Independent's Day Radio

Follow Independent's Day Radio
Share on
Copy link to clipboard

The music business is changing at the speed of light. The traditional model of the way music is made, distributed and enjoyed is going the way of the dinosaur, allowing independent artists to control their destiny. Want to know how it's done? Independent's Day host Joe Armstrong brings you independ…

Joe Armstrong


    • Sep 7, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • infrequent NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 11m AVG DURATION
    • 627 EPISODES


    Search for episodes from Independent's Day Radio with a specific topic:

    Latest episodes from Independent's Day Radio

    Episode 224: ID FFWD with Freedy Johnston

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 76:58


    Freedy Johnston's Can You Fly album landed on a number of 1992 best-of lists, with legendary music critic Robert Christgau calling it "a perfect album” and penning the following about the record: “Contained, mature, realistic in philosophy and aesthetic, its every song a model of open-ended lyrical detail and lithe, sly melodicism, it's a flat-out monument of singer-songwriterdom--up there with Randy Newman's 12 Songs, Joni Mitchell's For the Roses, and other such prepunk artifacts.” Not too shabby. But the peak of Johnston's fame came with the 1995 single “Bad Reputation” from the follow-album, This Perfect World, produced by Butch Vig (Nirvana, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, et al). Johnston has been out there slogging it out ever since, releasing an ongoing career's worth of albums filled with incisive songs delivered in his trademark reedy tenor voice. Johnston first joined us on Independent's Day for episode #62 in December of 2012, and he was kind enough to return just in time for the release of his brand-new album, Back On the Road to You (Forty Below Records - 9/9/22). Joe and Freedy had a wide-ranging discussion that ranged from the making his new album, the perils of social media in a divided society, and how eager he is to get back on the road to play shows after being sidelined by the Covid-19 pandemic. He also treated us to three exclusive live performances of “There Goes a Brooklyn Girl,” “Somewhere Love,” and “Tryin' to Move On” - three new gems from Back On the Road to You.

    Episode 223: ID FFWD with Dan Navarro

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 51:41


    Dan Navarro had just launched his post-Lowen and Navarro solo career when he first joined us on Independent's Day for episode #103 back in March of 2014. Now he's back with his second solo album, Horizon Line. Between dates on his never-ending solo tour and a stop by The Grammy Museum for a special Q&A show, he dropped by the ID World Headquarters to tape a new FFWD episode in order to share some stories and a batch of new songs. Dan is never at a loss for words, and there is a lot to be learned from his approach to life and music.

    Episode 222: The Whitmore Sisters

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2022 105:21


    Perhaps there exists nothing more beautiful than when beauty is mixed with sadness. Add in some world-class musical talent, the type of harmony singing only possible between siblings, and the benefit of the 10,000-foot view of life gleaned by formative years in flying machines and you have a starting point for The Whitmore Sisters. The elder, Eleanor, has been making music for years as one-half of The Mastersons and performing and recording as a member of Steve Earle's band, the Dukes. The younger of the pair, Bonnie, has been making a name for herself with a number of solo albums full of fearless songwriting and tours with the likes of James McMurtry. Although close, the Whitmore sisters hadn't recorded together in an official capacity until the Covid-19 pandemic presented a silver lining opportunity in the form of a self-imposed Covid bubble of isolation and time away from their normally-busy schedules as working musicians. With music touring, recording, and nearly everything else shut down, Elanor's husband, guitarist Chris Masterson, challenged Elanor and Bonnie to use the break wisely and finally get to work as a duo in order to feature their ample talents. With Masterson producing, The Whitmore Sisters conjured their debut album, Ghost Stories, in the midst of shutdowns and once-in-a-century uncertainty, and the results are self-evident and reflective of both their upbringing and their status as roots rock royalty. The Whitmore Sisters' father was a Navy pilot and folk singer, and the album's opener, “Learn to Fly,” reflects life as experienced in the unmatched freedom and peril of flight. As for the other half of their family tree, their mother was an opera singer, which makes for the perfect bloodline to imbue the real-life tragedy of the loss of a pair of Bonnie's former romantic partners - one of whom was singer Justin Townes Earle, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2020 - into songs like “Friends We Leave Behind.” There is also a take on their friend Aaron Lee Tasjan's “Big Heart Sick Mind” and a cover of the Paul McCartney-penned and Everly Brothers-sung “On the Wings of a Nightingale” to complement their original compositions. Ghost Stories has the beauty, the sadness, the wings, and the joy of life in its eleven songs, standing as a strong and long-overdue debut from The Whitmore Sisters.

    Episode 221: Elizabeth Goodfellow

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 138:23


    Drummer, percussionist, and multi-instrumentalist Elizabeth Goodfellow has built a career for herself out of playing with an ever-growing number of innovative artists. You may have seen her onstage or heard her on records by Iron and Wine, Madison Cunningham, Calexico, Orkesta Mendoza, the indie-pop supergroup called boygenius made up of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus, the New York-based jazz ensemble The Hot Sardines, and the recently multiple Grammy-nominated Allison Russell. She brings a creative approach and a studied work ethic to her collaborations that are rare in the music industry, and indeed nearly any other discipline. When you're as good as Goodfellow is, people take notice – and it's the kind of devotion to her craft that earned her a feature in Modern Drummer magazine in 2018. And if that's not enough, she has more recently added the titles of singer, songwriter, and composer to her impressive list of talents. Her compositions feature the marimba, angular vocal melodies, and personally fearless lyrics, as well as exploring the creative possibilities of audio looping and sampling technology in a whole new way. Utilizing the ability to layer sounds in real time during a performance, it would be easy to overlook the degree of difficulty in Goodfellow's mesmerizing percussive soundscapes. But go ahead and get lost in her songs. It's a hell of a ride and it's worth every mallet strike. She released a vinyl single in 2021 called “Terror and Trust,” a title that could serve as a mission statement for her unique and courageous approach to making music. She makes it look easy, but it is assuredly not.

    Episode 220: Leeann Skoda

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 90:02


    Nashville is a town filled with great singers and great songwriters, and certain rare artists are endowed with exemplary gifts in both endeavors. Leeann Skoda is just that kind of artist, and although she's from Arizona and currently calls Los Angeles home, she chose Nashville as the setting to record her new EP, Lucky Penny. While it's true that Skoda cut her teeth singing choral music and the kinds of country standards that comprise the foundation of every storied building on Music Row, her musical evolution on Lucky Penny reveals that her palette is infinitely more varied than yet another cookie cutter country singer in a sequined shirt. Sure, she can pull off a convincing Emmylou, Maybelle Carter, or Sheryl Crow - and she's been doing so for years both with her own songs as well as a hired gun session singer - but the adventurous soundscapes of her new direction are more indicative of a Fumbling Towards Ecstasy-era Sarah McLachlan or even Radiohead's pioneering The Bends or OK Computer albums. The five gems on Lucky Penny were written during an especially inspired artistic period fomented by a month-long songwriting challenge with a friend, and the self-imposed ambitious parameters of turning out new songs day by day paid off in spades. Skoda makes both the writing and the singing sound easy, but they most certainly are not. Making rare gifts sound easy is the hallmark of a true artist. 

    Episode 206: David Burchfield

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2020


    Anyone who has ever attempted to entertain an audience with only their voice and an acoustic guitar faces a daunting task. Both the guitar and the human voice to be sure are versatile and dynamic instruments, but it can be a serious challenge to pique and retain the interest of listeners without the driving beat of a drummer or the pyrotechnics of an accomplished lead guitarist or saxophone player - especially in the Internet age, when performers find themselves competing with a world of entertainment options in their listeners’ pockets. Solo performers had damn well better have good songs and an engaging presence, and Rocky Mountain troubadour David Burchfield is a natural in this setting. Burchfield cut his teeth playing in churches in his native Kansas, but it was during collegiate summers when he learned how to connect with an audience in an intimate setting by swapping songs around mountain campfires. A detour into a teaching career was redirected back to music after a nighttime scooter trip to the store resulted in a harrowing accident that left Burchfield bruised, but with a newfound sense of life’s fleeting brevity. His new lease on life and its associated perspective became a fortunate outcome for both Burchfield and his listeners, as he is adept at quickly and elegantly interpreting both life’s grandiose and intimate moments into song. Now fully rededicated to songwriting and performing, Burchfield’s newest album, State to State, is full of gems. Songs like “Glad I Got Out Of There” connects the things the author loves about the people and places of his formative home with what happens when a soul discovers that home can also be somewhere else life has delivered you. And on a recent tour, Burchfield found himself in Los Angeles for the first time, where he discovered that California’s largest city was something far more complex and nuanced than his expectations - and he wrote a song about that, too. It is a rare gift to be so close to one’s muse.

    Episode 206: David Burchfield

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2020


    Anyone who has ever attempted to entertain an audience with only their voice and an acoustic guitar faces a daunting task. Both the guitar and the human voice to be sure are versatile and dynamic instruments, but it can be a serious challenge to pique and retain the interest of listeners without the driving beat of a drummer or the pyrotechnics of an accomplished lead guitarist or saxophone player - especially in the Internet age, when performers find themselves competing with a world of entertainment options in their listeners’ pockets. Solo performers had damn well better have good songs and an engaging presence, and Rocky Mountain troubadour David Burchfield is a natural in this setting. Burchfield cut his teeth playing in churches in his native Kansas, but it was during collegiate summers when he learned how to connect with an audience in an intimate setting by swapping songs around mountain campfires. A detour into a teaching career was redirected back to music after a nighttime scooter trip to the store resulted in a harrowing accident that left Burchfield bruised, but with a newfound sense of life’s fleeting brevity. His new lease on life and its associated perspective became a fortunate outcome for both Burchfield and his listeners, as he is adept at quickly and elegantly interpreting both life’s grandiose and intimate moments into song. Now fully rededicated to songwriting and performing, Burchfield’s newest album, State to State, is full of gems. Songs like “Glad I Got Out Of There” connects the things the author loves about the people and places of his formative home with what happens when a soul discovers that home can also be somewhere else life has delivered you. And on a recent tour, Burchfield found himself in Los Angeles for the first time, where he discovered that California’s largest city was something far more complex and nuanced than his expectations - and he wrote a song about that, too. It is a rare gift to be so close to one’s muse.

    Episode 219: David Burchfield

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2020 84:17


    Anyone who has ever attempted to entertain an audience with only their voice and an acoustic guitar faces a daunting task. Both the guitar and the human voice to be sure are versatile and dynamic instruments, but it can be a serious challenge to pique and retain the interest of listeners without the driving beat of a drummer or the pyrotechnics of an accomplished lead guitarist or saxophone player - especially in the Internet age, when performers find themselves competing with a world of entertainment options in their listeners' pockets. Solo performers had damn well better have good songs and an engaging presence, and Rocky Mountain troubadour David Burchfield is a natural in this setting. Burchfield cut his teeth playing in churches in his native Kansas, but it was during collegiate summers when he learned how to connect with an audience in an intimate setting by swapping songs around mountain campfires. A detour into a teaching career was redirected back to music after a nighttime scooter trip to the store resulted in a harrowing accident that left Burchfield bruised, but with a newfound sense of life's fleeting brevity. His new lease on life and its associated perspective became a fortunate outcome for both Burchfield and his listeners, as he is adept at quickly and elegantly interpreting both life's grandiose and intimate moments into song. Now fully rededicated to songwriting and performing, Burchfield's newest album, State to State, is full of gems. Songs like “Glad I Got Out Of There” connect the things the author loves about the people and places of his formative home with what happens when a soul discovers that home can also be somewhere else life has delivered you. And on a recent tour, Burchfield found himself in Los Angeles for the first time, where he discovered that California's largest city was something far more complex and nuanced than his expectations - and he wrote a song about that, too. It is a rare gift to be so close to one's muse.

    Episode 205: Benjamin Jaffe

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 12, 2020


    Benjamin Jaffe spent over ten years as half of the Americana duo HONEYHONEY, making acclaimed records and crisscrossing the country playing catchy and memorable songs for dedicated fans. But every band has a life cycle, and after more than a decade of steady grinding, HONEYHONEY’s indefinite hiatus left Jaffe in the challenging position of having not been the primary singer in his former outfit. But the lemonade in this situation is that Jaffe is an incredibly gifted singer, songwriter, and performer in his own right, and shedding the conventions and expectations of a band meant that he was standing at the threshold of a musical tabula rasa. Jaffe took the ball and ran with it, and his newfound freedom to explore any and all disparate influences is evident on his solo debut album, Oh, Wild Ocean of Love. With Jaffe playing nearly all the instruments himself, smooth crooning rubs up against aggressive electric guitars, pithy and clever lyrics delve confidently into subjects familiar to fans of the best of American songwriters, and a rich sonic palate may surprise fans more accustomed to hearing an Americana stomp out of Jaffe and Co. Benjamin Jaffe’s new solo direction places him in the company of Father John Misty’s wry observations, Jeff Buckley’s emotive vocal prowess, and Rufus Wainwright’s compositional bonafides.

    Episode 218: Benjamin Jaffe

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 12, 2020 88:19


    Benjamin Jaffe spent over ten years as half of the Americana duo HONEYHONEY, making acclaimed records and crisscrossing the country playing catchy and memorable songs for dedicated fans. But every band has a life cycle, and after more than a decade of steady grinding, HONEYHONEY's indefinite hiatus left Jaffe in the challenging position of having not been the primary singer in his former outfit. But the lemonade in this situation is that Jaffe is an incredibly gifted singer, songwriter, and performer in his own right, and shedding the conventions and expectations of a band meant that he was standing at the threshold of a musical tabula rasa. Jaffe took the ball and ran with it, and his newfound freedom to explore any and all disparate influences is evident on his solo debut album, Oh, Wild Ocean of Love. With Jaffe playing nearly all the instruments himself, smooth crooning rubs up against aggressive electric guitars, pithy and clever lyrics delve confidently into subjects familiar to fans of the best of American songwriters, and a rich sonic palate may surprise fans more accustomed to hearing an Americana stomp out of Jaffe and Co. Benjamin Jaffe's new solo direction places him in the company of Father John Misty's wry observations, Jeff Buckley's emotive vocal prowess, and Rufus Wainwright's compositional bonafides.

    Episode 205: Benjamin Jaffe

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 11, 2020


    Benjamin Jaffe spent over ten years as half of the Americana duo HONEYHONEY, making acclaimed records and crisscrossing the country playing catchy and memorable songs for dedicated fans. But every band has a life cycle, and after more than a decade of steady grinding, HONEYHONEY’s indefinite hiatus left Jaffe in the challenging position of having not been the primary singer in his former outfit. But the lemonade in this situation is that Jaffe is an incredibly gifted singer, songwriter, and performer in his own right, and shedding the conventions and expectations of a band meant that he was standing at the threshold of a musical tabula rasa. Jaffe took the ball and ran with it, and his newfound freedom to explore any and all disparate influences is evident on his solo debut album, Oh, Wild Ocean of Love. With Jaffe playing nearly all the instruments himself, smooth crooning rubs up against aggressive electric guitars, pithy and clever lyrics delve confidently into subjects familiar to fans of the best of American songwriters, and a rich sonic palate may surprise fans more accustomed to hearing an Americana stomp out of Jaffe and Co. Benjamin Jaffe’s new solo direction places him in the company of Father John Misty’s wry observations, Jeff Buckley’s emotive vocal prowess, and Rufus Wainwright’s compositional bonafides.

    Episode 217: Geoff Pearlman

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 23, 2020 78:21


    It was a concert by glam rock juggernauts Kiss that opened a 9-year-old Geoff Pearlman's eyes to the possibilities of a life in music. Guitar lessons soon followed, as did a series of high school rock and roll bands playing the usual Rush and Van Halen covers. But when most kids were picking traditionally sensible collegiate career paths, Pearlman turned into the wind and signed up at Boston's Berklee College of Music - a breeding ground for legitimate musicians and a unique place to learn the particulars of the craft. After all, a profusion of musicians can play some guitar, but it is a select few who put in the work to dig in and play the instrument beyond what's necessary to accompany themselves. A significant percentage of Berklee students leave before finishing a degree program, launching themselves into work opportunities - but Pearlman stuck around and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in professional music in 1991. He gigged in San Francisco for several years before settling in Los Angeles, a town with a rich history of talented sessions players. Pearlman's hard work continues to pay off, as his list of credits includes Norah Jones, Shelby Lynne, Jakob Dylan, Linda Perry, Syd Straw, George Drakoulias, Joan Osborne, Marc Ribot, Don Was, Disney's High School Musical albums, and music written for for the Travel Channel, The Food Network, Fuller House, Jag, and more. His most recent high-profile gig was playing guitar in the house band in the 2019 film Echo in the Canyon, a documentary about the fertile late 60s music scene in Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon. Echo in the Canyon found Pearlman sharing the screen and stage with some of the most respected and well-known musicians in history. Although Pearlman maintains a busy schedule working with other artists and producers, he continues to release his own albums to showcase his writing and performing. His new release, Lost in the Satellites, provides an interesting what-if glimpse into what modern pop music could sound like if the music industry hadn't been waylaid at the mumble rap exit. Lost in the Satellites is sonically rich and packed with great songs, inventive arranging, and performances by Pearlman and other musicians devoted to putting in the work necessary to be great at what they do.

    Episode 204: Geoff Pearlman

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 23, 2020


    It was a concert by glam rock juggernauts Kiss that opened a 9-year-old Geoff Pearlman’s eyes to the possibilities of a life in music. Guitar lessons soon followed, as did a series of high school rock and roll bands playing the usual Rush and Van Halen covers. But when most kids were picking traditionally sensible collegiate career paths, Pearlman turned into the wind and signed up at Boston’s Berklee College of Music - a breeding ground for legitimate musicians and a unique place to learn the particulars of the craft. After all, a profusion of musicians can play some guitar, but it is a select few who put in the work to dig in and play the instrument beyond what’s necessary to accompany themselves. A significant percentage of Berklee students leave before finishing a degree program, launching themselves into work opportunities - but Pearlman stuck around and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in professional music in 1991. He gigged in San Francisco for several years before settling in Los Angeles, a town with a rich history of talented sessions players. Pearlman’s hard work continues to pay off, as his list of credits includes Norah Jones, Shelby Lynne, Jakob Dylan, Linda Perry, Syd Straw, George Drakoulias, Joan Osborne, Marc Ribot, Don Was, Disney’s High School Musical albums, and music written for the Travel Channel, The Food Network, Fuller House, Jag, and more. His most recent high-profile gig was playing guitar in the house band in the 2019 film Echo in the Canyon, a documentary about the fertile late 60s music scene in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon. Echo in the Canyon found Pearlman sharing the screen and stage with some of the most respected and well-known musicians in history. Although Pearlman maintains a busy schedule working with other artists and producers, he continues to release his own albums to showcase his writing and performing. His new release, Lost in the Satellites, provides an interesting what-if glimpse into what modern pop music could sound like if the music industry hadn’t been waylaid at the mumble rap exit. Lost in the Satellites is sonically rich and packed with great songs, inventive arranging, and performances by Pearlman and other musicians devoted to putting in the work necessary to be great at what they do.

    Episode 204: Geoff Pearlman

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2020


    It was a concert by glam rock juggernauts Kiss that opened a 9-year-old Geoff Pearlman’s eyes to the possibilities of a life in music. Guitar lessons soon followed, as did a series of high school rock and roll bands playing the usual Rush and Van Halen covers. But when most kids were picking traditionally sensible collegiate career paths, Pearlman turned into the wind and signed up at Boston’s Berklee College of Music - a breeding ground for legitimate musicians and a unique place to learn the particulars of the craft. After all, a profusion of musicians can play some guitar, but it is a select few who put in the work to dig in and play the instrument beyond what’s necessary to accompany themselves. A significant percentage of Berklee students leave before finishing a degree program, launching themselves into work opportunities - but Pearlman stuck around and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in professional music in 1991. He gigged in San Francisco for several years before settling in Los Angeles, a town with a rich history of talented sessions players. Pearlman’s hard work continues to pay off, as his list of credits includes Norah Jones, Shelby Lynne, Jakob Dylan, Linda Perry, Syd Straw, George Drakoulias, Joan Osborne, Marc Ribot, Don Was, Disney’s High School Musical albums, and music written for the Travel Channel, The Food Network, Fuller House, Jag, and more. His most recent high-profile gig was playing guitar in the house band in the 2019 film Echo in the Canyon, a documentary about the fertile late 60s music scene in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon. Echo in the Canyon found Pearlman sharing the screen and stage with some of the most respected and well-known musicians in history. Although Pearlman maintains a busy schedule working with other artists and producers, he continues to release his own albums to showcase his writing and performing. His new release, Lost in the Satellites, provides an interesting what-if glimpse into what modern pop music could sound like if the music industry hadn’t been waylaid at the mumble rap exit. Lost in the Satellites is sonically rich and packed with great songs, inventive arranging, and performances by Pearlman and other musicians devoted to putting in the work necessary to be great at what they do.

    Episode 203: Robbie Fulks

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2019


    Robbie Fulks is a sort of latter-day Renaissance Man. After spending his formative years in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia, Fulks eventually settled in Chicago - where his fresh take on American roots music established his status as one of the progenitors of what would become the alt-country genre. Fulks' fearless and uncompromising approach to his art is exemplified by a longtime association with insurgent country record label Bloodshot Records and a friendly working relationship with firebrand Chicago-based producer and engineer Steve Albini. Over the last twenty-plus years, Fulks has released thirteen albums of his own, as well as accompanied numerous other artists both onstage and in the studio. Fulks is also known as a music journalist, having penned a blog and had his writing published in GQ, Blender, Chicago Reader and elsewhere. When he wasn't playing, recording, or writing, Fulks has hosted an XM satellite radio interview and performance program and spent twelve years teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music. But it is Fulks' whip-smart songwriting, high lonesome Buddy Miller-esque vocals, and facile and inventive guitar work that first earned him fans in Chicago's underground country scene, and it's what keeps them coming back to shows across the country.

    Episode 216: Robbie Fulks

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2019 66:50


    Robbie Fulks is a sort of latter-day Renaissance Man. After spending his formative years in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia, Fulks eventually settled in Chicago - where his fresh take on American roots music established his status as one of the progenitors of what would become the alt-country genre. Fulks' fearless and uncompromising approach to his art is exemplified by a longtime association with insurgent country record label Bloodshot Records and a friendly working relationship with firebrand Chicago-based producer and engineer Steve Albini. In the last twenty-plus years, Fulks has released thirteen albums of his own, as well as accompanied numerous other artists both onstage and in the studio. Fulks is also known as a music journalist, having penned a blog and had his writing published in GQ, Blender, Chicago Reader and elsewhere. When he wasn't playing, recording, or writing, Fulks has hosted an XM satellite radio interview and performance program and spent twelve years teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. But it is Fulks' whip-smart songwriting, high lonesome Buddy Miller-esque vocals, and facile and inventive guitar work that first earned him fans in Chicago's underground country music scene, and it's what keeps them coming back to shows across the country.

    Episode 203: Robbie Fulks

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2019


    Robbie Fulks is a sort of latter-day Renaissance Man. After spending his formative years in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia, Fulks eventually settled in Chicago - where his fresh take on American roots music established his status as one of the progenitors of what would become the alt-country genre. Fulks' fearless and uncompromising approach to his art is exemplified by a longtime association with insurgent country record label Bloodshot Records and a friendly working relationship with firebrand Chicago-based producer and engineer Steve Albini. Over the last twenty-plus years, Fulks has released thirteen albums of his own, as well as accompanied numerous other artists both onstage and in the studio. Fulks is also known as a music journalist, having penned a blog and had his writing published in GQ, Blender, Chicago Reader and elsewhere. When he wasn't playing, recording, or writing, Fulks has hosted an XM satellite radio interview and performance program and spent twelve years teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music. But it is Fulks' whip-smart songwriting, high lonesome Buddy Miller-esque vocals, and facile and inventive guitar work that first earned him fans in Chicago's underground country scene, and it's what keeps them coming back to shows across the country.

    Episode 202: Monks of Doom

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2019


    In the great and colossal tree of music there are many, many branches - and out toward the tall leaves on the side that faces the highway to psychedelic oblivion there exists bands and artists that truly follow their own sun regardless which way the wind blows. Monks of Doom grew out of the late-80s California experimental music scene that birthed one of the original indie rock juggernauts, Camper Van Beethoven. As Camper started to build a fan base and garner industry attention, it seems that the band's peculiar blend of gypsies-on-acid folk and angular psychedelic pop weren't quite experimental enough for Camper members Victor Krummenacher (bass), Greg Lisher (guitar), Chris Pedersen (drums), and Chris Molla (guitar) - the latter of whom was soon replaced by their friend, session musician and eventual member of Counting Crows, David Immergluck (guitar). Indicative of their fearless approach to creating music, Monks of Doom's 1987 first album Soundtrack to the Film 'Breakfast on the Beach of Deception' was a mix of improvisational instrumentals and quirky songs from a movie that didn't actually exist. After the dissolution of Camper Van Beethoven in 1990, Monks of Doom entered an artificially fertile period that saw the release of two albums and an EP in the span of less than a year. But even with a devoted fan base across the country, the grind of relentless indie-level touring and minimal label support took its toll and the band amicably split in 1992. Solo projects from Krummenacher and Lisher followed, and a 1998 send-off performance after Pedersen announced a move to Australia put the band once again in the same room, fomenting an atmosphere for Monks of Doom's legendary chemistry. The good vibes were an epiphany for the band, and perhaps inspired by the reformation of Camper Van Beethoven in 2004, Krummenacher, Lisher, Immergluck and Pedersen figured out what they already knew - that Monks of Doom makes music on their own terms, when and where they want - and the band has been sporadically active ever since. The band's most recent album, 2018's The Bronte Pin, is another beautifully strange chapter for a musical ensemble built to expressly exemplify being beautiful and strange.

    Episode 215: Monks of Doom

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 31, 2019 86:13


    In the great and colossal tree of music there are many, many branches - and out toward the tall leaves on the side that faces the highway to psychedelic oblivion there exists bands and artists that truly follow their own sun regardless which way the wind blows. Monks of Doom grew out of the late-80s California experimental music scene that birthed one of the original indie rock juggernauts, Camper Van Beethoven. As Camper started to build a fan base and garner industry attention, it seems that the band's peculiar blend of gypsies-on-acid folk and angular psychedelic pop weren't quite experimental enough for Camper members Victor Krummenacher (bass), Greg Lisher (guitar), Chris Pedersen (drums), and Chris Molla (guitar) - the latter of whom was soon replaced by their friend, session musician and eventual member of Counting Crows, David Immergluck (guitar). Indicative of their fearless approach to creating music, Monks of Doom's 1987 first album Soundtrack to the Film 'Breakfast on the Beach of Deception' was a mix of improvisational instrumentals and quirky songs from a movie that didn't actually exist. After the dissolution of Camper Van Beethoven in 1990, Monks of Doom entered an artificially fertile period that saw the release of two albums and an EP in the span of less than a year. But even with a devoted fan base across the country, the grind of relentless indie-level touring and minimal label support took its toll and the band amicably split in 1992. Solo projects from Krummenacher and Lisher followed, and a 1998 send-off performance after Pedersen announced a move to Australia put the band once again in the same room, fomenting an atmosphere for Monks of Doom's legendary chemistry. The good vibes were an epiphany for the band, and perhaps inspired by the reformation of Camper Van Beethoven in 2004, Krummenacher, Lisher, Immergluck and Pedersen figured out what they already knew - that Monks of Doom makes music on their own terms, when and where they want - and the band has been sporadically active ever since. The band's most recent album, 2018's The Bronte Pin, is another beautifully strange chapter for a musical ensemble built to expressly exemplify being beautiful and strange.

    Episode 202: Monks of Doom

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 31, 2019


    In the great and colossal tree of music there are many, many branches - and out toward the tall leaves on the side that faces the highway to psychedelic oblivion there exists bands and artists that truly follow their own sun regardless which way the wind blows. Monks of Doom grew out of the late-80s California experimental music scene that birthed one of the original indie rock juggernauts, Camper Van Beethoven. As Camper started to build a fan base and garner industry attention, it seems that the band's peculiar blend of gypsies-on-acid folk and angular psychedelic pop weren't quite experimental enough for Camper members Victor Krummenacher (bass), Greg Lisher (guitar), Chris Pedersen (drums), and Chris Molla (guitar) - the latter of whom was soon replaced by their friend, session musician and eventual member of Counting Crows, David Immergluck (guitar). Indicative of their fearless approach to creating music, Monks of Doom's 1987 first album Soundtrack to the Film 'Breakfast on the Beach of Deception' was a mix of improvisational instrumentals and quirky songs from a movie that didn't actually exist. After the dissolution of Camper Van Beethoven in 1990, Monks of Doom entered an artificially fertile period that saw the release of two albums and an EP in the span of less than a year. But even with a devoted fan base across the country, the grind of relentless indie-level touring and minimal label support took its toll and the band amicably split in 1992. Solo projects from Krummenacher and Lisher followed, and a 1998 send-off performance after Pedersen announced a move to Australia put the band once again in the same room, fomenting an atmosphere for Monks of Doom's legendary chemistry. The good vibes were an epiphany for the band, and perhaps inspired by the reformation of Camper Van Beethoven in 2004, Krummenacher, Lisher, Immergluck and Pedersen figured out what they already knew - that Monks of Doom makes music on their own terms, when and where they want - and the band has been sporadically active ever since. The band's most recent album, 2018's The Bronte Pin, is another beautifully strange chapter for a musical ensemble built to expressly exemplify being beautiful and strange.

    Episode 214: ID FFWD with Ted Russell Kamp

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2019 43:01


    The hardest working man in Los Angeles, Ted Russell Kamp, dropped by Joe Armstrong's Studio Tropico with his bull fiddle and some ace musicians in tow for a Fast-Forward episode of Independent's Day. With Brian Whelan, John Schreffler, and Jamie Douglass grooving behind him, Ted tore the roof off the studio with a greasy version of his new song "Tail Light Shine" from his new album Walkin' Shoes. Ted's positive energy is palpable, and the conversation was wide-ranging and entertaining.

    Episode 213: Mara Connor

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2019 81:12


    Mara Connor is a delight; she's a young singer/songwriter with the perfect bona fides to match her breezy Southern California vibe. Connor was born in Los Angeles to middle-western parents whose California dreams were big enough for them to chase them west. She studied theater in college in New York but changed tacks when she started performing with live music ensembles and she learned how audiences respond when you're playing yourself instead of a character. Now back in Los Angeles, Connor began working on her debut record and honing her songwriting chops, and although she's new to the game, she's artistically ahead of the curve. Connor's penchant for the heydays of California folk rock is evident in spades on her advance releases. The video for her premiere single, "No Fun," plays like a love song to the Laurel Canyon scene from long before she was born - the wardrobe, the roller skates, the pool parties, the yellow-sunset lens filter, the color palette, a clever nod to The Graduate, and the other star of the show - a powder blue bomber of a convertible - are all a stylistic time machine set in the pleasant valley Sunday world of an eternal summer California afternoon. In both her songs and in the "No Fun" video, it wouldn't be a stretch to expect Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, or Linda Ronstadt to be hiding just around a corner. Mara Connor is such a talented young artist with such a clear artistic vision, one can't help but wonder where she will go next.

    Episode 201: Mara Connor

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2019


    Mara Connor is a delight; she's a young singer/songwriter with the perfect bona fides to match her breezy Southern California vibe. Connor was born in Los Angeles to middle-western parents whose California dreams were big enough for them to chase them west. She studied theater in college in New York but changed tacks when she started performing with live music ensembles and she learned how audiences respond when you're playing yourself instead of a character. Now back in Los Angeles, Connor began working on her debut record and honing her songwriting chops, and although she's new to the game, she's artistically ahead of the curve. Connor's penchant for the heydays of California folk rock is evident in spades on her advance releases. The video for her premiere single, "No Fun," plays like a love song to the Laurel Canyon scene from long before she was born - the wardrobe, the roller skates, the pool parties, the yellow-sunset lens filter, the color palette, a clever nod to The Graduate, and the other star of the show - a powder blue bomber of a convertible - are all a stylistic time machine set in the pleasant valley Sunday world of an eternal summer California afternoon. In both her songs and in the "No Fun" video, it wouldn't be a stretch to expect Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, or Linda Ronstadt to be hiding just around a corner. Mara Connor is such a talented young artist with such a clear artistic vision, one can't help but wonder where she will go next.

    Episode 201: Mara Connor

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 13, 2019


    Mara Connor is a delight; she's a young singer/songwriter with the perfect bona fides to match her breezy Southern California vibe. Connor was born in Los Angeles to middle-western parents whose California dreams were big enough for them to chase them west. She studied theater in college in New York but changed tacks when she started performing with live music ensembles and she learned how audiences respond when you're playing yourself instead of a character. Now back in Los Angeles, Connor began working on her debut record and honing her songwriting chops, and although she's new to the game, she's artistically ahead of the curve. Connor's penchant for the heydays of California folk rock is evident in spades on her advance releases. The video for her premiere single, "No Fun," plays like a love song to the Laurel Canyon scene from long before she was born - the wardrobe, the roller skates, the pool parties, the yellow-sunset lens filter, the color palette, a clever nod to The Graduate, and the other star of the show - a powder blue bomber of a convertible - are all a stylistic time machine set in the pleasant valley Sunday world of an eternal summer California afternoon. In both her songs and in the "No Fun" video, it wouldn't be a stretch to expect Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, or Linda Ronstadt to be hiding just around a corner. Mara Connor is such a talented young artist with such a clear artistic vision, one can't help but wonder where she will go next.

    Episode 212: The Teskey Brothers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2018 84:51


    The Teskey Brothers have been grinding it out in the bars and festivals in their hometown near Melbourne, Australia for a decade. While it's true that the four-piece is comprised of young devotees of the classic era of American soul and R and B, their reverence for the genre is far deeper than mere imitation. It's simple enough to learn some tried-and-true chord progressions and lean hard on the blue notes, but to so faithfully capture the elusive vibe of the 60s Muscle Shoals sound exhibits a musical maturity far beyond their twenty-something perspective. The Teskey Brothers - two proper Teskey siblings, along with a pair of musical blood brothers accompanying them on bass and drums - recorded their debut album, Half Mile Harvest, in their own studio - utilizing vintage recording gear to add an extra level of realism to their take on old-school soul music. When singer Josh Teskey's vocals distort - intentionally - on songs like "Pain and Misery," it's because he and his band mates took the time to learn the archaic manner in which Otis Redding's microphone distorted on the kinds of classic recordings that made legends of artists like himself, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and others. With this preternatural affinity for stylistic restraint and obvious inherent talent, it's easy to see why The Teskey Brothers' brand of soul music has transcended their home country and landed with a welcome triple-meter bang in America.

    Episode 200: The Teskey Brothers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2018


    The Teskey Brothers have been grinding it out in the bars and festivals in their hometown near Melbourne, Australia for a decade. While it's true that the four-piece is comprised of young devotees of the classic era of American soul and R and B, their reverence for the genre is far deeper than mere imitation. It's simple enough to learn some tried-and-true chord progressions and lean hard on the blue notes, but to so faithfully capture the elusive vibe of the 60s Muscle Shoals sound exhibits a musical maturity far beyond their twenty-something perspective. The Teskey Brothers - two proper Teskey siblings, along with a pair of musical blood brothers accompanying them on bass and drums - recorded their debut album, Half Mile Harvest, in their own studio - utilizing vintage recording gear to add an extra level of realism to their take on old-school soul music. When singer Josh Teskey's vocals distort - intentionally - on songs like "Pain and Misery," it's because he and his band mates took the time to learn the archaic manner in which Otis Redding's microphone distorted on the kinds of classic recordings that made legends of artists like himself, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and others. With this preternatural affinity for stylistic restraint and obvious inherent talent, it's easy to see why The Teskey Brothers' brand of soul music has transcended their home country and landed with a welcome triple-meter bang in America.

    Episode 200: The Teskey Brothers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2018


    The Teskey Brothers have been grinding it out in the bars and festivals in their hometown near Melbourne, Australia for a decade. While it's true that the four-piece is comprised of young devotees of the classic era of American soul and R and B, their reverence for the genre is far deeper than mere imitation. It's simple enough to learn some tried-and-true chord progressions and lean hard on the blue notes, but to so faithfully capture the elusive vibe of the 60s Muscle Shoals sound exhibits a musical maturity far beyond their twenty-something perspective. The Teskey Brothers - two proper Teskey siblings, along with a pair of musical blood brothers accompanying them on bass and drums - recorded their debut album, Half Mile Harvest, in their own studio - utilizing vintage recording gear to add an extra level of realism to their take on old-school soul music. When singer Josh Teskey's vocals distort - intentionally - on songs like "Pain and Misery," it's because he and his band mates took the time to learn the archaic manner in which Otis Redding's microphone distorted on the kinds of classic recordings that made legends of artists like himself, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and others. With this preternatural affinity for stylistic restraint and obvious inherent talent, it's easy to see why The Teskey Brothers' brand of soul music has transcended their home country and landed with a welcome triple-meter bang in America.

    Episode 211: Syd Straw

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2018 76:19


    Syd Straw released her first album, Surprise, in 1989. The record was full of earnest, broken-hearted songs with an impressive range for a new artist. The album's earthy tone landed Straw at the leading edge of the alternative country curve, and it led a seemingly open-ended invitation for Straw to lend her vocals to some of the best in the business. To name a few, Straw has been onstage and on records with Los Lobos, Wilco, Dave Alvin, Loudon Wainwright III, Leo Kottke, Rickie Lee Jones, Matthew Sweet, Van Dyke Parks, Freedy Johnston, James McMurtry, Marc Ribot, David Sanborn, Was Not Was, Victoria Williams, the dBs, Jimmer Podrasky, and The Golden Palominos. Subsequent albums followed in 1996, 2005 and 2008, and although releases may have been spread out, the quality of Straw's output never suffered. Although Straw is perhaps best known for her vocals, the unique and indelible spirit that she brings to a song or a project is what makes her a legend. She is quirky, to be sure, but she's also endearing, pleasantly sardonic and always creative - a perfect combination for a singular artist.

    Episode 199: Syd Straw

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2018


    Syd Straw released her first album, Surprise, in 1989. The record was full of earnest, broken-hearted songs with an impressive range for a new artist. The album's earthy tone landed Straw at the leading edge of the alternative country curve, and it led a seemingly open-ended invitation for Straw to lend her vocals to some of the best in the business. To name a few, Straw has been onstage and on records with Los Lobos, Wilco, Dave Alvin, Loudon Wainwright III, Leo Kottke, Rickie Lee Jones, Matthew Sweet, Van Dyke Parks, Freedy Johnston, James McMurtry, Marc Ribot, David Sanborn, Was Not Was, Victoria Williams, the dBs, Jimmer Podrasky, and The Golden Palominos. Subsequent albums followed in 1996, 2005 and 2008, and although releases may have been spread out, the quality of Straw's output never suffered. Although Straw is perhaps best known for her vocals, the unique and indelible spirit that she brings to a song or a project is what makes her a legend. She is quirky, to be sure, but she's also endearing, pleasantly sardonic and always creative - a perfect combination for a singular artist.

    Episode 199: Syd Straw

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2018


    Syd Straw released her first album, Surprise, in 1989. The record was full of earnest, broken-hearted songs with an impressive range for a new artist. The album's earthy tone landed Straw at the leading edge of the alternative country curve, and it led a seemingly open-ended invitation for Straw to lend her vocals to some of the best in the business. To name a few, Straw has been onstage and on records with Los Lobos, Wilco, Dave Alvin, Loudon Wainwright III, Leo Kottke, Rickie Lee Jones, Matthew Sweet, Van Dyke Parks, Freedy Johnston, James McMurtry, Marc Ribot, David Sanborn, Was Not Was, Victoria Williams, the dBs, Jimmer Podrasky, and The Golden Palominos. Subsequent albums followed in 1996, 2005 and 2008, and although releases may have been spread out, the quality of Straw's output never suffered. Although Straw is perhaps best known for her vocals, the unique and indelible spirit that she brings to a song or a project is what makes her a legend. She is quirky, to be sure, but she's also endearing, pleasantly sardonic and always creative - a perfect combination for a singular artist.

    Episode 210: Davey Meshell and the TransAtlantics

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2018 94:04


    When Davey Meshell recently started a new band, the name choice was obvious; the handpicked members of the TransAtlantics spent their respective formative years on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean - in places ranging from New York and Maine, to Scotland and the Isle of Man. But the thing that unites them under one flag is a shared love of the classic era of American soul music. Meshell is best known around Los Angeles for fronting his black-leather band, the Neighborhood Bullys, which has a raw and uncompromising approach to rock and roll music. Meshell is at once affable and intense, and he grew up in a musical family - establishing himself as a go-to bass player for a number of well-known artists both in the studio and on the road. But Meshell's not-so-secret weapon is his powerful tenor voice, and it's that soulful howling that provided the genesis for the TransAtlantics. Whereas the Bullys' stock-in-trade is amped-up energy and catchy songs delivered at paint-stripping volume, the TransAtlantics turn down the amps to let the grooves and melodies shine. Most importantly, the TransAtlantics are a BAND. Each player was selected by Meshell specifically to complement both the songs as well as the other players. And like any soul band worth its mettle, the TransAtlantics lineup is comprised of tasteful and accomplished players that astutely cover the elements essential to the style. And as for that style, although the band uses classic soul as their guiding star, they're not afraid to veer off and explore a bit of genre-bending stylistic territory in order to keep things fresh - both for them and for their fans. Rock and roll and soul music have always been kissing cousins, and Davey Meshell and the TransAtlantics are ready to testify that both are alive and well in the new millennium.

    Episode 198: Davey Meshell and the TransAtlantics

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2018


    When Davey Meshell recently started a new band, the name choice was obvious; the handpicked members of the TransAtlantics spent their respective formative years on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean - in places ranging from New York and Maine, to Scotland and the Isle of Man. But the thing that unites them under one flag is a shared love of the classic era of American soul music. Meshell is best known around Los Angeles for fronting his black-leather band, the Neighborhood Bullys, which has a raw and uncompromising approach to rock and roll music. Meshell is at once affable and intense, and he grew up in a musical family - establishing himself as a go-to bass player for a number of well-known artists both in the studio and on the road. But Meshell's not-so-secret weapon is his powerful tenor voice, and it's that soulful howling that provided the genesis for the TransAtlantics. Whereas the Bullys' stock-in-trade is amped-up energy and catchy songs delivered at paint-stripping volume, the TransAtlantics turn down the amps to let the grooves and melodies shine. Most importantly, the TransAtlantics are a BAND. Each player was selected by Meshell specifically to complement both the songs as well as the other players. And like any soul band worth its mettle, the TransAtlantics lineup is comprised of tasteful and accomplished players that astutely cover the elements essential to the style. And as for that style, although the band uses classic soul as their guiding star, they're not afraid to veer off and explore a bit of genre-bending stylistic territory in order to keep things fresh - both for them and for their fans. Rock and roll and soul music have always been kissing cousins, and Davey Meshell and the TransAtlantics are ready to testify that both are alive and well in the new millennium.

    Episode 198: Davey Meshell and the TransAtlantics

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2018


    When Davey Meshell recently started a new band, the name choice was obvious; the handpicked members of the TransAtlantics spent their respective formative years on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean - in places ranging from New York and Maine, to Scotland and the Isle of Man. But the thing that unites them under one flag is a shared love of the classic era of American soul music. Meshell is best known around Los Angeles for fronting his black-leather band, the Neighborhood Bullys, which has a raw and uncompromising approach to rock and roll music. Meshell is at once affable and intense, and he grew up in a musical family - establishing himself as a go-to bass player for a number of well-known artists both in the studio and on the road. But Meshell's not-so-secret weapon is his powerful tenor voice, and it's that soulful howling that provided the genesis for the TransAtlantics. Whereas the Bullys' stock-in-trade is amped-up energy and catchy songs delivered at paint-stripping volume, the TransAtlantics turn down the amps to let the grooves and melodies shine. Most importantly, the TransAtlantics are a BAND. Each player was selected by Meshell specifically to complement both the songs as well as the other players. And like any soul band worth its mettle, the TransAtlantics lineup is comprised of tasteful and accomplished players that astutely cover the elements essential to the style. And as for that style, although the band uses classic soul as their guiding star, they're not afraid to veer off and explore a bit of genre-bending stylistic territory in order to keep things fresh - both for them and for their fans. Rock and roll and soul music have always been kissing cousins, and Davey Meshell and the TransAtlantics are ready to testify that both are alive and well in the new millennium.

    Episode 209: Chris Stills

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2018 102:36


    Chris Stills' brand-new record, Don't Be Afraid, plays like chronicle of a man who has forged his own identity out of a lifetime of unique experiences. Stills' family business is music, but that doesn't guarantee success or even acumen; stripes must be earned, and Stills doesn't take anything for granted. Chris Stills' parents are from two different continents with two distinct cultures, and he spent his formative years in both America and in France. After graduating from high school at the American School in Paris, Stills moved to Los Angeles and eventually to New York, playing in bands and honing his songwriting and performing chops. He garnered enough attention to get himself signed by Atlantic records and released his first album in 1998, after which he then hit the road - playing shows with The Jayhawks and Ryan Adams. Another album followed in 2005, and Stills found stage work in France - playing the role of Julius Caesar in a popular French musical, as well as landing a part in a 2010 French film. Between acting gigs, Stills kept himself busy by releasing an EP and recording yet another full album of his own music, but after a label shakeup he scrapped the entire project and returned to Los Angeles. Once again stateside after years of work in France, Stills released an EP in the U.S. in 2012 and found some TV work with a role in Season 4 of Showtime's Shameless. But it's his latest release, Don't Be Afraid, which distills Stills' experience into his most cohesive artistic statement to date. There are breezy, early 60s California pop songs, trancelike Laurel Canyon flower power meditations, stacked Woodstock-era vocal harmonies, a bit of Rufus Wainwright-style orchestral Broadway pop, Ryan Adams-influenced guitar rock, and an incisive indictment of the chaos of America's divisive new-millennium identity crisis that only someone with an outsider's perspective can capture with clarity. The record is anchored by Stills' versatile and assured tenor - it's the kind of voice that could turn heads at any karaoke bar in the world with ten seconds of a Jeff Buckley tune. Stills has the talent, the songs, and the voice, and Don't Be Afraid exhibits all of them in top form.

    Episode 197: Chris Stills

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2018


    Chris Stills' brand-new record, Don't Be Afraid, plays like chronicle of a man who has forged his own identity out of a lifetime of unique experiences. Stills' family business is music, but that doesn't guarantee success or even acumen; stripes must be earned, and Stills doesn't take anything for granted. Chris Stills' parents are from two different continents with two distinct cultures, and he spent his formative years in both America and in France. After graduating from high school at the American School in Paris, Stills moved to Los Angeles and eventually to New York, playing in bands and honing his songwriting and performing chops. He garnered enough attention to get himself signed by Atlantic records and released his first album in 1998, after which he then hit the road - playing shows with The Jayhawks and Ryan Adams. Another album followed in 2005, and Stills found stage work in France - playing the role of Julius Caesar in a popular French musical, as well as landing a part in a 2010 French film. Between acting gigs, Stills kept himself busy by releasing an EP and recording yet another full album of his own music, but after a label shakeup he scrapped the entire project and returned to Los Angeles. Once again stateside after years of work in France, Stills released an EP in the U.S. in 2012 and found some TV work with a role in Season 4 of Showtime's Shameless. But it's his latest release, Don't Be Afraid, which distills Stills' experience into his most cohesive artistic statement to date. There are breezy, early 60s California pop songs, trancelike Laurel Canyon flower power meditations, stacked Woodstock-era vocal harmonies, a bit of Rufus Wainwright-style orchestral Broadway pop, Ryan Adams-influenced guitar rock, and an incisive indictment of the chaos of America's divisive new-millennium identity crisis that only someone with an outsider's perspective can capture with clarity. The record is anchored by Stills' versatile and assured tenor - it's the kind of voice that could turn heads at any karaoke bar in the world with ten seconds of a Jeff Buckley tune. Stills has the talent, the songs, and the voice, and Don't Be Afraid exhibits all of them in top form.

