TPR#91 Bob Woodruff

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Jun 082012
 

Rick Cornell interviews Bob Woodruff. They talk about how Bob Woodruff’s Lost Kerosene Tapes came to be published by Sound Asleep Records and why these songs were never released by album’s previous label. Bob and Rick discuss the Byrds influence running through all three of Woodruff’s albums. And Bob Woodruff gives a special shout out to a singer he’s worked with in Los Angeles who’s now in Raleigh.

TPR#91 Bob Woodruff – Interview and Music (MP3)

Audio MP3

Show Notes:

Bob Woodruff on CD Baby

Interview Recap:

Rick Cornell, on his Dirty Laundry show, starts the show talking about “one of the best surprises of 2102” being the releases being Bob Woodruff’s album, The Lost Kerosene Tapes, recently released by Sweden’s Sound Asleep label.

[Rick Cornell plays “Hat Full of Rain”]

Rick Cornell welcomes Bob Woodruff on the phone from Los Angeles. Bob Woodruff talks about the New York City scene for country music in the “early 90’s,” when Bob first started recording country and country-rock. Bob Woodruff says it wasn’t a big scene, but there were a few bars that played music including The Rodeo and CBGB’s. Bob says the first C in CBGB stands for country music.

Rick Cornell says when Bob Woodruff’s first record came out it was a couple of years ahead of the alt.country wave tht came later. Bob Woodruff’s first CD Dreams & Saturday Nights, came out in ’94 and the No Depression magazine, the milestone of the alt.country scene didn’t come out until ’95. Bob Woodruff talks about his band from the 80’s called The Fields, which he says he dragged kicking and screaming in a country direction in the mid-80’s. Bob Woodruff says he was not impressed with the MTV culture of the time and that he was drawn to the song writing of Elvis Costello and T-Bone Burnett.

Rick asys at least one track of Dreams & Satruday Nights was from The Fields. Bob says about half the album was music that was supposed to be on The Fields next release on Restless records. Bob Woodruff tells the story of how they got a deal with Restless by sending them an unsolicited casette tape. Restless said later that was the only time they signed a band from an unsolicited tape. Bob Woodruff says that their album for Resltess never gor released because the company went bankrupt during the recording.

[Rick plays “Brand New Blue” from The Lost Kerosene Tapes.]

Rick Cornell asks if there is a Byrds influence on “Brand New Blue” and on The Lost Kerosene Tapes. Bob Woodrusff says yes there is a Byrds influence. Bob Woodruff says that the songs on Dreams & Saturday Nights and Desire Road were originally targeted for coutnry radio so there is more of a Byrds influence on those records than on the songs on The Lost Kerosene tapes. Most of the songs on The Lost Kerosene tapes were part of a demo deal they had with Interscope records.

Bob Woodruff tells the story of how The Lost Kerosene Tapes came to be released. Jerker Emanuelson of Sound Asleep records had a freind in France who had somehow obtained one of Bob Woodruff’s demo cassettes and shared with him. Jerker Emanuelson had been trying to track Bpob Woodruff down for several years. So the friend in France happed to see a news story writen about Bob Woodruff in the Houston Chronicle which was later also published on The Huffington Post. The friend in France reached out to the journalist from the Houston Chronicle to find out how to reach Bob. And eventually, they all met and Sound Asleep Records agreed to release the record.

Bob Woodruff sets up “Whiskey Heaven” from The Lost Kerosene Tapes. He says this is one of the last tracks that The Fields ever recorded. It’s one of the more country songs the band ever wrote. And for whatever reasons, it never made it on an album.

Bon Woodruf gives a shout out to Jeanne Jolly. Bob met her in Los Angeles and she has sung harmonies on several of his songs. But now she is back in Raleigh and is playing gigs around town includeing the Berkeley.

[Rick plays “I’m Staniding Here With Standing Here With Both Knees On The Ground.” from Dreams & Saturday Nights”

Bob Woodriff says he’s doing some more recording and is about half way through making a new album. He says his current songs are a little more R&B influenced than his past work. Bob Woodruff says his music has always been a combination of 60’s rock, country, and R&B. He says sometimes one genre comes more to the front than others and right now R&B is comeing to the front.

[Rick Cornell plays “Every Day I Have To Cry” form Deisre Road.]

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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TPR#90 Moot Davis

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Jun 012012
 

On episode 90 of the Taproot Music Show, Moot Davis talks about why he had to go to New Zealand to start work on his new album, Man About Town; why he’s a suit and tie kind of country singer; and the importance of being in control of your own destiny.

Moot Davis

TPR#90 Moot Davis – Interview and Music (MP3)

Audio MP3

Show Notes:

Moot Davis web site

Interview Recap:

Moot Davis made a name for himself with some honky tonk CDs from several years ago.

Moot Davis talks about starting from the other side of the world to get this CD started. He says that in 2007, his seconmd CD, Already Moved On had come out.  He says he was burned out from living on the road and was struggling with his record label. So he moved to New Zealand for about half a year.  Moot Davis Lived in Wellington and “had a blast.” After a couiple of weeks of “not fighting with anybody” he could finally get back to writing some songs.  Moot Davis says he wrote about 80-85 percent of what’s on the current CD, Man About Town.

Moot Davis sets up “Rags to Rhinstones.” Moot Davis says he was carrying that phrase around for a long but wasn’t having much luck writing a song with it. But a friend of his in Nashville was going through a career nose dive. This friend had been a high flyer and now he was getting kicked out of all the bars. That served as a real-life inspiration for the song.

[plays “Rags to Rhinestones”]

Moot Davis talks about the vocal style on that track and the CD. Mot Davis says that while they’ve been on tour he’s been hearing people say that he soundslike Roy Orbison.  Moot Davis says that Orbison is certainly enjoyed his vocie. Moot Davis calls Roy Orbison’s voice “almost angelic” and he didn’t think of it as something he could ever attain. So he liked that sound but it wasn’t a vocal style he ever deliberately tried to emulate. As far as the crooning goes, Moot Davis says his voice matured over time and that’s part of it.

Moot Davis talks about the backing band. The CD was produced by Kenny Vaughan who is sort of Marty Stuart’s right hand man and guitar player in the Fabulous Superlatives. Kenny Vaugn also plays guitar on Man About Town. Chris Scruggs plays lap steel and pedal steel. Harry Stinson is on drums. Paul Martin plays bass. Also featured is fiddler Hank Singer, who plays with George Jones.

Moot Davis says it was kind of an intimidating line up. Moot Davis says with that band you don’t do a lot of rehearsing. Moot Davis got together with some locals and made demo recording. He sent the songs to Kenny to help pick out the songs that went into the CD. Other than one or two meetings with Kenny there was no rehearsal. Everyone just showed up at the studio. And on the first day they had Elizabeth Cook there as well to do a duet.

Moot Davis sets up “Fade To Gold.” he says when he was a child, his family used to take weekend trips to Pennsylvania. For the whole trip, his Dad had only one cassette tape that he played over and over. On one side it had Dylan’s Desire. And on the other side it was the Greatest Hits of Roxy Music. This song is sort of a melding of all that.

[plays “Fade To Gold”]

Moot Davis talks about how he’s more of a suit and tie kind of country singer. Moot Davis says when he first got started he was in acting and was in plays that traveled around the country and Europe. When he first started doing music he was a very poor musician. So when he got up on stage in those early days he says he needed a buffer between him and the audience. And so the  suit and tie kind of became his armor. Moot Davis also said that the Hank Williams image was also part of his early act. Also there was a movie called Honky Tonk that has Clint Eastwood in it. That movie plus the Hank Williams image are the two things that gave him courage to do those early shows. Moot Davis says that the suit and tie is not some sort of “retro-creep” thing, he also says that the suit and tie does command some respect. He discovered at an early age when he was trying to get into bars as an underaged minor that if you wore a suit and tie people treated you completely different and that has remaind true through all stages of his adult life.

Moot Davis talks about getting hsi songs placed in movies and TV shows. He says other than the traveling, its been the best part of his career. He says he’s up to about 20 placements now. His first placement was a song called “Whiskey Town” in a movie called Crash that went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. He got to the Premiere and all that stuff. Moot Davis says it’s a real, emotional thing when you’re in a movie theater watching the movie, people you recognize on screen and you hear your song come one.

Moot Davis sets up “Queensbury Rules.” Queensbury Rules are the old British Boxing rules whith stuff like don’t kick your opponent when they are down. Moot Davis then parlayed that into a love song.

[plays “Queensbury Rules’]

Moot Davis talks a little bit about the bind he got in with his previous label and how he got started with his own label. He says he doesn’t have anything but good things to say about the people on his previous label. But he says that the problem was he wasn’t in control of his own destiny and that has to be in charge of his own decisions and make hsi own mistakes. Moot Davis talks Paul W Reed who is a business man from Texas who followed his career and went into business with him to create their label. Moot Davis talks about he admires Reed’s willingness to put hsi money where his mouth is.

Moot Davis talks about the advice he’d give to new aspiring artists. He says that when he was getting started with his previous label, he had a lawyer and his father helping out. But the label brought things to a head  and pressured him to sign up so they could get a tour going. So he signed a contract. So his advice to artists is to not be easily bluffed or pressured into agreeign things you don’t want to get into.

Moot Davis says they are on tour right now, doing a string of shows in the US. Then they are doing a summer European tour then a Canadian run. They are also shooting for more placements in film and TV. Moot Davis also says he’s has admired Lyle Lovett’s career and would like to try to work with him in the future.

Moot Davis says that he’d like put more emphasis on roots rock on the next CD to broaden his horizons and not make the same album over and over again.

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Legal

The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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TPR#89 Allison Russell and Dom Flemons of Sankofa

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May 252012
 

Allison Russell and Dom Flemons from the jug band called Sankofa talk about how they and their band mates Sule Greg Wilson and Ndidi Onukwulu put together this unique collection music. They talk about the history of jug band music, the instruments and culture it was built on in the early 20th century.

Sankofa

TPR#89 Allison Russell and Dom Flemons of Sankofa (MP3)

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Show Notes:

Sankofa on CD Universe

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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TPR#88 Addam Scott – Interview and Music

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May 182012
 

Addam Scott, the musician, not the actor, talks to Calvin about his latest CD, San Diablo. He discusses the concept of conflict that runs through the CD and how he likes ““I like to move forward that contradiction and show the best of who we are as people and the worst of who we are as people.” He discusses his musically formative years in Wyoming where he learned equally from the hippie Rainbow Family and the cowboys on the ranches. He says, “there’s such a zest for life on one side and a subdued dignity on the other.” Scott also talks about the yearly charity event he helps put on for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach which features music, raffles, and an “80 proof Santa.”

Addam ScottTPR#88 Addam Scott – Interview and Music (MP3)

Audio MP3

 

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Show Notes:

Addam Scott on iTunes

Addam Scott web site

Honky Tonk Christmas Charity Event

Recap of Interview with Addam Scott about San Diablo

Addam Scott talks about the roots music in the Long Beach / Los Angeles area and how there’s a thriving roots music scene that hasn’t reached out to the rest of the country yet.

Addam Scott talks about the idea behind his CD, San Diablo, is centered around “conflict.” Even the title highlights the conflict translating into “saint devil.” “I like to move forward that contradiction and show the best of who we are as people and the worst of who we are as people.” He also wanted to make a record that is a “little bit smarter than what we hear on pop culture radio.”

Addam Scott sets up a song he wrote with Brian De Den called “Gallows.” This song was written a few years ago when he was in El Paso. It was 1:00pm in the afternoon. He was looking across into Juarez. You’d think it would be a bustling community that time of day but all they saw walking around were little clumps of people dressed in black. It was during one of the worst months of the drug wars down there. He wrote this song to personalize the story that of someone who might have gotten involved in the drug war and might not have made the best decisions at the time.

[Calvin plays “Gallows” from the Addam Scott’s CD, San Diablo.]

Addam Scott says that song had a lot of Marty Robbins in it and he was thinking of a cinematic kind of song.

Addam Scott talks about his earliest recollections of music was playing records at his grandparents house where they played Willie and Waylon. As he got older he moved into Townes Van Zandt and Kris Kristofferson. Has respect for Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens. Addam Scott says that at some point we’re going to see a Buck Owens biopic that shows what an innovator he really is. Addam Scott also talks about Merle Haggard as being one of the local artists he pulls from.

Addam Scott sets up “Good News.” He says this song as about what’s good comes from what’s bad. And what’s bad comes from what’s good.

[Calvin plays “Good News” from Addam Scott’s San Diablo CD.]

Calvin asks about the beer hall group sing song he has in some of his songs. Addam Scott says they deliberately tried to create a song people would like to sing along with. He’s not adverse to get people who just happen to be in the studio to come in and sing the chorus. He talks about the need to write choruses that are easy to sing along to to give people the confidence to do it.

