Country Fried Rock features new podcasts regularly. Episodes include a conversation with a roots musician.

Steelism #1425

The first time I saw Steelism play, I did not realize that they had their own band going; I was at The 5 Spot in East Nashville where they were just returning from a European run with Caitlin Rose. I knew they were sought-after players in mainstream pop country from various television awards shows, but when they stepped up to “play a few of their new tunes” as they said, I had no idea what was to come. Imagine hook-y pop rock with some psychedelic grooves and a danceable beat — on steel guitar. Since their EP, I have been awaiting their new album 615 to FAME.

The album has the magic touch of Country Fried Rock alumnus, Ben Tanner (Single Lock Records, Alabama Shakes) and was recorded partially in Nashville before Tanner came on board, and completed in Muscle Shoals at FAME Studios. Tanner mixed all of the record at his place, yielding a cohesive vibe and putting this record at the top of my instrumental rock list. I love instrumental pop rock. Vocals are polarizing, and for me, this is where instrumentals sometimes reign.

Support Steelism
Buy 615 to Fame and other Steelism music here on Amazon or Steelism on iTunes.

Download the free podcast at the bottom of this page or on iTunes.


Jacob Furr #1424

Jacob Furr has been on our radar for a couple years, due to the surprisingly small world of Texas songwriters and Country Fried Rock alumni. Larry Hooper played Couch By Couch West and mentioned Furr, and then through our recent alumni, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, we were also connected via conversations about coffee. How does all of this relate to Furr’s new album, Trails & Traces? As Jacob profoundly says in our conversation, “We don’t live in a vacuum. None of us are doing this alone.”

Listen to this emotional conversation about songwriting and the memory of his young wife, Christina, who passed away after a terrible illness. Somehow, this is a hopeful, joy-filled chat about a person I only knew through my love of coffee and her blog, Cup Of Texas, and the melancholy songwriter who loved her. #CupOfMornings

The free PODCAST is at the bottom of this page.
It’s much longer than most, so give it time to download.
The radio program, heard on select radio stations, features a shorter version of this conversation.

Support Jacob Furr HERE on Amazon or Jacob Furr on iTunes by buying his music.



Corb Lund #1423

Although Corb Lund is well-known within Canada, only select areas of the States have been turned on to his music, often via his friendship and co-writing with Texan, Hayes Carll. After Lund’s US release of Cabin Fever, though, audiences began to appreciate his real life cowboy songs (seventh generation Rocky Mountain cowboy, I believe!) and kick-tailfeathers live band. When CMT Canada offered a live session at Memphis’ Sun Studios to record both an album and a DVD, Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans jumped at the chance to share a greatest hits of sorts with US fans, who may not have known their previous six albums. With Counterfeit Blues, Corb Lund lands on both boots for a rollicking record.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for the podcast.

Buy Corb Lund’s music here iTunes or Amazon.



The Wild Feathers #1422

I finally caught up a show from The Wild Feathers following my conversation with Joel King. Rhythm N Blooms in Knoxville hosted the guys and tons of other fantastic bands for a three-day festival spanning downtown and the botanical garden. The guys are still on the road, moving east from Colorado through Texas toward Louisville, Nashville and Atlanta before they head overseas to Spain then back again to the West. If you can keep up, catch one of their shows!

Please scroll down to the bottom of this post for the podcast.

Support The Wild Feathers
Buy music from The Wild Feathers on Amazon or The Wild Feathers on iTunes.



Scott Miller #1421

Scott Miller is miles away from his days with the V-Roys, but Knoxville still claims him as their own, even if he has since returned to rural Virginia to farm. Raising cattle requires his presence, limits his touring, but allows Miller hours and days to think. From talking with Miller, I get a sense that the cows are going to win out over the road, sooner rather than later, making his performances more precious to fans than they may realize. His most recent album, Big, Big World, unites Miller’s lyrics with Doug Lancio’s guitar thoughts, for a cohesive, but not yet thematic, album. Both recorded multiple instruments on the record, with just a few friends stopping by to add to the sounds. Miller is already writing for whatever his next album may be, in his assessment moving even closer to a “vibey” complete thought.

Please scroll down this page for the podcast.

Thanks to Rhythm N Blooms in Knoxville, TN, for connecting us with Scott Miller.

Buy Scott Miller’s music here on Amazon for physical or digital, or Scott Miller on iTunes.

scott millerpg


The Infamous Stringdusters #1420

The Infamous Stringdusters tour so much that they even have their own festival, The Festy, with a fabulous lineup including our alumni, New Country Rehab. Chris Pandolfi and Andy Hall are so in sync that they alternate answering questions and finish each others’ sentences. For their fifth album, Let It Go, the Stringdusters opted to produce the album themselves, using their own instrumentation and vocals, but this time around, they road-tested the songs before recording. I likened their sound to a bluegrass band inside a giant rubber band, stretching in every direction, but staying within bounds and not wandering off too far into jamband territory.

Grab the podcast at the bottom of this page.


Buy The Infamous Stringdusters’ music here on iTunes or here on Amazon.


Dom Flemons #1419

Dom Flemons’ third solo album, Prospect Hill, will be available on Music Maker records this summer.  The former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops brings his interest in Carolina blues, old time, and early R&B to both traditional and original songs.  A few years ago, I had the pleasure of driving Flemons from downtown Nashville to East Nashville for a video session that we both were attending, and getting to sit in on the recording.  On the way, we talked about the foundation with whom he works, also called Music Maker, that directly assists blues musicians in North Carolina with life essentials.  Not only is he a versatile player, but he also is a great guy.


Caleb Caudle #1418

Caleb Caudle left North Carolina for New Orleans, but he spends so much time on the road, that it almost does not matter. When Caudle’s scheduled studio time for Nashville fell through at the last minute, he hit the road with fellow Country Fried Rock alum, John Moreland, for intense reflection and regrouping, while giving his songs a thorough workout. Returning from tour, Caudle regrouped with his friends at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina, and backed by Roseland (another good band from the Triangle area). Caudle then hit the road again with a Country Fried Rock alum, Chris Porter (formerly of Back Row Baptists, also of a collaboration with CFR alums, The Pollies, and his duo, Some Dark Holler — Porter also donated a new version of one of his older BRB songs for Vol. 2 For Nuci’s Space, our charity album preventing musician suicide). Both Caudle and Porter were listening to mixes of their new records while on the road, trading the excitement of their new projects. Paint Another Layer On My Heart is available for pre-order from This Is American Music and releases next week. Podcast below the photo.
calebcaudlewideimagePre-order Paint Another Layer On My Heart right here.
Buy Caleb Caudle’s music here on Amazon or here on iTunes.
Catch his latest videos here.


David Mayfield #1417

David Mayfield grew up in a bus touring with his parents’ bluegrass gospel band, feeling the pressure of supporting the family’s livelihood as a child. Writing and performing define him, and he cannot see himself doing anything else. After two successful independent albums, Mayfield has just announced signing to the Compass Records label this week, with a new album in store for early fall.

In our conversation, Mayfield talks about the current and new albums and how they differ, confirms a Cadillac Sky reunion of sorts, and other tasty tidbits of his friends in music.

Buy David Mayfield’s music here The David Mayfield Parade on iTunes or on Amazon.

Listen or download here, on iTunes, or our Android or iOS apps.

Fire Mountain #1416

Fire Mountain’s latest album, All Dies Down, is three years in the making, but for a band that has no intention of leaving their day gigs, this works just fine. Don’t let their intentional “weekend warrior” status mislead you, though: this is an excellent album and their live shows equally worthy.  After hearing the debut EP from St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Brown sought out who recorded that collection of songs, and tracked down Les Nuby in Birmingham.  Right in the midst of our web of intertwined bands and friends, Fire Mountain’s album brings them to the forefront of Alabama’s musical rolling tide. In our conversation, we find out mutual bands we love, how shish kebob skewers made this album possible, and the venue that Fire Mountain loves to play.

Buy Fire Mountain’s All Dies Down on Amazon or Fire Mountain on iTunes.


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John Howie, Jr. #1415

I’ve been a fan of John Howie, Jr.’s music since he fronted the Two Dollar Pistols.  His new record with his current band of friends and rotating legends is John Howie, Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff.  The cover art by fellow North Carolinian, Skillet Gilmore, ices the cake on Everything Except Goodbye. When Howie broke up his successful honky-tonk band to go in other directions, he was reacting to both real and perceived limits on their sound. In a vibrant but small music community like North Carolina at the time, sounding too much like 6 String Drag or Whiskeytown could give a band the ultimate label, “Derivative.” While the Two Dollar Pistols were sliding slowly towards a split, Howie yanked it apart and moved on.

John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff have not brought along the level of recognition or audiences that his previous band did, but Howie’s writing and music have continued to grow in ways that those critics and fans will appreciate. No longer shying away from sounding “country rock,” and acknowledging influences like The Byrds, his latest album honors the death of his long-time drummer, Matt Brown. Maturing, parenting, and failing have all made Everything Except Goodbye a more developed, but equally fun, album for John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff.

Buy John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff’s music here on Amazon or John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff on iTunes.
Buy Two Dollar Pistols’ music here on Amazon or Two Dollar Pistols on iTunes.

In Memory Of Matt Brown

Download or listen here or on iTunes.

Featured Archive: #1219 Band of Heathens

Band of Heathens developed from a side project of several Austin songwriters at Momo’s, each of whom were pursuing other projects of solo work and sideman gigs. As they continued the residency and players flowed in and out of their scene, Gordy Quist, Ed Jurdy, and Colin Brooks realized that these Good Time Supper Club “Heathens” might just form a band of their own. Ultimately, the band became the Band of Heathens, and their first two live CD’s captured their great live vibe sharing creativity and connection amongst themselves and with the audience. Since their first studio record produced with Ray Wylie Hubbard, the Band of Heathens have continued to tour heavily, playing 150-250 dates per year.

Although different players have rotated through since 2004, the songwriting trio has remained as the heart of Band of Heathens, until late 2011, when Brooks announced that he was leaving to pursue other creative avenues. By the time we talked with Gordy Quist, the Heathens had had a few months to adapt to being a five-piece instead of a six-piece, but also to losing one-third of their songwriting base. Through Top Hat Crown and the Clapmaster’s Son, Band of Heathens worked from a free-flowing creative base, in constant pursuit of writing and challenging each other with both playing and lyrics, but losing Brooks’ portion of the interaction resembled losing a wheel on your vehicle for a while.

Band of Heathens intended to go into the studio for a new record in early 2012, but instead have chosen to find themselves together in their new format, rather than force something before they have found their new language. Quist believes that his songs are continuously evolving creatures, and does not feel bound by the lyrics he originally wrote, or the particular notes originally written, and this freedom to let songs grow over time has made the personnel change somewhat less chaotic; Band of Heathens were not rigid in the first place. They bring improvisation to the folk element of their songs, with a comfort from the blues and rock and roll traditions that also influence them. Jurdy and Quist played several dates as a duo this winter, fueling their writing, giving outlet to songs that are not Heathens’ tunes, and stoking a new fire that will be the next Band of Heathens album.



Songs in Episode 1219 Band of Heathens Include:

  • Band of Heathens “Medicine Man,” “Enough,” “Gris Gris Satchel”
  • Lyle Lovett “Ain’t It Something” from I Love Everybody
  • Ray Wylie Hubbard (also because George Reiff was part of this project) “Coricidin Bottle”
  • Owen Temple “Danger and Good Times” (Owen and Gordy have a weekly songwriting challenge to each other)
  • One from next week’s episode 1220 Glossary “The Flood”