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5/8/18 - Special Guest: Curtis B of DC Reggae

Thanks to Curtis Bergesen of DC Reggae for hanging out with us in the studio this week!  We discovered he reports on all the reggae AND makes collages! #artsyguy  :-)

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, TuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. ***Low Spirit, by Distant Creatures (Indie, Dream Pop)

  2. Something, by Yellow Dubmarine (Reggae, Rock & Roll)

  3. Speak the Fire, by Christos DC [Ft. Zafayah & The Skankin' Monks] (Reggae, R&B)

  4. ***One Thirsty, by Synthador (Techno, Electronic)

  5. Drop Your Guns, by Thievery Corporation (World, Reggae)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


ANNOUNCING The annual DC Music Rocks Festival at 9:30 Club!
August 18, doors at 7pm, All ages welcome.   

This is our signature event.  We gather 5 of DC’s talented local bands for a celebration of local music at one of the nation’s top venues.  We’re also partnering with Girls Rock!DC this year, and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to support their work in educating and empowering young women through music and performance.  

With this ticket link, you have exclusive presale access right now before the general public, which will be on 5/24.

Ticket Link:


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Here’s just a few highlights for the coming week, be sure to check out the calendar for the full list of all the upcoming shows!

Fri May 11
--Bumper Jacksons & Elena & Los Fulanos @ The Hamilton for White Horse Release Party (Country, Latin; RIYL Nathaniel Rateliff, Shakira)
--Bottled Up @ DC9 Nightclub (Punk, RIYL B-52s)

Sat May 12
--Funk Parade & Takoma Porch Festival
Check our calendar for details on where local artists will be playing, RIYL Festivals and Music Events, both of these will be fun.    

Mon May 14
--Oh He Dead @ Rock & Roll Hotel (Indie, RIYL Alabama Shakes)

Wed May 16
--Duskwhales @ Songbyrd Music House (Indie, RIYL The Beatles)

Thu May 17
--Fuzzqueen @ Gypsy Sally’s (Rock, RIYL PJ Harvey)
--The Radiographers @ DC9 (Rock, RIYL The Strokes)
--Caz Gardiner @ Songbyrd Music House (Pop, RIYL Hollie Cooke)


Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

We're Looking For Sponsors

We're looking for local businesses to sponsor us!  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

DC Reggae

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

DC Reggae's Bio:

DC Reggae_Curtis Bergesen_hirshhorn.jpeg

Curtis Bergesen aka DC Reggae was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Bethesda, MD. He is a collage artist, publicist, drummer, vegetarian, and man of many words. While attending the University of Delaware he got involved with radio, and created and hosted the show Mixed Vegetables. He played a wide variety of musical genres throughout his 100+ radio shows, including underground and independent artists. Curtis then started booking and promoting concerts; one of the first artists that he worked with was the reggae band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (GPGDS). In 2007, Curtis moved to Brooklyn, NY, and founded Herbivore Publicity. He went on to work with Rootfire and Ineffable Music Group, handling publicity and social media for various bands, venues, and festivals, including GPGDS, The Movement, The Green, and John Brown's Body.

In 2009 Curtis created DC Reggae, to spread the word about upcoming reggae concerts in the DMV. DC Reggae shares information about international, national, and local acts, through their social media networks @dcreggae, and mailing list. Curtis' passion for the arts extends beyond music; he creates handmade collages under the alias Collage The World.



Mailing List
Collage The World:
Herbivore Publicity:


DC Reggae_Curtis Bergesen_potomac river.jpg
DC Reggae_Curtis Bergesen_rootfire.JPG


Brian:   On DC music rocks we're shinning a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC regions music scene and Curtis Bergesen, aka DC Reggae, was born in Washington and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He's a collage artist, a publicist, drummer, vegetarian, and a man of many words as we're finding out now. While attending the University of Delaware he got involved with radio and created and hosted a show called Mixed Vegetables while he was there and he played a wide variety of musical genres through his 100 plus radio shows including underground and independent artists. So Curtis then started booking and promoting concerts and one of the first artists that he ever worked with was Giant Panda Gorilla Dub Squad which he has now shared with you by name multiple times so clearly we know there's love there. And in 2009 Curtis created DC Reggae which is to spread the word about Reggae concerts coming in the DMV.

    So DC Reggae's whole purpose is they share information about all of the Reggae music whether it's international, national, local through their social media networks and their mailing lists and Curtis' passion for the arts extends beyond music. He also makes handmade collages under the alias Collage The World so he's got visual art and musical art and honestly I've been following you since I ran into you at, I think it was, we were at Gypsy Sally's when Giant Panda Dub Squad was there. Imagine that, I met you at a Giant Panda show.

Curtis B:   Me and [crosstalk 00:01:23].

Brian:   Sensing a theme.

Curtis B:   Yes we met at Giant Panda Gorilla Dub Squad in February we were introduced by the infamous, too tough, Andy [Serdi 00:01:30]. Hi Andy. Great person in the DC music scene.

Brian:   Yeah he's the guy from Fort Knox recordings we had him on the show a couple of times. He's heavily involved in the scene.

Curtis B:   Serious connector, good human.

Brian:   But it's, I've been a fan of yours and the work you're doing ever since so thanks for being here man.

Curtis B:   Thank you so much.

Brian:   How did you get into Reggae?

Curtis B:   Let me just say I totally forgot I sent you this bio and it's incredible how well you seemed to know me Brian. In fact I was telling you some of this varying information before this episode this show. I was trying to tell you about this stuff and I'm like, "Oh the bio that I wrote and sent to them. Whoops." So how did I get-

Brian:   Well we all ready know that stuff so now tell us more stuff man.

Curtis B:   Yes so basically I've worked in the music business for over a decade specifically with mostly nationally touring Reggae bands, none of whom are actually from the DC area. And as time went on I said, "Well I'm from the DC area I may as well start a Twitter @DC Reggae to tweet about shows that are coming up in DMV." And as time went on I then made DC Reggae on Facebook and then an Instagram profile and around December time I thought, "Man it's really time to make a mailing list and start sending out a monthly newsletter with a concert calendar ticket giveaways and other fun things. Information about Reggae music et cetera and so that's basically where we're at. I am taking a little bit more of an active role DC Reggae rather than passively, occasionally posting about upcoming shows.

     I'm trying to take it a little bit more seriously and do a more sort of across the board comprehensive job of promoting and, again, anyone who's out there give me a shout on socials or whatever. If you have a show coming up or you're excited about a show coming up that has anything to do with Reggae music in Washington D.C. in the surrounding areas please get in touch 'cause I'd love to spread the word about your show. And as we all know from DC Music Rocks it's all about connecting with people and spreading the word, I think more importantly than ever, verbal communication, text messages to your friends about cool shows or cool things going on it's not hard to stand out and make a little bit of a difference with some extra promotion outside of just sending an invite to a Facebook event or hoping that someone likes this Instagram page your friend runs that you mentioned to them one time.

Brian:   I must say you got that speil down. Clearly you've been doing this for a little while. You got, you're all ready arming them with don't, you know, send a text, not a Facebook invite, like boy you clearly. I love it man. You're definitely involved with this thing but it's also everything that you're saying is true which is that the little bit of personal touch and clearly you put a lot of personal touch into what you do too with creating this DC Reggae thing. So I love that man. What part of the city is home for you?

Curtis B:   So I grew up in Bethesda. I was born at Columbia Hospital for Women thanks to my mom for having me and giving birth to me. She's a special lady and I also learned, in preparing for this interview that Duke Ellington and Al Gore were also born at this hospital which is now been turned to condominiums, but anyway, yes I-

Brian:   That was the most random story and I love it. Like we went from you being born, thanks mom, Al Gore, Duke Ellington, condos. I don't know if we could've done it any better man.

Curtis B:   I'd like to thank my ... I'd like to thank my sponsor Wikipedia on that last information blast.

Brian:   Oh God I love it. Thank you Wikipedia. All right so ...

Curtis B:   I just moved in to a new apartment in, I think the neighborhoods called Cathedral Commons, but I don't know if that's-

Brian:   Up near the National Cathedral?

Curtis B:   It's near the National Cathedral-

Brian:   Nice.

Curtis B:   There's a lot a trees and forests nearby which is super crucial when you look out of a apartment window all day if you do that sort of thing. My girlfriend Crystal and I just moved in the past couple of days. It's been stressful as anybody who's ever moved [crosstalk 00:05:05]-

Brian:   Oh wow one of those. Congratulations on the new place man.

Curtis B:   Thank you so much.

Brian:   That's exciting.

Curtis B:   And also Crystal was a good sounding board for me yesterday prepping for this interview which I've been extremely nervous about and thanks to whoever's listening out there and sticking with me. I appreciate you listening because compared to Brian-

Brian:   Curtis you're doing great man.

Curtis B:   Compared to Brian-

Brian:   Just stop it. Just stop it you're doing great man. Don't do it. So what's the, tell us about your earliest memory with music man?

Curtis B:   So my earliest memory with music it's hard to say definitively but I remember my dad quizzing me about what song was on the radio. He'd say, "Okay who is this?" And I would say, "I have no idea." It was so hard to tell it was just like who knows. Led Zeppelin, The Police, I mean Doobie Brothers it could have been anyone and I got frustrated with him for it, but at some point this is the magic of communication and I don't know, potentially good parenting or music sharing. At some point I started remembering who it was and I could hear the song and I would say, "Oh this is so and so." Now I don't know how old I was or how long this took me, side note, again another girlfriend shout out, I now do this to my girlfriend Crystal. I say, "Oh what song is this?" And she's-

Brian:   Oh God. It's your parents taught you and now you're doing it there too. That's funny.

Curtis B:   She says, "I have no idea. I'm only interested in what Beyonce is doing with ..." Yeah. Her next world tour which I am also interested in. Beyonce is absolutely incredible.

Brian:   That's like the bae squad. She's one of the baes. Yeah.

Curtis B:   Yeah so early music experience I credit to my dad quizzing me on what song we were listening to and-

Brian:   And was that in the car or was that at home? Where was that normally?

Curtis B:   I would say probably the car. It could have been at home, again, I'm in my late 90's now so it's hard to say exactly what decade it was but-

Brian:   We did, we did see you if you look at the pictures on social media. We got the ... There's definitely long hair version of Curtis and a short hair version of Curtis and various lengths of beard Curtis. So it's been a lot of evolutions over a year. 90 plus years you're just talking about now [inaudible 00:07:00] that's, I like it.

Curtis B:   My hair farming came to an end after three plus years in this past fall and I've had a lot of work done. So all though I'm in my 90's I do appear to be more like my mid 30's.

Brian:   Oh incredible. Well whatever that plastic surgeon is we shouldn't plug 'em here.

Curtis B:   Yes.

Brian:   What's, now what about you on the personal side? Outside of this music thing what else do you do? Hobbies? What do you do?

Curtis B:   So one of my main things that I'm doing these days is handmade collage, or analog collage as you referred to in the scene.

Brian:   And if they don't know what that means?

Curtis B:   Yeah so cutting and pasting, sometimes ripping. Usually with scissors or an X-Acto blade and gluing or sometimes taping different pieces of magazine or brochure or pages out of a book or pretty much any random printed object. Taking pieces from different places and gluing them together into a new idea or concept or piece of art. And for visually getting to what I'm talking about you can check out my Instagram at Collage The World. It's basically the word college but with an A. Collage The World. My most recent piece I just finished a couple days ago is actually a collage featuring David Hinds who is the front man of the incredible Reggae band Steel Pulse. So-

Brian:   Nice.

Curtis B:   It's actually the first Reggae oriented collage I've done, but I'm spending quite a bit of time making him a collage, aka art, and that's something I've really been diving in hard on the past year or so and have gone down some serious rabbit holes on Instagram discovering and connecting with collage artists from all over the world. It's an amazing piece, style of art in that anyone can do it, even someone like Brian, who I don't know if he's artistic with paints or drawing or anything. He could take two pieces of paper, rip them or cut them and glue them into a new composition and I would by them for a lot.

Brian:   Oh but a [inaudible 00:08:48] somehow that, you know I love this, I love this conversation too because that's something that like the time and the patience that it must take to collage is just astronomical to find the right picture and then collage it together and that's ... And like I love creating. With the radio show and I'm the drummer in a rock band and so everybody has their art thing that they love and I love talking about this because that's like I personally wouldn't collage, but I've seen some collages that look absolutely incredible so I love that this is a cool little side thing you got going there.

Curtis B:   Well exciting side note, those of you who are familiar with Reggae music Chronixx, arguably, the biggest Reggae artist in the world right now who's in his 20's who's from Jamaica very talented. He also has an amazing band. Chronixx's most recent album Chronology which I think won, was Rolling Stone magazine in the top 50 albums of last year which Rolling Stone doesn't give too many nods to Reggae music so that's saying something. Chronixx's last album, the album cover and also the inner album artwork, if you have the vinyl or the CD, were done by a collage artist Dewey Saunders.

Brian:   Well look at that. Cool man.

Curtis B:   So album artwork which is always a very tricky thing as any band members or artist can attest to collage is any amazing way to go.

Brian:   That's cool. I do, now I want to ask you one piece, if my favorite question. If you could offer one piece of advice what would it be?

Curtis B:   Well you're going to hate this 'cause I know we're crunched on time, but I have a few things. First of all, go outside. Go outside five or ten minutes every afternoon, if you work at home this can be especially critical but also if you're at an office job at a cubicle take five to ten minutes, go outside in the afternoon, get some fresh air, even if it's nasty outside and if you're boss says, "Hey what's up?" You can be like, "Hey well what about Don who's smoking cigarettes all day long going outside? I don't need a cigarette to go take five minutes to feel a little bit better about myself and to get a breath of air and a recharge. My next advice and this is a critical one for music-

Brian:   Curtis you're such an overachiever. I asked for one man. You're such an overachiever.

Curtis B:   I know I'm sorry Brian but I'm going to tear through this. I work hard-

Brian:   How many do you have? Prepare me.

Curtis B:   I have three.

Brian:   Okay.

Curtis B:   So lesson number two if you're going to get a band tattoo don't just like let the tattoo artist pull an image off of the band's Myspace or something. Hit up the band and say, "Hey I want to get your logo or your recent album cover art tattooed. Can you send me the file?" You never know their manager-

Brian:   Is this a common thing?

Curtis B:   Band tattoos are very common and many bands I've worked with over the years occasionally will see a fan photo of, "Oh I got the Giant Panda logo." So hit up the band, get the original artwork before you get a tattoo that's going to change your life or ruin your life.

Brian:   Okay.

Curtis B:   And final piece of advice is, and this I, is something I'm trying to do more often. Acknowledge people and say thank you for things to people if it's a co-worker or whoever it is, even a routine thing, we all appreciate being acknowledged for hard work we do even if it's basic stuff or part of your job. You never know who can use a pick me up so saying thank you and appreciating people more is a good positive thing to do and we all like being appreciated.

Brian:   I love it. So be appreciative, go outside, and tattoos. That was an amazing collection of advice man. All right. So let's just back into some music. Oh and by the way if they want to find out more about you it's @ DC Reggae. Everything's @ DC Reggae.

Curtis B:   @ DC Reggae on all socials.

Brian:   Awesome.

1/16/18 - Special Guest: Maxx Myrick, of DC Radio HD

Thanks to Maxx Myrick, Director of Programming for 96.3 HD4, DC Radio HD, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, TuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. The Towns, by Honest Haloway (Indie, Indie-Rock)

  2. The State of the Union, by Thievery Corporation (World)

  3. Fall Winter Spring Fall, by Carolyn Malachi (Jazz, R&B)

  4. Possibilities, by Bronsen and the Expedition (Pop, Funk)

  5. The Island (Comecar De Novo), by Lori Williams (Jazz, NeoSoul)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


Brian and DC Music Rocks were a feature story on an episode of the TV Show ‘The 202’ recently.  Brian’s interview aired and will re-air on the cable network DCN around the city.  We’ve also shared the link below, it starts around the 8 minute mark!  If you’ve ever wondered about Brian’s band Fellowcraft, they’re featured immediately after the DC Music Rocks interview so we hope you’ll keep watching for that too!

We’ve expanded our partnership and DC Music Rocks product line with Amazon to include sweatshirts and hoodies!  So cool!


Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Backbeat Underground ft Aaron Abernathy - She Don’t Love Me (Like I Do)

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Check the calendar, linked below, for the full list!

Jan 19 Fri
Carter Lou & The Project and Elizabeth ii @ DC9 by U St
Jonny Grave & Nah. @ Pearl Street Warehouse in The Wharf area by the SW Waterfront

Jan 20 Sat
AM - Rocknoceros Free show @ National Theatre by Metro Center
Wanted Man & Bottled Up @ Rock & Roll Hotel on H St NE
Sub-Radio @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown

Jan 21 Sun
Kypin Martin @ Milkboy Arthouse in College Park

Jan 23 Tue
Maryjo Mattea @ DC9 by U St in NW
The North Country @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown

Jan 24 Thu
Near Northeast @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill

Maxx Myrick


Maxx Myrick's Bio:

Maxx Myrick photo

Winfred “Maxx” Myrick was raised in Toledo, Ohio where he first went on the air at age 14 as a teen reporter at WKLR.  After High School and the Marine Corps, he enrolled at the University of Toledo where he began his career on college radio.  From there he worked his way up in radio markets including Cincinnati, Greenville, SC, Shreveport, Richmond, Cleveland, Pensacola, Washington, DC and New York.  In 1988 he was the first voice on the air doing midday’s at the launch of WVAZ in Chicago.  In 1990 Maxx and consultant Tony Gray signed on UAC WALR-Atlanta where he was the Operations Manager and Program Director and in 1993 he returned to WVAZ-Chicago as Operations Manager and Program Director until 2000 when he left to help launch XM Satellite Radio where he created the Real Jazz channel, programmed the Neo Soul channel “The Flow”, the Latin Jazz channel “Luna” and worked with and produced Wynton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.  In 2008 he left radio for four years, finally returning to his true love in 2011 as Operations Manager and Program Director of Heritage UAC WHUR, the flagship station of the Howard University Radio Network.  Maxx is a divorced father of four wonderful adults Tondalaya, Khalfani, Akili and Nyasha Myrick.

Maxx Myrick Pic
Maxx Myrick


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Maxx Myrick is an award-winning air personality, radio programmer, and content expert with over 40 years of experience, providing content on local and national levels. He's currently the talent buyer for Bethesda, Jazz and Blues Supper Club, and programming director for DC Radio, which is 96.3FMHD4 or His past experience includes work for XM Satellite Radio, like he just mentioned in New York City. He created the Real Jazz Channel and then he also was operations manager, and programming director at Clear Channel Chicago's WVAC and 106 Jams. Maxx is the recipient of every major radio award including Music Association's Icon Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Black Broadcasters. After saying all that, it's just exciting that I met him, because through doing DC Music Rocks, my show airs also on 96.3HD4 on DC Radio and I was honored when I first got connected with him back when we were talking about doing that connection and having the episodes air. I've been working with him ever since and he's truly an incredible dude. I'm just honored that you'd be here and you'd do this with me, Maxx. This is exciting to have you on the show.

Maxx Myrick:     It's an honor to be here with you after listening to your show. It's an honor to be here in the studio with you.

Brian:     My goodness. Now, can you talk a little bit about we talked about Bethesda Jazz and Blues and we talked about DC Radio. Can you expand on those just a little? What's your involvement?

Maxx Myrick:     DC Radio, I've spent my career building radio stations around the country, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, DC. I was also at WHUR here in DC for four years prior to coming to the DC office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, which is what DC Radio is a part of.

Brian:     Oh fantastic.

Maxx Myrick:     Extent of that wonderful brand, which also had the DC and television DK and television and DCC television.

Brian:     Wow. There's three channels. There's radio now. DC has really got a lot going on with the entertainment.

Maxx Myrick:     The office of film is in there as well, film, television, DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment.

Brian:     It's the longest acronym.

Maxx Myrick:     It really is right.

Brian:     I know they must catch some heat for that. It's OCTFME.

Maxx Myrick:     OCTFME.

Brian:     All together. I met somebody and they're like, "No, it's music and entertainment. It's the office of music and entertainment."

Maxx Myrick:     That's what it is. I mean, we're trying to. Our goal is to give the people of DC a reason to stay here.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We have the tools. We have a mayor and a director who are devoted to giving the citizens of DC an opportunity and that's what they're there for.

Brian:     Wow. The result is pretty amazing. If you check out some of the content you guys have, it truly it really is targeted for the local scene. Actually, talk about that. Talk about the station and what's on there.

Maxx Myrick:     Well, one of the shows that we cover of course is DC Music Rocks.

Brian:     Oh, you flatter me sir. You flatter me.

Maxx Myrick:     No seriously, when we were first trying to figure out, the station has governmental programming of course. We have a show with the Congresswoman Eleanore Holmes Norton. We have a show with the Metro Police Department. We have a show with the Mayor's Office, and Latoya Foster. We have shows with the business, different agencies. We also wanted to have an outlet for the local creative community. We've also created 202 Creates. That's part of our wheelhouse as well.

Brian:     Yeah, we've talked about that tagline on the show. Absolutely.

Maxx Myrick:     We wanted to also give the talent and the creatives in DC a place to get exposure. One of the first people that we reached out to was Brian Nelson Palmer, and DC Music Rocks because you play.

Brian:     I'm blushing over here. I'm blushing.

Maxx Myrick:     We have to service all eight wards and we have to provide programming for the entire city.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     Your program addresses that.

Brian:     It's true.

Maxx Myrick:     We were pleased that you said you would allow us to put your program on DC Radio.

Brian:     I am honored to be a part of the family Maxx. It really is a treat. Talk briefly about, you've got experience as a talent buyer now too. Is that like a side thing that you do, or how does that fit into the career?

