St. Louis: A History of Music
Music connects people all over the world regardless of borders, nationality, and race. In St. Louis, home of Chuck Berry and Jeremiah Johnson, we’re lucky to have a great, diverse music scene.
W.C. Handy, often referred to as the Father of the Blues, first published “St. Louis Blues,” his most famous composition, in 1914, about a woman he met wandering in the street upset over her husband’s absence. His life was later profiled in a movie by the same name.
We even have our own style of blues (no, not those St. Louis Blues!) that is similar to ragtime, which was popular in St. Louis as music made its way up the Mississippi.
With such a strong history in music, we’re also lucky to have organizations across the community dedicating to supporting our arts and music culture. Employee-favorite community radio station KDHX offers quality, independent arts and music programming without commercials. We even had Green Jean Ponzi, host of Earthworms, speak to our office about recycling for the Green Business Challenge this year!
When I heard one of our colleagues was also a DJ for the station, I knew I had to find out more.
Finding Work-Life Balance at Perficient
As a business consultant at Perficient, Dan Waterman‘s role provides him with a wide variety of duties and responsibilities based on his current project and team needs. Every project requires various degrees of Scrum mastery and the ability to translate business needs into requirements. Throughout his time at Perficient, he’s learned how to write and utilize automation frameworks and has had the chance to build trust and relationships with clients and other stakeholders.
While Dan is a Business Consultant by day, but in the very early hours of the morning is a radio DJ at KDHX. You see, in college Dan was involved in his school’s radio station, holding various positions such as DJ, Station Manager, Production Director, and Music Director. After graduating, he took a few years off while he began his career in technology, but if you listen to his show (details below!), you’ll know he didn’t leave music behind at all.
Giving Back to the Community in a Creative Way
Dan lived in Wisconsin at the time while his wife was in St. Louis. She always had KDHX on in the car, and Dan quickly became a huge fan.
In 2018, Dan moved to St. Louis and reached out to the radio station to volunteer for production needs. In 2019, he worked himself into the Monday morning radio show slot and has been feeding St. Louis with great tunes ever since.
Below, Dan answers some of my questions about what it’s like to be a music-playing, community-supporting business consultant.
How do you connect your role at Perficient with what you do at KDHX?
Constant research, discovery, and connecting the “new and emerging” with the “tried and true”. Projects are often a combination and require knowledge of both.
How does KDHX impact the community?
KDHX has been a staple in the St. Louis area for over 30+ years. It gives local artists, musicians, enthusiasts, and other non-profits a viable platform to share their work, mission, and passion with their community. It gives people a chance to enjoy, appreciate, or at the very least acknowledge something new.
Aside from the music they broadcast, they spotlight the local history, arts and events in all forms, and have a podcast produced by community members available on their website. All the content is directly tied to local issues and topics.
Why should others care about KDHX?
Many people in St. Louis already do. KDHX has been a listener-supported non-profit since it began. Surviving for 30+ years is a testament to what this community already values and appreciates.
The radio may be old, but I don’t see it ever being obsolete (especially community, non-commercial stations).
Describe your show at KDHX.
I borrowed the name “Heavy Rotation” from the show I hosted in college during my time as Music Director. New music would go through Heavy, Medium, then Light rotation before being moved to the general stacks. CDs in Heavy Rotation are the newest and hottest albums (but mainly it sounds cool).
When I prepare a show, I’ll typically include about 25% new music (less than 12-months old) and mix that with classics and other music that fits my mood. I don’t box my show into a single genre, but I gravitate toward Rock, Folk, and Independent music. I feel all styles are being infused with electronic elements and borrowing from other genres.
Heavy Rotation is every Monday Morning from 5:00AM – 7:00AM.
What kind of music inspires you?
I believe music can be as simple as the voice of a loved one. Anything that makes somebody think deeply and self-reflect can translate to inspiration very quickly. It’s fascinating how the same song has the ability to inspire profoundly different things for different people.
What are your all-time favorite albums?
- The Beatles (White Album)
- Radiohead (In Rainbows)
- The Black Keys (Brothers)
Who are your favorite local artists?
- Beth Bombara
- Brother Francis and The Soultones
- Dr. Slappinstein (I’m biased here as I do some production work with them)
How can others support KDHX’s initiatives?
- Listen to KDHX on your commute (88.1 FM in the St. Louis area) or stream shows anytime!
- Play KDHX at your home or business.
- Peruse their website for podcasts and other interesting articles (and the famous St. Louis events calendar!)
- If you enjoy what you hear, consider becoming a donor; there are lots of cool perks like special shows, meet and greets, and more that come along with your support.
Learn more about Dan and listen to archived shows of “Heavy Rotation” on KDHX.