Episode #56 featuring Sassparilla

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The good folks of Sassparilla: (front, l to r) Colin Macdonald, Kevin Blackwell, Naima, and Ross Macdonald (standing). Photo by Chad Lanning (www.chadlanningphoto.com)

Episode #56 with Sassparilla

Few Americana bands in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., inspire the kind of loyalty displayed here last weekend by the fans of Sassparilla, the beloved folk-punk combo that went from busking in the streets to packing the biggest rooms in town in a blurr-like, 10-year run.

Playing their first show in nine months, Sassparilla returned to action in front of a sold-out Doug Fir Lounge on Friday night, bringing their high-energy high-wire act to an adoring throng that has remained loyal to the band while they’ve been taking time off to figure their next big move.

That’s why we were thrilled that the good folks of Sassparilla, led by front man Kevin Blackwell, took the time to visit The Helm for an interview and performance as guests for Episode #56 of That Much Further West Podcast.

During the interview, Kevin spoke about his recent move from Portland to suburban Milwaukie, Wisconsin, and how life in the Midwest is treating him and his family well. He also reflected on the blessings of his Portland experience, especially the relationship the band has built with its fans and also its record label, Portland-based Fluff & Gravy Records.

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Sassparilla, sharing to good stuff in The Helm. Photo by Chad Lanning

Most of the band — including the father-son team of Ross Macdonald (harmonica) and Colin Macdonald (wash tub bass), and multi-instrumentalist and singer Naima — joined Kevin for the performance of two brand-new Sassparilla songs. Ace guitarist Jamie Stillwell supplemented the band with some world-class picking on her resonator guitar.

Inspired by the presence of Sassparilla, co-host Eric Kotila picked out some songs to share by bands he feels would fit well on a bill with Sassparilla, whose fast-paced style and acoustic leanings typify a kind of Americana we love and often share on the show. We also share a few songs by a pair of ladies emerging in the alt-country scene, Lera Lynn and Ashley Monroe, and co-host Mike Lee celebrated a fun rock show he recently attended by playing a song by The Eagles of Death Metal.

It’s all right here on Episode #56. So sit back, relax and prepare to do some toe-tapping with the fun-loving gang from Sassparilla. All you have to do is press play.

Here’s the songlist:

Anchor’s The Way, The Calamity Cubes
Long Way Home, Jayke Orvis
7 Devils, The Goddamn Gallows
Another Kind, McDougall
Mutiny (Live In The Helm), Sassparilla
Those Poor Darlings (Live In The Helm), Sassparilla
Rebel Flags, Ron Rogers & The Wailing Wind
Amexica, Trujillo
Jimmy Carter, Blue Mountain
Standing On The Moon, Lera Lynn
If The Devil Don’t Want Me, Ashley Monroe
So Easy, The Eagles of Death Metal
We’re Getting Closer To The Grave Each Day, Michael Dean Damron
Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore, John Moreland

Episode #53 featuring Mike Coykendall

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The one and only Mike Coykendall. Photo by Chad Lanning (courtesy of Fluff & Gravy Records)

Episode #53 featuring Mike Coykendall

We’re gearing up big time this week for the upcoming Wildwood MusicFest & Campout here in beautiful Oregon, but we made time to gather with friends for another hot summertime episode in The Helm, this time featuring local musical treasure Mike Coykendall as our guest.

Mike has a fantastic new record coming out this week on Fluff & Gravy Records called “Half Past, Present Pending,” the follow up to his terrific release from a few years back, “Chasing Away The Dots.” He’ll be doing promotional shows all week locally, so if you’re in the Pacific Northwest and want to see a truly original performer, be sure catch one of these handful of gigs (click on our “Live Music Portland” tab for a listing of local shows).

On this episode, Mike tells us about his musical upbringing and the path that led him from America’s heartland to Portland via San Francisco, where he formed and made three great records with the band Old Joe Clarks in the 90s and early oughts. Mike also is a very-much-in-demand audio engineer and producer, having worked with the likes of M Ward and Richmond Fontaine, and has toured the world as a member of M Ward’s band and its popular spinoff, She & Him.

