TMFWP Special: Wildwood Sessions 2015 with Emily Herring

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The bespectacled bad-ass, Emily Herring. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Wildwood Sessions: Emily Herring

Heartbreak has been a part of country music from the beginning, and Emily Herring broke a lot of hearts when she moved from Portland to San Marcos, Texas, a few years back. But the move has been fruitful for Ms. Herring, and for that — and for her occasional visits back to Oregon — Emily’s friends back in Oregon are happy and grateful.

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Emily Herring: purveyor of good ol’ fashioned honky tonk music. Photo by Christopher Sohler.

That’s why we were psyched to see Emily on the bill for this year’s Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. She delighted the crowd at Wildwood with a Saturday afternoon set of original songs, backed by a band made up of old Portland friends, including our own co-host Eric Kotila on drums.

Afterward, she dropped in to the podcast RV to record this interview. Hear how she’s settled into life about 30 miles southwest of Austin, an area that boasts its own classic country music scene where new voices mesh beautifully with old-timers and honky-tonkers.

She also shared a beautiful original song, “The Last of the Houston Honky Tonk Heroes,” a tune about one of the musical Marys that Emily cites as a big influence — fellow bad-ass Mary Cutrufello. Check it out, and be sure to look up more about Emily at www.emilyherring.net.

TMFWP Special: Wildwood Sessions 2015 with Joshua Esterline aka Acousta Noir

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Joshua Esterline, aka Acousta Noir, stirring up a Tempest in the podcast RV at the 2015 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com).

Wildwood Sessions: Acousta Noir

Podcast co-host Eric Kotila likes to call them road dogs — musicians who have the need to hit the road and share their music with folks across the country and overseas. These road dogs always have a special place at the heart of That Much Further West Podcast, and Joshua James Esterline of the one-man band Acousta Noir fits the description perfectly.

Joshua describes his music as “Southern Oregon Dark Acoustic,” and has earned a reputation among his peers as a stand-up guy delivering high-quality, high-energy music with consistency. From his base in Roseburg, Ore., he’s been cranking out quality recordings and taking his music on the road for years now.

After a spring and early summer of traveling both in the states and in Europe, Acousta Noir returned home to deliver a first-ever performance at the Wildwood MusicFest & Campout, but In our interview you’ll learn of Joshua’s deeper ties to the festival. As a carpenter he’s helped expand and improve the festival facilities and as a music fan has soaked up performances by many of his one-man-band friends and heroes.

a1509935161_16This year Acousta Noir fired the festival’s opening salvo — a fantastic set of original music that kicked things off Friday night and had show-goers tapping their feet and clapping along. Before that, Joshua stopped by the podcast RV to chat about life on the road, some of his festival memories and also to share a killer song called “Tempest” from Acousta Noir’s 2014 album “Suffer & Overcome.”

Enjoy the interview and performance and look for Acousta Noir in your local music listings. Joshua’s sure to be coming to a town near you soon. Also, check out Acousta Noir music at https://acoustanoir.bandcamp.com/.

 

TMFWP Special: Wildwood Sessions 2015 with Dustin Hamman of Run On Sentence

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Another beard to envy: Dustin Hamman of Run On Sentence joins the podcast hosts in the RV at the 2015 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com).

Wildwood Sessions: Run On Sentence

Though he had never previously attended the festival, this year’s Wildwood MusicFest & Campout was a homecoming of sorts for Dustin Hamman. The New Mexico-based singer-songwriter has deep ties to Oregon from his days living in Portland, where his band Run On Sentence formed in 2007.

At Wildwood, Hamman surrounded himself with old friends while leading the band through a smoking-hot set on opening night of the festival. He also stuck around all weekend, even taking a turn fronting the festival all-star band that delighted the crowd with a killer set of outlaw country tunes on Sunday afternoon.

runonsentencealbumBut before all that, the soft-spoken Mr. Hamman took a few minutes to join the podcast team in the RV for an interview and performance. In this session we learn of Dustin’s ties to the festival and the Portland music scene as well as his punk rock upbringing in middle America and some of the influences that shaped his songwriting and performing. He also shares a solo acoustic version of the song “Run To You,” from the 2014 album Feelings. It’s an emotional rendition made even more powerful by the aggressive pounding and pulling on his nylon-string guitar.

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out more of Run On Sentence at their Bandcamp page, https://runonsentence.bandcamp.com.

TMFWP Special: Wildwood Sessions 2015 featuring Willy Tea Taylor

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Willy Tea Taylor performing solo at the 2015 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Wildwood Sessions: Willy Tea Taylor

knuck·le·ball
ˈnəkəlˌbôl/
Baseball
noun: knuckleball; plural noun: knuckleballs; noun: knuckler; plural noun: knucklers
  1. a slow pitch that has virtually no spin and moves erratically, typically made by releasing the ball from between the thumb and the knuckles of the first joints of the index and middle finger.

If you we’re picking a Most Valuable Player at this year’s Wildwood MusicFest & Campout, you could build a very strong case for Willy Tea Taylor, the California-based singer-songwriter who delighted showgoers with not one but two scintillating performances. Our podcast hosts roped Willy Tea into the festival podcast trailer to record this session while he was in between sets: the first a daytime solo performance; the second came later as he was leading his band, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit.

Of course, Willy Tea isn’t interested in being the MVP, though we think he might settle for the Cy Young Award. Now 39 years old, he still hasn’t given up on his dream of pitching in the major leagues. With his new album, titled “Knuckleball Prime,” due in September, the wonderfully bearded Mr. Taylor explains that pitchers who master the art of the knuckleball can extend their careers well into their 40s. So there’s hope for him yet!

But as a songwriter and performer, Willy Tea has been in his prime for years now and doesn’t seem to be losing a thing. All he needs is his voice, his famous four-string guitar and a story to tell. Here he performs a beautiful new song, “Lazy Third Eye,” that he wrote with friends Jay Cobb Anderson of the band Fruition and Taylor Kingman of The Hilldogs. Enjoy.

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Always a Wildwood Fest favorite, Willy Tea delighted the masses with a Saturday afternoon solo performance. He returned to the stage later that night with his band The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit. Photo by Christopher Sohler.

TMFWP Special: An Evening with Tom VandenAvond

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Buddies and touring mates: Alex Salcido (left) and Tom VandenAvond in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Listen to Tom VandenAvond’s performance at The Helm from 3-25-15:

Tom V. in The Helm

Listen to Tom’s interview with the hosts of That Much Further West Podcast:

Interview with Tom V.

Tom VandenAvond is one of our finest modern American troubadours, and a longtime favorite of That Much Further West Podcast. That’s why we were thrilled to have Tom and his touring mate, Alex Salcido of The Harmed Brothers, in for a special house show in The Helm on March 25.

Tom V. was touring the Pacific Northwest promoting his latest CD, “Endtimes,” a record he made with the help of one of the Pac NW’s best bands, Larry and His Flask. With Salcido riding shotgun and adding banjo and other goodies, the house show at The Helm leaned heavily on cuts from “Endtimes” and his two other terrific CDs, 2012’s “Wreck of a Fine Man” (see video below) and 2010’s “You Ought To Know Me By Now.” All three records come highly recommended by the podcast crew.

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Tom V. with support from Marilee Hord and Alex Salcido.

You can almost hear the million road miles he’s covered in his raspy, whiskey-soaked voice as he entertains a small crowd of believers in The Helm. In our interview with the podcast hosts, Tom shared some tales from the road and how he ended up based in his current hometown of Knights Ferry, California, after a long stint in Austin, Texas. He also played a couple of bonus tunes accompanied by Salcido and our local friend Marilee Hord.

Enjoy the recordings and be sure to watch for Tom V. coming through your hometown soon. And follow all his comings and goings at tomvandenavond.com.

TMFWP Special: Catching up with Aaron Lee Tasjan

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Aaron Lee Tasjan, looking slightly less shaggy than he did last month opening for The Mastersons at Mississippi Studios in Portland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to Aaron Lee Tasjan’s performance at Mississippi Studios from Feb. 17, 2015:

Aaron Lee Tasjan at Mississippi Studios, 2-17-15

Listen to an interview with Aaron Lee after the show:

Interview with Aaron Lee Tasjan, 2-17-15

Armed with his trusty six-string acoustic, aw-shucks charm and a handful of fantastic songs, 20-something singer/slinger/songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan stepped on the stage at Mississippi Studios in Portland last month ready to kill. And kill he did.

Currently on tour opening for New West recording artists The Mastersons, ALT proved himself as powerful a solo artist as he is fronting a full rockin’ band. His clever songwriting and nimble, innovative guitar work were on full display during a short, seven-song set featuring just one tune from his terrific 2014 EP “Crooked River Burning.”

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ALT, fully bearded and coming to a town near you soon.

A recent move to East Nashville, Tennessee, has led to an inspirational explosion for ALT, who’s been touring all over the states since the start of 2015. Over the coming months, he’ll be putting the finishing touches on his new full-length record, the crowd-funded “In The Blazes.”

After the Portland show, ALT sat down with podcast co-host Phil Favorite for a chat about life on the road, his plans for the rest of 2015, an update on the new record and a recent full-band performance that was taped for the internet at Electric Lady Studios in New York City (see bottom of this post).

At That Much Further West Podcast, we’re expecting big things for this terrific young artist in the years to come. Look for him later this month at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, and on the road with Chuck Mead (of BR549 fame) in the Spring. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy our crowd bootleg and interview.

Here’s the setlist from Aaron Lee’s performance at Mississippi Studios:

1. Madonnas From America
2. Don’t Walk Away
3. East Nashville Song About A Train
4. Please Forgive Me, Ohio
5. American Tan
6. Living Proof
7. 66 Dollar Blues

TMFWP Special: Live From The Helm, Vol. 1

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Bar lights at The Helm . . . our home base in Portland, OR, USA. Photo by Christopher Sohler

Live From The Helm, Vol. 1

It’s a bar. It’s a basement. It’s a warm gathering space for friends. And it’s our home base here at That Much Further West Podcast.

The Helm, so named in honor of the great Levon Helm, is all that and so much more, for in a little over a year it has been a place for co-hosts Eric Kotila, Mike Lee and Phil Favorite to record the show and receive their guests for good times and great performances.

So to kick off 2015, we’ve gathered some of the best live performances from our first year-plus in The Helm to create this very special podcast. You’ll hear songs not only by some of our best friends but also folks we’ve come to admire for their fantastic talents and artistic integrity. The performances are raw, righteous, some a little bit flawed, but all straight from the heart and aimed at your soul.

We’re looking forward to inviting more and more great singers, songwriters and players into The Helm as 2015 continues. It’s a great way for you to get to know them better and for them to promote record releases, upcoming performances and tours. And as you’ll discover by playing this podcast, we’re blessed by an abundance of talented friends both local to Portland and Oregon but also California, Washington and across the U.S.A.

Special thanks to all the artists who took the time to support the podcast and lend their talents, and also a big thanks to the Kotila Family — Eric, his lovely wife Jean and their beautiful baby Ruby (who makes a cameo on this podcast) — for opening up their home to our wonderful community.

So here it is . . . the playlist for Live From The Helm, Vol. 1. Dig it.

Step By Step, Chris Miller and James Sasser (Miller & Sasser)
Call Your Shot, Willy Tea
Slave Boy, Ron Rogers (with Deborah Giles)
Think Too Much, Kris Stuart (of Root Jack)
Greedy, Sarah Gwen
Little Birds, Freddy Trujillo
The Road, Joel Roth (of The Low Bones, with Paul Brainard)
On Mobile Bay, Morgan Geer (of Drunken Prayer, with Christa Geer)
Just Like A Fool, Rich West Blatt
Used To It Now, Nate Wallace (of Hearts of Oak, with Ezra Meredith and J. Lever)
My Beloved, Bradford Loomis & Beth Whitney
Peaceful Release, Nick Foltz (of Lowlight)
Only Blind, Tate Peterson (of The Resolectrics)
Crowhurst, Henry Kammerer (of Hillstomp)

TMFWP Special: Five Questions with Aaron Lee Tasjan

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Aaron Lee Tasjan

Is he a hot-shot electric guitar-playing gun-for-hire, or is he really just a folkie trapped in a shredder’s body?

Aaron Lee Tasjan’s still young and precocious enough to be whatever he wants to be. The 20-something Ohio native has made a name for himself playing guitar as a member of numerous well-known rock bands, including Alberta Cross, Everest, the New York Dolls and Drivin’ N Cryin’. He’s also a noted songwriter — his songs have been picked up by the likes of Jack White and country star Pat Green.

And if you search the internet for Tasjan, you’ll find pictures of him hanging out and playing with a dizzying array of New York City rock and folk legends, people like Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye. The list goes on and on.

But folks on the East Coast also know Tasjan for his solo act, where he combines his ample talents for guitar playing and clever songwriting. It’s all on display on his debut solo EP, “Crooked River Burning,” a terrific five-song release that came out earlier this year.

Listen to “Don’t Walk Away” from Crooked River Burning:

“Don’t Walk Away” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

He recently completed a co-headlining tour with rising alt-country star Caleb Caudle and will be holding down a week-long residency at Al’s Den in Portland, starting Sunday, July 20. That Much Further West Podcast producer and co-host Phil Favorite caught up with Tasjan for a conversation as he prepared for his trip to Portland.

TMFWP: You’re fairly well known in the rock community as an electric guitar-playing sideman, but you are also a guy who embraces his folkier side. What can we expect to hear and see at the residency?

ALT: Funny enough, that’s exactly what you will hear — rock and roll guitar over top of folk songs. I actually started in folk music, though. My first gig ever was opening for Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary). Doesn’t get more folk than that!

TMFWP: Well, since you mentioned Peter Yarrow, we have to ask about all the legends who you’ve played with both publicly and privately. As a guy so young, do you ever have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming?

ALT: Yes, I constantly have to pinch myself. Earlier this year in Mexico I was playing guitar with my favorite band Drivin’ N Cryin’. On our last song John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin) walked on stage and played mandolin and sang with us. We also had rock and roll dynamo Chuck Prophet on stage for that one, too. One of the highlights of my life.

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TMFWP: The new EP allows listeners to hear your voice and learn more about your songwriting. Does it feel good to share your own songs instead of playing everybody else’s?

ALT: Yeah, most people don’t know it but I was always making up songs. My songs have been recorded by Pat Green, BP Fallon and Jack White and have been on TV shows like “The Voice” and a couple movies, too. Most recently “The Way Way Back” starring Steve Carell. I’ve been playing and singing my songs for people for 10 years. The guitar-playing thing is just a side note to what I really do.

Listen to “Junk Food and Drugs” from Crooked River Burning:

“Junk Food and Drugs” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

TMFWP: How’s the response been to the EP since its release in March?

ALT: Very proud of the EP. I’ve gotten a great response. I can’t believe that it continues to reach people. I credit the musicians who played on it with me like Anton Fier, who also produced it, and Chris Morrissey, Tony Scherr, Rich Hinman, Grey McMurray and Erik Deutsch. They’re the real heroes.

TMFWP: Have you ever toured the West Coast or been to Portland? What are looking forward to most about the residency and/or tour?

ALT: I have toured through there before opening for both Everest and Alberta Cross. I love Portland. I look forward to accidentally guesting on Portlandia, starting my own microbrewery and fashioning a canoe out of a tree to ride to the gig each day.

Aaron Lee Tasjan plays Al’s Den at the Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland July 20-26. Shows start at 7 p.m. and all are free. Guests include local acts Casey Neill, Kris Stuart of Root Jack, Kathryn Claire and Jake Ray. For more information, visit the Al’s Den website.

 

 

TMFWP Special: Catching Up With Matt Woods

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The indomitable Matt Woods

http://yourstorywelltold.com/tmfwpodcastnet/audio/tmfwpodcastMWspecial.mp3

“Don’t pick up that guitar, boy. It’ll only steer you wrong.” Words of wisdom in a letter from Brushy Mountain State Prison, a notorious little slice of hell in Tennessee that serves as ground zero for With Love From Brushy Mountain, the fantastic new album by singer-songwriter Matt Woods.

We’re thankful Matt didn’t heed such advice, but instead chose to grab his guitar, hit the road and share his terrific songs of love, longing, liquor and lies with an ever-growing audience of believers. As he sings on one of Brushy’s standout tracks, “It ain’t no living, it’s my life.”

Matt’s travels brought him through the Pacific Northwest in recent weeks, and our podcast hosts Mike Lee and Phil Favorite caught up with him and drummer Larry Fulford for a Monday night show at Dante’s in Portland. It was truly Matt Woods at his best. His burly, emotional vocal stylings and impressive acoustic guitar work combined with Fulford’s tasteful and booming rhythms for a unforgettably powerful performance.

After the show, the lads gathered for an interview where Matt talks about the anticipation that’s been building for the release of the new record, especially in light of the buzz created by the album’s advance single, “Deadman’s Blues.”

“Deadman’s Blues” was released last fall and, among other accolades, earned 2013 Song of The Year honors by the respected genre-watch blog Saving Country Music. Now it sits at the center of an 11-song LP that more than delivers on the promise of “Deadman’s” and is garnering universal praise as one of the year’s best records so far.

With the album release, Matt and Larry are streaking across the country with shows scheduled right through June. You can see the tour dates at Matt’s website, and while you’re there, order a copy of With Love From Brushy Mountain. You’ll be glad you did.

In the meantime, enjoy this podcast featuring a handful of tracks from the new record, a couple of rough live cuts from the Dante’s show and some select bits from Mike and Phil’s conversation with Matt and Larry.

Here’s the playlist:

With Love From Brush Mountain
Company Town (Live at Dante’s 5-12-14)
Interview, Part 1
Deadman’s Blues
Interview, Part 2
Ain’t No Living
Port St. Lucie (Live at Dante’s 5-12-14)
Interview, Part 3
Real Hard Times
Interview, Part 4
Lucero Song
Liberty Bell

TMFWP Special: Willy Vlautin Live at Landmark Saloon

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Willy Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine

When Kelly Blair Bauman invited his friend Willy Vlautin to play a set of music for Bauman’s weekly “Unhappy Hour” at the Landmark Saloon, Vlautin had never been to Portland’s “Best Little Honky Tonk.” In fact, since moving with his girlfriend to the outskirts of town, Vlautin has been mostly staying out of bars and concentrating on his burgeoning fiction-writing career, which has taken off like a rocket since the publication of his first novel, “The Motel Life,” in 2007.

So without much fanfare, Vlautin came to the tiny Landmark on Sunday, Aug. 4 of last year for a late-afternoon performance of songs new and old, many familiar to folks who been following his band, Richmond Fontaine, during its 15-year run as Portland preeminent alt-country band. This was before the release of “The Motel Life” movie — which hit theaters last fall — and before the release this year of his fourth novel, “The Free,” which has been making headlines around the globe.

Vlautin played three short sets that summer day in Southeast Portland, swapping stage time with Bauman as both played to a nearly empty room. A few of Vlautin’s friends were on hand, a few other regulars, and a couple of tables worth of chatty patrons who clearly had no interest in the music nor any clue as to what they were hearing or who was playing.

Undaunted, the easy-going Vlautin played through the clanking glassware and jibber-jabber, letting his well-worn voice and left-handed Martin acoustic tell his true-to-life tales of society’s down and out. During the first set — which Vlautin asked us not to share due to the unfinished nature of the songs — Vlautin sat with a notebook of fresh ideas at his feet and could barely get a reaction from the small crowd while strumming and singing a batch of brand-new songs.

The small crowd proved a bit more responsive during the second and third sets, which we share here. Afterwards, podcast host Phil Favorite caught up with Vlautin outside the Landmark for an interview that was featured in Episode #2. As longtime fans of both Vlautin’s fiction and the great music of Richmond Fontaine, we’re thrilled to be able to share these couple of sets in all their ragged glory. Big thanks to both Willy and Kelly for helping us make it happen.

Listen to Willy Vlautin Live at Landmark Pt. 1 Willy Vlautin at Landmark Pt. 1

Two Alone
$87 And A Guilt Conscience That Gets Worst The Longer I Go
Lost In The Trees
Unknown Song

Listen to Willy Vlautin Live at Landmark Pt. 2 Willy Vlautin at Landmark Pt. 2

Moving Back Home #1
Moving Back Home #2
Santiam
“Tapped Out In Tulsa (?)”
The Boyfriends

Willy Vlautin will be promoting “The Free” with readings in the Los Angeles area on March 26 and 27, and at St. Johns Booksellers in Portland on April 10. He will also be performing at Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders at the Aladdin Theater in Portland on April 4. Learn more about Willy Vlautin’s fiction writing and music career at willyvlautin.com.