STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State's radio station WMSV-FM 91.1 begins its 20th anniversary celebration with a Paul Thorn concert at Rick's Café Americain on Saturday [Feb. 8].
The VIP meet-and-greet includes concert admission and will begin at 6 p.m., while general admission opens at 7 p.m. Paul Thorn will take the stage at 9 p.m., with Bill Cooke and Kannawermz opening the show at 8 p.m. VIP tickets are $30, while general admission is $20.
"Paul Thorn's a great story," said Steve Ellis, radio station manager. "He's a Mississippi artist from Tupelo, and he's carved out a niche and done it without record labels. He packs houses everywhere he goes; Paul rocks out, and he's a great guy to work with."
The meet-and-greet will offer fans the opportunity to visit with Thorn in a relaxed atmosphere where the artist will simply chat one-on-one, face-to-face, Ellis said. He explained Thorn has performed at WMSV-sponsored concerts several times, and he enjoys meeting with long-time fans, as well as new ones.
The opening band features Bill Cooke, interim director of geosciences at MSU, a well-known local acoustic guitarist and singer. Other band members include Mark Tribble on stand-up bass and Hardluck Chuck on drums.
Like the radio station itself, the musicians will play the "Adult Album Alternative" genre, an eclectic mix of different sounds appealing to college students, young adults and older listeners, said Anthony Craven, WMSV director of news and development.
The unique mix to be featured in the concert reflects the uniqueness of WMSV, he said.
"For two decades now, the station has been able to sustain its goal of serving the local community," Craven said. "We're community-based in all we do, and we play the music and air the shows that you're not going to hear in this area otherwise."
Thanks to a student-centered movement including a petition and referendum, the radio station's broadcast began March 21, 1994, and though the station is professionally run by Craven and Ellis, it is entirely student-staffed.
Though many former disc jockeys were broadcast communication majors, several were not, and WMSV will give any student an opportunity to learn how to speak on air, Ellis said. Unique music requires unique personalities, and many of the former DJs have become very successful in their chosen professions, whether they stayed in broadcasting or became doctors, professors or engineers.
Holding the 20th anniversary celebration at Rick's Café Americain was a natural choice, Ellis said, because the owner, Rick Welch, is a MSU engineering alumnus. His club opened just a few weeks before WMSV went on air, and he and Ellis have worked together many times over the years.
Learn more about the upcoming concert at the WMSV alum Facebook page or visit http://wmsv.msstate.edu. Purchase tickets by calling the radio station at 662-325-8481 or visit Rickscafe.net.