Former owner of The Electric Company, Anthony ‘Zee’ Donaldson, offers a glimmer of hope for the Utica music scene in the form of EC Radio. Launched in January, the radio show host has had a hand in the Utica area for more than 20 years, owning the fabled venue from 2002-2012. With the new show, Zee hopes to breathe life back into The Handshake City.
The Utica music scene has fallen on hard times in recent years. The 2012 closing of The Electric Company marked the lack of a main music venue in town, and Utica Music and Arts Festival not returning in the fall of 2016 have not been the best news for the once burgeoning scene in Central New York. Utica does have Saranac Brewery summer concert series that continues to be well-received and attended by fans for a variety of music each summer, but the rest of the year, the Utica scene is struggling, to put it lightly.
Pete Mason: What made you want to start EC Radio?
Zee: EC Radio starts with the D. Disruption Networks is a new media channel my partners and I launched on January 30th this year and features a lot of uncensored talk shows. On EC Radio I like to focus on live music, indie bands and introducing the world to all different types of music.
PM: What can listeners expect to hear when they tune in?
Zee: Topics range from everyday life, music, sports, different segments and interviews. All uncensored and live.
PM: As the former owner of the Electric Company, which closed in 2012, how has the Utica music scene fared in recent years?
Zee: There’s a lack of venues unfortunately. It’s a risk to run a live music venue. People aren’t supporting live music like they used to. It’ll come back again. It’s always a constant circle.
PM: How can the Utica scene find its footing again?
Zee: I hope my new platform with EC Radio will help get people out there supporting the music.
PM: Are there bands in the Utica area that may be part of a future renaissance?
Zee: There’s so much talent in the 315, I would be typing for days, but off the top of my head: Rusty Doves, Glen Street, Nineball, Mason’s Revolt, Copper Vein Clones, Enemy Down, Dying Breed, Floodwood, jay n nick, Alpaca, Matt Lomeo Band, Showtime, Simple Props, The Bomb, Gridley Paige, Dave Snediker Band, Joe Sweet n John Kelsey, Old Main, and there’s way more but that.