Backwater Blues Hour

Program Schedule

KPBX 91.1
Saturday 10pm - 11pm


Frank Delaney produced The Backwater Blues Show from 1982 – 87 in the early days of the station. BBS was a popular show in the Inland Empire; people in outlying areas used to take their batteries out of their cars to power up their radios on Saturday nights.

BBS was known for its musical introduction of Big Mamma Thornton backed by Buddy Guy, and its lead in line: “High from the 2nd floor of the Hoban building, overlooking the Laundromat – with the clothes going around to the beat of the blues … “ and for its various segments:
  • The Early Bluesman Series, featuring shows on the music and the history of the great performers of Pre-WWII Blues
  • The Backwater Pond – live concerts by musicians on the pond behind the KPBX studios
  • The Backwater Blues Legion of Honor – awarded to listeners who won the “Name the Blues Artist” contest multiple times.
  • The Weird Box of pledge drive premiums, including Monster Bolts and Ball & Chains
  • Various contests including Spam recipes and other culinary delights
  • Lots of humor and fun and good Blues music
  • Interviews with prominent area and travelling musicians, including Dave Van Ronk, John Fahey, Sparky Rucker, Berneice Adams, Kevin Sweeney and others.
About the Hosts:
When Frank Delaney was in the Navy, he was stationed in the Deep South in the early 1960’s -- the era when many of the great musicians who had recorded in the 1920’s were being rediscovered.  This was his first introduction to traditional American folk and blues music. He has loved and researched and played this music now for half a century.  While producing The Backwater Blues Show after interviewing guitarist John Fahey, Frank attempted to contact the family of the bluesman Mississippi John Hurt without success. Then in 2004, almost 20 years later in the age of the Internet, a serendipitous event put him in contact, and he became the webmaster for the Hurt website. In 2006 he journeyed to Avalon Mississippi to play at Hurt’s Blues Festival and to do interviews and research.

Frank and his partner Roger Gibbs – (The Parchmen) - have played the blues for 25 years at all local clubs and festivals. Frank has also taught classes on the blues and several guitar styles for Spokane Parks & Recreation.

Joining Frank as Co-producer of BBS will be John Johnson. John and Frank have collaborated on many Johnson’s Improbable History of Pop episodes on different performers, and John will be bringing his knowledge of the electric city blues to The Backwater Blues Show.

Link to Website

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