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James Kaegel's Photo I'm a volunteer KDHX music writer in St. Louis.

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88.1 KDHX DJ Spotlight: Pat Wolfe of Interstate

Pat Wolfe of Interstate at KDHX

Sara Finke

Pat Wolfe hosts the Interstate every Friday, 10 a.m.-noon Central on 88.1 KDHX. His specialty is Americana music ranging from alt-country, traditional country, bluegrass, folk and rock ‘n’ roll.

I had a chance to sit down with Pat at KDHX a few weeks ago to learn about his passion for music and his long tenure at KDHX as a volunteer DJ.

James Kaegel: This seems like a conversation between two old friends, because I’ve been listening to your show for quite a while. Does that seem odd to run into people that act like they know you because they listen to you on the radio?

Pat Wolfe: People say all the time, “I’ve been listening to you for three years and I’ve never called before, but I just wanna tell you that you do a great job” and it’s like, wow, there’s a lot of people out there. I get a lot of phone calls on the show every week. I want people to call in and request music because I end up learning a lot from the listeners. People have turned me on to a lot of different artists that I wasn’t really aware of or I didn’t pay enough attention to. I knew they were out there, but the listener tells me, “No, you gotta listen to the song on this album,” and then it’s like “Wow, you’re right.” It’s a shared experience. I love it. It’s great.

How much of your show is prepared and how much of it is based on feedback and interaction with the listeners?

If someone requests something and it’s something I have that I didn’t bring that week, I’ll make a note and make sure that’s one of the first things I pull from home to bring in next week. I usually bring enough to do a complete show if nobody calls, but that usually only happens a couple of times a year — if my show happens to fall on a holiday. When I first started, I would plan it out. I would actually plan sets and specific songs I was gonna play. Sometimes I would print out a playlist, but as things evolved I kinda chucked that out the window because it was just too hard to follow a set script. So now I just kinda go through the music at the house and pick things out. It’s just random, and when I get here and start the first CD, it just kinda goes from there. I never really know what I’m going to wind up playing from week to week because a lot of people call in and ask for music. It’s probably half my library and half the station’s library.

Do you have a sizable music collection?

Yeah, I probably still have about 400 vinyl albums. I used to have a lot more, but over the years I’ve sold some and traded some for different music I was trying to pick up. Nowadays I download from sites like iTunes or eMusic. It’s really convenient. I can find a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t be able to find in a normal record store.

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