Folk Alley Crosses 100,000 Threshold
March 15, 2010 - Industry News
South Carolina – There’s strength in numbers and the voices that join together on FolkAlley.com are quickly becoming a chorus heard around the world. Folk Alley is the antidote to the Auto-Tune-riddled music scene that ignores a human desire for songs created from melody, storytelling and honest musicianship. The global destination for all things folk celebrates encourages multiple generations of listeners to discover the power of music. FolkAlley.com recently welcomed Cathy Sanders from Columbia, South Carolina, as its 100,000th registered user, giving folk’s online home one more reason to celebrate.
The ground-breaking web service invites everyone to the party with its own house-blend of traditional folk, singer/songwriter, Celtic, Americana, bluegrass, world and acoustic instrumental styles. Sanders is only the latest listener to seek out the music online that is no longer available on the terrestrial radio stations in her area. She says, “I have been listening to FolkAlley.com for at least a year on longer. I’m not sure why it took me so long to register, but I’m really glad I did!” When she added her name to the Folk Alley rolls to take FolkAlley.com to 100,000 registered users, Sanders opened a door to extra user-only features on the website, as well as receiving the Alley Chat – Folk Alley’s award-winning E-newsletter.
Folk Alley Programming and Marketing Director Linda Fahey says, “It’s listeners like Cathy who really make our work worth the effort. They love folk music, and so do we. Together, we can help keep this community strong and vibrant for years to come.” The listener-supported website is produced by WKSU, a public radio station in Kent, OH, that has won awards for its innovations in fundraising. The site pays for itself through member donations driven by an in-stream campaign that is inspired by WKSU’s on-air success while being tailored to the unique qualities of the Web.
Cathy’s favorite artists – Judy Collins, Dave Rawlings, Peter Paul & Mary and Alison Krauss to name a few – are representative of a music mix that brings together great artists, be they beloved legends or up-and-comers. Each month, Folk Alley adds CDs representing the latest from established musicians, as well as gems that arrive unannounced in the Folk Alley mailbag. Recent additions include releases from Maura O’Connell, the Good Lovelies, Norman Blake, Shawn Colvin, the Bee Eaters, Eric Bibb, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Will Kimbrough, Pete Morton, Solas and John McCutcheon. In a typical hour, listeners might also hear songs from Sara Watkins, John Gorka, Arlo Guthrie, Uncle Earl, Bela Fleck, Mamadou Diabate, Colin Meloy, Tim O’Brien, Mountain Heart, Loudon Wainwright and many others.
Established in September 2003, Folk Alley is now an industry standard-bearer – using the power of the Internet to find new ways to bring listeners together with the best in folk music. From its cornerstone 24-hour hosted music stream and unique on-demand content to exclusive interviews and live concert downloads, FolkAlley.com offers visitors a richly rewarding folk music experience. The popular Open Mic area is a space for artists of all experience levels to upload their original work into a public forum that provides feedback and fresh sounds for listeners. The Folk Alley hosts have decades of experience working behind microphones and discovering new talent – earning respect from artists, labels and others in the industry.
Along with its flagship website, the FolkAlley.com stream can also be accessed from site’s including Shoutcast (where Cathy first discovered Folk Alley), iTunes, Windows Media (which has featured the Folk Alley stream), RealAudio, Live 365, XPN.org and NPR.org. A founding partner in the NPR Music project, Folk Alley was honored to be on-site for George Wein’s 50th Folk Fest from Newport, providing the network with broadcast audio produced in Folk Alley’s mobile recording studio at the Harbor Stage. Folk lovers with iPhones can stream Folk Alley and access the website’s content through its free iPhone app. Folk Alley is now distributing the stream as a two-hour radio show and an HD Radio side channel service that can be heard across the country. SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio’s The Village features Folk Alley content weekly.
FolkAlley.com is a non-profit Internet venture produced by WKSU, an award-winning public radio station with 60 years of broadcasting history. A service of Kent State University, the station also presents the Kent State Folk Festival and broadcasts 13 hours of original folk music programming throughout Northeast Ohio each week over WKSU 89.7, four repeater stations and two translator signals.