WNRN is Back in Session with Matthew E. White

noncomMUSIC AllianceCommunity, Performance, Triple A

Matthew E. White. Photo by Dave Parrish.

With a new studio session being shared as part of Public Radio Music Day, Charlottesville and Richmond’s WNRN is ready and eager to showcase a beloved local musician.

It’s a scene that not too long ago would have seemed nostalgic: a well-loved local artist and a station DJ, discussing music in front of a live studio audience. This is what happened on November 5, 2021, at the Spacebomb venue in Richmond, VA. Charlottesville and Richmond’s public radio station, WNRN set up a session with hometown artist, Matthew E. White, to debut on Public Radio Music Day for all noncomMUSIC Alliance members and their devoted followers.

For WNRN, who often promotes and cultivates shows in the central Virginia area, this was a chance to share the kind of music they love. “We would like our listeners to see and hear some of the exceptional creativity found in our listening area,” remarked WNRN General Manager, Mark Keefe. Director of Events and Promotions, Patrick Coman was eager to share how this event came together, “We have been fans of Matthew E. White and the creative community he built at Spacebomb for years.” The Spacebomb site – part recording studio, part record label, part publishing company – felt like a perfect location to showcase White’s soulful indie rock and R&B that fuses 70s AM pop with psychedelic grooves, and what Coman calls “a distinctive Virginia sound, something we don’t see as much these days.” Keefe and Coman are preparing for this as one of the myriad of events for the station’s 25th anniversary occurring in 2021 and 2022.

WNRN is excited to share the session far and wide. “We shine the spotlight on a lot of the music made by our neighbors throughout our programming on a daily basis – this puts it in context as part of our mission to build community through music,” Keefe remarked when asked why they wanted to share this session in particular. Stations and listeners participating in Public Radio Music Day is something Keefe agrees is “a celebration of one of the joys of life – music.” He’s hopeful it’s not just limited to one day, saying, “The music that we and all of the other amazing public radio stations broadcast on a daily basis bring so much joy to so many people all across the country that it’s worth celebrating every day.”

That joy is why WNRN is feeling “hopeful and inspired” about the upcoming year. Keefe helped drive WNRN through the pandemic with a mission: “bringing our listeners the programming they tuned in for to escape the harsh reality so many were facing.” Now, the station can physically reconnect with its audience through live experiences. Noncommercial radio is a foundational place to build up and connect those communities with the great music in their areas. Keefe knows that this show is part of that, because to him and WNRN, “We want to show it’s possible to help good music grow no matter where it comes from. It also can be found right in your own backyard, no matter where you live.”