podcast

IDWTTY #2007

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.

The Muscle Shoals Legacy of FAME #2006

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.

My Heart Sings the Harmony: Twenty Years of Writing About Music #2005

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.

Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge #2004

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.

Bandlife #2003

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.

The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern #2002

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.

Cool Town #2001

Read Cool TownHow 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.

Don Gallardo #1805

Don Gallardo‘s latest album, Still Here,

shares his signature sound with fresh vocal phrasing and deep instrumentation.  The lush, beautiful album leans more folk-country or indie folk than the current “take” on Americana music.  Subtle background vocals and harmony complement Gallardo’s voice.  Notable contributors include Erin Rae and Luella.  Gallardo shares raw, honest insight into independent music making.  He reveals the situation that nearly ended the album mid-recording.  While many people gloss over and pretend “everything’s fine,” he clarifies what life is like and how projects derail in a candid conversation.

Country Fried Rock featured Gallardo in our inaugural season

as a radio program.  Sadly, that audio disappeared.  He generously contributed to our charity compilation for musician suicide prevention.  Vol. 1 and 2 continue to raise funds for Nuci’s Space, providing direct services to the music community of Athens, GA.  After a decade in Nashville, Don Gallardo’s connections within the songwriters community led him to collaborate with several friends on Still Here.

Robby Hecht, Mando Saenz, Carey Ott, Doug Williams, David Borne’, Luke Amelang, Jesse Cole, and Tim Easton co-wrote songs for Gallardo’s latest record.

These connections with peers whom Gallardo admires allowed him to learn from their special nuances in both writing and performing, as he elaborates in this conversation in the podcast.  In the studio, Gallardo also included friends and legends, Dylan Alldredge, Joe Andrews (now with Old Crow Medicine Show), Richard Bailey (banjo, played on hundreds of records, including Steeldrivers, Jim Lauderdale, and the Picking On series), Kyle Everson (dobro, who also played on Gallardo’s album Sweetheart Radio Revolution), Hillel Frankel (sax, who also happens to be a noted attorney in Nashville), Jim Hoke (clarinet, played on almost every record you own), Neilsen Hubbard (mixing, percussion, Mary Gauthier, Amy Speace, Garrison Starr, Amelia White), Micah Hulscher (Margo Price), Clint Maine (also in #CFRalumni Allen Thompson‘s band, Brent Mason (guitar on nearly every country hit since George Jones), Bryan Owings (percussion on nearly every Americana hit ever), David Pinkston (nearly every Southern rock record of Sea Level, Cowboy, and Marshall Tucker Band), Dave Roe (Sturgill Simpson, Gretchen Peters, Dwight Yoakam), Andrew Squire (drums in several Nashville bands, including #CFRalumni Andrew Leahey), Travis Stock (of Don’s band), Whit Wright (formerly American Aquarium).

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.

Banditos #1801

Banditos Visionland, Bloodshot Records

Banditos grew as a band through relentless touring of nearly 250 shows per year.  When not on the road, they lived together in a house in Birmingham, Alabama, and later relocated to Nashville.  Their second album, Visionland, is named for a defunct theme park in rural Alabama.  The namesake fell apart due to political corruption and greed, which Banditos see recurring in our national political landscape.  Producer Israel Nash (and Ted Young) kept a calm, creative vibe during their recording. Keeping cool can be challenging with a band of three songwriters and a fully egalitarian structure.

Relocating

Recently, founding member Steve Pierce returned to Alabama, and the band honed their songwriting methods by trying new ways of communicating.  Pierce emailed song ideas from Sweden at the end of the year, and when they gathered again for two weeks, the band worked together on those songs and ideas.  These foundations of their third album show Banditos’ growth as songwriters and performers.

Recording

Banditos hit the road again this winter, continuing their hectic touring, and looking ahead to where they will record their next album.

In Memory of Chris Porter: The Mastersons #1706

Friendships run deep when you are a musician. Friends with whom you can pick up right where you left off, after months on the road, become family. Chris Porter forged deep, fast friendships with people in every town he toured, but especially with his tight-knit chosen family of fellow “lifers.” Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson of The Mastersons were family for Porter. The Masterson’s sound permeates his prior album, This Red Mountain. They dropped into the studio one night, just off the plane from tour, to add their sparkle to Don’t Go Baby, It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You. The Masterson’s latest release, Transient Lullaby, was completed but not yet released when he passed away unexpectedly. They dedicated the album to Porter, and often perform the song they co-wrote, “You Got the Last Laugh,” in his memory.

Boo Ray #1702

Boo Ray recently released Sea of Lights on vinyl, the debut release from Kindercore record pressing in Athens, GA. With a fresh mastering for vinyl and successful showcase at AmericanaFest 2017, Boo Ray and his band continue to tour the US with his distinct brand of Jerry Reed-inspired rock and roll. He’s a heckuva picker and performer and just as laid back and easy-going as you could imagine, laughing at his own jokes because they’re funny.

Catch the podcast below, or in the iTunes and other links. Essential production support for this program provided by Jay Burgess.