Episode #80 featuring Jacob Miller

The Bridge City Crooner: Jacob Miller in The Helm for Episode #80 of That Much Further West Podcast. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #80: Episode 80 w/ Jacob Miller

Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, Jacob Miller was like a lot of kids his age with a song in his heart and a love for pop music and rock and roll. Little did he know at the time that jazz and swing music ran deep in his bloodlines.

Fast forward to 2017 — following a move to the Pacific Northwest, the 26-year-old Miller now fronts one of the region’s top swing outfits, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners (see video below). And while he hasn’t lost his love for good old rock and roll, Miller came to discover he wasn’t the first in his family to delve deep into the realm of swing dance music.

Jacob Miller chops away at his ’49 Epiphone archtop while delivering some sweet tunes in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Here on Episode #80 of That Much Further West Podcast, Miller talks about how he came learn of his family ties to classic swing as well as his neo-traditional approach to the music. By bringing original compositions to a genre flooded with standards, Miller and his band  stand out in the tight-knit community of jazz enthusiasts who bring the classic style to ballrooms and festivals all over the country.

He also tells the serendipitous story about how he acquired an archtop guitar from the 1940s that he uses in sharing some beautiful solo versions of tunes for us live in The Helm. So dial it up, kick back and tune into some some great music and storytelling from a young lion with a big future in the music game.

Here’s the playlist:

Spin That Record, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners
Love Her Mad (Live In The Helm), Jacob Miller
St. Mary’s Gospel Choir (Live In The Helm), Jacob Miller
Trouble In Paradise, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners
Oh The Vampyre (Live In The Helm), Jacob Miller
I’mona Wait, Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners

December Podcast Picks

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Nikki Lane’s new full-length LP “Highway Queen” will be hitting the streets in February 2017.

Stream or download our December Podcast Picks:  December Podcast Picks

She’s logged a lot of road miles since the release of her breakthrough 2014 breakthrough album “All Or Nothin” and now Nikki Lane is ready to take the world by storm with “Highway Queen,” the much anticipated follow up due early next year.

We kick off our December Podcast picks with the title track from the record, which Rolling Stone.com describes as “an amalgam of gritty twang, dirty blues and a whip-smart taste for dangerously delightful melody” — in other words, more of what we’ve come to love from the sassy, stylish outlaw country chanteuse. After “Highway Queen” hits the streets, Ms. Lane and her band will hit the road for an extensive tour that includes a stop at California’s Stagecoach Festival in April.

Nikki is just one of several of our favorite female singers featured among this month’s podcast picks. Amanda Shires’ new record, “My Piece of Land,” is receiving across-the-board praise while Lydia Loveless continues to tour behind her genre-busting Bloodshot Records LP “Real,” released in August. We also have an official outtake celebrating the 20th anniversary of Gillian Welch’s debut album “Revival,” and a song from Courtney Marie Andrews’ much (rightly so) praised “Honest Life” record, released this past summer by Portland-based Mama Bird Recording Co.

We also added a little modern rock muscle to the mix with cuts from Two Cow Garage, Drunken Prayer and Blackberry Smoke, but still managed to keep it country with songs old and new by the likes Billy Don Burns, Western Centuries, Chris Stalcup and Brent Cobb. And we always seem to find a way to salute the forefathers, with a careful nod to a legend lost, the great Leonard Cohen.

So dial it up. These should help hold you through the holidays. Here’s the playlist for our December Podcast Picks:

Highway Queen, Nikki Lane
Continental Distance, Two Cow Garage
Keith Whitley Blue, Billy Don Burns
Gold, The Handsome Family
The Old You, Western Centuries
You Are My Home, Amanda Shires
Fell Into The Sun, Drunken Prayer
Chickenhawks and Jesus Freaks, Tom Heyman
Me and the Whiskey, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s
Midwestern Guys, Lydia Loveless
Burnin’ Up These Highways, Chris Stalcup
Drinking, Cheating, Loving and Leaving, Adam Lee and the Dead Horse Sound Company
Show Me, Neil Young
Merry Christmas From The Family, Robert Earl Keen
Go On Downtown (Revival Outtake), Gillian Welch
Diggin’ Holes, Brent Cobb
Sunrise In Texas, Blackberry Smoke
15 Highway Lines, Courtney Marie Andrews
Chelsea Hotel #2, Leonard Cohen

August Podcast Picks

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Don’t mess with Mamma Coal. The show is Thursday, August 18 at Mission Theater in Portland. Photo by Chad Lanning Photography

Steam or download our August Podcast Picks: August ’16 podcast picks

“You can’t hang a woman for killing a stranger who’s threatened the life of her babe.” So goes the narrative in Mamma Coal’s ambitious new album “Raven Haired Vixen,” ready for release this month and featured here at the top of our podcast picks for August.

We were lucky enough to have Portland’s Carra Barrett Stasney, aka Mamma Coal, as a guest on That Much Further West Podcast for Episode #63 back in January. She had just Kickstarted her recording project, a story in songs inspired by Willie Nelson’s timeless album “Red Headed Stranger.”

Now the raven-haired Mamma is ready to celebrate with an album release show on Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Mission Theater in Portland. We offer a sneak preview of the record with “Ride Through The Night” topping this month’s podcast picks.

Also featured is new music by several podcast favorites who have new records out, including the inimitable Lydia Loveless, American Aquarium frontman B.J. Barham,  former podcast guests Evening Bell, the mighty Sadler Vaden (best known as lead guitar for Jason Isbell’s band, The 400 Unit) and the fabulous outlaw country practitioner Cody Jinks.

We also have summertime hits from Portland’s Wilkinson Blades, whose excellent album “Home” came out earlier this year, and Western Centuries, who lit up Pickathon earlier this month with a couple of stunning performances.

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Willy Tea Taylor, left, with Chuck Noland in The Barn in Portland.

Finally, we share a collection of songs in salute of a fallen hero. Last week the podcast team lost a dear friend, patriarch and constant source of inspiration — Chuck Noland. He was strong as an ox, tough as nails but tender to the core and taught us that real men can be emotional, thoughtful and kind-hearted without losing a shred of masculinity. Chuck was a man’s man, which is why all who knew him loved him so.

Chuck created a family of friends around his love of music and dancing and enriched our lives more than words can say. And for that we will forever be grateful. R.I.P. buddy, we’ll see you on heaven’s honky tonk hardwood floor.

Here’s the podcast picks for August:

Ride Through The Night, Mamma Coal
Same To You, Lydia Loveless
American Tobacco Company, B.J. Barham
Tail Light, Evening Bell
Watch The World Go By, Wilkinson Blades
You Can’t Have It All, Sadler Vaden
Knockin’ ’em Down, Western Centuries
I’m Not The Devil, Cody Jinks
Rose Marie, Slim Whitman
Burning .44, Chuckanut Drive
Sao Paulo, Deadstring Brothers
The Travelin’ Kind, Tom VandenAvond
Life Is Beautiful, Willy Tea Taylor
Grandpa, Truckstop Darlin’

Episode #70 featuring Aaron Lee Tasjan

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The man with the folky jams, Aaron Lee Tasjan on the Bear Couch at The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Stream or download Episode #70:   Episode 70 w/ Aaron Lee Tasjan

Back in the summer of 2014, blossoming East Nashville singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan took up residency at the Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland for a string of dates at the hotel’s tiny basement bar, Al’s Den.

Over the course of the week, Tasjan was inspired to write a song, “Lucinda’s Room,” that would later turn up on his critically acclaimed album of last year, “In The Blazes.” The residency was also an introduction for our hosts at That Much Further West Podcast, who quickly championed the Ohio-born player as one to watch on the Americana rock and folk scene.

Fast forward to Spring 2016 — Tasjan has risen to prominence among the elite of the burgeoning Americana scene. The success of the independently released “In The Blazes” has helped him earn a new deal with New West Records, and his growing reputation has won him a following among the successful, well-traveled artists that have influenced him along the way.

We caught up with Aaron Lee during his recent swing through the Pacific Northwest — this time with an impressive full band in tow — and corralled him into The Helm for a podcast interview and performance.

He talks about the humbling success of “In The Blazes,” his upbringing in a house full of poetry and life in his adopted hometown of East Nashville, the new epicenter of alt-country. He also shares live performances of three songs, including two expected to be on “Silver Tears,” an album due to hit the streets in October.

We think, listening to this podcast, this truth will hold self-evident: Aaron Lee Tasjan kicks ass. His rare combination of singing, songwriting, stunning guitar playing and aw-shucks charm bode well for success in the coming years.

So dial it up, download it and share it with your friends — it’s Episode #70. Enjoy!

Here’s the playlist:

American Tan
Memphis Rain (Live In The Helm)
The Dangerous Kind
The Trouble With Drinkin’ (Live In The Helm)
Get Gone
E.N.S.A.A.T.
Ready To Die (Live In The Helm)
Don’t Walk Away
Lucinda’s Room
Not Punk
Made In America

Aaron Lee Tasjan

ALT in The Helm, bringing the folky East Nashville goodness. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

 

Episode #62 featuring Kris Stuart of Root Jack

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The man who puts the root in Root Jack: Kris Stuart in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie

Stream or download Episode #62:  Episode 62 w/ Kris Stuart

For our first episode of 2016, we feature a dear friend who’s been with us from the start, Kris Stuart of Root Jack. And who better to kick things off for a new year at That Much Further West Podcast, as we begin re-energized and refocused on the artists who make the show special.

In this episode, hosts Mike Lee and Eric Kotila put it all on Kris as he shares stories about growing up in the South and the musical journey that brought him to the Pacific Northwest. Kris talks a bit about how he picked up the guitar growing up in a house full of older sisters, and also of his time writing, playing and signing with the Portland band Moonshine Hangover as well as his evolution as a songwriter and how things came together in the formation of his bluesy power trio, Root Jack.

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Kris Stuart, live in The Helm once again. Photo by Anne Marie

Kris also talks at length about a few other musical projects he’s involved with, including writing and performing with the John Brown Band and helping with the organizing of the annual Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Along the way, we play some previously recorded music from Kris’ past and he also shares one on acoustic guitar live in The Helm.

So dial it in, lay back and groove to this first episode of 2016, and consider it the first in a series of episodes that focus on the guests who make our local and national music scene so vibrant.

TMFWP Special: Wildwood Sessions 2015 with Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

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Wide shot: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club . . . that’s Slim, third from the left. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Wildwood Sessions: Slim Cessna

It was our final interview session at the 2015 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout, so we went for broke. We invited all six members of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club to cram into the RV, along with our three hosts, to enjoy a little bit of air conditioning on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Slim and crew obliged, sitting patiently for our interview to end so they could drop some musical knowledge on the team and our listeners. When time came for the performance, Slim pulled out his iPhone and we plugged it into the soundboard to provide a pre-recorded backing track for the band to play along with.

Moments later the entire band, led by Slim, were clapping, chanting and singing along to a song — we never quite got the title — that demonstrated the high power of the collective. Co-host Phil Favorite found the performance so engrossing he couldn’t help but join in with hand claps, and thankfully he managed to go pretty much unnoticed by the band — they were all living in the moment, a hallmark of their live stage performances.

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Men in black: Slim Cessna and his crew on stage at the 2015 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Photo by Christopher Sohler

Later that evening, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club set the main festival stage on fire with an intense, mind-blowing performance. It was a show that won’t soon be forgotten by the Wildwood faithful, most of whom were witnessing the Auto Club in action for the first time.

There really isn’t another band we can think of to compare to Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, but we recommend you go see them play live any chance you get. They’ll be at the Muddy Roots Festival in Cookeville, Tennessee, this weekend. Look for more information about the band and their touring schedule at slimcessnasautoclub.com.