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Finding Minnesota radio in Maine

04/19/2013
How did a rare Minnesota radio station compilation wind up in a Maine thrift shop?

How did a rare Minnesota radio station compilation wind up in a Maine thrift shop?

Stephen King has a good classic rock radio station in Bangor. There’s a volunteer-run community station out of Blue Hill with a spotty FM signal and hit-or-miss programming; and Maine Public Radio features a mellow bedtime music show called “In Tune by 10.”

But I miss Twin Cities radio.

Oh sure, you can listen to streaming audio on the Internet from any radio station in the world these days, but it’s a hassle to call up on your hand-held device and then hook into a stereo system. And vehicles don’t come with factory Internet radio….yet.

To fill in these music gaps, I comb through Bangor area thrift shops looking for CDs to play in my truck. I’ve found some neat stuff in the used racks: everything from Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” to a self-produced album by an Aroostook County dobro picker named Bob Long.

I also found something to help cure a homesick Minnesota music fan. A discovery I still can’t believe. I found a rare CD recorded and compiled by a Minnesota radio station. I found a copy of  “Live Current: Volume 5.”

The “Live Current” is a CD series produced by “The Current,” a listener supported Minnesota Public Radio station. Every year the station staff compiles its best live, in-studio performances featuring touring rock bands and local Twin Cities musicians. The CD is then given away as a membership perk.

The only place I’ve ever seen the series for sale over the counter is outside the Minnesota Public Radio booth at the Minnesota State Fair…and now at a Goodwill in Ellsworth, Maine.

How did a 2009 copy of the “Live Current” wind up 1,700 miles away in a small town thrift store?

The track listing may provide a clue: singer songwriter Ray LaMontagne, a former Lewiston, Maine shoe factory worker, has a song on the compilation. Perhaps one of  LaMontagne’s old co-workers moved to Minneapolis because his wife landed a new job at the University of Minnesota. After a few years in the northland, the couple moved back home to Maine where he donated his CD collection to Goodwill.

Who knows.

What I do know is I love the LaMontagne song selected by the Current: “You are the Best Thing.”

Maybe he’s singing about Minnesota radio.

 

 

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2 Comments
  1. Mary permalink

    Love this story Mark! That is exactly why I love shopping second hand…you never know what you will find!!!

  2. Becky permalink

    You can get Minnesota public radio and ‘the morning show’ on the Internet!

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