February Podcast Picks

Stream or download February Podcast Picks: February ’18 Podcast Picks

There’s so much new music out there in our sphere, we can barely keep up with it all. This month’s podcast picks include first releases from upcoming records by Western Centuries, Blackberry Smoke and Charley Crockett; another tune from the much-anticipated new record from Courtney Marie Andrews; a new instrumental from an album full of them by Richmond Fontaine; and killer cuts from new records by Calexico, Ruby Boots and Wes Youssi & The Country Champs.

But we start things off with a brand-new song from alt-country powerhouse Sarah Shook & The Disarmers and their upcoming Bloodshot Records release Years, set to hit the streets in April. Following up their very well-received Bloodshot debut Sidelong, the North Carolina band appears ready to unleash its high-energy, straight-ahead cowpunk on a wider audience in 2018.

“Good As Gold” offers a solid example of the swagger Sarah Shook brings to her music. “It’s about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off after years of being trampled and beaten down,” she said, describing the new album. “Jutting your chin out, head high, after they’ve done their worst, and saying, ‘Still here.’ ”

Scroll to the bottom of this post to check out the Sidelong track “Keep The Home Fires Burnin'” filmed live at the Wildwood Hotel in Willamina, OR by Great Northwest Productions during the band’s swing down the west coast last fall.

With 2018 off to such a great start, we find ourselves still catching up on some of the best stuff from last year. Our picks also include a handful of some of the best tunes from 2017, including songs from Tyler Childers, The Secret Sisters, Zephaniah Ohora, Emily Herring and The Turnpike Troubadours.

And we wrap it with a dose of some of our favorite alternative music heroes, including the great Walter Salas-Humara, who will be coming to our hometown of Portland, OR, USA this week to play a set on Friday, Feb. 23, opening for local legend Mike Coykendall at the LaurelThirst Public House.

So get your week started on the right foot and dial in our February Podcast Picks. Here’s the playlist:

Good As Gold, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Tattoos, Tyler Childers
Night Out With Diego, Richmond Fontaine
He’s Fine, The Secret Sisters
Dead In The Water, Calexico
Earthly Justice, Western Centuries
Just Outside Of Austin, Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real
Take Your Love Out Of Town, Zephaniah Ohora and The 18 Wheelers
Last Of The Houston Honky Tonk Heroes, Emily Herring
The Hard Way, The Turnpike Troubadours
Mr. Jukebox, Josh Hedley
I’ll Make It Through, Ruby Boots
Flesh And Bone, Blackberry Smoke
Cadillac Man, Wes Youssi & The County Champs
Misery And Gin, Jaime Wyatt
Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, Mike and The Moonpies
Kindness Of Strangers, Courtney Marie Andrews
I Wanna Cry, Charley Crockett
2 Cool 2 Be 4-Gotten, Lucinda Williams
Nobody’s Business, Walter Salas-Humara
Mr. Fly, Mike Coykendall

 

 

 

 

Episode #84 featuring Bret Ervin of Countryside Ride

Bret Ervin, bellied up at the bar in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Stream or download Episode #84: Episode 84 w/ Bret Ervin

The gang from Countryside Ride knew they had the songs and the inclination to make a great second album. But they remained patient while looking for a way forward — some kind of sign to show them which direction to go.

They found it when the band did a studio session at The Deer Lodge, a Portland-based music hub where producer and engineer Ezra Meredith was compiling songs for a tribute CD to country music great George Jones. In making its contribution to the compilation, the band and Meredith immediately clicked, and from there Countryside Ride saw the path to making their fabulous new album, “I Hope He Breaks Your Heart.” It’s a long-playing blast of pure country music that eschews modern production tricks and will delight traditionalists and new fans searching for a truer sound.

Bret Ervin belting it out in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Countryside Ride singer Bret Ervin Lien stopped into The Helm to record Episode #84 in advance of the record’s release and the band’s big show this coming Saturday at The Secret Society in Portland. He talked about the band’s natural progression from a trio to a five-piece, the inspiration he draws from his daily life for his songwriting, and finding a second home for his band at The Deer Lodge.

