Episode #46 featuring Hip Hatchet


Philippe, the man known as Hip Hatchet, barside at The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler (christophersohler.com)

Episode #46 with Hip Hatchet

You can call him Philippe, or simply Phil, but the man known as Hip Hatchet is easily one of the best pickers and folk singers that we’ve had the pleasure of hosting in The Helm.

Our team first discovered Hip Hatchet at the 2013 Wildwood MusicFest and Campout and we’ve been following his progress ever since. Now ready with a fantastic new album titled “Hold You Like A Harness,” a long tour ready to launch and a release show planned for here in Portland this coming Friday at Secret Society, Hip Hatchet is poised to take his profile to a new level.

On this latest episode, we learn a little more about Philippe’s background growing up in New Jersey, his discovery of folk and country music during his college days, and the making of the new record with players from all over the country. We also get to experience the wonderful guitar playing and one-of-a-kind voice — described as “earthy” by co-host Eric Kotila —in live performances of two songs, including the title cut from the new record.


Phil from Jersey, Taylor in hand, entertaining our guests in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler

With a three-month tour that will take him all over the country and up into Canada, Hip Hatchet is ready to take the world by storm with a record reflective of his terrific talent. Be sure to check him out when he rolls through your town, and if you’re here in Portland, catch him with a six-piece band this Friday at Secret Society.

We also share some great recorded music, some local to us here in Portland. Be sure to check out the tune from Malachi Graham, who celebrated the release of her new EP last week, as well as the songs from M. Lockwood Porter and Drunken Prayer, who will be a guests on the podcast in coming weeks.

Inspired by Hip Hatchet’s appearance on the show, co-host Mike Lee shared a set of songs featuring artists he discovered over the course of the first three Wildwood festivals, including Deadstring Brothers, C.W. Ayon and Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas.

So lots to enjoy on Episode #46. Dial it up, download it and dig in. Here’s the playlist:

Small Bird Song, Hip Hatchet
Hold You Like A Harness (Live in The Helm), Hip Hatchet
Joy of Repetition (Live in The Helm), Hip Hatchet
David’s Wolves, Hit Hatchet
Money Back, The Resolectrics
Pre-Code Blues, Malachi Graham
I Came Around, Possessed By Paul James
Good Time Gal, Copper & Coal
Chris Bell, M. Lockwood Porter
Cavalier, Shovels & Rope
Lucille’s Honky Tonk, Deadstring Brothers
Hollerin’ Mercy, Sidestreet Reny
Tired Oak, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
Catron Country Time, C.W. Ayon
Bible On The Dash (featuring Hayes Carll), Corb Lund
You Walk, Drunken Prayer
Remember Me, Fernando
AM Country Heaven, Jason Eady

Episode #41 featuring Denver


Birger Olsen, left, and Mike Elias barside at The Helm. (Photo by Christopher Sohler)

Episode #41 with Denver

When it comes to alt-country in our hometown of Portland, OR, U.S.A., it doesn’t get much better than the band Denver. That’s why we were thrilled to have Mike Elias and Birger Olsen from Denver in The Helm for Episode #41.

Known as two of Denver’s “three amigos,” Mike and Birger are carrying the torch locally for the band while the other amigo, singer/songwriter Tom Bevitori, has taken up residence in California. The group continues to forge ahead, with the great friends hooking up with the rest of their band for select shows throughout the year.


Mike and Birger of Denver perform in The Helm, January 2015. (Photo by Christopher Sohler)

In our interview, the fellas talk about how the band formed, their tours with alt-country darlings Shovels & Rope, what brought them to Portland from their growing-up points far and wide, and the Denver side project, Maryanne. Also, the guys share a song from each of Denver’s two stellar albums: Mike’s “Rowdy Love,” the title cut from last year’s follow up to the self-titled debut; and Birger’s great “Keep Your Eye Out,” a Denver classic.

After wrapping up the interview, Mike and Birger hung around The Helm to enjoy the rest of the episode. Then Mike got a wild hair to do another song later in the show, one that’s brand new and untitled. Great stuff!

