Raised in Virginia, Caroline Spence grew up experiencing vinyl mainly through her dad's taped collection of Beatles records, and later absorbed that collection - along with her aunt's LP's - as she began to make a name for herself as a singer/songwriter both in and outside of Nashville. Rolling Stone heralded her 2019 full-length Mint Condition as "a gorgeous reflection on finding peace amid upheaval and confusion," delivering "deft chronicles of interpersonal complexity." This week, Caroline talks about her debut performance at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, the current value of her vinyl releases from before she got signed, having Emmylou Harris contribute to Mint Condition's airy brilliance, and why her first face-to-face interactions with Dave Matthews were as a pissed-off seven-year-old on Rollerblades. For news, social media and more, visit carolinespencemusic.com. Watch her appearance on Craft Recordings' new record-shopping video series at craftrecordings.com/pages/shoplifting.
Influenced heavily by The Smithereens, The Replacements and R.E.M., Arizona mainstays Gin Blossoms became one of the biggest bands of the early and mid-90's. Single after single from their major label debut New Miserable Experience -- "Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You," "Until I Fall Away" and more -- caught fire on MTV as well as on pop, alternative and college radio. Now recognized as a modern power-pop classic, the record eventually sold over five million copies and spent a remarkable three years on the charts. The quintet found additional success with their follow-up LP, 1996's Congratulations I'm Sorry, and hits like "Follow You Down" and "Til I Hear It From You." In 2017, both full-lengths were finally pressed to vinyl for the first time, in honor of former album's 25th anniversary. Today, Gin Blossoms lead vocalist Robin Wilson talks about working at record stores through the 80's, his obsession with Urge Overkill, fronting his childhood heroes Kiss on Letterman, and fighting for what became New Miserable Experience's now iconic album art. Keep up on band news, music, social media and more at ginblossoms.net.
An accomplished producer and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with everyone from The Shins to The Chieftains, Chris Funk is a founding member of beloved Pacific Northwest quintet The Decemberists, who mark their 20th anniversary this year. Known for a narrative heart that's half-Morrissey, half-Herman Melville, Rolling Stone has called their work "a triumph of theatrical imagination." On today's show, we discuss the formation of the band, how Chris recorded the entirety of their epic song cycle The Tain with a broken leg, and how Carson Ellis' visual components have played into the band's mystique for over two decades. We also get into Chris' production of the latest Stephen Malkmus LP and his globetrotting video series Funk Plus One, which exposed him to culture on a broader level through shared musical experiences. Visit thedecemberists.com for 20th anniversary tour dates and more. Get Chris' new solo album The Painted Porch via chrisfunk.bandcamp.com, with an exclusive vinyl variant limited to 250 copies and proceeds benefitting The Jeremy Wilson Foundation. You can also follow Chris on Twitter, @mrchrisfunk.
Nashville singer/songwriter Lilly Hiatt returns to Vinyl Emergency to discuss the loss of the legendary John Prine, her new album Walking Proof, records she added to her collection since her last time on the show and the positivity she's finding between Nashville's recent destructive tornado and the current pandemic crisis. Dig back to Episode 75 for Lilly's first appearance. Then, Soul Asylum leader Dave Pirner joins us to talk about the band's new album Hurry Up And Wait, the lasting impact of the revolutionary music video for "Runaway Train" and which Soul Asylum vinyl release -- of which there's only one sole copy in existence -- he owns. Dave's new book of lyrics spanning his career, Loud Fast Words, is available wherever you buy literature. For music, social media and updates visit lillyhiatt.com and soulasylum.com.
Formed in Evansville, IN during the late 90's, Mock Orange gained a devoted following amongst indie-rock circles for progressive, whiplash time signatures, buoyed by sentimental yet urgent lyrics. Though the quartet's debut album Nines & Sixes provided an addictive and aggressive spark, 2000's The Record Play delivered a deeper and more nuanced emotional payout: Singer/guitarist Ryan Grisham's wordplay (drenched in poetic metaphors on time and distance), drummer Heath Metzger's prog-like precision and the clear, masterful production style of Mark Trombino made the album somewhat of an underground touchstone for early 2000's emo. On today's show, Ryan talks about piecing together the thematic nature of The Record Play two decades later, why turning 40 gave him a new outlook on the band's first album and how he managed -- long before iPods -- to play his beloved 7" collection on the road. This episode also features the WORLD PREMIERE of the band's new single "So Maybe," from their upcoming EP The Bridge, their first release in nearly four years. Vinyl for both The Bridge, as well as a 20th anniversary repress of The Record Play, will be available for pre-order via mockorange.net later this month. Follow @mockorange on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.
