We’re keeping the spirit of Salmonfest alive by combining live recordings of Salmonfest bands, backstage interviews, and the passionate voices of salmon champions from across the state all into podcast form for your listening pleasure. Check out the episodes below for more information on Salmon Champions and take action to defend our state's prized natural resources and salmon culture.
Salmonfest Radio is back with another season of celebrating Alaskan’s connection to salmon with the sounds of summer. Each episode centers stories from Alaskan Salmon Champions, people who lead lives inextricably tied to salmon, and performances and backstage interviews from artists and acts of Salmonfest 2021.
With the steady beat of a Yup’ik drum and the explosive boom of the removal of a long-abandoned deadbeat dam, our first episode kicks off with a bang.
Listen to learn about ongoing efforts to revive the King Salmon run of the Eklutna River - a run that sustained the Native Village of Eklutna for thousands of years until the river was dammed and fish passage blocked in 1929. Now a coalition of salmon people are working together to overcome barriers and restore water and eventually salmon to the river.
We're kicking off our first episode with the performer that gave the inaugural performance on the new mainstage of Salmonfest 2021: Byron Nicholai with his project I Sing, You Dance. A remarkable young Yup’ik artist who melds traditional Yup’ik singing and drumming with electronic beats.
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Episode 2 of Salmonfest Radio keeps us rooted in our beloved Alaskan land, waters, and people. This episode features music and a backstage interview from a four-piece band called Whiskey Class. Typically, Whiskey Class records as a duo and the sound is electronic; but at SalmonFest they rearranged and evolved their music to incorporate keys, bass, drums, and guitar for their performance. The duo, Liz and Patrick began creating their vibey beats and layered harmonies together while growing up in Juneau and Ketchikan where they absorbed the inspiring salmon: as Alaskans, as nutrition, as a muse, and as a growing symbol that unites us all.
Our Salmon Champions Dr. Jessica Black and Dr. Courtney Carothers brings us a thoughtful conversation about The Indigenizing Salmon Science and Management Project, which recognizes the inequities embedded within the way we manage salmon and asks how can indigenous values, knowledge, management, and governance mechanisms be better included in management systems? Our Champions believe opening our management spaces to include both indigenous worldviews and western worldviews will support a better future for the fish so many Alaskans have come to love and depend on, and in turn- benefit all species and walks of life.
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Episode 3 of Salmonfest Radio dives into bears, salmon, and brass! Our Salmon Champion & professional bear viewing guide, Drew Hamilton, will discuss Alaska’s “bear coast” the western side of Cook Inlet which is home to the world's highest concentration of brown bears. A long winter has passed between fat bear fall and skinny bear spring, bears are now emerging from their dens and it's the salmon systems of Bristol Bay and Cook Inlet that got them through. Drew will share what he’s learned of these symbiotic relationships through decades of observation.
To transition us back to Salmonfest, we’ll hear from Fisher Poet, Meezie Hermansen with her poem about a hungry mama bear, a story that went viral and she shared on the Salmonfest stage. Our featured musical act is a Colorado, nine piece showstopper band - The Burroughs, who self describes their genre as Sweaty Soul Music. Their soulful funky flair is sure to get any audience moving and grooving. During our backstage interview we discussed adjusting to the pandemic, their passion for supporting the next generation of musicians, and their call for love and unity.
Our fourth episode of Salmonfest Radio season 2 highlights long-time Anchorage-based band Super Saturated Sugar Strings and returning Salmon Champion Sam Schimmel. From opposite ends of the festival grounds, both Sam and the Sugar Strings infused Salmonfest 2021 with salmon love and joy, Sugars Strings from the stage and Sam from the workshop barn where he spent the weekend smoking and sharing fish. In Inletkeeper’s recording lounge, we chatted with Sam about the importance of recognizing humans as part of a larger ecosystem and ensuring that within our movements to protect salmon the traditional access for subsistence endures. Sam is the team lead for a project called Operation Fish Drop which distributes donated sockeye salmon to Native Alaskans in the Anchorage area who no longer have access to their traditional fishing grounds. When Super Saturated Sugar Strings joined us in the backstage lounge, our conversation wandered from salmon rituals, to the gifting economy, to our civic duty to salmon. This heartfelt Alaskan band reminds us what Salmonfest is really all about and the magic that brings us in- we let the podcast version of this show run a touch longer than an hour to capture all of this great conversation.
In this Episode of Salmonfest Radio, we feature a sibling, strumming duo named BroGrass. They’re young, talented, and like many from their generation- aware of our climate’s struggle to maintain a habitat that is suitable for all. Get ready for a fast-picking infusion throughout the entire episode!
Our Salmon Champions, Sue Mauger and Maddy Lee, dive deep into their passion for salmon science. This is Sue Mauger’s second time appearing on our show (see: EP 2 of season 1, Cool Tunes, Cold Water). Sue, the Science and Executive Director for Cook Inletkeeper (CIK), is in the process of wrapping up a two decade long career of temperature monitoring of salmon streams in the Cook Inlet watershed. Maddy started her salmon journey as CIK’s intern in 2017 paddling rivers with Sue. She has since navigated her own path into the world of climate and salmon science, building off of the long-term data sets Sue has collected. These two share their perspective, journeys, and scientific insights both technical and big picture.
