Episodes

  • George Stanford
    Episode 98:  George Stanford  12.18.13

    Musicians have been leaving their hometowns for greener pastures for decades.  The allure of a bigger city with more opportunity can be a beacon to performers from towns with a handful of stoplights.  And there just aren’t as many recoding studios and music business executives in America’s innumerable small towns as there...  read more

  • Phil Parlapiano
    Episode 97:  Phil Parlapiano  12.11.13

    If you want to play a lot of music, don’t learn how to play the guitar.  The thing is, everyone knows how to play guitar.  From Eddie Van Halen on down to the bartender at your local pub (who might be as good a player as Eddie without the lucky breaks), they all know how to play the guitar.  It’s no wonder; ...  read more

  • Dan Bern
    Episode 96:  Dan Bern  12.4.13

    Being compared to Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie is one thing, and lots of musicians have borne that lofty burden. But it’s entirely another to live up to the reasons Dylan and Guthrie can be referred to with a single name.  Modern day troubadour Dan Bern has earned a place at the grown up songwriter’s table many times over. He&r...  read more

  • Jeremiah Sammartano
    Episode 95:  Jeremiah Sammartano  11.20.13

    A little known fact of the music business is that usually only top echelon artists make significant income from selling records.  A few well known musicians have laid bare the math in books and essays about the inequities of the industry, and the Internet age has decimated record sales, perhaps forever.  Fortunately, there are other ...  read more

  • The Native Sibling
    Episode 94:  The Native Sibling  11.13.13

    Siblings can be rivals, competing for attention and sometimes taking their conflicts to open warfare. Add the pressures of fame and creative tension and legendary skirmishes are born. Ray and Dave Davies from the Kinks used to get in fistfights both onstage and off, and they are far from the only examples of sibling strife in the music busines...  read more

  • Jonathan Clark
    Episode 93:  Jonathan Clark  10.23.13

    What, exactly, denotes success in the music business?  Is it making a handsome living without a day job?  Is it playing for thousands of adoring fans?  Is it selling millions of records?  Or is it something more elusive, like writing great songs regardless who hears them or staying true to your artistic vision whether or no...  read more

  • Mike Chylinski of Arrow Highway
    Episode 92:  Mike Chylinski of Arrow Highway  10.16.13

    In some circles, musicians joke about whether or not drummers are musicians at all.  Sure, some drummer sing (Don Henley and Phil Collins come to mind) and some drummers redefine the art of the instrument, but some of those people behind the kit on the riser at center stage are a lot more versatile than a glorified metronome. Mike Chylins...  read more

  • Colin Gilmore
    Episode 91:  Colin Gilmore  10.9.13

    Having a famous last name might open a few doors in the music business, but when your pedigree is in the realm of hallowed Texas singer/songwriters, that name doesn’t buy you the respect essential to your own success.  Those stripes must be earned.  Such is the case of Colin Gilmore.  His shares the last name of his father...  read more

  • Hem
    Episode 90:  Hem  9.18.13

    Brooklyn, New York-based Hem arrived on the music scene not with a bang, but with a whisper.  Composer Dan Messé, along with guitarists Steve Curtis and Gary Maurer, had begun working on a new band, but they needed a singer.  An ad placed in the Village Voice got them a large number of responses, but none of them quite fit the...  read more

  • Little Lonely
    Episode 89:  Little Lonely  8.28.13

    If you could change your name, would you? Artists take stage names for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s because their given name doesn’t fit easily on a theater marquee – one might speculate that that’s why Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. is known to us as John Denver. Having a different name also can allow artists to...  read more

  • Tom Freund
    Episode 88:  Tom Freund  8.22.13

    Today’s music world is filled with exceedingly talented artists who are not easily placed in a stylistic box.  Maybe they’re too twangy to be categorized as ‘rock,’ or not commercial or vapid enough to be called ‘pop.’ Or maybe they’re just too damn good to fit into the new corporate structure of ...  read more

  • Mark Spencer of Son Volt
    Episode 87:  Mark Spencer of Son Volt  8.7.13
    The life of a musician is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. Be in the lobby at 9am or you will be left behind - so you can wait for the bus - on which you will sit for the next 8 hours as you drive from state to state, town to town and gig to gig. Mark Spencer is the kind of musician who knows this mantra all too well. He has been a professional music...  read more
  • Ted Wulfers
    Episode 86:  Ted Wulfers  7.24.13
    If you look up the phrase 'Renaissance man' while flipping through a dictionary, it will describe such a person as someone "who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field." Being a professional musician in the new music paradigm fairly requires a level of acumen in diverse disciplines. Even artists with management need ...  read more
  • Alias Means
    Episode 85:  Alias Means  7.17.13
    The element of quirkiness can be an important aspect of an artist's music, and their personality. Some bands take it to the bank - think They Might Be Giants or Barenaked Ladies. Other bands add a bit of quirk to a very deft hand at songwriting and jump-start their career from there. Todd Snider's uber-clever "Beer Run" got him the attention, the...  read more
  • Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band
    Episode 84:  Rocky Neck Bluegrass Band  6.26.13
    Borne of the back woods of Appalachia, bluegrass became a distinct musical style when Bill Monroe combined elements of traditional Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English music with a uniquely American influence and took his show on the road for a career that spanned 60 years. Monroe played this style of music he'd largely invented until the time of hi...  read more
  • Mitch Marine - Drummer for Dwight Yoakam
    Episode 83:  Mitch Marine - Drummer for Dwight Yoakam  6.19.13
    There is no doubt that being a professional musician means taking all kinds of gigs. Gigs can be recording dates, playing live shows, teaching and performing in more unorthodox venues under sometimes-dubious circumstances - anything to keep at it. One type of gig that nearly all musicians strive and starve for is called "the gravy gig" - a type of...  read more
  • Joy Kills Sorrow
    Episode 82:  Joy Kills Sorrow  6.12.13
    Joy Kills Sorrow was formed in Boston's fertile folk scene in 2005. Their lineup is pretty standard for a string band - guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass and vocals, but they are anything but an old-time string band. They retain the virtuosic tendencies of their bluegrass forefathers, but they are pushing the boundaries of a style not known f...  read more
  • Dave Gleason
    Episode 81:  Dave Gleason  6.5.13
    Along with Les Paul, Leo Fender is widely known to be one of the two fathers of the modern electric guitar. Leo's Stratocaster model, still made today by the company that bears his name, is one of the most iconic designs in music history. But before the venerable Strat, Fender created the Esquire, which later changed names to the Broadcaster and ...  read more
  • Big Harp
    Episode 80:  Big Harp  5.29.13
    Maturing as a musician is a peculiar process. Young bands often have a reputation for playing too loud or too fast. But maturity doesn't necessarily mean quieter or softer songs; it can mean simply that a band or artist's sound evolves over time as their lives inevitably change. Stagnation can spell artistic doom for a musician and some artists hav...  read more
  • Nicole Gordon
    Episode 79:  Nicole Gordon  5.22.13
    The job of a back up singer can be a thankless one. They check their egos at the door and use their considerable talent to make the artist whose name is on the marquee sound good. It can be a great gig, but there is seldom much in the way of glory. After all, who remembers the name of the women who scat sang Pink Floyd's "Great Gig in the Sky" or t...  read more
  • Ben Reddell
    Episode 78:  Ben Reddell  5.15.13
    The music business has come full circle when it comes to releasing music on singles vs. albums. The Brill Building artists plugged songs one at a time, and for decades, it was singles that drove the industry. And then the 70s singer-songwriters and prog rock bands came along, and that meant that albums were meant to be enjoyed as a whole, with ea...  read more
  • Tim Reid, Jr.
    Episode 77:  Tim Reid, Jr.  5.8.13
    Artists reveal their influences in myriad ways. Ask any performer or writer about their music and they'll invariably point you toward who got them excited about making their own music. When Eric Clapton was receiving deifying graffiti accolades around London in the 1960s, he was unabashed about paying tribute to the blues masters from whom he coppe...  read more
  • Record Store Day - Part II, Michael Kurtz, co-founder of Record Store Day
    Episode 76:  Record Store Day - Part II, Michael Kurtz, co-founder of Record Store Day  4.24.13
    Great ideas start small. One man. One problem. One idea. Six years ago the music business was in a freefall. Corporate record stores were going out of business seemingly daily and independent record stores were struggling to keep their doors open. And then a small group of record aficionados and independent record store owners got together and ha...  read more
  • Record Store Day - Part I, Lance Barresi of Permanent Records
    Episode 75:  Record Store Day - Part I, Lance Barresi of Permanent Records  4.17.13
    Six years ago, a dedicated group of vinyl aficionados and independent record store owners got together and launched an event called 'Record Store Day' - just about the time that corporate record stores were going bankrupt. Heavy metal juggernaut, Metallica, was one of the first bands to get on board, signing autographs and giving away t-shirts to ...  read more
  • Kevin Bowe
    Episode 74:  Kevin Bowe  4.10.13
    Minneapolis, Minnesota may call to mind long, dark winters and Garrison Keillor's weekly paean to sensible Midwestern values, A Prairie Home Companion, but the city has always had a very rich musical tradition. This fertile scene is home to respected artists like The Replacements, Husker Du, The Jayhawks, Semisonic and The Purple One himself - Prin...  read more
  • Ted Russell Kamp
    Episode 73:  Ted Russell Kamp  4.3.13
    Musicians can't choose the specific gig, song or happenstance that will bring them notoriety or a payday hit. Indeed, many artists have their fingers in a lot of pies - a sideman gig here, a songwriting contribution or guest spot there. After growing up back east, Los Angeles' Ted Russell Kamp's first big breaks came as the bass player for artists...  read more
  • Greg Garrison - bassist for Leftover Salmon
    Episode 72:  Greg Garrison - bassist for Leftover Salmon  3.27.13
    Building a career in music can be an inexact process. The influence of luck cannot be overstated. But luck, as they say, favors the prepared, and being prepared means hard work. Leftover Salmon bassist Greg Garrison's luck in the music business certainly can be attributed to diligent hard work, but also to the fact that he is supremely talented. Af...  read more
  • Nocona
    Episode 71:  Nocona  3.20.13
    Alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo might not have been the first band to find the common ground between punk and country music, but the little band from Belleville, Illinois grafted loud guitars onto up-tempo two-steps and fired a shot heard round the world for a lot of young songwriters. In that same raw, but rural tradition, the Los Angeles-based ...  read more
  • Dave Porter - Composer for AMC's Breaking Bad
    Episode 70:  Dave Porter - Composer for AMC's Breaking Bad  3.13.13
    With film and television, as with so many other things, music can completely change the mood of an experience. Music can enhance action or drama, imbue a sense of foreboding or elation or provide that tiny extra push needed to draw a tear from a viewer's eye. In the world of AMC's hit drama, Breaking Bad, composer Dave Porter has wholly unique an...  read more
  • The Stone Foxes
    Episode 69:  The Stone Foxes  2.27.13
    One of the most important aspects of music is a catchy chorus - the singalong nugget of a tune that gets into your head and you just can't get it out. But there is another element in some harder rock songs that is just as important. It's called a riff, and riffs form the cornerstone of many of rock and roll's best-known tunes. Led Zeppelin may not ...  read more
  • The Show Ponies
    Episode 68:  The Show Ponies  2.20.13
    Some bands have one singer to handle all the lead vocals, and other acts build their sound around a pair of singers who arrange their parts so that they aren't just a lead part and accompanying harmony line. In the latter case, the pair of parts are written to work together as a sort of co-lead vocal. The paired singers in bands like The Indigo Gir...  read more
  • Stephen Sowan
    Episode 67:  Stephen Sowan  1.30.13
    The electric guitar has been the weapon of choice for rock and roll artists since the early pickers discovered that their amps really did go to eleven. Since that time, the more tasteful and contientious guitarists have elevated the art of guitar tone - how the guitar sounds - to high art. To some players, how their guitar sounds is as important as...  read more
  • The Dustbowl Revival
    Episode 66:  The Dustbowl Revival  1.23.13
    Perhaps the most aptly-named band in music history, The Dustbowl Revival is everything that their clever name implies. It all started as a small string band focused on playing anachronistic music styles that were popular in the early 20th century - pre-bop jazz, swing, jump, blues, gospel, bluegrass and folk. Founder Zach Lupetin took the show on t...  read more
  • Dinosaur Horses
    Episode 65:  Dinosaur Horses  1.16.13
    After arriving in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, Neil Young made a name for himself by introducing the world to a simple, haunting and idiosyncratic brand of music that mixed gentle acoustic guitars, visceral fuzzed-out electric guitars, lonesome harmonica and cryptic lyrics sung in a warbled tenor. Whether or not this sonic territory was what Los ...  read more
  • Lindi Ortega
    Episode 64:  Lindi Ortega  1.9.13
    Although Austin may have laid claim to the title of the "live music capitol of the world," there really is only one town where musicians with a hardcore jones for country music make their pilgrimage. Native Canadian Lindi Ortega had already made a name for herself up north, releasing a pair of EPs and a record that racked up a pair of Juno award no...  read more