For our first episode of 2016, we feature a dear friend who’s been with us from the start, Kris Stuart of Root Jack. And who better to kick things off for a new year at That Much Further West Podcast, as we begin re-energized and refocused on the artists who make the show special.
In this episode, hosts Mike Lee and Eric Kotila put it all on Kris as he shares stories about growing up in the South and the musical journey that brought him to the Pacific Northwest. Kris talks a bit about how he picked up the guitar growing up in a house full of older sisters, and also of his time writing, playing and signing with the Portland band Moonshine Hangover as well as his evolution as a songwriter and how things came together in the formation of his bluesy power trio, Root Jack.
Kris Stuart, live in The Helm once again. Photo by Anne Marie
Kris also talks at length about a few other musical projects he’s involved with, including writing and performing with the John Brown Band and helping with the organizing of the annual Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Along the way, we play some previously recorded music from Kris’ past and he also shares one on acoustic guitar live in The Helm.
So dial it in, lay back and groove to this first episode of 2016, and consider it the first in a series of episodes that focus on the guests who make our local and national music scene so vibrant.
To put the wraps on another year of podcasting from our hometown of Portland, Oregon, USA, we’re excited to share “Live From The Helm, Vol. 2,” our second-annual collection of live performances from the 20 artists and bands who were featured on Episodes #40 through #60 of That Much Further West Podcast in 2015.
Needless to say, we’re grateful to the talented folks who helped make this year’s podcast collection bigger and better than ever, and also to the many friends and fans of the show who listened in and served as a wonderful live audience during our show tapings at The Helm.
We hope this collection of live performances will bring back some great memories from 2015 and build some anticipation for what we’ll have in store for next year. We’re expecting big things for the podcast in 2016 and we hope you’ll come along for the ride.
Below is the list of songs and artists included in this year’s collection for you to enjoy. From all of us to all of you, Happy New Year!
Saving Me, Timber County Prison Song, Denver San Andreas Fault, The Earnest Lovers Ants In The Kitchen, The HIllwilliams The Fire, Jenny Don’t & The Spurs It’s Ain’t Gay To Love Jesus, The Git Rights Gospel Revue Hold You Like A Harness, Hip Hatchet Love Looks Like A Master, Morgan Geer of Drunken Prayer Adopt A Highway, Alex Salcido of The Harmed Brothers Chris Bell, M. Lockwood Porter Man Of The Year, Purusa Then And There, Barna Howard Beer Holder, Bad Assets You Don’t Have To Treat You That Way, Mike Coykendall A Life In Progress, Ray Vietti of The Harmed Brothers The Man I Am Today, Stars of Cascadia Mutiny, Sassparilla Your American Past, Indianhead Ocean Rock And Sand, Moody Little Sister The Whisper, Jeremy Wilson
His home base these days is Asheville, N.C., USA, but the Pacific Northwest always keeps a light on for Morgan Geer of Drunken Prayer, our guest in The Helm for Episode #47. A longtime friend and favorite of the podcast, the Reverend Geer stopped by while doing a spate of shows — some solo, some with a filled out Drunken Prayer — in Oregon and Washington over the past few weeks.
In the course of our interview, Morgan talks about the different approaches he’s taken to the three Drunken Prayer records, the single he put out last year featuring songs by The Band and Willis Alan Ramsay, and the album he’s working on that will be coming out this summer on Fluff & Gravy Records. He also tells how he’ll be playing tour dates as a touring member of the seminal alt-country band Freakwater, which will be out supporting a new record on which Geer played guitar.
Love Looks Like A Master — Morgan Geer, laying it down at The Helm in April 2015. Photo by Christopher Sohler
Morgan also shared a few solo versions of songs to expect on the coming Drunken Prayer album — “Love Looks Like A Master” and “Machines.” He said the new record won’t be as lo-fi as the previous Drunken Prayer record, House of Morgan, but not necessarily “just another Drunken Prayer record.”
He’ll be back in the Pacific Northwest this coming summer to play some shows in support of the new record, so we’re pretty sure we haven’t heard the last of Morgan Geer here at That Much Further West Podcast. And we made sure to play a few cuts from the previous records to help you get a feel for the wonderfully varied rock and soul Morgan cranks out under the Drunken Prayer flag.
We also play some great songs from some more of our favorite bands, including Big Shoals, The Calamity Cubes, The Bottle Rockets and a pair of tunes from the new record by John Moreland. Co-host Phil Favorite even risks his street cred by sharing a song by The Gin Blossoms. Call it a guilty pleasure.
So here’s the song list for Episode #47. Just press play and enjoy!
12 Steps, Big Shoals Jumper Cables, Widower Love Looks Like A Master (Live In The Helm), Drunken Prayer Machines (Live in The Helm), Drunken Prayer Take This Hammer, Drunken Prayer The Missionfield, Drunken Prayer Kite, The Calamity Cubes Radar Gun, The Bottle Rockets Cheatin’, The Gin Blossoms Black River, W.C. Beck Vanport 1948, Lewi Longmire Mirror Behind The Man, Kate Mann Hang Me In The Tulsa County Stars, John Moreland Heart’s Too Heavy, John Moreland
Praise the Lord, we had The Git Rights Gospel Revue into The Helm for a rowdy good time in recording Episode #45. And before you ask, the answer is yes, we knew exactly what we were getting into.
The Git Rights are legends in the local bar circuit here in Portland. Their live shows feature an irreverent mix of country music and Christian outreach, all spouting from the mind of their humorous leader Michael Sean Cummins. The material is presented tongue-in-cheek, but the message is very real in calling out the hypocritical nature of conservative Christianity in America. Sometimes it’s OK to be a little naughty while being nice, and followers of the Git Rights know they’re in for a fun ride every time the band takes the stage. “It’s like going to church, and there’s whiskey,” Rev. Cummins explained.
On this episode, listeners will learn “It Ain’t Gay To Love Jesus,” and also that following Christ’s example isn’t all that difficult — pretty much “try not to be a prick.”
The Git Rights sharing their gospel music in The Helm.
The Git Rights are prepping for a big show this coming Friday night at The World Famous Kenton Club, the North Portland bar that has served as their home base since their inception. It’s a birthday show for two of their members turning 40, and they’ll also be sharing the bill with one of the best bands in town, Root Jack. It’s a show that’s sure to reveal the Git Rights in their fun-loving glory, so be get there early and prepare for a sweaty, Jesus-lovin’ good time.
While this episode frequently twists and turns toward oblivion, we manage to keep it on the rails by sharing plenty of great music from the wonderful world of Americana and Alt-Country. Topping the playlist is a song, “Asymmetrical Man,” from the new EP by Portland treasure Randall Payton and his band Chez Stadium (search on Bandcamp). We also have tunes from Seattle’s Evening Bell and Chuckanut Drive as well cuts from C.W. Ayon, Charlie Parr, Cody Jinks and Micheal Dean Damron, among others.
So dial it up and open your heart to Jesus. Here’s the playlist:
Asymmetrical Man, Chez Stadium To Love Somebody, Slobberbone No Lonesome Tune, Townes Van Zandt Dust Storm, Evening Bell It Ain’t Gay To Love Jesus (Live In The Helm), The Git Rights Gospel Revue Dead Guy On A Stick (Live In The Helm), The Git Rights Gospel Revue The Hand Of The Almighty (Live In The Helm), The Git Rights Gospel Revue When God Dips His Love In My Heart (Live In The Helm), The Git Rights Gospel Revue Bring That Bottle, C.W. Ayon The Speakeasy Solution, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy Funeral Road Blues, Charlie Parr Burning .44, Chuckanut Drive 13 Years, Cody Jinks Bad Days Ahead (Live), Michael Dean Damron
Good friends, good times and great music . . . what a wonderful way to kick off 2015. The podcast team and some of our best supporters gathered at our main headquarters — The Helm — for our first live taping of the year featuring our pals Kip Lindig and Marilee Hord of Timber County.
This new musical project, which launched publicly at the end of 2014, features all-new tunes from our longtime pal Kip, a man of much music and merriment. Loved for his terrific spirit and positivity, Kip “brings the party wherever he goes,” according to co-host Eric Kotila. Episode #40 is proof positive of that. The show features three brand-new songs from this brand-new incarnation, all performed live and exclusively for That Much Further West Podcast.
In our interview, we learn how Timber County came together, their plans for 2015 and how the lovely Ms. Hord helped in shaping the songs. We even pick up a hint as to whether or not Marilee may be the daughter of Jimmy Page, but no confirmation either way was granted.
Marilee and Kip during a recent performance at The Wildwood Hotel in Willamina, OR.
Our hosts also share another batch of great tunes, many from some of their favorite albums of last year. A little research by co-host Mike Lee revealed the fact that our theme song from the band Lucero had never been played on the show in its entirety, so it’s included along with songs by The Easy Leaves, M. Lockwood Porter, Austin Lucas and the great John Moreland, among many others.
Mike also shares a romantic story involving the singer from Arliss Nancy, and the boys weigh in on the significance of Sturgill Simpson’s ascendance in the realm of popular music.
So settle in for a fun and rollicking good time. Here’s the playlist for Episode #40:
5 Degrees Below Zero, Richmond Fontaine The American, The Easy Leaves That Much Further West, Lucero Saving Me (Live In The Helm), Timber County Silver Chain (Live In The Helm), Timber County Head For The Hills (Live In The Helm), Timber County Lucero Song, Matt Woods Over And Over And Over Again, Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer Greetings From The Salty Old Gulf Coast, Tom VandenAvond Glass City, Two Car Garage Restless, M. Lockwood Porter Moonshiner, Uncle Tupelo He Told Her The City Was Killing Him, The Delines Save It For Yourself, Austin Lucas We Can’t Talk (About Those Things), Cutbank Bottles & Cans, Caleb Caudle Break My Heart Sweetly, John Moreland
For the record, his name is Henry Kammerer, and for the last 15-or-so years, he and his musical partner John Johnson have lifted their band, the blues/punk duo Hillstomp, above the loud din of independent music made in our hometown of Portland, OR, USA, to become one of the Northwest’s best-loved musical acts.
The popularity of Hillstomp — and its organic growth over the past decade and a half — is just one of the cool topics we cover on this episode featuring Henry as our guest in The Helm. We also talk about the making of HIllstomp’s great record from earlier this, titled Portland, Ore., the making of the video for the song “Don’t Come Down” (see it at the bottom of this post) and the birth of the band at an open mic that Henry describes as a “blues punk explosion.”
Henry from Hillstomp with his beautiful new Breedlove guitar in The Helm, December 2014
Henry even shares a song from the record, playing a solo acoustic version of Hillstomp’s “Crowhurst,” one the great cuts from Portland, Ore., out now on Fluff & Gravy Records. And as beautiful a version as it is, the best way to get the full, rowdy Hillstomp experience is to see their high-energy live act. The band headlines a fantastic bill this coming Friday night at Wonder Ballroom in Portland with podcast favorites The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit and Jeffrey Martin. Go check it out!
Also on this week’s episode, our fearless co-hosts share some of the music that has been buzzing around in their worlds. First up is a set shared by Eric Kotila featuring nominees for song of the year by one of our favorite sources for music news, Saving Country Music, and includes songs from podcast favorites Lydia Loveless, Hellbound Glory and the mighty Matt Woods.
Next up is Mike Lee’s set of protest-inspired tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s. As Mike explains, the national events that have hijacked the headlines and inspired millions of Americans to take to the streets have had his head spinning over the past few weeks. As is his nature, when searching for solace and answers to life’s big conundrums, Mike turns to music.
And in the final set, Phil Favorite shares some new discoveries after wading through an ocean of critical top picks from 2014, and also pays tribute to the recently deceased Ian McLagan, the legendary keyboardist who made rock and roll history as part of Small Faces and Faces.
Yes, lots to chew on in this episode. So give it a listen and don’t forget to check out Hillstomp’s new video (see below). Here’s this week’s playlist:
Life I Want, Hillstomp Crowhurst, Henry Kammerer live in The Helm It Ain’t You (featuring Willie Nelson), Ray Benson I’ll Be Here In The Morning, Don Williams Everything’s Gone, Lydia Loveless Streets of Aberdeen, Hellbound Glory Liberty Bell, Matt Woods The City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival My Uncle, The Flying Burrito Brothers This Ain’t No Picnic, The Minutemen Ohio, Neil Young OK Whiskey, Jason Eady American Middle Class, Angaleena Presley Cherry Licorice, The Felice Brothers Truck Stop Gospel, Parker Millsap Wicked Messenger, Faces Everywhere Now, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit
We’re back! And oh how we’ve missed you. After a month in the throes of an early fall storm of local music shows, our fearless hosts returned to The Helm to put together Episode #36 of That Much Further West Podcast. Especially sweet on this episode is the jovial presence of Nick Foltz, singer-songwriter-leader of the one of Portland’s hottest new bands, Lowlight.
Listeners may be familiar with Nick from his days playing bass and singing backups with Truckstop Darlin’, a band he left about a two years ago to pursue his own music. Right on schedule, Nick and his new band recently celebrated the release of their debut CD “After Sundown” and gave locals a glimpse of how it all works with a batch of recent shows.
On this episode, Nick shares a few stories about the making of the record, how he found a home among the music scene in Portland and how the release of the new record has spurred a fresh batch of new songwriting, illustrated best by a live performance of a new tune called “The Fire Outside.”
If you live in Portland, be sure to catch Lowlight performing around town through the rest of the year, and pick up a copy of “After Sundown” at your favorite music store outlet or download the songs at the band’s website, lowlightmusic.com.
This episode also features many of the talented artists who have performed recently in Portland or have a show coming up, such as Austin Lucas, Deadstring Brothers and The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit. We also share the b-side of a new single from Drunken Prayer, due out soon on Deer Lodge Records, and also a song from the new record from M. Lockwood Porter, one of the best we’ve heard this fall.
So let’s fire it up, folks. Here’s the playlist:
Small Town Heart, Austin Lucas Chris Bell, M. Lockwood Porter Austin (Ain’t Got No) City Limits, Emily Herring Stella Lovely, Arliss Nancy Through Eternity, The Ganges River Band I Love A Gambler, Copper & Coal Modern Flood, Lowlight The Fire Outside (Live In The Helm), Nick Foltz Peaceful Release (Live In The Helm), Nick Foltz Sing Me Away, Lowlight Satin Sheets, Drunken Prayer Smile, Deadstring Brothers The Very Best, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit Life Of Sin, Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass State, Truckstop Darlin’