Tasty Brew Music
By Diana Linn
Conversations and musical interludes with artists, industry professionals and supporters of the Americana/Global Roots Music scene. This podcast is curated by Diana Linn, Member of Folk Alliance International and the Americana Music Association and Host of the Tasty Brew Music Radio show on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City's Community Radio Station.
Carrie Welling - No Stranger to Change
No stranger to change or the exploration that comes with it, Carrie Welling has been navigating life’s twists, turns, demons, and discoveries from a young age. A self-described ‘military brat’, Welling’s struggle to feel rooted in any one place carved a unharmonious path of heartbreak, doubt, and insecurity that defined her 20s and early 30s. Her bold, sultry voice, reminiscent of Sheryl Crow’s grit, Natalie Maines’ twang, and Stevie Nicks’ heart, is upstaged only by the genuine love and connection this natural performer has with her fans both on and off stage. But embracing confidence has not always been easy for this singer-songwriter, who speaks candidly about her battle to be good to herself, and to quiet the inner voice nagging her to be “perfect”. Late in the summer of 2022, a Tasty Brew Music listener and local house concert presenter from Lawrence, Kansas gave me the heads up about Carrie. We weren’t able to get her live in the studio while she was in the area, but after some initial technical difficulties, we were able to have a nice on air conversation about her lyrical journey… including the importance of having an organizational and logistical support team and auxiliary financial support via platforms like Patreon. I was so encouraged to hear of her connections with personal favorites Mary Bragg and Barnaby Bright. Welling put out a Patreon campaign, embracing her dream to finally quit the side hustle and focus on music full-time. Her patrons, which Carrie refers to as her “champions”, have proven to be an integral part of the artist’s journey - not only supporting her online but also at live performances across the globe. “My Patreon champions started out as my fans and now we’re all friends. Some of them I talk to everyday, and they give me music ideas! They keep me going,” she says. Enjoy my conversation with Nashville’s Carrie Welling.
December 01, 2022
Jeremy Facknitz - Rising Above the Din of Drunken Conversation
Serendipity brought Jeremy Facknitz into my musical life. Late this past summer, he posted on a local Kansas City Musicians Facebook Page looking for a fill in gig on just a few days’ notice to help support a solo run of gigs in the Midwest. I checked him out, was happy to help him land a last-minute slot in a songwriters’ circle at a local venue and welcomed Jeremy into the radio station for a conversation during my weekly Tasty Brew Music Radio Show. Jeremy has entertained audiences with his lovingly crafted music and high-energy performances for decades. Since the 2002 break-up of his Detroit-based band "The Ottomans", Jeremy has performed primarily as a solo act, marrying folk-rock and jazz stylings to showcase his intimate stories of life, love, and self-discovery. Facknitz carved out a living performing at bars, coffeeshops, and corporate events while teaching lessons on the side. Life turned on a dime when on July 17th, 2017 Jeremy was diagnosed with viral meningitis. "I came face to face with my mortality, and I realized it was time for a change. I quit performing at bars and spent the next year making the leap to house concerts, touring, and performing solely for listening audiences." Jeremy was named a top 24 finalist from over 800 entries in the 2020 and 2022 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competitions at Kerrville Folk Festival. His songs "Ballet of an Unhatched Chick" and "Michigan (Something In The Water)" were awarded semi-finalist distinction at songoftheyear.com, also in 2020 and 2022. As you’ll hear in this conversation, while occasionally performing with his 6 piece band in Colorado, Jeremy continues to tour solo - performing at house concerts and listening rooms in the United States, Canada and Europe. He's currently promoting his 5th album of original material "From Those Sweet Ashes" and has begun recording a follow-up album set for release in 2023. Enjoy this brief interlude with Songwriter Jeremy Facknitz.
October 31, 2022
Savraya - Watch Out! She's Just Getting Started!
Savraya is a singer-songwriter referred to me by a mutual songwriting friend from Louisiana, Tommy Ike Hailey. She’s just starting her lyrical life and it’s always an honor and privilege to be the first radio or podcast experience for a young artist like this. Living in places like Nashville, Ft. Worth and the Mississippi Gulf Coast near New Orleans gives her a unique perspective on Southern American music with roots, blues, jazz, country, hip hop, pop, and even Cajun in the mix. Gifted with her first guitar at 16, she started writing songs and playing open mics. Dad’s job transferred the family back to Nashville and she started playing songwriter rounds and recording with Michael McAdam and great Nashville musicians including Jimmy Lester, and Dave Roe who had worked with Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakum and many more. Another transfer back to Mississippi and Savraya started to write new material and gigging all over the Gulf Coast. She claims no specific genre with an open mind to past and present influences. Her second release “Glass Ball” finished first in the 2021 Ozone Songwriting competition. She works with regional videographer Chaz Singleton (Astroclown Productions) who has shot videos for hip hop artists including Juvenile, Choppa, Young Bleu, and the Ying Yang Twins. Savraya is a unique artist with powerful vocals and meaningful lyrics for one so young! Enjoy this early morning conversation and musical performance with Savraya.
October 24, 2022
Danielle Anderson and Joy Zimmerman - Songcrafters from A to Z!
Joy Zimmerman, in regular rotation on KKFI’s Tasty Brew Music Radio Show, is a folk and acoustic roots singer/songwriter who cultivates joy with a clear, rich voice. She believes in the power of music and community. At home on guitar and violin, Joy’s most recent album, The Canvas Before Us, debuted at #8 on the FAI Folk Chart. I concur with this assessment…."Joy Zimmerman combines consummate instrumental skill with moving lyrics...and she does it with wonderful creativity, beauty, and her clear, ringing, passionate voice." ~Mark Helpsmeet, Northern Spirit Radio Also a personal favorite, Danielle Ate the Sandwich is the stage name of pop-folk songwriter, Danielle Anderson. Getting her start in Fort Collins, CO, now based in Kansas City, MO, Danielle has been touring nationally since 2009, after cultivating an online following from her homemade videos on YouTube. Danielle Ate the Sandwich has released seven albums of original music and toured internationally. These two powerhouses recently met via the Heartland Song Network and as you’ll hear in this conversation, have joined forces and voices to collaborate on a new project of unknown destination and duration….we’ll just have to see. One of the wonderful byproducts so far is their collaboration with Erin McGrane and Eboni Fondren lending their voices on Joy’s song, “Hear our Voices” released on the heels of the statewide vote to preserve reproductive rights in Kansas. Enjoy this mid-day morning conversation with Joy Zimmerman and Danielle Anderson!
October 16, 2022
Genevieve Racette - Jolie chanteuse québécoise
Nationally renowned, Québécois folk-pop musician, Geneviève Racette, has captivated listeners with her gentle, yet compelling voice and has garnered impressive industry support for her folk-pop tracks ever since her first EP in 2014. Through her lyricism and ethereal vocals (which you will hear throughout this session), Geneviève has emerged as a rising star in both French and English-speaking Canadian music scenes. I was lucky enough to meet Genevieve early in 2022 and had her on the expanded 4 hour version of the Folk Alliance International Take Over of the Tasty Brew Music Radio Show on KKFI Radio. When she returned to Kansas City in late summer of 2022, I was only too happy to renew the acquaintance as I hosted my monthly episode of the Siren Song radio show. It was enlightening to discover both the differences and similarities of pursuing a lyrical life and surviving a global pandemic in Canada vis a vis the United States and to become familiar with an artist’s educational background, collaborative and mentor experiences. Enjoy my conversation with the lovely Genevieve Racette. Photo Credit: Creator: ANNIE DIOTTE Copyright: 5146059015
September 12, 2022
Forrest McCurren - Troubadour from the Heart of the Heartland!
Quite often my involvement in the Roots Music Community affords me the opportunity to witness the launch of an artist that has the promise of a bona fide lyrical life. Forrest McCurren has that kind of potential with songs that can give you the spiritual and emotional reboot you may have difficulty achieving on your own. Stylistically you’ll hear a tip of the hat to the greats he mentions in this conversation… Prine, Dylan, Clark, Van Zandt… Forrest sings of stories from waitresses, heartbroken high school football standouts, tattooed trailer park lovers…written for good people that are still trying to figure out if life is sweet or sour. His backing band, The Daily Special, includes wife Margaret McCurren, a multi-instrumentalist that is as comfortable with drumsticks as she is with a fiddle bow and with a voice that warmly compliments Forrest’s sound. As noted on their website...Margaret is the cold, refreshing, light beer to Forrest’s shot of whiskey. Like a piece of modern art at a county fair, they are complimentary opposites. Rounding out the line up is fellow Mid-Missourian Ryan Tannehill aka RT on a very tasty sounding Telecaster. They call it Small Town Soul – Rural Rock n Roll. Catch them when you can as I’m pretty sure the release of the debut effort, Oh Me Oh My, is going to be their entry to a long and lyrical road…around the world. Oh and be sure to tell them your favorite joke...it may make it in to the banter of a show near you. Enjoy this conversation with this cosmic troubadour from the heart of the heartland – Forrest McCurren.
August 24, 2022
Wade Bowen - Somewhere Between the Secret and the Truth
The music of Wade Bowen has been spinning in my playlists since I went on the radio in 2010. My niece Shae was attending Texas State University in San Marcos at the time and Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Jason Bowland and others were working hard to become the “go to” purveyors of that very distinctive sound that some came to label as Outlaw or Red Dirt Country. Today Wade is a familiar and awarded name in music, performing along the active touring highways of Texas and the Southwest and selling out top venues like the legendary Gruene Hall in New Braunfels and performing multiple times on the Grand Ole Opry. Carving out a dedicated fan base with his magnetic appeal and proven abilities, Bowen has now enjoyed a 20-year stint as a leader amongst a flourishing Americana and Alt-Country music community. Wade continued his productive and lyrical life through the pandemic on his most recent full-length album, Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth. Wade recounts “I went through a big writer’s drought; kind of just being shell shocked from everything, not knowing how to handle it, and then finally came out of that and just had this flood of just wanting to write.” “This reset button really rejuvenated my passion for my entire career, all the way across the board. I was trying to find where I fit musically again. I’ve been doing this so long that I feel like I got off track from where I felt I fit–I was all over the place with my songwriting and my career.” “Ironically enough, COVID really gave me a chance to just turn my brain off a little bit and stop thinking. When I came out on the other side, I really found not only a renewed sense of my music and wanting to get out and play again, but I found a renewed sense of self. I found who I wanted to be as a writer, as a singer, as an artist.” Wade cowrote all 12 songs on the record and serves as the sole producer for the first time in his career.
August 12, 2022
All Folked Up with Pi Jacobs and Tim Easton
Pi Jacobs draws inspiration from her unconventional upbringing in the Land of Weed and Wine aka Northern California. Blending roots-rock swagger and storytelling soul, her music has drawn comparisons to Tom Waits, Dolly Parton and Lucinda Williams. She has been heard on NPR, Austin Music TV, Americana Highways and regularly on radio stations across the nation including 90.1 FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio. Tim Easton is repeat offender on the Tasty Brew Music Podcast having first appeared during a live recorded interview from the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma in 2019. Tim Easton was born on the Canadian border in upstate New York and spent his formative years living in Tokyo, Japan and Akron, Ohio. Traveling early and often, he learned the ways of the road and roads and spent 7 years as a bona fide troubadour, making his way around Europe, playing the streets and clubs, living in Paris, London, Madrid, Prague, and Dublin. Before the pandemic he toured Russia under the auspices of the US State Department. His songwriting style is folk based storytelling and personal traveling tales, often peppered with bold confessions or “tell it as it is” reality. Rolling Stone magazine praised him as “having a novelist’s sense of humanity”. Pi and Tim were part of a contingent of artists who came in to the KKFI studios during the 2022 Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City as part of a special 4 hour “takeover” of the Tasty Brew Music Radio Show. Enjoy these conversations and musical interludes with Pi Jacobs and Tim Easton!
July 16, 2022
Debbie Cole Launches "Colebrood" - Her Roots are Showing!
Debbie Cole is a classically trained violinist with over 35 years of experience as a musician. She plays “by ear”, is proficient in and is a fan of multiple genres of music. In 2014, she started playing the acoustic guitar; it proved to be a pivotal point in her musical growth. Playing the guitar led to the discovery of her actual voice and empowered the composition of original music. Debbie, now branding herself as “ColeBrood” sent me an email in my capacity as a DJ/Programmer on KKFI’s Tasty Brew Music and Siren Song Radio Shows…sharing with me three newly penned and home studio recorded songs. I liked them….alot. I was enchanted by her back story and felt compelled to get her on the radio right away…as it turns out, it was her first radio interview. As always, I treat these interviews as conversations…seeking to get to know as much of the person as I can in the very short period allowed. I look forward to following Cole’s progress and believe she has the talent and drive to succeed! Enjoy this introduction to Debbie Cole also known as Colebrood!
June 24, 2022
Martin Hayes - the "Miles Davis" of the Irish Fiddle
I receive dozens of new music submissions and requests for radio interview every week. I do my best to respond to or sample them all. It doesn’t take long to get way behind in the exercise. One such request for a phone interview came to me on behalf of the renown fiddler in the Irish tradition, Martin Hayes. I had not heard of Martin (shame on me) and my direct contact with Irish traditional music was rather limited even though I had a basic understanding that most of so-called Americana and Folk Music was rooted in Irish and Celtic music forms. I’ve been to the massive Irish Fest and the Irish Center here in Kansas City… my local pub Conroy’s even has live traditional Irish music from time to time. These touchpoints do not begin to honor what awaited me when I went down the Martin Hayes’ rabbit hole …diving into the stories, catalogues and career of Martin and some of his colleagues past and present. I am so very glad I did not scroll past the initial request and instead took the opportunity to spend some one on one time with a musician that, in his sphere of influence, should come to be compared to the likes of Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix. Enjoy my conversation with the virtuoso player and stellar human being, Ireland’s Martin Hayes.
April 25, 2022
Jenna Rae - The Tasty Brew Goes Country Lo-Fi!
Some years ago, I went to Knuckleheads’ Gospel Lounge in Kansas City to see a song swap with all female songwriters. I was very familiar with the line up but for a young woman named Jenna Rae. When that song swap was over, I remembered thinking this young lady’s voice is uniquely suited to country music but the ease with which she told stories and engaged the audience with a wonderful sense of humor would be the envy of any performer of any genre of music. In the intervening years, as you’ll hear in this conversation conducted live on the radio in April 2022 to celebrate the release of her solo album “Country Lo-Fi." Jenna Rae and I have stayed in touch. Despite our 40 year age difference, sharing space and time comes pretty naturally to us. She and her musical and life partner, Martin Farrell, Jr. are part and parcel of what makes the Heartland Roots Music scene so fresh and so worthy of support. Join me in celebrating my young and talented friend, Jenna Rae!
April 19, 2022
Jeff Black - Songcrafter of Fine Portraits of American Life
I have been a fan of Jeff Black’s songwriting for many years. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Liberty, Missouri. In the 1980’s Black began performing at Blayney's, a blues club here in Kansas City where he also worked as a bouncer. Jeff began touring and eventually relocated to Nashville where he re-connected with Kansas City friend, Iris Dement lending some backing vocals on DeMent's 1992 debut album, Infamous Angel). Black's own first album, Birmingham Road, was recorded with the members of the band Wilco, minus lead singer, Jeff Tweedy. Those songs have been described as "fine portraits of American life without the sappiness or self-consciousness often attributed to the singer/songwriter genre.” Sam Bush has championed him with recording many of his songs including "Same Ol' River" and "King Of The World". Jeff co-wrote the title track to Sam's Grammy nominated album "Circles Around Me". His songs appear on recordings by Alison Krauss, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Douglas, Dierks Bently, John Oates, Blackhawk, Jo-el Sonnier and the soundtracks of "The Thing Called Love" The acclaimed PBS documentary "The Appalachians" and Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize Winner "Steel City". WUMB Boston listeners voted Black one of the top 100 Folk artists of the last 25 years. His intimate live shows provide a master class in songcraft appreciation, tempo and audience interaction. After a two year pandemic induced hiatus, I was finally able to welcome Jeff back into the KKFI studios for a sit down conversation and private mini concert in support of some recent Midwest gigs. We talked about music education, or the lack thereof, the pandemic, of course, collaboration, mentorship and the value (or not) of songwriting workshops. Enjoy this musical conversation and performance with the lyrical and very talented Jeff Black.
March 13, 2022
Terry Klein - From Boston to Austin and "Good Luck, Take Care!"
I first became aware of Songwriter Terry Klein in 2018 when Radio Promoter Adam Dawson of Broken Jukebox Music sent me Terry’s sophomore effort, “Tex”. I saw that Walt Wilkins produced the album and that’s really all I needed to know to be intrigued enough to give it a full and complete listen. He has garnered high praise from two of my musical heroes, Mary Gauthier and Rodney Crowell as well as press and radio outlets across the United States and Europe. For his third album, Terry went to Nashville and worked with producer, multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter in his own right, Thomm Jutz. Good Luck, Take Care is described as a raw, visceral departure from the work he’s done before. Ten dynamic songs that take hold from the first measure, knock you off balance, and won’t let go without a fight. Adam contacted me in early 2022 to see if I might be of assistance in getting Terry a Kansas City gig because the postponement of Folk Alliance International’s Music Conference here until May 2022 was going to leave a big whole in his touring schedule to promote “Good Luck, Take Care.” Terry was able to find a Kansas City gig and I was only too happy to have him on the Tasty Brew Music Radio Show the day before he was to appear in our town. Enjoy this on air conversation where we extoll the virtues of leading a lyrical life from Boston to Austin, collaborating with some of the best producers and songwriters in Americana/Roots Music and the importance of investing in your craft through co-writes and workshops.
March 01, 2022
Rex Pryor - from Prison Warden to Flatlands Troubadour
My friend Rex Pryor grew up in a small northwestern Missouri town… you become aware of these roots very quickly when listening to his songs. We met through a mutual friend, the late Scott Ford, who tragically passed away New Year’s Eve 2021. Although now retired from a storied career in corrections and law enforcement, Rex remains busy writing and performing music and serving on the Board of Directors of the Heartland Song Network, a Kansas non-profit dedicated to empowering the art of the song through education, collaboration and mentorship. Rex recently joined me on KKFI’s Tasty Brew Music Radio Show to feature songs and stories from the Exit 13 Duo new release “Flatlands.” As is the case with many songwriters in the Heartland, Rex is self-taught on the guitar (he picked it up at the age of 45). He really is enjoying leading a lyrical life in the Heartland performing as a solo, as a duo with his nephew and with his Band, Exit 13. Enjoy this conversation with Rex Pryor about music education, collaboration and travelling the Flatlands!
January 10, 2022
Leah Sproul - Songcrafting with Humor and Honesty
This edition highlights one of my most favorite things to do….have an aspiring and supremely talented young songwriter live in the studio with me on my radio program…. a “get to know each other” chat which may or may not include the world broadcast premiere of originally penned songs. Leah Sproul is most known for her work in the Heartland with a Western Swing outfit called Cowtown Country Club. Although her bandmate, Greg, accompanies her most expertly on guitar and harmony vocals on the broadcast, the songs you hear are her own as she launches this solo project. I am always humbled when an artist honors me with being the first to play their original music on the radio. I was not kidding when I said at the beginning of this conversation that Leah’s voice reminds of Leanne Rimes and Patsy Cline. It’s that good in my ears. Her personality (charming) and energy level (high) is what we dream of in a radio interview. The woman has a PHD in music composition for crying out loud. We may be 40 years apart chronologically but I believe Leah’s soul to be an old one and I look forward to following her lyrical life. Enjoy this introduction to Dr. Leah Sproul.
