Chad Cochran #1701

I first got to know Chad Cochran, known online as CowtownChad, through the defunct Twitter event, Couch By Couchwest. Cochran’s photographs and mixed media art featuring haunting landscapes and abandoned buildings held titles from songs by musicians featured on our show. Through the magic of social media, we became friends and hung out at AmericanaFest in Nashville one year, and then he came down to South Carolina to cover the Country Fried Rock 4th-ish Anniversary party, where Caleb Caudle played in our rural school house, a magical, slightly decrepit place that is made for singing.

At the urging of Lydia Loveless, Cochran has expanded his photography to include concert shots, with a specialty for stage images and raw portraits. In this podcast, we talk about many of the bands he has “shot” recently (Charles Bradley, Old 97s, John Moreland, etc.) and festivals from Nelsonville to High Water. I also put him on the spot about a “wish project” that I hope he accomplishes, with your help.

Jimbo Mathus: Dark Night

Jimbo Mathus was one of our top programs a couple years ago. (You can download that great podcast here). Since then, Mathus has released another full-length album with our fellow Country Fried Rock alum, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, called Dark Night of The Soul. In additional “it’s a small world” coincidences, a songwriter fan of this show, Robert Earl Reed “RER”, also happened to be one of Mathus’ close friends and collaborators. Reed was incredibly supportive of our projects for musicians’ mental health care (which you can donate to here). I “met” Reed through an online festival called Couch By Couchwest, which happens to be coming up in March. (If you are a musician, you should submit a video PDQ here.) When Reed passed away suddenly this past year, the first person I thought of was Mathus and their close friendship, music videos together, and co-writing. When I asked Mathus to update us, I offered to omit the questions about Reed, but Mathus’ heartfelt answers make this record even better.

Buy Dark Night of The Soul here on Amazon.

Sloane Spencer: Since we first talked between Blue Light and White Buffalo, you and Roscoe have worked together quite a bit in different roles. How has that relationship changed as you work with new material?

Jimbo Mathus: I have really been influenced by Roscoe’s guitar philosophy over the past few years. It’s very simple yet strangely poetic and tough at the same time. On “Dark Night” he was on the floor with us as a member of the band. So, combined with Matt Pierce and myself on guitars, many songs have three guitars all blending harmoniously with the organ, bass, drums and piano. It creates a heavy, full sound.

SS: I don’t think you’ve ever made the same album twice. What’s different about Dark Night of the Soul?

JM: Dark Night has some pretty challenging lyrical themes on it. I was influenced by the news stories of 2013, which seemed to be one mass shooting or national disaster after another. Some of the themes are drug addiction, rampant capitalism, and massive geological and seismic upheaval on planet Earth. Other themes include learning from past mistakes and the simple, profound beauty of true love.

SS: You were close friends with a musician whom I was in the process of setting up an interview when he suddenly passed away this year — Robert Earl Reed. I know y’all made some videos together, and he was a prolific, self-critical, perfectionist songwriter (based on my email conversations with him over a few years). Would you like to share anything about RER?

JM: RER and I blazed a bright arc in our brief time together. I produced his first collection of songs and mentored him on his singing and guitar playing. He, in turn, inspired me with his songs, songwriting and aesthetic. Two songs on “Dark Night” were co-written by him–“Tallahatchie” and “White Angel.” We started Repent Films together and created five music videos. He was just a person that I will never be able to replace; a true like-minded artist and Renaissance man. We just instinctively understood one another. I miss him all the time.

John Moreland #1403

I am late to the party on John Moreland’s songs. Although I made myself a note to track him down after Couch By Couch West 2013, our schedules did not overlap for a long time, and I forgot to follow up. Nearly a year later, we have finally been able to talk about his record, In The Throes. Prepare yourself for heavy lyrics, more emotion from one guy and a guitar than you can imagine, and for an album you might not be able to turn off.

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This podcast includes three songs from John Moreland, with his express permission.  Thank him by buying his music.
Stream or download the free podcast at the bottom of this post, or subscribe on iTunes.

Buy John Moreland’s music here on Amazon.

Liner Notes
John Moreland
Austin Lucas
Caleb Caudle
Jay Farrar/Will Johnson/Yim Yames/Anders Parker
Drag The River
Parker Millsap
Turnpike Troubadours


Dandelion Massacre

I found Dandelion Massacre via Couch By Couch West. Y’all should check them out!

Buy Dandelion Massacre’s music here on Amazon or Dandelion Massacre on iTunes.

Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy #1334

If you think you know Shonna Tucker from her years playing bass with Drive-By Truckers, then you are in for a surprise with her debut album of her songwriting with her new band, Eye Candy. The songs are sweet, fun, grooving, mellow, occasionally dark and reflective — a nice analogy for her last couple of years. Given the amazing band of John Neff (another former Trucker and player on nearly every record out of Athens in the last 15 years that I can recall), Bo Bedingfield, Clay Leverett, and Neil Golden, the record could easily move into heavier territory, but Tucker’s voice keeps it lighter and balances the monster playing. A Tell All has instant sing-alongs and lyrics that will make you laugh aloud, but also some deeper themes that are even a bit disturbing. If you are looking for a repeat of her previous band, you will not find it in this album; if you are looking for a solid hang out and have a mellow happy time, or weekend morning drive record — with a fantastic band and guest keys from Spooner Oldham — then you will be thrilled with A Tell All. Be sure to order the recipe poster, designed by our alum, Jack Logan, with Shonna Tucker’s recipes!

Liner Notes

Music Films: Special Deal From Amazon in October just for signing up for 30 days of Amazon Prime for free – watch over 40,000 movies

Download the podcast for free here or subscribe on iTunes.

Jeanette Lynne

Y’all might know how I love to discover music at Couch By Couch West… Here’s a songwriter from CXCW with a couple tunes for you! Click to listen or right-click to “save as.”

Buy the record HERE or

Jeanette Lynne is an up and coming songwriter from West Chester, Pennsylvania. She has worked her way up through the ranks to play some of Philadelphia’s finest venues and listening rooms. Sweet, simple, and from the heart… her songs will captivate any audience, and leave them wanting more.

2013 Top 11 Finalist – The Philadelphia Songwriter Project Contest @The Blockley, Philadelphia PA
2013 Top 5 Finalist – UEA Chester County Songwriter Competition @The Note, West Chester PA
2013 Finalist – Laurita Idol Singer Competition @Laurita Winery, New Egypt, NJ
Raised over $2,000 in 2012 to record debut album via crowd funding platform,
2013 Debut album “You’ve Got Me” released on Itunes, Amazon, Google, Spotify
2011 Competed in the We R Indie Music Conference – Songwriter Showdown in Knoxville,TN
Jeanette Lynne: Vocals, Guitar, Producer
Jamie Victor: Bass, Mandolin(*Intro),Glockenspiel(*No Reason), Vocals(*When I Cry)
Tom Hampton: Dobro(*When I Cry)
Glenn Barratt: Co-Producer, Engineer, Keys (*Intro)

Album artwork, Graphic Design: Jamie Victor

All tracks recorded, mixed and mastered by Glenn Barratt at Morningstar Studios in East Norriton, PA.
Copyright 2013 Jeanette Lynne

#1250 Gretchen Peters

When Gretchen Peters decided to write about her private upheaval of the last few years, she chose to record these songs herself.  Calling on a small circle of close friends, including her new husband–but longtime bandmate–Barry Walsh, Peters crafted a dark but cathartic album.  For listeners familiar with her previous albums, Peters’ voice explores the lower end of her register, hinting at the difference in this theme and what is to come in Hello Cruel World.

Most Americana fans know Rodney Crowell for his songwriting and performing, but to Peters and Walsh, he was also their marriage officiant, with a certificate straight off the Internet.  Despite their familiarity with each other, Peters was a bit intimidated to work with Crowell on this record, and especially on the song that turned into their duet.  Even noted songwriters like Peters can have professional idols and a little bit of fangirl-dom, too!

Country Fried Rock probably would not have been tapped into Peters’ album if she had not stopped by  Couch By CouchWest 2012, a virtual music festival held each March.  In this event, songwriters send exclusive videos of themselves performing from a couch–or elevator, sofabed, recliner–and music fans all over Twitter join in.  This year, #CXCW went crazy when noted writers Ray Wylie Hubbard and Gretchen Peters, respectively, sent in videos.  Thanks to a fun time on the Internet, we rediscovered a writer we may have overlooked.

Liner Notes:  Gretchen Peters has extensive liner notes for Hello Cruel World on her website.
Gretchen Peters Hello Cruel World [Explicit] Gretchen Peters
Kim Richey Wreck Your WheelsWreck Your Wheels - Kim Richey
Daddy (Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack) For A Second Time Kim Richey
Mickey Newbury An American Trilogy Mickey Newbury
Bob Dylan and The Band The Basement Tapes The Basement Tapes - Bob Dylan & The Band

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