Art of The Song


Art of the Song ( is a one-hour weekly radio program run on more than 100 public radio stations, WUMB included (Tuesdays, 5 am and 7 pm). I had been a big fan of the show for a couple of years catching it on my commute home from work.


John Dillon and Viv Nesbitt started the show to help people find their creative centers, and develop their own creativity, especially through singing and songwriting. (“Everyone has a song to sing…”)  Each show has a main guest, usually a singer/songwriter or group, who perform songs and talk about how the songs arose. There’s also a song analyst segment in which the analyst picks a familiar song and shows you how it works.  There are also 3-5 minute “Creativity Corner” segments during the last half hour of each show. Check out the website if you’re a singer/songwriter and you haven’t yet heard the show.


Anyhow, I met John and Viv and Lisa on the way out of the first night of the Boston Folk Festival in 2006; I recognized their voices as soon as they started talking about the show.   I commented that my life was going better as I lived to let the  music out; Viv asked “Would you write that up for us for our Creativity Corners?”. Fortunately, I was just starting a dream workshop with the Kennedys and some SAMW folks; they were encouraging free writing. I had never thought about writing ABOUT singing, and I had great fun dreaming aloud (is that what singing is?) about singing in Ely Cathedral in England, or in Open Mikes around New England.  Viv liked the resulting spots and ran two of them last fall. The main guests on those shows were Ronny Cox and Red Molly. Needless to say, this was a real thrill for me. I listened last week as one of the shows reran, and I still can’t  believe I wrote the segment. The Creativity Corner spots themselves, as excerpted from the shows,  are posted below.  Since both shows reran in the last couple of weeks, you’ll be able to hear the spots in context in September – Viv and John post the last month’s shows among others a few days after the end of each month.


Listen to Art of the Song Creativity Corner segment - Rick Drost on Ely Cathedral and Stonehenge– Ronny Cox is the main guest

Listen to Art of the Song Creativity Corner segment - Rick Drost  on "The Open Mike"

-   Red Molly is the main guest


Interestingly, the words to my Hymn #2006 dropped out of this time last fall, and all this thought about where music came from, and what we are doing with it as singers.


I ran into Viv and John again this February at Folk Alliance in Memphis, and they encouraged me to go out to Song School in Lyons Colorado in August 2007. More about THAT wonderful time later. For now, check out the links above, or better yet, go to and/or tune into the shows on UMB Tuesdays at 7PM. 


Keep the music comin.