Addam Scott talks about his musically formative years. He grew up in a small desert town called Apple Valley, California. He says its mostly known for “tumble weeds, meth labs and bikers.” After finishing high school, he had a buddy whose uncle owned a brick yard up in Wyoming, went thereto work for the summer. But the job fell through after they got up there. So he ended up in Jackson Hole. He lived out of his car for the summer and worked odd jobs. He hung out with the hippie group, The Rainbow Family. He was hanging out in the heartland of America, living with the cowboys out there juxtaposed with the hippies that were staying there. He met different musicians in town and some hippies taught him some chords on a guitar. He’d listen to cowboy songs on the ranches. He says he learned about music equally from the cowboys and hippies. “there’s such a zest for life on one side and a subdued dignity on the other.”

Addam Scott sets up “California.” One of the jobs he’s done over the years is truck driving. He says people don’t realize how hard the work is. While he was growing up, truckers were super heroes and movies were made of them. Addam Scott says that over time there’s been a growing disdain for manual labor and blue collar labor. So we wrote a song to pay tribute to it the truckers.

[Calvin plays “California,” off Addam Scott’s CD San Diablo]

Addam Scott talks about his charity, Honky Tonk Christmas. Originally it came from a guy named Jerry Zinn another country music artist. It’s a yearly Christmas show to raise money for the Boys and Girls club of Long Beach. They make it “just a little bit off from classy.” They bring in thousands of Christmas lights and you can get your picture taken with Santa. But it’s an “80 proof Santa.” They get a bunch of bands to play and they raffle off prizes to raise money.

Addam Scott talks about his next project. He spends half his time promoting the current record and half his time working on his next CD which will be more of a three instrument arrangement with vocals.

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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TPR#87 MC Taylor from Hiss Golden Messenger – Interview and Music

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May 112012
 

MC Taylor visits the studio to play acoustic versions of songs from Hiss Golden Messenger’s latest release, Poor Moon. He talks to Calvin about how he and Scott Hirsch got started writing music together back in their college days at University of California at Santa Barbara; describes this CD as a sort of gospel CD but that Jesus only has “a cameo or two”; talks about his roots in the Durham/Chapel Hill area; and talks about his most “William Blake-ian” song.

mc taylor hiss golden messengerTPR#87 MC Taylor from Hiss Golden Messenger – Interview and Music (MP3)

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Show Notes:

Hiss Golden Messenger on iTunes

Hiss Golden Messenger on FaceBook

TPR#27 Paradise of Bachelors Label – Interview and Music

Phuzz Fest

Recap of Interview with MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger

Hiss Golden Messenger is a duo consisting of song writer MC Taylor multi-instrumentalist Scott Hirsch. Their latest release is Poor Moon which has been put out on Vinyl by Paradise of Bachelors and on CD and electronic distribution by Tompkins Square.

MC Taylor joins Calvin in the studio for an interview and some acoustic versions of songs from Poor Moon.

MC Taylor talks about his collaboration with Scott Hirsch and how they met 20 years ago when they were freshmen at University of California at Santa Barbara. They were primarily into experimental, noise music. It gradually morphed into a melange of American traditional music under the name Hiss Golden Messenger.

MC Taylor sets up “Jesus Sot Me In The Head.” He says it’s the most narrative song on the CD.

[Calvin plays “Jesus Shot Me In The Head” off the Poor Moon CD.]

MC Taylor discusses the songwriting on “Jesus Shot Me In The Head”. Scot and he are omnivorous music listeners and so a lot of different sounds show up in the records that might not show up on a traditional Americana record.

MC Taylor ponders whether this CD could be called a gospel record. He says maybe, but not necessarily a gospel of Jesus Christ. He talks about how Jesus has “a cameo or two” on the record. He says it’s a gospel record of the spirit and that “this record as a part of my trying to understanding my spiritual life and sensibility.”

MC Taylor sets up “Call Him Daylight”. He says this song is as William Blake-ian as he gets.

[MC Taylor plays an acoustic version of “Call Him Daylight.”]

MC Taylor talks about his roots in the area and his experience living in Pittsboro south of Chapel Hill. He discusses why it’s important for him to live in the south.

MC Taylor sets up “Drum” from their previous release Bad Debt. MC Taylor describes this song as a gospel song but they might not play it in a church.

[MC Taylor plays an acoustic version of “Drum.”]

MC Taylor talks about their next release. It’s about half recorded so far. Bad Debt came out in early 2011, Poor Moon came out in late 2012, and their next CD already half done so they are prolific.

MC Taylor promotes the Hiss Golden Messenger FaceBook page as the best place to get show announcements and other information about the band.

