Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear are often considered an Americana band but much of their work defies easy categorization. Last year, they sat down with guest host, KE Luther, to discuss how they arrived at their distinctive sound.
This episode includes live performances of "Hell and Back," "Everybody's Got Problems," and "Mother Mary." Recorded at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri on September 21, 2018. Jon Valley served as music engineer.
Kiley Lotz is the creative force behind Petal, and her new record "Magic Gone" mixes autobiographical detail with emotional, pop-punk smarts. Lotz and her bandmates play the songs "Better Than You," Magic Gone" and "Stardust." Recorded at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri on January 21, 2019. Music recorded by Andy Coco, mixed by Taylor Perkins.
Chloe Feoranza, clarinetist for the Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band, Pokey LaFarge and other projects, is one of the great instrumentalists of her generation. She speaks with guest host, KE Luther, about playing in an all-female jazz combo, the challenges of touring and living with anxiety. The music for this episode was recorded live at KDHX's The Stage in St. Louis, Missouri on August 31, 2018. Engineered by Andy Coco and Jon Valley.
Shades is the haunted and haunting debut record from Vera Sola, the nom-de-musique of Danielle Aykroyd. She performed every note and utterance on Shades, recording at St. Louis' Native Sound studio. On this episode Vera Sola performs the songs "Small Minds," "Black Rhino Enterprises," and "The Cage." Recorded at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri on September 30, 2018. Engineered by Andy Coco.
Collector's Edition digs into the vaults this week and uncovers a high-energy interview between KDHX host, Chris Sanley, and Shaun Fleming of the band, Diane Coffee. The exchange was originally recorded in January of this year, but it provides some much-needed color as we roll into fall. The band performs three songs: "Mayflower," "As You," and "Get By." Recorded January 20, 2018 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by Jon Valley, KE Luther and Andy Coco.
With a hauntingly beautiful voice, Shelley Short has provided harmonies for many well-known bands over her fifteen-year career. Currently on tour with Neko Case, she spoke to guest host, KE Luther, about feminism and what it means to play behind a musical legend. Short and her band played the songs "Death," "Muddy River," and "September." Recorded on July 7, 2018 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by KE Luther and Jon Valley.
In this episode, Chris Sanley, host of KDHX's The Future is Now, interviews feminist icon, Ani DiFranco, about motherhood, her upcoming memoir and the rise of the #metoo movement. Ani performs live in The Stage at KDHX on Saturday, June 9, 2018 to a limited audience of KDHX donors. Sound was recorded and mixed by Joshua Melvin. This episode was produced with support from Andy Coco and KE Luther.
After more than 10 years as a member of bands like Frontier Ruckus and Failed Flowers, Anna Burch made her solo debut with this year's Quit The Curse. The album channels smart, jangly indie-pop while cataloging the in and outs of romantic entanglements. Burch and her band play the songs "Quit the Curse," "2 Cool 2 Care" and "Asking 4 a Friend." Recorded on June 20, 2018 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by KE Luther and Andy Coco.
In a special episode, John Wendland, host of "Memphis to Manchester," interviews members of Calexico.
The Nashville-based singer and songwriter Tristen Gaspadarek continues to mine the space between pop and folk on her 2017 LP Sneaker Waves. For this session, Tristen and her husband/guitar player Buddy Hughen played at KDHX's venue The Stage in front of a live audience. Songs performed are "Negotiating," "Glass Jar" and "Psychic Vampire." Recorded live at KDHX's The Stage on December 11. 2017. Engineered by Jon Valley.
Tamara Lindeman has recorded as the Weather Station for four albums running, but 2017's self-titled release felt a little more like a statement of purpose, a re-assertion of her identity under that moniker. On this episode, Lindeman plays three new songs solo and talks through the new songs as well as her evolution as a songwriter, guitarist and arranger. Songs performed are "You & I (On the Other Side of the World)," "Impossible" and "Free." Engineered by Jon Valley. Recorded on February 14, 2018 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri.
Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel) and Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster (Water Liars, Theodore) team up as Marie/Lepanto, marrying their mutual loves of keen, scalpel-sharp songwriting and sometimes-moody, sometimes-rangy guitar atmospherics. They joined us in the KDHX studio on the eve of their first-ever live performance as this duo, and we talk about the forces that brought them together and how highway road signs can offer direction in more ways than one. Songs performed are "Patient, Patient Man," "Clean Gift," and "Simple Scenes." Engineered by Jon Valley. Recorded on February 7, 2018 at KDHX in St. Louis
On 2017's Goths, the Mountain Goats channel one of singer John Darnielle's favorite musical subcultures while painting its songs in lighter shades of electric piano and saxophone. For this stripped-down set, Darnielle is joined by pianist and saxophonist Matt Douglas for one tune from the new record and a pair from 2007's Get Lonely. Songs performed are "Wear Black," "In the Hidden Places" and "Get Lonely." Engineered by Andy Coco and Cody Pees. Recorded on September 11, 2017 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri.
Formerly known as Major & the Monbacks, this Virginia-bred sextet revels in warm and fuzzy psych-pop built on a common language of Beatles, Beach Boys and Dr. Dog LPs. Super Doppler performs the songs "Moonlight Anthems," "Sandman" and "Over and Over" from its new LP Moonlight Anthems. Recorded at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri on August 10, 2017. Engineered by Jon Valley.
Hailing from West Plains, Missouri, Ha Ha Tonka has spent its past five albums working through vibrant and spirited Americana, and on this year's Heart-Shaped Mountain, the quintet wrestles with the rigors of adulthood. Songs performed are "Arkansas," "Race to the Bottom" and "Everything." Recorded on May 19, 2017 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by Jon Valley.
New York-based foursome Charly Bliss channels a fuzzy and effervescent strand of 90s pop-punk while making its own stamp on the genre. The band plays three songs from its debut full-length "Guppy" and singer/guitarist Eva Hendricks talks about the band's experiences on the road and in the studio. Songs performed are "DQ," "Percolator" and "Ruby." Recorded on April 30, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by Andy Coco.
Pokey LaFarge and his six-piece band get a warm hometown welcome for this recording, done in front of a live audience at the Stage at KDHX ahead of the release of his latest "Manic Revelations." LaFarge and company perform the songs "Riot in the Streets," "Must be a Reason," "Going to the Country" and "Good Luck Charm." Recorded live at the Stage at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri on May 11, 2017. Engineered by Jon Valley and Andy Coco.
Tift Merritt's gifts for songcraft and perfectly pitched delivery are old news at this point, but it's good to know that she can still turn a phrase and break a heart 15 years into her career. She and partner Eric Heywood offer up three acoustic songs from her latest "Stitch of the World." Songs performed are "Dusty Old Man," "My Boat" and "Wait for Me." Engineered by Jon Valley. Recorded on March 1, 2017 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri.
Alejandro Escovedo's long career has led him through strains of punk, folk and Americana, but for 2016's Burn Something Beautiful he channels rangy, guitar-heavy rock & roll. He's joined on that album by Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (Minus 5), but for this session it's just him and his acoustic guitar. Songs performed on this episode are "Farewell to the Good Times," "Heartbeat Smile" and "Beauty and the Buzz." Recorded on November 13, 2016 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by Jon Valley.
When Amanda Shires isn't on stage -- performing her own songs or in support of her husband Jason Isbell or the legendary John Prine -- she pursues her MFA in creative writing; on her latest LP, My Piece of Land, she walks the line between biography and fiction. Shires sings three new songs and talks at length about her writing process, life on the road and much more. Songs performed are "Harmless," "Pale Fire" and "When You're Gone." Recorded on November 3, 2016 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by Andy Coco.
On her debut album "Beyond the Bloodhounds," singer and guitarist Adia Victoria uses an updated and dark-tinted brand of electric blues to tell her stories and consider the intersections of her black, Southern, female identities. On this episode, we'll talk with Adia Victoria about the legacy of music as social protest in the era of Black Lives Matter. Songs performed are "Dead Eyes," "Head Rot" and "Invisible Hands." Recorded September 25, 2016 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by Andy Coco.
Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs combined their first syllables and their musical talents in creating Oh Pep! in their native Melbourne, Australia a few years ago. Both have studied music at the university level but their earliest recordings show an unfussy freedom in adopting folk and Americana forms. On this year's full-length Stadium Cake, the pair embrace a fuller palette of pop sounds while still tackling some big-ticket issues in their lyrics. Songs performed are "Wanting," Doctor Doctor" and "Afterward." Recorded August 3 at KDHX in St. Louis, Missouri. Engineered by Jon Valley.
Will Johnson led the beloved Denton, Texas-based Centro-matic for over 15 years, and after that band's friendly dissolution, he released Swan City Vampires and embarked on a series of living room tours. Johnson will play three songs from that new LP -- "Call, Call, Call," "Nameless, But a Lover" and "Pulleys" on this episode. Recorded on May 25, 2016 at KDHX in St. Louis. Engineered by Andy Coco.
The three Stavely-Taylor sisters -- Emily, Camilla and Jessica -- have been recording as the Staves for a number of years, fusing the austerity of British folk with the rich overtones of their harmonies. Their latest, the three-song EP "Sleeping in a Car," reunites the band with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who lends production help on these songs as the Staves move outside of purely acoustic music and embrace electronic and ambient textures. Songs performed for this session are "Make It Holy," "Outlaw" and "America." Recorded on June 25 at KDHX in St. Louis. Engineering by Jon Valley.
Call the Jayhawks an Americana band if you must, but singer Gary Louris is more than likely to sling some German noiseniks your way. The band's latest, "Paging Mr. Proust," was recorded with Peter Buck and Tucker Martine, and Louris' detail-rich songs study the twin poles of stillness and movement. We'll hear three acoustic versions of tracks from that new LP: "Leaving the Monsters Behind," "Lovers of the Sun" and "Comeback Kids." Recorded at KDHX in St. Louis on June 27, 2016. Engineered by Jon Valley.