This episode of Salmonfest Radio is all about expression, female empowerment, and artistry. Revel in Carsie Blanton’s tunes from her show at Salmonfest 2021- tunes and lyrics that have no greater creative direction than her own. Carsie pulls performances together from seven different albums and gives us an interview backstage steeped in spirited activism.
Amber Webb, Bunnell Street Art Center’s Resident Artist last May uplifts Yup’ik stories, contemporary issues, and ancestral knowledge through her art. With her ink-on-wood drawings, she shares Indigenous joy and perseverance. As an artist, caregiver, and mother, Amber is among a movement of female indigenous leaders committed to supporting the well-being of their culture, a culture intimately tied to the well-being of salmon.
These women live the life and values they are seeking for the future. They both name hard truths and feel their weight, still inspiring courage and hope as they move forward. Don’t miss this episode.
Salmonfest Radio is back with bonus episodes for your listening and learning pleasure! Coming back strong with a backstage interview from the crowd-pleasing act, LowDown Brass Band. Their music is infused throughout the hour with horns to keep Alaskans dancing! And you’ll stick around for another energized interview with Dune Lankard talking about the exponential benefits of kelp, to salmon, and coastal communities.
We’re breaking our episode format with this show! Listeners will be taken on a tour through the Salmon Causeway to chat with organizers and coordinators of various non-profits who work on salmon issues throughout the state. You’ll hear voices representing Salmonfest, Fishermen for Bristol Bay, United Tribes of Bristol Bay, Salmon Habitat Information Program, SalmonState and Mother Kuskokwim Tribal Coalition. This episode is special because you'll hear sustained passion from people connected to Salmonfest's original life force - the campaign to Stop Pebble Mine - and voices bringing attention to other emerging and important salmon issues. Together these advocates keep our favorite festival with a cause near and dear to Alaskan’s hearts.
Our first episode of Salmonfest Radio: An hour of fish, fun, and music! During Episode 1: Protect What You Love we’ll talk fish and funk with our features Diggin’ Dirt, a two-time Salmonfest returning seven-piece California funk band and Salmon Champion Georgie Heaverly, a young Cook Inlet commercial fisherman and fisher poet. Our Hosts Satchel and Dave will tie it all together with tunes recorded on the stages of Salmonfest 2019.
Let the soulful grooves of the California Honey Drops on stage Salmonfest 2019 break you out of a midwinter lul and hear our exclusive backstage interview as we dig into the heart of things with lead singer and trumpet player, Lech Wierzynski. Bristol Bay has been deemed the last salmon stronghold in the world, yet the threat of Pebble Mine and mines like it still loom over the region. Our hosts Dave and Satchel will bring listeners up to speed on the Pebble Mine saga to make way for our Salmon Champion, Rachel James, who puts her soul into her work holding a coalition of people working to protect Bristol Bay together. Rachel shares with us the two-step solution the local people are calling for to protect the salmon culture and economy in Bristol Bay for the long haul.
Stories, salmon and music transcend borders. As the Canadian government greenlights a hardrock mining district on the British Colombia side of watersheds shared with Southeast Alaskan communities, our Salmon Champions Tis Peterman and Heather Hardcastle are using stories to reconnect local communities up and down river, uniting local power on both sides of the border fighting for their place at the table. Our band feature, Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise, cross musical boundaries, mixing harmonic harp and vocals with hip hop beats and soul. Hear the dynamic pair share their origin story and music in this episode of Salmonfest Radio.
Salmonfest Radio presents our 10th episode: “Death by a 1000 Cuts.” While our Musician Feature and Salmon Champion share a dedication to fighting against ecological devastation, they live in very different realities. Dana Lyons has built his musical career in the Pacific NorthWest advocating against projects that contribute to climate change and the like, infusing environmental justice movements with his often comical and always honest lyrical tunes. Salmon Champion Charlie Wright, a subsistence fisherman from a small village along the Yukon River shares the challenges indigenous people of the region are facing. Charlie acknowledges that local folks are willing to take drastic measures to support what's left of diminishing Yukon salmon returns, but recognizes the paradox of local people having to solve a problem that they didn't cause.
We’re wrapping up our final episode of season 1 of Salmonfest Radio with some classic sub-aquatic neo-folk n’ fish-punk-rock brought to you by The Ratfish Wranglers. Truly embodying the spirit of Salmonfest, this Ketchikan spawned band centers Alaskan values and fishy culture in their funky and playful performances. Our 13th episode “Spawn On Alaska” features The Ratfish Wranglers not only as our musical spotlight but also as our Salmon Champions. You’ll hear their collective commitment to advocating for and celebrating the salmon landscapes and culture that provide so many Alaskans a sense of home.
