By Brendan Clay
Airing ad free on WPPM 106.5 FM on Thursdays from 3 to 5 pm, CRAIC Radio is a music program put together by two men from Dublin who have been part of the Philly music scene for a long time. Fergus “Fergie” Carey owns Fergie’s Pub and other bars in Philadelphia and Sean Timmons is a Talent Buyer with Mole Street Artists. You can listen to it live at phillycam.org/radio/listen or archived at www.mixcloud.com/CraicRadio. This interview has been heavily edited for length and style.
Can you talk about CRAIC Radio?
Fergie: We went to do a TV show, and we went to the interview and they saw the two of us and they were like, radio!
This was a TV show that—
F: No, that was a little joke. … A while ago we were talking about [how] my favorite radio station seems to have a lot of repeats, and we were like we could do this. … Instead of repeating the show at 11 o’clock at night we could have a show there. So we got talking.
Sean: We decided that we needed to think about putting together a proposal for a radio show so that if the opportunity came about we could take it to where we want to take it. … And then last summer we heard that PhillyCAM was launching their WPPM FM radio station. And we are very interested in that. Gretjen Clausing, who is the executive director, reached out to Fergie and said you should be on the radio.
F: They said you should be on the radio, and I said funny you should say that here’s a package (mimes handing over package). Here’s our proposal.
S: (laughs) Right. It’s all ready to go.
So it’s got an Irish name, CRAIC, and you’re both from Dublin originally, but it doesn’t exclusively play Irish music though?
F: Not at all. It is not an Irish music show. Though we do start off every week with new Irish music. New bands or performers from Ireland play. And then just because of our heritage, from growing up, it’s like … I really like Horslips, or Rory Gallagher, or Thin Lizzy. So Irish songs do come into it, but it is not an Irish music show. It’s just like we say. We’re two guys from Dublin who love Philadelphia and love music and this is our show.
S: We do a thing called Discovery/Rediscovery, which is a way that we look at some artists that were better known in Ireland. Maybe they were known here a little bit but not that much. And we dig deeper into their catalog and play more of their music and introduce them that way.
F: Some of those bands we’ve featured are Gem, T. Rex, Kate Bush. …T. Rex had 10 top 10 hits in three years in the mid 70s, where I think [they’re] like maybe a one hit wonder over here, so it’s like, oh, there’s all these other great songs. … We also do a Music Makers section every week. We have someone come in to the studio with us, and they talk live about what they are doing right now in Philadelphia.
S: So we like to get with them, and find out what they’re excited about now, get a little bit of their history, find out how they got to do what they’re doing, and it’s just a way of really helping to promote the local music scene, which we both have been part of at some level for many years.