December 19, 2021
Fred Wickham - From Hadacol to a Caravan to a Town Without Soul
I first met Fred Wickham at the old Coda venue here in Kansas City as the lead guitar player for Country Band The Naughty Pines. I subsequently learned of and became a fan of his band Hadacol and now the Fred Wickham Caravan. Hadacol was around in the late 90s and early 2000s with Wickham, bassist Richard Burgess along with Wickham’s brother Greg. They recorded two critically acclaimed albums and toured extensively across the nation. The music critic writing for Salon Magazine once called the band’s brand of country “so tough they don’t have to prove it.” An attorney by day, Fred has never abandoned his role as a generative/working musician in the Heartland. The Fred Wickham Caravan now blends country, soul and rock and roll into a sound that fits nicely under the Americana umbrella. Comprised of some of Kansas City’s finest roots musicians, the Caravan originally formed to support Wickham’s 2017 solo release Mariosa Delta. Produced and recorded by the late, great Lou Whitney in Springfield, Missouri, the album received widespread critical acclaim both nationally and abroad. No Depression called Mariosa Delta “a sparkling gem of an album…a great record, part document, part tragedy, all heartbreak,” while PopMatters said the album was “reminiscent of rambling folk and country legends like Dylan and Cash.” For the Caravan record recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Town without Soul, Wickham and Burgess have recruited some of their favorite musicians and best friends to form a six-piece band capable of jumping from one musical style to the next while maintaining a sound that is all their own. Guitar legend Marco Pascolini lends his unmistakable stylings on electric and pedal steel guitar. Cowboy Bart Colliver, Kansas City’s most soulful keyboardist, adds accordion and great harmony vocals. Matt Brahl, one of KC’s finest drummers and an old friend who actually played with Wickham and Burgess during the final days of Hadacol, jumped right in after original drummer Sam Platt departed. Rounding out the ensemble is Wickham’s son, Fred Jr., who had become an accomplished mandolin player while no one was watching.
November 16, 2021
Rigby Summer's Geography - Attachments to Space and Place
I’m pretty certain I met Rigby Summer in 2017 in connection with the Monday@ Modella songwriter pop-up and the All Music Starts Local Initiative she started in Stillwater Oklahoma after a 5-year hiatus from the music scene. Our paths have crossed numerous times since then in Kansas City but also on the road in Oklahoma and even as far away as Montreal, Canada. While returning from the 2019 Folk Alliance Conference in Montreal and suffering from debilitating back pain, Rigby helped me navigate customs and connecting flights including pushing me around in an airline wheel chair. Rigby is one of the hardest working, independent, do it yourself roots musicians I know. She has a lovely, mature voice and writes songs that are relatable and thoroughly engaging…reflecting the road she has traveled from Kansas to California to Wyoming to the red dirt roots of her current home in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In these intervening years she has shared the stage and has learned from a myriad of local and touring artists. In the Fall of 2020 she produced a short cover EP "Dancing Alone" with Kyle Reid and released it in November 2020. Production is now complete on her first full-length album “Geography," recorded at Naptime Studio in Norman, Oklahoma, with Kyle Reid at the helm. She recently joined me on the radio on Geography’s release day. Enjoy my conversation with Rigby Summer.
October 28, 2021
Carter Sampson - The Queen of Oklahoma!
I was introduced to Oklahoma City based songwriter Carter Sampson some years ago after she played a gig at Kansas City’s Knucklehead Saloon. I was very impressed by her command of the stage and storytelling. We briefly crossed paths multiple times in Nashville during Americanafest, in Oklahoma during Woodyfest and in Kansas City for occasional gigs at the Westport Saloon and again at Knuckleheads. She had been booked to play several Kansas City gigs in early 2020 that got cancelled either because of bad weather or the Covid-19 pandemic. I tried multiple times to schedule conversations with her since 2018 for this podcast and we just couldn’t make it happen. The stars aligned and we were finally able to get Carter back to Kansas City for an intimate show at Mike Kelly’s Westsider as part of the Bloody Mary Morning Listening Room Series presented by the Heartland Song Network. This episode is a portion of the conversation we had on air via my Tasty Brew Music Radio Show on 90.1 FM KKFI just before she hit the road for Kansas City. Carter has released five studio albums and is working on her latest record with Oklahoma producer Kyle Reid. Her 2016 release Wilder Side received international attention and was No. 3 on that year’s Euro Americana year end chart. She is the founder and director of The Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls OKC, a nonprofit volunteer run organization that empowers girls through music education. She is a proud member of the Citizen Potawatomie Nation. I love everything about Carter Sampson. Her clear and present voice, wordcrafting, guitar skills, artistic visual aesthetic, and work ethic. She is as equally adept at fronting a full band on the main stage of a music festival as she is keeping a small room of dedicated listeners completely captivated for hours. She was meant to lead a lyrical and musical life and that is what she has done, is doing and will do moving forward. Enjoy my long awaited one on one with Carter Sampson….to be continued somewhere down the road… most likely in Oklahoma.
October 12, 2021
Jess Jocoy - Atmospheric Americana
I was introduced to Jess Jocoy’s music by Graham Jackson, a gentleman actively supporting Americana Music in the UK. I met Graham when he attended a Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City some years ago and introduced me to the UK’s Danni Nicholls, the subject of another episode of this podcast. Graham regularly listens to my radio show online in the UK. We have similar musical tastes and I trust his judgment for music recommendations. Jess was raised two hours south of Seattle. As you’ll discover in this conversation, she is following her dream of writing and singing country music by relocating to Nashville to attend college and plant her lyrical flag. Like thousands of others, Jess’ cross-country travels were brought to a stop in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic halted her touring career. At the time, she was riding a wave of critical acclaim for Such a Long Way, a debut album inspired by grief, gratitude, the loss of her father, and the love of creating music. No Depression hailed the record’s “insightful, open-hearted songs” and “smooth blend of traditional country and folk sounds,” while American Songwriter praised the “mournful effervescence” of songs like “The Ballad of Two Lovers.” The iconic radio station WSM, home to the Grand Ole Opry, made Jess their “Artist of the Week,” and her music even made its way onto national television, where she performed “Easy” during an episode of NBC’s Songland. Those childhood dreams of making her mark in the same town as her musical heroes had finally started to come true, only to be postponed by a disease that sent the entire world indoors. It was an honor and privilege to extend the first opportunity to be interviewed on the radio to Jess. We started the session by launching immediately into a live performance of “Constellations” from her 2021 release “Brighter Eyes.” Enjoy.
September 07, 2021
Samantha Fish - A Career That Keeps on Moving "Faster"
I met Samantha Fish when she was about 19 years old…just starting to play in public at local Kansas City venues and jams. We have stayed in touch and connected over the years and it has been alternately terrifying and gratifying to see her trajectory into the international music stratosphere. Not content to be labelled solely as a “blues” or “rock” artist, she is constantly evolving and experimenting with multiple genres… collaborating with some of the best the music industry has to offer. The Heartland music community is very proud to claim her as one of our own and she is poised for a long and storied career. She remains very humble and willing to help her local community radio station, 90.1 FM KKFI, as she did in this interview during a recent pledge drive. Locked and loaded and back out on the road, Samantha Fish is following her American Dream in support of her newest release "Faster" on Rounder Records.
July 22, 2021
Sara Morgan Take Two - It's Just "Another Nail"
Singer/Songwriter Sara Morgan and I go back a ways now…I was the first dj to play her music on the radio circa 2014 or so. We did a Tasty Brew Music podcast episode back in 2019. She has released in the summer of 2021 a very personal project called “Another Nail.” In this conversation, you’ll hear how the process differed with this, her first “Nashville” effort with producer Eric Conn, from her previous self-released records We take a dive into what the Heartland does well and what it does best to support roots musicians like Sara… she shares her opinion as to the necessity of the “music industry” being here…or not and what she believes are the keys to any success and longevity she may have in the industry. Sara shares her Summer reading list, present listening habits, insights garnered from personal contact with industry favorites Loretta Lynn and Radney Foster, biggest surprise of 2021 and plans for the next 5-10 years. It’s all here in this episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast with the Heartland’s Sara Morgan.
June 23, 2021
Chad Elliott Revisited - Celebrating Album No. 25 - Singing River!
Iowa troubadour and multi media artist Chad Elliott is back for his second Tasty Brew Music podcast episode. He is one of the most gifted people I’ve ever encountered during my many years of supporting the arts. His songs have been a mainstay of the Tasty Brew Music Radio Show since it’s inception in 2010. As a reminder… or by way of introduction… Chad has an academic background in the fine arts and is an accomplished painter, sculptor and illustrator. He is a prolific songwriter and accomplished guitar picker. As you’ll hear in this conversation, all of his artistic skills were brought to bear in order to survive and thrive during the Covid-19 pandemic. Chad celebrated the release in May 2021 of his 25thfull length album – “Singing River”…a dream project recorded with some of the original “Swampers” Spooner Oldham and David Hood at the iconic Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals Alabama… the place where music legends Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and many others laid down some of the most renowned songs in popular music. He traveled to Muscle Shoals with famed Iowa musician and producer Bo Ramsey who lent his signature sound on guitar. The new Americana/roots/blues mix that arose in Singing River is exactly the sound Chad was hoping to create. Chad believes, as I do, that it is possible to survive and thrive in the Heartland as a creative generative artist. He walks that walk and talks that talk every single day. Enjoy my conversation with my friend … Chad Elliott.
June 08, 2021
Alisa Jefferson - Herstory from the Heartland Rocks!
Alisa Jefferson says she has always been very passionate about music and the songs she delivers as a singer/songwriter. She grew up in the Kansas City area with influences from '70s Motown to mostly '80s and '90s rock/pop. She played viola in orchestra before she received her first acoustic guitar at age 13 and she has NOT looked back since. Alisa and I connected via phone on my radio show that recently moved to Fridays from 10 am to Noon on KKFI. We had a conversation that covered her musical background, how she has navigated the so-called Kansas City music business as the front woman in a rock and roll band for the last 20+ years and how the Covid-19 pandemic has given her the space and grace to make new inroads in her musical life. She has written, is recording and plans to release a 10+ track LP this Summer of 2021. As of the air date of this radio show, she has released four singles from this new LP to most major music platforms. You’ll hear one of those songs, “Million Ways” at the end of the conversation. To discover more of Alisa’s catalogue, check her out at alisajeffersonmusic dot com. Enjoy my conversation with the very talented Alisa Jefferson.
June 01, 2021
Ryan Manuel - "Sold" on this Heartland Troubadour!
