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


December Podcast Picks

Chris and Morgane Stapleton — a beautiful and formidable partnership.

Stream or download December Podcast Picks: December ’17 podcast picks

Howdy folks! We’re back! And so, for that matter, is Chris Stapleton, whose new album “From A Room, Volume 2” came out last Friday to the usual round of critical acclaim. We thought it appropriate to launch our December Podcast Picks with the song “Scarecrow In The Garden” because it shows off the beautifully matched voices of Chris and his secret weapon — his wife and musical partner Morgane Stapleton.

Whitney Rose’s new album, Rule 62, is creating a lot of buzz. She’ll be at Bunk Bar in Portland in February.

In fact, there’s an awful lot of wonderful singing on this collection of picks, which skews country in a major way. In the long while since we last put out a playlist, several of the artists included here have released great new records for you to discover and explore. And in the new year, several will be rolling into our town — Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. — and showing off their skills in the live setting.

So give it a spin, make some notes and support these acts when they come through your town. Here’s the playlist, enjoy:

Scarecrow In The Garden, Chris Stapleton
Wake Me In Wyoming, Whitney Rose
65 Days In L.A., Cody Jinks
A Little Pain, Margo Price
El Camino, Left Arm Tan
Highest Building, Anna Tivel
Mind Of Its Own, Miller & Sasser
Postcard, First Aid Kit
Thirteen Silver Dollars, Colter Wall
Troubled End, Jade Jackson
Oh, What A Bummer, Micah Schnabel
If I Could Make You My Own, Dori Freeman
Marfa Lights, Paul Cauthen
Fat And Famous, Ashley McBryde
Diggin’ Holes, Brent Cobb
Jackpot, Nikki Lane
Wannabe, Taylor Kingman
How Tall The Glass, Kristina Murray

TMFWP Special: Fifth Anniversary Podcast Picks

An idea comes to life: Eric Kotila (left) and Mike Lee launched That Much Further West Podcast five years ago as a live internet radio show, broadcast from the Hawthorne Theater Lounge in Portland.

Stream or download Fifth Anniversary Podcast Picks: 5th Anniversary Podcast Picks

It began as a simple idea: a couple of burly, bearded buddies sharing their love of rock, punk and country music with friends and other folks far and wide. What Eric Kotila and Mike Lee launched five years ago as a live internet radio show has evolved into what we today call That Much Further West Podcast.

Much has changed over that time. The show is no longer broadcast live from a public place — instead, it has been taped for the last three-plus years in the comfy confines of The Helm, our subterranean lair in North Portland. We also have a dedicated website
(where you are right now) that serves as a hub for episodes, playlists, specials and reviews. And the team has added Phil Favorite as a co-host and producer and Anne Marie as photographer to help bolster our efforts to produce quality, original content.

The boys, live from The Helm (left to right): Mike Lee, Eric Kotila and Phil Favorite. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Despite the many changes, mostly for the better, the spirit of the show remains the same. We’re here to turn you on to the music that we love and also the music of the amazingly talented guests we’ve had on the show for the last five years.

To celebrate, we’ve compiled a collection of tunes that represents the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve been listening to and sharing with you over the past five years, and hope to continue to share going forward.

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to the many artists who have volunteered their time and energy to be guests on the show. By one count we’ve had as many as six members of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame visit and perform in The Helm, and that’s just scratching the surface. Rising national stars such as John Moreland and Aaron Lee Tasjan also have stopped by as we’ve compiled more than 80 episodes live from The Helm.

We’re also indebted to the many friends whose interest, enthusiasm and support have fueled our efforts. Special props to Christopher Sohler for his rock-solid stint as our contributing photographer, and to Mary Atwood for her behind-the-scenes, “hostess with the mostest” contributions.

We also can’t thank enough our sponsors — Secret Aardvark Trading Co. and Cloud City Gardens — for their above-and-beyond generosity in making each podcast taping a special treat for our guests.

And last but far from least, a special thank you to Jean Kotila and Ruby Kotila for welcoming us into their home on podcast nights and putting up with our shenanigans. We greatly appreciate it.

So there you have it. A big thank you to you all. And if you’re still wondering what all this is about, just push the play button above. You’ll hear the following:

30 Days, Root Jack
1964, Hearts Of Oak
Tears Don’t Matter Much, Lucero
Right Time, Nikki Lane
Life Is Beautiful, Willy Tea Taylor
Humble Narrator, Two Cow Garage
Dog Bumped, Tim Barry
Midwestern Guys, Lydia Loveless
With Love From Brushy Mountain, Matt Woods
Captain And Tennille, Drunken Prayer
Anchor’s The Way, The Calamity Cubes
Shoulda Known Better, Possessed By Paul James
Whole Damn Bottle, Copper & Coal
The Travelin’ Kind, Tom VandenAvond
Beautiful, Fernando
Ain’t Going To The Bar Tonight, American Aquarium
Deep Red Bells, Neko Case
Better Days, The Harmed Brothers
Somebody Loves You, Austin Lucas
Fire Away, Chris Stapleton
Hurtin’ On The Bottle, Margo Price
Keep It Between The Lines, Sturgill Simpson
Always On The Ride, Richmond Fontaine
Elephant, Jason Isbell

Right at home: Goon squad and co-hosts, protecting the booze at The Helm.

Episode #61 — Some of our Best of 2015

Chris Stapleton's new album, Traveller, comes out May 4

It’s been a breakout year for Chris Stapleton, whose album “Traveller” lit up Nashville and the world.

Episode #61 Best of 2015

So maybe we’re just partial to dudes with beards, but the folks here at That Much Further West Podcast agree that Chris Stapleton’s breakthrough album “Traveller” is an across-the-board favorite from 2015.

On this episode, our hosts Eric Kotila, Mike Lee and Phil Favorite each share four or five songs from some of their favorite releases of this year. Eric’s been spinning “Traveller” on the turntable in our home — The Helm — constantly since picking up the record at Stapleton’s recent show in our hometown of Portland, OR, USA.

If you’re a regular listener to the podcast, none of these picks will surprise you. Most of the bands and artists received major play over the 20 podcast episodes produced this past year and have been longtime favorites of the hosts.

But a few — such as Stapleton, Murder By Death, Banditos, and others — were new to the ears of one or more of our hosts this year. And therein lies the spice of the podcast, finding new stuff that’s sure to become must-hear music in the coming years.

Holiday Podcast-4

Timber County in action (l to r): Anne Marie, Kip and Marilee

In light of that, we couldn’t have had a better live act appear in The Helm for this episode than Timber County, our local pals who debuted earlier this year and were our first guests of the year (see “Episode 40“). Led by the multi-talented Kip Lindig and supported by Marilee Hord on fiddle and Ms. Anne Marie Barrett on backing vocals, Timber County is poised for a breakout 2016. Kip takes a minute to tell of their plans for the coming year and also to lead the group through a song, “Lay Me Down.”

Folks local to the Oregon music scene should keep on the lookout for Timber County, who will be opening for Root Jack at Wildwood Hotel in Willamina on New Year’s Eve. And expect big things from the other artists featured on this episode and the many others who were featured on the podcast throughout the year.

Meanwhile, we’ll have our ears wide open waiting for the next big thing to hit the Americana and Alt-country scene. We hope you’ll join us for the ride when it resumes in January 2016!

One note regarding this playlist — none of the bands who were guests on the podcast this year are included because they’ll be featured in “Live From The Helm, Vol. 2,” our second-annual collection of live podcast performances. Suffice it to say that several of those artists released some of our favorite records this past year, and we’re stoked to be able to re-share some of those performances with you before the calendar turns.

In the meantime, give this episode a spin to hear some of the Best of 2015. Here’s the playlist:

Whiskey And You, Chris Stapleton
American Flags in Black & White, John Moreland
How To Forget, Jason Isbell
Nobody Knows My Trouble, Ryan Bingham
Big Dark Love, Murder By Death
Went Looking For Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles, Lucero
Am I The Only One Drinking Tonight, Michael Dean Damron
That’s How I Got To Memphis, Whitey Morgan and the 78s
Lay Me Down (Live In The Helm), Timber County
That Old Flame featuring Martina McBride, Don Henley
Me Oh My, The Honeycutters
American Woman (Take My Freedom Away), The Swearengens
Waitin’, Banditos
Madonna’s From Amerika, Aaron Lee Tasjan
S Lazy H, Corb Lund

Episode #59 — Seasonal Fall Favorites


Holding down The Helm: Co-hosts Eric, Phil and Mike of That Much Further West Podcast. Photo by Anne Marie

Episode #59 — Seasonal Fall Favorites

A last-minute cancellation left us without a guest for Episode #59 of That Much Further West Podcast, but our fearless co-hosts figured, ‘What the hell? Let’s plow forward anyway.” So with a bare-bones crew on hand, they convened at The Helm to share some tunes from some of their favorite fall releases and promote the slew of shows on tap in Portland over the next few weeks, several involving the best and brightest from the world of alt-country.

Ironically, as the lads were taping this show, alt-country darling Chris Stapleton was cleaning up at the very mainstream Country Music Awards and making a big splash on the nationally televised awards show. The next morning his awards show performance, with pop superstar Justin Timberlake riding shotgun, was the talk of the internet.


The boys at work, with Sadie the dog on the run. Photo by Anne Marie

Mr. Stapleton had already won over the podcast crew with his earnest, whiskey-soaked approach, soon to be on display at his show this coming Thursday at the Wonder Ballroom in our homebase of Portland, Oregon, USA. We kick off the podcast with a song from him and soon follow up with one from Sturgill Simpson, whose show at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland this coming Saturday has been sold out for months.

We also feature a live song from Lucero, our much-talked-about podcast namesakes who are on their way back to Portland for a show at the Crystal on the 18th. And we revisit a couple of albums that we’ve been spinning constantly during the fall —Aaron Lee Tasjan’s “In The Blazes” LP and Bottle Rockets’ “South Broadway Athletic Club,” released a few weeks back on Bloodshot Records.


Whispering Philly — oddly sober and somber — gets demonstrative during the show. Photo by Anne Marie

On a more somber note, co-host Phil Favorite shares a song and a few memories of his recently passed friend Brian Berg, the brains and brawn behind the great Portland band 44 Long. Brian left us for good a few weeks back and the city’s music scene has been in mourning ever since. With tributes from throughout the community pouring in, we’d be remiss to not share a few stories one of Brian’s many awesome songs, in this case “God Loves A Fool” from 44 Long’s iconic debut, Collect Them All.

So have at it folks . . . like a punch to the face, it’s quick, powerful and to the point. And the music is well worth your time on a cool November day. Here’s the playlist:

Might As Well Get Stoned, Chris Stapleton
Beyond The Moon, Old Man Markley
God Loves A Fool, 44 Long
Long White Line, Sturgill Simpson
Really Wanna See You, Lydia Loveless
Lucinda’s Room, Aaron Lee Tasjan
A Dangerous Thing, Lucero
Portland, Drag The River
Picture In My Mind, Freakwater
The Champagne of Tears, Drunken Prayer
Snake Farm, Ray Wylie Hubbard
Monday (Every Time I Turn Around), Bottle Rockets