“I’m sure many regions have talented musicians, but this area seems special.”
In the spring of 2020, live music shut down in tune with the rest of the world. Concerts were canceled, tours were postponed, and audiences waited hungrily for their favorite artists to release music into a harsh environment.
“We’re the only radio station to only play New England artists,” Sooz says. “On the surface, it might seem strange, but there’s an amazing music scene here. A lot of young people come here for Berklee, and four years turns into 10 years … and they stay here in New England.”
The region was and continues to be home to music legends, from the Cars to Dropkick Murphys, and after moving to Boston in the ’90s, Sooz got involved with icons and up-and-coming bands alike. From concert photography to music blogging, she has an intimate knowledge of the regional scene and aims to highlight it through her radio station.
“I’m sure many regions have talented musicians,” she says, “but this area seems special.”
Sooz started growing her collection with the rock she knew best; in the time since, Oh, Hello Boston has grown to encompass other genres like reggae. In one slot, Boston reggae musician Rider McCoy hosts “New England Roots Reggae” from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesdays, playing “music by reggae artists based in New England.” “This includes reggae artists who have relocated from the Caribbean and reggae artists who are from the region.”
For fellow rock fans, Sooz airs a special one-hour sampler segment of “On the Town With Mikey Dee,” which has run for nearly 33 years on WMFO 91.5 FM. “He passed away, but some of his friends continued the show,” Sooz says of the beloved ’90s scenester for whom the program is named.
“Oh, Hello Boston has music going back to the ’70s,” she says. “We have a show called ‘Decade Stroll’ that plays a song from every decade between 1970 and 2021 in a six-song block.”
“When you turn on the radio, you generally hear the ‘now,’” Sooz says. “So [‘Decade Stroll’] is a bit nostalgic, and if you weren’t around in the ’70s and ’80s, you can learn about what New England music was like back then.”
New music from up-and-coming regional artists comes on New Music Alert, which airs Monday from 7 to 9 pm.
“We have a submission page on our website,” Sooz notes. “Bands can tell us about their music and we listen to everything we’re sent.” She encourages artists to reach out. “We provide a platform for New England artists to be heard and listeners to discover their new favorite band.”
“We play the music that we love, and we think that you’ll love it too.”