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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TPR#86 Milagro Saints – Interview and Music

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May 042012
 

Stephen Ineson, Berto Morales, and Lee Kirby join Calvin in the studio to perform acoustic versions of three tracks from their latest release, Chance and Circumstance. Steve tells the story of his Pennsylvania Rose, Berto Morales talks about how he came to be the mandolin player for the band. Lee Kirby impresses everyone with his ability to switch instruments in the middle of a song.

milagro saints group shotTPR#86 Milagro Saints – Interview and Music (MP3)

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Show Notes:

Milagro Saints on iTunes

Milagro Saints on Facebook

Milagro Saints web site

Interview Recap

The Milagro Saints are:
SD Ineson: Vocals, Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Lee Kirby: Hammond Organ, Piano, Harmonica, Melodica
Roberto Morales: Electric guitar/mandolin
Smitty: Lap Steel
Steve Samosky: Bass
Rusty May: Drums/percussion
Joyce Bowden: vocals
Jick wins-Low: vocals, drums, bass, trombone, guitars, fiddle

Stephen, Lee, and Roberto joined Calvin in the studio.

Stephen Ineson and Calvin talk about how the Milagro Saints have been playing “since before the turn the century.” They talk about how Calvin bought the debut Milagro Saints CD about that time because he liked the cover and thought it looked like something Steve Earle would have made.

Stephen Ineson talks about how this collection of songs on the Milagro Saints’ new CD, Chance and Circumstance came together. They’d been writing songs for a couple of years. And a local Carrboro producer Jick wins-Low  saw the band perform their songs at the Weaver Street Market music on the lawn series. Jick helped them mix and produce the CD over about a year period.

Stephen Ineson sets up an acoustic cover of “Pennsylvania Rose,” a song he wrote for his wife.

[Stephen Ineson, Lee Kirby, and Roberto Morales of Milagro Saints play “Pennsylvania Rose”]

Stephenson Ineson talks about the songs on the Milagro Saints’ CD has many influences because he’s from England and “sees America from an outside perspective.” Besides, he says, he’s not afraid to through non-genre specific elements into the music. Ineson also talks about the fact that there’s a thriving Americana scene in England.

Lee Kirby talks about growing up in North West Arkansas and getting the chance to see Earl Scruggs live which was his first taste of roots and bluegrass music and he was also influenced by the New Grass music trend.

Roberto says he grew up in Italy without any roots music influences although Ineson is quick to point out that they have mandolins in Italy. Roberto credits Stephen and Lee for making him “see the light” on the roots music scene.

Stephen Ineson sets up “Ghost.”

[Stephen Ineson, Lee Kirby, and Roberto Morales of Milagro Saints play “Ghost.”]

Stephen Ineson talks about  the gigs that Milagro Saints play in the area including Sadlacks and Weaver Street Market. They also talk about playing in the open air. And the joys of playing earlier in the day.

Stephen Ineson sets up “These Things About You,” which he describes as a “bit of a rock and roll number.”

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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[Stephen Ineson, Lee Kirby, and Roberto Morales of Milagro Saints play “These Things About You.”]

Everyone marvels at Lees harp work on that last song and his ability to switch them in mid-song.

Stephen Ineson tells us the short version of the story behind the band name. He talks about “Milagro” means “miracle.” Lee points out that the true story refers to iconography. In Central  America where they wear icons of the saints. They are saving the official story of the band name for an upcoming book, or something.

Roberto Morales tells the story of how he was tricked into becoming he band’s mandolin player.

Stephen Ineson sets up “53rd and 9th Street.”

[Stephen Ineson, Lee Kirby, and Roberto Morales of Milagro Saints play “53rd and 9th Street.”]

Stephen Ineson refers people to MilagroSaints.com and also see Milagro Saints on FaceBook.

Stephen Ineson talks about being self-produced.

TPR#85 Dave Willis from Possum Jenkins – Interview and Music

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Apr 272012
 

Dave Willis from the Possum Jenkins band talks about how humbling it was to have their latest album Carolinacana fan-funded through a Kickstarter campaign, how they were able to keep the band together for 8 years even while everyone in the band was having lives outside of the band, and playing bards where they have to “keep throwing music at them “til they give up and start dancing.”

Possum Jenkins BandTPR#85 Dave Willis from Possum Jenkins (MP3)

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Show Notes:

Possum Jenkins on iTunes

Possum Jenkins web site

Recap of Interview with Dave Willis of Possum Jenkins

Dave Willis from Possum Jenkins talks about how they started in Boone because they all attended Appalachian State University. But now all but one of the members is based out of the Winston-Salem area.  Dave reviews the line up. Jared Church plays bass. Nate Turner is a multi-instrumentalist guitar player, drummer and singer. Brent Buckner is the harmonica player. David Brewer is also a multi-instrumentalist guitar player, drummer, and singer. And of course there’s Dave Willis himself.

Dave Willis talks about looking back on the past 8 years and he says he’s honestly surprised that people can hang out with each other every weekend and multiple times a week for 8 years. He talks about how they thought the band was going to be a short lived project but it survived 8 years even as the members were getting married and having kids etc.

Dave Willis sets up “Know The Way.” It’s a Piedmont blues gospel influenced song. He enjoyed this one because they got Jordan Craig to play trombone, David McCracken from Donna The Buffalo to play organ, and Molly McGinn to sing harmony.

[plays “Know The Way”]

Dave Willis says gospel music is overlooked sometimes but seems to be a building block of just about everything.

Dave Willis says Carolinacana is the first album the feels like they are narrowing down on a sound they can call their own. He says their past albums have been a little scattershot.

Dave Willis sets up “Swinging Door”. This is a song written by Nate and Brent wrote this one. It’s stripped down on the album, but it’s one they play live a lot and it’s evolving.

[plays “Swinging Door”]

Dave Willis talks about the turning point in the band. He says when they first got started they might not have taken it as seriously as they could have. But the turning point for him was the band’s previous release, Collection Of Bad Habits. It was at that point Dave realized they could make a decent album and ever since then he constantly writes and plays and tries to build up a lot of material just because he enjoys doing it.

Dave Willis talks about playing festivals like Shakori Hills, FloydFest, and Rhythm and Roots Fest. They like playing festivals because they get to also see other bands they like. Dave says that he also kinda likes playing bar gigs where sometimes the patrons don’t even want you there and they have to “keep throwing music at them ‘til they give up and start dancing.”

Dave Willis sets up “A Toast.” It was written as a banjo tune but they stripped it down and brought Molly in again to help out on harmonies.

[plays “A Toast”]

Dave Willis talks about how Possum Jenkins got Carolinacana raised the funds to produce the CD through a Kickstarter program. Fans pre-ordered CDs and if people supported with more cash the band would mow lawns or play private parties or whatever. Dave Willis talks about how humbling it was to get that level of support from their fans.

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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If you have any feedback for this episode or any other episode, please send mail to feedback@taprootradio.com.

TPR#84 Mike June and the Wilson Street Refugees – Interview and Music

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Apr 202012
 

Mike June talks about his new band, The Wilson Street Refugees got its name; how the Grateful Dead became a bonding point for him and his Dad; how his album Exile on Wilson Street was made even though he was broke; the surreal moment he had during SXSW; and how many of his songs are “usually finishing conversations that weren’t finished in person.”

Mike JuneTPR#84 Mike June and the Wilson Street Refugees (MP3)

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Show Notes:

Mike June and the Wilson Street Refugees web site

Mike June Interview Recap:

Mike June talked about how his grand father was a country western singer which was rare growing up in New York state. So Mike heard more than his share of Hank Williams growing up. But at the time in the 80s, Mike was getting a big dose of heavy metal music at the same time. He is somewhat embarrassed to list all the metal bands he saw before he was 13. Mike reveals his favorite metals bands from those days as part of his process of owning up to those influences.

Mike June sets up “The Prisoner” Mike says “the words kind of sum up the whole record. It’s kind of the thesis statement for the whole album.”

[plays “The Prisoner”]

Mike June talks about all the personal history in “The Prisoner.” He says that in person he would never talk about all that stuff, but he has no problem putting it in songs. He says he’s not a poet or a song crafter. His songs are “usually finishing conversations that weren’t finished in person.”

Mike June talks about his first band in New Jersey called Mike Junes and the Dirty Doves. Their first record was 10 years ago. Mike talks about how his dad was into country music and didn’t really approve of Mike spending his time following the Grateful Dead around. But Mike remembers hearing the Marty Robbins song “El Paso” at a Grateful Dead concert. He talks about how the Grateful Dead played a lot of country music and if became a bonding point between Mike and his Band.

Mike June talks about New Austin Music which was started by Larry Graves and Scott Everett. They go around and find musicians who don’t have any money to record and give them a chance to record. They came to Mike because he had no money but a big collection of songs.

The Wilson Street Refugees were put together from ex-members of the Doves and another friend. They were the core of the band and they would go out during the week and just meet musicians and invite them to play at the studio on the weekend and help them record.

