Episode #52 featuring Bad Assets


The bad asses of Bad Assets (l to r): Ben Cosloy, Kevin Marcotte and Motor Jeffries. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Episode #52 featuring Bad Assets

It was a helluva weekend for Bad Assets, Portland’s rollicking, fun-loving country heroes. A packed CD Release show at the World Famous Kenton Club on Friday . . . a headlining showcase performance at The Deer Lodge on Saturday . . . and it all started with a visit to The Helm for an interview and performance for Episode #52 of The Much Further West Podcast.

Bad Assets are celebrating the release of their fantastic new record, “Poncho,” which has been in the works for the last couple of years. The disc shows off the four-piece’s tremendously clever songwriting and terrific playing, making it an excellent followup to their previous CD, “I-84.”


Motor, Kevin and Ben tearing it up in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler

Three of the fellas — singer-guitarist Motor Jeffries, singer-bassist Kevin Marcotte and guitar-picker extraordinaire Ben Cosloy — joined us to talk about the making of the record, the songwriting process and the many and varied places from where they draw inspiration. Cold Duck was shared, whiskey was spilled and much beer consumed. Pretty much par for the course, though the cold duck was an unexpected wrinkle.

Big thanks to Bad Assets for sharing their wisdom (remember: Beauty’s in the eye of the Beerholder) and congrats on an excellent record. We were thrilled to have y’all on board.

We also have some terrific music to share from recently released records by Evan Phillips, John Moreland and Banditos, who were psyched to see and meet in just a few days at the Wildwood MusicFest & Campout in nearby Sheridan, Oregon, U.S.A. The two-day festival kicks off on July 17, and we’ll be there in full force gathering interviews and exclusive performances to share on later episodes.

But for now, kick back and enjoy this really fun installment with Bad Assets. Here’s the playlist:

Falling Down, Evan Phillips
American Flags In Black & White, John Moreland
Garden Party, Rick Nelson
Beerholder (Live In The Helm), Bad Assets
Empty Bottle (Live In The Helm), Bad Assets
Camarojuana, Bad Assets
Without Me, Bad Assets
Wants You Close, Hearts Of Oak
Aztlán, Trujillo
Still Sober (After All These Beers), Banditos
David, Cody Jinks
Winner’s Casino, Richmond Fontaine
Send It On Down, Lee Ann Womack

One Sip Of Water, Emily Herring
Waitin’ Round To Die, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
Deadman’s Blues, Matt Woods

Episode #51 featuring Barna Howard


Barna Howard, back to the garden. Portrait by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Episode #51 featuring Barna Howard

We’ve been blessed in the first half of 2015 to have had a bevy of uber-talented folks as podcast guests in The Helm, and we’ve done it again for Episode #51 with Barna Howard, a world-class young folkie based right here in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

Barna has an excellent new record out that we’ve been playing on the show, and he just returned from a European tour in advance of its release. Now he’s gearing up for a local record-release show on July 1 at Mississippi Studios.


Barna Howard with his trusty Martin, live in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler

In our interview, we learn a bit about Barna’s upbringing in small-town Missouri and adventures in big cities such as Chicago and Boston that led him to settle out west. He also speaks of his musical influences — artists such as Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark — which make sense when you hear him perform live in The Helm. He shares a pair of tunes from the new record, the title track “Quite A Feelin’ ” and “Then And There.”

We added in a few more songs from Barna’s new record to help listeners get a feel for how strong it is. Be sure to go to www.barnahoward.com to learn more and to pick up a copy of “Quite A Feelin’.”

Our playlist for Episode #51 also features amazing new music from a bevy of talented artists with whom we are just becoming familiar, including Sam Outlaw, Some Train Yard, Sammy Brue and big batch from folks slated to play at next month’s Wildwood MusicFest and Campout, Oregon’s best little summer music festival.

We were sure to include a few songs from some our longtime favorites, including Whitey Morgan and The 78s, Denver and the lead track from the kickass new EP from The Swearengens, which starts off the show.

