Modern media has made it easier than ever for musical artists to work collaboratively from great distances. In the case of Indianhead, file sharing has allowed a pair of simpatico amigos to remain working musical partners despite living 2,000 miles apart.
Derek Phillips and Josh Boivert spent a lot of the early part of the century crafting an impressive catalog of songs as part of the Chicago collective Riviera, a beloved folk-rock band that fit nicely in the Americana realm created by the likes of The Jayhawks and Wilco. When Phillips moved to Portland around 2009, he kept the Riviera brand alive, recreating the vibe by adding some new players and new songs to the catalog.
As time passed, Phillips went back to an old friend to help add some fresh air to his musical life. He began a file-sharing project and roped in Boisvert to help flesh out some new songs he was working on, and thus Indianhead was born. Working remotely with other Riviera members past and present, the players have crafted a sound that leans slightly more to the electronic undertones that Riviera hinted at in the past.
Since arriving in Portland, Phillips’ winning combination of singing, songwriting, humor and humility has won over a score of new friends and fans — we here at That Much Further West Podcast are blessed to count ourselves among them. That’s why we were stoked to have him in The Helm along with Josh B. — visiting from Chicago — to perform a couple songs old and new and share the first finished Indianhead song ready for release, titled “Redwood.”
One listen here and you’ll know why we’ve come to love these guys and what they’re all about. Josh B. takes center stage when he leads the pair through his old Riviera classic, “Your American Past,” before D.P. takes a turn on a new Indianhead song, “Angelina.” We also learn during the interview how the two came together in Riviera, their history of playing together in the Chicago days and how Indianhead came to pass.
We expect big things from Indianhead when they’re ready to release more new material in the coming months. In the meantime, you can follow their latest moves at their website, and also stream the new song at their bandcamp page.
Episode #57 also features brand-new music from some of the biggest names in Americana, including Turnpike Troubadours, Fernando and — what do you know? — Lucero! So crank it up and remember to leave the radio on.
Here’s the playlist:
Doreen, Turnpike Troubadours
Turns Around The Bottle, Barna Howard
Punch Drunk, Uncle Tupelo
Your American Past (Live In The Helm), Indianhead
Angelina (Live In The Helm), Indianhead
Breaker, Pee Wee Moore
Hi-Line, Heartless Bastards
I’m The Man Who Loves You, Wilco
Hellraiser, Drunken Prayer
Cold Duck, Bad Assets
Alone In Memphis, Austin Lucas
My Girl & Me in ’93, Lucero
Save Me, Fernando
Turtles All The Way Down The Line, Sturgill Simpson