Highlights    View All Artists    Calendar of Events    Promote an Event    Sample Dedications
  World Music Days Artists

Click Here to go Back to Alphabetical List

Radio Free Earth
Hometown: Cummington, Massachusetts
Web site:
View World Music Days Events for this Artist

Like a pirate radio station in the sky, Radio Free Earth ignores boundaries to play the good stuff you don't ordinarily get the chance to hear.

Radio Free Earth is a band that's many things — acoustic and electric, rootsy and innovative, funny and serious, political and spiritual. Most of all, however, Radio Free Earth makes good music of every kind:

Rockabilly, country blues, boogie woogie, African reggae, Sixties folk revival, psychedelic rock, Texas swing, cajun, polka, art songs, soul, and more... RFE touches so many bases they had to come up with a new name for their style: “Crossover Music.”

During performance Josh Wachtel and wife Kim Wachtel take center stage, trading lead vocals, backing one another with harmonies, and singing sophisticated duets in voices that blend lusciously. Kim’s voice turns heads — one venue owner commented, “Your voice is just ridiculous!” Josh is noted for his versatile guitar playing, which combines rhythm and lead, and his astounding memory for lyrics.

RFE may perform as an acoustic duo in intimate settings, or may be accompanied by one or more sidemen, like percussionist Jordan Russ and Vince Snyder on mandolin. For larger or louder venues, RFE performs electrically as a four to six piece band, complete with a rocking rhythm section, Mike Stanley on lead guitars and “Brother Ben” Wachtel on the keys. Whatever the context, RFE has fun — and that’s contagious!

RFE dates back to 1998, when Josh Wachtel and resident song scout, Alexei “The Old Space Ranger” Panshin began searching through the dustbins of the Twentieth Century looking for good unused songs. Epitomal songs from every genre that show where we've been and where we're bound. Songs you've forgotten and songs you've never heard before. Songs for every situation and circumstance. Where RFE can't find a song to fill the bill and paint the picture, Wachtel and Panshin write a new one like “Night Dream Blues” or “Pirates at the Helm.” Brother Ben writes too.

Since 2005 RFE has been based in hills of Western Massachusetts. The band has performed at restaurants and bars, weddings and festivals, concert venues and private parties. Radio Free Earth has four 16-song CDs on Handknit Records — Crossover (2003), Fortune and Death (2005), And Don't Forget It! (2006), and Available Light (2007). Freehand, the band’s fifth CD, is in production. RFE also produces a bimonthly podcast and maintains a lively web site at

For bookings and information contact Kim Wachtel at or phone 413-634-5005.

Radio Free Earth
Bookmark and Share