Blues Channel

January 30, 2008

When I upgraded to a 4-door Jeep Wrangler last year, it came with a free year's subscription to Serius satellite radio. The radio has 6 buttons, each of which hold two stations' worth of presets. Push it once for the first station, and push it again for the second. After almost a year of messing with it, I have the buttons laid out like this (actual station names listed in case you are familiar and curious):

Button 1: Current, modern, alt-rock stations (Left of Center, Alt Nation)

Button 2: Hard rock that I like (Faction, Punk Rock)

Button 3: Nastalgia (First Wave, 80s)

Button 5: Country, but not the country that you hear on FM. One is a channel called Outlaw country, which specializes in the heavy-drinking, punch a guy in the mouth type of country music, and the other is Margaritaville, which is mostly Jimmy Buffet, with other laid back similar sounding artists mixed in.

Button 6: My "grown up rock and roll" button (Spectrum, E Street Radio). These are only probationally pemanent, and could easily be replaced if somoene on button 4 steps up and gives me great entertainment. But for now, they seem to have settled into their slots well.

Button 4 rotates among all the other good channels that didn't quite make it to the point where they got a permanent button. Right now, one of the stations is the Blues channel. It plays a lot of good Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn, but it goes back to old black guys that I've never heard of as well.

The Blues channels on XM, Serius, and cable stations are probably the only places where you can regularly hear songs about growing/farming cotton. There was one such song on my way in this morning. In this particlar tune, the narrator's cotton crop had been good, but the price of cotton in the fall was quite low.

One more observation: I've never, ever, ever heard a female vocalist on the Blues channel.

At some point, all of the songs on this station will start to sound the same, at which point it will be time to find a new station to take its place. Old School Rap, Brittish Pop, Hair Nation, and several others are waiting on deck.