Episode #41 featuring Denver


Birger Olsen, left, and Mike Elias barside at The Helm. (Photo by Christopher Sohler)

Episode #41 with Denver

When it comes to alt-country in our hometown of Portland, OR, U.S.A., it doesn’t get much better than the band Denver. That’s why we were thrilled to have Mike Elias and Birger Olsen from Denver in The Helm for Episode #41.

Known as two of Denver’s “three amigos,” Mike and Birger are carrying the torch locally for the band while the other amigo, singer/songwriter Tom Bevitori, has taken up residence in California. The group continues to forge ahead, with the great friends hooking up with the rest of their band for select shows throughout the year.


Mike and Birger of Denver perform in The Helm, January 2015. (Photo by Christopher Sohler)

In our interview, the fellas talk about how the band formed, their tours with alt-country darlings Shovels & Rope, what brought them to Portland from their growing-up points far and wide, and the Denver side project, Maryanne. Also, the guys share a song from each of Denver’s two stellar albums: Mike’s “Rowdy Love,” the title cut from last year’s follow up to the self-titled debut; and Birger’s great “Keep Your Eye Out,” a Denver classic.

After wrapping up the interview, Mike and Birger hung around The Helm to enjoy the rest of the episode. Then Mike got a wild hair to do another song later in the show, one that’s brand new and untitled. Great stuff!

Meanwhile, our hosts Mike Lee, Phil Favorite and Eric Kotila each share a set of songs to round out the podcast. Mike’s set includes a tribute to Hank Williams to honor the recent anniversary of his death; Phil shared a song by one of his heroes, Walter Salas-Humara, who he recently caught up with at a local happy hour show; and Eric’s set features bands “I’d like to see play with Denver,” including The Swearengens, The Ganges River Band and the James Low Western Front.

We also have songs by Denver’s Mama Bird Recording Co. labelmate Hip Hatchet as well as The Easy Leaves, Drunken Prayer and a song from the new record by Ryan Bingham. So dial it in and kick back, y’all. It’s Episode #41 of That Much Further West Podcast.

Here’s the playlist:

Rowdy Love, Denver
Prison Song (Live in The Helm), Denver
Keep Your Eye Out (Live in The Helm), Denver
Hot Denver #1, Denver
White Trash Romance, Karen Jonas
Ramblin’ Man, Hank Williams
Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Scott H. Biram
Small Demons, Hip Hatchet
Quarter In The Couch, Damnations, TX
Ford Econoline, Chuck Prophet
Broken Heart Tattoos, Ryan Bingham
Penny, The Honeycutters
Crack Another Bottle, The Easy Leaves
What We Can Bring, Walter Salas-Humara
Waiting On The Sunrise, The Swearengens
Eyes of Fire, The Ganges River Band
Untitled (Live in The Helm), Denver
Words, The James Low Western Front
Bridle On A Bull, Chris Knight
Evangeline, Drunken Prayer

Episode #40 featuring Timber County


The gang’s all here, including Kip Lindig (with guitar) and Marilee Hord (right, with mic) of Timber County. Photo by Christopher Sohler.

Episode #40 with Timber County

Good friends, good times and great music . . . what a wonderful way to kick off 2015. The podcast team and some of our best supporters gathered at our main headquarters — The Helm — for our first live taping of the year featuring our pals Kip Lindig and Marilee Hord of Timber County.

This new musical project, which launched publicly at the end of 2014, features all-new tunes from our longtime pal Kip, a man of much music and merriment. Loved for his terrific spirit and positivity, Kip “brings the party wherever he goes,” according to co-host Eric Kotila. Episode #40 is proof positive of that. The show features three brand-new songs from this brand-new incarnation, all performed live and exclusively for That Much Further West Podcast.

In our interview, we learn how Timber County came together, their plans for 2015 and how the lovely Ms. Hord helped in shaping the songs. We even pick up a hint as to whether or not Marilee may be the daughter of Jimmy Page, but no confirmation either way was granted.


