TMFWP Special: Fifth Anniversary Podcast Picks

An idea comes to life: Eric Kotila (left) and Mike Lee launched That Much Further West Podcast five years ago as a live internet radio show, broadcast from the Hawthorne Theater Lounge in Portland.

Stream or download Fifth Anniversary Podcast Picks: 5th Anniversary Podcast Picks

It began as a simple idea: a couple of burly, bearded buddies sharing their love of rock, punk and country music with friends and other folks far and wide. What Eric Kotila and Mike Lee launched five years ago as a live internet radio show has evolved into what we today call That Much Further West Podcast.

Much has changed over that time. The show is no longer broadcast live from a public place — instead, it has been taped for the last three-plus years in the comfy confines of The Helm, our subterranean lair in North Portland. We also have a dedicated website
(where you are right now) that serves as a hub for episodes, playlists, specials and reviews. And the team has added Phil Favorite as a co-host and producer and Anne Marie as photographer to help bolster our efforts to produce quality, original content.

The boys, live from The Helm (left to right): Mike Lee, Eric Kotila and Phil Favorite. Photo by Anne Marie for Local Hero Media (www.localheromedia.com)

Despite the many changes, mostly for the better, the spirit of the show remains the same. We’re here to turn you on to the music that we love and also the music of the amazingly talented guests we’ve had on the show for the last five years.

To celebrate, we’ve compiled a collection of tunes that represents the tip of the iceberg of what we’ve been listening to and sharing with you over the past five years, and hope to continue to share going forward.

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to the many artists who have volunteered their time and energy to be guests on the show. By one count we’ve had as many as six members of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame visit and perform in The Helm, and that’s just scratching the surface. Rising national stars such as John Moreland and Aaron Lee Tasjan also have stopped by as we’ve compiled more than 80 episodes live from The Helm.

We’re also indebted to the many friends whose interest, enthusiasm and support have fueled our efforts. Special props to Christopher Sohler for his rock-solid stint as our contributing photographer, and to Mary Atwood for her behind-the-scenes, “hostess with the mostest” contributions.

We also can’t thank enough our sponsors — Secret Aardvark Trading Co. and Cloud City Gardens — for their above-and-beyond generosity in making each podcast taping a special treat for our guests.

And last but far from least, a special thank you to Jean Kotila and Ruby Kotila for welcoming us into their home on podcast nights and putting up with our shenanigans. We greatly appreciate it.

So there you have it. A big thank you to you all. And if you’re still wondering what all this is about, just push the play button above. You’ll hear the following:

30 Days, Root Jack
1964, Hearts Of Oak
Tears Don’t Matter Much, Lucero
Right Time, Nikki Lane
Life Is Beautiful, Willy Tea Taylor
Humble Narrator, Two Cow Garage
Dog Bumped, Tim Barry
Midwestern Guys, Lydia Loveless
With Love From Brushy Mountain, Matt Woods
Captain And Tennille, Drunken Prayer
Anchor’s The Way, The Calamity Cubes
Shoulda Known Better, Possessed By Paul James
Whole Damn Bottle, Copper & Coal
The Travelin’ Kind, Tom VandenAvond
Beautiful, Fernando
Ain’t Going To The Bar Tonight, American Aquarium
Deep Red Bells, Neko Case
Better Days, The Harmed Brothers
Somebody Loves You, Austin Lucas
Fire Away, Chris Stapleton
Hurtin’ On The Bottle, Margo Price
Keep It Between The Lines, Sturgill Simpson
Always On The Ride, Richmond Fontaine
Elephant, Jason Isbell

Right at home: Goon squad and co-hosts, protecting the booze at The Helm.

August Podcast Picks

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Don’t mess with Mamma Coal. The show is Thursday, August 18 at Mission Theater in Portland. Photo by Chad Lanning Photography

Steam or download our August Podcast Picks: August ’16 podcast picks

“You can’t hang a woman for killing a stranger who’s threatened the life of her babe.” So goes the narrative in Mamma Coal’s ambitious new album “Raven Haired Vixen,” ready for release this month and featured here at the top of our podcast picks for August.

We were lucky enough to have Portland’s Carra Barrett Stasney, aka Mamma Coal, as a guest on That Much Further West Podcast for Episode #63 back in January. She had just Kickstarted her recording project, a story in songs inspired by Willie Nelson’s timeless album “Red Headed Stranger.”

Now the raven-haired Mamma is ready to celebrate with an album release show on Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Mission Theater in Portland. We offer a sneak preview of the record with “Ride Through The Night” topping this month’s podcast picks.

Also featured is new music by several podcast favorites who have new records out, including the inimitable Lydia Loveless, American Aquarium frontman B.J. Barham,  former podcast guests Evening Bell, the mighty Sadler Vaden (best known as lead guitar for Jason Isbell’s band, The 400 Unit) and the fabulous outlaw country practitioner Cody Jinks.

We also have summertime hits from Portland’s Wilkinson Blades, whose excellent album “Home” came out earlier this year, and Western Centuries, who lit up Pickathon earlier this month with a couple of stunning performances.

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Willy Tea Taylor, left, with Chuck Noland in The Barn in Portland.

Finally, we share a collection of songs in salute of a fallen hero. Last week the podcast team lost a dear friend, patriarch and constant source of inspiration — Chuck Noland. He was strong as an ox, tough as nails but tender to the core and taught us that real men can be emotional, thoughtful and kind-hearted without losing a shred of masculinity. Chuck was a man’s man, which is why all who knew him loved him so.

