Review of Hellhound In The House by Hip Hatchet

Hellhound In The House EP
by Hip Hatchet

One listen, 100 words
By MIKE LEE

The protest song is a tradition not unique to America but somewhat apropos to our current situation. Portland, Oregon-based Hip Hatchet paints a stark portrait of a country facing complicated challenges. How do we fight the battle that seems overwhelming? Will we be triumphant when our weapons of songs, poems and love battle the almighty dollar? Do we stand a chance if the fight turns into another civil war to be battled in the streets? We are walking a tightrope in America and we need voices and songs to keep us grounded and marching to victory over vile hatred.

So it goes.

Listen to “Hellhound in the House”:  Hellhound in the House

Listen to “Burden of an Empath”:  Burden of an Empath

Listen to “Great Divide”: Great Divide

Episode #79 featuring Jon Neufeld

Portland’s Jon Neufeld stopped by The Helm to talk about his production work and playing on the new Smithsonian Folkways collection “Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs.” Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Stream or download Episode #79: Episode 79 w/ Jon Neufeld

When it comes to playing guitar, Jon Neufeld seems to have it all covered. From bluegrass to folk to gypsy jazz, Neufeld has been a go-to guy having built a national reputation for superb playing from our hometown of Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

And more and more, it seems Neufeld is becoming a go-to producer as well. Such was the case when executives were looking for somebody to wrangle a talented cast of artists to put together “Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie’s 26 Northwest Songs,” a new collection of the songs that made a lasting impact on the music and history of the Columbia River region.

With the new record out on Smithsonian Folkways (the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institute), the podcast team invited Neufeld into The Helm to talk about the project and also his evolution and career as a working musician based in the Pacific Northwest. Neufeld brought along Darrin Craig, his longtime bandmate from local bluegrass stalwarts Jackstraw, to sing some Guthrie songs and tell stories from their early days of making music together.

Jon Neufeld (left) and Darrin Craig get down on some Woody tunes in The Helm. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media

Not only did Neufeld produce the record but he also played on many of the 26 songs, including one sung here by Craig titled “The Ballad of Great Grand Coulee.” He also shares songs from the album sung by Michael Hurley, Al James (Dolorean) and Martha Scanlan and talks about some of the influences that have spurred his musical growth both as a player and producer.

We encourage you to dig into this new collection of songs and learn more about the lasting legacy of Woody Guthrie and his impact on the history of our local region. You can order the CD or download it directly from Smithsonian Folkways by following this link, and we hope you’ll look up online performances by Neufeld in his many musical adventures, including his work with Jackstraw (see below), Scanlan, Black Prairie and the Kung Pao Chickens.

In the meantime, enjoy Episode #79 of That Much Further West Podcast. Here’s the playlist:

Just Another Way to Go, Jackstraw
Pastures of Plenty,
Michael Hurley and Jon Neufeld
The Talkin’ Blues, Al James and Jon Neufeld
Jackhammer Blues (Jackhammer John), Martha Scanlan and Jon Neufeld
Ballad of the Great Grand Coulee (Live In The Helm), Darrin Craig and Jon Neufeld
1913 Massacre (Live In The Helm), Darrin Craig and Jon Neufeld
Minor Swing, Django Reinhardt
Black Mountain Blues (Rag) & Soldier’s Joy, Clarence White
When I Was A Boy, Electric Light Orchestra
Nowhere Massachusetts, Black Prairie

TMFWP Special: Live From The Helm, Vol. 3

Mamma Coal celebrated the release of her widely anticipated album “Raven Haired Vixen” with a visit to The Helm. That’s 2016 Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee Paul Brainard riding shotgun. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com).

Stream or download Live From The Helm, Vol. 3:  Live From The Helm Vol. 3

There were a lot of things about 2016 we’d like to forget — it was a year of staggering losses for both the music world and the great wide world in general. Still, our team at That Much Further West Podcast had much to be thankful for, namely the incredible roster of guests we hosted at The Helm for podcast episodes this year.

From start to finish, this year marked a great leap forward for the podcast. The team decided to narrow the focus, dedicating the entirety of each episode to our individual guests. That way we learned more about their histories, their influences, their hopes and dreams and their immediate plans for the future. All celebrated remarkable successes this year and we were happy to promote their fine work and proud to host them in our subterranean home in Portland — The Helm!

Nick Foltz of Lowlight added his usual heavy dose of cool to The Helm scene in 2016. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com).

We were pleased to rope in some more out-of-towners this year, including Seattle’s Evening Bell and national acts John Moreland and Aaron Lee Tasjan. We also were thrilled to highlight the great work being down by local longtime friends like Mamma Coal, Nick Foltz of Lowlight and Birger Olsen. We even made some great new friends in Kory Quinn and Taylor Kingman of the Hill Dogs, and hooked up with local legends such as Willy Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine and the mighty Fernando. All were incredibly inspiring to the team.

Still, 2016 will be remembered for our many musical losses, one big electoral loss and another that’s particularly personal to our team. We said goodbye the father of our Hoot, our friend Chuck Noland, a loss that proved particularly devastating. That’s why we wrap up “Live From The Helm, Vol. 3” with a beautiful tribute to Chuck by Maria Francis and Jeff Overbo of Silver Lake 66. In a year full of tears, there wasn’t a dry eye in The Helm during that performance.

But as we reflect on the past year before turning the calendar page, enjoy this collection of songs we proudly share here with you. We’ll see you in 2017!

Here’s the playlist:

Memphis Rain, Aaron Lee Tasjan
Our Horse Barn, Kris Stuart
Ride Through The Night, Mamma Coal
Three Brothers Roll Into Town, Willy Vlautin
In The Shadow Of The Tower Of Babel, Kory Quinn
Devil’s House, Evening Bell
A Lovely Conversation, The Harmed Brothers
Life Of The Party, Stars Of Cascadia
You Look As Sweet, Birger Olsen
Mother Mountain, The Hill Dogs
Bloodlines, Lowlight
This Very Hour, McDougall
Wasted And Waiting My Saturday Night, Lewi & Anita
Late Bloomer, Matthew Lindley
True Instigator, Fernando
Walk Away, Silver Lake 66

Our podcast hosts, at home in The Helm, left to right: Mike Lee, Eric Kotila and Phil Favorite.

December Podcast Picks

1

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

TMFWP Special: A conversation with Dan Stuart and Tom Heyman

night-three-star-9590

Tom Heyman and Dan Stuart on stage at Star Theater in Portland during the Five Years of Gravy celebration. Photo by Chad Lanning for Chad Lanning Photography (www.chadlanningphoto.com)

Stream or Download TMFWP Special: A conversation with Dan Stuart
and Tom Heyman: 
TMFWP Special: Stuart & Heyman

Having spent more than 30 years in the record business — both as a solo artist and leader of the seminal 80s indie-rock band Green On Red — Dan Stuart can speak to the changes he’s seen in the industry over the years. And when he says, “There’s no music business any more,” he speaks with considerable authority.

But having survived a good amount of personal tumult since the breakup of Green On Red, Stuart is back to making records, and damn fine ones at that. His record from last year, Marlowe’s Revenge — released in America on the Portland-based label Fluff & Gravy Records — earned excellent reviews. And he’s spent much of 2016 promoting the record, touring the U.S. and Europe with friend and fellow indie-rock holdover Tom Heyman.

Podcast producer and co-host Phil Favorite caught up with Heyman and Stuart recently when the duo appeared in Portland for a performance during Fluff & Gravy’s five-year anniversary celebration — three nights of live performances by label artists and associates hosted over the weekend of Nov. 11-13.

Holed up in the bunkhouse at the Fluff & Gravy headquarters, Heyman and Stuart share stories of their extensive histories in the American indie-rock scene and how their paths crossed over the years. Stuart talks freely about his move to Mexico and working with other notable international artists and producers, and Heyman tells how their mutual friendship with former Green On Red guitarist Chuck Prophet led to them working together.

img_0112

Tom Heyman, left, and Dan Stuart, strumming and singing in the bunkhouse at Fluff & Gravy Records headquarters in Portland.

They also play a handful of songs on acoustic guitars — Stuart sharing tunes from his solo catalog as well as, “Jimmy Boy,” from Green On Red’s classic 1985 album “No Free Lunch.” Heyman takes on singing duties while strumming a 12-string guitar on “Keep The River On The Right,” a song from his terrific record That Cool Blue Feeling, recorded with Portland’s own Mike Coykendall and released in 2014.

We’re stoked to be able to share this intimate interview and performance by two fantastic American songwriters. Special thanks to John Shepski and Chad Lanning of Fluff & Gravy Records for their help in setting up and executing this podcast and post, and also to the great Fernando Viciconte for his friendship and assistance with the interview.

Here’s the playlist, all performed live in the Fluff & Gravy bunkhouse:
Last Blue Day
Jimmy Boy
Keep The River On The Right
Searching Through The Pieces

Episode #78 featuring Fernando

fernhelm-8596

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.

fernhelm-8607

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

sl66-group

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.

sl66-7

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

 

Fall Seasonal Podcast Picks

newwoodsiemug

Matt Woods’ new album, “How To Survive,” will be released Oct. 13.

Steam or download our Fall Seasonal Podcast Picks: Fall ’16 podcast picks

It’s Record Release Madness this season in the world of That Much Further West Podcast, where we’re sifting through so many great new albums being released by some of our favorite artists just as summer turns to fall out here in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

We kick off our seasonal podcast picks with an awesome new song by Matt Woods, whose record “How To Survive” comes out on Friday, Oct. 7. The song “Bound To Lose,” co-written by Woods and Jeff Shepherd and featuring Liz Sloan on fiddle and Aaron Lee Tasjan on guitar, is quick snapshot of everything great about Woods’ music. It’s a sweet slice of storytelling with a just a touch of road rash delivered by one of alt-country’s biggest, most authentic voices. Watch for Matt and his full band on the road this fall — the “How To Survive” tour kicks off this Friday and will cover lots of ground east of the Mississippi River — you can find tour dates at Woods’ website.

Our picks also include a few superb takes on race relations in America from newly released records by Drive-By Truckers and M. Lockwood Porter; killer new songs from Shovels & Rope, John Prine, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Elizabeth Cook and Blackberry Smoke; a terrific, original take on traditional country from Caleb Klauder and Reeb Wilms; some secret nuggets you probably wouldn’t hear elsewhere (read: Springsteen); and even new cuts from Bob Weir ad Bon Iver, taking us gently off the podcast’s well-worn pathways.

Lots of a great stuff here, folks. So dial it up and share it with your friends — we hope it adds a little light as the darkness of fall starts closing in. And remember to get out and support live music . . . many of these acts will be coming to a town near you soon.

Here’s the playlist:

Bound To Lose, Matt Woods
Just To Be With You, Aubrie Sellers
What It Means, Drive-By Truckers
Charleston, M. Lockwood Porter
Beauty Seldom Seen, John Calvin Abney
Botched Execution, Shovels & Rope
Look At Us (featuring Morgane Stapleton), John Prine
Memphis Rain, Aaron Lee Tasjan
Evacuation, Elizabeth Cook
Diamond State Heartbreak, Lucero
Here’s To The Losers, Drag The River
Let’s Hit One More Place, Richmond Fontaine
Sunrise In Texas, Blackberry Smoke
Coming On Strong, Caleb Klauder & Reeb Wilms
Gonesville, Bob Weir
About To Find Out, Margo Price
The Ballad of Jesse James, The Bruce Springteen Band
Falcon, Charlie Parr
Sad, Sad Music, Dwight Yoakam
00000 Million, Bon Iver

Episode #76 featuring Matthew Lindley

tmfwmatthewlindley-2

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.

tmfwmatthewlindley-1

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

LEWIANITA-2

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.

LEWIANITA-1

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