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.

Danny Barnes #1524

Danny Barnes returns to Country Fried Rock to discuss his recent accolade, the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Barnes has two distinct audiences: those who know him for playing with bands ranging from Dave Matthews Band to the Butthole Surfers, and those who know him for his songwriting and wide-ranging banjo styles. The term “electronic folk” may have been coined just for him.

Barnes is fascinated by sound, and how incongruous sounds mesh or conflict. From the computer programs he designed to interpret his banjo or bazouki playing to his obsession with noise music and cassettes, Barnes is engrossed by the process as much as the product. This year, he released a special recording for Cassette Store Day on his cassette-label, Minner Bucket Records, and will release a more traditional bluegrass album later. Barnes’ take on “tradition” is anything but traditional, though, so it is guaranteed to be another fascinating investigation of technology and instrumentation.

Stream or download below, or on SoundCloud.

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Copper & Coal

Check out this vintage country style song from Copper & Coal, “Good Time Gal.”

From their bio:

Carra and Leslie met in Portland, but both cut their teeth gigging in Lansing, MI. When a mutual friend put them in touch last year, the musical chemistry was instant. Their voices were just meant to go together – “Sometimes I can’t tell my voice from hers,” says Carra. They started sitting in on each other’s solo sets, and Carra wrote “Kentucky Blue,” a soaring harmony ode to the open road, inspired by their collaborations. The duo debuted at the 2012 Siren Nation’s Dolly Parton tribute – appropriately enough, as the great Dolly herself ranks alongside Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells, and the Davis Sisters as Copper & Coal’s favorite influences. Since then Carra and Leslie gigged throughout the saloons and barrooms of Portland’s burgeoning roots county scene, and performed at the 2013 West Coast Country Music Festival.

Their debut album features mostly original songwriting, but it’s like an instant portal into a Saturday night party back at that Route 66 roadhouse. Paying homage to the harmony sister duets of the golden age of country, songs like “Faraway Places” and “I Can’t Believe I’ve Fallen” show Carra and Leslie’s fidelity to the country swing tunes and ballads that inspire them. In “Dreamin’ Ain’t Waltzin’,” Carra tips her hat to country legends Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, and Link Davis as she imagines dancing with each of them in a dream. Swinging from raucous to mournful, heartbreak ballads like “I Love A Gambler” and Dolly Parton’s “Dagger Through the Heart” will have you searching your pockets for change to make one long-distance call back home. But Copper & Coal is here to lift your spirits and shake the dust off your boots, too. “Good Time Gal” just defies the listener not to tap their feet and sing along. Why even try? Give in to the charms of these sweet voices, shuffle a little two-step around the jukebox, and kick your heels up alongside the ghosts of Hank and Kitty.

Science! Covers The Grateful Dead

The Dead Covers project has included several of our alumni, and here’s a new video from recent features, Science! Check in with their radio program or podcast from late 2013. Science! has an extensive tour lined up leading to SXSW, so look to catch a show soon.

Buy Science! music here on Amazon.

From the band:

While tracking and recording their first full length album, Science! took a break to record a live video performance of “I Know You Rider” for the annual Grateful Dead sponsored Dead Covers Project.

The performance highlights their stripped down acoustic style and unique interpretation of a classic Grateful Dead tune. Moreover, it strongly kicks off the new year, following a breakout 2013 for the Seattle duo which included a headlining performance at Hempfest – as one of more than 110 shows.

Science! on TV

Earlier this fall, we featured a Seattle-based band called Science! (The exclamation point is part of their name.) Recently, they were on KING TV5 and will be on the Marty Reimer show on 22 November 2013. They also have a big show planned for 8 January 2014 at Nectar.

Here’s their current bio & catch their recent podcast with us.

Buy their music HERE.

