KNOXVILLE — What happens when you bring together Knoxville’s newest TV channel, one of the city’s most respected radio stations and a local musician as host with knowledge to spare?
You get East Tennessee’s brand-new home for local music: Studio 865.
The show, taking place on UTTV (Comcast Digital 194, UT Campus Cable 65) and WUOT 91.9 FM and hosted by Todd Steed, gives local musicians an opportunity to play their music while they talk about what it means and how it came to be.
Debuting at 8 p.m., March 5, on both UTTV and WUOT, the first episode will feature Knoxville musician Scott Miller. Each episode will feature an interview and a live performance recorded on the University of Tennessee campus.
“We’re thrilled to bring this forward,” said Tom Milligan, vice chancellor for communications. “This gives us a chance to broaden WUOT’s reach into the community and bring more people to our TV channel — all while supporting the vibrant East Tennessee local music scene.”
Steed, a fixture in the local music scene through his work with a number of bands and as an announcer on WUOT, says the show is unique for its focus on music.
“So many of today’s entertainment news outlets discuss everything but the artist’s music,” said Steed. “Our show is different in that we’re focused on the music and people who create it.”
In addition to the half-hour Studio 865 show that will air on both TV and radio, WUOT will feature an extra half-hour show known as The Flip Side. On The Flip Side, artists from upcoming episodes of Studio 865 will choose some of their favorite musicians and albums to share while continuing the conversation with Steed. The first guest on the Flip Side will be Knoxville music icon R.B. Morris.
“The entire show is all about one musician interviewing another musician and giving local artists a chance to gain broad exposure to people who may not be familiar with their work,” said Steed.
Musicians who have taken part in the show so far are Miller, Morris and Robinella, a local artist and musician. Future tapings are planned with a number of other local acts.
Miller, who’s lived in Knoxville since 1990, started his time in East Tennessee as a solo artist before joining the V-Roys. He now tours with his band, The Commonwealth, in addition to his solo performances.
“The response from musicians so far has been really great,” said Steed. “As a musician myself, I’ve enjoyed the chance to ask about the origins and the stories behind some of these songs.”
New episodes will air at 8 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month on WUOT and UTTV, with repeat showings at 8 p.m. each Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. on UTTV.
Musicians interested in appearing on the show can e-mail the producers at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the show, including a list of upcoming episodes, can be found at http://studio865.utk.edu or on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/studio_865.
Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409, email@example.com)