Marilee and Kip during a recent performance at The Wildwood Hotel in Willamina, OR.

Our hosts also share another batch of great tunes, many from some of their favorite albums of last year. A little research by co-host Mike Lee revealed the fact that our theme song from the band Lucero had never been played on the show in its entirety, so it’s included along with songs by The Easy Leaves, M. Lockwood Porter, Austin Lucas and the great John Moreland, among many others.

Mike also shares a romantic story involving the singer from Arliss Nancy, and the boys weigh in on the significance of Sturgill Simpson’s ascendance in the realm of popular music.

So settle in for a fun and rollicking good time. Here’s the playlist for Episode #40:

5 Degrees Below Zero, Richmond Fontaine
The American, The Easy Leaves
That Much Further West, Lucero
Saving Me (Live In The Helm), Timber County
Silver Chain (Live In The Helm), Timber County
Head For The Hills (Live In The Helm), Timber County
Lucero Song, Matt Woods
Over And Over And Over Again, Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer
Greetings From The Salty Old Gulf Coast, Tom VandenAvond
Glass City, Two Car Garage
Restless, M. Lockwood Porter
Moonshiner, Uncle Tupelo
He Told Her The City Was Killing Him, The Delines
Save It For Yourself, Austin Lucas
We Can’t Talk (About Those Things), Cutbank
Bottles & Cans, Caleb Caudle
Break My Heart Sweetly, John Moreland

TMFWP Special: Live From The Helm, Vol. 1


Bar lights at The Helm . . . our home base in Portland, OR, USA. Photo by Christopher Sohler

Live From The Helm, Vol. 1

It’s a bar. It’s a basement. It’s a warm gathering space for friends. And it’s our home base here at That Much Further West Podcast.

The Helm, so named in honor of the great Levon Helm, is all that and so much more, for in a little over a year it has been a place for co-hosts Eric Kotila, Mike Lee and Phil Favorite to record the show and receive their guests for good times and great performances.

So to kick off 2015, we’ve gathered some of the best live performances from our first year-plus in The Helm to create this very special podcast. You’ll hear songs not only by some of our best friends but also folks we’ve come to admire for their fantastic talents and artistic integrity. The performances are raw, righteous, some a little bit flawed, but all straight from the heart and aimed at your soul.

We’re looking forward to inviting more and more great singers, songwriters and players into The Helm as 2015 continues. It’s a great way for you to get to know them better and for them to promote record releases, upcoming performances and tours. And as you’ll discover by playing this podcast, we’re blessed by an abundance of talented friends both local to Portland and Oregon but also California, Washington and across the U.S.A.

Special thanks to all the artists who took the time to support the podcast and lend their talents, and also a big thanks to the Kotila Family — Eric, his lovely wife Jean and their beautiful baby Ruby (who makes a cameo on this podcast) — for opening up their home to our wonderful community.

So here it is . . . the playlist for Live From The Helm, Vol. 1. Dig it.

Step By Step, Chris Miller and James Sasser (Miller & Sasser)
Call Your Shot, Willy Tea
Slave Boy, Ron Rogers (with Deborah Giles)
Think Too Much, Kris Stuart (of Root Jack)
Greedy, Sarah Gwen
Little Birds, Freddy Trujillo
The Road, Joel Roth (of The Low Bones, with Paul Brainard)
On Mobile Bay, Morgan Geer (of Drunken Prayer, with Christa Geer)
Just Like A Fool, Rich West Blatt
Used To It Now, Nate Wallace (of Hearts of Oak, with Ezra Meredith and J. Lever)
My Beloved, Bradford Loomis & Beth Whitney
Peaceful Release, Nick Foltz (of Lowlight)
Only Blind, Tate Peterson (of The Resolectrics)
Crowhurst, Henry Kammerer (of Hillstomp)