Programmer Profile – Dean McKerchar

  1. Are you from Kamloops? If not, where are you from and how did you come to be in Kamloops?

I am originally from New Zealand. I came to Kamloops in the’90s for work.

  1. Are you a student volunteer? If so, what are you studying and does volunteering at the station help with your studies?

I am not a student.

  1. Are you a community volunteer? How do you think volunteering at the station supports your engagement with the Kamloops community?

Representing the station at events gives me a chance to meet local people and spread the word about Campus/Community radio.

  1. What is it about volunteering in general that appeals to you?

I love the opportunity to spread the music I enjoy to the Kamloops area.

  1. What other hobbies and interests do you have outside of doing campus/community radio?

My #1 hobby is my show; I have a passion for Ska and appreciate the opportunity to give airplay to some great bands. Other hobbies are classic car restoration and home renovation / handyman work.

  1. What is your show about? What would a listener hear when they tune in?

My show looks at Ska through the ages. Listeners get a wide range of styles from traditional Ska of the ‘60s, 2Tone of the 80’s, 3rd wave Ska of the late 90’s, and all the sub genres like reggae and rocksteady, to the edges of skacore and punk.

  1. What makes your show unique? Why do you think listeners are interested in your show?

Ska on the X (Wednesdays, 7-8 PM) has been playing since 2003 bringing a diverse range of ska from a style, and a geographic perspective. We play Ska from Iceland to New Zealand with a huge dose of Canadian Ska. We cover music for the ‘60s to this year’s new releases. Ska on the X is the longest playing Ska show in the BC interior.

  1. What does campus/community radio mean to you?

I feel Campus Community radio fills a huge gap in music presentation in Kamloops. The station focuses on new and diverse music you won’t get to hear on commercial radio, with a focus on Canadian content.

For me specifically, it has broadened my exposure to some great Canadian bands and allows me to present a mix of great Ska classics with new and sometimes obscure Ska music.

  1. What shows at CFBX do you like and listen to regularly? Why do you enjoy them?

My favorite show is Jazz Notes with Jim Dupuis. Jim has been around for a long time and has a huge wealth of knowledge about Jazz and Jazz artists/bands. He works hard at providing diverse content and pulls together some great interviews with well know artists – definitely worth tuning in on Wednesdays @ 2:00 pm.

  1. Name an artist you discovered through your time at CFBX that you’d like others to know about.

In my early days at CFBX, I found the Kingpins, JFK and the Conspirators, and the Planet Smashers – all Canadian bands and all excellent examples of Ska and 3rd Wave Ska. Lately I have been all over K-Man and the 45’s, and Rude City Riot who both stopped off in Kamloops during their tour of BC.

  1. Is there a local musician that you would like people to pay more attention to? Why?

A few years back I was fortunate to pick up a really nice acoustic reggae album by Kamloops artist Harold J, called “Divine Switch”. I also found at a second-hand store in town, a signed copy of Kamloops band “the Hextalls” self titled album from 2000. These guys put out 10 albums and EPs from 1998 to 2015. And recently I got to see Let’s Go, a hard working local power pop band that puts out a big sound. This was at the Grotto, supporting K-Man and the 45’s,.

  1. Do you enjoy attending live concerts? Why? Can you tell us about your favorite live concert that you’ve been to?

While I make all the Ska bands as they stop off in Kamloops, my favourite concert would be the 2019 tour of The Specials at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto.

They played all their hits from the late 70’s to the delight of all the old Rudies in their bovver boots and braces. I had seen these guys in the late 80’s in Hyde Park, London, and they hadn’t dropped a beat.

  1. What do you hope to do with your show in the future? What direction do you see your show moving?

The mandate of my show is: *** Play More Ska ! *** and this is what I want to do.

I am always looking for new (to me) albums to add to my collection and play on the show.

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