Crushed Coins by Caleb Caudle (2018, Cornelius Chapel)
100 Words on Crushed Coins By Mike Lee That Much Further West Podcast
Pushing the boundaries of sadness appears to be the job of today’s songwriter and it stands in stark contrast to the smiley-face emoticon façade of social media. However, to the discerning listener, there is so much more than melancholy in the works of the modern-day troubadour. The great albums will give us love and laughter along with tears and pain all paired side by side with adventure to add spice to the experiences of life. This album covers a plethora of emotions, giving us a glimpse of the wholeness we seek for ourselves.
There’s so much new music out there in our sphere, we can barely keep up with it all. This month’s podcast picks include first releases from upcoming records by Western Centuries, Blackberry Smoke and Charley Crockett; another tune from the much-anticipated new record from Courtney Marie Andrews; a new instrumental from an album full of them by Richmond Fontaine; and killer cuts from new records by Calexico, Ruby Boots and Wes Youssi & The Country Champs.
But we start things off with a brand-new song from alt-country powerhouse Sarah Shook & The Disarmers and their upcoming Bloodshot Records release Years, set to hit the streets in April. Following up their very well-received Bloodshot debut Sidelong, the North Carolina band appears ready to unleash its high-energy, straight-ahead cowpunk on a wider audience in 2018.
“Good As Gold” offers a solid example of the swagger Sarah Shook brings to her music. “It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down,” she said, describing the new album. “Jutting your chin out, head high, after they’ve done their worst, and saying, ‘Still here.’ ”
Scroll to the bottom of this post to check out the Sidelong track “Keep The Home Fires Burnin'” filmed live at the Wildwood Hotel in Willamina, OR by Great Northwest Productions during the band’s swing down the west coast last fall.
With 2018 off to such a great start, we find ourselves still catching up on some of the best stuff from last year. Our picks also include a handful of some of the best tunes from 2017, including songs from Tyler Childers, The Secret Sisters, Zephaniah Ohora, Emily Herring and The Turnpike Troubadours.
And we wrap it with a dose of some of our favorite alternative music heroes, including the great Walter Salas-Humara, who will be coming to our hometown of Portland, OR, USA this week to play a set on Friday, Feb. 23, opening for local legend Mike Coykendall at the LaurelThirst Public House.
So get your week started on the right foot and dial in our February Podcast Picks. Here’s the playlist:
Good As Gold, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers Tattoos, Tyler Childers Night Out With Diego, Richmond Fontaine He’s Fine, The Secret Sisters Dead In The Water, Calexico Earthly Justice, Western Centuries Just Outside Of Austin, Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real Take Your Love Out Of Town, Zephaniah Ohora and The 18 Wheelers Last Of The Houston Honky Tonk Heroes, Emily Herring The Hard Way, The Turnpike Troubadours Mr. Jukebox, Josh Hedley I’ll Make It Through, Ruby Boots Flesh And Bone, Blackberry Smoke Cadillac Man, Wes Youssi & The County Champs Misery And Gin, Jaime Wyatt Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, Mike and The Moonpies Kindness Of Strangers, Courtney Marie Andrews I Wanna Cry, Charley Crockett 2 Cool 2 Be 4-Gotten, Lucinda Williams Nobody’s Business, Walter Salas-Humara Mr. Fly, Mike Coykendall
The gang from Countryside Ride knew they had the songs and the inclination to make a great second album. But they remained patient while looking for a way forward — some kind of sign to show them which direction to go.
They found it when the band did a studio session at The Deer Lodge, a Portland-based music hub where producer and engineer Ezra Meredith was compiling songs for a tribute CD to country music great George Jones. In making its contribution to the compilation, the band and Meredith immediately clicked, and from there Countryside Ride saw the path to making their fabulous new album, “I Hope He Breaks Your Heart.” It’s a long-playing blast of pure country music that eschews modern production tricks and will delight traditionalists and new fans searching for a truer sound.
Bret Ervin belting it out in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media
Countryside Ride singer Bret Ervin Lien stopped into The Helm to record Episode #84 in advance of the record’s release and the band’s big show this coming Saturday at The Secret Society in Portland. He talked about the band’s natural progression from a trio to a five-piece, the inspiration he draws from his daily life for his songwriting, and finding a second home for his band at The Deer Lodge.
