January Podcast Picks

Dori Freeman’s album “Letters Never Read” met with universal praise upon its release in October. Photo by Scott Simontacchi

Stream or download January Podcast Picks: January ’18 Podcast Picks

Seemingly out of nowhere, Dori Freeman’s eponymous debut album took alt-country nation by surprise in 2016 with its refreshing, straight-ahead approach. All talent, no schtick — and the media praise flowed.

Same story late last year when Freeman’s follow-up, Letters Never Sent, hit the streets in October, just in time to make it on an endless list of “Best of 2017” rankings. No sophomore slump for Freeman, who picked up right where she left off with “If I Could Make You My Own,” the lead song from the album that tops this month’s Podcast Picks.

Rowdy good fun: Banditos will be at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland on Sunday, Jan. 28. Photo by David McAllister

We also feature new music from a few more of our favorites, including Caleb Caudle, First Aid Kit, Courtney Marie Andrews and the legendary Mavis Staples.

As for bands heading our way for shows in the upcoming weeks, we offer a little rowdy fun from Banditos, another song from Whitney Rose (we featured her last month as well), a spooky little tune from Canada’s Deep Dark Woods, and some excellent red-dirt country by The Randy Rogers Band.

And speaking of legends, we’ll forgive country’s true outlaw, Billy Don Burns, for misspelling Gram Parsons’ name in the song we include here. Famous for his association with Willie Nelson and his many scrapes with the law, Burns is a criminally underappreciated talent who will appear at Dante’s here in Portland tonight! (That’s Wednesday, Jan. 17 for you folks scoring at home).

So dial it up and settle in for a fun little ride — you can download or stream this month’s Podcast picks right here at our home page.

Here’s the playlist:

If I Could Make You My Own, Dori Freeman
Fine Fine Day, Banditos
Empty Arms, Caleb Caudle
Long Lonely Road, Valerie June
Trying Times, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy
Graham Parsons, Hank Williams and Me, Billy Don Burns
Whole Lotta Highway (With A Million Miles To Go), Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives
Fireworks, First Aid Kit
Just A Drink Away, Charley Crockett
Arizona, Whitney Rose
Delta Dawn, Hellbound Glory
Little Drunk Fists, Slobberbone
Something To Hold On To, Turnpike Troubadours
Way Out, John Calvin Abney
If All I Was Was Black, Mavis Staples
San Antone, The Randy Rogers Band
Without Your Love, Chris Stapleton
San Juan Hill, The Deep Dark Woods
May Your Kindness Remain, Courtney Marie Andrews
Sid and Nancy, Micah Schnabel

 

Live Review: Whiskey Wednesday with Western Centuries at Landmark Saloon

The Big Three: Western Centruies featuring (l to r) Jim Miller, Cahalen Morrison and Ethan Lawton on the tiny stage at Landmark Saloon in Portland.

Western Centuries
Live at Landmark Saloon
Portland, OR, USA
1-10-17

By Phil Favorite

When it comes to West Coast country bands, it doesn’t get much better than Western Centuries — the five-piece, Seattle-based unit featuring three distinct singer-songwriters and a harmony sound all their own.

So when Western Centuries loaded into the tiny Landmark Saloon for a couple of intimate sets of high quality Honky Tonk, the Whiskey Wednesday regulars knew they were in for a treat. The place packed quickly but there was just enough room for the dancing crowd to shake and spin, just a step or two from the band and arm’s length from the tip jar.

With singers Jim Miller, Cahalen Morrison and Ethan Lawton sharing the spotlight, the band famously rotated instruments and kept it loose. Lawton and Morrison switched back and forth from fronting the band to playing drums, and Morrison and Miller swapped duties on lead guitar, with one plucking a clean telecaster while the other strummed a rich acoustic.

Describing Western Centuries sound as straight Honky Tonk would be misleading. It’s easy to identify influences from across the Americana spectrum — R&B, country, soul, folk and cajun music all color the sound.

The band played favorites from their excellent 2016 record “Weight of the World,” but much of the first set drew from their upcoming album, “Songs From The Deluge,” due out April 6 on Free Dirt Records. The sweat and smiles pouring from the dance floor all night told the rest of the story.

Late last year,Western Centuries premiered four of the songs from the new album n KEXP’s Swinging Doors program, hosted by DJ Don Slack. For a taste of what this band is all about, check out live versions of “Wild Birds,” “Wild You Run,” “How Many More Miles To Babylon” and “Three Swallows” in the video below.

Learn more about Western Centuries and their upcoming album release at Free Dirt’s Western Centuries page.

 

Episode #83 featuring Matthew Lindley

The man with a plan: Matthew Lindley re-visits The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Stream or download Episode #83: Episode 83 w/ Matthew Lindley

Matthew Lindley is a man with a plan. And, wow, what a plan it is. For his upcoming seven-day residency at Al’s Den in downtown Portland, Lindley has something special planned for each and every night of the week.

Described as “Matthew Lindley’s Cavalcade of Stars,” Lindley will be joined each night by friends who span his 15-plus-years of making and sharing music. He’ll dedicate each show to a period in his music career, featuring specific albums from the past along with songwriting and storytelling nights squeezed in to mix things up. No two nights will be the same, which should keep the shows fresh every night.

Matthew Lindley, live in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

On this episode of  That Much Further West Podcast, Lindley returns to The Helm as a guest for the first time since he was promoting his latest CD release, “Late Bloomer,” in October of 2016. He talks about his plans for the upcoming residency (beginning Sunday, Jan. 7) and the challenges he’s set for himself for the weeklong stretch.

He also shares some of his favorite tunes from 2017 and lays out his musical plans for early 2018. And not to be outdone, Lindley performs a few new and old tunes that clue you in on just what a fine talent this Spokane, WA native is.

So settle in and crank it up. We’re excited to bring you Episode #83 from The Helm. Here’s the playlist:

Late Bloomer, Matthew Lindley
Midnight Train To Memphis, Chris Stapleton
Tupelo, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
My Year Of Anger (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Heart In Your Hand (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Murphy Bed, Matthew Lindley
Pullman, WA, Matthew Lindley Mistake
Can’t Stay Away (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Holding On, The War On Drugs