North Texas Daily

Song & Story is gone but not forgotten

Song & Story is gone but not forgotten

Song & Story

Song & Story is gone but not forgotten
January 23
14:17 2018

Every other Thursday, local artists shared their music and their stories with the community through Song & Story, a Denton Radio show where singers and songwriters could connect via their music and make themselves known to the public.

Although the show has come to an end, Song & Story lives on through the impact it had on the music scene and the inspiration it gave to Denton’s musicians.

Song & Story originally began as a writer’s round organized by Ashley Gatta where songwriters could meet and exchange their songs with each other. Shortly after, the station manager of Denton Radio reached out to Gatta about turning Song & Story into a show. Unfortunately, Gatta moved to Austin after the idea came to fruition, but not without leaving her recommendation of local songwriter and recording artist Jennifer Holm to host the show.

“I was just honored to be able to facilitate a space that celebrated these artists’ differences, and I think it was very unifying,” Holm said. “Ultimately, as a songwriter and artist myself, I wanted to create a space for individual artists to share their music in a space that honored their time and their art.”

Holm also recently moved away, leaving the show without a host yet again. Although Denton Radio attempted to find someone to take over, they could not find someone to fill the position, and the show was ultimately taken off the air.

“I hope that someone can pick up where I left off and provide more of a consistent space for songwriters to share their gift and their craft with Denton,” Holm said.

During the show’s stint, Holm felt it not only provided local musicians a platform to share their work but also gave them an opportunity to connect with each other. The stories they shared helped them create special relationships through their love of music and songwriting and even served as a source of inspiration for each other.

“There was something so neat about hearing men and women with different histories and backgrounds come together over music,” Holm said. “Hearing them talk about their processes for writing and what artists and ideas inspired them was so inspiring to me.”

Song & Story was not only beneficial for artists but also for the listeners of the show as well. People tuning in were introduced to relatively unknown bands and musicians who broadened their musical interest and gave them the chance to support local music.

“It’s easy to decide ‘I like pop music’ and stick to that, but there are countless artists in thousands of genres that are gifted and have something important to share,” Holm said. “It’s good to abandon our preference every once in a while because we might be pleasantly surprised to find an artist in a genre we previously decided against.”

Holm believes Song & Story offered a place for artists to share their songs without feeling the pressure to satisfy the typical standards of a live venue. Instead, they can share their own music regardless of genre or popularity.

“I’ve found that most live music venues want artists that are more upbeat, with a band, and to play music that the patrons know,” Holm said. “So unfortunately, a lot of songwriters are not getting the air time and opportunity to share their music because it’s not fitting this standard.”

Even artists who did not get the chance to be featured on Song & Story felt inspired to get the word out about their work and the encouragement to pursue their music.

“I’ve dabbled in songwriting but used to think it would never lead to anything,” local artist Derek Burkhart said. “After hearing the stories of some of the people on Song & Story, I felt like I could get my music out there like they did.”

Although Song & Story is no longer airing, Denton Radio still offers a range of shows including Sound Values, a Monday night show dedicated to learning the backgrounds of local artists.

“I love listening to Sound Values,” Denton Radio listener Anne Rosario said. “It’s so interesting to hear about musicians in Denton and listen to them tell their stories.”

Song & Story, Sound Values and other writer’s rounds offered in Denton allow artists the opportunity to have their music appreciated. Even now without Song & Story, the encouragement the countless musicians received pushed them to continue making music lives on in the community.

“It offered a space for them to be heard and celebrated,” Holm said. “There’s nothing like the confidence-boost that comes after sharing your music with someone who listened the whole time.”

Featured Image: Song & Story is a local radio show that previously aired on Denton Radio and streamed live on YouTube. Courtesy YouTube

About Author

Ashlee Winters

Ashlee Winters

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1 Comment

  1. Karyna Micaela
    Karyna Micaela January 24, 13:48

    My husband (Zach Balch) & I met because of Song & Story. Ashley Gatta booked both of us on the same night in 2010. We both shared songs about our late grandfathers and bonded instantly over a shared passion for telling stories through our songwriting. The legacy goes back a long time. Songwriter Rounds continue to be one of the most intimate ways for songwriters to share their art and to be interactive with each other and their audiences. It’s interesting to see how Song & Story evolved into a radio show, which is a great idea albeit different from the original setting. I would like to see Denton continue the tradition in a live setting in addition to the radio show, if it returns. I’m surprised they couldn’t find a replacement. There are a lot of hungry songwriters in town.

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