He also offers up some songs from a few of his major influences and plays a few stripped-down versions of tunes that highlight the new album. One listen to this podcast and you’ll know why we’ve come to love and admire this very humble, talented singer-songwriter as well as the super cool folks he calls bandmates. So sit back, buckle up and enjoy a ride through the Pacific Northwest countryside.
Here’s the playlist:
All You’ll Ever Be, Countryside Ride I Hope He Breaks Your Heart, Countryside Ride Since You’ve Been Gone (Live In The Helm),Bret Ervin Ramblin’ Lips, The Cedar Shakes Pay No Attention To Alice, Tom T. Hall Other Side Of The Blues, Mike Stinson Truck Driver’s Lament (Live In The Helm), Bret Ervin Breakfast Blues, Countryside Ride Trailer Of Love (Live In The Helm), Bret Ervin
Countryside Ride, 2018: Jessica Kunze, Ian Miller, Bret Ervin Lien, Joshua Kunze and Johnny Payola. Photo by Mirifoto (www.mirifoto.com)
Kris Stuart and Matt Cadenelli of the new Portland-based roots duo Wanderlodge are getting ready to take their act on the road in February. But before they load up the bus and head for sunny California, they decided to share a taste of what they recently cooked up in a one-day recording session at Mike Coykendall’s Blue Rooms Studio.
Known as terrific band leaders in their own right, Stuart and Cadenelli show off the raw power and beauty they can conjure with just a couple of guitars and their voices on “I Want More.” Backed by Cadenelli’s shimmering harmony, Stuart takes the lead on a simple, original song that examines the dangerous pull of desire and the warm comfort of redemption.
“I Want More” is the first track on a nine-song CD to be available exclusively on the group’s upcoming tour. No downloads of the tracks (most were written by friends and heroes of the band) will be made available, as the band reserves the right to make digital singles of the songs they wrote. Other bands and artists invoked include Jezebel’s Mother, Deadstring Brothers, Drunken Prayer, Ronnie Lane, Tom Petty, Gillian Welch and Kevn Kinney.
Folks in California — especially in Cadenelli’s old stomping grounds of Santa Barbara and Ojai —will have plenty of chances to catch Wanderlodge on this tour, which includes a stop at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown. The band returns to the Pacific Northwest to wrap the tour in the first few weeks of March.
For a full track listing on the tour CD and for a full list of tour dates, see below:
I Want More (K. Stuart)
Blanket of Soul (M. Cadenelli)
River Don’t Care (J. Carper)
Can’t Make It Through The Night (K. Marschke)
Pearls and Swine (M. Geer)
One For The Road (R. Lane)
Even The Losers (T. Petty)
Annabelle (G. Welch)
The Country Song (K. Kinney)
Tour Dates: Feb. 15 — Sutter Creek Provisions, Sutter Creek CA
Feb. 16 — The Deer Lodge, Ojai CA
Feb. 17 — The Brewhouse, Santa Barbara CA
Feb. 18 — Figureroa Mountain Brewery, Buellton, CA
Feb. 21 — Laginitas Brewing Co., Azusa CA
Feb. 22 — Madewest Brewery, Ventura CA
Feb. 23 — The Libertine Pub, Morro Bay CA
Feb. 24 — Foxtail Kitchen & Bar, Santa Barbara CA
Feb. 25 — Topa Mountain Winery, Ojai CA
Feb. 26 — Pappy & Harriet’s, Pioneertown CA
Feb. 27 — Lander Brewing, Landers CA
March 3 — Old School MusicFest, Willamina OR
March 4 — Seaside Brewing, Seaside OR
March 5-7 — Pickled Fish, Long Beach WA
March 9 — Workers Tavern, Astoria OR
March 10 — Sou’wester Lodge, Long Beach WA
March 20 — Springhouse Cellar, Hood River OR
Seemingly out of nowhere, Dori Freeman’s eponymous debut album took alt-country nation by surprise in 2016 with its refreshing, straight-ahead approach. All talent, no schtick — and the media praise flowed.
Same story late last year when Freeman’s follow-up, Letters Never Sent, hit the streets in October, just in time to make it on an endless list of “Best of 2017” rankings. No sophomore slump for Freeman, who picked up right where she left off with “If I Could Make You My Own,” the lead song from the album that tops this month’s Podcast Picks.
Rowdy good fun: Banditos will be at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland on Sunday, Jan. 28. Photo by David McAllister
We also feature new music from a few more of our favorites, including Caleb Caudle, First Aid Kit, Courtney Marie Andrews and the legendary Mavis Staples.
As for bands heading our way for shows in the upcoming weeks, we offer a little rowdy fun from Banditos, another song from Whitney Rose (we featured her last month as well), a spooky little tune from Canada’s Deep Dark Woods, and some excellent red-dirt country by The Randy Rogers Band.
And speaking of legends, we’ll forgive country’s true outlaw, Billy Don Burns, for misspelling Gram Parsons’ name in the song we include here. Famous for his association with Willie Nelson and his many scrapes with the law, Burns is a criminally underappreciated talent who will appear at Dante’s here in Portland tonight! (That’s Wednesday, Jan. 17 for you folks scoring at home).
So dial it up and settle in for a fun little ride — you can download or stream this month’s Podcast picks right here at our home page.
Here’s the playlist:
If I Could Make You My Own, Dori Freeman Fine Fine Day, Banditos Empty Arms, Caleb Caudle Long Lonely Road, Valerie June Trying Times, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy Graham Parsons, Hank Williams and Me, Billy Don Burns Whole Lotta Highway (With A Million Miles To Go), Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives Fireworks, First Aid Kit Just A Drink Away, Charley Crockett Arizona, Whitney Rose Delta Dawn, Hellbound Glory Little Drunk Fists, Slobberbone Something To Hold On To, Turnpike Troubadours Way Out, John Calvin Abney If All I Was Was Black, Mavis Staples San Antone, The Randy Rogers Band Without Your Love, Chris Stapleton San Juan Hill, The Deep Dark Woods May Your Kindness Remain, Courtney Marie Andrews Sid and Nancy, Micah Schnabel
The Big Three: Western Centruies featuring (l to r) Jim Miller, Cahalen Morrison and Ethan Lawton on the tiny stage at Landmark Saloon in Portland.
Western Centuries Live at Landmark Saloon
Portland, OR, USA 1-10-17
By Phil Favorite
When it comes to West Coast country bands, it doesn’t get much better than Western Centuries — the five-piece, Seattle-based unit featuring three distinct singer-songwriters and a harmony sound all their own.
So when Western Centuries loaded into the tiny Landmark Saloon for a couple of intimate sets of high quality Honky Tonk, the Whiskey Wednesday regulars knew they were in for a treat. The place packed quickly but there was just enough room for the dancing crowd to shake and spin, just a step or two from the band and arm’s length from the tip jar.
With singers Jim Miller, Cahalen Morrison and Ethan Lawton sharing the spotlight, the band famously rotated instruments and kept it loose. Lawton and Morrison switched back and forth from fronting the band to playing drums, and Morrison and Miller swapped duties on lead guitar, with one plucking a clean telecaster while the other strummed a rich acoustic.
Describing Western Centuries sound as straight Honky Tonk would be misleading. It’s easy to identify influences from across the Americana spectrum — R&B, country, soul, folk and cajun music all color the sound.
The band played favorites from their excellent 2016 record “Weight of the World,” but much of the first set drew from their upcoming album, “Songs From The Deluge,” due out April 6 on Free Dirt Records. The sweat and smiles pouring from the dance floor all night told the rest of the story.
Late last year,Western Centuries premiered four of the songs from the new album n KEXP’s Swinging Doors program, hosted by DJ Don Slack. For a taste of what this band is all about, check out live versions of “Wild Birds,” “Wild You Run,” “How Many More Miles To Babylon” and “Three Swallows” in the video below.
Matthew Lindley is a man with a plan. And, wow, what a plan it is. For his upcoming seven-day residency at Al’s Den in downtown Portland, Lindley has something special planned for each and every night of the week.
Described as “Matthew Lindley’s Cavalcade of Stars,” Lindley will be joined each night by friends who span his 15-plus-years of making and sharing music. He’ll dedicate each show to a period in his music career, featuring specific albums from the past along with songwriting and storytelling nights squeezed in to mix things up. No two nights will be the same, which should keep the shows fresh every night.
Matthew Lindley, live in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.
On this episode of That Much Further West Podcast, Lindley returns to The Helm as a guest for the first time since he was promoting his latest CD release, “Late Bloomer,” in October of 2016. He talks about his plans for the upcoming residency (beginning Sunday, Jan. 7) and the challenges he’s set for himself for the weeklong stretch.
He also shares some of his favorite tunes from 2017 and lays out his musical plans for early 2018. And not to be outdone, Lindley performs a few new and old tunes that clue you in on just what a fine talent this Spokane, WA native is.