ABOUT THE BAND: Science! is an award winning acoustic duo comprised of Justin Stang and Jim Elenteny. Their recent studio debut EP includes Blind Melon’s Glen Graham on drums and their music has been featured in Fall 2012 on PBS television’s Roadtrip Nation. Moreover, they were awarded the Weekly Volcano’s 2013 Best New Record, 2012 Best New Band (Olympia, WA) award and are what Quyen Shanahan (of WXPN, Philadelphia) is calling “Riveting acoustic music…a perfectly simple, universal and truthful roots band.” They are featured in the January issue of High Times Magazine as the “Unsigned Band of The Month”. Their witty and fun new tune about Seattle (“Seattle Song”) has become the new anthem on Jet City Stream with Marco Collins and Shawn Stewart and was recently named one of their “Best New Tracks of The Week”. It has also been featured on KING 5 TV- Seattle’s Evening Magazine and The Bob Rivers Show – (95.7 KJR FM Seattle).

Science #1333

Justin Stang of the Seattle band, Science!, is wrapping up his first months-long national tour with his duo. Despite their fandom for Back to the Future movies, their name had to come from other 1980s pop-culture references, since every obscure name possible from the BttF franchise was taken. Their music, though, references more jazz and jam than electronic enhancement, but their lyrics are fresh and funny. Just listen to “Seattle Song” without giggling.

Liner Notes

Not exactly the correct playlist, as iTunes is “quirky”

Download free here or on iTunes.

Sarah Gayle Meech #1312

Sarah Gayle Meech looks like a nouveaux rockabilly woman, but her music is straight up traditional country. Her debut album, One Good Thing, shares Meech’s original tunes with an amazing backing band and stellar studio musicians. Just try not to dance while you listen. Don’t let the A-list players distract you, though, because Meech’s live show brings the energy that fills the gap in instrumentation changes from recorded versus live.

Buy One Good Thing from Sarah Gayle Meech HERE ON AMAZON or HERE ON iTUNES. You can download the free podcast at the bottom of this page.

Liner Notes

  • Sarah Gayle Meech One Good Thing “One Good Thing,” “No Angel,” “Sad and Lonely”
  • The .357 String Band Lightning From The North “Lightning from the North” Compadre band.
  • Bob Wayne Till the Wheels Fall Off “All My Friends” The lyrics reference cocaine, heroin & lsd use. I left the lyrics intact to contrast the traditional country music in this song with the surprisingly straightforward lyrics about hard drug use. People love or hate Bob Wayne, but he seems to be pretty honest about the lives a lot of people live, without judging them. I don’t know if it’s a persona or character or real, but this song works.
  • Buck Owens The Instrumental Hits “Buckaroo”  Meech plays regularly at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn and Robert’s Western World on Broadway, mixing her original tunes with Buck Owens and Loretta Lynn covers.
  • Hank III Rebel Within “Gettin’ Drunk and Falling Down” I’ve always avoided listening to any of Hank III’s music because he can’t seem to let the rebel flag go away. I’m a lifelong Southerner, and I don’t care about the “Heritage Not Hate” argument because it DOES represent hate. Move on, Shelton. Your music is sometimes really great. Quit being your own caricature. Get rid of the stupid stars and bars.  That said, his long-time player and producer, Andy Gibson, is the thread connecting many of these bands.
  • Bobby Bare 16 Biggest Hits “Numbers”  Grant Johnson is currently on tour as Bare’s lead guitar player.  He has also been heard on this radio show in the Derek Hoke program.
  • Scott Chism and the Better Half Long Haul Steady “Jet N Dewdrop’s Farm”  I chose this one because of the Chris Scruggs connection.
  • Matt Woods (Country Fried Rock alum) The Matt Woods Manifesto “Beating Down My Door” One of the best songwriters I know.  Woods was one of the other bands on the lineup in Illinois in 2013.
  • Hillbilly Casino Tennessee Stomp [Explicit] “The Ballad of Psycho Steve” (ft Dale Watson) On Watson’s upcoming EP, Hillbilly Casino is his backing abnd and Meech does backing vocals and a duet. I chose this song for the connection to the rest of this album, and the BR 549 Chris Scruggs connections, and Geoff Firebaugh, who co-wrote this tune.
  • The G-ddamn Gallows Seven Devils [Explicit] “7 Devils” Another compadre band.