- Associated Press - Saturday, June 7, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Jody Herndon gets wound up when he starts talking about New Appalachian music, the music he says people in West Virginia are mostly listening to, even if they don’t know that’s what they’re hearing.

He’s passionate about it. He preaches.

“New Appalachian music can sound like a lot of things,” he said, building up. “It can be country or rock or rap or even metal. It’s just all influenced by being here.

“Its roots are in Appalachia. This is us. We own this.”

Building that brand is at the core of what he and computer technician Eric Meadows are all about with their Internet radio station, New Appalachian Radio. They started it in March with help from the Digital and Social Media (DigiSo) project through West Virginia State University’s Economic Development Center.

Meadows, who works in the oil and gas industry, said the idea of an Internet radio station started as a side project, a hobby, when he met up with Herndon.

The two had known each other years before as students at Glenville State College.

Herndon said, “Eric was a resident assistant during my first year.”

They were friendly, but not especially close friends. After graduation, Meadows said they didn’t really see each other for more than a decade.

“We just sort of bumped into each other and started talking,” he added.

Herndon was performing locally, and between the two of them, they came up with the idea of filming and recording local musicians to be used for a radio station.

Songwriter Kristen Costello was one of the first people the pair reached out to, and she helped put them in touch with DigiSo through West Virginia State University.

“Eric was bringing equipment to people’s homes,” she said. “And they wanted a permanent place.”

“We explained the project to DigiSo, and they jumped on board,” Meadows said.

He added that they had some of their own equipment, but WVSU was able to enhance and add to that, as well as give them a reliable space to operate in at the Economic Development Center.

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