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

Review of Tell It To The Jukebox by Miller & Sasser

Miller & Sasser
Tell It To The Jukebox
(2017, Never Lucky)

By PHIL FAVORITE

There’s a small AM radio station north of Seattle that plays what I would define as classic country music — the hit songs I heard in my mother’s Ford Granada (no FM radio) back in the 70s and 80s. I wasn’t a huge fan of that music back then, but these days when my travels take me up that way, I love switching to that station because it offers such sonic relief and pure contrast from the same-sounding singers, songs and raunchy, computer-generated beats that populate country music radio today.

I get that same feeling of “ahhh” listening Tell It To The Jukebox, the new CD by the Portland-based country duo Miller & Sasser. Their music takes you back to the early 70s when the Charlies — Charley Pride and Charlie Rich — were dominating the charts with songs that went straight for the heart instead of the crotch. No bedazzled jeans here; just great songwriting, killer picking and some really, really fine singing.

The title cut — with its tight twin telecasters and vocal harmonies — tells of a love gone wrong from too much time in the honky tonk. “Lonesome Eyes” is a masterful demonstration of country melody executed with a terrific twangy mix of mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars. And the clever combination of guitars and the smooth vocal delivery of Chris Miller on “Way Out Of No Way” will take you right back to 1974.

More than simple nostalgia, the 10 original songs on Tell It To The Jukebox show how two talented country artists — Mr. Miller and his partner James Sasser — can use the old playbook and still deliver a sound that feels crisp and refreshing.

And if you close your eyes, you can imagine what the AM radio in my mom’s Granada sounded like during country music’s Golden Era.

Podcast Trio Bravo:

Listen to “Tell It To The Jukebox”:  Tell It To The Jukebox

Listen to “Way Out Of No Way”:  Way Out Of No Way

Listen to “Lonesome Eyes”:  Lonesome Eyes

To download or purchase a copy of “Tell It To The Jukebox,” visit Miller & Sasser’s page at Bandcamp. Miller & Sasser will be performing live at the Laurelthirst Public House in Portland on Friday, Nov. 10 with Matty Charles + Katie Rose. Visit the Miller & Sasser website for more info.