Best radio show not actually on the radio - Real-Phonic Radio Hour - 2014 Best of MN

  • Updated: May 15, 2014 - 5:41 PM

The Real Phonic Radio Hour features live performances of Americana themed music monthly at the James J. Hill Reference Library in downtown St. Paul.

There are commercials, a host, storytellers, poets, a studio audience and lots of live music. But the Real-Phonic Radio Hour isn’t actually a radio show. It’s a once-a-month, multi-act concert recorded and edited for podcast. Real-Phonic is the anti-“Prairie Home Companion.” Host Thom Middlebrook is a combination of witty and smart-alecky, delivering his comments with a deep-voiced smirk. The musical guests, who tend to be Americana types like Amy Helm and Charlie Parr, are drawn from Minnesota and elsewhere. Erik Koskinen, the area’s best country songwriter, leads the top-notch house band. But the best thing about Real-Phonic is the setting: the James J. Hill Reference Library in downtown St. Paul. It’s a multilevel, dimly lit room — with tall columns, stacks and stacks of books, library tables, leather couches and chairs — that feels comfortable and classy and sounds like an acoustically superb church. Beer, wine and the arts are served. realphonic.com





 

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