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Mike Coykendall, telling stories and sharing songs  in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler

Mr. Coykendall also shares a couple of sweet live performances on his Baby Taylor acoustic, both songs from the new record. One is a cover of Syd Barrett’s “Late Night,” and the other an original tune called “You Don’t Have To Treat You That Way.”

We also play a couple of recordings from the new record, including “Spacebaker Blues,” a song quite reflective of what Mike’s “rig” shows sound like . . . one man singing, jamming fuzzed out guitar, playing drums with just his feet and occasionally twisting the knobs on an array of assorted electronics. His spin on Roger Miller’s “In The Summertime” illustrates his ability to take somebody else’s song and put his personal stamp on it.

This episode also has new music from some of our favorite artists and bands, including Aaron Lee Tasjan, Jason Isbell, Heartless Bastards and The Swearengens. Lots to chew on with this episode.

So dial it in and crank it up, folks! We’ll see you at Wildwood at the end of the week. Here’s the playlist:

American Tan, Aaron Lee Tasjan
Something More Than Free, Jason Isbell
Ode To Whiskey, Deception Past
Late Night (Live In The Helm), Mike Coykendall
You Don’t Have To Treat You That Way (Live In The Helm), Mike Coykendall
Spacebaker Blues, Mike Coykendall
In The Summertime, Mike Coykendall
Cigarettes, Matthew Lindley
Black Cloud, Heartless Bastards
Last Ride, C.W. Ayon
Stono River Blues, Shovels & Rope
Long Lonely Winter, The Swearengens
Cherokee, John Moreland
Nobody Asked To Be Born, Shane Sweeney
15 White Horses, HIllstomp
I Still Believe, Frank Turner

Episode #41 featuring Denver

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 #36 featuring Nick Foltz of Lowlight

Nick Foltz. Photo by Christopher Sohler

Nick Foltz of Lowlight                                                                                                  Photo courtesy of  Christopher Sohler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode #36 — Featuring Nick Foltz of Lowlight

We’re back! And oh how we’ve missed you. After a month in the throes of an early fall storm of local music shows, our fearless hosts returned to The Helm to put together Episode #36 of That Much Further West Podcast. Especially sweet on this episode is the jovial presence of Nick Foltz, singer-songwriter-leader of the one of Portland’s hottest new bands, Lowlight.

Listeners may be familiar with Nick from his days playing bass and singing backups with Truckstop Darlin’, a band he left about a two years ago to pursue his own music. Right on schedule, Nick and his new band recently celebrated the release of their debut CD “After Sundown” and gave locals a glimpse of how it all works with a batch of recent shows.

On this episode, Nick shares a few stories about the making of the record, how he found a home among the music scene in Portland and how the release of the new record has spurred a fresh batch of new songwriting, illustrated best by a live performance of a new tune called “The Fire Outside.”

If you live in Portland, be sure to catch Lowlight performing around town through the rest of the year, and pick up a copy of “After Sundown” at your favorite music store outlet or download the songs at the band’s website, lowlightmusic.com.

This episode also features many of the talented artists who have performed recently in Portland or have a show coming up, such as Austin Lucas, Deadstring Brothers and The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit. We also share the b-side of a new single from Drunken Prayer, due out soon on Deer Lodge Records, and also a song from the new record from M. Lockwood Porter, one of the best we’ve heard this fall.

So let’s fire it up, folks. Here’s the playlist:

Small Town Heart, Austin Lucas
Chris Bell, M. Lockwood Porter
Austin (Ain’t Got No) City Limits, Emily Herring
Stella Lovely, Arliss Nancy
Through Eternity, The Ganges River Band
I Love A Gambler, Copper & Coal
Modern Flood, Lowlight
The Fire Outside (Live In The Helm), Nick Foltz
Peaceful Release (Live In The Helm), Nick Foltz
Sing Me Away, Lowlight
Satin Sheets, Drunken Prayer
Smile, Deadstring Brothers
The Very Best, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit
Life Of Sin, Sturgill Simpson
Bluegrass State, Truckstop Darlin’

Episode #35 — Lazy Late Summer Daze

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Episode #35 — Lazy Late Summer Daze

Labor Day has come and gone, the kids are back in school, football is in full swing and we’re gearing up for a big, big fall season full of awesome music here in our home base of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

This week we revisit some of the best music of the year so far and also preview a few of September’s upcoming highlights, including this coming weekend’s Fluff & Gravy Festival at Music On The Mounds in Little Rock, Washington, and our own That Much Further West Fest coming up Sept. 19 at The Barn in Portland.

Word on the street is there are just a handful of tickets available for the Fluff & Gravy Festival, so act fast if you want to be a part of that all-day-and-into-Sunday event. Also this coming weekend, we’ll have boots on the ground at the Chinook Music Festival in Naches, Washington, where Root Jack will be featured, and also at the North Twin reunion show in Seattle. Busy times, good times.

So let’s start psyching up for another fantastic week of tunes and bask in the last lazy days of summer. Here’s the playlist for Episode #35:

I’ll Be Here In The Morning, Don Williams
Rise Again, Root Jack
Drunk & Single (for George Jones), Joe Fletcher
Runaways & Strays (featuring Chris Robley), Mike Coykendall
Deadman’s Blues, Matt Woods
Every Night About This Time, Rachel Brooke
The Lord Will Come, Hillfolk Noir
Hurtin’ Albertan, Corb Lund
Somewhere Else, Lydia Loveless
Chemical Plant, Robert Ellis
Nothing Like You, Mario Matteoli
Early Morning Shakes, Whiskey Myers
Pretty Pictures, Country Lips
End Of The Line, Hurray For The Riff Raff
Cocaine, Sassparilla
Santa Fe Line, Hillstomp
Hartwood Train, The Shivering Denizens
I’ve Been Down A Might Long Time, Drunken Prayer
My Best Girl, Lucero

Episode #34 featuring Rich West Blatt

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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 #32: Wildwood Memories 2014

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Episode #32 — Wildwood Memories 2014

Another Wildwood Music Fest & Campout is in the books, but the hangover continues. Our podcast hosts convened in their private clubhouse, The Helm, to relive the event and tell stories alongside our pal and guest Kris Stuart from Root Jack, one of the many great performers from the festival.

Co-hosts Eric Kotila and Mike Lee and Kris share tales from the weekend — some of the best revolve around the performers like Willy Tea Taylor, Brothers Of The Last Watch and Saturday night headliner Larry And His Flask. Alas, third amigo and co-host Phil Favorite missed the festival while on vacation with his family, but he still manages to share a few tales from the road, including his interaction and interview with hot young musician Aaron Lee Tasjan that published here at the TMFWP website while he was gone.

Speaking of Mr. Tasjan, Kris tells us about playing as part of ALT’s recent week-long residency here in Portland and also tells the story about Root Jack’s eventful set at Wildwood, when the lights went out and a horse-headed dancer appeared. Then Kris shares a song from one of his cool side projects, The John Brown Band, and recaps his Sunday morning performance with the Wildwood All-Star Review doing a tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival.

With Wildwood 2014 behind us, we’re lining up guests to finish off the summer podcast season in style. You’ll also be hearing in coming weeks about the That Much Further West Podcast live showcase called “Further West Fest” scheduled for September 19 at Dante’s here in Portland.

But for now, crank up our Wildwood recap episode. Here’s the playlist. Enjoy.

Frank T. James, Brothers Of The Last Watch
Big Jim’s Guitar, Willy Tea Taylor
Stopping By, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Don’t Walk Away, Aaron Lee Tasjan
Stingray, Jim Lauderdale
Beyond The Moon, Old Man Markley
Fine Foods Market, Tim Barry
Tell My Mother I Miss Her So, Ryan Bingham
The Mill Whistle (Live In The Helm), Kris Stuart
Wichita Skyline, Drag The River
Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat), Beck
As Long As There Is Whskey In The World, Murder By Death
Country Boy, Johnny Cash
Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore, John Moreland

 

TMFWP Special: Five Questions with Aaron Lee Tasjan

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Aaron Lee Tasjan

Is he a hot-shot electric guitar-playing gun-for-hire, or is he really just a folkie trapped in a shredder’s body?

Aaron Lee Tasjan’s still young and precocious enough to be whatever he wants to be. The 20-something Ohio native has made a name for himself playing guitar as a member of numerous well-known rock bands, including Alberta Cross, Everest, the New York Dolls and Drivin’ N Cryin’. He’s also a noted songwriter — his songs have been picked up by the likes of Jack White and country star Pat Green.

And if you search the internet for Tasjan, you’ll find pictures of him hanging out and playing with a dizzying array of New York City rock and folk legends, people like Blondie drummer Clem Burke and Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye. The list goes on and on.

But folks on the East Coast also know Tasjan for his solo act, where he combines his ample talents for guitar playing and clever songwriting. It’s all on display on his debut solo EP, “Crooked River Burning,” a terrific five-song release that came out earlier this year.

Listen to “Don’t Walk Away” from Crooked River Burning:

“Don’t Walk Away” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

He recently completed a co-headlining tour with rising alt-country star Caleb Caudle and will be holding down a week-long residency at Al’s Den in Portland, starting Sunday, July 20. That Much Further West Podcast producer and co-host Phil Favorite caught up with Tasjan for a conversation as he prepared for his trip to Portland.

TMFWP: You’re fairly well known in the rock community as an electric guitar-playing sideman, but you are also a guy who embraces his folkier side. What can we expect to hear and see at the residency?

ALT: Funny enough, that’s exactly what you will hear — rock and roll guitar over top of folk songs. I actually started in folk music, though. My first gig ever was opening for Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary). Doesn’t get more folk than that!

TMFWP: Well, since you mentioned Peter Yarrow, we have to ask about all the legends who you’ve played with both publicly and privately. As a guy so young, do you ever have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming?

ALT: Yes, I constantly have to pinch myself. Earlier this year in Mexico I was playing guitar with my favorite band Drivin’ N Cryin’. On our last song John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin) walked on stage and played mandolin and sang with us. We also had rock and roll dynamo Chuck Prophet on stage for that one, too. One of the highlights of my life.

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TMFWP: The new EP allows listeners to hear your voice and learn more about your songwriting. Does it feel good to share your own songs instead of playing everybody else’s?

ALT: Yeah, most people don’t know it but I was always making up songs. My songs have been recorded by Pat Green, BP Fallon and Jack White and have been on TV shows like “The Voice” and a couple movies, too. Most recently “The Way Way Back” starring Steve Carell. I’ve been playing and singing my songs for people for 10 years. The guitar-playing thing is just a side note to what I really do.

Listen to “Junk Food and Drugs” from Crooked River Burning:

“Junk Food and Drugs” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

TMFWP: How’s the response been to the EP since its release in March?

ALT: Very proud of the EP. I’ve gotten a great response. I can’t believe that it continues to reach people. I credit the musicians who played on it with me like Anton Fier, who also produced it, and Chris Morrissey, Tony Scherr, Rich Hinman, Grey McMurray and Erik Deutsch. They’re the real heroes.

TMFWP: Have you ever toured the West Coast or been to Portland? What are looking forward to most about the residency and/or tour?

ALT: I have toured through there before opening for both Everest and Alberta Cross. I love Portland. I look forward to accidentally guesting on Portlandia, starting my own microbrewery and fashioning a canoe out of a tree to ride to the gig each day.

Aaron Lee Tasjan plays Al’s Den at the Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland July 20-26. Shows start at 7 p.m. and all are free. Guests include local acts Casey Neill, Kris Stuart of Root Jack, Kathryn Claire and Jake Ray. For more information, visit the Al’s Den website.