It’s a show you may not expect to find in KELOLAND. White Wall Sessions started out as a Facebook project and has grown into much more!
The show is still broadcast online, but it’s reaching a much bigger audience now. Viewers tune in from Nashville, to New York, and even across the pond in England.
Plus, it airs right here on KELO TV on Saturday nights. Lights… Camera…. Action! This is White Wall Sessions.
The locally produced music showcase taped in the basement of Last Stop CD Shop on East 10th Street. If you’re not plugged into the local music scene, you may not know how popular it really is.
“In the last two ratings periods, we have beaten SNL in the Sioux Falls and Mitchell market,” said Creator/Executive Producer Jeff Zueger.
Jeff Zueger is creator and Executive Producer of White Wall Sessions. He says the show has grown organically, but it’s success is still a bit shocking at times.
Zueger: It feels kind of cool to come in and kind of poke the big guy a little bit.
Sammi: How do you think you’re doing that?
Zueger: I just think it’s a quality program and we have quality entertainment and I think that people like the fact that it’s done locally.
On this night, the band is local and the audience is live. 152 people applied to be on this season of White Wall Sessions. They can only take 55.
One of the lucky chosen performers is The Velcro Ultrasound from right here in Sioux Falls.
“It’s definitely great exposure for bands. You’re not going to get a high quality recording, much less a high quality video to go with it, just anywhere, you know,” said Chad McKinney with The Velcro Ultrasound.
Many bands use the recording and exposure to propel their music to the next level.
The Velcro Ultrasound want more people to hear them play, but they also want to spread a bigger message about local music.
“As much as it gives bands an opportunity to get in front of more people, it gives people an opportunity to see what’s happening in their community,” said Jeff Mann with The Velcro Ultrasound.
“It’s such an intimate, little place and people when they come they’re here to watch the music. And the artists are here to perform. They’re not trying to sing over a bar fight or anything like that. It’s really a cool, intimate little experience,” said Zueger.
“It gives people another opportunity for things to do. Other than just stay at home. And hopefully they’ll see that they can go to a place that isn’t scary,” said Rich Hastings with The Velcro Ultrasound.
The band members say they believe some people underestimate just how big local music is in the area, but it’s starting to pick up tempo.
“I think we had a period of time 20 years ago when the music scene was really thriving in Sioux Falls, and then it kind of went away for awhile. And now I think its really back with a vengeance. Actually, it’s even better than before,” said Russ Stedman with The Velcro Ultrasound.
“It’s cool to help out cool people, and it’s just kind of a give and take. I mean, we couldn’t do this show without amazing musicians,” said Zueger.
And as long as bands come to play, an audience fills the seats, and support flows in, the show will go on.
White Wall Sessions recently received a non-profit internet radio station called CRGB. They plan to bring it back to life as an internet and television station this Fall.
You can go to the live recordings of White Wall Sessions for a $5 cover!