Mike June sets up “Newark.” He wrote the song “Newark” about his friend Joe Marques who was in a band in the 90’s called The Winter Hours. Joe was his college roommate and introduced him to The Byrds and Leonard Cohen etc. The song “Newark” was kind of a tribute to him. This past week at South By South West, he ran into Lenny Kaye from the Patti Smith Group. He had produced the one and only album The Winter Hours had produced. So Mike June got to stand on the corner of South Congress in Austin talking to Lenny Kaye about his friend.

[plays “Newark”]

Mike June talks about Jon Dee Graham playing lead guitar on that track and the legend that Jon Dee Graham is in Austin because he was such a good songwriter in Austin. He was in Austin’s first punk band, The Skunks. And he was also in John Doe’s X for a while.

Mike June talks about the name of the band. It’s named after an apartment complex where many Austin Musicians have lived at one time or another because it was so cheap. Unfortunately the apartments recently got knocked down and now all those people are refugees.

Mike June set up his favorite track “Babe, I Ain’t Perfect”. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but he notes that the song comes from the bottom of his heart.

[plays “Babe, I Ain’t Perfect”]

Mike June talks about how that song was for someone special and how she inspired him for so many songs on this CD.

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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Apr 132012
 

Chris Castle talks about how he lined up the stellar group of musicians for his latest project, Last Bird Home, and managed to get it recorded in Levon Helms studio; how he got started in song writing and landed his first job working for music publishers on Music Row, and how he connects the dots from Sublime to Lefty Frizzell.

photo credit: Beana Bern

TPR#83 Chris Castle – Interview and Music (MP3)

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Show Notes:

Chris Castle on iTunes

Chris Castle web site

Recap of Interview with Chris Castle

Chris Castle describes how he put together the band behind Last Bird Home. In 2008, Chris Castle did an EP project at Levon Helm’s studios and got to know Justin Guip, the head engineer there. They discussed doing a full length project a couple of times when they’d cross paths on the road. About a year ago Chris Castle was touring with the Womack Family Band and he started talking to them about doing a full lenth projct. Chris had also met Tommy Ramone at a show. He is now doing roots music with Uncle Monk, playing mandolin and banjo. Chris thought it would be great to get him on the project. Chris had also researched online to find Garth Hudson and reached out to he and his wife Maude and got them signed up. In short, he pursued this project as an “indie artist from the middle of nowhere” and just put it together even though it makes the business side of things more complicated. In March of 2011, he booked the studio and got everyone up there to record.

Chris Castles sets up “Trees Fall Every Day.” He notes that Tommy Ramone (sp?) is playing mandolin on this track.

[plays “Trees Fall Every Day”]

Another player on this CD is Gabriel Butterfield who is the son of Paul Butterfield, the blues player from the woodstock era. Gabirel was running a venue down in Florida. While playing there a while back they got to talking about song writers of that ers. Of course all conversations like that start with Dylan and The Band, and Butterfield and Bloomfield and how they were all working together. Gabriel was talking about growing up in Woodstock and meeting all those legends so early. Chris Castle thought it would be cool to get Gabriel on the project as well.

Chris Castle talks about the troubles they had recording “Trees Fall Every Day.” As producer, Chris has to assemble great players and not offending any of them but also recognizing that not every player is going to be able to play on every track.

Chris Castle sets up “All Kinds Of Time,” featuirng Larry Campbell. Chris told Larry this is gonna be a Hank WIlliams Sr. Intro/outtro sort of fiddle tune. All he needed to hear a couple of pick up notes before the 1 beat, like an old hank record.

[plays “All Kinds Of Time’]

Chris Castle tells the story of how he landed a gig as a song writer on music row in Nashville by the time he was 15. His father had died early on and so the family struggled. His mom had always supported his musical interests both becuase she was proud of his early successes but also because he helped put money and food on the table.

She say a special on TV about The Bluebird Cafe in Nsahville. She saw that and arranged for Chris to record a demo of 10 original and sent it to the BlueBird. He got a letter back from the booking agent at the BlueBird who said he had enough potential that Chris should come down to Nashville and play some open mic nights and play with some more experienced performers. So Chris and his Mom went down there and he got to play at some Songwriter nights. A song writer named Casey Kelly (wrote “The Cowboy Rides Away” for George Strait) helped Chris out a lot. He started teaching Chris the fundamentals of song writing. And after about 6 months of training including “homework” assignments, Casey introduced Chris to a published and Chris landed a job at a publisher at the age of 15. Chris describes it as the best “college education” he could have had. Chris talks about the grind of working for a publisher.