Chuck created a family of friends around his love of music and dancing and enriched our lives more than words can say. And for that we will forever be grateful. R.I.P. buddy, we’ll see you on heaven’s honky tonk hardwood floor.

Here’s the podcast picks for August:

Ride Through The Night, Mamma Coal
Same To You, Lydia Loveless
American Tobacco Company, B.J. Barham
Tail Light, Evening Bell
Watch The World Go By, Wilkinson Blades
You Can’t Have It All, Sadler Vaden
Knockin’ ’em Down, Western Centuries
I’m Not The Devil, Cody Jinks
Rose Marie, Slim Whitman
Burning .44, Chuckanut Drive
Sao Paulo, Deadstring Brothers
The Travelin’ Kind, Tom VandenAvond
Life Is Beautiful, Willy Tea Taylor
Grandpa, Truckstop Darlin’

February Podcast Picks

RichmondFontaine

The new record by Portland alt-country legends Richmond Fontaine, due in March, will be the band’s swan song, according to frontman Willy Vlautin.

Stream or download Podcast Picks: Podcast Picks 2-1-16

Word got out last week that Richmond Fontaine’s new album You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To, due out March 18 in the U.S. on Fluff & Gravy Records, will be the band’s final release. According to frontman and founding member Willy Vlautin, band members will be concentrating on other things, including their soulful country side project The Delines as well as Vlautin’s burgeoning career as a novelist.

The folks at Fluff & Gravy were kind enough to pass along a tune for us to lead off this fresh batch of podcast picks, “Wake Up Ray.” They also shared a new song by Dan Stuart, the former Green On Red frontman who has a new record due out soon on the Portland imprint. Stuart is backed by Mexico City country psych rockers The Twin Tones on Marlowe’s Revenge, the followup to his comeback record from 2012. “Elena” sounds as cool and sweet as “fresas con crema.”

And speaking of fresh music, our playlist includes brand-new music from Lucinda Williams, Caleb Caudle, Seattle’s Evening Bell and Nashville’s Buddy Miller, who teams up with podcast favorite Nikki Lane on the classic country tune “Just Someone I Used To Know.”

Twenty-something Sierra Hull’s been making waves on the bluegrass scene since she was in her mid-teens. Her haunting song “Black River,” paired with Tom VandenAvond’s “Chef’s House,” adds a soothing vibe to this mix, but only after we get a little rowdy with Texas’ Randy Rogers Band.

We also have a couple of songs by two of the emerging female voices from left-of-center Nashville. Aubrie Sellers shows off her brand of garage country on “Light of Day” from her new album New City Blues, while “About To Find Out” provides a perfect example of why Margo Price is positioned to become alt-country’s it-artist of the first half of 2016. She has an album due out soon on Jack White’s Third Man Records.

“Win Her Love” by the Freak Mountain Ramblers is our tribute to a great, great band that lost one their own recently, guitarist and singer Jimmy Boyer (RIP). And we wrap things up with “Peaceful Release” by Lowlight, whose frontman Nick Foltz will be our guest in The Helm this week for Episode #64 of That Much Further West Podcast.

So give it a spin, folks — a fine dose to kick off your February in style. Here’s the playlist:

Wake Up Ray, Richmond Fontaine
If My Love Could Kill, Lucinda Williams
Steel & Stone, Caleb Caudle
Strange Mamma, Evening Bell
Elena, Dan Stuart
Hangin’ Out In Bars, Randy Rogers Band
By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Glen Campbell
Black River, Sierra Hull
Chef’s House, Tom VandenAvond
Just Someone I Used To Know (with Nikki Lane), Buddy Miller
Light Of Day, Aubrie Sellers
About To Find Out, Margo Price
Win Her Love, Freak Mountain Ramblers
Peaceful Release, Lowlight

TMFWP Special: An Evening with Tom VandenAvond

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Buddies and touring mates: Alex Salcido (left) and Tom VandenAvond in The Helm. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Listen to Tom VandenAvond’s performance at The Helm from 3-25-15:

Tom V. in The Helm

Listen to Tom’s interview with the hosts of That Much Further West Podcast:

Interview with Tom V.

Tom VandenAvond is one of our finest modern American troubadours, and a longtime favorite of That Much Further West Podcast. That’s why we were thrilled to have Tom and his touring mate, Alex Salcido of The Harmed Brothers, in for a special house show in The Helm on March 25.

Tom V. was touring the Pacific Northwest promoting his latest CD, “Endtimes,” a record he made with the help of one of the Pac NW’s best bands, Larry and His Flask. With Salcido riding shotgun and adding banjo and other goodies, the house show at The Helm leaned heavily on cuts from “Endtimes” and his two other terrific CDs, 2012’s “Wreck of a Fine Man” (see video below) and 2010’s “You Ought To Know Me By Now.” All three records come highly recommended by the podcast crew.

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Tom V. with support from Marilee Hord and Alex Salcido.

You can almost hear the million road miles he’s covered in his raspy, whiskey-soaked voice as he entertains a small crowd of believers in The Helm. In our interview with the podcast hosts, Tom shared some tales from the road and how he ended up based in his current hometown of Knights Ferry, California, after a long stint in Austin, Texas. He also played a couple of bonus tunes accompanied by Salcido and our local friend Marilee Hord.

Enjoy the recordings and be sure to watch for Tom V. coming through your hometown soon. And follow all his comings and goings at tomvandenavond.com.