Caleb Caudle #1804

Caleb Caudle‘s new album, Crushed Coins, builds dreamy, ethereal landscapes. The newest Country Fried Rock podcast (below) features an in-depth conversation with Caudle about recording in Los Angeles and Nashville and expanding his sound. With familiar players from his previous albums, Caudle found new sounds by keeping the plan flexible. The pedal steel goes ambient rather than country, yet it’s clearly a Caleb Caudle record. Partnering with Cornelius Chapel Records and touring extensively in the US and Europe this year, catch Caleb Caudle live and check out Crushed Coins.

Caudle also happens to love the US National Parks, having visited many of them over his years of touring. Stop by his Instagram to see some of his recent visits. We discuss a few of them in this podcast, as well as his adventure on Cayamo 2018.

VIDEO PREMIERE: M. Lockwood Porter “Reach the Top”

Written and Produced by M. Lockwood Porter
From the album How To Dream Again on Amazon or iTunes

“Reach The Top” (US) (UK & Europe)

Video by Joseph Casey and M. Lockwood Porter
Featuring Joseph Casey and Kris Payne
Engineered and Mixed by Peter Labberton

M. Lockwood Porter – vocals, guitar, harmonica

Reach The Top

It’s a psychopathic isolation daydream come alive:
The worker drones still serve their queen though she’s destroyed the hive.
Instead there’s bigger houses and some better cars to drive,
A screen to feel connected
A pill to kill the pain,
A ladder to convince you that your climbing’s not in vain,
A mortgage and a mouth to feed that keep you up at night.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “if you play your cards right.”

First, they took the farms, and then they built the factories.
But then they took the factory jobs and they sent them overseas.
They raised all the tuitions and told us all to get degrees.
Now we’re deeper into debt,
Deeper in despair,
Deeper underwater and we’re running out of air.
But if you want to see the rainbow, you must put up with the rain.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say. “There’s no need to complain.”

There’s something percolating in the poorest parts of town.
There’s new cafes and restaurants and new money all around.
And everywhere you go, you hear the same familiar sound.
From Detroit to San Francisco.
From Brooklyn to the South.
In everything that goes into or comes out of your mouth.
In the shirt upon your back or the very bedroom where you sleep.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but it ain’t coming cheap.”

The suicide is sprawled upon the bloody bathroom floor.
A policeman shot another boy and no one knows what for.
I try to listen to the wind blow, but you can’t hear it anymore.
There’s only smoke and static.
There’s only noise and fear.
There’s only so much talking until you tune out all you hear.
There’s only buried bodies trying to shout up through the dirt.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but someone’s getting hurt.”

Our new path to heaven’s paved with hundred dollar bills
And a hundred ways to justify the people that we kill.
We have now more than ever, but that won’t satisfy us still.
Every drop of oil.
Every drop of blood.
Everyone who fights back lying facedown in the mud.
Everything belongs to us no matter what the price.
“You may reach the top one day,” they say, “but you’ll have to sacrifice.”

AmericanaFest 2016

Decided to do a quick podcast update from my 3 favorites at AmericanaFest 2016. Lots more video to come, but here’s a taste of my favorite band that I did not previously know: Ladies Gun Club (Sally Jaye/Sarah Roberts). I also dug a #CFRalumni band that I had never seen play live and the band all my music friends most-suggested to me. Tons of great music all week!

Listen for a feature on Ladies Gun Club soon.

Fantastic Negrito “Working Poor”

Long time followers of Country Fried Rock podcasts and social media know that I drive a lot (about 60,000 miles per year) and run a little to stay active. The music I enjoy expands beyond typical “country fried rock,” and Fantastic Negrito plays some blues that I dig. –Sloane Spencer

Grab Fantastic Negrito‘s new music here on Amazon or iTunes. The album, The Last Days of Oakland, will be out 3 June 2016.

M. Lockwood Porter #1509

Max Porter performs as M. Lockwood Porter, in homage to his grandfather and to make it easier to find him on the Internet. Partly based on a childhood dream to leave Oklahoma and live in California, and partly pulled by his network of friends and musical colleagues, Porter claims both areas as home. His recent album, 27, honors Chris Bell of Big Star, and will be released in the UK and Europe late Spring 2015.

Buy M. Lockwood Porter’s music here.

Download here, links below, or on SoundCloud.

Please subscribe to Country Fried Rock in iTunes or your favorite podcast app, and leave us a rating and a comment! That will help boost our search results and allow people to find the show more easily.

