A few miles east of town, out where grapevines are stitched into the land like a bad hair weave, you start to pick up a faint signal, a mere crackling at first.
Drive on, and the mournful wail of Lucinda Williams comes in clear as heartbreak over the radio.
She’s singing about what she always sings about: love gone wrong. Now Williams is replaced by Louis Prima’s bouncy “Boney Bones,” about a skinny girl who slipped away. That’s followed by Big Joe Turner’s wistful “Red Sail on the Sunset” and Lynn Morris’ bluegrass noir “Love Grown Cold.”
As you pull into Guerneville proper, you have no inkling what next will be played on KGGV, Guerneville’s low-power but high-concept all-volunteer radio station at 95.1 on the FM dial (well, at least within the greater town limits here in western Sonoma County). Could be disco. Could be punk. Could be mariachi.
Guess again. It’s soul