Ryan Manuel is a singer-songwriter based in Lawrence, Kansas. He got his start playing music in his hometown of Sedalia, Missouri after winning the 2011 MO State Fair Idol competition. He has been playing shows around the Midwest, writing and recording music ever since. Ryan has opened for Whiskey Myers, the Randy Rogers Band, William Clark Green, and many others. Since hitting the Kansas City music scene in 2012, he has released a solo album "Kansas" and his band Ryan Manuel and the Getaway released a full length, self-penned album, “On the Run." Ryan first came to my attention in about 2015 through an introduction by the late Scott Ford who was very instrumental in making me aware of a number of artists in the so called Texas Songwriter and Oklahoma Red Dirt Music Scene. I finally caught a set from Ryan before the pandemic in the summer of 2019 when I was pleasantly surprised to find him on stage when we dropped into the music venue formerly known as Repeal 18th in North Kansas City. Ryan reached out to me to help him get his newest single “Sold” on the radio here in Kansas City. In this conversation we had on a recent show, I was particularly encouraged by his supportive words of the Heartland music scene and willingness to NOT dismiss or write off the small towns and rural communities that deserve to experience live music. Lend your ears to a troubadour from the Heartland, Ryan Manuel.
May 23, 2021
Danielle Ate the Sandwich - Songwriter and Uke Player Extraordinaire!
Danielle Ate the Sandwich is the stage name of pop-folk songwriter, Danielle Anderson. As you’ll hear in this conversation on my Tasty Brew Music Radio Show, Danielle got her start in Fort Collins, CO, and is now based in Kansas City, MO. Until the pandemic she had been touring nationally since 2009, after cultivating an online following from her homemade videos on Youtube. She has multiple albums of original music and has opened for the likes of Mumford and Sons, Jake Shimabukuro, and Suzanne Vega. She wrote the soundtrack to the Emmy nominated HBO documentary, “Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson.” Her songs are lyrically driven, performed on ukulele and guitar. She finds inspiration from her curiosity about death, science, religion, family dynamics, and her own emotions and experiences. Her songs can be thoughtful and serious, but she’s known for her quirky lyrical twists, and delivering witty and honest stage banter in her live shows. The Denver Post says, “Danielle Anderson is a tender singer-songwriter, a brazen humorist, a fearless young woman!” Enjoy my conversation with Danielle Ate the Sandwich.
May 12, 2021
Mandy Rowden - Kickin' Butt With a Pen and Guitar
I met Austin singer songwriter Mandy Rowden some years ago when she breezed through Kansas City to meet up with former tour mate Duncan Hill. I quickly became a fan of her music and work ethic. The icing on the cake was she and my dearly departed friend Tom Green were from the same bustling East Texas metropolis of Sulphur Springs. We have stayed in touch over the years and I was so happy to recently have a conversation with her via phone on my Radio Show. We talked about trying to launch a new album via Kickstarter during a pandemic and the Texas 2021 Snowvid castastrophe going days without running water or power. Kicks butt with her pen.” –Austin Chronicle “Rowden tells it like it is over a wiry brand of alt-country, singing in a low-key, sleepily sensual voice that calls to mind Kim Richey or Lucinda Williams.” –Charleston City Paper As I said, brought up in East Texas, Mandy Rowden has been a practicing musician since the tender age of six. That’s when she began learning classical piano and guitar, laying the foundation for an eventual career in music – but it wasn’t until the Americana sound found its way into her soul that she embraced her true path: that of a real-deal, down-in-the-dirt singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who’s weathered some storms and emerged with tales to tell. In addition to making music of her own, Rowden is dedicated to helping others discover the joy of songwriting, vocal performance and instrument study. That’s why she founded Girl Guitar: a comprehensive rock school for women, bringing music enthusiasts of every skill level into six-week workshops with a rollicking showcase at the end. The Austin-based program introduces beginners to the basics of their chosen craft and encourages intermediate and advanced musicians to further hone their skills, all while surrounded by a supportive female community.
April 18, 2021
Julia Othmer - She is Frickin' Awesome
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast comes from a radio interview I had recently with Julia Othmer… a "captivating" piano-playing singer/songwriter known for her energetic live performances. She recently relocated back to Kansas City from Los Angeles and we had the opportunity to get updated on some of her current and future plans. Passionate and engaging, Othmer creates intimate warmth with her audiences regardless of the size of the venue. Using music to connect to people and social issues inspires her. Her most recent project Songs of September, was a 30-day online voter registration drive concert series where she performed songs of change, protest and hope. She then asked listeners to vote on their favorite performances resulting in Seeds: Volume 1 (LIVE) - a listener-curated, democratically-elected collection released in late 2020. Seeds: Volume 2 (LIVE) released March 20, 2021 - on the spring solstice. Her most recent studio album "SOUND" is a collaboration with UK-based producer/composer James T Lundie and features re-imagined vintage and bespoke equipment. “SOUND sounds so good” writes Elmore Magazine, it has “stunningly sophisticated and dramatic architecture” and is “spellbinding and visceral.” Acclaimed Kansas City music writer Tim Finn describes SOUND as a “self-made record with a big-label sound… rich in space and soaring dynamics and rife with layers and textures and melodies and grooves.” Kansas Public Radio host Bob McWilliams says these “songs are powerful.” Tracks from Julia's critically acclaimed debut album, Oasis Motel, have been featured in shows like Witches of East End, Switched at Birth, The Lying Game, Army Wives, and DeGrassi: The Next Generation. She received songwriting awards from the Billboard World Song Contest and the International Songwriting Competition. Julia shared the stage with Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Heart, Regina Spektor, The Alarm, Amanda Palmer, Lisa Loeb and John Waite among others. Enjoy this conversation with Kansas City’s own force of nature, Julia Othmer!
April 18, 2021
Courtney Patton - Sequestered Songwriters' Best Friend!
My friend Courtney Patton is a storyteller. She’s also a mother, a wife, a producer, a singer, a songwriter, a tour-van driver and a musician- as well as a world-traveler when she’s out on tour throughout the continental U.S., Canada and Europe. In a musical era in which clichés and bravado are the norm, Courtney is far more brave in peeling back highly personal and emotional open-book songs delivering them with sensitivity and sentiment Following her previous solo albums, Triggering a Flood (2013) and So This Is Life (2015), and her acoustic collaborative project with her husband and fellow Texas troubadour Jason Eady, Something Together, (2017), Patton has drawn on true life day-to-day autobiographical life experiences released a third album, What It’s Like To Fly Alone. As you will hear in this recent conversation I had with Courtney on my radio show, she is on the road again after spending a very challenging, but productive year in quarantine, raising her two children while co-founding a new non profit during a pandemic. Hmmm…that sounds familiar. The Sequestered Songwriters Relief Fund was an idea born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mission of the Sequestered Songwriters Relief Fund is to… Provide emergency relief funds for full-time Americana musicians in need. A group of songwriter friends gathered virtually to participate in an online guitar pull to celebrate Merle Haggard on his birthday. The following week, John Prine passed, and the group again gathered virtually to pay tribute to him. None of the songwriters wanted to stop, and the fans were just as excited, so the weekly tributes continued. Fans started asking about how they could financially support the endeavor. As none of the musicians wanted any kind of compensation for the amount of fun they were having online each week, the idea to start a nonprofit that would benefit songwriters in future financial crisis seemed like the perfect solution. Next up…the Sequestered Songwriters Festival to be held on October 17, 2021 in Justin, Texas. Enjoy my conversation with my friend, Courtney Patton!
April 11, 2021
Barnaby Bright - A Shining Light in the "Bleak Midwinter"
Every so often an artist or group circles in the periphery of my musical consciousness…recommended by peers or supporters…I may hear a snippet of their offerings or perhaps forget to check them out altogether. Such is the case with Barnaby Bright, an indie folk duo comprised of marital team Becky and Nathan Bliss, from Kansas City. As their online bio reveals, Nathan and Becky Bliss have made some cool Americana records, lived in Brooklyn and Nashville, toured coast to coast, run out of money, toured Europe, run out of money again, won high-falutin' prizes for songwriting in New York, generally not argued with each other, built an audience, been named one of Amazon's Top 100 albums of the year, played Lincoln Center & NPR's Mountain Stage, eaten copious amounts of vegetarian food, attracted 19k+ listeners a month on Spotify and opened for Norah Jones & the Lumineers. My friend, Karin Bauer, has been extolling the virtues of Barnaby Bright for YEARS and I had all but ignored her calls to action to dig into their catalogue. I was wrong to have done so; I had missed out on some true sonic treasures but I’m relieved to say that is no longer the case. My friend and colleague, Sam Wisman, a world class percussionist in his own right, had recently played a livestream show when Barnaby Bright was a guest of Becky’s brother Ben Bliss, a critically acclaimed operatic tenor. Sam asked me to consider interviewing them to help promote the audio re-broadcast of that program “Holiday Bliss” on KKFI. Still in lockdown, I reached out to Becky Bliss and she graciously agreed to a Zoom session to have a conversation. By the time we met virtually, I felt like we had already been introduced. We have tons of mutual friends and they could not have been more gracious in telling a portion of their story. As you will hear, I am very interested in why our world class, in many cases classically trained artists like Becky and Nathan, leave the Heartland to pursue their dreams. It is heartwarming and reaffirming to know they can and will come home.
December 30, 2020
Chris Hudson - Heartland Music Educator, Collaborator and Mentor
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music podcast is a wide-ranging conversation with the very talented Chis Hudson recently tapped as the Heartland Song Network’s November 2020 Artist of the Month. Chris is a singer, songwriter and composer, with a passion for various forms of American folk music and finger style guitar. Involved with Heartland groups Gullywasher, The Bard Owls and The Multiverse. Chris has released full length CD recordings that include experimenting with new forms, instruments, electronic synth, music genres and experimental video soundscapes. Chris received his Bachelor of Music in 1996 from the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music. He has given solo performances in various concert series through the Kansas City Guitar Society including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the Downtown Library Series and Guitars in the Garden at Loose Park. As a gifted and compassionate instructor and performer for over 25 years, Chris has a reputation for being a great source for music instruction in all styles. He is a laid-back, comfortable and very approachable person. Chris has been a teacher with Kansas City Missouri Young Audiences since 2004, working at the Community School of the Arts. In 2007, Chris received the Kansas City Young Audiences Lighton Prize for Teaching Artist Excellence for his work with children, inspiring their love of guitar and musical collaboration in the Garage Band classes. He believes in giving back to the community what he has learned as a working musician and teacher, and performs regularly at various fundraisers for KCYA and the Community School of the Arts, encouraging volunteerism, community involvement, and funding for student scholarships for families with low incomes. Chris performs during the school year in local Kansas elementary schools for Arts Partners with the Kansas Settlers Band teaching Kansas Cultural History to 4th graders. Chris even became the interviewer toward the end of this conversation asking me my musical background and my process for putting together my Tasty Brew Music Radio Show. Enjoy my conversation with educator, collaborator and musical mentor…Chris Hudson.
November 05, 2020
Michael McClintock - Musical travels from Neosho, MO to Havana, Cuba!
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast is a conversation between my better half and co-founder with me of the Heartland Song Network, Danny Powell and multi-instrumentalist Michael McClintock. Danny conducted this interview at our home in connection with Michael serving as the October 2020 Artist of the Month for the Heartland Song Network, a nonprofit whose mission is to elevate the art of the song through education, collaboration and mentorship. Michael, from the bustling metropolis of Neosho, Missouri, graduated in 2006 from the University of Missouri Kansas City Music Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music in classical guitar performance. His first professional musical project was playing flamenco music. He quickly branched out into multiple genres of music and now performs with Ensemble Iberica, highlighting the music of Spain and Portugal and the colonial Americas, Cubanisms (the music of Cuba), Slim Hanson and the Poor Choices, a traditional Country Band and now the FM Duo, a new project with fellow Jazz enthusiast and guitarist Jeff Freling. It was with Ensemble Iberica that Michael started to introduce the Cuban Tres, a guitar unique to the island, in different styles of music such as Jazz, Fado, Tango, Bossa Nova, Ginga, Flamenco. Michael along with his Cuban born wife, Dalida, have formed the project “Cubanisms”, to spread the culture of Cuba in the United States by performing Cuban-Latin songs arranged by Michael. They also provide travel guided services to Cuba. Enjoy this conversation with a man with small town Missouri roots now playing music at a world class level around the globe. Cubanisms: Michael McClintock – Cuban Tres Fedra Cooper Berrera – Vocals Bruno Bessa – Vocals James Isaac – Saxophone Forest Stewart – Bass Miko Spears – Percussion Robert Beasley – Percussion John Currey - Percussion
September 27, 2020
Elexa Dawson - Music is Medicine during a Pandemic
Well it finally happened. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I conducted my first Tasty Brew Music Podcast conversation with a subject online via Zoom. This episode features Elexa Dawson, native of the Citizen Potawatomie Nation and amazing vocalist and songwriter. As you will hear in our conversation, Elexa was chosen as the Heartland Song Network’s Artist of the Month for August 2020 so you will hear references to that organization and a songwriting exercise they initiated called “Covid Collaborations.” I am a Co-Founder and Director of that non-profit with a mission to elevate the art of the song through education, collaboration and mentorship. Elexa first caught my ear listening to the River Trade Radio Program on KKFI probably in early 2019. She lives with her young daughter in rural Chase County, Kansas in the beautiful Tallgrass Prairie of the Flint Hills. When she was touring the Heartland before the lockdown, I made sure to catch her shows whenever she made it to the Kansas City Area. Her latest cd, “Music is Medicine” recorded by Peter Oviatt at Moonflower Sounds in Taos, New Mexico and released by Lost Cowgirl Records is a delight; however, it turns out that work was not the first time I heard Elexa. She also performs with The Weda Skirts, a 5-piece acoustic lineup, whom I had seen performing at past Kansas City Symphony in the Flint Hills events. They play conscious, original acoustic music from the Heartland written by Elexa Dawson. Dawson is a member of Heyleon, a group that describes themselves as “taking a deep space acoustic flight where space time as we know it goes away…a Trans-Apocalyptic Pagan Gospel Super Group formed in the Pecan Grove at Walnut Valley Festival.” At the end of the day, Elexa is an extremely talented artist living in the Flint Hills…using this time of enforced isolation to reflect, reclaim and re-invent herself. I think she’s going to be just fine and I cannot wait to see and hear what’s next. Enjoy my conversation with the amazing Elexa Dawson.
July 31, 2020
Kelly Dougherty - Tales from Wyoming to Westwood
There are beautiful, amazing and talented people in this world. Sometimes you have to travel to a music conference in Montreal to find out one of them, Kelly Dougherty, has lived a few houses down the street from you for years. Until recently, Kelly served as the Communications Director for Folk Alliance International…an organization whose mission is to serve, strengthen, and engage the global folk music community through preservation, presentation, and promotion. She was poised to be instrumental in organizing and managing the annual Folk Alliance International Conference as it returned to it’s home base in Kansas City, Missouri in 2021. The Conference was cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the fallout has led to FAI staff cuts that included Kelly. We recently sat down for a conversation in my home, physically distant but close enough to record a wide ranging conversation that included discovering she started her music career as a young child performing pantomime, ala Marcel Marceau, in beauty pageants in Wyoming, followed by a stint singing and dancing with her dad’s honky tonk band in Western saloons, meeting the likes of country stars like Johnny Cash during Cheyenne’s Frontier Days. As an adult she has discovered and curated a love and respect for Irish music and culture, volunteering heavily at Kansas City’s Irish Center, Irish Fest and tending bar occasionally at Browne’s Irish Marketplace. Kelly actively volunteers in the dog rescue community and has teamed up with another talented neighbor, Jill Westra, performing locally as “Distant Cousins.” As you listen to Kelly’s story, I’m certain you will agree she has what it takes to come back stronger and engaged more than ever in the community she loves. And if I ever get to travel to my ancestral home….Ireland… I want Kelly to be my guide. Enjoy this sheltering in place conversation and musical interlude from Kelly's CD "Dair" courtesy of my friend and neighbor, Kelly Dougherty.
July 02, 2020
Iris Dement - from Paragould, Arkansas to The Opry!
Being sheltered in place due to COVID 19 has presented a unique and unusual challenge to continue to conduct conversations with artists and industry insiders. One of the benefits of being isolated is taking time to do some housekeeping of computer audio and video files. I literally stumbled across what you will hear next…my very first on air radio interview in 2011… and it was a precious one… with Grammy nominated songwriter Iris Dement. Iris and her husband Greg Brown were coming to Kansas City to headline a fundraising concert in support of a local nonprofit’s child services program. Iris, born in Paragould, Arkansas is the youngest of 14 children raised in the Dement’s Pentecostal household. As you will hear in this conversation, Iris' mother had harbored dreams of going to Nashville and starting a singing career. Although she put those plans on hold to get married, her singing voice was an inspiration and influence for her youngest daughter Iris. Iris spent nearly 20 years in Kansas City…played her first open mic here as she slowly but surely navigated her way into the musical family that has become known as Americana. Perhaps best known for her song “Our Town” and her duets with the legendary John Prine, Iris’ body of work deserves close and focused attention. It runs the gamut with songs of love, redemption, religious skepticism, introspection, small town life, and protest with topics as diverse as sexual abuse, religion, government policy and warmongering. Iris could not have been more gracious and kind in this interview conducted very very early on a Tuesday morning. I have been and always will be a fan. Enjoy this short…but lovely conversation with Iris DeMent!
June 11, 2020
A Tale of Two Kell(e)ys - "Piano" Kelley Wade Hunt Meets "Banjo" Kelly Hunt
Sheltering in place during the COVID -19 pandemic of 2020 made it necessary to utilize other resources to bring you content for this podcast. The following is the audio from a magical night in the studios of 90.1 FM KKFI when I brought together two completely different artists who just happen to share the name Kelley/Kelly Hunt. Before this evening on March 1, 2018, these women had never meant. I've known "Piano" Kelley Hunt for over 20 years. When I first met "Banjo" Kelly Hunt a few years ago, I just KNEW I had to get them together...whether they performed at the same time or not. After this radio appearance, they have in fact become friends in music and in life…another unexpected by-product of that evening… Al Berman, "Piano" Kelly’s husband and manager, is currently acting as "Banjo"Kelly’s manager as well. And that recording project "Banjo" Kelly was talking about....it became "Even the Sparrow" nominated for Folk Alliance International's 2019 Album of the Year! I thought it could be a special evening of music and conversation. I was right. Please enjoy this special edition of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast.
May 04, 2020
Mary Bragg - A Songwriter On the Right Track!
Mary Bragg, a lovely woman from Georgia that crafts beautiful songs from her home base in Nashville, was another one of those serendipitous Folk Alliance finds discovered in the wee small hours of a Conference private showcase. When I caught a show she did in Kansas City as part of the “First Friday” events hosted at the Folk Alliance HQ last August, I knew I wanted to have a sit down with her for this Podcast. We had that opportunity in New Orleans on an afternoon when we were both running on empty but still managed to have an easy going, wide ranging conversation that covered topics like sound engineering, publishing, performing arts organizations, record deals, distribution, “flying in” tracks, and oh yes…songwriting, the art of the song, and how living in Nashville has taught her how important it is to “lean in” and own the ability to translate emotion and humanity into a song. As we agreed, if the song and performance isn’t stellar, it doesn’t really matter that much whether you have the so-called best hardware and software. “Writing is the most vulnerable state that I’m ever in,” says Mary Bragg. “But there can be a real beauty in that vulnerability when you know you’ve written the strongest thing that you can, when you’ve paired a killer melody with a meaningful lyric that says exactly what you wanted to say.” And that is why I love supporting songcrafters like Mary Bragg. What she writes is meaningful for me and verbalizes thoughts and feelings I have myself. You are on the Right Track Mary Bragg...stay there…please… and thank you!
March 21, 2020
Rising Appalachia - Stepping Up, Being Out, Showing Up and Being Loud!!!!
Folk Alliance 2019 in Montreal did not pan out exactly as I planned…I caught some wonderful music and some audio for this podcast but for the most part, I spent the entire week trying to navigate and operate with incredible back and hip pain…what I thought was sciatica turned out to be, among other things, a couple of stress fractures in my lower back. I will always be most grateful for two things from that trip...the kindness and assistance shown to me by my travelling Kansas City music family and the discovery of the musical tour de force known as Rising Appalachia. As world travelers for nearly two decades, Rising Appalachia are now merging multiple global music influences with their own southern roots. Founded by sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith, the band has established an international fan base due to relentless touring, tireless activism, and no small degree of stubborn independence. But it wasn’t always so. The sisters have morphed into this musical life coming to realize that performing could be just one component of a greater overall vision – one that includes advocating for social, racial and environmental justice, and Indigenous rights. When I discovered that Rising Appalachia would again have an Official Showcase at Folk Alliance 2020 in New Orleans, I knew I had to try and have a conversation with at least one of the sisters for this podcast. Ironically within a few days of that discovery, Rising Appalachia’s team reached out to me as a registered Folk DJ at the conference, asking if I wanted an interview opportunity in New Orleans. Leah Song aka “The Hustler” and I did sit down late one afternoon for a lovely chat. She could not have been more engaging and accommodating. Enjoy this conversation that highlights the dynamics of being a female led band, the importance of stewardship and cooperation from the male band members, creating a complete aesthetic by adorning themselves with wearable art made by friends and fans, and the band’s commitment to what they call the “slow music” movement. Enjoy my time with Leah Song of Rising Appalachia.
March 13, 2020
Brad Paul - Industry Insider - from DJ to Record Exec to Radio Promoter
As a music business professional, Brad Paul has actively promoted a wide variety of music genres through his work as a radio promoter, radio host and producer, concert promoter, video producer and director. I first met Brad nearly 10 years ago at my first Americana Music Association conference in Nashville after I had just gotten on the air on KKFI with the Tasty Brew Music Radio Show. He has been at every AMA and Folk Alliance International conference I have attended since that time…advocating on behalf of his clients and very often serving on multiple radio-centric panels. Brad graduated from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts with a BS degree in communication. While at Emerson he co-created the popular morning show The Coffeehouse on Emerson’s student run radio station WERS, where he also served as Program Director. He was responsible for bringing Live At Passim to WERS and produced and hosted the program for three years from the venerable music venue in Harvard Square. Brad hosted and produced “The Folk Show” on WEVO (New Hampshire Public Radio) from 1988 to 1991 and Folk On WGBH (Boston's NPR affiliate) from 2004 to 2009. He is a founding member of the Americana Music Association and has served on its Board of Directors for thirteen years, with three years served as President of the Board As VP of Promotion for Concord Music Group/New Rounder/Village Roadshow and SVP of National Promotion for Rounder Records he promoted artists as diverse as Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Gregg Allman, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, The Chieftains, Alejandro Escovedo, Raul Malo and many more to a variety of radio formats including AAA, Americana, country, folk, and syndicated programs from National Public Radio and Public Radio International. Since its inception in 2013, Brad Paul Media, a full service radio promotion and artist development consulting company whose goal is to help artists increase their brand awareness through radio exposure and develop their career by tapping into his network of music industry professionals, has scheduled over 1000 radio in-studio appearances and garnered tens of thousands of radio spins for over one hundred clients.He has sent me some amazing talent over the years that I have had the privilege of introducing rather exclusively to a Kansas City radio and KKFI streaming audience. When he reached out to gauge my interest in interviewing his 2020 talent slate in New Orleans at Folk Alliance, I responded sure I would love to but only if he agreed to sit down with me for a chat also. Many thanks to Brad for arranging my subsequent interview with Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore aka The Mastersons and anchor of Steve Earle’s touring band, The Dukes. Enjoy my conversation with a bonafide music industry insider, Brad Paul.
February 19, 2020
The Mastersons - It's Always About Serving the Song!
I caught up with singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalists Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore at the 2020 Folk Alliance International Conference in New Orleans. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were booted out of the Media Room I had reserved so that NPR’s Anne Powers could do an impromptu interview with Ani DiFranco. No worries, The Mastersons went with the flow and we conducted our conversation in my hotel room while they were perched on my bedside with my lavalier mic attached to my water bottle handle. They could not have been more gracious and accommodating. When they're not touring the world as valued longtime members of Steve Earle's band the Dukes, the musical and marital twosome make inspired albums of their own emotionally vivid, deeply humanistic songs. Experience is something they have aplenty. Prior to coming together as a musical duo (they married in 2009), Masterson and Whitmore were both seasoned veterans of the Americana and Texas music scenes. Masterson spent his teens playing the blues in Houston clubs before landing hired-gun gigs with acts as varied as Jack Ingram and Son Volt, while the Denton-born Whitmore grew up performing in a family band with her folk- singer dad, Alex, and sister Bonnie (now a solo singer-songwriter) before playing fiddle and violin on dozens of album sessions for the likes of Bruce Robison, Slaid Cleaves, and Shooter Jennings. By their own admission, they are here to “serve the songs.” The Mastersons, who now call Los Angeles home after stints in Austin, Brooklyn and Terlingua, Texas; recorded their soon to be released “No Time for Love Songs” at L.A.'s legendary Sunset Sound Recorders with Shooter Jennings; it was engineered and mixed by five-time Grammy Award-winning engineer, Ryan Freeland. Shooter had recruited The Mastersons to play on his albums Family Man (2012) and The Other Life (2013), and they’d recently reunited to work on the now Grammy award winning Tanya Tucker's comeback album While I'm Livin', which Jennings co-produced with Brandi Carlile. As our country becomes more divided," Chris observes, "it makes it harder to connect with loved ones and friends that disagree. Fundamentally we all want the same things, but we're pitted against each other by extreme rhetoric on both sides. If we can lead with kindness and empathy, there is a way out." "Only by cataloging and acknowledging loss and grief can we move forward with gratitude for what we have." I agree 100%. Enjoy this conversation with Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore, The Mastersons!
February 12, 2020
Darrin Vincent of Dailey & Vincent - from John Hartford to the Grand Ole Opry
Not too long ago, Grammy award winner, member of the Grand Ole Opry and brother to Bluegrass Queen Rhonda Vincent, Darrin Vincent, of Dailey & Vincent, called into the KKFI studios for a conversation in advance of the duo’s appearance in Kansas City at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. As you will hear, Darrin is thoughtful, kind, a loving husband and father…generous in his praise of others with a very specific sense of humor. For example, when asked “How do you get to be a millionaire in the music business? His response: “Start with $2 million!” And his laugh…oh my…that laugh! Darrin started singing at age three and playing music at age six along with sister Rhonda Vincent, as part of his family band, The Sally Mountain Show. As a young man, Darrin played guitar for 7 years for the legendary John Hartford. As a member of Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder for more than 10 years, Darrin has won five Grammy Awards and eight IBMA Awards for Instrumental Group of the Year. He has performance and recording credits with dozens of artists including Dolly Parton, Nora Jones, Emmylou Harris, Earl Scruggs, Bruce Hornsby, Vince Gill, John Hartford, and many more. He has producer credits on Grammy nominated projects with sister Rhonda Vincent, Susie Luchsinger, Cherryholmes and Hunter Berry. He is an accomplished musician and vocalist with expert abilities to arrange and create captivating music. Daily & Vincent play over 100 dates a year including the Grand Ole Opry, have a tv show on Marty Stuart’s RFD-TV cable network, host a cruise and perform at festivals throughout the world. Enjoy this casual conversation with the very talented Darrin Vincent!
January 31, 2020
Mireya Ramos of Flor de Toloache - Grammy Anyone?
It is not every day I meet a Grammy award winning artist. That honor came to me some years back when my friend Beau Bledsoe of Kansas City’s Ensemble Iberica introduced me to the music of and the goddess that is Mireya Ramos… founder of the all female mariachi band Flor de Toloache. As you will hear in this episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast, Mireya has found a “heartland home” in the middle of what a lot of folks still consider “fly over country.” I’ve been fortunate enough to catch her shows sitting in with Ensemble Iberia, Slim Hanson and the Poor Choices and others at multiple venues in Kansas City. Mireya, with her Afro Caribbean roots (her mother is Dominican), grew up in Puerto Rico where her Mexican father’s mariachi band played in the family restaurant. She embodies all of her musical influences whether it is mariachi, salsa, merengue or hip-hop, she always creates a unique and refreshing sound. Although, classically trained through Suzuki method on the violin and orchestral experiences in college, her passion lies in folklore and other alternative genres. Her natural improvisational skills and beautiful tone both in her violin and her lyrical voice has made her one of the top Latin artists in this country. In 2007, she founded Movimiento, a mix of Latin American grooves with jazz and blues. In 2008, she co-founded Mariachi Flor de Toloache: New York’s first all-female mariachi band. They are Latin Grammy Award Winners and have been nominated again for a Latin Grammy in 2019. They recently were chosen to serenade Linda Ronstadt at Linda’s induction at the most recent Kennedy Center Honors in 2019! Being a genuine supporter of culture and empowerment of women, Mireya also founded an all-female Dominican roots group, the “809 Ladies” mixing merengue, pambiche, bachata and Caribbean roots music with jazz creating a unique concept and sound…a REAL Tasty Brew! Mireya recently spent her birthday week in Kansas City and we squeezed in this conversation between an in store appearance at Mills Records, a house concert, a show at The Ship and a New Year’s Eve Show with Making Movies at The Truman. I was concerned about the hoarseness I had detected in her voice at the record store and kept this conversation shorter than I would have liked. I appreciate her graciousness in giving me the time we had together. Enjoy this conversation with a true national treasure…Mireya Ramos!
January 15, 2020
Bat-Or Kalo and Jared Gaiser - Guarding the Light from Israel to Oklahoma
My introduction to Israeli guitarist, singer and songwriter, Bat-Or Kalo, or “B” as her friends call her, came some years back when she played a show at a very unlikely venue for her…a cocktail bar in the Waldo neighborhood in Kansas City. She came to play on my Tasty Brew Music radio show. We’ve stayed in touch over the years as she has come to play solo at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City and most recently a duo show in Carl Butler’s Gospel Lounge with bassist Jared Gaiser. As you will hear in our conversation recorded recently when she and Jared visited my home, she is fiery and electrifying, her guitar chops and contralto voice a force of nature. KALO defies convention, channeling power trios like The Police, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Rush or Cream but her solo and duo acoustic performances are just as powerful. Within the past two years, KALO has opened for Los Angeles-based rocker Andy Frasco, the godfather of British blues, John Mayall, Texas guitar phenom Chris Duarte and has shared billing with acts like Avett Brothers and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. She was nominated for an Independent Music Award in the 2017 Best Alt/Indie Rock Album category for her album Wild Change. B was intent on interviewing me instead of the other way around but B, her bass player and musical companion, Jared Gaiser and I managed to have a wide ranging conversation … from discussing the fine attributes of dirt, Disney Movies, Albert Einstein, learning disabilities, the importance of connection and community, the magic and humanity of music and what B wants us to know about the community and experience of her homeland…Israel. Please enjoy this time with Bat-or Kalo and Jared Gaiser.