We welcome your feedback on the show. You can reach me on Facebook or @countryfriedrok.

Lee Gallagher #1507

Lee Gallagher inhales the Bay area of California, making it part of who he is musically. After a few years in the area, Gallagher appreciates its history and vibe even more than when he was a Midwestern kid seeking something other than cornfields. He is not jaded about his roots, though, rather, he takes the indie roots rock foundation and filters it through his newer psychedelic surroundings. With two recent albums that deserve a listen, Lee Gallagher shares his appreciation for his new home region and musicians.

Buy Lee Gallagher’s music here.

Download here, links below, or on SoundCloud.

Please subscribe to Country Fried Rock in iTunes or your favorite podcast app, and leave us a rating and a comment! That will help boost our search results and allow people to find the show more easily.

We welcome your feedback on the show. You can reach me on Facebook or @countryfriedrok.

Jonny “2 Bags” Wickersham #1412

I did not grow up with country music. The first time I heard “Ring Of Fire,” was on a Social Distortion album. So for me, twang comes from a punk source as logically as it does anywhere else, and Southern California has a distinct take on the music that I love. One of the first bands we ever featured was former Agent Orange musician, Steve Soto, with his two “country” records, with the Twisted Hearts. So, hearing that Jonny 2 Bags of Social Distortion has a solo country album ran right up my alley.

Salvation Town fuses exactly what I hoped for in the veteran punk guitarist’s solo project — straight-forward lyrics, great playing, and hooks that keep the songs memorable and fit a nice sunny drive. With some key guest appearances from legends like Gaby Moreno, Julie Miller, and Zander Schloss (a recurring guest player in several albums we have featured on Country Fried Rock), Salvation Town may grab you because of the rhythm, but do not let the lyrics roll over your head. Wickersham’s topics include gang violence and punk rock life lessons.

Buy Jonny 2 Bags’ music here:

Download or stream the podcast here, on iTunes, or via our free Android and iOS apps.

Don Gallardo

Don Gallardo has been one of our lengthiest friends in music, one of the brave souls who launched our inaugural season in 2010 — before we even had a website or podcast!  Over the years, Gallardo has released several great albums and toured the world.

Buy his latest album here:


Nocona is made up of Country Fried Rock alumni from the remnants of Paladino. You may remember the amazing early days of Widespread Panic discussion in that program, although the bands do not resemble each other.  Nocona tours California regularly and played Bonnaroo in 2013.  Keep your ears open for their lively shows and music at a great Grand Ole Austin party at SXSW 2014.

Buy their music here on Amazon.

From their bio:

Chris Isom – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
Adrienne Isom – Guitar, Vocals
Annie Rothschild – Upright Bass, Vocals
Justin Smith – Drums

Before they came together in 2012 as NOCONA, husband-and-wife team, Chris and Adrienne Isom, along with charismatic southern-native, Annie Rothschild, were 3/4’s of the LA based Roots-Folk-Punk band Paladino, who ended their time together playing the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Longtime friend and accomplished drummer, Justin Smith (Old Californio, The Seeds) joined Chris, Adrienne and Annie as NOCONA, now an energetic Americana-Rock group that delivers free spirited, up-tempo tunes and infectious hooks that are brimming with heartfelt emotion and honesty, penned by songwriter Chris Isom.

NOCONA returned to Bonnaroo in 2013 after touring much of the year. The band landed a song on the hit T.V show Bones and received critical reviews after playing Fillmore West and SF’s Independent opening up for Broke Down in Bakersfield. NOCONA has already begun recording their next full length release.

A music veteran, Chris spent time playing in NYC Anti-Folk/Art-Punk bands Mooney Suzuki and The Adam Green Band which adds to NOCONA’S diverse sound, incorporating punk and underground into their Country-Rock . The name NOCONA, is a nod to Chris’ Texas roots. “Nocona is the area in Texas where my Mom’s family originally lived; it comes from the Comanche word for Wanderers or Travelers.” Chris’ mom, even has ties to music history, once playing the role of tutor to Joe B. Mauldin ofBuddy Holly and The Crickets.

The influence of 1950’s artists like Buddy Holly are clearly heard on NOCONA’S debut album and they remind listeners that it was that marriage between early American rock ‘n’ roll along with a youthful, rebellious and socially conscious mindset that brought about the whole punk movement of the late 1970s. NOCONA who do well in evolving that sound and spirit, take things one step further by drawing on psychedelic bands like the 13th Floor Elevators and Love, along with the California twang of Buck Owens and Gram Parsons, crossed with the Outlaw Country of Johnny Cash. The mix of these varied musical tastes, comes together to bring a distinct style that takes risks and delivers a sound unlike any other artists today.

“This is the first music I’ve written that’s free from a lot of the artistic hang ups that have stifled my writing in the past,” says Chris. “I’ve let go and just accepted the process, and sometimes that means exploring melodies and lyrics that used to be too personal for me to share with anyone. Other times, it means just shutting up and rocking the fuck out,” says Chris.

Over the past year, NOCONA has been hard at work and recently finished their first full-length album, which was recorded at Kevin Jarvis’s Sonic Boom Room studio in Venice, California. Their first single, “Brimstone,” is one of the mellower tracks on the album, but has a steady movement that features driving acoustic blues riffs and harmonica along with an engaging boy/girl sung verse that is filled with honesty as the dialogue candidly tells the story of Chris and Adrienne’s marriage.

Adding to the eclectic sound on NOCONA, is the work of renowned pedal steel guitarist, Greg Leisz (Emmylou Harris, Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton), a friend of Annie’s. “When I played the material for him, he was excited and I was overjoyed that he was willing to share his genius,” she says.

NOCONA is a collection of songs that will appeal to any taste. Ranging from Whites Of Your Eyes, an evocative panoramic track reminiscent of the higher energy moments of Calexico or Canadian alt country pioneers, The Sadies, but with a strong nod to the same western and surf influences. Train Song, a contemplative chilling track echoing some of the English folk melodic sensibility of a Bert Janch but with a contemporary hard alt-americana rock feel. Hated, a devil may care pop song recalling some of the best pop sensibilities of CCR but with a contemporary Nashville West twist. My Oh My, a modern plains cowboy road song rave-up with several unexpected turns. Brimstone, the first single and homage to the great tradition, where the crossroads between Americana blues, country, folk and pop, intersect.

The Devil Makes 3 #1401

The Devil Makes Three‘s fourth record, I’m A Stranger Here, brings on board some serious heavyweights for the band’s New West Records debut.  Produced with Buddy Miller and recorded at Dan Auerbach‘s new studio in Nashville, the California trio brings together their Vermont unvarnished origins and California ease.  Pete Bernhard tells about the band’s path to where they are now, muddling road-weariness with appreciation and satisfaction for where they are now.  Recording in Nashville allowed them to bring in exemplary sparkle to their existing shine, like Casey Dreissen on fiddle, Buddy Miller on guitar, and the Preservation Hall Horns, while maintaining their identity.

Check out this great playlist of related artists!

The easiest way to listen whenever you want: our new app.
Download or stream this podcast at the bottom of this post, or subscribe for free on iTunes.

Liner Notes
Buy the music from this show here.

Download the free podcast here, or subscribe for free on iTunes.

Kandia Crazy Horse

Kandia Crazy Horse is an author, an award-winning journalist and a former writer of music for publications such as Rolling Stone, Village Voice and Creative Loafing (where she was music Editor). Switching gears and taking up the mic, Kandia has released a single, “California” which will be on her upcoming record, Stampede. The publication, Souleo says, “With her debut single, “California,” Crazy Horse aims to break further ground in country music for Black recording artists.”

You can buy Kandia Crazy Horse’s music here on Amazon or Kandia Crazy Horse on iTunes.

The Wearies

Check out some garage rock from The Wearies. Click their name to check them out on Facebook.

From their bio:

The Wearies are back with a new lineup and revved up sound. Their catchy rock anthems and hooks galore will take you back to a time when rock and roll was king. Originally formed in 2005 by Singer/Songwriter/guitarist Erik Mullin, the band quickly got to work producing their own music and playing shows all over California. After putting out two independent EP’s and one full length album the band took a break from shows and started working on their next studio release. The band like so many independent artists who support themselves without the help of any label found it difficult to continue, and the band members went their seperate ways in 2010. Erik Mullin, the driving force behind the band refused to call it a day and continued to do what he does, write songs and perform. Popping up at open mics all over the Bay Area and recording a plethora demos. E* as his friends know him decided it was time to get back in the game and put a new band together. Now the band is in full swing with Robbie Martinez killing it on lead guitar, Kevin Michael holding down the heavy groove on bass and Reid Murry laying into the drums. The band is brimming with renewed energy and take no prisoner attitude. Brace yourself for the dirty pop gilded guitars and glistening melodies that begs the old new again.