Episode #78 featuring Fernando

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Celebrating a fabulous 2016, it’s Fernando in The Helm. Photo by Chad Lanning for Chad Lanning Photography (www.chadlanningphoto.com)

Stream or download Episode #78:  Episode 78 w/ Fernando

It’s been a pretty remarkable 12-plus months for Fernando Viciconte.

Since the release of his most recent album, “Leave The Radio On,” in late 2015, Fernando has enjoyed two European tours, a tour through the American southwest, a summer jaunt opening for alt-country legends The Jayhawks and last month was inducted in to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

Not bad for a guy whose musical career not all that long ago was sidetracked by health issues that kept him from touring and limited his local performances. But the Portland-based singer-songwriter is back in full force these days, and the momentum he’s re-building continues to grow.

As our guest for Episode #78 of That Much Further West Podcast, Fernando talks about his return to form in the live performance realm as well as the changes he’s made to help preserve the vocal gift that’s made him a worldwide fan favorite. We were thrilled to have Fernando in The Helm to promote his upcoming show at Star Theater in Portland as part of Fluff & Gravy Records‘ three-day celebration of its five-year anniversary.

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Fernando rocks The Helm with some of his wonderful original music. Photo by Chad Lanning for Chad Lanning Photography (www.chadlanningphoto.com).

With friends and members of the Fluff & Gravy brain trust (and their kids!) in attendance, Fernando recounted the Argentinian roots of his family heritage, spoke of some of the musical influences that have shaped his songwriting, and also shared some wonderful live performances of his original music.

Among the recorded music we play on this episode, Fernando’s song “No Regrets” is part of Fluff & Gravy’s new “Five Years of Gravy” compilation that will be available at this weekend’s shows in Portland. Proceeds from sales of the compilation — featuring songs by Drunken Prayer, Hillstomp and Sassparilla, among many others — will be donated to the Jeremy Wilson Foundation‘s musicians relief fund.

Fernando has scheduled a handful of shows in the Pacific Northwest with Dan Stuart (Green On Red) before heading to Europe in early 2017 opening for Mark Eitzel (American Music Club) on a tour that will cover 14 countries, including Spain. Whether it’s solo, partnered with guitarist Dan Eccles (Richmond Fontaine) or playing with his full band, Fernando is a can’t-miss for lovers of great American folk rock. Be sure to check him out when you have a chance, and dig the video referenced at the beginning of the podcast — it’s posted below!

Here’s the playlist for Episode #78. Enjoy!

Save Me, Fernando
No Regrets, Fernando
True Instigator (Live In The Helm), Fernando
Elena, Dan Stuart & The Twin Tones
Supercheria, Pescado Rabioso
Si Se Calla el Cantor, Horacio Guarany
Para Ti (Live In The Helm), Fernando
Selos, Fernando
The Dogs (Live In The Helm), Fernando

Episode #77 featuring Silver Lake 66

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Jeff Overbo and Maria Francis are Portland’s Silver Lake 66.

Stream or download Episode #77:  Episode 77 w/ Silver Lake 66

America’s highway, Route 66, covers nearly 2,500 miles from Chicago to the Southern California Coast and for a long time served as the main path for those who migrated West in the early part of the last century.

Regaled in popular culture over the past 100 years, Route 66 serves as the perfect metaphor for the road traveled by our guests for Episode #77 of That Much Further West Podcast, our friends Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo of Silver Lake 66. The Portland-by-way-of-Minneapolis-via-Los Angeles group has taken the long road, overcoming the real life obstacles of age and illness and emerging with one of this year’s finest albums, titled “Let Go Or Be Dragged” (check out this review in No Depression).

On this episode, Maria and Jeff share stories of their journey through 80s — starting in Midwest biker bars, traveling the country in stinky vans, booking shows by pay phone and living on beer and peanut butter. The road led them to move to Los Angeles, where they fell in with a like-minded group of Americana musicians that first held court at The Palomino club and went on to varying degrees of fame — folks like Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale and Dale Watson.

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Jeff and Maria, sharing their terrific music in The Helm as Silver Lake 66. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Soon their peers became big influences and they began to write and perform in the alt-country realm, a place they’ve stayed even after moving to Portland in the 90s. After a long period out of the public spotlight, the married couple slowly began to emerge with a batch a well-crafted tunes that display each player’s knack for poignant storytelling as well as their natural chemistry as players and harmony singers.

Now armed with a fantastic new album, Silver Lake 66 is poised to make a big splash on the burgeoning Portland Americana scene. Their album release show, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Alberta Street Pub in Portland, is sure to be a celebration of not just the hard road they’ve traveled but also the open road and blue skies ahead.

We think you’ll really enjoy the stories and the sharing of their wonderful music, so tune in and prepare to be moved by the spirit of Silver Lake 66.

Here’s the playlist:

Sherman County, Silver Lake 66
Devil’s Looking For Me, Silver Lake 66
Bury My Bones In Arkansas (LIve In The Helm), Silver Lake 66
Pineola, Lucinda Williams
Country Comforts, Rod Stewart
Return Of The Grievous Angel, Gram Parsons
Magnolia (Live In The Helm), Silver Lake 66
Walk Away (Live In The Helm), Silver Lake 66
Doctor, Silver Lake 66

 

Episode #76 featuring Matthew Lindley

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Matthew Lindley . . . settled in at The Helm. He’ll celebrate the release of his new album, “Late Bloomer,” on Oct. 8 at The Secret Society in Portland. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Stream or download Episode #76:  Episode 76 w/ Matthew Lindley

Whatever the endeavor, Matthew Lindley brings a fire and passion to everything he does. That’s evident from the get-go on this episode of That Much Further West Podcast, when Lindley joined our team in The Helm for his long-awaited podcast debut as a guest.

We first became aware of Matthew’s music about three years ago with the release of his debut solo album, “Paper Lion.” It revealed Lindley as both a top-notch songwriter and super talented singer, traits he keenly employed for the making of his new album, “Late Bloomer.”

Matthew shares stories from the making of the new album and also talks about his musical upbringing under the influence of his parents while growing up in Spokane, Wash. Turns out the tape deck in dad’s car helped launch him into an appreciation of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and “Born In The U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen, and set Lindley on his ongoing path of music discovery.

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Matthew Lindley, serending the podcast crew in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Performing came naturally to the young Lindley, and as he grew he crossed paths with performers such as Todd Snider and Jay Farrar who would put him on the trail to a deeper appreciation of songwriting and Americana music.

On this episode, Lindley shares some songs from the new album as well as a few of handpicked tunes that show his musical influences. He also tears through a handful of live performances that illustrate his talents for singing and storytelling.

So dial it up and mark your calendar for Oct. 8 when Matthew and his fantastic band celebrate the release of “Late Bloomer” at The Secret Society in Portland. Here’s the playlist:

Slammin’ Doors, Matthew Lindley
Late Bloomer (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Alright Guy, Todd Snider
The Day John Henry Died, Drive-By Truckers
I’m Goin’ Down, Bruce Springsteen
No One Remembers, Matthew Lindley
 Street Dance (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
All My Fault, Matthew Lindley
Ex-Girlfriend Song (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley
Straight To Hell (Live In The Helm), Matthew Lindley

Episode #75 featuring Lewi & Anita

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Lewi Longmire and Anita Lee Elliott holding down the bar at The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #75:  Episode 75 w/ Lewi & Anita

They formed a musical partnership by trading riffs and harmonies and trying out new songs and ideas as a duo. But Portland favorites Lewi Longmire and Anita Lee Elliott share deep roots that appear to be growing stronger as time passes.

For Episode #75 of That Much Further West Podcast, the singer/guitarists visited The Helm to talk about working together as a duo, how their musical careers have evolved after more than a decade in the Portland music scene, as well as their connection as the six-string aces for Brothers & Sister, their circa-’71 Allman Brothers Band cover project.

Lewi is known in the Portland Americana scene as a terrific band leader for The Left Coast Roasters and the Portland Country Underground and also as a contributor to more musical projects than imaginable, including Denver, Ducky Pig and Fernando. Anita is a tried-and-true, real-deal rock star, having established herself as a world class talent fronting Viva Voce and Blue Giant, singing backup with The Shins and as an ongoing member of the amazing country-folk trio Calico Rose.

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Lewi & Anita, filling The Helm with musical goodness. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media.

Here they share a number of songs from their personal partnership, in which they take turns leading original and cover tunes. We also weave in a few songs from their various projects: a live performance by Brothers & Sister featuring Lewi on lead vocal and Anita on slide guitar; another by Calico Rose with Anita singing lead; and a tune from the Lewi Longmire Band album “Tales of The Left Coast Roasters.”

The two currently are gearing up for for the biggest Brothers & Sisters show yet, the “Summer Jam” at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA. Hosted by Phil Lesh & Friends, the Sept. 17 show is meant to re-create a 1973 summer concert that featured The Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band and The Band.

In the meantime, the pair will keep working together as Lewi & Anita, a local project that continues to delight their fans in our fair hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. So dial it in and turn it up — it’s Episode #75!

Here’s the playlist:

New Old Joe Clark (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita
Done Somebody Wrong, Brothers & Sister
Live With Love (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita
Honey In The Rock, Calico Rose
Wasted And Waisting My Saturday Night (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita
At Least In My Mind, Lewi Longmire Band
Movin’ So Slow (Live In The Helm), Lewi & Anita

Episode #74 featuring McDougall

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One Mand Band: McDougall brings a mix of folk, punk, blues and jazz with whatever happens to be avaialble, whether it’s guitar, drums or banjo, and often in combination.

Stream or download Episode #74:  Episode 74 w/ McDougall

He’s well known on the West Coast for his “one-man band” act, banging on a drum kit while singing, strumming a guitar or banjo or blowing into a harmonica. But Scott McDougall (aka McDougall) has musical ideas that stretch well beyond the limitations of what he can play all at once.

On his new album, “Reaching For The Light,” McDougall took a fresh approach. He explained his thinking to our hosts on Episode #74 of That Much Further West Podcast, saying, “I’m not gonna think about genre. I’m not gonna think about instrument limitations. I’m just gonna do what’s in my head.”

The results are stunning, and that’s why we were thrilled to have McDougall into The Helm as guest on our latest podcast. A super talented and genial gent, Scott talks about the process of recording the new record, playing nearly all the instruments while working with mixing engineer Jon Burbank and performing at his record release with a full band. And while he continues to perform as a one-man band, he said he also finds satisfaction in working collaboratively, as he has on other side projects.

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McDougall laying down the goodness in The Helm.

On this episode, McDougall demonstrates how all he needs is a guitar or a banjo to deliver the goods. He performs three stellar live performances, showing off his playing abilities and a terrific talent for word play and melody.

He also talks about his upbringing in a religious household in California, his discovery of punk music and the influence of other genres on his musical development. His choice of songs by Tom Waits, Charles Mingus and Bad Brains illustrates those wide-ranging influences.

You can pick up McDougall’s new album at your local record store and at all the usual places online. Be sure to grab a copy and follow all things McDougall at his website.

In the meantime, whether its an introduction or a furthering of your love for McDougall, enjoy Episode #74! Here’s the playlist:

Roads, McDougall
This Very Hour (Live In The Helm), McDougall
Cut Loose, McDougall
Tango Till They’re Sore, Tom Waits
Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, Charles Mingus
Sailin’ On, Bad Brains
Broken Wheels (Live In The Helm), McDougall
Leaning On The Everlasting Arms, McDougall
Cutting The Grass/Early On The Hill (Live In The Helm), McDougall

Episode #73 featuring Lowlight

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Buddies for life . . . Chris Viola and Nick Foltz of Lowlight.

Stream or download Episode #73:  Episode 73 w/ Lowlight

Our podcast ramp-up to this week’s Wildwood MusicFest & Campout hits a crescendo with a visit to our homebase, The Helm, by Nick Foltz and Chris Viola, the leader and lead guitarist, respectively, of Portland’s Lowlight.

With a pair of acoustic guitars in tow, Nick and Chris play a couple of original songs and tell us how Lowlight evolved from the mind of Foltz to become a fully fleshed-out rock and soul machine with the additions of Carmen Paradise on bass, James Pearson on drums and now a horn section primed for the band’s Friday night performance at Wildwood.

DSCN0945The taping of Episode #73 was made even more special by the presence of Nick’s dad Ken Foltz and an old rock-and-roll pal from his North Carolina days, Cameron Thomas. Nick explains how both gentlemen played key roles in his musical development, from music fan to player to writer and singer.

Nick and Chris also talk about some of the other musical influences in their upbringing, and Nick shared songs by Leon Russell, The Kinks and David Bowie as samplings from his musical DNA. We also play a couple of songs from local projects Nick has been involved in, including The John Brown Band and Truckstop Darlin’.

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Lowlight lads getting it done in The Helm.

One listen to this episode and you’ll understand why we’re so jacked up for Wildwood this year, and when Nick talks about his involvement in the Sunday morning festival all-star session, you’ll know why we plan to stick around all weekend long.

So fire it up! Episode #73 is designed to get you in the mood for Wildwood.

Here’s the playlist:

Flung Too Far, Lowlight
Try Again, Lowlight
Bloodlines (Live In The Helm), Lowlight
Sing Me Away, Lowlight
Hummingbird, Leon Russell
Strangers, The Kinks
Starman, David Bowie
The Pond, The John Brown Band
Bluegrass State, Truckstop Darlin’
Hands (Live In The Helm), Lowlight

 

Episode #72 featuring The Hill Dogs

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Taylor Kingman, gearing up to lead the Hill Dogs at Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

 

Stream or download Episode #72:  Episode 72 w/ Hill Dogs

The fifth-annual Wildwood MusicFest & Campout in Willamina, OR, USA, is just a few weeks away, and to kick off our coverage The Hill Dogs visited The Helm to share some songs and provide an update on what they’ve been up to since their festival appearance three years ago.

Formed while the members were still in high school, the Hill Dogs have held together and honed their chops to become one of the Northwest’s best rockin’ folk bands. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Taylor Kingman, the band put out its second album, “Hang In There,” earlier this year and is currently recording a third record expected out next year.

Kingman talks a bit about the holding the band together while the group enters early adulthood, and also about taking advantage of opportunities to play a few solo shows since moving to Portland from small-town Oregon. While taking the lead as the Hill Dogs main songwriter, he said he still works collaboratively with his mates as the band’s sound continues to evolve.

He’s also joined by fellow ‘Dogs Kayla Stroik (viola, vocals) and Lucas Benoit (guitar) for a pair of live performances of new songs expected to be on the next Hill Dogs record. And if these performances aren’t enough to stoke the interest of festival goers, Taylor’s stories from the band’s previous experience at Wildwood should be reason enough for folks to keep their eyes out for The Hill Dogs at this year’s festival (hint: be sure to hydrate).

So dial it up and spread the word — it’s The Hill Dogs on Episode #72 of That Much Further West Podcast! Here’s the playlist:

Mindhole, The Hill Dogs
Mother Mountain (Live In The Helm), The HIll Dogs
Landlocked Blues, Bright Eyes
Two-Headed Boy, Neutral Milk Hotel
From, Dr. Dog
Burning Bright (Live In The Helm), The Hill Dogs
Thick Was The Night, The Hill Dogs

Episode #71 featuring Birger Olsen

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The Quiet Man: Birger Olsen. Photo courtesy of Mama Bird Recording Co.

Stream or download Episode #71:   Episode 71 w/ Birger Olsen

They don’t make ’em like they used to. Truer words were never spoken, or in this case sung by Birger Olsen, the quiet and steady guitarist from the band Denver who explores his smokey blues side on a new six-song solo record, “The Lights Just Buzz.”

Birger stopped by The Helm to share some stories and songs and promote the new release for Episode #71 of That Much Further West Podcast.

Listening the new record, it’s easy to understand why it’s creating such a strong early buzz in the Americana scene. Birger taps into a mysterious, bluesy vein he says has long been at the root of his musical foundation, revealing the influence that several of his musical heroes have had on his writing — artists like Taj Mahal, Lyle Lovett and Ry Cooder.

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Rainier beer and smokey blues: Birger Olsen live in The Helm.

On this episode, Birger talks about his decision to record the six songs on the new release with the help of musical partner Ben Nugent, who guided the recording process and added a few special touches to help him convey a sort of nightclub vibe — a music noir if you will — that oozes from the record. He also speaks of his musical upbringing and how he first got into playing country music only after arriving in Portland, and how he formed Denver with a few of his musical pals in his adopted hometown.

Birger also shares of a couple of gem-like live solo acoustic performances from the new record: the title cut, and another called “Slow Bone.”

On June 30, Birger will be celebrating his record release with a show at Mississippi Studios in Portland along with Kele Goodwin and the rest of Denver. To pre-order “The Lights Just Buzz,” due in stores later this week, visit the dedicated Mama Bird Recording Co. page. Also, watch for Birger at the annual Americana Music Association festival in Nashville in September.

In the meantime, dial up the podcast and give it a spin! Here’s the playlist for Episode #71:

The Lights Just Buzz, Birger Olsen
You Look As Sweet (Live In The Helm), Birger Olsen
Sweet Mama Janisse, Taj Mahal
God Will, Lyle Lovett
Tattler, Ry Cooder
Bird In The Morning Dew, Denver
Sammyville, Denver
Rabbit Dancing, Denver
Slow Bone (Live In The Helm), Birger Olsen
Hummin’, Birger Olsen

Episode #69 featuring Stars of Cascadia

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Representing Stars of Cascadia (l to r): Scott Jeffries, Mandy Allan and John Nyen. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Stream or download Episode #69:  Episode 69 w/ Stars of Cascadia

When we first met Stars of Cascadia last summer, they had just launched as a local band ready to make some noise in the Americana scene in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. Now they’re back in The Helm with a debut CD called “Riverside Skyline” and ready to rock with a big celebration show this Friday, May 20 at White Eagle Saloon.

According to the band’s leader, Scott Jeffries, the new CD came together quickly under the guidance of producer/engineer Bryan Daste at his Magic Closet studio. With songwriting contributions from several band members, the seven-piece Stars pooled their talents to deliver some beautiful renderings of their heartfelt alt-country songs, some of which the trio of Jeffries, singer Mandy Allan and fiddle player John Nyen perform here live for Episode #69 of That Much Further West Podcast.

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Stars for the night in The Helm: Mandy, John and Scott of Stars of Cascadia. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

They also preview a few songs from the debut album that show off the talents of the various songwriters from the band. Each is a poignant look into the life of the author, a theme that often brings out the best in country music. And by sharing a few selections by artists who have influenced his songwriting, Jeffries displays a leaning toward the sentimental and wistful, things that may not seem obvious considering the scathing nature of a few of the originals he shares.

All in all, the band paints a fairly complete portrait of what they’re about and how they bring their hard-boiled stories to life. So sit back and enjoy this hour with Stars of Cascadia, and be sure to pick up a copy of the new record at their show this Friday night or at any of a number of online outlets when the disc goes live later in the week.

Here’s the playlist:

Santa Ana Winds (Live In The Helm), Stars of Cascadia
Life Of The Party (Live In The Helm), Stars of Cascadia
Judge Moore (Live In The Helm), Stars of Cascadia
$1,000 Wedding, Gram Parsons
TVA, Drive-By Truckers
Tonight, Shine A Light, Matthew Lindley
The Man I Am, Stars of Cascadia
Lowmoor, Stars of Cascadia
Bad Habits, Stars of Cascadia

TMFWP Special: Portland Country Underground — An Appreciation

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The lads of Portland Country Underground in their native habitat, Laurelthirst Public House (l to r): David Lipkind, Darrin Craig, David Reisch, Lewi Longmire, Ben Nugent and Jason Montgomery.

Stream or download TMFWP Special:
Portland Country Underground — An Appreciation:
PCU Podcast Special

By PHIL FAVORITE
For That Much Furhter West Podcast
Since forming about five years ago as a Monday night happy hour band at the Laurelthirst Public House, Portland Country Underground, or PCU as they are known, has had a handful of individual lineup changes. But in terms of talent, the band has been a model of consistency, providing their fun-loving fans with songs from a catalog that spans the history of Americana music and often dips into the obscure and inspirational.

The current PCU lineup features longtime members Darrin Craig on rhythm guitar, Lewi Longmire on lead guitar, David Lipkind on harmonica, Dave Reisch on bass and relative newcomers Ben Nugent on drums and Jason Montgomery on pedal steel and lap steel guitar. All are respected veterans of the Portland music scene, and Reisch provides a direct link to Portland’s past — he was a member of the Holy Modal Rounders, plays with trippy-hippy veterans the Freak Mountain Ramblers, and when singing with PCU leads the band through a few songs made famous by fellow Portland alt-country and folk pioneers such as Jeffrey Frederick.

Kansas-born W.C. Beck was an original member of PCU and added a healthy dose of Midwest authenticity to the act, which you can hear on his song “Poor Man.” Like a few other former members of the band, he has since moved away from Portland but usually sits in with PCU when he returns here for visits. His cousin Darrin Craig, another Kansan, keeps that Midwestern vibe in tact, which you can hear when he sings “Pray For Rain.”

That song features some supernatural harmonica playing by David Lipkind, who occasionally takes lead vocal duties and is always at the ready to add some sweet harmonies or drop an insane harp solo when called on by the band’s live traffic cop, Lewi Longmire. When he’s not ripping a hot guitar solo of his own, Longmire is calling the shots, passing out solos between Lipkind and Montgomery or taking lead singing duties on songs by artists as varied as Mel Tillis, Ronnie Lane and Jimbo Mathis. He occasionally adds an original tune to the mix, such as the one we share here, “Baby, Would You Take Me Home.”

Needless to say, we’re huge fans and admirers of PCU, who sit at the top of sweet list of top-notch alt-country happy hour bands that we’re privileged to enjoy here in Portland.

You can catch Portland Country Underground for free on the first, second, fourth Monday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Laurelthirst Public House. If you do, be sure to tip the band and your bartenders.

A special podcast thank you to our pal and local recording guru Greg Fuller for providing us with these wonderful sound files. Feel free to stream or download the individual tracks from this special edition of the podcast.

Stream or Download “Poor Man” here:  Poor Man

Stream or download “Pray For Rain” here: Pray For Rain

Stream or download “Baby, Would You Take Me Home?” here: Baby, Would You Take Me Home?