• Risa Binder
    Episode 150:  Risa Binder  12.16.15

    In the world of music, earnestness can be passe, or even perceived as inauthentic. Care too much, or smile with anything other than a sultry or irreverent sneer and you can lose your cred; but there is another way. Singer and songwriter Risa Binder started her career in music in New York City, but she soon found herself saving up money from wa...  read more

  • Angela Easterling
    Episode 149:  Angela Easterling  12.2.15

    Angela Easterling currently lives on a South Carolina farm that has been in her family since 1791. In a nation of transplants and immigrants that’s nearly an eternity, and this grounding connection with the land permeates her music with a sense of the realities of the beauty, joy, tragedy and drudgery of what makes up a life. Easterling ...  read more

  • Don Heffington
    Episode 148:  Don Heffington  11.18.15

    Drummer and musician Don Heffington’s credit list is so long as to be nearly unprintable. He started out in the early 1970s, and he has had a steady career since, backing up artists of all stripes - from lesser known bands to numerous acts who have become household names. A fractional sampling from his resume includes Bob Dylan, Emmylou ...  read more

  • Tawny Ellis
    Episode 147:  Tawny Ellis  11.4.15

    Tawny Ellis was on tour in 2014 when she and and her band passed through Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Unlike other small southern towns, Muscle Shoals is well known due to its rich musical history that is anchored by legendary recording studios. Both FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio - as well as the group of local musicians that became t...  read more

  • Adam Levy
    Episode 146:  Adam Levy  10.21.15

    Few musicians get to experience the kind of career ride Adam Levy has had. It all started simply enough; Levy was a young, talented jazz guitarist who grew up in Los Angeles and had lived on both coasts - playing with numerous artists and earning some accolades for his smoky blues licks on Tracy Chapman’s hit, “Give Me One Reason.&...  read more

  • Nicky Corbett
    Episode 145:  Nicky Corbett  10.7.15

    Some people just have a voice - a natural talent that is evident as soon as they open their mouth to sing a phrase. It is a very intimate thing - after all, the human voice is the only instrument that every person carries around with them everywhere they go. Whether they’re any good at it or not, everyone can sing in the shower....  read more

  • Susan James
    Episode 144:  Susan James  9.23.15

    “Ten thousand dollars,” was the utterly random guess a young Susan James gave to a circumspect fan at a California Bay Area show when he inquired how much money it would take for her to make an album. At that point in her career, James had finished college, been bitten by the songwriting bug and was kicking around Palo Alto playing...  read more

  • Scrote
    Episode 143:  Scrote  9.9.15

    There are an awful lot of guitar players in the known universe. Indeed, part of the instrument’s popularity can be attributed to its accessibility. Pick up a pawn shop six-string, learn a few hackneyed chords, throw a few words together, dime out your amp and you’re fronting a band in a matter of months. Even some of the most well ...  read more

  • The Clowns Will Eat Me
    Episode 142:  The Clowns Will Eat Me  8.26.15

    Just a few short months ago, musician and high school student Mason Summit had been accepted to college and was set to leave Los Angeles and study something far more sensible than music at a far away school. But his passion for music got the best of him and Summit switched tacks to songwriting. While the rest of his newly graduated classmates ...  read more

  • Bryan McPherson
    Episode 141:  Bryan McPherson  8.12.15

    Singer Bryan McPherson has a tattoo of the unmistakable silhouette of United States of America on his right arm - the contiguous 48 states, at least. This may seem a strange idiosyncrasy for an artist who is largely considered a protest singer. Truly, McPherson pulls no punches when pointing out the darker side of his homeland, and given the d...  read more

  • Lee Pardini
    Episode 140:  Lee Pardini  7.29.15

    A lot of kids dream of a career in music, and when they do they often imagine themselves in the spotlight at center stage with thousands of eyes fixed on their every move, but there are many people making a living in music whose names are not on the marquee. In fact, for every Madonna, there are dozens of musicians who have played in her band ...  read more

  • Anna Maria Rosales
    Episode 139:  Anna Maria Rosales  7.15.15

    Anna Maria Rosales spent her formative years playing bass in bands in her native El Paso, Texas, worked her way into a gig touring internationally playing bass, and spent three years on the road in Europe and both North and South America. Bona-fides like those would be enough to constitute a pretty solid career as a performer and make a body h...  read more

  • Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen
    Episode 138:  Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen  7.1.15

    Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen each had independently successful careers in music long before they met. Frechette was a Canadian folk singer who logged thousands of miles a year playing his 1,300-plus original songs and writing hit singles for bands like The Duhks and others. Classically-trained violinist Laurel Thomsen had built a reputatio...  read more

  • the black watch
    Episode 137:  the black watch  6.17.15

    The longevity of the band the black watch is a testament to tenacity and persistence. Originally from Santa Barbara, California, singer, guitarist and songwriter John Andrew Fredrick developed a strong case of musical anglophilia, but in addition to the standard issue Beatles influence, he incorporated bits and pieces from a wide range of Brit...  read more

  • Claire Holley
    Episode 136:  Claire Holley  6.3.15

    Given her genteel demeanor and diminutive stature, it would be easy to mistake Claire Holley for a southern debutante rather than an astute artist with considerable talents as a singer, songwriter, performer and composer. Holley possesses an innate ability to make people feel at ease, and she captivates audiences when she combines her warm spi...  read more

  • Amy Blaschke
    Episode 135:  Amy Blaschke  5.20.15

    Amy Blaschke sings with the voice of an angel who has spent a lot of time looking after earnest, lonely people with broken hearts. Her singing voice isn’t exactly airy - it is too grounded in alto earthiness to abide flights of vapid soprano fancy. But neither is it husky, because it possesses far too much buoyancy to keep her enchanting...  read more

  • Kip Boardman
    Episode 134:  Kip Boardman  5.6.15

    The story behind Los Angeles artist Kip Boardman’s newest album started with the band he’d assembled for a gig at Los Angeles’ legendary West Side hole-in-the-wall dive bar and music venue, The Cinema Bar. As is often the case, the night of the gig a group of stellar musicians wound up playing yet another exceptional show for...  read more

  • Phoebe Bridgers
    Episode 133:  Phoebe Bridgers  4.29.15

    Phoebe Bridgers was already writing solid songs and making the rounds of L.A. music venues when she got cast in a commercial for Apple’s iPhone 5S in early 2014. The ad depicted numerous musicians in different settings using the new smartphone to assemble a song. While other musicians in the spot tuned a bass in a studio, plugged in a gu...  read more

  • Johnzo West
    Episode 132:  Johnzo West  4.15.15

    Musician Johnzo West once spent a summer on a movie shoot in Detroit, Michigan after being hired to teach an actor how to play guitar - or at least how to fake it convincingly enough on screen. Like music, making movies is a hurry-up-and-wait affair with a goodly amount of downtime, and West found himself palling around with the young actress ...  read more

  • Michael Hays
    Episode 131:  Michael Hays  3.18.15

    Musician Michael Hays has come a long way since his formative years amidst the humid pines of southern Mississippi. Just about the time when many of his classmates clung to their roots and started families, Hays set out for Austin, Texas - the fertile musical mecca that doubles as the capital of Lone Star State. He did what nearly all young gu...  read more

  • Christian Smedstrom
    Episode 130:  Christian Smedstrom  3.4.15

    Musician Christian Smedstrom is from Sweden, which is a long way from the rural American South - where the style of blues music that is his stock and trade originated in a cultural soup of African music, spirituals, field hollers and folk music.  But music truly is the universal language, and when a young Smedstrom heard the blues music p...  read more

  • Brian Whelan
    Episode 129:  Brian Whelan  2.18.15

    Brian Whelan was one of the very first guests on Independent’s Day, stopping by our studios for the second episode way back on March 9th, 2011. At the time, he was making the rounds in a number of Los Angeles bands and building a reputation as a formidable player on a number of instruments. That reputation put his name on the short list ...  read more

  • Mason Summit
    Episode 128:  Mason Summit  2.4.15

    “The kids are alright!” How many times have we heard that since The Who coined that amped-up pop aphorism on their 1965 debut album? The more ‘half empty’ set of every established generation seem convinced that the subsequent generation has no talent and no respect for their elders. Could it be the obligation of every g...  read more

  • Jason Charles Miller
    Episode 127:  Jason Charles Miller  1.28.15

    Jason Charles Miller began his career as the singer of a successful hard rock band called Godhead. Just how successful? Godhead has sold over 250,000 records to date - a very healthy sum for an age in which young people just don’t buy music anymore. Godhead was the first band signed to Marilyn Manson’s label, Posthuman Records; the...  read more