January 11, 2020
Sara Morgan - An Average Jane on her way to The Opry
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast features Songwriter Sara Morgan. We were introduced by a mutual friend about 6 years ago late one Friday night as I was leaving Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City. I was going to Host KKFI s Radio Show “Womansong” the next morning, and after a short introductory conversation, asked Sara to come in and play live in the studio (she had never been on the radio) totally relying on my gut instinct that she would be okay. The rest as they say is history…our little slice of shared history… As she had “Never Been to Nashville,” I asked her to join me in Music City for an Americanafest Music Conference. At the Americana Music Awards Ceremony at The Ryman, she met Loretta Lynn who was greeting fans as she sat in the first row as we waited for the ceremony to start. As you’ll hear, it has been one serendipitous milestone after another...for both of us...ever since. In this conversation, we talk about where Sara is RIGHT NOW on her mountain including the recording process in Nashville, navigating social media and the business that is music. It is also a love letter of sorts to those very important people that have mentored her so far….Jason North, Carl Butler (The Gospel Lounge) , Eric Conn, Frank Hicks (Knuckleheads), Devon O’Day (WSM Radio) and her number one inspiration…Loretta Lynn. Enjoy this conversation with the girl I call Grasshopper…Sara Morgan.
December 16, 2019
The Rough & Tumble - Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler - Road Warriors!
Welcome to lucky Episode No. 13 of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast. I discover new music through word of mouth, radio promoters, podcasts, other artists, friends and family. There are those that seek ME out, finding me through any number of channels…perhaps through my membership in Folk Alliance International, the Americana Music Association, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters or just going down that internet rabbit hole using certain music related hashtags or keywords . The Rough & Tumble, Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler, found ME, sent me their cds with lovely handwritten notes and beautiful self-created art work. And the music was thankfully and delightfully right up my alley. They contacted me six months in advance of knowing they would be in the Kansas City area, asking if they could come on my Tasty Brew Music Radio Show on KKFI…even knowing I’m on at oh dark thirty through drive time on Tuesday mornings. We made a date, they came on the show and we made further plans to meet for a sit down conversation to get to know each other better. I am fascinated by anyone who is brave and courageous to sell everything they own and hit the road to pursue their dreams. They have a wonderful insight on being true traveling troubadours in America in 2019. I wanted to ask them questions that I felt would be of interest to any aspiring road dogs out there. They describe themselves as a “dumpster-folk, thrift store-Americana duo, hobbling around the country in their 16-foot camper since 2015”. They picked up a couple of actual strays along the way--Puddle & Magpie Mae-- and have been making themselves at home in living rooms, bars, theaters, and festivals across the country. "Their music has been described as ‘restorative, their performance highly entertaining, their orchestra of unusual instruments intriguing, and… jokes and stories are worthy of an HBO special." (Linda Bolton, Cozy Cabin House Concerts). The stray folkies are as industrious as they are scrappy, releasing five EPs and two albums in their 8 years. The Rough & Tumble’s 2018 release We Made Ourselves a Home When We Didn’t Know, brought the listener to the road and the road to their home, an album “as cozy, comfortable and inviting as a well-worn couch.” (Bill Kopp, Mountain Xpress). They have a weekly live cast, a monthly blog, a Cook & Color Book, a food blog and play upwards of 150 shows a year. Enjoy my conversation with Mallory and Scott – The Rough & Tumble – now THAT’s Americana!
November 21, 2019
Amy Speace - Navigating the Chaos of a Lyrical Life
Amy Speace is a modern troubadour whose music is reminiscent of folk music’s 1970s glory days. She has spent the last 20 years on the road chasing her dreams from New York City to Nashville to around the world. She has built an international audience without the help of a major label performing an average of 150 shows a year including the Glastonbury Festival and NPR's Mountain Stage. Discovered and mentored by Judy Collins during the early 2000s, Speace left her career as a classically-trained Shakespearean actress and kicked off a string of acclaimed albums. She was championed by the likes of The New York Times and NPR for her solo work. I personally love her work as a member of Applewood Road, a harmony-heavy trio that I discovered one year at Folk Alliance. Me and The Ghost Of Charlemagne, her latest work, captures Amy at her now mature core, with stripped down songs that showcase her amazing voice and stellar songwriting chops. She’s no longer focused on the elusive holy grail of fame and fortune. She’s more than satisfied with the strange and crazy trip this life is. She is a reinvested and re-energized songwriter who is nowhere near finished with what she has to offer. I share my 2013 “origin story” with Amy at the beginning of this conversation. A lot has happened to the both of us in the intervening 6 years. Amy had just suffered the loss of her much beloved father less than two weeks before. We spoke right before her first show after having to cancel quite a few dates and I will always be most grateful for her kindness and consideration for granting me the opportunity to spend some quality time with one of my favorite Americana artists. We talk about mutual friends and acquaintances, navigating the “chaos” of a lyrical life, and an interesting perspective on showcasing at conferences and “building your brand” like Americanafest and Folk Alliance vis a’ vis more commercial musical pathways. I’m comforted with the thought our mutual music loving friend Tom Green was smiling down on us from the other side of the ether and sending us virtual hugs. Enjoy this conversation with folksinger Amy Speace!
October 30, 2019
The Wild Ponies (Doug and Telisha Williams) - A Dynamic Life and Musical Duo
Welcome to Episode 11 of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast…a conversation I had during the 2018 Folk Alliance International Conference with Doug and Telisha Williams also known as The Wild Ponies. They grew up together in Southwest Virginia, an area steeped in a powerful and rugged musical tradition. Musically, they are somewhat of a pinball, bouncing between folk, rock and roll and country music interwoven with an old-time style that informs everything they do. As you will hear, I was first introduced to them by a fellow DJ at KKFI and continued the acquaintanceship over the years making sure to attend their annual Happy Hour get together during Americanafest in Nashville. In addition to being wonderful musicians who tour the world, they have an entrepreneurial spirit that has garnered them a regular show on WSM Radio’s Route 650 line up, a guided Kentucky Bourbon Trail Ride Series, and whiskey tastings all over America that get served up with a Wild Ponies Show as the musical highlight. As you’ll hear they are always open to new music centered adventures. Enjoy my wide ranging conversation with Doug and Telisha Williams….the Wild Ponies. Now that’s Americana!
October 17, 2019
Kelly Hunt - Even the Sparrow - Folk Reimagined or Reinvented?
The daughter of an opera singer and a world travelling saxophone playing airline pilot, Kelly Hunt was raised in Memphis, TN, and grew up performing other people’s works through piano lessons, singing in choirs, and performing theater. During her teenage years, influenced by musical inspirations as diverse as Norah Jones, Rachmaninov, and John Denver, she began writing her own songs on the piano. Introduced to the banjo in college while studying French and visual arts, Kelly began developing her own improvised style of playing, combining old-time picking styles with the percussive origins of the instrument. After college, Hunt rambled through short careers in acting, graphic design, traditional French breadmaking, and medicine, all the while privately making music. I met Kelly shortly after her move to Kansas City and her discovery and subsequent acquisition of the mysterious Depression-era tenor banjo she has named Ira. In short order I invited Kelly on to my Tasty Brew Music Radio Show where she has become a regular fixture. It has been an honor and privilege to get to know this young woman as she navigates the lyrical life she has chosen… Her inaugural effort Evan the Sparrow, produced by Hunt and Kelly Werts, has garnered critical acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone Country, No Depression and many others and includes her friend and talented musical partner, Stas Heaney. Kelly is well read and well spoken. I recently welcomed her to my home one morning where we sat down and talked about a wide range of subjects. I hope you enjoy this conversation and musical interlude with “Banjo” Kelly Hunt.
September 27, 2019
Chad Elliott - Iowa's Hardcore Troubadour and Renaissance Man
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast features one of my favorite human beings on the planet… Chad Elliott…Iowa based singer-songwriter, poet, author, illustrator, sculptor, ceramicist, podcaster, and yes I’m going to say it…Renaissance Man! I was introduced to his music early on with my radio show in 2010. I’ve seen Chad perform dozens of times in many different settings, including my own backyard for a house concert. He’s been a huge supporter of my show and community radio in general; one night he drove all night from Colorado to help me pitch during a Pledge Drive Show on KKFI one morning from 6-8 am. He was my featured performer on the 2018 Tasty Brew Music Stage at KKFI’s Crossroads Musical Festival. He leads a very lyrical life that serves as fertile ground for weaving love, loss and forgiveness into timeless melodies. He plays more than 200 shows a year, has penned more than 1,000 songs and released 22 albums to date. His latest …released in 2018… “Rest Heavy” was recorded at the world famous Sun Studios in Memphis with his band The Redemptions. As you’ll hear in this conversation, he has 3 more album projects in the works! It was a real pleasure to sit down with him for a conversation that lasted more than 5 minutes …this one before a recent repeat performance at the Green Guitar Folk House Concert Series in Lenexa, Kansas. We start the conversation right after I relayed some details of my conversation with Radney Foster the previous week. Chad suggested I ask Radney about Gaffney, South Carolina. I had forgotten to do that so as you will hear at the beginning here…Chad filled in the blanks. Enjoy this wide ranging conversation with a true hard core troubadour and Renaissance Man… Lamoni Iowa’s Chad Elliott!
September 08, 2019
Radney Foster - In it for the Long Haul - Conversation on a New Mexico Mountaintop
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast is a conversation I had with Texas Songwriter and author Radney Foster…. Initially a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee, Foster made his recording debut as part of the Foster & Lloyd duo, recording three studio albums and with nine singles on the country charts. Foster began his solo career in 1992 and his album Del Rio, TX 1959 produced four consecutive Top 40 hits. Overall, Foster has had thirteen songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including the Top Ten hits "Just Call Me Lonesome" (#10, 1992) and "Nobody Wins" (#2, 1993). His songs have been recorded by Gary Allan, Sara Evans, Keith Urban, Hootie and the Blowfish and Jack Ingram. He is now producing, writing screenplays, short stories and novels. He’s been one of my favorites since I discovered him nearly 20 years ago on a KGSR Radio Compilation CD. I was in Red River to attend Larry Joe Taylor’s Annual Hot Chili Days and Cool Summer Nights Music Festival featuring Texas Singer/Songwriters. Radney was the featured performer at a kick off event on a mountaintop currently serving as Michael Martin Murphey’s Bitter Creek Ranch and through the kindness and tenacity of his manager (and wife) Cyndi Hoelzel, we were able to find a precious block of time before Radney had to leave for sound check. Although Radney, via Cyndi, had agreed to the sit down weeks in advance, with no cell service in town, unknown daily schedule until the day of and limited internet connectivity, it was very challenging to find a suitable venue for our conversation. We settled on the second floor lobby of the rustic Red River Lodge next to the Mother Lode Saloon, windows wide open to the street during an ongoing rain shower. Radney has done yeoman’s work with SongwritingWith Soldiers, a non-profit transforming veterans’ lives by using collaborative songwriting to expand creativity, connections, and strengths. As the mother of a Marine suffering from PTSD, it was an honor and privilege to spend this precious time with Radney Foster….enjoy!
