KLOI and Holly Near: an interview

KLOI member Ron Metcalf stands with special guests Holly Near (center, blond hair) and two members of the band, Emma’s Revolution.

Internationally-acclaimed singer/activist Holly Near is featured in KLOI’s Spirit in Action, Lopez Edition show this Sunday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m. and again Thursday, Dec. 10, at noon.

Near was interviewed for the show at KLOI’s studio by John Helding, representing Lopez Island Quakers, in late October before her sell-out concert with Emma’s Revolution at Lopez Center. All three women participated in the interview.

“Holly said she’d been in a lot of radio studios but never one like this,” Helding explained. “Pat Humphries of Emma’s Revolution got out a camera and took a picture of them in front of it with Ron Metcalf. They were quite interested in how we got the station set up and very supportive of its community radio mission.” Metcalf served as sound engineer for the interview.

When news of Near’s Lopez concert was released, the Quaker group decided to see about interviewing her for their weekly radio show on KLOI. Richard Sorenson at Lopez Center helped Helding and Metcalf contact Near’s agent who responded quickly and enthusiastically. “We worked back and forth on email and cellphone to get our meeting at the ferry landing set up,” Helding said. “I had a sign like a limo driver’s reading “Holly and the Revolution” with a arrow pointing my way and we met in the parking lot. Then they followed me to the KLOI studios. It was their first stop on the island.”

Asked what drove the decision to ask for an interview, Helding explained that the mix of Holly, Pat and Sandy’s artistry and activism seemed a perfect thing to explore on Spirit in Action – an interview program that features a mix of probing interviews and, at times, music. “They were coming to Lopez so we just went for it!”

In the interview, Near and Emma’s Revolution talk about the mix of performance and activism, how their spiritual lives inform their lives as musicians and the causes they take up.

Helding confessed to being a bit nervous at the beginning but said the women were friendly, easy-going and insightful, providing deep and personal answers to his questions. At times, they spontaneously started singing their answers. To hear the full interview, tune into Spirit in Action, Lopez Edition on KLOI, 102.9 LP this Sunday at 5 p.m. Spirit in Action is sponsored by the Lopez Island Quaker Worship Group.