So have at it folks! Here’s the playlist:

American Woman (Take My Freedom Away), The Swearengens
Jesus Take The Wheel (And Drive Me To A Bar), Sam Outlaw
Distant Lands, Wild Rabbit
Quite A Feelin’ (Live In The Helm), Barna Howard
Then and There (Live In The Helm), Barna Howard
Notches On A Frame, Barna Howard
Indiana Rose, Barna Howard
Truckstop Amphetamines, J.P. Harris and the Tough Choices
If I Killed Her, Some Train Yard
It Ain’t Easy, Nathan Kalish
Rowdy Love, Denver
Waitin’ ‘Round To Die, Whitey Morgan and The 78s
Jealous, Sammy Brue
San Andreas’ Fault, The Earnest Lovers
Let The Waters Ride, The Holy Ghost Electric Show
Waiting For Some Drunk, Big Harp

Episode #50 — Secret Aardvark Takeover featuring Purusa


HOT STUFF: Zach Hinkelman (left) and Kris Kirkman of Purusa. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Episode #50 — Secret Aardvark Takeover

It was a hot time in the old Helm when we turned the keys to the podcast over to our friends and sponsors Stacy Moritz and Kip Lindig, the faces of Secret Aardvark Trading Company. They’re the folks who not only delight us and our podcast guests with their fabulous habanero sauce, but they’re dear friends from the local Portland music scene who carry on the professional legacy of our late, great friend Scott Moritz, aka Scotland Barr.

Before we lost Scotland to pancreatic cancer a few years back, he had established himself as one of the brightest lights and rising stars of Portland’s Americana as front man for his band, The Slow Drags. With his gravelly voice, acoustic guitar, stringy hair and striking 6-foot-5 frame, Scotland led from the front, directing the band on a steady rise from obscurity to local and regional fame on the strength of two terrific records and a heavy schedule of gigs.


Scotland Barr

All the while, Scotland — a successful chef, restauranteur and saucier — was establishing Secret Aardvark Trading Co., an outfit delighting local foodies with its hot sauce and marinades. Like his band, Scotland’s sauce company was on the rise at the time of his cancer diagnosis.

Carrying on Scotland’s legacy — with both the sauce company and the music — has been no small task for Stacy (his widow) and his former bandmates, among them his close pal Zach Hinkelman, lead guitarist from the Slow Drags. Zach proved instrumental in helping his bandmates push through their grief to eventually finish the album (We Will Be Forgotten) they began before Scotland’s passing.


Zach and Kris from Purusa, laying it down in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler.

The Secret Aardvark crew invited Zach to the podcast to share old stories about his experiences with the Slow Drags and also to update us with what he’s been working on musically, specifically a return to his old band Purusa, which has a show coming up at the Aladdin Theater in Portland on July 11. Zach and his Purusa partner Kris Kirkman show off their terrific talents performing a couple of original songs acoustically.

While choosing the guest for the show, Stacy and Kip also picked songs for the podcast playlist, combining a healthy dose of Scotland Barr songs from all three albums with classic songs that fit the Secret Aardvark “hot” theme, as you can see from the list below. As the beer and whiskey continue to flow, things get a little emotional as we remember our dear departed pal Scott and the impact he left on all of us.

So settle in and come along for the ride, and pour yourself a puddle of Aardvark to help keep it hot. Here’s the playlist.

Burning House of Love, X
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Sun Years, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Saving Grace, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Always Cherry, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Delta Dive, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Green Grass (Live In The Helm), Purusa
Man Of The Year (Live In The Helm), Purusa
Ring Of Fire, Johnny Cash
Play With Fire, The Rolling Stones
Hot Child In The City, Nick Gilder
Juanita, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Dirty Old Waltz, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Come To Bed, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
If You Fall, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Rock Solid, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Right Where You’re Supposed To Be, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Washing Over Me, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
You’re Gonna Be All Right, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags