Episode #82 featuring W.C. Beck

W.C. Beck in The Helm for Episode #82 of That Much Further West Podcast. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #82: Episode 82 w/ W.C. Beck

William Christopher Beck grew up in Middle America surrounded by music, so it’s no surprise he found his musical calling early in life. Now, having moved from coast to coast and overseas (check out the video at the bottom of this post), the multi-talented Mr. Beck has put down roots in Brooklyn, N.Y., after establishing himself as a leading light in the Portland Americana music scene.

Making a quick return visit for a handful of shows in our fair hometown, Chris stopped by The Helm to talk about a few recording projects he has cooking, including one with a crowd-funding campaign underway called “First Flight.” On Episode #82, he plays a live version of his song “Steel Bird” which will be featured on the new record and available for digital download soon.

W.C. Beck sharing some wonderful new songs in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Chris also plays a couple other original songs: “Facecomber” is from a second recording project he has in the works with his friend Justin Wilcox; on the other, “The Long Way Home,” he invites local singer Anna Hoone to join him on harmony vocal.

We also delve deep into W.C.’s musical upbringing under the watchful eye of his composer grandfather, falling under the influence of some amazing old-time and bluegrass players, and how he came to write his own brand of Americana, roots and country music.

We’re beyond grateful that Chris made time in his busy schedule to do this podcast episode, and we hope you’ll further explore his catalog and support his ongoing Kickstarter campaign. We think you’ll be an instant fan after downloading and digging this episode.

Here’s the playlist:

Poor Man, W.C. Beck
Steel Bird (Live In The Helm), W.C. Beck
Rolling Hills, W.C. Beck
Facecomber (Live In The Helm), W.C. Beck
New Shoes, Caleb Klauder
Le déserteur, Boris Vian
Abandoned Love, Bob Dylan
The Long Way Home featuring Anna Hoone (Live In The Helm), W.C. Beck
Atchison Train, W.C. Beck

 

Episode #81 featuring The American West

Matthew Zeltzer and Maria Maita-Keppeler are The American West, and their little dog, too. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #81: Episode 81 w/ The American West

The cinematic image of The American West is all at once promising and shattering — beautiful, hopeful, gritty and heartbreaking. Portland-based band The American West capture all these feelings and more on their new record, “The Soot Will Bring Us Back Again,” to be released this week.

Band members Matthew Zeltzer and Maria Maita-Keppeler dropped by The Helm to discuss the record and share a few tunes — recorded and live — for Episode #81 of That Much Further West Podcast. With Zeltzer taking the lead on guitar and vocal and Maita complementing on harmony vocal and violin, the duo paint a romantic view of a West without glossing over the fine and sometimes damaging details.

Just back from a five-week European tour, the pair talk about the genesis of their partnership (both artistic and romantic), their approach to touring, the making of the new album and overcoming the obstacles they face in pursuing their art.

The American West, laying it down in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

On Wednesday, March 15, they’ll bring their fully realized band to the stage at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland for a big album release show. Also on the bill are former podcast guests Jenny Don’t & The Spurs and Mamma Coal for an evening that promises to be entertaining and unforgettable.

You can learn more about The American West by liking their Facebook page and also check out the new album at their  Bandcamp site. In the meantime, give Episode #81 a spin. You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s the playlist:
Heart of Stone, The American West
Ghost Town (Live In The Helm), The American West
Roadsick Blues, The American West
Let Me Love You Like A Pauper Does (Live In The Helm), The American West
Westward Man, The American West
Patience, Young Conquistador (Live In The Helm), The American West
One More Cup Of Coffee, Bob Dylan
Walk On, Neil Young
Give Me All Your Love, Alabama Shakes

 

Episode #80 featuring Jacob Miller

The Bridge City Crooner: Jacob Miller in The Helm for Episode #80 of That Much Further West Podcast. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #80: Episode 80 w/ Jacob Miller

Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, Jacob Miller was like a lot of kids his age with a song in his heart and a love for pop music and rock and roll. Little did he know at the time that jazz and swing music ran deep in his bloodlines.

Fast forward to 2017 — following a move to the Pacific Northwest, the 26-year-old Miller now fronts one of the region’s top swing outfits, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners (see video below). And while he hasn’t lost his love for good old rock and roll, Miller came to discover he wasn’t the first in his family to delve deep into the realm of swing dance music.

Jacob Miller chops away at his ’49 Epiphone archtop while delivering some sweet tunes in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Here on Episode #80 of That Much Further West Podcast, Miller talks about how he came learn of his family ties to classic swing as well as his neo-traditional approach to the music. By bringing original compositions to a genre flooded with standards, Miller and his band  stand out in the tight-knit community of jazz enthusiasts who bring the classic style to ballrooms and festivals all over the country.

He also tells the serendipitous story about how he acquired an archtop guitar from the 1940s that he uses in sharing some beautiful solo versions of tunes for us live in The Helm. So dial it up, kick back and tune into some some great music and storytelling from a young lion with a big future in the music game.

Here’s the playlist:

Spin That Record, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners
Love Her Mad (Live In The Helm), Jacob Miller
St. Mary’s Gospel Choir (Live In The Helm), Jacob Miller
Trouble In Paradise, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners
Oh The Vampyre (Live In The Helm), Jacob Miller
I’mona Wait, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners

Episode #79 featuring Jon Neufeld

Portland’s Jon Neufeld stopped by The Helm to talk about his production work and playing on the new Smithsonian Folkways collection “Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs.” Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #79: Episode 79 w/ Jon Neufeld

When it comes to playing guitar, Jon Neufeld seems to have it all covered. From bluegrass to folk to gypsy jazz, Neufeld has been a go-to guy having built a national reputation for superb playing from our hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

And more and more, it seems Neufeld is becoming a go-to producer as well. Such was the case when executives were looking for somebody to wrangle a talented cast of artists to put together “Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs,” a new collection of the songs that made a lasting impact on the music and history of the Columbia River region.

With the new record out on Smithsonian Folkways (the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institute), the podcast team invited Neufeld into The Helm to talk about the project and also his evolution and career as a working musician based in the Pacific Northwest. Neufeld brought along Darrin Craig, his longtime bandmate from local bluegrass stalwarts Jackstraw, to sing some Guthrie songs and tell stories from their early days of making music together.

Jon Neufeld (left) and Darrin Craig get down on some Woody tunes in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Not only did Neufeld produce the record but he also played on many of the 26 songs, including one sung here by Craig titled “The Ballad of Great Grand Coulee.” He also shares songs from the album sung by Michael Hurley, Al James (Dolorean) and Martha Scanlan and talks about some of the influences that have spurred his musical growth both as a player and producer.

We encourage you to dig into this new collection of songs and learn more about the lasting legacy of Woody Guthrie and his impact on the history of our local region. You can order the CD or download it directly from Smithsonian Folkways by following this link, and we hope you’ll look up online performances by Neufeld in his many musical adventures, including his work with Jackstraw (see below), Scanlan, Black Prairie and the Kung Pao Chickens.

In the meantime, enjoy Episode #79 of That Much Further West Podcast. Here’s the playlist:

Just Another Way to Go, Jackstraw
Pastures of Plenty,
Michael Hurley and Jon Neufeld
The Talkin’ Blues, Al James and Jon Neufeld
Jackhammer Blues (Jackhammer John), Martha Scanlan and Jon Neufeld
Ballad of the Great Grand Coulee (Live In The Helm), Darrin Craig and Jon Neufeld
1913 Massacre (Live In The Helm), Darrin Craig and Jon Neufeld
Minor Swing, Django Reinhardt
Black Mountain Blues (Rag) & Soldier’s Joy, Clarence White
When I Was A Boy, Electric Light Orchestra
Nowhere Massachusetts, Black Prairie

Episode #78 featuring Fernando

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Celebrating a fabulous 2016, it’s Fernando in The Helm. Photo by Chad Lanning for Chad Lanning Photography (www.chadlanningphoto.com)

Stream or download Episode #78:  Episode 78 w/ Fernando

It’s been a pretty remarkable 12-plus months for Fernando Viciconte.

Since the release of his most recent album, “Leave The Radio On,” in late 2015, Fernando has enjoyed two European tours, a tour through the American southwest, a summer jaunt opening for alt-country legends The Jayhawks and last month was inducted in to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

Not bad for a guy whose musical career not all that long ago was sidetracked by health issues that kept him from touring and limited his local performances. But the Portland-based singer-songwriter is back in full force these days, and the momentum he’s re-building continues to grow.

As our guest for Episode #78 of That Much Further West Podcast, Fernando talks about his return to form in the live performance realm as well as the changes he’s made to help preserve the vocal gift that’s made him a worldwide fan favorite. We were thrilled to have Fernando in The Helm to promote his upcoming show at Star Theater in Portland as part of Fluff & Gravy Records‘ three-day celebration of its five-year anniversary.

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Fernando rocks The Helm with some of his wonderful original music. Photo by Chad Lanning for Chad Lanning Photography (www.chadlanningphoto.com).

With friends and members of the Fluff & Gravy brain trust (and their kids!) in attendance, Fernando recounted the Argentinian roots of his family heritage, spoke of some of the musical influences that have shaped his songwriting, and also shared some wonderful live performances of his original music.

Among the recorded music we play on this episode, Fernando’s song “No Regrets” is part of Fluff & Gravy’s new “Five Years of Gravy” compilation that will be available at this weekend’s shows in Portland. Proceeds from sales of the compilation — featuring songs by Drunken Prayer, Hillstomp and Sassparilla, among many others — will be donated to the Jeremy Wilson Foundation‘s musicians relief fund.

Fernando has scheduled a handful of shows in the Pacific Northwest with Dan Stuart (Green On Red) before heading to Europe in early 2017 opening for Mark Eitzel (American Music Club) on a tour that will cover 14 countries, including Spain. Whether it’s solo, partnered with guitarist Dan Eccles (Richmond Fontaine) or playing with his full band, Fernando is a can’t-miss for lovers of great American folk rock. Be sure to check him out when you have a chance, and dig the video referenced at the beginning of the podcast — it’s posted below!

Here’s the playlist for Episode #78. Enjoy!

Save Me, Fernando
No Regrets, Fernando
True Instigator (Live In The Helm), Fernando
Elena, Dan Stuart & The Twin Tones
Supercheria, Pescado Rabioso
Si Se Calla el Cantor, Horacio Guarany
Para Ti (Live In The Helm), Fernando
Selos, Fernando
The Dogs (Live In The Helm), Fernando

Episode #77 featuring Silver Lake 66

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Jeff Overbo and Maria Francis are Portland’s Silver Lake 66.

Stream or download Episode #77:  Episode 77 w/ Silver Lake 66

America’s highway, Route 66, covers nearly 2,500 miles from Chicago to the Southern California Coast and for a long time served as the main path for those who migrated West in the early part of the last century.

Regaled in popular culture over the past 100 years, Route 66 serves as the perfect metaphor for the road traveled by our guests for Episode #77 of That Much Further West Podcast, our friends Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo of Silver Lake 66. The Portland-by-way-of-Minneapolis-via-Los Angeles group has taken the long road, overcoming the real life obstacles of age and illness and emerging with one of this year’s finest albums, titled “Let Go Or Be Dragged” (check out this review in No Depression).

On this episode, Maria and Jeff share stories of their journey through 80s — starting in Midwest biker bars, traveling the country in stinky vans, booking shows by pay phone and living on beer and peanut butter. The road led them to move to Los Angeles, where they fell in with a like-minded group of Americana musicians that first held court at The Palomino club and went on to varying degrees of fame — folks like Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale and Dale Watson.

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Jeff and Maria, sharing their terrific music in The Helm as Silver Lake 66. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Soon their peers became big influences and they began to write and perform in the alt-country realm, a place they’ve stayed even after moving to Portland in the 90s. After a long period out of the public spotlight, the married couple slowly began to emerge with a batch a well-crafted tunes that display each player’s knack for poignant storytelling as well as their natural chemistry as players and harmony singers.

Now armed with a fantastic new album, Silver Lake 66 is poised to make a big splash on the burgeoning Portland Americana scene. Their album release show, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Alberta Street Pub in Portland, is sure to be a celebration of not just the hard road they’ve traveled but also the open road and blue skies ahead.

We think you’ll really enjoy the stories and the sharing of their wonderful music, so tune in and prepare to be moved by the spirit of Silver Lake 66.

Here’s the playlist:

Sherman County, Silver Lake 66
Devil’s Looking For Me, Silver Lake 66
Bury My Bones In Arkansas (LIve In The Helm), Silver Lake 66
Pineola, Lucinda Williams
Country Comforts, Rod Stewart
Return Of The Grievous Angel, Gram Parsons
Magnolia (Live In The Helm), Silver Lake 66
Walk Away (Live In The Helm), Silver Lake 66
Doctor, Silver Lake 66

 

Episode #76 featuring Matthew Lindley

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Matthew Lindley . . . settled in at The Helm. He’ll celebrate the release of his new album, “Late Bloomer,” on Oct. 8 at The Secret Society in Portland. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Stream or download Episode #76:  Episode 76 w/ Matthew Lindley

Whatever the endeavor, Matthew Lindley brings a fire and passion to everything he does. That’s evident from the get-go on this episode of That Much Further West Podcast, when Lindley joined our team in The Helm for his long-awaited podcast debut as a guest.

We first became aware of Matthew’s music about three years ago with the release of his debut solo album, “Paper Lion.” It revealed Lindley as both a top-notch songwriter and super talented singer, traits he keenly employed for the making of his new album, “Late Bloomer.”

Matthew shares stories from the making of the new album and also talks about his musical upbringing under the influence of his parents while growing up in Spokane, Wash. Turns out the tape deck in dad’s car helped launch him into an appreciation of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and “Born In The U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen, and set Lindley on his ongoing path of music discovery.

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Matthew Lindley, serending the podcast crew in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Performing came naturally to the young Lindley, and as he grew he crossed paths with performers such as Todd Snider and Jay Farrar who would put him on the trail to a deeper appreciation of songwriting and Americana music.

On this episode, Lindley shares some songs from the new album as well as a few of handpicked tunes that show his musical influences. He also tears through a handful of live performances that illustrate his talents for singing and storytelling.

So dial it up and mark your calendar for Oct. 8 when Matthew and his fantastic band celebrate the release of “Late Bloomer” at The Secret Society in Portland. Here’s the playlist:

Slammin’ Doors, Matthew Lindley
Late Bloomer (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Alright Guy, Todd Snider
The Day John Henry Died, Drive-By Truckers
I’m Goin’ Down, Bruce Springsteen
No One Remembers, Matthew Lindley
 Street Dance (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
All My Fault, Matthew Lindley
Ex-Girlfriend Song (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Straight To Hell (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley

Episode #75 featuring Lewi & Anita

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Lewi Longmire and Anita Lee Elliott holding down the bar at The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #75:  Episode 75 w/ Lewi & Anita

They formed a musical partnership by trading riffs and harmonies and trying out new songs and ideas as a duo. But Portland favorites Lewi Longmire and Anita Lee Elliott share deep roots that appear to be growing stronger as time passes.

For Episode #75 of That Much Further West Podcast, the singer/guitarists visited The Helm to talk about working together as a duo, how their musical careers have evolved after more than a decade in the Portland music scene, as well as their connection as the six-string aces for Brothers & Sister, their circa-’71 Allman Brothers Band cover project.

Lewi is known in the Portland Americana scene as a terrific band leader for The Left Coast Roasters and the Portland Country Underground and also as a contributor to more musical projects than imaginable, including Denver, Ducky Pig and Fernando. Anita is a tried-and-true, real-deal rock star, having established herself as a world class talent fronting Viva Voce and Blue Giant, singing backup with The Shins and as an ongoing member of the amazing country-folk trio Calico Rose.

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Lewi & Anita, filling The Helm with musical goodness. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Here they share a number of songs from their personal partnership, in which they take turns leading original and cover tunes. We also weave in a few songs from their various projects: a live performance by Brothers & Sister featuring Lewi on lead vocal and Anita on slide guitar; another by Calico Rose with Anita singing lead; and a tune from the Lewi Longmire Band album “Tales of The Left Coast Roasters.”

The two currently are gearing up for for the biggest Brothers & Sisters show yet, the “Summer Jam” at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA. Hosted by Phil Lesh & Friends, the Sept. 17 show is meant to re-create a 1973 summer concert that featured The Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and The Band.

In the meantime, the pair will keep working together as Lewi & Anita, a local project that continues to delight their fans in our fair hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. So dial it in and turn it up — it’s Episode #75!

Here’s the playlist:

New Old Joe Clark (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita
Done Somebody Wrong, Brothers & Sister
Live With Love (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita
Honey In The Rock, Calico Rose
Wasted And Waisting My Saturday Night (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita
At Least In My Mind, Lewi Longmire Band
Movin’ So Slow (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita

Episode #74 featuring McDougall

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One Mand Band: McDougall brings a mix of folk, punk, blues and jazz with whatever happens to be avaialble, whether it’s guitar, drums or banjo, and often in combination.

Stream or download Episode #74:  Episode 74 w/ McDougall

He’s well known on the West Coast for his “one-man band” act, banging on a drum kit while singing, strumming a guitar or banjo or blowing into a harmonica. But Scott McDougall (aka McDougall) has musical ideas that stretch well beyond the limitations of what he can play all at once.

On his new album, “Reaching For The Light,” McDougall took a fresh approach. He explained his thinking to our hosts on Episode #74 of That Much Further West Podcast, saying, “I’m not gonna think about genre. I’m not gonna think about instrument limitations. I’m just gonna do what’s in my head.”

The results are stunning, and that’s why we were thrilled to have McDougall into The Helm as guest on our latest podcast. A super talented and genial gent, Scott talks about the process of recording the new record, playing nearly all the instruments while working with mixing engineer Jon Burbank and performing at his record release with a full band. And while he continues to perform as a one-man band, he said he also finds satisfaction in working collaboratively, as he has on other side projects.

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McDougall laying down the goodness in The Helm.

On this episode, McDougall demonstrates how all he needs is a guitar or a banjo to deliver the goods. He performs three stellar live performances, showing off his playing abilities and a terrific talent for word play and melody.

He also talks about his upbringing in a religious household in California, his discovery of punk music and the influence of other genres on his musical development. His choice of songs by Tom Waits, Charles Mingus and Bad Brains illustrates those wide-ranging influences.

You can pick up McDougall’s new album at your local record store and at all the usual places online. Be sure to grab a copy and follow all things McDougall at his website.

In the meantime, whether its an introduction or a furthering of your love for McDougall, enjoy Episode #74! Here’s the playlist:

Roads, McDougall
This Very Hour (Live In The Helm), McDougall
Cut Loose, McDougall
Tango Till They’re Sore, Tom Waits
Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, Charles Mingus
Sailin’ On, Bad Brains
Broken Wheels (Live In The Helm), McDougall
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms, McDougall
Cutting The Grass/Early On The Hill (Live In The Helm), McDougall

Episode #73 featuring Lowlight

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Buddies for life . . . Chris Viola and Nick Foltz of Lowlight.

Stream or download Episode #73:  Episode 73 w/ Lowlight

Our podcast ramp-up to this week’s Wildwood MusicFest & Campout hits a crescendo with a visit to our homebase, The Helm, by Nick Foltz and Chris Viola, the leader and lead guitarist, respectively, of Portland’s Lowlight.

With a pair of acoustic guitars in tow, Nick and Chris play a couple of original songs and tell us how Lowlight evolved from the mind of Foltz to become a fully fleshed-out rock and soul machine with the additions of Carmen Paradise on bass, James Pearson on drums and now a horn section primed for the band’s Friday night performance at Wildwood.

DSCN0945The taping of Episode #73 was made even more special by the presence of Nick’s dad Ken Foltz and an old rock-and-roll pal from his North Carolina days, Cameron Thomas. Nick explains how both gentlemen played key roles in his musical development, from music fan to player to writer and singer.

Nick and Chris also talk about some of the other musical influences in their upbringing, and Nick shared songs by Leon Russell, The Kinks and David Bowie as samplings from his musical DNA. We also play a couple of songs from local projects Nick has been involved in, including The John Brown Band and Truckstop Darlin’.

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Lowlight lads getting it done in The Helm.

One listen to this episode and you’ll understand why we’re so jacked up for Wildwood this year, and when Nick talks about his involvement in the Sunday morning festival all-star session, you’ll know why we plan to stick around all weekend long.

So fire it up! Episode #73 is designed to get you in the mood for Wildwood.

Here’s the playlist:

Flung Too Far, Lowlight
Try Again, Lowlight
Bloodlines (Live In The Helm), Lowlight
Sing Me Away, Lowlight
Hummingbird, Leon Russell
Strangers, The Kinks
Starman, David Bowie
The Pond, The John Brown Band
Bluegrass State, Truckstop Darlin’
Hands (Live In The Helm), Lowlight