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"the quintessential destination for the serious blues fan"

Host: Holger Petersen
3pm-5pm MT Saturdays

Canada’s longest-running blues program has been on the air since 1969. Natch’l Blues is the quintessential destination for the serious blues fan or the curious newcomer. Presented every week by Canada’s blues emissary, Holger Petersen, head of Stony Plain Records and long-time CKUA host, the program is a collection of the best music of the genre and interviews with the greatest names in blues.

Holger finds programming Natch’l Blues to be endlessly fascinating and enlightening; there is no end to the depth of music available when the blues influence is apparent on so many kinds of music. Most of the music that he programs comes from his own collection, and he’s constantly finding out more about regional styles along with obscure artists and labels. He’s also very lucky to be able to travel a fair amount in his day job, which affords him the opportunity to interview artists that are sometimes hard to get to. That’s why this program features interviews with people like Ry Cooder at his studio in LA, Bill Wyman in his London restaurant and artists like John Lee Hooker, John Mayall, Jay McShann and Johnny Otis in their homes. Holger is also a huge supporter of our Albertan and Canadian music scenes, and always looks forward to interviews with new, young local artists and touring veterans.

“I’ve found that artists who are involved in the blues and roots music are almost always down-to-earth and real,” says Holger. “They’re doing it for the music (not the glory or big bucks), and they love to share their love of what they do and to educate the rest of us.”

Host

Holger Petersen

I’ve been hanging around CKUA since I was a student. It has been a wonderful and ongoing education to work with its vast and eclectic musical library. I’ve always been especially drawn to the honesty and integrity of roots and blues music, which really touches the soul. When I started hosting Natch’l Blues back in 1969, I never dreamed I’d still be at it today! It’s now the longest-running blues program in Canada, and probably among the oldest in the world.

I also run Stony Plain Records, a Canadian roots-music label started around my kitchen table in Edmonton in 1976. As a record producer, I’ve worked with artists like Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jay McShann, Ronnie Earl, Long John Baldry, Amos Garrett, Johnny Shines, Roosevelt Sykes, Walter Horton, Jeff Healey, Duke Robillard, Rory Block, Harry Manx and Kevin Breit, and Joe Louis Walker. My work has earned 10 Juno Awards and six Grammy nominations. I’ve served as a director of Canada’s performing rights society, SOCAN; contributed to the Canadian Independent Record Production Association; and helped found the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and the Alberta Recording Industries Association.

I was voted Media Person of the Year at the National Maple Blues Awards for my work on Natch’l Blues and Saturday Night Blues, the program I host on CBC Radio One. I’ve received an honorary doctorate of letters from Athabasca University; a membership in the Order Of Canada for contributions to Canadian culture; and a Best Public Radio Broadcaster award from the Blues Music Association in Memphis, the first time a non-American received that recognition.

After more than four decades, I continue to be inspired by the work of CKUA and its staff, and the music that we play. No wonder I never left!


Read techlife magazine’s interview with Holger

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Awards

2014 Stony Plain Records (Holger Petersen)
Record Label Award
Keeping the Blues Alive

2013 Industry Builder Award
Western Canadian Music Awards

2012 Honourary Degree from University of Alberta

2010 Lifetime Achievement Award
Calgary Blues Music Association

2008 Natch’l Blues with Holger Petersen
Keeping the Blues Alive: Public Radio Award
The Blues Foundation

2007 Stony Plain Records (Holger Petersen)
Independent Record Label of the Year
Western Canadian Music Awards

2006 Stony Plain Records (Holger Petersen)
Independent Record Label/Distributor of the Year
Western Canadian Music Awards

2004 Stony Plain Records (Holger Petersen)
Independent Label/Distributor of the Year
Western Canadian Music Awards

2003 Stony Plain Records (Holger Petersen)
Independent Record Label/Distributor of the Year
Western Canadian Music Awards

2003 Order of Canada