For Episode 43, we answer the burning question, “Are you ever gonna have some kick-ass bluegrass on this show?” Our answer: “Hill yeah!” Portland’s hottest new bluegrass act, The Hillwilliams, invaded The Helm for an interview and performance promoting their brand-new CD, titled Hill Yeah!
With mandolin player and singer Rich Landar leading the interview, we learn how The Hillwilliams formed, toured and honed their bluegrass chops to get ready for recording their debut album, which consists mostly of original material. The band also includes singer/banjo player Matt Franzen, David Gerow on fiddle and Bernardo Gomez, all much-accomplished musicians and veterans of our local music scene.
Sandwiched between a pair of cuts from the new disc, The Hillwilliams show off their live chops on a couple others: Landar’s “Ants In The Kitchen” and a cover of “Saving Grace,” a tune penned by late-great local legend Scotland Barr. Both performances earned rousing applause from an enthusiastic group of friends gathered in The Helm. Local listeners will want to check out this band during one of their upcoming Portland performances.
This episode also features a playlist featuring tons of new music picked by our co-hosts.
Phil Favorite talks up the Seattle band Evening Bell and shares a cut from their new single called “Restless Angel,” and also a tune from Jenny Don’t & The Spurs called “Trouble With The Law.” Mike Lee’s selections — songs from Ryan Bingham, American Aquarium, Murder By Dealth, Tim Barry and Justin Townes Earle — are all from recently released records. So are the songs at the end of the show, one from Steve Earle and another Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. And co-host Eric Kotila picked a handful of tunes that fit the “bluegrassy” vibe of the show, choices inspired by the visit from The HIlliwilliams.
Yes, lots to chew on here. So dial it up, kick back and press play! Here’s the playlist:
Restless Angel, Evening Bell
Trouble With The Law, Jenny Don’t & The Spurs
Man I’m Supposed To Be, American Aquarium
Burn My Body, The Hillwilliams
Ants In The Kitchen (Live in The Helm), The Hillwilliams
Saving Grace (Live in The Helm), The Hillwilliams
Ratty Old Hat, The Hillwilliams
Adventures of You and Me, Ryan Bingham
Send Me Home, Murder By Death
No News From North, Tim Barry
Call Ya Momma, Justin Townes Earle
Bound To Ride, Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band
Evil Motherfucker From Tennessee, Joe Buck Yourself
The Devil Gets His Due, The Dirt Daubers
Old West Side, The Tillers
Codeine, Trampled By Turtles
Go Go Boots Are Back, Steve Earle
Mutineer, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires