South Carolina

Crush Rush #2008

Photojournalist, Crush Rush, shares the power of images in historic events. With frank conversation about the importance of photojournalism, anti-racism, and his experience as a Black man in America, we delve into some of the difficult topics necessary to change our world. If you “don’t like talking about this stuff all the time,” you need to listen to this podcast.

Sadler Vaden #1609

Sadler Vaden released his debut full length solo album in August 2016. His DIY effort morphed and was scrapped then re-imagined and recorded over a few years. What ultimately became this upbeat, pop influenced rock record demonstrates Vaden’s expertise gleaned from fronting his own band in the early 2000s for 8 years, playing for Drivin N Cryin, and most recently for Jason Isbell. Even his cover of John Moreland’s song, “Nobody Cares About Songs Anymore,” becomes Vaden’s own, filtered through Big Star and Vaden’s own sensibilities.

Buy Sadler Vaden here on Amazon or here on iTunes.
Vinyl, CD, and digital available.

Paleo Meals to Go

Long-time listeners to our podcast know that my family dabbles in outdoor adventures. We kayak, hike, mountain bike, and trail run for vacation and as weekend “warriors.” Despite our best intentions, we are not avid campers. We’d rather base camp with daily excursions or go on assisted adventures. We’re not the bad boys we think we are. I want to eat well when I’m playing, and I got lucky with Paleo Meals to Go this summer.

One of my pet peeves about camping is the selection of MREs (meals ready to eat — military kid). Almost all of them have soy, like TVP, which I am allergic to, or they are gluten-laden carb-fests that leave me feeling gross. I was stoked when I heard about the Paleo Meals to Go; even though I’m not strictly Paleo, I’m pretty close. (Goals, y’all.) We just returned from a hot and steamy South Carolina kayaking and mountain biking coastal adventure, with temps around 100. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t going to heat up anything to eat. This could have been rough!


Learning from past camping food disasters, I tested the first meal at home on the stove. I wanted to have the prep and timing figured out while it didn’t matter. I followed the directions on the package exactly, and all was well! I actually liked the Summit Savory Chicken enough that I’d eat this by choice on a night when I didn’t have time to fix a proper homemade meal.

I packed the Caldera Chicken Curry, Butte Cacao Banana, and Cliffside Coconut Berry for 2 breakfasts and supper, and also the pack of Apex Fruit Snacks for the car ride home the next day.

While not beautiful to look at, this cold-prep Cliffside Coconut Berry breakfast was delicious! I opened up the package and licked the inside clean, since my short camping spoon could not reach all the way in (The company is switching to a horizontal package soon, which will solve that problem, but I’ll still tear it open to lick clean. Leave no trace and all…) I also liked that this was an energy-dense start to my day, without feeling like a rock in my stomach. I have a hard time getting enough healthy calories in the morning before adventure days. Both of these breakfast options were yummy!


I don’t think my phone-photo captures just how filthy I was after a fun day riding, since my legs and sand are about the same shade. We hydrated carefully due to the heat and humidity, and I was thrilled to have planned a meal that did not involve heating anything up, but I was “living dangerously” by fixing cold Caldera Chicken Curry.

Yep, cold curry. It was great! I’m a little obsessed with curry, and carry it with me most of the time; pretty much any savory food can be rescued or improved with enough curry, you know? My family, however, does not like spicy foods at all. (How are these people related to me?) I graciously shared a taste of the curry as-is with them, and the boys both liked it and thought it was not too hot at all. Since I prefer food just below Vindaloo level of spice, I added some curry powder to mine.


I’m not sure if my car-ride selfie shows it very well, but on the drive home, I ate the pack of freeze dried fruit. I’m not usually a fan of freeze-dried fruit because the texture freaks me out, but this was good enough that I leaned back to get the dust — leaving the fabulous fruit ring around my mouth in the photo!

Hot or cold, the Paleo Meals to Go were a hit for our adventures. I am actually going to stock some in my hurricane kit, because why should we suffer with terrible food in an emergency, when we can have yummy meals like these instead? I was especially happy that none of these meals caused intestinal distress. I’m sure there are worse things to happen on an adventure, but seriously, gluten or soy-induced stomach issues are the pits! Paleo Meals to Go avoid both of those aggravating categories, while being lightweight and tasty, too. I’m a fan.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Paleo Meals to Go for free in consideration for a gear review.

PREMIERE: Scott Low “Kiss You Again”

Country Fried Rock alum, Scott Low, feels like he is finally getting life right. Since we featured his (former) band, Efren, years ago, Low has released several records and toured relentlessly, but his personal life has had enough upheaval for several lifetimes. Lucky for us, Low writes about all of it.

On his upcoming album, The New Vintage, Low culled hundreds of songs from his catalog, including this selection from the Jacksonville Songwriter Residency, premiered here: “Kiss You Again.” Look for the album on 10 Foot Woody Records on 17 June 2016.

Buy Scott Low’s past music here on Amazon or iTunes. Efren (the band) is a lot harder to Google!

Town Mountain #1606

Town Mountain‘s new album, Southern Crescent, will be out on April Fools’ Day 2016 on Todd Snider’s new record label, Lo Hi. We previously featured this IBMA Award winning band just prior to the release of Leave the Bottle. When we talked for this podcast at Revelator Coffee in Nashville during AmericanaFest, the band had not publicly announced the album and were shopping it around. Southern Crescent reflects the band’s loose, dance-able music, more reflective of their festival and club sets that a staid performing arts center straight-bluegrass set. I’m not sure if the Southern Crescent still runs from Atlanta to Boston like my relatives talked about taking to go “visit culture” in the Northeast, but I’m fairly sure it still runs down to New Orleans, where a more exhilarating culture has endured — an apt analogy for this album.

Town Mountain Southern Crescent is available here on Amazon and iTunes.

Golden Eels #1605

Golden Eels popped onto my feed because of our mutual music preferences on Bandcamp. Their songwriter, Neil Golden, has played on records for several Athens, Georgia, bands, ranging from the Elephant 6 legends, Elf Power, to The Glands and #CFRalumni, Shonna Tucker & Eye Candy. Periscopes in the Air leans toward the psychedelic pop sounds of Golden’s earlier collaborations, yielding a completely DIY record that suits long commutes and pleasant workday distractions.

Buy Periscopes in the Air by Golden Eels here.

Listen or download below or on SoundCloud.

Sadler Vaden: New Music

sadlervadenIf you have followed Jason Isbell for the last couple of years, or Drivin N Cryin for a few years before that, you may have heard Sadler Vaden on lead guitar. Fewer fans know that Vaden formerly fronted the band, Leslie, of Charleston, South Carolina, and released a couple of solo albums during the transitions among those projects. In a recent Country Fried Rock podcast, Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin lauded Vaden for re-invigorating the band and bringing the vision for their EP series, which he produced.

After more than a year of rumblings, Vaden confirmed that his new album is complete and will be released within the next year. As a special treat for fans, he is setting free an outtake, “Brand New Guitar” from the upcoming album’s sessions, which will be for sale this Friday via Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp and other digital outlets. Not just a writer and guitarist, he often gets behind the drum kit and more. Reminiscent of Southern college rock in the early 1980s, the tune balances pop and guitar in a way that teases Vaden’s own balancing act of playing for others while being a stellar music-maker on his own.

6 String Drag #1503

Kenny Roby (previously featured here) and Rob Keller disbanded 6 String Drag at the top of their game, nearly 15 years ago. The first new album from 6 String Drag, Roots Rock N Roll, brings the group together again, ranging the gamut of roots rock with their brother-from-another-mother harmonies. Why would a regionally beloved band, seemingly at the peak of success, fall off the face of the earth? Love.

Buy 6 String Drag’s albums here.
Buy Rob Keller’s bluegrass band, the Welfare Liners, here.
Buy Kenny Roby’s solo albums here.

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Lingua Musica: Noah Guthrie

Noah Guthrie found his first audiences through YouTube videos. Recently, he played for our live music partners, Lingua Musica, in Arden, NC (near Asheville). The next public event for Lingua Music is Aaron Burdett on 28 February 2014 — tickets available now.

Buy Noah Guthrie’s music here on Amazon.

From Guthrie’s bio:
Coming off an 80+ city college tour, bluesy-pop singer/songwriter, Noah Guthrie, is ready to take the U.S. by storm in 2014 to promote his debut album, Among the Wildest Things. Often known for his unique covers on youtube, Noah is excited to give fans a taste of his own music.

Described as having a Pop/Americana sound blended with soul, this nineteen-year old Southerner co-wrote the majority of his thirteen originals, along with his first single, Call Home. He may have been called the male version of Adele or a mix of John Legend and Dave Matthews in the past, but as his social media username shows, there is Only 1 Noah.

Born and raised in South Carolina, Noah grew up in a home filled with music. Always singing around the house, Noah credits his dad for teaching him to learn his true voice and hone his gift. When he was fourteen, Noah received his first guitar and started writing songs. As a practiced musician on the bass, guitar, and trumpet by the time he was 13, everyone around him knew early on that he had an innate gift, and after his first performance in front of people at age 13, he was already dubbed an ‘old soul’ and true talent. One of his earlier written songs (at 16,) even made the album.

Noah has been steadily building a name for himself in the music business through his live performances and cover videos and currently has over 50 million views on youtube. In May of 2012, Noah experienced the explosion that comes from a viral video when his ultra unique and blues-filled version of LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” ( earned him more than 8 million views in less than a week (now at over 20 million views.) As a result of the internet-mania, Noah was featured on NBC’s Today Show, Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, Dancing With The Stars, and several U.S. and European Radio Stations, and covers of his version have been featured on the US version of The Voice and The X Factor.

Throughout his young career, Noah has opened for a variety of artists as his powerful soulful voice and beautifully written songs appeal to a wide range of audiences. He has led off concerts for Ed Sheeran, Neon Trees, Ben Rector, Cobra Starship, Matisyahu, and Selena Gomez, but it was his performance opening up for Matt Nathanson at Sonoma State University that Noah marks as the most thrilling to date. While Noah’s live performances may be his favorite aspect of being a musician, over the course of the last year, while working on his first album, Noah has grown immensely as an artist. He worked in the studio with Matt Wertz, Gabe Dixon, Josiah Rosen (Augustana), Mher Filian (Selena Gomez), Isaac Hasson (Demi Lovato, Kris Allen, Hot Chelle Rae,) Amy Stroup, Ben Rector amongst others, and continues to collaborate, while simultaneously posting youtube covers.

As a huge fan of Bono and U2, Noah would love to follow in the footsteps of the Rock & Roll icon and find ways to give back through his music. He has previously performed in two Unicef benefit concerts and would love to continue to work with the organization, as well as contribute to the ONE campaign.

6 String Drag

Country Fried Rock alumni, Kenny Roby and Rob Keller, are back together as 6 String Drag, the most under-rated roots rock band from the mid-1990s. After some intriguing reunion shows rounding out 2013, the rumors of a new album turned out to be true. The bones are recorded, and now the glitter needs to be added — rock & roll needs horns, y’all, as Roby says.


Help them fund the last bits of the album by buying some excellent merch here (including High Hat goods!) or an extremely limited edition 3-color hand-screened poster from rock & roll artist, Skillet Gilmore of Crawlspace Press.


Screen Door Porch

One of our earliest features was a great duo/band based in Wyoming with Carolina roots, Screen Door Porch. They’ve got a nifty new video and are on the road regularly, so keep your eyes peeled for them! Sometimes the play full band, sometimes as a duo, but either set-up is great.

Buy Screen Door Porch’s music here on Amazon.

Davis Coen

Davis Coen South Carolina Country-Blues artist and singer-songwriter Davis Coen’s most recent accomplishments have included featured music on the ‘House Of Blues Radio Hour’ and NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ & ‘World Cafe’ programs. Also, he has contributed original music to the DVD release of Martin Scorsese’s PBS special ‘The Blues’; and a couple of performances on a documentary about the music of late-great Hillcountry blues matriarch Jesse Mae Hemphill, titled ‘Dare You To Do It Again’. He also receives steady play on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio’s Channel 70 ‘Bluesville’, in addition to hundreds of blues-related broadcasts domestically and worldwide.

Buy Davis Coen’s music here on Amazon or Davis Coen on iTunes.

Coen has been touring the U.S. since his teens, either as a solo guitar & vocal act, or accompanied by a small rhythm combo, performing at clubs, bars, and festivals throughout the Southeast and mid-south. He has billed on numerous prestigious annual blues events such as the King Biscuit in Helena, Arkansas and several times at Juke Joint Fest in Clarksdale, MS. He has also enjoyed numerous tours of Europe, promoting over a half-a-dozen album releases, most notably appearing at the world-famous Bellinzona Blues Festival in Switzerland. Coen has shared a bill or opened for many endured blues artists such as James Cotton, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Koko Taylor, Big Jack Johnson, T-Model Ford, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, and Britain’s John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers. He has also billed with such alternate-genre performers as Wynton Marsalis, Richie Havens, Mountain, Eric Burdon, Tito Puente and Toots & The Maytals.

In recent years Davis has played a strong role in clean-up efforts along coastal Mississippi for hurricane Katrina victims, musically honoring the Mayors of various coastal cities, and was given an achievement award for his conglomerate relief involvement.