Photojournalist, Crush Rush, shares the power of images in historic events. With frank conversation about the importance of photojournalism, anti-racism, and his experience as a Black man in America, we delve into some of the difficult topics necessary to change our world. If you “don’t like talking about this stuff all the time,” you need to listen to this podcast.
Country Fried Rock features new podcasts regularly. Episodes include a conversation with a roots musician.
Read Cowtownchad’s (AKA Chad Cochran) photo essays about mental health, I Didn’t Want to Tell You –IDWTTY, as part of Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.
Chad Cochran, known in the photography world as Cowtownchad, coaxes comfortable photos from uncomfortable subjects — both the people and the topics. As he transitioned from landscape photography and abandoned buildings to portraits, he immediately started a series to normalize the conversation around mental health by having musicians — and now others, as well — share their stories of how mental health has impacted their lives. From personal diagnoses to family dynamics, situational and lifelong challenges, the I Didn’t Want to Tell You series of photo essays launched first in the print edition of No Depression magazine (a music outlet coincidentally titled from the Carter Family song) and has expanded online and to further projects in development.
Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Chad Cochran, AKA Cowtown Chad.
Read The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME by Blake Ells, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.
Blake Ells loves music and Alabama. Ells ties together his passion for the music made in his home state with his journalistic storytelling. The resulting book brings the history of Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones to the modern music coming from the area known as “Muscle Shoals” to outsiders. From songwriters like Jason Isbell to barnstormers like Drive-By Truckers, Ells connects the present music scene to the past and delves into how this newer generation of songwriters moves forward.
Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Blake Ells.
Read My Heart Sings the Harmony: Twenty Years of Writing About Music by Jason Warburg, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.
Jason Warburg’s knack for writing about music engages non-musicians in his analysis. He manages to write about prog rock without boring the reader and review albums thoughtfully without skewering them unnecessarily. As the editor of Daily Vault, Warburg’s prolific writing could be overwhelming and disorganized, but his collection of work assembled in this book allows the reader to enjoy quick bites or dig in to the full course.
Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Jason Warburg.
Read Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge by Mark Yarm, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.
Mark Yarm combines his love for grunge with his comfortable way of storytelling. While clearly a fan of the music, Yarm delves into the lesser-known behind the scenes jostling for prominence through self-destruction. Yarm weaves conversations with fellow musicians and venue staff into a tale that highlights just how unlikely this music was to upend rock.
Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Mark Yarm.
Read Bandlife: Tips on How to Survive Life in a Band and Other Lives Too… by Matthew Paige, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.
Matthew Paige realized that he could make life a lot easier for other musicians embarking on a life on tour. Geared towards bands with minimal road experience, Paige offers advice on everything from nutrition and fitness, to responsible partying, to internal band communication. Bandlife offers a quick read that is useful to many people first learning to live cohesively with others, such as teens heading off to college, or more sheltered young adults first moving out on their own.
Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with Matthew Paige.
Read The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: A Complete History by David McPherson, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.
David McPherson wanted to honor his favorite music venue in Toronto, Ontario to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Despite gentrification in the surrounding area, the legendary Horseshoe Tavern continues to spotlight roots music and emerging innovators. Sharing stories from those who were there for nights like a secret Rolling Stones show to The Police just before they were wildly famous, McPherson crafts a loving tribute to the people who make this Canadian gem shine.
Listen, like, and subscribe to the podcast conversation with David McPherson.
Read Cool Town—How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture by Grace Elizabeth Hale, part of the Country Fried Rock podcast miniseries, Rock N Roll Book Club.
Grace Elizabeth Hale lived through the second wave of Athens, Georgia’s new music scene in the 1980s. When the art school at the University of Georgia became the unofficial safe house for experimentation and egalitarian creativity, a scene of amateur musicians — driven more by performance art than technique — upended the music world. Hale’s thorough analysis of people and social experimentation lets the art bubble and pop.
Listen, like, & subscribe to the podcast conversation with Grace Hale.
Dutch Americana songwriter Judy Blank records in Nashville. Blank tours in Europe because of the prohibitive cost of US work visas for musicians. American audiences will have to live off videos and her album, Morning Sun, to enjoy her take on nuanced songwriting.
European Americana Songwriter
While hip hop prevails among younger audiences in the Netherlands, Blank found her audience with an older, but dedicated demographic. US songwriters often find their first superfans in Dutch audiences, which is as much the “exotic import” factor as anything. The novelty is less for Judy Blank as a homegrown Dutch Americana musician, so her songs and performances must stand out.
Stream Judy Blank’s latest release, Morning Sun, here.
Sally Jaye runs Cafe Rooster Records. The songwriter, musician, and creative entrepreneur crafts her own art. Through her independent music label, she elevates that of others, too. Jaye’s ear for art pushes boundaries. She refuses to stagnate creatively, nor allow others to wallow in complacency, either.
The Minks just released their debut LP on Cafe Rooster, Light and Sweet. The label anticipates the 2020 release of Brian Wright and the Sneakups‘ new record. Their rollicking AmericanaFest performances teased audiences with a fantastic rock album to come. Ladies Gun Club is also writing and recording. The future for Cafe Rooster Records — and Sally Jaye — is going to get weird, y’all.
Cafe Rooster Records has also released Jon Latham‘s album, Lifers. Latham raised the roof raising at AmericanaFest. His upcoming music will make Bruce Springsteen jealous.
Paisley Fields honed their traditional country tunes in the queer country community they created in Brooklyn. Soon after, the bands took their show on the road, with a honky-tonk road trip of queer country artists. In 2019, AmericanaFest featured these groups in the 2nd annual queer roots party.
Taking a creative sabbatical to Nashville for the year, Paisley immersed himself in the queer country songwriting community of Music City. Connecting his Brooklyn peers with those in Tennessee elevated their collaborations, often contributing to one another’s songs and recordings. Stay tuned for Paisley Fields new album next year!
Nikki Barber of the Minks fuses arty psychedelic vibes with rock and roll. The Minks debut album, Light and Sweet, just launched on Cafe Rooster Records. Barber’s songs reflect growing up, well after coming of age.
Originally from the urban Northeast, Barber landed in Nashville following her other creative endeavor, fashion design. Music quickly took over, garnering most of her focus. She has not strayed from her fashion roots, though; Barber designs and makes her stage clothing and that of many other Nashville performers, and also sews custom alterations for select clientele.