Radio Stars 1 – Dave Watkins, The Blues Train

We have a feature in most editions of Blues Matters magazine about a Blues DJ. This has included an American DJ in James “The Blueshound” Nagel, but has mainly been about British DJ’s. The first DJ in our new website-exclusive series is also British. Dave Watkins runs his Blues Train show out of Frome in Somerset. We asked him to tell us about the show.

dave head shot“Blues Train first aired in January 2011 as a monthly show, playing all areas of blues, from the big names to the smaller ones. It soon changed format as I decided that the big names were getting enough airplay already, so I decided to concentrate on the new and up and coming artists. It soon became apparent that the blues community was very supportive, not just the artists but the fellow radio jocks, PR people and the listeners and the show started being noticed. I’m not a blues encyclopedia, I have always just played what I enjoy and made it a show that can be appreciated by anyone. I have discovered so much new music since starting the show, its been great fun!”


“The show is now being noticed for playing a good selection of mainly new release blues and roots and has regular listeners in all parts of the world, which is amazing. I’ve only recently been able to host the show weekly and its made a difference already to what I can cover. I’m passionate about the show and how good the playlist is, so sometimes might go a little overboard but it’s only because I want as many people to hear the music as possible. I’m pleased that I am part of the schedules of some very cool stations worldwide, including KCOR and Charlietown Blues in the US and Blues & Roots Radio in Canada.”


blues train radio

“As to the future, I just want to keep finding new listeners, the same as every jock out there. I want to keep up the high standards of the playlists and spend a lot of time every week scouring the internet to find new artists. I’d like to be able to accommodate more live studio guests too but want to always make the focus of the show more about the new releases, as other shows already do live sessions very well. A long term aim is to perhaps develop a podcast version and try to emulate the King of Podcasts, Dave Raven!”

The show airs live every Wednesday 8-9pm UK time via – it’s always great when people discover the show for the first time. Live chat happens during every show via

Additional links

Blues Train on Frome FM:

Blues Train on Twitter: @BluesTrainRadio

The Blues Train blog:


CharlieTown Blues:

Blues & Roots Radio Canada:

Dave Raven’s show:

James “The Blueshound” Nagel:

A flavour of the show

Dave has chosen some (fairly random, he says) albums that have been popular on the show as an example of what is played:

1: JW Jones – The Seventh Hour

2: Ben Racine Band – One Of A Kind

3: Rachelle Plas – Profile

4: Eddie Martin Big Band – Looking Forward Looking Back

5: Dani Wilde – Juice Me Up

6: Ginger St James – Tease EP

7: Aynsley Lister – Home

8: Dana Fuchs – Bliss Avenue

9: Thomas Ford – Breaking Everything But Even

10: Mark Harrison – Crooked Smile

11: Jo Harman – Dirt On My Tongue

12: Shaggy Dogs – Renegade Party

13: Trampled Under Foot – Badlands

14: Bombino – Nomad

15: Jake Lear – Diamonds & Stones