Six degrees of Mikaela

People often ask how we at NCPR decide which stories to cover, and how we discover them in the first place.

Claire Woodcock interviewing Mikaela Davis in the NCPR studio. Photo: Zach Hirsch

Claire Woodcock interviewing Mikaela Davis in the NCPR studio. Photo: Zach Hirsch

For example, you may have heard the short “Heard Up North” segment this morning, featuring Mikaela Davis tuning up her harp. Since Mikaela is a student at Crane and we often showcase local musical talent, you might assume that the connection was direct and simple.

Not so. Our part of the story started with Danny Gotham down in North Carolina, who shared a Youtube video via Facebook of Mikaela performing one of her songs with her trio. Danny, of course, has strong connections to the station and the region, but it was my wife Terry who spotted his post in her news feed and fired it up. Then she gave me a whack, since I was conveniently nearby, and demanded that I “Watch this!”

I was an instant convert, seeing Mikaela perform the song “I’m Just Tryin to be Your Friend,” from her eponymous CD released in 2012. Great presence, strong vocalist, infectious melody, smart lyrics, unusual instrumentation–what’s not to like? They liked it at SXSW in Austin. So I fired it up an hour later at the station and made everyone watch and listen. Bill commented, “You can tell a lot about a songwriter by how she handles a bridge.”

But it was Claire Woodcock who got fired up enough to chase down the artist and book her into the studio for an interview and performance session as soon as Mikaela returned to Potsdam. Strong work from an intern. Claire carried the flag on this, pitching the news department and claiming the story for her own.

Yesterday it all came together in the studio, Mikaela with her harp, Claire doing the interview, Joel mixing the sound, and Meghan Oretsky, a free-lance videographer, capturing the scene. This morning’s segment was just the warm-up. Keep an ear on The Eight O’Clock Hour and an eye on, for much more soon–interview, performance, and music video. You’ll be hearing a lot about Mikaela Davis, and not just from us. For that matter, you’ll probably hear a lot more from Claire, too. These young women are both going places.


2 Comments on “Six degrees of Mikaela”

  1. Claudia MacDonald says:

    Enjoyed hearing this new, young artist.
    One of the things I like most about The Vinyl Cafe is the music…much new to me…the music and the Canadian artists. Much, incredibly good.
    Just wish their music was more readily available (and less expensive) in the states.

  2. michael owen says:

    I haven’t heard this person play but would probably like her playing if you do. Todd Moe got Gregory Porter to Snell the other night and it was a great show. So I’m not saying your method of getting stories never works. Especially when you want to talk about culture.

    However, your editorial policy really boils down to ‘I cover stories I, or my wife, like’. This would be dismissed as evidence of bias in a 100 level journalism class.

    If you think about this, it completely explains your crumbling funding base.

    I’ve said it over and over, structural problems.

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