Springtime Podcast Picks


East Nashville’s Margo Price, leading the new pack of country traditionalists.

Stream or download Podcast Picks: Podcast Picks 3-28-16

The momentum’s been building for the first part of 2016, with appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Conan O’Brien Show. Finally, with the release last week of her debut solo album, “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter,” Margo Price takes the spotlight as country’s next big thing.

We kickoff our latest playlist with the epic “Hands Of Time,” a six-minute sample of the kind of traditional country that has helped Price stand above the noisy din of cookie-cutter country that dominates radio playlists across the dial. Expect to hear plenty more from Ms. Price the rest of the year — she’s recently made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry and we’re sure she’ll be making headlines through the summer concert season.

With Price setting the stage, we attempt to shatter the mold with this playlist by featuring some of the best new voices in roots and country, including Parker Milsap, Caleb Caudle, Brent Cobb, Australian Emma Swift and our hometown favorite sons, Portland’s Richmond Fontaine. We also feature a brand-new song from Mudcrutch, the Tom Petty side project that will be releasing its first album in 10 years in May, and a terrific song from 2015 podcast guests Indianhead. You may remember them debuting “Angelina” live in The Helm on Episode #57 of That Much Further West Podcast.

We round out the playlist with songs from several of our well-established favorites, including a tune from veteran bad-ass Paul Thorn and cuts from Drunken Prayer, Two Cow Garage, Austin Lucas (new album soon!), Cory Branan, Steve Earle, Valerie June and Sturgill Simpson. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to honor a lost brother, Phife Dawg, the five-foot assassin of A Tribe Called Quest. R.I.P. Phife Dawg . . . thanks for the rhymes and inspiration. You’ll be missed!

Here’s the songlist. Enjoy!

Hands Of Time, Margo Price
Wherever You Are, Parker Milsap
Wasted Thursday, Caleb Caudle
Love Looks Like A Master, Drunken Prayer
Trailer, Mudcrutch
Diggin’ Holes, Brent Cobb
Angelina, Indianhead
What The Hell Is Goin’ On?, Paul Thorn
Let’s Hit One More Place, Richmond Fontaine
My Great Gatsby, Two Cow Garage
Let Me In, Austin Lucas
All The Rivers In Colorado, Cory Branan
Buggin’ Out, A Tribe Called Quest
Seasons, Emma Swift
You’re The Best Lover That I Ever Had, Steve Earle
Trials, Troubles, Tribulations, Valerie June
Brace For Impact (Live A Little), Sturgill Simpson

Episode #65 featuring Willy Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine

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Willy Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine making himself at home in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Stream or download Episode #65: Episode 65 w/ Willy Vlautin

For 20 years, Richmond Fontaine has been the vanguard for Portland’s alt-country scene, earning worldwide acclaim for their dramatic, steel-infused Western soundscapes and the one-of-kind storytelling of singer Willy Vlautin. That’s why we are thrilled to share this interview and performance by Mr. Vlautin, recorded at our home base, The Helm.

Now entering the last chapter of their fantastic run, RF has just released their final album, “You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To,” available now on Fluff & Gravy Records. On this episode of That Much Further West Podcast, Willy shares a few solo performances of songs from the new record as well as some thoughts on the end of the Richmond run and the impact the band has made over the years.

Willy takes us back to his roots growing up in Reno, Nevada, and how he came to find great music from the Los Angeles underground during his teenage years. Asked to pick a few tunes that were influential during that period, he selected songs by Los Lobos, Tom Waits and The Pogues (this episode was taped on St. Patrick’s Day).

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Willy the lefty sharing a few of the instant classics from the new Richmond Fontaine record, “You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To.”

He also talks about the evolution of his songwriting, introducing different storytelling techniques and voices and shifting points of view to advance his richly detailed lyrical ideas. As author of four critically acclaimed novels, Willy talks about how many of his longer literary stories start as song ideas — indeed, many of the characters from his great books first show up in songs by Richmond Fontaine. Listen closely as Willy reveals the title of his next novel.

We wrap up the episode with the handful of RF classics from the body of their 10 great albums — a quick primer for what is unquestionably one of the greatest bands in Portland history (see the playlist below). Also, check out the video for one of the band’s awesome instrumentals, “El Tiradito,” from the album “Thirteen Cities,” captured at WaveLab Recording Studios in 2007.

The band will be heading to Europe this spring to promote the new record and will do some touring over the rest of the year in what appears to be Richmond Fontaine’s swan song, so be sure to pick up a copy of the new record and keep an eye out for when they roll into your town. You want to miss one last chance to see this legendary band.

Here’s the playlist from Episode #65 featuring Willy Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine:

$87 And A Guilty Conscience That Gets Worse The Longer I Go, Richmond Fontaine
Wake Up Ray (Live In The Helm), Willy Vlautin
Three Brothers Roll Into Town (Live In The Helm), Willy Vlautin
Will The Wolf Survive, Los Lobos
Shore Leave, Tom Waits
A Rainy Night In Soho, The Pogues
Don’t Skip Out On Me (Live In The Helm), Willy Vlautin
Lost In The Trees, Richmond Fontaine
The Warehouse Life, Richmond Fontaine
Give Me Time, Richmond Fontaine
Always On The Ride, Richmond Fontaine
Winner’s Casino, Richmond Fontaine
The Kid From Belmont Street, Richmond Fontaine
Through, Richmond Fontaine


Review of You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To by Richmond Fontaine


You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To
by Richmond Fontaine
(2016, Fluff & Gravy Records)

One listen, 100 words
For That Much Further West Podcast

No one weaves misery like Richmond Fontaine. The loom has no room for bold emoesque, overtly melancholic fibers but yields itself to a more intricate pattern of a working-class, every-man misery. The letdown that follows when your numbers don’t hit or that horse fails to place. The thread-worn jeans or duct-taped boots you still wear because new school clothes for the kids or perhaps that bottle of Old Crow and half-rack of Rainier cans were more important this time. In any case this is a blanket we can’t give to Goodwill no matter how many times it must be patched.