Maxx Myrick:     It's a part-time thing I do? I've been in this business for 40 years.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     I've done all kinds of things. I've done small events, big events. When I was in Chicago, we used to do something called Unity Day, which was an annual free concert that was in Washington Park on the south side of Chicago. We had a million people show up every year.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Maxx Myrick:     It was so big we had to film it from a helicopter. It was just crazy.

Brian:     That's a pretty big event. Oh wow.

Maxx Myrick:     We did other events and I'm used to doing big scale things.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     The same thing with the radio stations. All the radio stations that I've built have gone on to become big radio stations and that's the plan, to make this radio station, a station that the other cities want to have.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We want to be the model for that. We have a very diverse array of programming for the artists, local artists and creatives and also we provide. Our goal is to be as transparent as we possibly can for the local government to give the local government a voice, to keep people informed.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     It's a combination of those things.

Brian:     Now, that kid of ties right into one of my next questions or the thing I love to ask too is so what makes DC Radio special do you think?

Maxx Myrick:     Well, first of all it's a local radio station. It's in DC, for DC.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     By DC.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     I mean, that right there makes it pretty special.

Brian:     In today's day and age of top 40 radio of national broadcast, that's definitely special.

Maxx Myrick:     I mean, radio has changed. It's very difficult for content to get on commercial radio. We're a non-commercial radio station. We don't have any constraints of commercials. We're commercial free all the time.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We run long form programming. Our programs have depth. I mean, it's not just a little short interview. Our shows are hour and a half, hour and they're very diverse. We have as I mentioned earlier, world music programs. We got [inaudible 00:07:02] World Music Hour.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     We have a show called The Brazilian Hour that we do in conjunction with the Brazilian Embassy. We've got a few more surprises coming down the pike.

Brian:     Absolutely. I feel like this is something definitely to stay tuned because there's exciting things coming from you and what you got planned for DC Radio.

Maxx Myrick:     Oh yeah. We want to make it really big.

Brian:     Talk about your connection with DC. You've been in the scene for, you've been back and forth. You've lived here multiple times. What's your history with DC?

Maxx Myrick:     I was in Chicago. V103 in Chicago for about a decade.

Brian:     Okay.

Maxx Myrick:     Then, I had been studying technology. I've been in radio since I was 14, since I was in high school.

Brian:     Since you're like 21 now.

Maxx Myrick:     Yeah, so just a couple of years. The way I got started was back whenever that was, I would always be the DJ at my family's parties. I would go to the store and get, and so I was very fascinated by radio. I grew up in Toledo, Ohio, which is right next to Detroit, and also next to the Canadian border. We listened to Canadian radio, a station called CKLW, which was bigger than life, everything about it was just bigger. I was fascinated with that.

     Then, I high school I got an opportunity to go on the local radio station, the local FM because AM was still king at that time and do the high school update. Here's what's happening at all the high schools.

Brian:     Wow.

Maxx Myrick:     That was where I got bitten by the radio bug and then I went in the Marine Corp.

Brian:     Okay.

Maxx Myrick:     We were out overseas and on a ship, for like a year, in the Mediterranean. They had a ship's entertainment system.

Brian:     You were the DJ of that.

Maxx Myrick:     I of course was the DJ.

Brian:     I'm sensing a theme here. There's a lot of DJ. Bring it back then to the DC part.

Maxx Myrick:     What happened was I was in Chicago and I had been studying the technology.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     I've seen the technology go from 45 to eight track, and then just all the way through.

Brian:     Yeah.

Maxx Myrick:     I had been studying satellite radio because I put the country's first satellite radio station on in Richmond, Virginia back in 1989.

Brian:     Wow.

Maxx Myrick:     It was what we did was we had a signal in Petersburg and then their station in Spotsylvania came on and interfered with our signal in Richmond. We bought the station in Spotsylvania. Now, then we took the signal, unlinked it in Richmond, and then we set it back down via satellite and then we increased our signal.

Brian:     That's right, okay.

Maxx Myrick:     That was the first satellite radio.

Brian:     First satellite radio.

Maxx Myrick:     You know, having been familiar with the technology when XM Satellite Radio was about to launch, a friend of mind contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in going. At a certain point in your career, you want new challenges.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     I could see where that was going. I came to Washington DC and built The Real Jazz Channel. There's another channel called The Flow, which was the new soul channel.

Brian:     Wow.

Maxx Myrick:     Luna, which was the Latin Jazz channel.

Brian:     Good gracious.

Maxx Myrick:     I produced, Wynton Marcalis, Quincy Jones.

Brian:     Some of the jazz greats.

Maxx Myrick:     Yeah, and the whole station was done from a jazz fan's point of view.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     Which is what they wanted. Then I stayed there for eight years, and then I took four years off.

Brian:     You took a break?

Maxx Myrick:     I took a break and moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

Brian:     I love it. That's a music fan's dream.

Maxx Myrick:     It was a music town, yeah. It's a music town.

Brian:     Good gracious.

Maxx Myrick:     Then, it was time to come back. I came back. Went to WHUR for about four years, and took another little break and then I got asked to come over and help build this radio station, so now we're blowing up here.

Brian:     I was going to say, I'm excited that you're here at the helm of this one now too. It's awesome that you came back. Now, talk to us outside of this work thing, what kind of hobbies do you got, your personal life and what kind of things do you do outside of work?

Maxx Myrick:     Besides music? I see a lot of live music. Of course, I book talent as well too and I play music on the radio, but I really like going to see live music. I'm a real music fan.

Brian:     What kind? I'm guessing jazz.

Maxx Myrick:     I like everything. I like jazz. I like EDM. I like world music. I like everything. I just heard, I went to see an artist from some island off of Finland. It was the most interesting music. I go to a lot of those embassy events.

Brian:     Sure.

Maxx Myrick:     They always showcase their countryman. I like that. I like traveling.

Brian:     Absolutely. Where have you been to lately?

Maxx Myrick:     I used to go to Brazil a lot.

Brian:     Nice.

Maxx Myrick:     It's been a while, but I think I'm going to reengage.

Brian:     Make a trip back there.

Maxx Myrick:     That country soon. Yeah.

Brian:     I like reengage with that country. Some people make a trip. Maxx chooses to reengage with that country. I love it.

Maxx Myrick:     I love the culture.

Brian:     That sounds like a much better trip, than just taking a trip, is to reengage with Brazil. It sounds so much better.

Maxx Myrick:     It's a wonderful culture.

Brian:     Now, one of my favorite questions to ask when folks are on the show, is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Maxx Myrick:     Well, this is a tough business. It's gotten tougher over time because of various reasons. One thing somebody told me at the beginning was to keep your integrity. There's lots of temptations along the way.

Brian:     Like what's an example of that, when you say a temptation?

Maxx Myrick:     Well, I never succumb to the things that some people succumb to, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Brian:     I see.

Maxx Myrick:     There are people who did and I saw people go down. I saw people's whole careers get ruined and then you have to be a stand up person. You have to be honest. You have to keep your integrity. The reason that I'm still in the game 40 years later is because I kept my integrity. I never sacrificed that. I never would do it.

Brian:     Don't sacrifice your integrity. Keep that.

Maxx Myrick:     That's a big that.

Brian:     Keep morals.

Maxx Myrick:     Then, stick with it. Right now, there's a wonderful opportunity for those who want to get into the business because we're at a paradigm shift with the internet.

Brian:     It's true. Tell a little bit about that.

Maxx Myrick:     Well, the technology keeps moving on but right now, the next superstars of radio are going to come online.

Brian:     It's true. Podcasts and some of that other stuff.

Maxx Myrick:     If you think about Apple Radio for example. They pay this guy from England all this money to be a curator. It's all online.

Brian:     It's all there.

Maxx Myrick:     If you can create something, as an individual, and generate enough interest, they'll come looking for you.

Brian:     That's pretty incredible. Maxx I like it. Now, one more time, for those folks who want to get in touch with you, or find out the cool things that you're doing with DC Radio and stuff, where do they go?

Maxx Myrick:     Just go to

March 7, 2017 - Special Guests: Andy Cerutti & Steve Raskin of Fort Knox Recordings

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Andy Cerutti & Steve Raskin

Video - Bio - Photos - Links


Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings were launched in 2003 by Steve Raskin, Roby Myers, Sid Barcelona and john Horvath. These guys met together as part of Thunderball, the first artist signed to Thievery Corporation's label ESL music back in the mid-1990s, and decided to start their own label, a new group focused on funk for the dancefloor. The label has gone on to drop over 100 releases and widen the list of artiststo include See-I, Nappy Ridem, Ursula 1000, Qdup, Omegaman, Empresarios and Thunderball. With the tragic passing of John Horvath in the summer of 2015, Steve Raskin has carried the torch as the leading DJ of Fort Knox Five and regularly tours across the US and Canada. In addition to all the great music they released and shows played around the world, Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings have licensed a lot of music to movies, video games and more - including the 2010 Oscar Winning Best Documentary "The Cove", Fox TV's "The Fringe" and countless EA Sports and Disney video games. Andy Cerutti joined the team in 2008, and in addition to serving as Label Manager, he also manages the various bands and artists on the label.  

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Interview Transcript

Brian:     Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings were launched in 2003 by Steve Raskin, Rob Myers, Sid Barcelona, and Jon Horvath. Now these guys, their focus was funk for the dance floor. The label's gone on to drop over a hundred releases and many more artists, including some of D.C.'s greats. In addition to all the great music they have released and shows played around the world, Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings have licensed a lot of music to movies, video games, and other places as well, so it's really branched out. Andy joined the team in 2008 and in addition to serving as Label Manager, he also manages the various bands and artists on the label as well.

                  I first came across these guys' music when I was first starting the show. I think it was Black Masala, was the first band where I ended up connecting with Andy and now it's such a treat, listeners, for me to be able to introduce these guys to you and have them here. So guys, thanks so much for being here.

Steve Raskin:      Thanks for having us.

Andy Cerutti:     Yeah, thanks a lot.

Brian:     This is really cool. Let's start with the track that we just played now. That was Fort Knox Five. Tell us about Fort Knox Five.

Steve Raskin:      Well, I think one of the interesting things you actually mentioned, Fort Knox Five has always been about funk at the root of it all. That track in particular was a collaboration that was destined to happen. We always celebrate D.C. music. We're very much supportive of the whole D.C. music scene. For us to be able to collaborate with a D.C. legend like Sir Joe Quarterman, who paved the way for what we're doing, really, right now, which is representing D.C. with some funky dance music. Actually, that was a great story. We actually got to meet ... I'm a long time fan of Sir Joe Quarterman. He did a project called the Free Soul back in the 70s and had a song called, "I Got So Much Trouble On My Mind." A fantastic funk song, one of those old school kind of funk 45 things. Actually, through Andy's connection with the Funk Parade, we had the privilege of actually getting introduced to Mr. Joe Quarterman.

Andy Cerutti:     Yeah, it was really cool to meet him. I mean, he's a D.C. legend and I go to the Funk Parade meetings and there's Joe Quarterman. We just kind of approached him and said, "Hey, are you interested in making some new music together?" The next thing you know, he comes into the studio and these guys made this great track, which is an instant classic, really.

Brian:     I love how those stories come together and how you just suddenly, magically end up with magical tracks like that.

Steve Raskin:      Absolutely.

Brian:     And the connections. It's getting to know folks around town. I love that. I'm dying to know the story behind the name. Fort Knox? Tell me. Tell me the story.

Steve Raskin:      Well, it's like all good stories. It starts with more of a legend than anything else. No. Fort Knox Five was always kind of an inside joke between us. Like you mentioned before with Rob Myers, Sid Barcelona, and Jon Horvath and myself, the four of us together were doing this project and I kept calling it the Fort Knox Five even though there was no fifth member, because none of us are really vocalists. The fifth member really became everyone that we collaborated with. From the get go, we always joked about how all our favorite bands came in fives. It was the Fort Knox Five just like Jurassic 5 and the MC5 and ...

Andy Cerutti:     Jackson 5.

Steve Raskin:      ... Jackson 5. I mean, there are so many. All the bands came in five. It was like, "Name a four band." There's no fours. The Fantastic Four, the Funky 4, there were very few. They were all in fives, and the five kind of really encapsulated what we wanted to do with music in general, which was about collaboration. As instrumentalists, the whole point of us doing Fort Knox Recordings as an extension of Fort Knox Five was to really celebrate the D.C. music scene. That's been, really, our ethos from the beginning. Fort Knox Five is the five is the four.

Brian:     That's amazing. Four of you guys together with a fifth member is the Fort Knox Five. I love it.

Steve Raskin:      It really completes the sound.

Brian:     Fort Knox Recordings then, was that just an extension of Fort Knox Five? Now it's going to be recordings, too?

Steve Raskin:      Yeah, well, no, and actually the Fort Knox Five, the name itself came as a joke. We used to call our recording studio just Fort Knox, because all we had was the music. The music was our gold. Fort Knox was sort of a tongue-in-cheek when our studio was in the hood. You were like, "Yeah, we got nothing to steal here except the music."

Brian:     Except the music, I get it now. Fort Knox, holding tight the music.

Steve Raskin:      Exactly.

Brian:     Oh, I love that. That's cool.

Andy Cerutti:     The classical ... The label compilation The New Gold Standard kind of sets that also apart. It's like the gold in Fort Knox ...

Steve Raskin:      ... is really just the tunes.

Brian:     There you go. So the name of the label that you guys have is ...

Steve Raskin:      I mean, the label is Fort Knox Recordings, too. Like you had mentioned in the intro, we launched the label and the group at the exact same time. The label was a vehicle for us to be able to do a collaboration with the idea of making funky dance music really celebrating D.C.

Brian:     That's amazing. Andy, how did you get linked up with these guys? What's the story there?

Andy Cerutti:     I've known a bunch of them since way back in the 90s from the music scene, and especially the co-founder Jon Horvath. Him and I were real tight. In the mid-2000s, when they were ready to sort of take the label to the next level, start releasing a bunch of other artists, Empresarios, See-I, Nappy Riddem, they were interested in bringing on somebody who could help them build the foundation and build the platform larger. That's where I came in. That's when we started really fleshing out the full identity and bringing in all these different artists and releasing so many great projects, which we continue to do.

Brian:     Holy smokes. I've featured a lot of those artists you just mentioned. They've got profiles on the site. Phenomenal music coming from those guys. Some of my favorite jams are from some of those guys.

Andy Cerutti:     Absolutely.

Brian:     It is really cool to see what you guys have built here. That's amazing. Now go ahead, I want you to clarify, if someone comes to see a Fort Knox Five show, what can they expect to see?

Steve Raskin:      Actually, that's interesting that you say that, too, because given the name Fort Knox Five and the sort of mythical confusion behind it ... Are we a band? Is it a DJ? We make the dance music, inherently, but we've done so many different incarnations of it. We've done the full live band where we had horn sections, live drums, bass, all of us playing live instrumentation. But that's been few and far between. More often than not, Fort Knox Five has been I've been traveling representing Fort Knox Five playing eclectic DJ sets and mixing originals, instrumentals, remixes, collaborators, all into the sets. From the five becomes a single DJ set, and then as an extension of that, Jon and I ... the original founding member, Jon ... we've been doing a four turntable or a four deck set where we were doing live ... Everything that we were doing in the studio, this sort of mash-up kind of culture, but we were doing it live. We'd play instrumentals and acapellas and take our acapella and put it on top of a Biggie song, or taking all these things and sort of interchanging these things.

                  That's something that we've been doing really as a festival thing. The Fort Knox Five four deck set now includes our collaborator Jason, Qdup, who we're putting out his new single, and the two of us go out and do that same kind of four deck set.

Brian:     That's cool.

Steve Raskin:      It's Fort Knox Five solo, the four deck set, and then occasionally the live band.

Brian:     For listeners who don't know what a four deck set means, what is that?

Steve Raskin:      It's, like I was sort of saying, four turntables that we're syncing up live, not as a preplanned set. Almost as jamming, as a live mash-up, where we can take our songs and use other people's vocals on top of it or our instrumentals. It's sort of a jigsaw puzzle of live music.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Steve Raskin:      It's not just sequencing songs as a DJ set. It's creating the actual songs that are created on the spot.

Brian:     Got it. For you guys outside of the music scene now, do you have other hobbies? If they were to meet you outside of this stuff, what might they see you doing?

Steve Raskin:      Well, Andy? I don't know.

Andy Cerutti:     I'm a history professor.

Brian:     Really?

Andy Cerutti:     Absolutely. I'm an adjunct professor out at NOVA Annandale.

Brian:     Wow. Shout out to the NOVA kids who might be listening. All right.

