Peter Thompson

Producer and Host, Bluegrass Signal

Peter Thompson's first radio-like experiences involved recording concerts (hand-held mic + cassette deck), making mix tapes for friends and attending/hosting listening parties with other enthusiasts.  These proclivities found a broadcast outlet at Vancouver Co-op Radio, where, starting in 1975, Peter not only produced a wide variety of programs but also served as Program Director and Music Director.  For many years, Peter also was a freelance producer for CBC Radio, and taught in a college media production program.  Following a move to the Bay Area, Peter hosted programs at KCSM and KPFA before launching Bluegrass Signal on KALW in October 1995.  Since 2004, the program has been syndicated on WAMU's Bluegrass Country.

Peter has also been a member of Redwood Bluegrass Associates' Board Of Directors since 1994, served on the Freight & Salvage's BOD for eight years, and currently is a volunteer for the California Bluegrass Association and an active member of the International Bluegrass Music Association.

He's married to Kathy Kallick, who also happens to be my favorite singer/songwriter/band leader/guitar player; neither of their daughters, sad to say, have shown much interest in music from the true vine.

Peter grew up in Michigan, quite a distance from those "deep rolling hills," but the little hairs on the back of his neck went straight up the first time he heard the Stanley Brothers sing, and not much has changed since then.

Ways To Connect

Saturday (6/2) from 6:30 - 8:00 pm, "Bluegrass Signal" presents a memorial tribute to Doc Watson, who once said, "I'm not a legend.

… it's a Bluegrass Holiday.

Time for the annual break from the high lonesome sound as guest host Jose Segue returns with some of the latest and greatest of Bay Area Twang: roots Americana, honky-tonk, alt-country, rockabilly, western swing, country boogie/bop/rock, and more. Sure to be included: a new 45 rpm single from the B-Stars (Greg Yanito, Eric “Yang” Reedy, and friends).

This Saturday -- May 12th -- at the special time of 5:00 - 8:00 pm, "Bluegrass Signal" presents music from three new CDs offered as thank-you gifts for your support of the program and the station.


Red Wine: RED  -  The latest and greatest from Europe's premier bluegrass band; astonishing variety.

Loafer's Glory: Loafer's Glory  -  A new super-group combining traditional bluegrass and old time music.

Evie Ladin Band: Evie Ladin Band  -  Evocative playing, clever songwriting, and a rhythmic tour de force.


Wade Mainer in the early 1940s, when he and his Sons Of the Mountaineers band were among the most popular acts on the radio.

On Saturday, April 14th (6:30 - 8:00 pm), scant hours before your tax returns are due, "Bluegrass Signal" presented some songs for a tax-ing weekend, including Del McCoury's exploration of "Moneyland" (and "If You've Got the Money, Honey" …). Other lucre-related music by the Dreadful Snakes, Karl Shiflett, Curly Ray Cline, Nashville Bluegrass Band, High Country, Blue Highway, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, and, yes, others.

Listen anytime this week via KALW's Local Music Player.


Loafer's Glory

Apr 2, 2012

Loafer's Glory is a band of SoCal musical vets: Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, Tom Sauber, and Patrick Sauber.  To get you ready for their impending Bay Area visit, "Bluegrass Signal" host Peter Thompson welcomed them to the KALW studios on his April 7 broadcast. 

Missed the show?  Listen anytime this week via KALW's Local Music Player.

On Saturday (3/31) from 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Bluegrass Signal producer Peter Thompson hosts Bay Area banjo players Larry Cohea, Bill Evans, Avram Siegel, and Ryan Breen to honor and reflect on the contributions of Earl Scruggs, who died on Wednesday.  As a member of Bill Monroe's "classic" Blue Grass Boys, co-leader with Lester Flatt of the music's most influential band, the Foggy Mt.

Saturday (March 3rd), 6:30 - 8:00 pm -
Peter Thompson presents musical previews of the annual Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival, Redwood Bluegrass concerts, Rhonda Vincent's and Jayme Stone's visits to the area, and other upcoming events.

A few of those taking part in Bill Evans' new album, "In Good Company" are pictured above (L->R): Tashin Clarridge, Tristan Clarridge, David Grier, Bill, Todd Phillips, engineer Tom Size, Mike Marshall, and Darol Anger.




Now on KALW's Local Music Player:  The incomparable singer who first came to prominence with the Johnson Mountain Boys in the early '80s.

Europe's premier bluegrass band, Red Wine, is coming to the Bay Area from their home in Genoa, Italy.  Martino Coppo and Silvio Ferretti recently celebrated the band's 30th anniversary by adding a couple of 20-somethings to the group, and Red Wine sounds better than ever.

You'll hear music from six Red Wine releases, including their latest (a world-wide radio debut!), to get you ready for concerts in Mountain View, Berkeley, and Winters.

(Listen to the show anytime this week via KALW's Local Music Player.)