Last fall, Rochester-based Christian rock band Light 45took a trip to Nashville to work with Grammy-winning producer Skidd Millson their debut EP, "Decibel."
Last Friday was the release party/rock concert at Godz Grajhere in Rochester to celebrate the album release.
"The night was incredible," said lead singer Justin Hawley. "We had a great turnout. We have some people that come out and see every show and it's just a really good feeling to have all that support."
What's it like working on a debut album in one of the music capitals of the world?
"Tennessee was the most incredible world class music experience, (and) recording with a Grammy Award-winning producer is an opportunity that 99 percent of bands never get," Hawley said. "The new album is a five-song EP — we decided to focus on quality over quantity, and I think it shows in the album, everything is produced really well. I think there are definitely some radio singles on there, in fact we already have one single being pushed around the country as we speak.
"As great as it has been up to this point, this is just the beginning," Hawley said. "We plan on taking this music across the world and making Rochester proud."
Find Light 45 on iTunes, Google Play, and any digital music store, and check out their website, www.light45.com.
Local radio icon Tracy McCrayis taking over even more Rochester airwaves. This week she began as the new midday host on KYBA-Y105, which means she is once again on a music format station and once again working closely with James Rabe, her former morning show co-host from their days on KROC-FM. It doesn't seem that long ago, but it's been about 20 years since they first teamed up.
"It has been so long, I'm honestly not exactly sure," McCray said. "We started in 1996 or 1997 and I moved over to KROC-AM to host a talk show the fall of 2000. For the first time in 16 years I'll be working in a music format and I'm so excited! I'll be on the air mid-days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Y105. I'm still hosting 'Rochester Today' on KROC-AM on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 'Broad Talk' is every other Thursday. I joined the Mayo Clinic Radio team in 2011 and I'm still going strong there with Dr. Tom Shives. The show celebrates its 25th year this summer and we have almost 90 affiliate stations that also broadcast the show. I guess you could say I LOVE to work in the world of radio!"
What is it that made McCray decide to make this jump?
"It was James Rabe coming back to town that pulled me to Y105," she said. "It really is like a family reunion. And since he's on the air shift before me, I can't guarantee that there won't be a little spillover between the two shifts."
I asked if that "spillover" between shifts turns into everyone's dream-come-true of a McCray-Rabe reunion, can I drop by and intern again for old time's sake? (Tracy is the reason I got into radio 17 years ago, and I used to be the intern/sidekick when she and Rabe hosted the 'Early Morning Show' on KROC. Then we worked in side-by-side studios for years when I was mid-days on KROC-FM and she was mid-days on KROC-AM. We had a lot of in-studio dance parties!)
"Drop by?" she said. "You'd better check the paperwork you signed back in 1999. You're contractually obligated to be there."
There have been quite a few changes in McCray-ville since she left FM radio in 2000.
"Namely a husband and two kids," she said. "Our daughter is 14 and our son is 11. They are so excited I'm joining Y105."