Episode #53 featuring Mike Coykendall

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The one and only Mike Coykendall. Photo by Chad Lanning (courtesy of Fluff & Gravy Records)

Episode #53 featuring Mike Coykendall

We’re gearing up big time this week for the upcoming Wildwood MusicFest & Campout here in beautiful Oregon, but we made time to gather with friends for another hot summertime episode in The Helm, this time featuring local musical treasure Mike Coykendall as our guest.

Mike has a fantastic new record coming out this week on Fluff & Gravy Records called “Half Past, Present Pending,” the follow up to his terrific release from a few years back, “Chasing Away The Dots.” He’ll be doing promotional shows all week locally, so if you’re in the Pacific Northwest and want to see a truly original performer, be sure catch one of these handful of gigs (click on our “Live Music Portland” tab for a listing of local shows).

On this episode, Mike tells us about his musical upbringing and the path that led him from America’s heartland to Portland via San Francisco, where he formed and made three great records with the band Old Joe Clarks in the 90s and early oughts. Mike also is a very-much-in-demand audio engineer and producer, having worked with the likes of M Ward and Richmond Fontaine, and has toured the world as a member of M Ward’s band and its popular spinoff, She & Him.

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Mike Coykendall, telling stories and sharing songs  in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler

Mr. Coykendall also shares a couple of sweet live performances on his Baby Taylor acoustic, both songs from the new record. One is a cover of Syd Barrett’s “Late Night,” and the other an original tune called “You Don’t Have To Treat You That Way.”

We also play a couple of recordings from the new record, including “Spacebaker Blues,” a song quite reflective of what Mike’s “rig” shows sound like . . . one man singing, jamming fuzzed out guitar, playing drums with just his feet and occasionally twisting the knobs on an array of assorted electronics. His spin on Roger Miller’s “In The Summertime” illustrates his ability to take somebody else’s song and put his personal stamp on it.

This episode also has new music from some of our favorite artists and bands, including Aaron Lee Tasjan, Jason Isbell, Heartless Bastards and The Swearengens. Lots to chew on with this episode.

So dial it in and crank it up, folks! We’ll see you at Wildwood at the end of the week. Here’s the playlist:

American Tan, Aaron Lee Tasjan
Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell
Ode To Whiskey, Deception Past
Late Night (Live In The Helm), Mike Coykendall
You Don’t Have To Treat You That Way (Live In The Helm), Mike Coykendall
Spacebaker Blues, Mike Coykendall
In The Summertime, Mike Coykendall
Cigarettes, Matthew Lindley
Black Cloud, Heartless Bastards
Last Ride, C.W. Ayon
Stono River Blues, Shovels & Rope
Long Lonely Winter, The Swearengens
Cherokee, John Moreland
Nobody Asked To Be Born, Shane Sweeney
15 White Horses, HIllstomp
I Still Believe, Frank Turner