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DJ: Astra Kelly

Station: 102.1 KPRI FM

SHIFT: Saturday nights, 9·10 p.m.

I was working the front desk at KPRI just after moving to San Diego earlier this year. This was before taking on DJ duties for their local show, the KPRI Homegrown Hour. I've always been a musician/performer, but this was my first venture into the world of radio. It was quite enlightening on many levels. One thing I loved was that I'd get all the packages from record labels with the absolute newest singles and full record releases before they were even released officially. The day I opened Grand National, from Australian band the John Butler Trio, I was immediately drawn in by the earthy/hip almost tribal image on the cover (see, there is still value to packaging). I'd never heard of them. I popped the CD into my desktop and checked out the soon-to-be-released single "Better Than." The tune struck me right away. It made me smile and want to groove it loud in the car while driving cross country. It has that simple but ever-appropriate message of being present in life and staying positive.

I listened to the record for the next two weeks. It's rare for me to like a record so much that I want to listen to it over and over all the way through. The musicianship is excellent. John Butler's guitar work rocks, his lyrics are witty and the diversity of style is refreshing...a little roots, a bit of hip-hop, a dash of bluegrass, some hard rocking, and some sensitive boy charm.

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