Andy Cerutti:     Absolutely. Absolutely.

Steve Raskin:      You may have had Professor Cerutti.

Brian:     Cool. I love it. All right, also adjunct professor. I like that. Okay, what else you got?

Steve Raskin:      I'm actually a graphic designer by trade. When I first started in the D.C. music scene, even way back in, going back to the 90s, the punk rock days, I used to design a lot of album packaging for ... specializing in D.C. local music from ... I used to do from Jawbox to Girls Against Boys, a lot of the old D.C. punk stuff. Then from that I started doing national bands like Bad Religion. I designed some of their record covers. Then through that I actually met the Thievery Corporation guys and started designing their records. In terms of a little history ...

Brian:     Oh, okay. That's a lot of design, yeah.

Steve Raskin:      Design has sort of [crosstalk 00:09:35].

Brian:     Okay, that's design. Tell me, how did music come into both of your lives? What's the story there?

Steve Raskin:      For me, music has always been an integral part of it. I think as a visual artist and as a musical artist, I think they kind of go hand in hand. Watching old spy chase movies and Blaxploitation movies really, that inspired me more to make music than the actual music of the time, because it's more of a feeling. I tend to be more inspired creatively by visual things that put in ideas as opposed to sort of like imitating or emulating kind of things. But I think they go hand in hand.

Brian:     Hence the graphic designer thing you were talking about.

Steve Raskin:      Hence the graphic designer thing.

Brian:     But you also play an instrument. What instrument?

Steve Raskin:      I play bass guitar, keyboards. In the live setting I play bass, but in the studio it's one of the things that I love about making modern electronic music, or electronic bass music, is that as a multi-instrumentalist I can sit there and do this orchestration that I could never have done before. If I want a string section or a horn section I can kind of concoct it and structure it and we have such amazingly talented musicians here in D.C. that to be able to get Frank Mitchell or some of the other horn guys to come in and be able to do a horn section and replay these ideas that you can kind of get into your mind is one of the most amazing things about our collective group of friends.

Brian:     That's cool. Andy, what about you? How did music come into ... That's totally different from history professor.

Andy Cerutti:     Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it's actually pretty easy for me to explain it because in 1994 I started working at Tower Records.

Brian:     Oh, Tower Records. I remember those guys.

Andy Cerutti:     Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, I still have a lot of friends from Tower.

Brian:     Nice.

Andy Cerutti:     It's still a big part of my life. I worked there for several years and I became a singles buyer. I got an office in the back. I'm dealing with the representatives and the sales charts and data and really, that's where it really began for me on the business side. I'm not a musician, so I do business and management side.

Brian:     I see.

Andy Cerutti:     Around that same time I linked up with a DJ, DJ Slant, from here in Washington, D.C. We formed a company, 2Tuff Productions. We threw countless events and concerts and tours and special shows promoting drum and bass music, which in a roundabout way is how I became linked up with these guys.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Andy Cerutti:     It's a true D.C. story through and through.

Steve Raskin:      Exactly.

Brian:     For both of you guys, one of the questions I love to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Steve Raskin:      I would always say when people ask me that kind of question, there's so many different things to say, but the truth of the matter is if you really want to do something just don't give up. Don't rely on someone else to do it. I think part of that is the D.C. ethos of growing up in the punk scene, which is if you wanted to do a show, put a show together. If you want to put out a record, you want to do a recording, go and do it. There's nothing really stopping you.

Andy Cerutti:     Absolutely. I'd say longevity, perseverance, you know?

Steve Raskin:      Yeah, don't give up.

Andy Cerutti:     Right when you think that it's time to quit, that's just when you're getting started. You got to stick in it. If you're not prepared for decades of commitment, you're not in the right field.

Brian:     Wow, okay. Stick with it. God, great messages, guys. I dig it. One other fun question. What's one thing in your music collection that might surprise us? Come on, Steve. Don't hold out on us, now. Andy started laughing because there's something there. What do you got?

Steve Raskin:      Well, yeah, in the same way that I like 60s and 70s car chases, I also like really cheesy music from the 60s and 70s, too. It's what would be considered light and fluffy, maybe like bossa nova light, more of the cha-cha kind of stuff.

Brian:     Okay. Really? So are we talking like "Girl From Ipanema," like the classic?

Steve Raskin:      Oh, yeah. "Girl From Ipanema," sure.

Brian:     Really?

Steve Raskin:      Yeah.

Brian:     Wow. Well, I guess that also makes sense because like Fort Knox Five ...

Steve Raskin:      It makes a little sense. Yeah, sure.

Brian:     It's still the big band and actual instruments and it's not just electronic. Not too much of a stretch, I've got you. What about you, Andy?

Andy Cerutti:     I've had so many musical phases it's hard to pinpoint one. I had a phase where I went through the Grateful Dead and some jam music, which is not something that's a big part of my life now, but I feel like it played a role in sort of shaping my musical development.

Brian:     That's amazing, guys. If listeners want to find out more about you guys or follow you guys online where do they go to find out more about you?

Andy Cerutti: is an absolutely great spot., because we have so much going on that we kind of have to parcel it out between the label and the artist.

Brian:     Sure. Right, which is great problems to have.

Steve Raskin:      Sure. Exactly.

Brian:     So much cool stuff happening. I love it.

Steve Raskin:      Find us on ... Especially, we have tons and tons of mixes. Go to, Fort Knox Five. We do a series called Funk the World, which is basically what it says, inspired funk from across the globe. Different types of genres, hours and hours and hours to be entertained too.

Andy Cerutti:     I mean, every platform. SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Twitter, you name it, you'll find us there. Fort Knox or Fort Knox Five.