Monday, May 5, 2014



May 5, 2014 

Did you know that radio is still the #1 way for people to discover new music?

It’s been that way for a very long time, going back decades, and recent research has shown that despite all of the new music-related technology that’s been developed in recent years, and despite the explosion of the internet and things like YouTube, the fact is, when people want to hear new music, the radio is still the first place they turn.

In fact, when compared to other sources for music, it’s not even close.

For me, that’s what I love the most about being on the radio, especially since my show, “Music On The Menu” - which airs every Sunday from 9-10 p m. on 105 The River - spotlights talented regional artists that, for the most part, you won’t hear anywhere else on the commercial FM dial. The idea that someone might tune into “Music On The Menu,” hear a song for the first time, and then become a fan of that artist is what inspires me each week as I plan each show. And from what I've been told by the artists for more than 10 years now, it happens all the time. Their music is played on the radio and they see a spike in CD sales, digital downloads and traffic on their websites. Sometimes, those that first heard them on the radio start showing up at their live shows.

Makes my day, every time I hear it.

And thus myself and everyone at 105 The River is excited to announce a new extension of "Music On The Menu" that will move it beyond its usual Sunday time slot and - on the first Tuesday of each month - extend beyond just playing the recordings of regional talent.

For this new venture, we’re going live. Live on stage. And live on the radio. 

“Music On The Menu Live: An Original Music Series” will kick off on Tuesday June 3 inside Breakers nightclub at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Each show will be held from 7-8 p.m. and there will be no cover. And each show will be broadcast live from the club on 105 The River (104.9-FM), as well as on the station’s website ( and on the RadioBOLD phone app. In the world of commercial radio, these will be very unique events, in that I doubt too many other such stations in the country, if any at all, offer such a tremendous opportunity for airplay to regional artists.

I realize that to some of my longtime listeners and readers, this may all sound a bit familiar, as it was something that I had done in the past at one of my previous stops in radio. And thanks to the full support of 105 The River, it’s being resurrected and, most importantly, it's being improved. Each show will be well promoted not only on 105 The River, but also through our media partner, The Weekender, and through Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Breakers. The featured artists of the month will also be my guests on the Sunday night “Music On The Menu” show a few days before the event, and they’ll also be invited to appear on The River’s drive-time show on the evening of the event. The River will also be holding special contests which will award some cool swag to some of those that attend the shows.

Though Breakers is mostly seen as a fun venue for cover bands and not a place where many original artists have performed, that will change for these shows. For one hour per month, Breakers will essentially become a music coffeehouse, and though you’ll still certainly be able to get a drink or two if you’d like, there will be a different ambiance. Candlelit tables will fill the room, a large curtain will be pulled shut, closing the venue off from the casino hallway, and the large flat screen TVs will be turned off. The best sound will be a priority, as will be creating an atmosphere that suits singer/songwriters, storytelling and original music. And since we’ll only be doing 12 shows a year, we have some superb talent to choose from. We can guarantee quality music.    
We like the idea of doing the shows early, from 7-8 p.m. on a weeknight. And we certainly like the idea of doing the shows at Mohegan Sun, where there is a nice crowd already in place at every hour of every day, which we feel will help our local artists. Though I've always liked and supported any venue that has hosted any type of original music series, they can sometimes take on a little bit of a “preaching to the choir” feel. There might be a core group of people that always attend, and thus the audience for the artists doesn't really grow. That is not what we’re looking for with “Music On The Menu Live: An Original Music Series.” We’re doing it in a big place with a lot of foot traffic, and hopefully, in addition to those that come out because they've heard about the shows and those that have always shown an interest in local bands, some folks that have no idea what’s going on will also wander in and hear something they like. Our hope is that new fans will be made and that the creative and imaginiative music being written by regional talent will be shared with some new faces. And again, it’s also live on the radio, so those cruising in their cars, sitting on their decks and listening at work can also tune in and, hopefully, discover new music that they'll enjoy.

The band SUZE will kick things off on June 3. Other upcoming shows will include Eddie Appnel, Dustin Drevitch & The Electric Gentlemen, Dani-elle and Graces Downfall.

Hope you can save the date to either join us at Breakers or tune in on The River and let us help turn you on to some fine new music.

That’s still what radio does best.


Alan K. Stout has covered rock and pop music in Northeastern Pennsylvania since 1992. He currently contributes stories to The Weekender, the region's #1 arts and entertainment newspaper, and his weekly radio show, "Music On The Menu," can be heard every Sunday from 9-10 p.m. on 105 The River (104.9-FM) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Follow Alan's thoughts on music on Facebook at: