Episode #50 — Secret Aardvark Takeover featuring Purusa


HOT STUFF: Zach Hinkelman (left) and Kris Kirkman of Purusa. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Episode #50 — Secret Aardvark Takeover

It was a hot time in the old Helm when we turned the keys to the podcast over to our friends and sponsors Stacy Moritz and Kip Lindig, the faces of Secret Aardvark Trading Company. They’re the folks who not only delight us and our podcast guests with their fabulous habanero sauce, but they’re dear friends from the local Portland music scene who carry on the professional legacy of our late, great friend Scott Moritz, aka Scotland Barr.

Before we lost Scotland to pancreatic cancer a few years back, he had established himself as one of the brightest lights and rising stars of Portland’s Americana as front man for his band, The Slow Drags. With his gravelly voice, acoustic guitar, stringy hair and striking 6-foot-5 frame, Scotland led from the front, directing the band on a steady rise from obscurity to local and regional fame on the strength of two terrific records and a heavy schedule of gigs.


Scotland Barr

All the while, Scotland — a successful chef, restauranteur and saucier — was establishing Secret Aardvark Trading Co., an outfit delighting local foodies with its hot sauce and marinades. Like his band, Scotland’s sauce company was on the rise at the time of his cancer diagnosis.

Carrying on Scotland’s legacy — with both the sauce company and the music — has been no small task for Stacy (his widow) and his former bandmates, among them his close pal Zach Hinkelman, lead guitarist from the Slow Drags. Zach proved instrumental in helping his bandmates push through their grief to eventually finish the album (We Will Be Forgotten) they began before Scotland’s passing.


Zach and Kris from Purusa, laying it down in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler.

The Secret Aardvark crew invited Zach to the podcast to share old stories about his experiences with the Slow Drags and also to update us with what he’s been working on musically, specifically a return to his old band Purusa, which has a show coming up at the Aladdin Theater in Portland on July 11. Zach and his Purusa partner Kris Kirkman show off their terrific talents performing a couple of original songs acoustically.

While choosing the guest for the show, Stacy and Kip also picked songs for the podcast playlist, combining a healthy dose of Scotland Barr songs from all three albums with classic songs that fit the Secret Aardvark “hot” theme, as you can see from the list below. As the beer and whiskey continue to flow, things get a little emotional as we remember our dear departed pal Scott and the impact he left on all of us.

So settle in and come along for the ride, and pour yourself a puddle of Aardvark to help keep it hot. Here’s the playlist.

Burning House of Love, X
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Sun Years, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Saving Grace, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Always Cherry, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Delta Dive, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Green Grass (Live In The Helm), Purusa
Man Of The Year (Live In The Helm), Purusa
Ring Of Fire, Johnny Cash
Play With Fire, The Rolling Stones
Hot Child In The City, Nick Gilder
Juanita, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Dirty Old Waltz, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Come To Bed, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
If You Fall, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Rock Solid, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Right Where You’re Supposed To Be, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
Washing Over Me, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
You’re Gonna Be All Right, Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags