The Now of Jon Spencer

Jon Spencer, THE BLUES EXPLOSION MAN who put the BELLBOTTOMS on BABY DRIVER!
The Top Cat who spread the Secret Sauce in BOSS HOG!
The Rockabilly Right-Hook from Heavyweight Outlaws HEAVY TRASH!
The Swank-Fucking Master of PUSSY GALORE!

Often imitated, never duplicated, the original NYC underground-rock legend returns from the wilderness with twelve red-hot hits, each more powerful than the last! This is Garage Punk for Now People! A wizard’s brew of rhythm & blues and subversive dance grooves, weaponized with sci-fi skronk and industrial attitude, calibrated for the Revolution, a ball-peen hammer of sound guaranteed to destroy any post-modern hangover! Pulsing with energy, clanging with excitement, and dripping with radioactive soul and raw emotion, Jon Spencer opens up his heart like never before, exploring man’s modern condition with caustic guitars and outerworld crooning, asking and answering the musical question, “Is it possible to torch the cut-throat world of fake news and pre-fab, plastic-coated teen ennui with the cold hard facts of rock’n’roll?”

THE ANSWER IS YES!

SPENCER SINGS THE HITS! This is the truth serum America has been craving, the beginning of a rock’n’roll special counsel that takes no prisoners and puts the squares on ice!

I had the great pleasure of chatting with Jon about the upcoming album, as well as the July 30th show in Madison at the High Noon Saloon supporting Melvins. We get into the making and creating of the new tunes, and how doing it as a “solo” artist took on meaning. We paint a quick picture of what a newcomer to the scene could expect from the music of Jon Spencer as a solo artist and the people who are working out on tour helping him bring the fire to us. I have to admit that Jon’s music in all the bands mentioned above have always held a special place in my musical shaping existence, so getting to discuss the hows and whys and such with Jon was a thrill. We also find out just what he would spin if given 45 minutes of this radio show to program.

Photo Credit: Michael Lavine

Larry Keel Experience At The Edgewater

Larry Keel is described by music critics and reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. He has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to playing amplified, acoustic guitar and composing original music. He’s also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it’s a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a surprise cover from any number of musical acts all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Mr. Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic and jam rock musicians alive, and some now, sadly, gone. Larry Keel has a variety of musical formats he presents throughout the year; especially look out for his core band, The Larry Keel Experience.

On Friday, July 13th, The Larry Keel Experience will be making the good times and good luck happen at The Edgewater in Madison, Wisconsin. I had the honor of catching up with Larry about the upcoming event, and what a newbie to the scene can expect when they make their way out. We spend a little time talking about some of the fellow musicians he has been privileged to work with, learn from and call friends throughout the years and what things rub off from those moments. We also learn about a potential timeline on a new album that is currently in pre-production as well as some of the music Larry would share with my listeners if given control of the board for a bit. Also, I think it is pretty cool to know that he will be thinking about me and Mustapha when he cuts the grass. Check it out, the chat and the show.

Photo By: Jim Dimitroff

Cut From The Same Cloth as Langhorne Slim

As the phenomena of instant connection and the need for constant self-improvement further implant their tendrils into our culture, the ability to truly connect with each other and ourselves has begun to fade. As we all reach for our smartphones to gaze upon the manufactured perfection of the lives of those we admire, we lose sight of what makes our own lives important. Nashville’s Langhorne Slim interlaces this theme throughout his new album. “Everyone’s searchin’ for something better around every corner, but it’s already right here,” he says. “We’re all born whole — through livin’ we fall apart…” The songs on Langhorne Slim’s newest album, “Lost At Last Vol. 1”, which dropped November 10, 2017, challenge the idea of social rigidity: the attitude that there’s a “correct” way for us to live and a side we should be on. He urges the world to see through the idea that by following that path and focusing only on fitting the mold, one will have lived a good life. He re-interprets the sound of the free-spirited yet vulnerable every-man heard on 2015’s “The Spirit Moves” and brings forth anew the call for us to abandon “the fold” and re-connect with ourselves and each other.

I had the complete pleasure of speaking with Langhorne Slim about this latest release and how it grew from the seed to it’s own unique flower. We paint a water-colored picture of what the people in Madison, specifically what a newcomer to the scene can imagine will occur on June 23rd at the High Noon Saloon when Langhorne Slim And The Lost At Last Band come toGther with Madisonians. There is a moment of reflection where thinking about a special space to get away or create is contemplated and who or what might have rubbed off on the skill of connectable storytelling. When we discussed his recent playing and relationship with our friends (family), Victor and Janet of Nineteen Thirteen, we get a tease of the potential of something real different being in the works for consumption in the near future. If you’ve been wondering, ‘What is Langhorne Slim listening to these days’, well guess no further, just check out the entire conversation, as it will be sure to pry open your mind into a real cool cat.

Photo Credit: Dawn Hamilton

Bringing Some Big Easy To Madison

New Orleans Suspects began playing together back in 2009 as a pick-up band at the Maple Leafin New Orleans. The band is comprised of some of the most seasoned, highly respected players in the NOLA scene, bringing that “Big Easy” feeling wherever they play. Back in the day the group called themselves The Unusual Suspects. Their chemistry was undeniable and by the summer of 2011 they decided to tour full-time and created a new brand for their sound, renaming the band New Orleans Suspects. They quickly began attracting large crowds from coast to coast and in just a few short years they’ve released four albums and established themselves as one of New Orleans’ best supergroups.

I had a chance to chat with guitarist of the band, Jake Eckert about the upcoming show at the High Noon Saloon here in Madison on May 11th. We get a feel for what the artists making the music will be bringing to the party and how they will carry a little of that “Big Easy” feeling to out backdoor. The band has a new live album coming out and Jake and I dive into the similarities and differences of creating a live album versus the laboratory feel of a studio album..(from the two minds of Jake, the producer and the guitarist)..Very insightful conversation about the live beast. Since we chatted in the early portion of JazzFest, we touch base on the pacing an artists needs to have to properly survive this wild festival. Finally, see how we weave the almighty Col. Bruce Hampton into our conversation (on the day of his birth), and how familiar the words Jake shares about him are to what many others have said on this proGram.

Jake Eckert Photo by Eliot Kamenitz

That Sam Bush Sound

The Father of Newgrass and King of Telluride, Mr. Sam Bush, has long since established himself as roots high royalty. He is revered for both his solo and sideman work, which includes time with Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, and Béla Fleck, to name just a very few. But instead of kicking back and soaking up honors such as an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award and suite of Grammys and International Bluegrass Music Association trophies, Mr. Bush still strives relentlessly to create something new. The Sam Bush Band tours extensively, appearing at many small venues and large festivals such as the Strawberry Music Festival (Memorial Day and Labor Day), Rockygrass (late July), and every spring at the Americana Festival, Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Sam Bush is known as one of the liveliest performers at these festivals, and makes many guest appearances with the other artists.

I had a great opportunity to catch up with Sam shortly after finishing up at this years Merlefest to talk about the upcoming show on May 12th at the Stoughton Opera House. We talk about the musicians and the music one could expect at this show, and the shared joy that is sure to circle around inside the venue.. We talk down he path of his first meeting with friend of the proGram, Mr. David “Dawg” Grisman, and how he feels after hanging out with him playing, still to this day (which really brought a smile to my face). Hearing Sam describe the recent and first meeting (on stage), with our pal, Mr. Tommy Emmanuel was a complete hoot, and made me wish I was in the crowd witnessing it. We tiptoe around the ongoing ideas for a few different new potential releases, a song the band has been featuring at recent shows and I am willing to bet, the sounds will be as fresh as can be and taking us all together with a joyful noise.

The Sam Bush Band by Shelly Swanger Photography

Time Spent With John Scofield

John Scofield is considered one of the most important guitarists and composers in jazz. His influence began in the late 70’s and is going strong today. Possessor of a distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Mr. Scofield is a masterful improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R & B. He has prominently led his own groups in the international jazz and contemporary scenes, recorded over 40 albums as a leader (many already classics) and collaborated with current favorites and jazz legends like Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Mavis Staples, Gov’t Mule, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland and Phil Lesh to name only a few. Throughout his career John has punctuated his traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music. All along, the guitarist has kept an open musical mind and a variety of audiences in the jazz, rock and classical realms.

I had a chance to share some time with John talking about the upcoming gig at The Barrymore Theatre on 4/21 with the John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet. We discuss what someone who has never heard the music this quartet creates might be in store for at the show, and how John and Joe have known and grown with each other over a lifetime. It is true that this quartet does not hit the road that often, so catch them while you can. We get into how songs are selected and how the group feeds off one another during a set to keep that moment in time, securely unique. It was thrilling to hear of his working with some of the greats, but we single out Chris Wood (MSMW was about to play a show together) and Warren Haynes (John and Warren just went to a cool concert toGether – find out what is was by listening in). The versatility John shows in his music is the type of path I enjoy weaving from set to set, making those sound neighborhoods that otherwise may never bump into one another, and I think John would enjoy walking down the sidewalks with me in the greenarrowradio hood.

Mr. John Scofield

Lined Up With Joe Marcinek

Joe Marcinek Band is an experience you may never forget. That is because each show features a different lineup of musicians creating a different set of music every night. The music is equal parts Chicago Blues, New Orleans Funk, Grateful Dead Psychedelia, and Jazz Fusion for open minded listeners. Joe tours nationally from New York to LA and everywhere in between. Most of these lineups will only happen one time making every night a can’t miss and unique show.

We are fortunate here in Madison to have an artist like Joe always find a way to bring his unique band meld to us. These incredible one off type shows make for such memorable times for both the audience and the band. Once again, the Joe Marcinek Band is heading to Madison to play the Harmony Bar on April 14th. Joe and I took a moment to catch up and discuss who he will be teaming up with to make music for Madison, we discuss recent working with friend of the program, Mr. Alan Evans (Alan played with Joe and is mixing Joe’s new album. We also talk about teaming up with our boys, Groovesession in Cali and did I mention a new album? Oh yes, we talk about a potential dream come true scenario for Joe with this new record, and once it is finished, I’ll be able to put it into your ears first. And as always, Joe and I mention our bridge connection and respect to Dr. Bernie Worrell.


Photo by: Ian Rawn Photography
More of Ian’s work at his FB page and his IG.

Grahame Lesh and Midnight North

In June of 2017 Midnight North released their third studio album: “Under the Lights”. On this full length record, the band left all they had on the court. Recorded by David Simon-Baker (Los Lobos, ALO, Jackie Greene, Mother Hips) at the Greene Room and Allegiant Studios, “Under the Lights” features their eleven best new tunes. Expect twang of of country on tracks like “The Highway Song” and “Greene County”, morsels of soul on the likes of “Back To California”, but mostly good solid rock and roll. With strong melodies and stronger harmonies, for this band it comes down to one thing: the song.

I had a chance to catch up with Grahame Lesh to talk about the upcoming show on 4/14 at the Midwest Music Festival in LaCrosse and here in Madison on 4/15 at High Noon Saloon. We get into what to be ready for at the show and how the newest release will play in and out live. We dive into the making of the album and how the stories experienced on a tour get worked up, and expressed on a recording and how much this group definitely enjoys stretching it out for those who make it out. Grahame shares his insights from playing both the bigger festival scene(s), and holding down their fifth year of Sunday nights at his dad, Phil Lesh‘s exceptional venue, Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA. If you are looking for some harmony in your life, the music of Midnight North will definitely bring it your way.

Midnight North

Chris Wood of The Wood Brothers

While brothers Chris and Oliver Wood have been rooted in music since early in their childhood, clearly at times they have made such different types of music over the years, but the influences of their early lives brings them back when The Wood Brothers create together. The storytelling and unique sounds have been gaining all sorts of musical momentum over the years and have included the stages of many a great place, with great people. Now that they are more of the final act on many of those stages, we get an album to match. The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, “One Drop of Truth”, dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. So, grab some popcorn and beer and tune in.

I had the chance to chat once again with friend of the proGram, Mr. Chris Wood about the upcoming SOLD OUT show at the Majestic Theater in Madison on April 12th, with the wonderful Nicki Bluhm opening. We talked about what to expect this time around at the live event as well as dissecting a couple of the tracks on the new release. Chris talks about how working with a variety of artists and art taps into the creative spirit of this band, and we spend a little time talking about Mr. John Scofield in particular as I had just spoke to John about playing with MMW an hour earlier.

Chris Wood

Spending time with Del McCoury

Mr. Del McCoury has had a long career in bluegrass. Although originally hired as banjo player, he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar for Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1963, with whom he first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. In the 1980s his sons began performing with him. Fiddler Tad Marks and bass player Mike Brantley joined the group in early 1990s. They relocated to Nashville, Tennessee as they began to attract attention. Fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Mike Bub joined in 1992. Alan Bartram joined the band as bassist in 2005. Mr. McCoury became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in October 2003 and has influenced a great number of bands, including Phish, with whom he has shared the stage several times and who have covered his songs. He has also performed with The String Cheese Incident and Donna the Buffalo, and recorded with Steve Earle. Mr. McCoury has covered songs by artists as diverse as The Lovin’ Spoonful, Tom Petty, and Richard Thompson and has appeared at festivals including Bonnaroo, High Sierra, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival. In 2008, Mr. McCoury started DelFest, an annual bluegrass festival in Cumberland, Maryland, held at the Allegany County Fairgrounds with the Del McCoury Band plays every night at each of the festivals.

I had the honor of chatting with Mr. McCoury to support the April 21st show at the Stoughton Opera House. We spent time talking about the history of Bluegrass music, from when he started to where it is now. We got into a discussion about his soon to be released album, “Del McCoury Still Sings Bluegrass” will drop this May 25th, smack dab in the middle of Delfest and along side the release of his son’s group, The Travlin’ McCoury’s new release. We spoke about his work with Jerry Lee Lewis and friend of the proGram, Mr. David “Dawg” Grisman. We even get a little insight as to the first time Mr. McCoury met up with Jerry Garcia and what could have become of it if Jerry was a little less shy.

It is always a treat to speak with the greats, and in this case, it sure did not disappoint.

Mr. Del McCoury

Slop And Soul with Curtis Harding

Simply calling Curtis Harding a “soul man” feels reductive. Yes, his music is undoubtedly soulful and his songwriting is both evocative and provocative, but there’s more to his music than the stock imagery the label conjures. Harding’s voice can convey pain, pleasure, longing, tenderness, sadness and strength…..the entire gamut of emotions. Yet still, “soul man” seems too simple a description for musician like Curtis, a man who has lived multiple lives as a musician, participated in different scenes, and brought all those varied sounds and experiences together to carve out his own unique niche.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Curtis about the upcoming show in Madison on March 21st at the Majestic Theater. We give props to the band that’ll help create that night’s vibe, dig a little bit into that “Slop and Soul” sound and experience that he is getting well known for and we spend some quality time talking about the growth of him and his craft between the two releases, “Soul Power” in 2014 and “Face Your Fear” in 2017. We discuss some of the new things happening with him, such as his recent appearance playing with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, his work on the Sundance TV period drama series, “Hap and Leonard” and we get a glimpse into the styles of music and the flow Curtis would give the listeners of greenarrowradio if he took over proGramming for a bit.

Curtis Harding at the Echo (Photo by Andie Mills)

Meditating with Jake La Botz

Jake La Botz hit the road at fifteen. He became a man of many crafts, including time spent as a roofer, boilermaker, factory worker, and obituary writer. In the midst of this he learned how to play guitar. He played on the streets and in the juke joints of New Orleans, Chicago, and the Mississippi Delta, finding kinship with some of the last of the pre-war era bluesmen: David “Honeyboy” Edwards, “Homesick” James, and “Maxwell Street” Jimmy Davis. He has become known for his “Tattoo Across America Tour”, where he tours the country performing at tattoo shops. He is also known as an actor in films in which he sometimes sings his original songs: RAMBO directed by Sylvester Stallone, ANIMAL FACTORY directed by Steve Buscemi and others are part of his resume. Jake has toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe and has opened for Ray Charles, Etta James, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, JD McPherson, Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, Taj Mahal, Buckwheat Zydeco, Tony Joe White, John Hammond, The Blasters and a host of other greats.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jake about his upcoming stop in Madison on March 7th at the High Noon Saloon opening for Lucero. We get into why the pairing of his music works with opening for a band like Lucero and who he is bringing along with him to share his stories. We talk about how he became the man and the musician he is today, which I learn he and I share the same “he was my favorite person growing up” about our respected grandpas. We spend some time getting a feel for how his latest release, Sunnyside on Hi-Style Records went from its beGinnings to a point where I have been able to share with listeners.

Robert Cray To Play Barrymore

Friend of the proGram, Mr. Robert Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 acclaimed albums. For his latest project, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm (April 28, 2017 / Jay-Vee Records), the Blues Hall of Famer traveled to Memphis with his friend, renowned Grammy Award winning producer Steve Jordan, to make a classic soul album with Hi Rhythm, the band that helped create that sound. Mr. Cray has a style that is easily recognizable, he has always had a unique sound to himself and when that first note of a tune is hit, it is comfortable knowing what is abut to come with the rest.

I had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming show atThe Barrymore Theatre in Madison on March 8th with Mr. Cray. We got into a role call of his band-mates/friends and how they inspire him to keep on getting better at their craft. We compare and contrast the latest release, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm to his 1983 (second album release), Bad Influence. Last time Mr. Cray and I spoke we talked about how if he was not a touring successful musician/artist, he would be some kind of cook or chef, so we find out what would be on the menu today. We also learn what he would play on greenarrowradio, if I walked out of the studio and left him in charge for a bit. Once again, it is a thrill to talk to an artist who is equally as talented as they are down to Earth. Take a listen above to hear for yourself.

Robert Cray

Jorma’s Coming To Town

Whether you know Jorma Kaukonen from his legendary hall of fame work with bands like Jefferson Airplane or Hot Tuna, or as a singing/songwriting troubadour spinning and telling his tales as a solo artist, his dynamic style is captivating. Jorma has a natural way of making the music, and the story not only sound good, but it feels right and relate-able. He is one of those artists that makes it comfortable to get a look at life from his take. Fortunately, we will get to take a shared ride down the same path as Jorma heads to the Stoughton Opera House on February 15th.

I had the honor of talking with Jorma about how the music and the times do some changing. We chat a bit about storytelling and storytellers, even sharing which book remains one of those we were first introduced to that stuck. The thing I have always liked about Jorma is the things he does for music and to enhance the learning experience of those around him. The work being done at Fur Peace Ranch is just one example of some of the cool going on in his scene. We share thoughts about three of his friends and instructors, and friends of the proGram, Mr. Tommy Emmanuel, Teresa Williams & Larry Campbell. While learning why Jorma prefers live music and what makes a good show, in his opinion…Jorma shares a nice word or two about the Stoughton Opera House.

One of Todd’s People

Todd Clouser is a man who makes the journey happen his way, from moment to moment. He takes it as it goes and makes one step after the other count. Todd is one of these cats who has the ability to not only tell the story with his songs, but use his songs to communicate on another level to those who listen. I have been able to watch his sound and style grow over the course of time and that one thing…time…seems to bring the paths of similarly minded communicator to the steps of Todd’s musical door. I have watched the paints mix to create the newest of colors with some brightness and some darkness none other have duplicated. We all search and seek and dream and believe what we believe…somehow Todd has been a voice I can believe in musically, but it’s the person, the being of Todd Clouser that I am most fond of. I had the chance aGain to ask him a few questions about what’s been going on and how he is. The newness just about to come off his plate is the release of a new record for starters. Thus story-line begins on at a sold out gig on a cold Minnesota night. It features Todd talking to the room with his voice and guitar, Mr. JT Bates on drums and percussion and friend of the proGram, Mr. John Medeski on Hammond B3 Organ and Fender Rhodes, and is named: You The Brave: Live at Icehouse.

This new live recording on Ropeadope Sur is the truth, in real time of making the sounds that linked up the trios paths to that very moment, where creating meets pulse. I am proud to be someone who has been walking the paths with Todd for a few more than a few years now and to see the others who cross path to be with and create with him puts a huge smile in my heart. Todd takes a little time out of his day in Mexico to chat about the new album, working with the coolness over at Ropeadope Sur and a little about our ongoing almost project with Medeski Myself and Todd, where I am featured on power tools… We talk about vulnerability, travel and home. EarGrab some here:

The Essence of G Love

For many years, G Love and Special Sauce have been bringing their unique blend of blues infused with hip Hop splattered with Rock-n-Roll and leveled off with some deep grooves into open minds and thirsty ear-holes, as a matter of fact it’s now been 25 years. Their self-titled debut, featuring the hit “Cold Beverage,” wound up going gold and since then the band became known for their well crafted live shows and have made it all happen around the world. Over many of those years, G and I have gotten toGether to promote his shows, talk about new music and heroes of ours. You can flip on back through this website to find a couple of those chats of yesteryear. This year, G is back with Special Sauce to open up their 25th Anniversary tour at the Majestic Theater.

We take some time to talk about the upcoming event in Madison and the special occasion of this particular tour, and G gives a newbie a nice perspective of what kinds of sound melding can be expected if it’s your first time getting some Special Sauce over yourself. We talk about how even when time flies on by, the essence of who you are as a person does not necessarily change and the music one creates, while there becomes more of a catalog, the feeling of it is still fresh. Speaking of fresh, we discuss what prompted the first G Love Christmas album and his yearly gig(s) in Hawaii….and you heard it at the end, he invites me to roadie for that leg of the tour. get inside the essence of G Love by checking out the catch up session above.

Warren & The Mule in Madison

On Friday October 13th at 8pm, we in Madison will once again be treated to the sounds of Gov’t Mule as they head to The Orpheum Theater in support of their latest release “Revolution Come…Revolution Go”. For me it is hard to imagine people not knowing of this powerhouse of a group, they have been a staple in my ears and on my shows for years, and I am proud to be a part of the family circle. But just in case, for those who may not be aware, I got together with Warren Haynes to discuss what to expect from the show.

Not only did we take a brief walk through the history of the band, but we painted a quick picture of what new blood to the scene can expect to be a part of. We dove into the new release and discussed the process behind their 10th studio album after 20 years as an evolving entity. We dissected a couple of tracks, the title tune “Revolution Come…Revolution Go” and how it grew and transformed into its final state and how it was almost divided into separate tunes. We got into “Stone Cold Rage” and how if this song does its job, people will understand d the message of the lyrics and the pace and intentness of the music as it fits into the climate of a country poised to become divided. Both Derek Trucks and Yonrico Scott talked to me of the influences of specific “Sages” in their lives, such as Col. Bruce Hampton, and Warren and I got into the importance of remembering where the music originated from with those who played before, and how surrounding one’s self with the right people can inspire the inspiration.
Now, I have been listening to this band since the very first show, which I still have the stub from and Warren and I actually shared in a unique remembrance of the venue and it’s potential wrong way doors. Take a listen, have a laugh and if it fits your space, check them out when they are in town near you.

King Cardinal’s Denver Americana

I had the chance to spend a little time chatting with Texanna, Brennan and Ben of King Cardinal before they head to Madison on August 17th to play The Frequency. Hailed by Marquee Magazine for their “excellently crafted Americana” and Westword for their “raw, gut-wrenching emotion,” Denver’s King Cardinal push raw roots rock into lush, sonically daring territory with hints of cosmic country and delicate folk. Building off the success of two acclaimed EPs as well as dates with Ben Sollee, Sam Outlaw, and Darlingside (in addition to a performance at the iconic Telluride Bluegrass Festival), the band is set to release their debut album, ‘Great Lakes,’ which was recorded over seven days at Texas’ famed Sonic Ranch Studio with GRAMMY-winning producer/engineer Ted Young (Israel Nash, Banditos).

In this conversation, the trio explains a little about what the Madison crowd can expect to see and hear when they get a live taste next week. We took a good amount of time discussing their first proper album set to be released towards the end of September and how all the time spent together has allowed for the release to be refined and and reflected upon while taking the bare bones and collectively providing the skin and orGans to be masterfully applied into place. We tapped into the Telluride experience and what I found very interesting was the “What have you been dialed into musically yourselves” question and what they have been putting into their ears as they get a little down time or on travel days. It also turns out that living near the Colorado mountains and all that it offers is a great place for these artists to relax, refresh and escape it all when needed.

King Cardinal

Stephane Wrembel

The first notes of a good tune, just like the first meetings of two people, give us a lot of interesting insight. I was not surprised at how quickly, Mr. Stephane Wrembel and I hit it off as we discussed his upcoming show in Madison on Sunday, April 2nd at Café Coda. Stephane shared that the event will be a soup of his compositions and the latest respects to Django will accompany those originals.The sounds he has been a part of have resonated with me for years of listening and radio sharing. We discussed which Pink Floyd album we would pick if we were to be stranded on an island…I think by the end we narrowed it down to which album would we NOT have with us. We walked through the musicians on tour and the new album(s), Django Experiment I & II and how making it their own started by recording it like it was a live show, minus the crowd. We discussed how even though this is an album that is an inspired by and a tribute to, Django, how it is in no way an example of being a cover band. I think one listen through and you will certainly agree. It was also a little surprising to learn how the sat down and produced two albums worth of music, when only the one was the oriGinal intention. We spoke of the influences of Django Reinhardt, the energy and explosion of New York and the love love love of Zappa. I learned if I give Stephane thirty minutes of my show, that it is very likely the listeners (and myself) will want an hour. Radio, and particularly the conversations with the artists I choose to speak with always help my eyes and mind open up wide to understand what music means/does to people, artists or otherwise…so when we talked about the timeline of Stephane’s life, the way music was/is as he has gone from nomadic creator to world traveler, I felt like this cat is one of those that people that others will want to create artistic experiments around, to celebrate the contribution and imprint left….and he’ll make you think about an apple differently than you may have before. Also, Stephane reveals a secret he intends to do each year on January 23rd. Oh, it’s in here.

SW

Please enjoy our conversation and maybe get yourself out for a great show.

Time with THE TRAIN

I had the great opportunity of discussing the upcoming show at the High Noon Saloon on February 8th featuring Mr. Wayne THE TRAIN Hancock with the man himself. When I decide to reach out to artists to hear it from them, I always want it to be someone who I really want to introduce to the people that may not have ever heard of, or heard the sounds of. There are always chances for that and for those who may not have ever run into THE TRAIN before, take a listen in here to this one. We walked through what any unexpected audience members are in store for, the process by which The Train created the songs that fill our minds with such stories and images like a fresh page flip in a book we always wanted to open. We dive into how a couple of tracks take form and shape on the newest release “Slingin’ Rhythm”, released end of 2016 on Bloodshot Records. This conversation is raw and so enlightening. When Wayne THE TRAIN Hancock comes to a town near you, you can rest assured that you are going to get a long and winding show filled with sounds that he calls out off the cuff and it will always be a show that is unique to that niGht…. I ask you to tell me what else you could want from a night out? Be it Rockabilly, Western Swing, Juke-joint Jazz…whatever you want to try and call it, the music created has that feeling of an old blanket with the sensation of a new body wrapped up under it with you.

THETRAIN