StudioAmped has come a long way since its humble beginnings, a time when the musical series produced Friday night concerts and offered free pizza to attract attendance. A decade later, StudioAmped is a televised, two-time award-winning WSRE Public Media concert series welcoming regional musicians and their original music to the WSRE performance studio. The music is diverse from country, indie, and Americana to rock, jazz and even New Orleans funk.
Season 12 kicks off filming on September 23 at WSRE’s Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio on the Pensacola State College campus. Concerts run weeknights through October 4. Mark your calendars if you would like to be a part of the live studio audience for one or all of the concerts. Admission is free!
Billy Harrell, StudioAmped Executive Producer, does little to contain his enthusiasm for the talent selected for the upcoming fall concert series. “I find bands by word of mouth and by keeping up with the regional music scene,” he says. (Not a bad assignment for a music enthusiast.) There are dozens of live music venues across the region, and Harrell is serious about band selection. He continues, “I go to local bars/music venues to give them a listen.” He looks for full-time bands that are in the album creation process because it creates an exciting in-studio experience that often feels like an album release party.
Musicians do not receive financial compensation for their appearance; instead, they experience a high-tech studio and a professional sound mix on a well-lit stage. The band also receives a copy of the concert to use for promotional purposes. For an emerging band, the opportunity to perform and record their concert has long-reaching benefits.
“StudioAmped has changed the game for us for booking. We haven’t released music yet, so it’s a great way for venues, festivals and our fans to see and listen to a full original show.” – Drew Nix, Red Clay Strays, Season 11.
StudioAmped draws its inspiration from the long-standing success of Austin City Limits, another live music PBS series based in Austin, TX. Aired regionally on WSRE, StudioAmped focuses on providing local and regional bands with a platform to perform original music. “As the Executive Producer, one of my favorite jobs is the process of finding the bands. To be on StudioAmped, you must perform only original music. Cover songs are not allowed,” Harrell notes.
“StudioAmped has been a great launching pad for Sugarcane Jane, Willie Sugarcapps, and many other local artists. Having an hour-long professional presentation of a live performance is a valuable tool [that] artists need to find bigger and better opportunities. It has also allowed us to reach … more people in the viewing area that aren’t necessarily getting out to see live shows. We are grateful to StudioAmped, WSRE, and the entire crew for allowing us to be a part of their show. With so much talent in this area, we believe this show will only grow in appreciation and recognition in the coming years.” – Savannah Crawford, Sugarcane Jane, Seasons 5 & 10.
In July 2018, “The Best of StudioAmped Volume 2” received national recognition with its first Bronze Telly Award, a national award for excellence in television production. The “Best of” compilation is a collection of songs from Seasons 5 through 9 showcasing 18 different bands performing original works. WSRE is excited to announce it has received a second Bronze Telly in 2019 for last year’s “Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival Special” featuring Nashville songwriters Ann Buckle, Tim Buppert, and Jerry Vandiver.
According to Mary Riker, WSRE Director of Marketing and Communications, StudioAmped receives support from a committed WSRE team and funding from local supporters. “It’s true that our programming is made possible by ‘Viewers Like You.’ Productions like StudioAmped also provide great value and exposure for corporate partners; we’d be thrilled to introduce a presenting underwriter for the series,” says Riker. A PBS member station licensed to Pensacola State College, WSRE serves 1.5 million viewers in and around the Emerald Coast.
Programs like StudioAmped do not happen overnight. It takes vision, support, and a live audience to produce 11 years of premium music video concerts. Harrell is complementary of and thankful to the WSRE team. He concludes, “We have a very talented and dedicated crew, which is why we can produce such a great program.” The concerts are available for viewing online and broadcast on WSRE Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.
BE A PART OF THE “StudioAmped” SEASON 12 STUDIO AUDIENCE:
Mark your calendars! The public is invited to attend filming WSRE’s 12th season of StudioAmped. Nine shows will be recorded before a live studio audience. Admission is free. Doors open at 6 p.m. Shows start at 7 p.m.
Sep 23…Christina Christian (Perdido Key, FL)
Sep 24…Marlow Boys (Mobile, AL)
Sep 26…Molly Thomas and The Rare Birds (Mobile, AL)
Sep 30…The Crooked Vines (New Orleans LA)
Oct 1…Adam Holt (Baldwin County, AL)
Oct 3…Hash Cabbage (New Orleans, LA)
Oct 4…Songwriters Special 2019
WSRE Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio
Pensacola State College
1000 College Blvd
Pensacola, FL 32504
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