    Episode 197: Chris Stills

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2018


    Chris Stills' brand-new record, Don't Be Afraid, plays like chronicle of a man who has forged his own identity out of a lifetime of unique experiences. Stills' family business is music, but that doesn't guarantee success or even acumen; stripes must be earned, and Stills doesn't take anything for granted. Chris Stills' parents are from two different continents with two distinct cultures, and he spent his formative years in both America and in France. After graduating from high school at the American School in Paris, Stills moved to Los Angeles and eventually to New York, playing in bands and honing his songwriting and performing chops. He garnered enough attention to get himself signed by Atlantic records and released his first album in 1998, after which he then hit the road - playing shows with The Jayhawks and Ryan Adams. Another album followed in 2005, and Stills found stage work in France - playing the role of Julius Caesar in a popular French musical, as well as landing a part in a 2010 French film. Between acting gigs, Stills kept himself busy by releasing an EP and recording yet another full album of his own music, but after a label shakeup he scrapped the entire project and returned to Los Angeles. Once again stateside after years of work in France, Stills released an EP in the U.S. in 2012 and found some TV work with a role in Season 4 of Showtime's Shameless. But it's his latest release, Don't Be Afraid, which distills Stills' experience into his most cohesive artistic statement to date. There are breezy, early 60s California pop songs, trancelike Laurel Canyon flower power meditations, stacked Woodstock-era vocal harmonies, a bit of Rufus Wainwright-style orchestral Broadway pop, Ryan Adams-influenced guitar rock, and an incisive indictment of the chaos of America's divisive new-millennium identity crisis that only someone with an outsider's perspective can capture with clarity. The record is anchored by Stills' versatile and assured tenor - it's the kind of voice that could turn heads at any karaoke bar in the world with ten seconds of a Jeff Buckley tune. Stills has the talent, the songs, and the voice, and Don't Be Afraid exhibits all of them in top form.

    Episode 208: Chihana

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2017 71:15


    Chihana acquired her affinity for traditional blues and rock music from her parents' music collection - which would be pretty orthodox if it weren't for the fact that she grew up in Japan. She's a rare bird to be sure, but her fans don't listen to her solely because of the curiosity factor of being a young Japanese woman playing a traditionally western style of music - it's because she's good at doing so. To listen to her music, there are times when it isn't immediately apparent if she is singing in English or Japanese, which is a testament to both the ability of music to transcend cultural barriers as well as Chihana's obvious and considerable talent. Chihana's next goal is to conquer the American music scene, which, given that she is devoted enough to regularly tour her homeland of Japan by public transportation, should provide a suitable challenge for this unique artist.

    Episode 196: Chihana

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2017


    Chihana acquired her affinity for traditional blues and rock music from her parents' music collection - which would be pretty orthodox if it weren't for the fact that she grew up in Japan. She's a rare bird to be sure, but her fans don't listen to her solely because of the curiosity factor of being a young Japanese woman playing a traditionally western style of music - it's because she's good at doing so. To listen to her music, there are times when it isn't immediately apparent if she is singing in English or Japanese, which is a testament to both the ability of music to transcend cultural barriers as well as Chihana's obvious and considerable talent. Chihana's next goal is to conquer the American music scene, which, given that she is devoted enough to regularly tour her homeland of Japan by public transportation, should provide a suitable challenge for this unique artist.

    Episode 196: Chihana

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2017


    Chihana acquired her affinity for traditional blues and rock music from her parents' music collection - which would be pretty orthodox if it weren't for the fact that she grew up in Japan. She's a rare bird to be sure, but her fans don't listen to her solely because of the curiosity factor of being a young Japanese woman playing a traditionally western style of music - it's because she's good at doing so. To listen to her music, there are times when it isn't immediately apparent if she is singing in English or Japanese, which is a testament to both the ability of music to transcend cultural barriers as well as Chihana's obvious and considerable talent. Chihana's next goal is to conquer the American music scene, which, given that she is devoted enough to regularly tour her homeland of Japan by public transportation, should provide a suitable challenge for this unique artist.

    Episode 207: Jason Scott

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2017 68:06


    Jason Scott is a songwriter who has built his growing career in music into a cottage industry, with a full schedule and an entire network of musicians based in his native Oklahoma and surrounding states. Some of the gigs are wedding gigs, sure, but don't let that fool you. Scott is no Murph and the Magictones. He's a very talented young artist with a perfectly-tuned ear for narrative detail. It's the sort of fertile territory currently being mined by rising Americana star Jason Isbell - and the comparison is apt. Both writers are staunchly devoted to hewing closely to honesty at all costs; and both have a preternatural knack for telling a big story with the smallest of moments. Scott has figured out a unique business model that allows him to help finance his original songwriting with wedding gigs, and his ever-expanding tours are a proof of concept that there is a market for artists to do weddings that are far more artistically gratifying than yet another DJ spinning "The Hokey Pokey" for the billionth time. Scott even offers a service where he will write and record an original song for a bride and groom, which he then produces in his own studio. It's an innovative approach, and one that could help a lot more musicians avoid the drudgery of a soul-sucking day job. Scott's new EP, Living Rooms, serves as an introduction to a very talented new artist and is as a cautionary tale to any musician to leave no stone unturned when it comes to innovative ways of making a living in music.

    Episode 195: Jason Scott

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2017


    Jason Scott is a songwriter who has built his growing career in music into a cottage industry, with a full schedule and an entire network of musicians based in his native Oklahoma and surrounding states. Some of the gigs are wedding gigs, sure, but don't let that fool you. Scott is no Murph and the Magictones. He's a very talented young artist with a perfectly-tuned ear for narrative detail. It's the sort of fertile territory currently being mined by rising Americana star Jason Isbell - and the comparison is apt. Both writers are staunchly devoted to hewing closely to honesty at all costs; and both have a preternatural knack for telling a big story with the smallest of moments. Scott has figured out a unique business model that allows him to help finance his original songwriting with wedding gigs, and his ever-expanding tours are a proof of concept that there is a market for artists to do weddings that are far more artistically gratifying than yet another DJ spinning "The Hokey Pokey" for the billionth time. Scott even offers a service where he will write and record an original song for a bride and groom, which he then produces in his own studio. It's an innovative approach, and one that could help a lot more musicians avoid the drudgery of a soul-sucking day job. Scott's new EP, Living Rooms, serves as an introduction to a very talented new artist and is as a cautionary tale to any musician to leave no stone unturned when it comes to innovative ways of making a living in music.

    Episode 195: Jason Scott

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2017


    Jason Scott is a songwriter who has built his growing career in music into a cottage industry, with a full schedule and an entire network of musicians based in his native Oklahoma and surrounding states. Some of the gigs are wedding gigs, sure, but don't let that fool you. Scott is no Murph and the Magictones. He's a very talented young artist with a perfectly-tuned ear for narrative detail. It's the sort of fertile territory currently being mined by rising Americana star Jason Isbell - and the comparison is apt. Both writers are staunchly devoted to hewing closely to honesty at all costs; and both have a preternatural knack for telling a big story with the smallest of moments. Scott has figured out a unique business model that allows him to help finance his original songwriting with wedding gigs, and his ever-expanding tours are a proof of concept that there is a market for artists to do weddings that are far more artistically gratifying than yet another DJ spinning "The Hokey Pokey" for the billionth time. Scott even offers a service where he will write and record an original song for a bride and groom, which he then produces in his own studio. It's an innovative approach, and one that could help a lot more musicians avoid the drudgery of a soul-sucking day job. Scott's new EP, Living Rooms, serves as an introduction to a very talented new artist and is as a cautionary tale to any musician to leave no stone unturned when it comes to innovative ways of making a living in music.

    Episode 206: ID FFWD with Jeff Crosby

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2017 25:35


    Jeff Crosby stopped by the ID World HQ to remind everyone how he knows his way around a song. Crosby dispenses wisdom he heard about advice for musicians ("Just don't get good at anything else.") and his move to Nashville reminded him how where you live affects your songwriting. He also talks about what happens when you get sick in Mexico, his new record - Postcards from Magdalena - and plays an in-studio version of "The Best $25 I Ever Spent."

    Episode 205: Leslie Stevens

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2017 101:10


    Leslie Stevens has one of those voices - it's a perfectly engaging throwback to Patsy Cline and the golden age of Nashville's musical matriarchy. It's the kind of voice that sounds good singing anything, and she's a natural with a melody. But the thing that keeps people coming back to Stevens is her songwriting. In conversation, when she's not giving a quick-witted running comedic commentary of the world we all share, Stevens can be almost quiet. Ask her about herself, and her sentences get shorter still. But when the topic of the art and avocation of songwriting comes up, Stevens lights up like a firefly - and for good reason, because behind all that elegant vocal phrasing is a powerhouse songwriter who has been known to teach advanced songwriting classes at Los Angeles College of Music. She's amassed quite a resume over the last few years, including two albums with the backup band she calls The Badgers, lending her voice to projects with Brian Wilson, Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, several placements in television and movies - as well as a new album due in 2018.

