Written by | Bryan Arvello
The latest place to enjoy live music in Amarillo isn’t a theater, an auditorium or even a bar; it’s a TV studio. Yellow City Sounds Live is a series of musical performances hosted by Panhandle PBS. The performances feature musical artists and bands playing in front of a studio audience of about 90 people. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Audio from the performance is broadcast live on FM90 and streamed online on the Panhandle PBS website. The video captured during each performance then is posted online and is featured in the local PBS program Live Here.
The live performances evolved from the online digital production, Yellow City Sounds, which began posting on the Panhandle PBS website about a year-and-a-half ago as part of a running series for the station. The series features local artists in music videos highlighting their best work. From Texas Country to rock ’n’ roll, Yellow City Sounds showcases the music of the Texas Panhandle. So far the station has hosted two live performances and has four more scheduled, according to Mike Fuller, FM90 program director. Attendance and online views for the first shows were high, Fuller said.
“We’re still in the learning process,” he said. The series’ first performance featured singer-songwriter Drew Kennedy, and the most recent performance brought a group of individual singers and songwriters called the Red River Songwriters to the Panhandle PBS stage. Featured artists were Susan Gibson, Walt Wilkins, Drew Kennedy, Kelley Mickwee, Brandy Zdan and Josh Grider.
Yellow City Sounds Live also provides new learning opportunities for students. Matney Mass Media program majors help with the cameras, lighting and sound, while others work in merchandising for the bands. “It was a serious testament to my skills,” said Cody McGehee, a student production assistant for Panhandle PBS.
“We’re trying to involve students at every opportunity,” Fuller said. Videos are posted at http://www.panhandlepbs.org/panhandle-local/yellow-city-sounds/, and the next free live performance, featuring Don Conoscenti, will take place April 23 at the Panhandle PBS Studios at 2408 S. Jackson St. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show will start at 7 p.m. Because of the limited seating, organizers say it is best to get there early; the most recent show filled up in the first 15 minutes.