CHSR over the course of August, getting the show up on its feet,” said MaGee. “Our aim is to really go for it as far as creating quality, curated episodes that we can share on a near-weekly basis. Speaking personally, my time in Fredericton is certainly finite, and I really want to make the most of this show while I’m here.”
“CHSR has been nothing but supportive with us coming into this show,” adds Ward, “and they give that same willingness to help and enthusiasm to anyone who is interested in getting into radio. We’re both stoked to be apart that.”
The program’s new season kicked off on September 7 with special guests The Hypochondriacs. Upcoming episodes will include performances and interviews with Jane Blanchard, Quinn Bonnell and others from the local community, with plans to eventually welcome touring acts in the near future.
“We’ve been focusing on local artists as of now, and everyone has been excited and supportive, which makes us feel like this is really something people want to join in on and make a thing,” said Ward. “Eventually we hope to reach out to touring bands coming through town.”