Brian Oake says hello to The Current's audience

by Brian Oake

Brian Oake will soon be a host on 89.3 The Current.
Brian Oake will soon be a host on 89.3 The Current. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  1. Listen Brian Oake chats with Mary Lucia on 89.3 The Current

    Jan 6, 2016

Hi, my name is Brian Oake. I've been doing radio here in the Twin Cities in one form or another for nearly 25 years. And now I find myself coming to 89.3 The Current, and I couldn't be more excited.

For as long as I can remember, music has been a staple in my life. I loved the radio as a kid, but my real passion for music was ignited when I started digging through my dad's record collection. I fell in love with The Beach Boys, Cream, The Beatles, Hendrix, The Byrds and so, so many others. I started to go out and buy my own records: Blondie, The Cars, Pat Benatar, Cheap Trick and so many others! Every time I got a little money together, it was off to the Musicland at Northtown Mall to get something new. (Coincidentally, I believe that, some years later, Jake Rudh worked at that very store.)

Now, I was already deeply in love with the radio and music, but the real change came for me in the winter of 1983 when a friend handed me a cassette copy of The B-52's Wild Planet. It was revelatory. I had this 'ah ha!' moment. There was all this amazing music out there that wasn't on the radio. There must be more! Turns out, there was so much more. I spent my teen years digging through all of it. Hüsker Dü, The Cure, X, The Replacements, Echo and The Bunnymen, Black Flag, Love and Rockets, Beastie Boys and thousands and thousands of others. I've never looked back. To this day, my love of finding that incredible band, that perfect song has never diminished. So what better place to find myself than here at The Current? A station that has spent more than a decade playing an impossibly great mix of music, new and old.

However, I want to be very clear that my excitement about coming to The Current is about more than just playing tasty jams on the radio. Sure, that's great, but you can do that alone in your basement. For me, radio is about much more than music. At its best, radio is about connection. It's about sharing that ecstatic feeling of a great new song with people. It's about entertainment. It's about feeling like part of something bigger, an integral part of the community surrounding the station. It's about dialogue and laughter and, well, connection. It's hard to describe the exact feeling I'm trying to convey, but I feel like The Current comes closer to exemplifying everything I've ever wanted out of radio than any other station I've known.

Suffice it to say, I am genuinely thrilled to join this station and its staff, and to become a part of the proud, passionate family of listeners and supporters. Thank you for having me. I promise that I'll do everything I can to promote amazing music, live up to the incredible standards of this excellent radio station and, maybe, even have a little fun.

I am so ready. Let's do this.

Cheers!
Brian Oake

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Brian Oake officially joins his Morning Show co-host Jill Riley on Monday, March 7. Until then, Sean McPherson and Jade (who has been filling in for Jill Riley who is on maternity leave) will continue to host The Morning Show. Listeners can hear Oake on Fridays, 2-6 p.m., and other shifts in the interim as he settles in and prepares for The Morning Show.

Press Release

BRIAN OAKE NAMED CO-HOST OF THE CURRENT'S MORNING SHOW

Oake to join co-host Jill Riley in early March with a rebooted version of The Morning Show

(St. Paul, Minn., January 6, 2016)—The Current today announced that local radio celebrity and veteran DJ Brian Oake has been named co-host of The Morning Show.

Oake has been helping Twin Citians wake up for most of his career, hosting mornings on Radio K, the revered and legendary REV 105 and the short-lived Zone 105, where his co-host was none other than The Current's Mary Lucia in the final year of the station's existence. Also during his time at Zone 105, he launched Freedom Rock, an hour of independent, imported and new releases that aired weekly on both Zone and Cities 97 for more than 17 years.

In 2001, he became the afternoon drive host for Cities 97, hosting hundreds of Studio C performances and interviewing some of the biggest names in music, including R.E. M., Elvis Costello, Mumford & Sons, Adele and countless others over his 11-year tenure. In 2012, he returned to Twin Cities morning radio, co-hosting Cities 97's Morning Show with Keri Noble. Oake and Keri became the highest rated morning show in the station's 30-year history.

"Musicians and listeners have long known that Brian is a passionate air personality who loves being part of this community and connecting artists to audiences," said Jim McGuinn, program director for The Current. "For as long as The Current has been on the air, people have asked both Brian and the station why we weren't working together. Brian's on air sensibility matches the music of The Current - curious, wide-ranging, influential, and authentic. Now it's happening and we're excited to welcome Brian to Team Current."

Oake officially joins his Morning Show co-host Jill Riley on Monday, March 7. Until then, Jade, who has been filling in for Riley who is on maternity leave, and Sean McPherson will continue to host The Morning Show. Listeners can hear Oake on Fridays, 2-6 p.m., and other shifts in the interim as he settles in and prepares for The Morning Show.

"It's hard to describe the exact feeling I'm trying to convey, but I feel like The Current comes closer to exemplifying everything I've ever wanted out of radio than any other station I've known," said Oake. "I'm so thrilled to join this station and its staff, and to become a part of the proud, passionate family of listeners and supporters."

Oake's new co-host expressed her excitement about her new colleague: "Brian is smart, funny and enthusiastic about morning radio," said Riley. "He's also a total music geek and I'm stoked to have him as my new on-air partner. This is going to be fun and I can't wait to launch the new show with Brian."

McPherson, who has been the temporary co-host for the show since March 2015, will remain a host at The Current. Beginning in March, his new shifts will include Saturday night Radio Free Current request show, late nights and filling in as needed. An accomplished musician, he is the longtime bassist of local hip-hop pioneers Heiruspecs and a backing musician for Dessa. Over the last several years, McPherson, co-founder of Trivia Mafia, has hosted The Morning Show's weekly trivia feature.

"We're thrilled Sean continues to be part of The Current," said McGuinn. "I've enjoyed seeing him develop his natural on-air talent over what's really been his first year in radio, and it's great that he's become such a key part of the team."

TUNE IN: Oake officially joins his Morning Show co-host Jill Riley on Monday, March 7. The rebooted Morning Show airs weekdays, 6 -10 a.m. The Current can be heard in the Twin Cities on KCMP 89.3 FM and online at thecurrent.org.

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  • Oake on Oake: 'I am, first and foremost, a music fan' Longtime Twin Cities radio vet Brian Oake is joining the staff of the Current (!!!) to co-host the Morning Show with Jill Riley. As a longtime fan of Brian's work, Andrea Swensson was eager to sit down with him and learn more about his musical roots and his fiery passion for music and radio.

1 Photo

  • Brian Oake talks to Mary Lucia on 89.3 The Current.
    Brian Oake talks to Mary Lucia on 89.3 The Current. (MPR photo/Leah Garaas)

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