BY PAUL BICKLEY
While casting around for a new project last fall, Bloomington singer-songwriter Jeremy Shere (Songs in the Key of B-town, 2015), a self-professed fan of podcasts, decided to produce one of his own, focused on what’s happening in and around Bloomington. “I’m always missing events in town, and no one was doing an events podcast,” Shere says.
Shere, 48, works full-time at Cook Group as a copywriter and is the father of two, so he decided it made sense to bring someone else on board. “A co-host would make the recordings more fun and engaging—and share the work,” Shere says. Enter Jen Richler, 41, a freelance writer and a long-time friend.
The first weekly episode of The Btown Lowdown, billed as “a podcast about events and culture in Bloomington,” went online in September.
Episodes open with a shout-out from a Bloomington resident to friends or co-workers. Then Shere and Richler discuss what they did during the week and introduce the episode’s theme—a holiday or a Bloomington phenomenon like the electric scooters that have been the subject of controversy. The co-hosts present selected forthcoming events, then interview someone involved in one of the events or aligned with the podcast’s theme. Each podcast concludes with Bloomingtonians answering theme-related questions or with a segment of the Btown Lowdown Showdown, a Bloomington trivia quiz.
There is a lot of banter on The Lowdown, Shere says. “It’s fun riffing. We didn’t want simply to note events.”
The structure of the show makes for easy listening, Richler says. “It feels like you’re listening in on a conversation between friends,” says the mother of two small kids. “Listening to the podcast is something you can do while you’re doing something else, like laundry.”
Shere hopes The Btown Lowdown becomes regular listening for the community. “We’ve both written for Bloom,” Shere says. “Bloom has set the bar. We hope The Lowdown will also become part of the community fabric.”
Episodes can be heard at btownlowdown.com.