Rock Garden Tour Radio on Mixing Gardening with Rock & Roll |

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Rock Garden Tour Radio on Mixing Gardening with Rock & Roll

Rock Garden Tour Radio on mixing gardening with rock & roll and why they emphasis authenticity in an era of consolidation and commercialisation.

Jamie Ashbrook

by Jamie Ashbrook in Review

Last updated 06.08.2023

Rock Garden Tour Radio Showcase

Combining rock & roll with gardening might seem a little strange, but it's just what we need for long sunny afternoons outside. Rock Garden Tour Radio are "keeping it rural" by emphasising home and authenticity with witty banter and wonderful music.

Rock Garden Tour - Who Are They?

Described by creators Heeren and Hurlbert as "South Dakota's most interesting rock and gardening show". They feel people in their rural-based region enjoy gardening. These same people also like to listen to good music.

Rock Garden Tour Radio Studio Discuss

With gardening as a platform, they use it to discuss much broader topics and manage to integrate local people and places in their shows. This emphasis home and authenticity in an era of consolidation and commercialisation.

What Do They Broadcast?

Heeren and Hurlbert love how personal and free radio is. One week they could be talking about flower bed arrangements, the next on how to deter rodents. Rock Garden Tour Radio offers live witty conversations about gardening like this and more.

You will hear free range music including indie, alt country, garage, punk, folk, soul, hardcore country, and gospel.

Rock Garden Tour Radio Interview

Can you tell us about about your station and how you got started?

Rock Garden Tour Radio offers less talk and more witty banter about gardening. You’ll also get to hear free range music including garage, indie, punk, alt country, folk, hardcore country, soul, and gospel.
The station, an offshoot of the Rock Garden Tour radio and television show founded in 2000, prides itself on being one of the most interesting radio stations in extreme southeast South Dakota, plus it’s one of the only stations around, that we know of, attempting to combine gardening and rock & roll.

What are you trying to achieve with your station and how has helped?

We want to reach new listeners and give existing listeners an even better experience. And we want to have fun. When you're a small time independent producer you'll try anything to keep the show alive, and we have. We've done commercial radio, public radio, and public television.
Rock Garden Tour Radio Outside Guys
We think internet radio is a better fit for us. So, after spending the last 6 years on a statewide public radio station, we launched an internet station through instead. helped us make a smooth transition away from public radio. We launched May 1 and it's been a lot of fun so far.

What do you like best about

It's easy, affordable, and you actually know who is out there listening to you. Plus it seems that the people behind aren't satisfied with the status quo. They're constantly offering up new ideas and ways to improve.

How do you go about selecting music or talk show topics for your shows?

It takes time. And it is always evolving. Listeners respond to authenticity. You have to trust your gut and do what feels right. We don't choose topics based on what we think people want to hear. We're the listener. We play what we want to hear.
Rock Garden Tour Radio Talking Mic

How do you connect with your audience and get them involved?

We often host live productions and experiences. Which is a lot of fun. But nothing beats producing live theatre of the mind radio where the audience is a product of imagination and listeners get to come along on a sonic adventure.
Rock Garden Tour Radio Crowd
Audience engagement and connection is a byproduct of good radio. Then again, sometimes we get desperate and do a silly quiz game for free stickers.

What advice would you give to radio newcomers?

Trust your gut. Good radio doesn't always have to connect the dots. Good radio makes the dots.

Finally, what's next for Rock Garden Tour Radio?

Last Tuesday night we produced our first live broadcast, which was great. This Thursday we plan to air a live performance from a show we recently produced at a South Dakota opera house. We want to do a new take on a top 40 countdown called the North 40 Countdown.
Rock Garden Tour Radio Hand Mixer
We want to do a whole show of songs that feature clap tracks, Clap Tracks USA. We're doing a series of mix taped interviews with area artists. We're full of ideas. It never ends!

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