For the record, his name is Henry Kammerer, and for the last 15-or-so years, he and his musical partner John Johnson have lifted their band, the blues/punk duo Hillstomp, above the loud din of independent music made in our hometown of Portland, OR, USA, to become one of the Northwest’s best-loved musical acts.
The popularity of Hillstomp — and its organic growth over the past decade and a half — is just one of the cool topics we cover on this episode featuring Henry as our guest in The Helm. We also talk about the making of HIllstomp’s great record from earlier this, titled Portland, Ore., the making of the video for the song “Don’t Come Down” (see it at the bottom of this post) and the birth of the band at an open mic that Henry describes as a “blues punk explosion.”
Henry even shares a song from the record, playing a solo acoustic version of Hillstomp’s “Crowhurst,” one the great cuts from Portland, Ore., out now on Fluff & Gravy Records. And as beautiful a version as it is, the best way to get the full, rowdy Hillstomp experience is to see their high-energy live act. The band headlines a fantastic bill this coming Friday night at Wonder Ballroom in Portland with podcast favorites The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit and Jeffrey Martin. Go check it out!
Also on this week’s episode, our fearless co-hosts share some of the music that has been buzzing around in their worlds. First up is a set shared by Eric Kotila featuring nominees for song of the year by one of our favorite sources for music news, Saving Country Music, and includes songs from podcast favorites Lydia Loveless, Hellbound Glory and the mighty Matt Woods.
Next up is Mike Lee’s set of protest-inspired tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s. As Mike explains, the national events that have hijacked the headlines and inspired millions of Americans to take to the streets have had his head spinning over the past few weeks. As is his nature, when searching for solace and answers to life’s big conundrums, Mike turns to music.
And in the final set, Phil Favorite shares some new discoveries after wading through an ocean of critical top picks from 2014, and also pays tribute to the recently deceased Ian McLagan, the legendary keyboardist who made rock and roll history as part of Small Faces and Faces.
Yes, lots to chew on in this episode. So give it a listen and don’t forget to check out Hillstomp’s new video (see below). Here’s this week’s playlist:
Life I Want, Hillstomp
Crowhurst, Henry Kammerer live in The Helm
It Ain’t You (featuring Willie Nelson), Ray Benson
I’ll Be Here In The Morning, Don Williams
Everything’s Gone, Lydia Loveless
Streets of Aberdeen, Hellbound Glory
Liberty Bell, Matt Woods
The City of New Orleans, Arlo Guthrie
Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival
My Uncle, The Flying Burrito Brothers
This Ain’t No Picnic, The Minutemen
Ohio, Neil Young
OK Whiskey, Jason Eady
American Middle Class, Angaleena Presley
Cherry Licorice, The Felice Brothers
Truck Stop Gospel, Parker Millsap
Wicked Messenger, Faces
Everywhere Now, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit