Numbers surge for Homegrown Atlantic Hootenanny

Steve Sharratt
Published on January 16, 2016

P.E.I. Homegrown Atlantic Hootenanny host Blair Dewar, left, and co-host Andrew Cross areset to take on CFCY’s Saturday Night Hoedown with their own show live on Saturday nights.

©Steve Sharratt/The Guardian

Flood of new listeners tune into online show, creation of Blair Dewar of Brudenell

Unwelcome changes to a legendary Charlottetown radio show this month helped generate a flood of listeners for a new kid on the block.

Homegrown Atlantic Hootenanny host Blair Dewar of Brudenell saw his online country show double last weekend.

“We had over 5,000 hits on the show for Saturday and Sunday…that means we basically doubled our audience,’’ said Dewar who hosts the hootenanny with Andrew Cross.

The online show takes requests and plays tunes that made CFCY’s Saturday Night Hoedown so attractive for over 50 years. When the radio station dropped the popular format and went to pre-packaged show for a few weeks it infuriated listeners.

CFCY has since bowed to pressure and returned to the original format, but not before it gave fans of country music another place to tune in.

“We picked up lots of new fans and even one of their former sponsors,’’ said Dewar who started his show out of his love for music.

CFCY hoedown fans complained about the changes and called the new format an automated farce, taking away the personal charm and interaction.

“A lot of our listeners told us that they were still fed up with CFCY and gave our show a try because it was fresh and hosted by local people. Many of our listeners also stated to us that they enjoyed the fact that they can listen to our show anytime of the week because our podcast is available for streaming 24/7.”

Dewar, who began listening to the hoedown as a youngster, operates his country show at 6 p.m. Saturday at Supporters can like his Facebook page, Blair Dewar-Homegrown Atlantic.

“We had listeners from coast to coast across Canada as well as folks from the United States, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia,’’ said Dewar. “We had a flood of email requests….Prince Edward Islanders love their country music!”