So settle in and crank it up. We’re excited to bring you Episode #83 from The Helm. Here’s the playlist:
Late Bloomer, Matthew Lindley Midnight Train To Memphis, Chris Stapleton Tupelo, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit My Year Of Anger (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley Heart In Your Hand (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley Murphy Bed, Matthew Lindley Pullman, WA, Matthew Lindley Mistake Can’t Stay Away (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley Holding On, The War On Drugs
Long Time Running
(2017, TV-14, 1hr 35m) Available on Netflix
Stuck inside this New Year’s weekend or just wanting to skip the hoopla and hang at home? Check out this beautifully filmed documentary that follows Canada’s favorite musical sons, The Tragically Hip, on their final tour across the country. But brace yourself — this is an emotionally powerful trip, especially if you’re a fan of the band and their iconic lead singer, Gord Downie. This movie shows you not just the amazing level of devotion this kick-ass rock band inspired, but also the full power of the human spirit — an artist giving every bit of his remaining strength in an attempt to return that devotion to his fans. — Phil Favorite
Howdy folks! We’re back! And so, for that matter, is Chris Stapleton, whose new album “From A Room, Volume 2” came out last Friday to the usual round of critical acclaim. We thought it appropriate to launch our December Podcast Picks with the song “Scarecrow In The Garden” because it shows off the beautifully matched voices of Chris and his secret weapon — his wife and musical partner Morgane Stapleton.
Whitney Rose’s new album, Rule 62, is creating a lot of buzz. She’ll be at Bunk Bar in Portland in February.
In fact, there’s an awful lot of wonderful singing on this collection of picks, which skews country in a major way. In the long while since we last put out a playlist, several of the artists included here have released great new records for you to discover and explore. And in the new year, several will be rolling into our town — Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. — and showing off their skills in the live setting.
So give it a spin, make some notes and support these acts when they come through your town. Here’s the playlist, enjoy:
Scarecrow In The Garden, Chris Stapleton Wake Me In Wyoming, Whitney Rose 65 Days In L.A., Cody Jinks A Little Pain, Margo Price El Camino, Left Arm Tan Highest Building, Anna Tivel Mind Of Its Own, Miller & Sasser Postcard, First Aid Kit Thirteen Silver Dollars, Colter Wall Troubled End, Jade Jackson Oh, What A Bummer, Micah Schnabel If I Could Make You My Own, Dori Freeman Marfa Lights, Paul Cauthen Fat And Famous, Ashley McBryde Diggin’ Holes, Brent Cobb Jackpot, Nikki Lane Wannabe, Taylor Kingman How Tall The Glass, Kristina Murray
“I wannabe strong. That time I proved I was right, I was wrong.”
I love records where the artist opens up and shares everything they have. For some songwriters (John Moreland, Willy Tea Taylor, Micah Schnabel), it just comes naturally and they do it all the time. Others (Jason Isbell, BJ Barham) share it from a period in their life when there is growth. Taylor Kingman is among the latter, and it’s evident on his solo debut, “Wannabe.”
I first met Taylor at the 2013 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout as lead singer of The Hill Dogs and, I must be honest here, I was not impressed. A late start to his showcase set and a missed slot at the Sunday morning review showed me a kid still trying to figure things out while having the time of his life. Soon afterward he was spending a lot more time here in Portland and a few friends who also saw the Wildwood performance said I should get to know him better and see him for the talented, good-natured kid that he is.
Getting to know more about Taylor the person, I discovered a kind spirit with a big smile who truly loves music. We had him and The Hill Dogs on the podcast (see Episode #72) and I could tell immediately he had figured stuff out. He launched an open mic on Sundays at The Laurelthirst Pub, challenging all comers with a new songwriting theme each week. He started hanging and playing with the regular musicians there as well. This is where we have seen him shedding his old skin for new. His songwriting is amazing and has matured so much. We all witnessed a rebirth at Wildwood 2016. The Hill Dogs were perfect and blew everyone away.
Now Taylor has made an honest and truly great solo record.
“I wannabe forgiven for everything I knew. I wannabe true.”
To purchase a CD, cassette or digital download of “Wannabe” by Taylor Kingman, visit his page at the Mama Bird Recording Co. website. Taylor will be performing songs from “Wannabe” and also playing with his band TK and The Holy Know Nothings on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Mississippi Studios.
Listen to “Wannabe” on Spotify, courtesy of Mama Bird Recording Co.: