TMFWP Special: Live From The Helm, Vol. 3

Mamma Coal celebrated the release of her widely anticipated album “Raven Haired Vixen” with a visit to The Helm. That’s 2016 Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee Paul Brainard riding shotgun. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com).

Stream or download Live From The Helm, Vol. 3:  Live From The Helm Vol. 3

There were a lot of things about 2016 we’d like to forget — it was a year of staggering losses for both the music world and the great wide world in general. Still, our team at That Much Further West Podcast had much to be thankful for, namely the incredible roster of guests we hosted at The Helm for podcast episodes this year.

From start to finish, this year marked a great leap forward for the podcast. The team decided to narrow the focus, dedicating the entirety of each episode to our individual guests. That way we learned more about their histories, their influences, their hopes and dreams and their immediate plans for the future. All celebrated remarkable successes this year and we were happy to promote their fine work and proud to host them in our subterranean home in Portland — The Helm!

Nick Foltz of Lowlight added his usual heavy dose of cool to The Helm scene in 2016. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com).

We were pleased to rope in some more out-of-towners this year, including Seattle’s Evening Bell and national acts John Moreland and Aaron Lee Tasjan. We also were thrilled to highlight the great work being down by local longtime friends like Mamma Coal, Nick Foltz of Lowlight and Birger Olsen. We even made some great new friends in Kory Quinn and Taylor Kingman of the Hill Dogs, and hooked up with local legends such as Willy Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine and the mighty Fernando. All were incredibly inspiring to the team.

Still, 2016 will be remembered for our many musical losses, one big electoral loss and another that’s particularly personal to our team. We said goodbye the father of our Hoot, our friend Chuck Noland, a loss that proved particularly devastating. That’s why we wrap up “Live From The Helm, Vol. 3” with a beautiful tribute to Chuck by Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo of Silver Lake 66. In a year full of tears, there wasn’t a dry eye in The Helm during that performance.

But as we reflect on the past year before turning the calendar page, enjoy this collection of songs we proudly share here with you. We’ll see you in 2017!

Here’s the playlist:

Memphis Rain, Aaron Lee Tasjan
Our Horse Barn, Kris Stuart
Ride Through The Night, Mamma Coal
Three Brothers Roll Into Town, Willy Vlautin
In The Shadow Of The Tower Of Babel, Kory Quinn
Devil’s House, Evening Bell
A Lovely Conversation, The Harmed Brothers
Life Of The Party, Stars Of Cascadia
You Look As Sweet, Birger Olsen
Mother Mountain, The Hill Dogs
Bloodlines, Lowlight
This Very Hour, McDougall
Wasted And Waiting My Saturday Night, Lewi & Anita
Late Bloomer, Matthew Lindley
True Instigator, Fernando
Walk Away, Silver Lake 66

Our podcast hosts, at home in The Helm, left to right: Mike Lee, Eric Kotila and Phil Favorite.

Fall Seasonal Podcast Picks

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Matt Woods’ new album, “How To Survive,” will be released Oct. 13.

Steam or download our Fall Seasonal Podcast Picks: Fall ’16 podcast picks

It’s Record Release Madness this season in the world of That Much Further West Podcast, where we’re sifting through so many great new albums being released by some of our favorite artists just as summer turns to fall out here in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

We kick off our seasonal podcast picks with an awesome new song by Matt Woods, whose record “How To Survive” comes out on Friday, Oct. 7. The song “Bound To Lose,” co-written by Woods and Jeff Shepherd and featuring Liz Sloan on fiddle and Aaron Lee Tasjan on guitar, is quick snapshot of everything great about Woods’ music. It’s a sweet slice of storytelling with a just a touch of road rash delivered by one of alt-country’s biggest, most authentic voices. Watch for Matt and his full band on the road this fall — the “How To Survive” tour kicks off this Friday and will cover lots of ground east of the Mississippi River — you can find tour dates at Woods’ website.

Our picks also include a few superb takes on race relations in America from newly released records by Drive-By Truckers and M. Lockwood Porter; killer new songs from Shovels & Rope, John Prine, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Elizabeth Cook and Blackberry Smoke; a terrific, original take on traditional country from Caleb Klauder and Reeb Wilms; some secret nuggets you probably wouldn’t hear elsewhere (read: Springsteen); and even new cuts from Bob Weir ad Bon Iver, taking us gently off the podcast’s well-worn pathways.

Lots of a great stuff here, folks. So dial it up and share it with your friends — we hope it adds a little light as the darkness of fall starts closing in. And remember to get out and support live music . . . many of these acts will be coming to a town near you soon.

Here’s the playlist:

Bound To Lose, Matt Woods
Just To Be With You, Aubrie Sellers
What It Means, Drive-By Truckers
Charleston, M. Lockwood Porter
Beauty Seldom Seen, John Calvin Abney
Botched Execution, Shovels & Rope
Look At Us (featuring Morgane Stapleton), John Prine
Memphis Rain, Aaron Lee Tasjan
Evacuation, Elizabeth Cook
Diamond State Heartbreak, Lucero
Here’s To The Losers, Drag The River
Let’s Hit One More Place, Richmond Fontaine
Sunrise In Texas, Blackberry Smoke
Coming On Strong, Caleb Klauder & Reeb Wilms
Gonesville, Bob Weir
About To Find Out, Margo Price
The Ballad of Jesse James, The Bruce Springteen Band
Falcon, Charlie Parr
Sad, Sad Music, Dwight Yoakam
00000 Million, Bon Iver

Episode #70 featuring Aaron Lee Tasjan

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The man with the folky jams, Aaron Lee Tasjan on the Bear Couch at The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Stream or download Episode #70:   Episode 70 w/ Aaron Lee Tasjan

Back in the summer of 2014, blossoming East Nashville singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan took up residency at the Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland for a string of dates at the hotel’s tiny basement bar, Al’s Den.

Over the course of the week, Tasjan was inspired to write a song, “Lucinda’s Room,” that would later turn up on his critically acclaimed album of last year, “In The Blazes.” The residency was also an introduction for our hosts at That Much Further West Podcast, who quickly championed the Ohio-born player as one to watch on the Americana rock and folk scene.

Fast forward to Spring 2016 — Tasjan has risen to prominence among the elite of the burgeoning Americana scene. The success of the independently released “In The Blazes” has helped him earn a new deal with New West Records, and his growing reputation has won him a following among the successful, well-traveled artists that have influenced him along the way.

We caught up with Aaron Lee during his recent swing through the Pacific Northwest — this time with an impressive full band in tow — and corralled him into The Helm for a podcast interview and performance.

He talks about the humbling success of “In The Blazes,” his upbringing in a house full of poetry and life in his adopted hometown of East Nashville, the new epicenter of alt-country. He also shares live performances of three songs, including two expected to be on “Silver Tears,” an album due to hit the streets in October.

We think, listening to this podcast, this truth will hold self-evident: Aaron Lee Tasjan kicks ass. His rare combination of singing, songwriting, stunning guitar playing and aw-shucks charm bode well for success in the coming years.

So dial it up, download it and share it with your friends — it’s Episode #70. Enjoy!

Here’s the playlist:

American Tan
Memphis Rain (Live In The Helm)
The Dangerous Kind
The Trouble With Drinkin’ (Live In The Helm)
Get Gone
E.N.S.A.A.T.
Ready To Die (Live In The Helm)
Don’t Walk Away
Lucinda’s Room
Not Punk
Made In America

Aaron Lee Tasjan

ALT in The Helm, bringing the folky East Nashville goodness. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

 

Podcast Picks

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Caleb Caudle’s new record, “Carolina Ghost”, is due out next month.

Stream or download Podcast Picks:  Podcast Picks 1-20-16

Welcome to Podcast Picks, an initial offering of tunes chosen by our co-hosts Eric, Mike and Phil to share in between formal podcast episodes and meant for your listening pleasure. It opens with a nod to the passing of the great David Bowie and is sprinkled throughout with similar tributes to a trio of recently fallen musical heroes: Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, Glenn Frey of Eagles and Dale Griffin, drummer of the mighty Mott The Hoople. We’re also stoked to share a new song from the upcoming album by Caleb Caudle, which is due in late February, as well as a batch of tunes from notable country-rockers past and present (Happy 70th Birthday, Dolly!!!). We hope this nearly hour-long stream and download will keep you humming and tapping until our next full episode, which is only a few days away. Enjoy!

Moonage Daydream, David Bowie
Piedmont Sky, Caleb Caudle
Run-Down Neighborhood, Lindi Ortega
Go To Hell, Motorhead
The Trouble With Drinkin’, Aaron Lee Tasjan
N.Y.C. Sidewalk, Eb Anderson
Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight, Whiskeytown
My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy, Dolly Parton
Those Days Are Gone, Hank Williams Jr.
Tequila Sunrise, Eagles
Cumbia de Donde, Calexico
Another Kind, McDougall
Me and the Whiskey, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
Ballad Of Mott The Hoople, Mott The Hoople

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: 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.