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’

TMFWP Special: Wildwood Sessions 2015 featuring Willy Tea Taylor

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Willy Tea Taylor performing solo at the 2015 Wildwood MusicFest & Campout. Photo by Christopher Sohler (www.christophersohler.com)

Wildwood Sessions: Willy Tea Taylor

knuck·le·ball
ˈnəkəlˌbôl/
Baseball
noun: knuckleball; plural noun: knuckleballs; noun: knuckler; plural noun: knucklers
  1. a slow pitch that has virtually no spin and moves erratically, typically made by releasing the ball from between the thumb and the knuckles of the first joints of the index and middle finger.

If you we’re picking a Most Valuable Player at this year’s Wildwood MusicFest & Campout, you could build a very strong case for Willy Tea Taylor, the California-based singer-songwriter who delighted showgoers with not one but two scintillating performances. Our podcast hosts roped Willy Tea into the festival podcast trailer to record this session while he was in between sets: the first a daytime solo performance; the second came later as he was leading his band, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit.

Of course, Willy Tea isn’t interested in being the MVP, though we think he might settle for the Cy Young Award. Now 39 years old, he still hasn’t given up on his dream of pitching in the major leagues. With his new album, titled “Knuckleball Prime,” due in September, the wonderfully bearded Mr. Taylor explains that pitchers who master the art of the knuckleball can extend their careers well into their 40s. So there’s hope for him yet!

But as a songwriter and performer, Willy Tea has been in his prime for years now and doesn’t seem to be losing a thing. All he needs is his voice, his famous four-string guitar and a story to tell. Here he performs a beautiful new song, “Lazy Third Eye,” that he wrote with friends Jay Cobb Anderson of the band Fruition and Taylor Kingman of The Hilldogs. Enjoy.

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Always a Wildwood Fest favorite, Willy Tea delighted the masses with a Saturday afternoon solo performance. He returned to the stage later that night with his band The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit. Photo by Christopher Sohler.