    Episode 194: Leslie Stevens

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2017


    Leslie Stevens has one of those voices - it's a perfectly engaging throwback to Patsy Cline and the golden age of Nashville's musical matriarchy. It's the kind of voice that sounds good singing anything, and she's a natural with a melody. But the thing that keeps people coming back to Stevens is her songwriting. In conversation, when she's not giving a quick-witted running comedic commentary of the world we all share, Stevens can be almost quiet. Ask her about herself, and her sentences get shorter still. But when the topic of the art and avocation of songwriting comes up, Stevens lights up like a firefly - and for good reason, because behind all that elegant vocal phrasing is a powerhouse songwriter who has been known to teach advanced songwriting classes at Los Angeles College of Music. She's amassed quite a resume over the last few years, including two albums with the backup band she calls The Badgers, lending her voice to projects with Brian Wilson, Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, several placements in television and movies - as well as a new album due in 2018.

    Episode 194: Leslie Stevens

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2017


    Leslie Stevens has one of those voices - it's a perfectly engaging throwback to Patsy Cline and the golden age of Nashville's musical matriarchy. It's the kind of voice that sounds good singing anything, and she's a natural with a melody. But the thing that keeps people coming back to Stevens is her songwriting. In conversation, when she's not giving a quick-witted running comedic commentary of the world we all share, Stevens can be almost quiet. Ask her about herself, and her sentences get shorter still. But when the topic of the art and avocation of songwriting comes up, Stevens lights up like a firefly - and for good reason, because behind all that elegant vocal phrasing is a powerhouse songwriter who has been known to teach advanced songwriting classes at Los Angeles College of Music. She's amassed quite a resume over the last few years, including two albums with the backup band she calls The Badgers, lending her voice to projects with Brian Wilson, Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, several placements in television and movies - as well as a new album due in 2018.

    Episode 204: ID FFWD with Loch & Key

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2017 29:12


    Sean and Leyla from Los Angeles' quietest duo, Loch and Key, stopped by the ID World HQ to talk about the changes in their world since 2010's Jupiter's Guide for Submariners - big events like a marriage, law school, passing the bar exam pushed music to the future a bit, but they're back with ID artist Kip Boardman in tow to help Sean and Leyla fill out their hushed duo sound. Joe and the group talked about self-producing their own music with Sean playing all the instruments, and where Leyla finds inspiration for her dreamy lyrics. They shared an in-studio version of a new song called "Deep Space."

    Episode 203: Sam Marine

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2017 61:52


    Sam Marine played in bands in his native Gainesville, Florida and New York City before landing Los Angeles a few years back. His brand-new Big Dark City EP is Marine's third release, and on it he has perfected his particular brand of muscular, country-tinged rock and roll. Call it Americana if you wish, but the genre has always overlapped the straight-ahead, cranked-amp jangle of the classic rockers. Marine knows this, and he smartly recruited Los Angeles' rising star Brian Whelan to produce Big Dark City. The result pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. While he's not on the road or gigging around town, Marine works as a bartender, and the cast of characters and late night lifestyle of the world's second oldest profession provides him with ample inspiration for his songwriting. The title track is a swaggering mid-tempo rocker that sounds like a lost Steve Earle classic. "Dawn Come and Gone" serves up a ramped-up, four-on-the-floor stomp tempo and showcases Marine's confident vocals with a bit of Sun Records-era slapback echo. Both of the first two songs are astute observations of American society's late night outsider spaces that are often haunted by bartenders, artists, insomniacs and musicians - and it's palpable that Marine knows them well. The remaining three tracks on Big Dark City take a page from Drive-By Truckers' best work with narratives of hard luck situations set in any-state, any-year rural America. The only complaint about Big Dark City is that it is an EP rather than a full-length release - and it's fitting that he is getting some traction in the music scene, because Marine shares a bit of whatever is in the Gainesville water that made Tom Petty's Heartbreakers one of the best bands in the world.

    Episode 193: Sam Marine

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2017


    Sam Marine played in bands in his native Gainesville, Florida and New York City before landing Los Angeles a few years back. His brand-new Big Dark City EP is Marine's third release, and on it he has perfected his particular brand of muscular, country-tinged rock and roll. Call it Americana if you wish, but the genre has always overlapped the straight-ahead, cranked-amp jangle of the classic rockers. Marine knows this, and he smartly recruited Los Angeles' rising star Brian Whelan to produce Big Dark City. The result pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. While he's not on the road or gigging around town, Marine works as a bartender, and the cast of characters and late night lifestyle of the world's second oldest profession provides him with ample inspiration for his songwriting. The title track is a swaggering mid-tempo rocker that sounds like a lost Steve Earle classic. "Dawn Come and Gone" serves up a ramped-up, four-on-the-floor stomp tempo and showcases Marine's confident vocals with a bit of Sun Records-era slapback echo. Both of the first two songs are astute observations of American society's late night outsider spaces that are often haunted by bartenders, artists, insomniacs and musicians - and it's palpable that Marine knows them well. The remaining three tracks on Big Dark City take a page from Drive-By Truckers' best work with narratives of hard luck situations set in any-state, any-year rural America. The only complaint about Big Dark City is that it is an EP rather than a full-length release - and it's fitting that he is getting some traction in the music scene, because Marine shares a bit of whatever is in the Gainesville water that made Tom Petty's Heartbreakers one of the best bands in the world.

    Episode 193: Sam Marine

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2017


    Sam Marine played in bands in his native Gainesville, Florida and New York City before landing Los Angeles a few years back. His brand-new Big Dark City EP is Marine's third release, and on it he has perfected his particular brand of muscular, country-tinged rock and roll. Call it Americana if you wish, but the genre has always overlapped the straight-ahead, cranked-amp jangle of the classic rockers. Marine knows this, and he smartly recruited Los Angeles' rising star Brian Whelan to produce Big Dark City. The result pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. While he's not on the road or gigging around town, Marine works as a bartender, and the cast of characters and late night lifestyle of the world's second oldest profession provides him with ample inspiration for his songwriting. The title track is a swaggering mid-tempo rocker that sounds like a lost Steve Earle classic. "Dawn Come and Gone" serves up a ramped-up, four-on-the-floor stomp tempo and showcases Marine's confident vocals with a bit of Sun Records-era slapback echo. Both of the first two songs are astute observations of American society's late night outsider spaces that are often haunted by bartenders, artists, insomniacs and musicians - and it's palpable that Marine knows them well. The remaining three tracks on Big Dark City take a page from Drive-By Truckers' best work with narratives of hard luck situations set in any-state, any-year rural America. The only complaint about Big Dark City is that it is an EP rather than a full-length release - and it's fitting that he is getting some traction in the music scene, because Marine shares a bit of whatever is in the Gainesville water that made Tom Petty's Heartbreakers one of the best bands in the world.

    Episode 202: Davey and The Midnights

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2017 88:59


    Davey and the Midnights are a band. Sure, Davey Allen's name is featured front and center - and for good reason. His tight vibrato tenor and accessible songs are the focal point of the ensemble. But the Midnights are a band like Tom Petty's Heartbreakers or Bruce Springsteen's E. Street Band. Something special happens when they get together and settle into a groove. And although their music is billed as a sort of countrified rock, there certainly is a pocket to what they do. Once they get going, the band sits somewhere in the middle ground between the Grateful Dead and Little Feat, with a bit of traditional west coast country mixed in. Allen strums the acoustic guitar while he sings, guitarist Gregg Cahill's Telecaster picking owes more than a casual nod to Jerry Garcia without wandering off on extensive and meandering improvisational explorations, Brandon Conway's pedal steel employs a bit of the shimmery Leslie rotating speaker effect - making his instrument sound akin to a Hammond B3 organ at times, Corey Dawson's loping bass lines anchor the band and explores spaces for stepping out with an appropriate lick, and Allen's childhood friend Mike "Mambo" Sanson's snappy work on the drum kit provides an edgy rock and roll spark that keeps everything moving. These young players are fine instrumentalists, and the sum of their talented parts really does make a synergistic whole. Davey and the Midnights haven't yet released their debut album, but they sound as if they're long past their sophomore jinx. It doesn't hurt that Allen's day job is playing keyboards for the legendary Eric Burdon of the Animals. Allen obviously is learning from one of the best and carrying the torch with style and aplomb.

    Claim Independent's Day Radio

    In order to claim this podcast we'll send an email to with a verification link. Simply click the link and you will be able to edit tags, request a refresh, and other features to take control of your podcast page!

    Claim Cancel