North Texas Daily

Denton Radio gets local artists on air

Denton Radio gets local artists on air

August 09
22:00 2012

Ryne Gannoe / Staff Writer

Open mic nights, gigs at local bars and house shows are all important venues for local musicians to share their work.

Artists seeking out a wider audience also have another outlet –, an online radio station that plays music from any genre, as long as the act is from Denton.

“We want this thing to be a tool for the community to use,” president and founder Jake Laughlin said. “Something that can build up the local community, something that can be advertising for local businesses, promote the local arts, be an avenue that never existed before.”

Laughlin originally planned to purchase an FM radio station, but ran into challenges with cost and availability.

“What happens a lot of the time is bigger businesses will start buying radio stations when they get to a certain size,” he said. “They get a lot of advertising and things like that. With Fort Worth being such a big business district, they’re all gone.”

So Laughlin opted for plan B.

With backing from Banter, Square 205 and other local businesses, Denton’s exclusive radio station was born – the site just celebrated its one-year anniversary.

New acts are signed up weekly at Banter’s open mic night, where bands or solo artists sign a contract allocating the rights to use their music in the rotation. Musicians aren’t paid, but the exposure for a local artist is as good as gold.

Mary Lamb, the frontwoman of the rock band Lightning Tree, met up with Laughlin at a local show, and was on the station months later.

“I think it’s fantastic for just original music,” Lamb said. “A musician has no chance to get on a real radio station. It’s tied up with contracts and middle men.”

She said the airplay helped her meet other new musicians and book gigs around town.

Laughlin and his associates said the long-term goal was to create a self-sustaining for-profit business centered around the Denton community.

Running the station costs little more than paying for web hosting. There are plans in the work sto expand the website and try and make it live 24 hours a day.

“It’s community. The thing that’s so intriguing about the music scene here is not even necessarily the musical quality, it’s the people,” Laughlin said. He wants to give back to the music scene he feels has given him so much entertainment.

“If nobody else will play them, I will.”

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