Mixtape Trio Bravo: “Wake Up Ray” / “Three Brothers Roll Into Town” / “A Night In The City”

Listen to “Wake Up Ray”: Wake Up Ray

Listen to “Three Brothers Roll Into Town”: Three Brothers Roll Into Town

Listen to “A Night In The City” : A Night In The City

March Podcast Picks


Konrad Wert, aka Possessed By Paul James

Stream or download Podcast Picks: Podcast Picks 3-14-16

Ah, the modern troubadours — we love them here at That Much Further West Podcast. Last week we had handful of our favorite road-dogs roll through our hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., and we celebrate some of them here with this latest batch of podcast picks.

Kicking things off is Possessed By Paul James, who was in town for a show at The White Eagle with support from The Harmed Brothers (also featured here). Look for Possessed By Paul James all this week at the South By Southwest music conference in Austin, TX, where he has a handful of shows playing alongside some of the greats of Americana, including Lydia Loveless and Hayes Carll (he, too, featured here). PPJ is a force of nature — a one-man folk wrecking crew. Check him out live. You won’t be disappointed.

This month’s picks also include new songs from Sturgill Simpson, the Cactus Blossoms and an exclusive track from Meridian, a Portland band led by Darrin Craig, best known for his work with local bluegrass stalwarts Jack Straw. And speaking of local bluegrass, we share a song from the new album by Left Coast Country, a band we discovered busking out front of Mississippi Studios before a Sturgill show in late 2014. Since then, the lads of LCC since have established themselves as a local bluegrass powerhouse.

The troubadours keep passing through this month’s playlist with songs from Bryan McPherson, Tim Barry and the godfather of all living folkies, Guy Clark. And to wrap things up, we offer a song by Morgane Stapleton from the album “Southern Family,” a new project curated by red-hot Nashville producer Dave Cobb. On “You Are My Sunshine,” Mrs. Stapleton takes center stage while her celebrated husband Chris Stapleton plays a support role with backing vocals and guitar. It’s one of several excellent tunes on a record full of artists we love here at the podcast, including Jason Isbell, John Paul White and Holly Williams.

So dig in, download or give it a stream. It’s this month’s podcast picks! Here’s the playlist:

Heavy, Possessed By Paul James
Tuscaloosa, Caleb Caudle
Lucky To Be A Sad Man, Huck Notari
Under The Axe, The Harmed Brothers
Brace For Impact (Live A Little), Sturgill Simpson
Stoplight Kisses, The Cactus Blossoms
The Magic Kid, Hayes Carll
Go On Lovin’, Dori Freeman
Fought The Blues And Won, The Deslondes
Mason Dixon Waltz, Left Coast Country
The Guitar, Guy Clark
Hearts In Boxcars, Bryan McPherson
Church Of Level Track, Tim Barry
The Flame In The Flood, Chuck Ragan
Ohio, Meridian
You Are My Sunshine, Morgane Stapleton (with Chris Stapleton)


Episode #64 featuring John Moreland

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Impressive beard, super impressive talent: John Moreland in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Stream or download Episode #64: Episode 64 w/ John Moreland

We were still reeling from his stunning performance the night before at The Doug Fir Lounge in Portland when John Moreland dropped by The Helm for a visit and interview with That Much Further West Podcast. With just an acoustic guitar, a rich, low voice and an arsenal of songs aimed straight for the heart, Mr. Moreland reduced the usually chatty crowd at Doug Fir to a hushed, reverent flock of believers. Call it Sunday School.

John Moreland is an artist’s artist. His name always seems to come up when some of the best songwriters in alt-country and Americana talk about the peers they most admire. And on the strength of his massively acclaimed 2015 record “High On Tulsa Heat,” he’s been riding a huge wave of career momentum.

He started the year opening for double Grammy-winner Jason Isbell in the U.K. and Europe, then returned stateside for his first national TV appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He’s currently wrapping up a swing through the Western States and will be appearing at the South By Southwest music festival in Texas later this month before hitting the road with Lucero in April.

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A legend in the making: John Moreland stops by The Helm for a chat with the podcast team. Photo by Anne Marie

For this podcast episode, John sits down with the podcast team to talk about riding the publicity wave, the challenges of songwriting and his little tricks for quieting a live, boisterous crowd when the chatter threatens to ruin the mood. He also talks up some of his most-admired peers and his recent discovery of Canadian bands and artists who have come onto his radar, including Doug Paisley.

To complete the episode, we share a set of songs that highlight the  power, depth and greatness of John’s songs as well as the breadth of his talent. This is nothing new — his songs are among the most played on That Much Further West Podcast and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Simply, we’re big, big fans of John Moreland.

Be sure to follow John’s exploits via his website and be on the lookout for when his road show pulls into your town. He’s a stunning live performer who always is well worth the price of admission.

We couldn’t be more grateful to John for sharing this interview in The Helm or more proud to share this episode with you. Enjoy.