Monday, February 4, 2013

Mark Roberts Interview!

Next up we have Mark Roberts. I listen to Mark and Freddy Mac on 105.3FM The Fox every morning on my way to work and they never cease to make me laugh. They always help start my day off on the right note. You can catch Mark's band, Shore Road Drifters, playing at various venues around the East Coast. As well you can catch Mark's 'East Coast Music Show' on KHJ in Fredericton (1260am, 103.5 & 95.1 FM),
Here we go!
Introduce yourself.

Name: Mark Roberts

City/Town:  Fredericton N.B.

Job: Radio announcer


Maritime Viny (MV) - What do you collect?

Mark Roberts (MR) - As much music as I can get my hands on.


MV - When did you start collecting vinyl records?

MR - When I was about 12.


MV - Is vinyl your preferred format for music? If not what is?

MR - I would say c-d -only because a lot of my listening happens in the car.


MV - Do you concentrate your collection on one or more artists in particular?

MR - No. definitely not. My musical tastes are scattered: I’m big time into folk, roots, singer-songwriter, alt-country and blues, but I like a little bit of everything- rock (obviously), and even the crooners (Sinatra, Darin,  etc) 


MV - What is the first album you remember purchasing? Do you still have it?

MR - The first B-T-O album.  Unfortunately I do not still have it.


MV - Do you still actively collect?

MR - Not so much Vinyl anymore. But I still have a bunch. I am still buying lots of music.


MV - What is your favorite item in your collection?

MR - That’s a hard question to answer. If you’re talking vinyl, it may have to be the Stray Cats “Built for Speed” Album. Because it’s now out of circulation. I have been trying to find a c-d of it. Last time I checked, it was an international release worth 45 bucks U-S…on disc?  I think I’ll hang on to that album.

MV - What made you start collecting radios?


MR - I only have one- it’s an old diner style. But I’m still hoping to find a huge antique floor model. Radio has obviously been a big part of my life.


MV - You have been a radio DJ for a number of years. I assume now at the fox you play digital music. Were you working when they were playing CDs?  Vinyl?


MR - I started my radio career in January of 1982….at CKWS radio in Kingston Ontario. They were using some vinyl at that time as well as single song Cartridges. C-D’s came later and now it’s digital. There have been a lot of changes for sure.


MV - If you could choose one genre to play on the radio which would it be?


MR - That’s a tough one. I like working in the rock format just because of the energy and feel of the station. But since I’ve worked in many different formats, they all have their own advantages. For example, Country listeners are very loyal.


MV - Tell us a little about your involvement with the East Coast Music Awards? Are you still involved?

MR - For the past 18 years, I have been doing a weekly East Coast Music show-first on Capital FM, and now on KHJ in Fredericton. I have also done extensive jurying for various ECMA’s categories over the years, and I was involved with a group looking to bring the ECMA’s to Fredericton in 2001. Even though we were unsuccessful, they did eventually come here a few years later.


MV - A few years ago they stopped broadcasting the ECMA’s. How has this affected the award show?

MR - I’m sure it has had an effect outside the Atlantic region. It was good exposure for our artists in the central and western parts of the country. But not so much on the east coast.  The important thing for people to know is, the actual awards themselves are just one part of ECMA week. It’s a five day music conference filled with showcases and seminars. The awards are kind of the cherry on top, but not the main focus for most attendees.


MV - Do you foresee the ECMA’s being broadcasted on television again?

MR - Because of the financial crush, I would doubt you will see them broadcast coast to coast again. Maybe regionally.


MV - Your radio show “Mark Roberts East Coast Music show” was nominated for 6 ECMA’s! Congratulations. Can you tell us a little about your show?

MR - It’s actually seven nominations, and I haven’t won yet. I am the Susan Lucci of Fredericton. My show has recently switched stations to KHJ in Fredericton. (1260am, 103.5 & 95.1 FM) We signed on in June of 1996 on 106.9 Capital FM.  Radio is tightly formatted now, so I try to have no set format for my show.  I play everything: Celtic, country, folk, rock, blues you name it.


MV - You are very active in the local music scene as a musician. Tell us a little about your band?

MR - My band is called the Shore Road Drifters. When I do have band gigs, I’m joined by Ross Beckett on lead guitar and Shane Guitar on the mandolin.  Most of the stuff we do is my own original stuff.  I released my debut disc “Kid From the Shore” a couple of years ago. It was nominated for a Music NB award. I am hoping to record a follow up disc this year or early next.


MV - Where are the majority of your gigs? Weddings? Bars? Dances?

MR - They vary…I’ve been doing summer concerts, festivals and benefits for the past few years locally. Finding a regular venue for an artist that does mostly originals is always tough.


MV - Besides being a performer you are also a very active songwriter. It is my understanding that you have written over 300 songs. Do you have any plans with this stock pile of songs?

MR - I haven’t counted in awhile but it’s more like 200. Not all of them are good, either –Ha!  But I’m still writing- hopefully I’ll get a chance to record at least one or two more albums. I’d also like to pursue shopping the songs around to other artists.

Thanks for doing this interview Mark. I encourage all my readers to check out Mark's great East Coast Music Show any chance you get. You will not be disapointed!

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