Family, bluegrass, banjos -- Darcy Whiteside knows what he loves. A family friend brought two instruments over to his home when Darcy was nine. His sister, the eldest, claimed the guitar, leaving Darcy with the banjo. The rest, as they say, is history.
One lucky piece of that history was that, when he was a teenager, Canadian banjo champion Jake Peters moved to Darcy’s hometown, Didsbury, Alberta. The young man found himself with an award-winning teacher and mentor. It fuelled the fire of his passion for banjo music.
Darcy grew up playing in various groups, including the Maple Creek Bluegrass Band and the George Bushes. He plays to this day with his band The Bix Mix Boys.
“I have always been surrounded by bluegrass and I’m amazed that I get an opportunity to share that passion with everyone through CKUA,” Darcy says.
Darcy teaches Bluegrass 101 at the Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society every Wednesday. He encourages anyone interested in bluegrass to drop in.
“Bluegrass is a genre that spans 70 years and I love it all. I love the traditional music. I love the people who push the boundaries. ANd I love the stories of the songs and the people who play them.”
As a “newbie” at CKUA, Darcy says he draws inspiration from the incredible wealth of knowledge of the folks at CKUA. He also loves listening to old-time radio programs from the 50s and 60s.
Darcy’s ‘radio life’ started with CJSR, co-hosting the bluegrass show Prairie Pickin’ with friend and bandmate Jim Storey. Through touring, hosting the radio show and playing festivals, he has been able to meet a lot of bluegrass musicians and fans. "With CKUA, I feel that my family just got a whole lot larger."
The Bluegrass Hour celebrates the innovators and the traditionalists. From the classic to contemporary, progressive acoustic bluegrass and everything in between – host Darcy Whiteside explores the entire genre of bluegrass, with a little old-tyme music thrown in as well. Additionally, the CKUA Bluegrass Hour is a strong supporter of the bluegrass community – whether it’s Alberta, Canada or across the world.