A Sirius Radio 25 cent Tour

The curtain of Oz is pulled back for a peek I got the 25 cent tour of the headquarters of Sirius satellite radio on the 36th Floor of a high rise on the Avenue of the Americas from The Rig Rocker, the guy who programs Outlaw Country/Channel 36. Outlaw Country is one of my favorite channels because it reminds me of KOKE-FM in Austin, the radio station that created progressive country radio format back when Willie, Jerry Jeff, Willis Alan and all the rest started making a noise back in the early seventies. The home office has dozens of studios, a live performance studio, scores of cubicles and a staff of hundreds. After walking me through, Rig Rocker played back some of the phone requests made to Outlaw Country, a huge number of which were from truckers, several who were hauling onions (is there some connection here?). The Number One requested song at the moment, The Rig Rocker told me, is ďPiss Up A RopeĒ by Ween, who arenít really outlaws at all, but play one on the radio.

I sat in a studio while The Rig Rocker interviewed Jack Ingram and his guitarist Chris Masterson from the Beat Up Ford Band for a show that would air the next day. Ingramís got his business together as much as his music and says heís got an album in the can thatís even better than his last two studio efforts, Young Man, and Acoustic Motel, which he was touring behind including his date that night at Joe's Pub in NYC. He talked about making live albums as frequently as studio albums (his latest live is Live from Gruene Hall) in between back-announcing artists including his friend Robert Earl Keen (Jack wondered aloud on the air why Robert dropped the Jr. from his name) and Ernest Tubb. If Jack sounded smooth, maybe itís because he hosts his own radio show Sunday nights at 8 pm on the Wolf, 99.5 KPLX-FM in Dallas. Check him out at www.jackingram.net

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