Meanwhile, our hosts Mike Lee, Phil Favorite and Eric Kotila each share a set of songs to round out the podcast. Mike’s set includes a tribute to Hank Williams to honor the recent anniversary of his death; Phil shared a song by one of his heroes, Walter Salas-Humara, who he recently caught up with at a local happy hour show; and Eric’s set features bands “I’d like to see play with Denver,” including The Swearengens, The Ganges River Band and the James Low Western Front.

We also have songs by Denver’s Mama Bird Recording Co. labelmate Hip Hatchet as well as The Easy Leaves, Drunken Prayer and a song from the new record by Ryan Bingham. So dial it in and kick back, y’all. It’s Episode #41 of That Much Further West Podcast.

Here’s the playlist:

Rowdy Love, Denver
Prison Song (Live in The Helm), Denver
Keep Your Eye Out (Live in The Helm), Denver
Hot Denver #1, Denver
White Trash Romance, Karen Jonas
Ramblin’ Man, Hank Williams
Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Scott H. Biram
Small Demons, Hip Hatchet
Quarter In The Couch, Damnations, TX
Ford Econoline, Chuck Prophet
Broken Heart Tattoos, Ryan Bingham
Penny, The Honeycutters
Crack Another Bottle, The Easy Leaves
What We Can Bring, Walter Salas-Humara
Waiting On The Sunrise, The Swearengens
Eyes of Fire, The Ganges River Band
Untitled (Live in The Helm), Denver
Words, The James Low Western Front
Bridle On A Bull, Chris Knight
Evangeline, Drunken Prayer

Episode #38 featuring Tate Peterson of The Resolectrics


Tate Peterson of The Resolectrics. Photo by Chad Lanning

Episode #38 with Tate Peterson of The Resolectrics

It’s Thanksgiving week, and if you live in our rainy hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., you have a lot of great music to be thankful for. A couple of budding alt-country superstars and regular podcast favorites — Sturgill Simpson and Nikki Lane — have shows in town this week, as does one of our favorite local bands, the mighty Resolectrics.

That’s why we’re thrilled that guitarist and singer Tate Peterson from The Resolectrics joined us in The Helm for Episode #38 of That Much Further West Podcast. Tate’s a fantastic guitar player and songwriter and lends his playing to several bands around town, but his outstanding work as a founding member of The Resolectrics has earned him and the band kudos as rising stars in the local scene.

Tate shares a few stories of his Northern California upbringing and how the band formed around a love for classic R&B and soul music, as well as time-honored classic British rock. He shares some of the details about the making of the band’s fantastic debut record, 2013’s “High Water,” and also plays a few newer original songs, which he performed on a cool old arch-top acoustic guitar.


Tate Peterson, live in the Helm, November 2014

This coming Friday night, The Resolectrics are hosting a holiday jubilee at Laurelthirst Public House that will feature cameos from several local players, including a couple of our podcast hosts. This show is free and open to the public and sure to be an incredible night of music.

For this latest episode, our hosts decided to play their selections in blocks as a way to talk about any themes they may have going. Mike Lee’s songs are a declaration of his love of country rock and centered around Bloodshot Records’ 20th Anniversary; Eric Kotila tells the story of a music exchange between him and our friends at This Is American Music, whose artists are represented in his block; and Phil Favorite shares some music from artists who will be playing shows in Portland this week, including the much-anticipated return of Sturgill Simpson and his band to Mississippi Studios. At the end, we sneak in a brand-new song by the great Tim Barry.

So let’s all be thankful and kick off the holiday season with some music! Here’s the song list:

On The Cover Of The Music City News, Buck Owens
Nancy Sinatra, The Bottle Rockets
Most Messed Up, Old 97’s
Heaven Has No Vacancy, Lindi Ortega
Up On The Hill, The Resolectrics
Only Blind, Tate Peterson Live In The Helm
In My Garden, Tate Peterson Live In The Helm
Your Man, The Resolectrics
Moving Target, Fire Mountain
Another Night, Caleb Caudle
Take Me To The Mountain, Great Peacock
Highway Towns, The Holy Ghost Electric Show
Annie, Rich West Blatt & The Once In A While Sky
You Can’t Talk To Me Like That, Nikki Lane
Long White Line, Sturgill Simpson
Bobby Reid, Lucette
Lost & Rootless, Tim Barry

Episode #34 featuring Rich West Blatt


Rich West Blatt on stage at Dante’s in Portland.

Episode #34 with Rich West Blatt

Big thanks to our pal Rich West Blatt for stopping by The Helm for an interview and to play some songs from his terrific new CD, Just Like A Fool. Rich and his band The Once In A While Sky are celebrating the release of the new disc with a show at Portland’s Secret Society on Saturday, Aug. 30.

Just Like A Fool is a follow up to Rich’s debut EP and represents a big step forward. On Episode #34, we learn about the making of the new record, Rich’s musical influences while growing up in New Jersey and how his new song “Annie” is basically a Dear John letter to his former home base of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Rich’s new release comes ashore with a tidal wave of new music from some of our favorite Americana artists, and we play a ton of fresh tunes on this episode. Brand-new songs from Cory Branan, Otis Gibbs, Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer, Shovels and Rope, Quiet Life and Jeffrey Martin are all on the show this week.

And co-host Eric Kotila shares some excellent memories from his visit to the super cool and recently held Deep Blues NW festival. So settle in for a fun ride, folks. Here’s the playlist:

All The Rivers In Colorado, Cory Branan
The Darker Side of Me, Otis Gibbs
Cascabel Valley, Cahalen Morrison & Country Hammer
Annie, Rich West Blatt & The Once In A While Sky
Just Like A Fool (Live In The Helm), Rich West Blatt
One Last Chance, Rich West Blatt & The Once In A While Sky
Helping Hands, The Lonesomes
Bloody Gloves, The Swearengens
The Devil Is All Around, Shovels and Rope
Housebroken Man, Quiet Life
Coal Fire, Jeffrey Martin
Wichita Ain’t So Far Away, The Delines
Last Ride, C.W. Ayon
The Beat, Northcote
Me, I Am Anger, Bryan McPherson
D. Boon, Uncle Tupelo
Ain’t Going To The Bar Tonight, American Aquarium

Episode #33 featuring Hearts of Oak

Nate Wallace of Hearts Of Oak

Episode #33 featuring Hearts of Oak

It was our distinct pleasure to have the men of Hearts of Oak — singer/guitarist Nate Wallace, drummer J. Lever and guitarist/producer Ezra Meredith — in The Helm for an interview and performance for Episode #33. The lads are promoting the Aug. 19 release of the band’s third album, “New England,” and their show this coming Friday night at the Doug Fir in Portland.

The record represents a bit of a departure for Hearts of Oak. Nate’s terrific folksy songwriting and nasally vocal remain, but the record features an extra dose of fuzzed-out guitars (standard six-string electric and pedal steel) courtesy of Ezra and his brother Joel, who served as producers on the project. On this episode, we share a couple of tracks from the record and enjoy a couple of fine performances by the band. Always a great time hanging out with these dudes.

We also share some great new music from Billy Joe Shaver, The Gaslight Anthem, Big Shoals and the Portland band Denver. And if you stay tuned, you’ll hear a few details about the upcoming “Further West Fest” to be hosted by the podcast crew in September.

So crank it up! Here’s the playlist:

Hard To Be An Outlaw (featuring Willie Nelson), Billy Joe Shaver
Drag, Caleb Caudle
Good Man, Nikki Lane
Goldmine, Hearts of Oak
Used To It Now (Live in The Helm), Hearts of Oak
Easy By The Gun (Live in The Helm), Hearts of Oak
New England, Hearts of Oak
Rollin’ And Tumblin’, The Gaslight Anthem
Skipping Stones, Big Shoals
Rowdy Love, Denver
Denver Rock City, Bud Bronson
Crater, Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun
I Saw It with My Own Two Eyes Again, Drunken Prayer
Rise In The River, Lincoln Durham
Non-Addictive Marijuana, Supersuckers
The Other Side of OK, Drag The River
Blessing And A Curse, Have Gun, Will Travel

Episode #21 Greetings from Portland, Oregon, U.S.A


Episode #21 Greetings From Portland

Let’s start this post with a note of thanks to all of you who have been listening to the podcast and visiting our Facebook page. Last week we saw an enormous increase in podcast-related traffic and we’re super grateful to all of you for staying with us through the trials and tribulations of pulling together 20 episodes in the new incarnation of the show. Thank you!

This week’s podcast is an “all music” show delivered with the help of many of the musical acts we’ve featured through the first 20 episodes: the legends of country, the pioneers or alt-country, the current standard bearers of Americana and a bunch of fantastic artists from the Pacific Northwest and specifically right here in beautiful Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

We’re deeply indebted to the friends who have helped us since the launch of the podcast last fall, especially the talented musical folks who have given their time to perform or be interviewed (or both) for the show. Several — such as Sarah Gwen, Freddy Trujillo, Joel Roth of the Low Bones and Miller & Sasser — are featured on this week’s podcast, which includes lots of “tags” from said folks and also contains the world’s shortest interview.

The sun is shining today in beautiful Portland, and we think we have your perfect soundtrack for the day. So let’s get to it. Here’s the playlist for Episode #21.

Newspaper, The Resolectrics
Cooke City, The Lonesomes
Wild American Runners, Arliss Nancy
Suicide Sal, Karen Jonas
What Is Truth, Johnny Cash
Bluegrass State, Truckstop Darlin’
Bye Bye Baby, Miller & Sasser
Arianne, The V-Roys
Border Radio, Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
The Race Is On, George Jones
I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool (with George Jones), Barbara Mandrell
Keep Your Promises, Matthew Lindley
90 Miles (The Tennessee Song), The Honeycutters
Sister Sinead, Kris Kristofferson
The Old Black Hen, Songs: Ohia
We’ll Sweep Out The Ashes In The Morning, Gram Parsons
If You Come Around Here, The Swearengens
Loaded, North Twin
Something May Catch Fire, Chuck Ragan
Tom 33, The Low Bones
Woods, Sarah Gwen
Assimilation Blues, Trujillo
Winter Bloom, Celilo
This Land Is Your Land, Tim Barry
A Good Day To Be A Husband, I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House
Christ For President, Billy Bragg & Wilco
Too Lazy To Work, Too Nervous To Steal, BR5-49
Another Place Another Time, Jerry Lee Lewis
Bartender Blues, Countryside Ride


Review of Ron Rogers and the Wailing Wind


Ron Rogers And The Wailing Wind (2013, Civil Defense; www.civildefensemusic.com)

Like any great bar band, Ron Rogers and The Wailing Wind are groove merchants. They never fail to deliver that special, sneaky musical something that gets toes tapping and backsides wiggling.

And on their new, self-titled CD, they prove equally adept at capturing the groove in the recording studio. Right from the start of the first song, “Hard Working Hands,” the band settles into that fluid place where rhythm, tempo and tone melt together and begin to seep into the listener’s bloodstream.

Credit Rogers — the Portland band’s lead vocalist and guitar player — for his ability to ingrain the groove in the varied, soul-soaked Americana music he writes. There’s a swampy, gravelly, back roads quality that runs throughout his work. It’s all over this new CD, just like it was on the band’s previous release, 2011’s stunning Country & Eastern (2011).

Four songs into the new disc, it’s hard not to get lost in the hypnotic groove and excellent, southern-fried storytelling that are the hallmarks of Rogers’ work. Just then, during the later moments of “Kid Stormy Weather,” the song takes a left turn down a dream-like path paved in tremolo and delay.

From there, the listener travels into a revival world of saints, sinners, preachers and anti-heroes, where salvation awaits the wanting but where Satan is always lurking around the corner, waiting for another shot at the soul.

While the songs feature enough curious characters and musical quirks to keep listeners on their toes, the band doesn’t stray much from its signature sound, with the pedal steel guitar and Rogers’ electric holding the spotlight. On “Rad Johnny,” Rogers and steel player Dave Grafe trade licks with playful ease. All the while, drummer Chris Bond and bassist Don Campbell hold down the groove with a smart, uncluttered approach.

Several of the songs on Ron Rogers And The Wailing Wind rank among Rogers’ best. Tunes like “When My Baby Gets Down,” “Haywire” and “Soul Salvation” are instantly recognizable after just one listen and demonstrate best how a great bar band operates: lay down the groove, load up the dance floor, then burn the place down.

— Phil Favorite
That Much Further West Podcast