Chris Castle sets up “Dirty Water.” It’s a blusey song. Garth Hudson and Gabriel Butterfield.

[plays “Dirty Water”]

Chris Castle talks about paying it forward by helping out a young band called the Womack Family Band. They area quartet and Chris is trying to teach them to pay attention to their locale in their music. They have been touring with Chris. Chris described the series of artists he exposed them to in order to get them from Led Zeppelin to Lefty Frizzell.

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Legal

The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

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If you have any feedback for this episode or any other episode, please send mail to feedback@taprootradio.com.

Apr 062012
 

Beth McKee talks about the different styles of southern music on her latest CD, Next To Nowhere; tells us about fishing or redfish near Port Sulfer, Louisiana and its metaphorical implications; and tells us how her “Swamp Sistas” movement got started.

Beth McKee Next To NowhereTPR#82 Beth McKee – Interview and Music (MP3)

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Show Notes:

Beth McKee on iTunes

Beth McKee web site

Recap of Interview with Beth McKee

Beth McKee joins Calvin on the show live via telephone to talk about her new CD, Next To Nowhere.

Beth McKee talk this being Beth’s second appearance on the show. She was a guest back on episode 7 of the show.

Beth McKee talks about this CD being a testament to persistence and gumption. She says the climate in the music business is different than it’s ever been before. So having gumption and “stick-to-it-tiveness” is important for anybody in the music business today.

Beth McKee sets up “On The Verge” as the anthem track of the CD. It was inspired by a group of women that she’s gotten to know as she toured and promoted her previous CD, I’m That Way. As she met these interesting women that she wanted to keep up with, she decided to create an online Facebook community which she calls The Swamp Sistas. The group now has 1200 women. They are mostly from or in the south but they are from all over the world. Getting to know these women inspired this song. The song is about getting back to your dreams if you’ve lost track of them and it could apply to anybody.

[ plays “On The Verge” ]

Calvin talks about the many different styles of song on CD and asked her if it was a deliberate choice. Beth McKee says no, it wasn’t deliberate. It’s just her. Beth says these songs “are the sound track to her life.” She talks about how the time she’s spent in Mississippi, Texas, Louisianna, Florida, and North Carolina. Each of those states have their own type of southern culture and she’s picked them up as she went around.

Calvin asks if any of the genres are harder than others. Beth says no, they were all challenging in their own way and that the whole band and producer Tony Battaglia put everything they had into every track.

Beth McKee set up “Should Have Kept On Walking”. This is a song she wrote with a friend in New Orleans, Gary Hirstius. It’s about realizing that you should have gotten out of a relationship earlier than you did but being glad that at least you did eventually get out of it.

[ plays “Should Have Kept On Walkin’” ]

Beth and Calvin talk about the very short insert of back up vocals into “Should Have Kept On Walking.” She says it was Tony’s idea and she recorded that back up bit and her rule is “Tony is always right.”

Beth talks about the difference between covering someone else’s songs like she did on the previous CD and writing songs from her personal experience. She says its obviously a little more frightening but that was all the more reason for doing it. She said that Bobby Charles told her to follow her gut and don’t question yourself and just be honest about it.

Beth McKee tells a story about fishing to illustrate how she feels about the CD, Next To Nowhere. She says she used to go fishing down in Cocodrie, LA (near Port Sulfer) in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and that she’d fish for redfish. She’d catch then from the bank, some times 8-10 pounders. She talks about the intense nervous feeling she got when she’d hook a fish on her line and it was so overwhelming she’d have to remind herself tht’s the fun part. She’d tell herself “don’t be freaked out that you are going to lose the fish so much that you don’t enjoy catching the durn thing.”

Beth McKee picks the third track, “Same Dog’s Tail,” because it is based on a quote from a famous North Carolina baseball player, Catfish Hunter. She had to clean up the language and “PG it down a little.”

[plays “Same Dog’s Tail” ]

Beth McKee talks about the many musical influences she’s had. One in particular she mentioned was Gram Parsons because she lives in the area of Florida he was from. Calvin asks Beth to talk about the Americana of Gram Parsons of then vs the Americana of today. Beth says he was the guy the connected rock and country music then and that’s the core of americana today.

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Legal

The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com. The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.

Feedback

If you have any feedback for this episode or any other episode, please send mail to feedback@taprootradio.com.