Promoting blues radio across the UK and worldwide

Encouraging promoters and record labels to use the IBBA as a point of contact

Ensuring all member presenters are represented as a unified group

Sharing of information and ideas





Rick Stuart
Roots & Fusion

Wednesdays 9:00 - 11:00pm
Blues & Roots Radio - website
Also on Mixcloud

The Story of Roots & Fusion

As a teenager I was a rock kid – AC/DC, Motorhead, Rush, Todd Rundgren, Rory Gallagher, etc . In fact I was given a thorough talking to by the management of Woolworth’s, where I had a Saturday job on the record counter, for playing Queen’s Flash too loud…

I was 17 when a friend played me Billy Cobham’s Stratus – and that was me done. Stanley Clarke, Return To Forever, Al Di Meola, ECM, Windham Hill – which led me to Michael Hedges…

My early twenties saw me with a job at Our Price Records – by this time I was listening to Steve Hillage, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, King Tubby, Linton Kwesi Johnson, as well as Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, King Sunny Adé…

In 1989 I started work for Decoy Records – a specialist record shop on Deansgate in Manchester. At this point I lost myself completely in the music – jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, reggae, Cajun, zydeco, country, African… And I started to make connections. There were similarities between the kora & the banjo for instance, between African & Appalachian.

I started DJ-ing at Band On The Wall, Atlas Bar, Night & Day, The Roadhouse – trying out how these different genres of music fitted together… I also started promoting live music, putting gigs on. Ozric Tentacles (1991, their 1st Manchester gig, there were campfires on the street afterwards), didgeridoo band Outback, Martin Simpson, Chris Smither, Terry Allen... I almost put Emmylou Harris on at The Royal Exchange... Music became almost 24/7.

In 1997 it all became too much and I left it behind…

Fast forward to 2008 – I had a “proper” job, the madness of the 90’s was long past. I was walking past a couple of work colleagues having a conversation when one said, “Ask Rick, he likes jazz…” Turns out Salford City Radio was after a presenter for a jazz program they had. I went to talk to them, but because I didn’t live in Salford they wouldn’t take me on.

But that started me thinking – what sort of radio show would I want to present…? Not a single genre show, I’d get bored. So, something like I used to play out, something that joined different types of music together.

I put a proposal together and sent it off to Stockport’s Pure Radio (thanks to Penny for the idea and Paul Holloway at Pure for taking the chance) and Roots & Fusion was born, with the first show going out on 9th Jan 2009.

Welcome to the journey...


Update - February 2018

In May 2017, Pure Innovations (the parent company of the charity that ran Pure Radio) decided to let the broadcasting licence go, but not to worry, the station would keep running just with different ownership.

We were told the building we were broadcasting out of was going to be demolished, so the new owners were looking for new premises & we would be off air until the move. This was only supposed to be for a couple of weeks. After this extended into a couple of months I decided to have a re-think.

Since 2014, Roots & Fusion had also been syndicated out of Canada via Blues & Roots Radio, so I asked the station owner, Stevie Connor, if he'd like Roots & Fusion as an exclusive. He agreed (almost bit my hand off) and we started to work out how to do it live - with me at home and them in Canada.

I bought a laptop & microphone, loaded Play It Live software, hooked up to the Canadian server and off we went. From November 2017 Roots & Fusion has been broadcasting live & exclusive on Blues & Roots Radio out of Penny's cabin in the garden.

I feel like I've come home.

R&F logo