Cool Tunes, Cold Water features Alaska’s honorary resident musician Tim Easton and Salmon Champion Sue Mauger, Cook Inletkeeper’s Science and Executive Director. Hear Tim’s backstage interview and music recorded in a post-Salmonfest performance at Bunnell Street Art Gallery in Homer, AK. Sue Mauger takes us out in the field as she monitors stream temperatures of the Ninilchik River and examines how climate change is affecting our fresh water salmon habitat. Hosts Dave and Satchel will tie it all together, weaving in cool tunes recorded at Salmonfest along the way.
We’ve got a big bill of Fish, Fun and Music this hour! The Wisconsin band, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, packages the tradition of Americana music perfectly and speaks the simple truth of their love and understanding of the Great Outdoors. These guys are at the root of what makes Salmonfest its blend of activism and art. Our Salmon Champion, Tom Quinn, has been studying and teaching about the fish of Bristol Bay for over 30 years and although his perspective is science-heavy — he hits us in our Salmon Spiritual Center (™) and adds wild detail to what our favorite fish offers us and goes through.
In our 8th episode of Salmonfest Radio, we’ll give you a taste of California and a taste of home. Our artist feature, Matt Embree, visited Alaska for the first time Salmonfest 2019, bringing his Long Beach solo alt-rock and ska beats to the ocean stage. Like so many visitors, Matt was struck by the generosity and kindness Alaskans greeted him with. That spirit of generosity and community care is fully embodied by this episode’s Salmon Champions Sam Schimmel and Natalie Sattler. Together, they executed Operation Fish Drop, distributing 12,000 pounds of sockeye to Anchorage Elders and Alaska Natives in a single day. You’ll hear themes of food insecurity, first foods and Alaskan solutions packaged with some great tunes in our latest episode of Salmonfest Radio.
The sportfishing opportunities of Bristol Bay’s salmon landscape draw in anglers from all over the world. Our 11th episode “Evolving Casts” features Salmon Champion Nancy Morris Lyons, a lodge owner who was concerned early on by the lack of local people benefiting from the growing tourism sector. In collaboration with others, Nancy launched the Bristol Bay Guide Academy which recognizes that local people have the best voices to share Bristol Bay with visitors and empowers local youth with the skills and encouragement needed to be leaders in the sportfishing world. Our artist feature, Suzzane Little, played with her band Food for the Soul at Salmonfest 2019 but is even more connected to the festival through her work with the organization Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay - you’ll hear tunes from various artists as part of their collective effort to elevate Bristol Bay through music.
Salmon Sorrows and Joys and hear a backstage interview with our musician feature Banjo Rion of Aloha Bluegrass Band. Rion grew up in Alaska and has first-hand experience commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, where he wrote his tune Pebble Avalanche. In 2019 he pulled his song out of retirement and played it on the Ocean Stage with the Sweet Lillies, using his platform to add his voice to the tsunami of voices opposing the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. Today Pebble’s major permit has been denied by the Army Corps of Engineers, but Pebble persists and has appealed the decision.
Music and salmon are valued and appreciated by people across ideologies - they are powerful forces that build community and bring people together. Both our artists and salmon champion feature in this episode consciously use their platforms to create these connections. In episode 6 “Big Trees, Fat Bears, Strong Communities” you’ll hear music and an interview from Cousin Curtiss & Harrison B - two solo artists that teamed up at Salmonfest to energize the crowd. Our Salmon Champion, Amy Gulick, is a writer and photographer who helps us shift our thinking from salmon as a resource to salmon as a relationship - encouraging a culture that respects and protects the relationship to salmon that Alaskans share.
What's your favorite way to eat salmon? Our 9th episode of Salmonfest Radio Salmon Anticipation Season is serving up salmon in all the best ways, tune for mouth-watering inspiration for the salmon season to come. Our Salmon Champion Harrison McHenry, owner and head chef at Fresh Catch Cafe on the Homer Spit, shares his experience serving salmon to tourists and locals alike. While Harrison asserts there's nothing better than a fresh ocean-caught King, you’ll hear bands from across the 2019 Salmonfest lineup garnish this episode with their preferred way to eat Alaska’s favorite fish. Our band feature Rumpke Mountain Boys keep this episode movin' and groovin' with their midwestern trash grass acoustics and backstage banter.
We are nearing the end of Season 1 of Salmonfest Radio! This episode “You Can’t Eat Gold” spotlights an important and familiar story of a salmon landscape facing the threat of a proposed large, open-pit gold mine; this time it's the Donlin Mine in the Kuskokwim watershed. We’ll hear from two Salmon Champions working to protect the communities that depend on the salmon of the Kuskokwim River. Together they will help us understand why considering the needs of people and an entire ecosystem is more important than gold. During our 12th episode, we will also get to know The Sweet Lillies through their harmonic jam grass tunes and their 2019 Salmonfest backstage interview.
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Tune into new episodes of Salmonfest Radio every other week on local radio stations or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Head to www.salmonfestradio.org to learn more about Salmon Champions, issues, and how you can take action.
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