The stellar lineup of bands on the new compilation Go Fly A Kite have one important thing in common: they were championed by WSCA DJ Rick Dirck.

In his long career of supporting musicians as a volunteer, booker, and on-air personality in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire community, Dirck had a hand in shaping the careers of nationally beloved (including many who got their start in Philadelphia) artists including Waxahatchee, Empath, Radiator Hospital, Trace Mountains and many more. Now, as Dirck and his family come to grips with his cancer diagnosis, the bands are giving back, and encouraging fellow music lovers to do the same.

The 30-song collection of rarities and demos released last month offers unheard originals from some of indie music’s finest emerging talent. All songs were contributed for Dirck to hear more from his favorite artists, and also to support him and his family financially as he contends with cancer. Donations will be collected from Bandcamp, and you can pay to own Songs For Rick here

Organizers and curators Ali Donohue and Cynthia Schemmer spoke to WXPN about the special relationship between artists and the DJs who uplift them, and specifically the outstanding impact that Dirck had on them personally as musicians and artists. In an email exchange, Schemmer described a funny coincidence in which Dirck had asked his daughter Chelsea, a close friend of Schemmer’s, if they had ever heard of the band Swanning (a project fronted by Schemmer herself). “For me, that moment illustrates who Rick is: a devout chaser of new music who enthusiastically wants to share it with his community and beyond,” says Schemmer. Donohue adds, “Some people love music, and for them that’s a passive experience. But Rick has a very active passion for music that has expressed itself in big and small ways over his lifetime.”

Consider supporting the Dirck family by downloading Songs for Rick on Bandcamp. “Rick’s passion for music,” Donahue adds, “has helped connect his community to passionate artists and that’s something we wanted to celebrate with this compilation of songs.”


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