Podcast Review: Ear Hustle – https://www.earhustlesq.com/

Ear Hustle podcast launched very recently on June 14th (2017) and has taken the ‘true crime’ genre of podcasting, made popular by Serial… By taking the listener inside of San Quentin prison.

Ear Hustle’s co-producer / co-host Earlonne Woods and co-producer / sound designer Antwan Williams are both inmates serving 31 and 15 year sentences respectively. They are joined by co-host Nigel Poor who is a visual artist whose work explores the various ways people make a mark and leave behind evidence of their existence.

Nigel started working at San Quentin in 2011 as a volunteer teacher for the Prison University Project. In 2013 she started working with a group of incarcerated men producing a radio project called The San Quentin Prison Report which airs on KALW 91.7 FM. When she met Earlonne and Antwan; Ear Hustle was born.

The podcast won a competition to be supported by Radiotopia and therefore receives support from the outside. However the podcast boasts its entire sound is recorded, mixed, edited and produced inside of the prison.

What do I like about it?

This is a simple question to answer, it’s real! It is incredibly transparent and doesn’t use editing to adapt the stories but simply to add to the experience of listening. The stories are of real people in a world, that we on the outside, normally only experience by “hollywood-ised” tv shows.

Who can take inspiration from this?

The podcast is made completely inside the prison, and as episode zero explains… A prison is never quiet! Does it ever sound like this?! No! The recording is incredible, the production is perfect adding a real atmosphere, and the use of music is timed very well.

One thing I always get told by new podcasters is “I don’t have enough time”… And you may think “Well these guys have got loads of time, they’re in prison!!” but they really do not. They have very limited time to work on the project, only during visiting hours when Nigel can come in. They only work on the podcast during these times. The team  don’t even have access to talk on the phone to plan the podcast. If these can find the time… So can you!!

Normally the second question is “what could be done better?” but this is an excellent podcast MADE IN A PRISON, despite the support by Radiotopia… Who am I to suggest anything it could do better. At the time of writing ep1 is the only episode, I’m hitting subscribe and will be listening for the entire series.

I never thought I would say this… But I now have two media pieces that I love that have come from San Quentin prison. Johnny Cash’s live performance in 1969 and Ear Hustle podcast from 2017.

Are you an aspiring podcaster? Here are some more awesome blogs:

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