He also offers up some songs from a few of his major influences and plays a few stripped-down versions of tunes that highlight the new album. One listen to this podcast and you’ll know why we’ve come to love and admire this very humble, talented singer-songwriter as well as the super cool folks he calls bandmates. So sit back, buckle up and enjoy a ride through the Pacific Northwest countryside.

Here’s the playlist:

All You’ll Ever Be, Countryside Ride
I Hope He Breaks Your Heart, Countryside Ride
Since You’ve Been Gone (Live In The Helm), Bret Ervin
Ramblin’ Lips, The Cedar Shakes
Pay No Attention To Alice, Tom T. Hall
Other Side Of The Blues, Mike Stinson
Truck Driver’s Lament (Live In The Helm), Bret Ervin
Breakfast Blues, Countryside Ride
Trailer Of Love (Live In The Helm), Bret Ervin

Countryside Ride, 2018: Jessica Kunze, Ian Miller, Bret Ervin Lien, Joshua Kunze and Johnny Payola. Photo by Mirifoto (www.mirifoto.com)

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

 

Live Review: Whiskey Wednesday with Western Centuries at Landmark Saloon

The Big Three: Western Centruies featuring (l to r) Jim Miller, Cahalen Morrison and Ethan Lawton on the tiny stage at Landmark Saloon in Portland.

Western Centuries
Live at Landmark Saloon
Portland, OR, USA
1-10-17

By Phil Favorite

When it comes to West Coast country bands, it doesn’t get much better than Western Centuries — the five-piece, Seattle-based unit featuring three distinct singer-songwriters and a harmony sound all their own.

So when Western Centuries loaded into the tiny Landmark Saloon for a couple of intimate sets of high quality Honky Tonk, the Whiskey Wednesday regulars knew they were in for a treat. The place packed quickly but there was just enough room for the dancing crowd to shake and spin, just a step or two from the band and arm’s length from the tip jar.

With singers Jim Miller, Cahalen Morrison and Ethan Lawton sharing the spotlight, the band famously rotated instruments and kept it loose. Lawton and Morrison switched back and forth from fronting the band to playing drums, and Morrison and Miller swapped duties on lead guitar, with one plucking a clean telecaster while the other strummed a rich acoustic.

Describing Western Centuries sound as straight Honky Tonk would be misleading. It’s easy to identify influences from across the Americana spectrum — R&B, country, soul, folk and cajun music all color the sound.

The band played favorites from their excellent 2016 record “Weight of the World,” but much of the first set drew from their upcoming album, “Songs From The Deluge,” due out April 6 on Free Dirt Records. The sweat and smiles pouring from the dance floor all night told the rest of the story.

Late last year,Western Centuries premiered four of the songs from the new album n KEXP’s Swinging Doors program, hosted by DJ Don Slack. For a taste of what this band is all about, check out live versions of “Wild Birds,” “Wild You Run,” “How Many More Miles To Babylon” and “Three Swallows” in the video below.

Learn more about Western Centuries and their upcoming album release at Free Dirt’s Western Centuries page.

 

Episode #83 featuring Matthew Lindley

The man with a plan: Matthew Lindley re-visits The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Stream or download Episode #83: Episode 83 w/ Matthew Lindley

Matthew Lindley is a man with a plan. And, wow, what a plan it is. For his upcoming seven-day residency at Al’s Den in downtown Portland, Lindley has something special planned for each and every night of the week.

Described as “Matthew Lindley’s Cavalcade of Stars,” Lindley will be joined each night by friends who span his 15-plus-years of making and sharing music. He’ll dedicate each show to a period in his music career, featuring specific albums from the past along with songwriting and storytelling nights squeezed in to mix things up. No two nights will be the same, which should keep the shows fresh every night.

Matthew Lindley, live in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

On this episode of  That Much Further West Podcast, Lindley returns to The Helm as a guest for the first time since he was promoting his latest CD release, “Late Bloomer,” in October of 2016. He talks about his plans for the upcoming residency (beginning Sunday, Jan. 7) and the challenges he’s set for himself for the weeklong stretch.

He also shares some of his favorite tunes from 2017 and lays out his musical plans for early 2018. And not to be outdone, Lindley performs a few new and old tunes that clue you in on just what a fine talent this Spokane, WA native is.

So settle in and crank it up. We’re excited to bring you Episode #83 from The Helm. Here’s the playlist:

Late Bloomer, Matthew Lindley
Midnight Train To Memphis, Chris Stapleton
Tupelo, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
My Year Of Anger (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Heart In Your Hand (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Murphy Bed, Matthew Lindley
Pullman, WA, Matthew Lindley Mistake
Can’t Stay Away (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Holding On, The War On Drugs

Review of Wannabe by Taylor Kingman

Wannabe
by Taylor Kingman
(2017, Mama Bird)

By ERIC KOTILA

“I wannabe strong. That time I proved I was right, I was wrong.”

I love records where the artist opens up and shares everything they have. For some songwriters (John Moreland, Willy Tea Taylor, Micah Schnabel), it just comes naturally and they do it all the time. Others (Jason Isbell, BJ Barham) share it from a period in their life when there is growth. Taylor Kingman is among the latter, and it’s evident on his solo debut, “Wannabe.”

I first met Taylor at the 2013 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout as lead singer of The Hill Dogs and, I must be honest here, I was not impressed. A late start to his showcase set and a missed slot at the Sunday morning review showed me a kid still trying to figure things out while having the time of his life. Soon afterward he was spending a lot more time here in Portland and a few friends who also saw the Wildwood performance said I should get to know him better and see him for the talented, good-natured kid that he is.

Getting to know more about Taylor the person, I discovered a kind spirit with a big smile who truly loves music. We had him and The Hill Dogs on the podcast (see Episode #72) and I could tell immediately he had figured stuff out. He launched an open mic on Sundays at The Laurelthirst Pub, challenging all comers with a new songwriting theme each week. He started hanging and playing with the regular musicians there as well. This is where we have seen him shedding his old skin for new. His songwriting is amazing and has matured so much. We all witnessed a rebirth at Wildwood 2016. The Hill Dogs were perfect and blew everyone away.

Now Taylor has made an honest and truly great solo record.

“I wannabe forgiven for everything I knew. I wannabe true.”

To purchase a CD, cassette or digital download of “Wannabe” by Taylor Kingman, visit his page at the Mama Bird Recording Co. website. Taylor will be performing songs from “Wannabe” and also playing with his band TK and The Holy Know Nothings on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Mississippi Studios.

Listen to “Wannabe” on Spotify, courtesy of Mama Bird Recording Co.:

Review of A Long Way From Your Heart by Turnpike Troubadours

A Long Way from Your Heart
by Turnpike Troubadours
(2017, Bossier City)
 
100 words on A Long Way from Your Heart
By MIKE LEE
Every great road trip is about the journey more than the destination. The latest offering from Turnpike Troubadours is a leisurely drive on the back roads of Oklahoma. The windows down on the old Chevrolet C-10 as the fence posts whiz past and the roadside attractions become paragraphs in your travel memoir. The boys in the band are seasoned guides taking you to all the fun spots including that great, local diner in the town you never heard of before now. Easy yet meaningful conversation and hearty laughter are the hallmarks of this trip which doesn’t leave you choking on red dirt.

Mixtape Trio Bravo:

Listen to “The Housefire”:  The Housefire

Listen to “Pay No Rent”:  Pay No Rent

Listen to “Pipe Bomb Dream”:  Pipe Bomb Dream

TMFWP Special: 2017 Wildwood MusicFest Preview

Henry from Hillstomp will be rocking your world at the Wildwood MusicFest & Campout this coming weekend in Sheridan, OR. Image courtesy of Chad Lanning Photography (chadlanningphoto.com)

Stream or download 2017 Wildwood MusicFest Preview: Wildwood 17 Preview

It’s that time again, our favorite time of year! The crew at That Much Further West Podcast is gearing up for this weekend’s Wildwood MusicFest & Campout in Sheridan, OR, and to help psyche you up for the event, we’ve put together this playlist to introduce or reacquaint you with the acts that will be performing.

We’re especially thrilled this year to have some of our favorite bands from years past and several new Wildwood performers who have been guests and/or friends of ours for many years. For example, kicking off the playlist is Countryside Ride, a traditional country band we’ve been friendly with for a long time. They’re fresh out of the studio and share a few new songs from an upcoming release, to be heard exclusively on this special episode of the podcast.

Other newcomers to the festival have been regularly featured on the podcast or exclusive guests in the past, bands like The Easy Leaves, Jenny Don’t & The Spurs and The Mutineers. The brilliant Caleb Klauder was a guest on our show several years back, and we were thrilled to see this internationally renowned singer and picker scheduled for this year’s festival.

Conrad Wert is a one-man band known as Possessed By Paul James.

We also get to dip into some uncharted waters with bands such as Tango Alpha Tango, featuring the stunning guitar work of Nathan Treub — a local player who carries a reputation as one of the best young songwriters in Northwest rock. Festival goers will not want to miss seeing this guy in action.

So let this playlist be a primer for your weekend ahead, and follow along as we buckle up for another wild weekend of fun and music at the Wildwood MusicFest & Campout.

Here’s the playlist:

All You’ll Ever Be (Is All You’ve Ever Been), Countryside Ride
I Hope He Breaks Your Heart, Countryside Ride
15 Horses, Hillstomp
Lucy’s Lament, Hillstomp
Further From Shore, The Hooten Hallers
It’s Hard To Trust Your Baby, The Hooten Hallers
Devil And The Deep, The Easy Leaves
Midnight Song, The Easy Leaves
I Gotta Girl, Tango Alpha Tango
Kill & Haight, Tango Alpha Tango
Coming On Strong, Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms
Innocent Road, Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms
Aura Vista, Vaudeville Etiquette
Tipping Point, Vaudeville Etiquette
Break Your Fall, The Mutineers
Ace, The Mutineers
Prairie Fire, The Riverside
Don’t Rock The Boat, The Riverside
A Lovely Conversation, The Harmed Brothers
Better Days, The Harmed Brothers
Ain’t No Living, Matt Woods
Johnny Ray Dupree, Matt Woods
Call Of The Road, Jenny Don’t and The Spurs
She’s To Blame, Jenny Don’t and The Spurs
The Woods, Robert Sarazin Blake
Our Winter In New York, Robert Sarazin Blake
Hurricane, Possessed By Paul James
Shoulda’ Known Better, Possessed By Paul James
This Little Pig, Shovelman
Navigate, Shovelman

Veterans of the festival, The Harmed Brothers are back by popular demand. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

 

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 #81 featuring The American West

Matthew Zeltzer and Maria Maita-Keppeler are The American West, and their little dog, too. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #81: Episode 81 w/ The American West

The cinematic image of The American West is all at once promising and shattering — beautiful, hopeful, gritty and heartbreaking. Portland-based band The American West capture all these feelings and more on their new record, “The Soot Will Bring Us Back Again,” to be released this week.

Band members Matthew Zeltzer and Maria Maita-Keppeler dropped by The Helm to discuss the record and share a few tunes — recorded and live — for Episode #81 of That Much Further West Podcast. With Zeltzer taking the lead on guitar and vocal and Maita complementing on harmony vocal and violin, the duo paint a romantic view of a West without glossing over the fine and sometimes damaging details.

Just back from a five-week European tour, the pair talk about the genesis of their partnership (both artistic and romantic), their approach to touring, the making of the new album and overcoming the obstacles they face in pursuing their art.

The American West, laying it down in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

On Wednesday, March 15, they’ll bring their fully realized band to the stage at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland for a big album release show. Also on the bill are former podcast guests Jenny Don’t & The Spurs and Mamma Coal for an evening that promises to be entertaining and unforgettable.

You can learn more about The American West by liking their Facebook page and also check out the new album at their  Bandcamp site. In the meantime, give Episode #81 a spin. You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s the playlist:
Heart of Stone, The American West
Ghost Town (Live In The Helm), The American West
Roadsick Blues, The American West
Let Me Love You Like A Pauper Does (Live In The Helm), The American West
Westward Man, The American West
Patience, Young Conquistador (Live In The Helm), The American West
One More Cup Of Coffee, Bob Dylan
Walk On, Neil Young
Give Me All Your Love, Alabama Shakes