ENMU professor gives New Mexico the blues

By Eric Norwood Jr.

PNT staff writer


It has been almost a century since the musical genre of the blues could be categorized as “new.”

Yet, in this instance it may be suitable as KENW-FM on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University now broadcasts a weekly blues program called All These Blues on Saturday evenings from 9 p.m-10 p.m.

ENMU professor and blues aficionado Roger Gatchet produces and hosts the show.

Courtesy photo Roger Gatchet is producer and host of “All These Blues” radio program on KENW-FM.

Courtesy photo
Roger Gatchet is producer and host of “All These Blues” radio program on KENW-FM.

This program gives those young and old an avenue to discover something new.

“I’ve listened to the program since the first show,” says listener Gene Bundy. “I’ve listened to the blues before but this show kind of opened a new world for me.”

Gatchet has creative control over the show, deciding what soulful sounds of the past get played for that week.

“Basically, each week I go through my personal library of CDs, LPs, and 45s, and grab a whole mess of records from artists I might want to play on that week’s show,” Gatchet said.

The weekly show is still in its infancy, with the first show having aired Dec. 1. Gatchet pre-records the show, so listeners aren’t able to call in and request songs. However, Gatchet does have a Facebook page for All These Blues that listeners can make requests on.

“I’d like to do the first year anniversary show live,” said Gatchet, who said he fell in love with the blues after watching the Blues Brothers in college.

“I was riveted by John Lee Hooker’s street performance of his classic hit ‘Boom Boom.’ That song struck me; it was so riveting, so powerful. I immediately went to the local record shop and bought a Hooker greatest hits CD. After that, I was hooked on blues.”

Blues music is diverse in that it has many different sub-genres. From country blues to the jump blues of the West Coast, listeners can expect to hear a variety.

“I try to provide listeners with a broad overview of the many styles that people call ‘blues.’” Gatchet said.

Gatchet, who has been a disc jockey at radio stations in California, Texas, and Spain, plays the harmonica and sings with the local band Blackwater Draw Boys.

Gatchet said he opened for legendary musician B.B. King while performing with the Guy Budd Band in 2003, and lists his favorite blues musicians as James Cotton, Charles Musselwhite, Little Walter and Rice Miller.


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