May at Radio Catskill WJFF: It Rocks!

In between important news coverage of COVID 19 and its impact, volunteers with your community radio station are going all out to bring you new shows, produced at home or other remote locations.

Music in May at WJFF rocks with local show hosts helping you to bear up and lift up.


Friday night (May 2) it’s a cocktail party on The Mixtape. Host Jason Tougaw invites you to grab your cocktail, your kombucha, your delicious Catskills well water, and enjoy some lilting, tilting melodies from the likes of Betty Carter, Saint Etienne, Billy Paul, and Bebel Gilberto, Raymond Scott, and much more. On May 29 it’s all about new music, inclduding The Pretenders, LuxRd., Dixie Chicks, Chicano Batman, and much more.






And on Saturday May 3 join Old Skool Sessions’ (10 p.m. to 2 a.m.) DJ Chucks and Selector Starkey LIVE for the Annual James Brown Birthday Spectacular!  JB recordings, JB productions, JB Rare cuts, JB sampled hip-hop, JB Breakbeats, JB Soul, Funk, R&B, Disco & Hip-Hop





The Secret Show (Thursdays at 10 p.m.) a local eclectic music mix, is now produced remotely. The show on May 7 is produced by guest DJ, John F.

Ballads and Banjos (Saturdays 7 a.m.) celebrates International Labor day which was May 1, on May 9. Host Sonja Hedlund says: “Our celebration honors workers around the world with well know labor songs. Included are Bread and Roses, Joe Hill, Black Lung; songs by Hazel Dickens, John McCutcheon and other familiar artists. You will hear the voice of Buffy Saint Marie in ‘We are circling” and even  her song that was included in the 1982 film ‘An Officer and A Gentlemen’  starting Debra Winger, a Sullivan County resident.”  On May 30 Sonja notes that during this pandemic “we have stayed home with many new tasks to do: home schooling our children, cleaning cupboards,  baking, gardening, watching movies, but no traveling –  so come fly with me on Ballads and Banjos to Russia, Sweden,  Portugal, Alaska, New Orleans and more.”

“Remember when we used to be together?” asks Folk Plus (Saturdays at noon) host Angela Page. She’ll be playing CDs recorded live in front of an audience with some of the banter and noise of a room filled with people on May 9. The following week on May 16 she’ll play songs from parents to kids and vice versa and the week after, May 23, songs about siblings and May 30 the theme of these freshly produced shows each week is: advice.

On our vital report from Farm and Country’s (Saturdays at 11 a.m.) on May 2  Star Talk’s Keith Hubbard says it’s time to catch a meteor shower in the eastern sky during the early morning hours. In her segment Now You Know Stephanie Phillips features a conversation with arborist Mark Gidley from Hankins NY; who helps us select what type of trees are suitable for our property. On May 9  in Star Talk Keith Hubbard says to use the waning moon to look for Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars in the evening sky. In an audio provided by Tim Bruno, Victory Garden enthusiast Josephine Clearwater inspires us to start growing food using simple methods. From Ant Hill Farm in Honesdale, Pennsylvania Mick shares his thoughts on sustainable farming and host Rosie Starr reviews all important farm legislation with State Senator Jen Metzger. From Sprouting Dreams Farms in Liberty Eugene Thalmann  shares an important message regarding food security and bee health. For the show May 30, Steve Schwartz will present a lecture on knotweed management in the Delaware River Valley riparian region that was previously recorded as part of an annual series called “Food for Thought” which introduces the listeners to a two-year research project partnered with Friends for the Upper Delaware River and The National Park Service.

On May 23 Farm and Country visits (wearing a mask and practicing proper social distancing protocols) the Tusten Heritage Community Garden for the annual springtime visit with Tannis Kowalchuk who transplants her seedlings propagated in the green houses at Willow Wisp Organic Farm in Damascus, PA. Joining host Rosie Starr are community members Anie Stanley from Smokey Belles Homestead and Juliette Hermant from Maison Bergogne who are active participants and focal coordinators for the Tusten Heritage Community Garden in Narrowsburg, NY.  Please note that daily live press briefings on Covid-19 take priority, and this broadcast may not air as planned.

Let’s Talk Vets (second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. ) on May 13 features an interview with the staff at GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center in Milford PA. “We discuss how working with horses has so many benefits for those afflicted with many physical and psychological challenges,” says host Doug Sandberg. “We also got an update from GAIT regarding how the pandemic has affected their operations. Then we chat with William Whetsel, the point person for The Rumshock Foundation.” This group has been working to establish a self-sustaining housing project for veterans called Victory Village.
Sabrina Artel’s Trailer Talk returns in a new time slot (first and third Wednesdays at 7 p.m.) with new, remotely produced shows, her next show: May 20

Thane Peterson’s Living Jazz (Friday’s from 12 – 2 p.m.) will devote the first hour to Sun Ra, the eccentric visionary of jazz who was born this day, May 22 in 1914 and recorded more than 100 wildly varied and weirdly wonderful albums over five decades, says Peterson The rest of the show will feature albums that were released this year or last by such artists are Norah Jones, pianists Aaron Parks and Kris Davis, bassist Linda May Han Oh, percussionists Terri Lyne Carrington and Rajna Swaminathan (one of the few women profesionally playing the South Indian instrucment the mridangam anda PHd candidate at Harvard) trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and saxmen Charles Lloyd and Joshua Redman. And on May 30 the first hour is devoted entirely to “unfiltered,” the latest recording by drummer/componser Tyshawn Sorey, 39, which came out in March on Bandcamp. Sorey who grew up in Newark works at the nexus of classical music, the avant garde and jazz. Three years ago he was awarded a MacArthur genius award. The second hour begins with another Bandcamp recordng by Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch entitled “Live at the Village Vanguard” The rest of the hour will feature local jazz luminary Bill Mays with the US Air Force Band.

The following shows are all being produced at home or elsewhere off site and bring you fresh, new productions this month.
  • Let’s Talk Vets (second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.) with Doug Sandberg
  • Trailer Talk (first and third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.) with Sabrina Artel
  • Something Old, Something New (fourth Thursday of the month at 2 p.m.) with Kit Hulit
  • Ramble Tamble (Thursdays at 7 p.m.) with John Gordon
  • The Secret Show (Thursdays at 10 p.m.) with Bryan Sheehan
  • Living Jazz (Fridays at noon) with Thane Peterson
  • The Mixtape with Jason Tougaw (Fridays at 8 p.m.) and special guest DJ Jen Gebhardt May 8
  • Ballads & Banjos (Saturdays at 7 a.m.) with Sonja Hedlund
  • Radio Chatskill (Saturdays at 10 a.m. with Tim Bruno
  • Farm & Country (Saturdays at 11 a.m. ) with Rosie Starr
  • Folk Plus (Saturdays at noon) with Angela Page
  • Now & Then (Saturdays at 3 p.m.) with Kathy Geary
  • Old School Sessions (Saturdays 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.) with DJ Chucks and Selector Starkey
  • Wagonload of Monkeys (Sundays at 3 p.m.) with Graham Rice
  • Neonatal Pulse (Sundays 7 -9 p.m.) with Brad Mann



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