August 28, 2019
Tim Easton - Hardcore Troubadour - Conversation from the 2019 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival
Tim Easton, American songwriter and fellow Buckeye, has learned the ways of the hardcore troubadour…making his way around Europe and America by busking in the streets and playing the clubs. Although Rolling Stone Magazine praised him as “having a novelist’s sense of humanity” I believe his education as a Poetry Major at Ohio State University is the not so secret ingredient to his lyrical life. When I saw he was on the roster for the 2019 edition of the Woody Guthrie Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma, I knew I had to try and have a sit down conversation with him. Although my familiarity with his work was on the fringe, I wanted to dig deeper. As soon as I hit the registration desk at the Okfuskee County Historical Society in Okemah, (incidentally the recording site for Tim’s latest CD “Exposition” )I asked the volunteer staff for help in contacting Tim. Within two hours I had a text. We met shortly thereafter in front of the Crystal Theater but where to record a conversation? There was no media room and no readily available space to sit down and chat. A Woodyfest volunteer AGAIN to the rescue…”I live at the rock house down at the corner of Woody Guthrie Boulevard and Broadway. The back door is open, the air conditioning is on; there’s nothing but two chairs and a table in there but you’re welcome to it.” Tim was game and so was I. We had the following conversation in a virtually empty house sitting in two velveteen rockers facing each other with my lavalier mic attached to my water bottle handle. As you’ll hear, Tim talks about growing up in Japan, opening for the Flatlanders and Townes Van Zandt, busking the streets of Europe, heading his own record company, traveling to Alaska to teach songwriting workshops so you can fish and an upcoming State Department sponsored trip to Russia. Woody Guthrie would have loved Tim Easton. Now THAT’s Americana!
July 31, 2019
Danni Nicholls - Now That's Award-Winning Americana...UK Style
One of my favorite features of the annual Folk Alliance International conference is the Folk DJ reception. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet Roots Music Artists and their representatives up close and personal. At that reception in 2018, I was approached by a British gentleman, Graham Jackson, asking if I would be willing to meet an Americana artist from the UK, Danni Nicholls. We made arrangements to have a sit down conversation with Danni in the KKFI suite the next day. It was a lovely introduction to her special brand of roots music… that to date has garnered her two consecutive Americana Music Association UK Award nominations… one each for Album and Artist of the year. Danni has played shows with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Sturgill Simpson, and The Secret Sisters and been invited to play at festivals around the world including Cambridge Folk, Americanafest and Folk Alliance International. She is a beautiful and elegant woman and it shows in her music. Her most recent work, The Melted Morning, is very personal but widely relatable… the pain and darkness of rejection, the fear of losing your own identity and the power of human connection to offer up hope in the face of life’s many challenges. Enjoy these few stolen moments with the very talented Danni Nicholls. Now that’s Americana….UK Style!
July 09, 2019
Darrell Scott - Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist and Provider of Food for Your Soul
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast is a conversation my dear friend, Art White, and KKFI listener and supporter Joel Weir and I had with multi-instrumentalist and songmaster Darrell Scott. Darrell had just released the epic Couchville Sessions project and was playing his very first show EVER in Kansas City. I remembered it as a solid conversation but until I re-visited it for the first time since it occurred, I had not envisioned it as a podcast, but rather something I would somehow, some way play on my morning radio show. That didn’t happen. I am so happy conversations like these I have had over the years are going to be able to see the light of day; it is giving me the courage and desire to turn my creative energy in this direction for this podcast. This particular conversation would not have happened without the assistance of Art White who recorded and preserved it on an old Iphone and Joel Weir who was instrumental in getting us the opportunity. Art had brought a cooler full of crappie he had caught in a pond on his farm up to Knuckleheads Saloon kitchen…we cooked it all up, added some potato salad and other fixins and had us a community meal with Darrell and his family before we recorded this conversation and subsequently Darrell’s Show in the Gospel Lounge. Darrell waxes eloquently about Peter Rowan, John Cowan and New Grass Revival, his gig with Robert Plant and The Band of Joy, the legendary Guy Clark, his own father's obsession with Hank Williams, Sr. and many other topics related to leading a lyrical life. This man has written hundreds of songs....some of the best songs in the Americana music songbook..."You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive," "River Take Me," "It's a Great Day to be Alive" and of course his co-write with Guy Clark..."Out in the Parking Lot." I'm so honored to have been able to have this conversation and to share it with you here. Darrell Scott...now THAT's Americana AND Food for your Soul!
June 21, 2019
Ray Bonneville - from Quebec to Austin - "I Really Just Drive for A Living"
This episode of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast brings a conversation with Canadian born, Austin based Roots Musician Ray Bonneville. Ray had a former life as a Marine in Viet Nam, a bush pilot in the Canadian wilderness and the leader of a garage blues band. Ray’s music came to me at the suggestion of fellow KKFI DJ John “Junebug” Stuerke, host of the weekly Blues Kitchen Show. He said I should check out Ray’s “Bad Man’s Blood;” that it would be a good fit for The Tasty Brew. He was right! Some years later, I wrangled Ray into the radio station for a live interview and performance in between private showcases during a Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City. I don’t think I’ve missed a Ray Bonneville performance in Kansas City since. His music is blues informed but greatly influenced by the musical gumbo found in his former home of New Orleans. The tones he accomplishes with just a guitar and harmonica are uniquely his own. Before a recent Kansas City show, we had a wide ranging conversation in the Green Room, next to the railroad tracks, at Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City…that at times was accompanied by train whistles, steel on the rails, horns and the country band doing sound check in the Gospel Lounge below us. Now THAT’s Americana! Enjoy a conversation with the incomparable Ray Bonneville.
June 07, 2019
Jim Lauderdale - Master Collaborator - No Genre Left Unattended! The King of Americana Music!
I am a latecomer to the world and talent of Jim Lauderdale...I "discovered" him in 2010 in Nashville at my first Americanafest (the annual conference of the Americana Music Association); he hosted the Annual Awards Ceremony at The Ryman Auditorium and I caught his official showcase with a full band at The Mercy Lounge. Shortly thereafter he was on a bill with Carrie Rodriguez at Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City and I try to make every performance in my home town. I've become a true fan of his music and his amazing work ethic. He has released dozens of albums, been nominated for Grammies, is one of the most prolific collaborators in American music and yet still flies under most of the American public's musical radar. In this "phoner" into the Production Studio at 90.1 FM in 2015 during the release of Jim's "I am a Song," you'll hear a wide ranging conversation of his early musical beginnings as a banjo player in New York City's country scene, his love affair with the Eastern mind/body discipline tai chi, and a recounting of just a few of his collaborations...oh the collaborations! Dr. Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller, Robert Hunter, Nick Lowe, Roland White, Lucinda Williams, Rodney Crowell and many more. Enjoy my conversation with the King of Americana Jim Lauderdale!
May 24, 2019
John Oates - A Conversation Honoring American Roots Music
Episode 2 of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast is a conversation with American music icon, John Oates (Hall & Oates), recorded in Kansas City in February 2018 during the Folk Alliance International Conference. John was at the Conference to promote his latest musical release “Arkansas” and his written memoir “Change of Seasons.” There was a bit of background drama before the conversation started as there was a mix up with John’s staff as to what time the interview was to start. Long story short, when I arrived in the suite, John was already there talking to the sound engineer who astutely kept him in the room, conducting an interview well enough John thought it had already begun. He was a bit taken aback when I walked into the room and the sound engineer announced…oh here’s Diana Linn…she will be interviewing you. John took it all in stride, as you will hear; we had a lovely conversation about his full circle journey with Roots Music….feeling compelled in his later years to curate content from the 1920’s and 30’s American music catalogue and sharing some details on his recent infiltration of the Nashville music scene…all the while being warmly embraced by the Americana/ Roots Music Community. You will also hear a thoughtful duo of questions posed by my sister DJ at 90.1 FM KKFI, Kasey Rausch. Enjoy Episode 2 of the Tasty Brew Podcast with my very special guest John Oates! #johnoates #americanamusic #tastybrewmusic #folkalliance
May 10, 2019
Ilona Pal - From Montreal to A Farm in Indiana
Welcome to Episode #1 of the Tasty Brew Music Podcast! Host Diana Linn met and had a conversation with Singer/Songerwriter Ilona Pal in Montreal, Canada during the 2019 Folk Alliance International Conference. They quickly established a connection not only via Ilona's music, but through the spirit of Hollywood icon James Dean. Ilona Pal has traveled the rails between Montreal and Ottawa many times over, but in November of 2017, that train ride, and a movie about friendship, love and loss inspired a song that gave her wings to fly. The movie was the 2015 feature film “Life”: the story of photographer Dennis Stock’s historic 1955 photo shoot of iconic actor James Dean in Fairmount, Indiana, for that still famous spread in Life Magazine. “The song was a gift,” says Ilona. “I wasn’t looking to write a song about James Dean that day, the song was looking for me”. But when the last frame of the film faded to black and the words ‘James Dean died 6 months later’ appeared on the screen, she felt a wave of emotion well-up in her chest. That wave soon reached her creative spirit, and all at once, most of the lyrics and melody that would become A Farm In Indiana were born. Pal first emerged as an independent Canadian New Country artist with her debut single Hold On Heart and self-titled album. She landed a spot on the roster at Peter Asher Management in LA, alongside such notable artists as Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. French recordings of her songs have ranked #1 in Quebec and received ADISQ award nominations. Film credits include the closing theme song for Time At The Top (Showtime, HBO). Learn all things Ilona Pal here.
April 26, 2019