For over 25 years, Texas native Rhett Miller has fronted the Old 97's, recognized as one of the most acclaimed staples within Americana or alt-country music. Still, he's found plenty of time over that span to step out on his own: Hosting the podcast Wheels Off, writing children's books and recording seven solo records containing collaborations with Jon Brion, Aimee Mann, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, longtime session drummer Jim Keltner and members of the Decemberists. Recorded at Vance Powell's renowned Sputnik Sound in Nashville (as the Old 97's began work on their 12th proper album), Rhett muses on his early fascinations with Joan Jett, the Kingston Trio and ZZ Top, pumping quarters into the vinyl jukeboxes of his local diner, how patterns in genre fiction influence his solo albums and what Wheels Off has taught him about the creative process. Visit old97s.com and rhettmiller.com for tour dates, music, social media and more. Plus, subscribe to Wheels Off however you get podcasts.
Since opening its doors in 1999, Grimey's New & Preloved Music has become one of the most beloved record stores in existence -- a beacon to its native Nashville, and the music world at large, for a focus on live performances, fair pricing and meeting the needs of eccentric and avant-garde music aficionados in a town mainly known for its country roots. Founded by Mike Grimes as a way to sell off product he acquired while working in the industry, his humble vision was to create "the Floyd's Barbershop of record stores," a community-oriented meeting place for eclectic music lovers to obtain and share their obsessions, no matter how under-the-radar. He partnered with friend and fellow music fanatic Doyle Davis a few years later (himself a veteran of Nashville chain The Great Escape) and the pair have run Grimey's as co-owners for close to two decades. With the renowned Ryman Auditorium being known as Music City's "Mother Church," Grimey’s has taken up the moniker of the "Other Church" among its devotees, after converting a previous house of worship into its current location in 2018. Today, Mike and Doyle pontificate on the shop's early days, the women who helped shape their love of vinyl growing up, the important roll that cut-out bins played in exposing them to new sounds, and which artist would be the in-store booking of their dreams. They'll also describe how the Avett Brothers' own in-store performance was more insanely dangerous and hardcore than even Metallica's. Plus we get to current hot button record industry issues like the ramifications of the recent Apollo Masters fire, and Direct Shot's distribution nightmares since last Record Store Day. For upcoming events, promotions, social media and more, hit up grimeys.com and while in Nashville, visit them at 1060 E. Trinity Lane.
Garnering comparisons to other iconic duos like Simon & Garfunkel or The Everly Brothers, Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale have effortlessly sewn together a timeless aura around their fragile, emotionally-resonant songs as Grammy-nominated folk duo The Milk Carton Kids. Since their start nearly a decade ago, their acoustic guitar mastery and impeccable vocal harmonies have led to collaborations or shared stages with legends of the craft like T Bone Burnett, Gillian Welch and John Prine. Joined today by Old Crow Medicine Show bassist Morgan Jahnig and recorded backstage at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Joey and Kenneth discuss reinterpreting Pink Floyd, the supportive community hub of in-store performances at record shops, and the merit of something we'll call -- for this episode -- the artistic vision of "yellow shorts." PLUS learn how you could win a copy of their latest release, The Only Ones, on 10" vinyl. For tour dates, social media and more, visit themilkcartonkids.com.
At just 12 years old in the early 80's, young guitarist Jason Narducy already knew about the emotional roller coaster of starting and ending a band. In this case, that band was Verböten, who exploded onto Chicago's punk scene but folded before Jason became a teenager. Over 35 years later -- with Jason establishing himself since as a terrific singer/songwriter via his band Split Single and collaborating with Bob Mould, Robert Pollard and Superchunk among others -- Verböten is now the subject of a full-fledged musical (the songs courtesy of Jason himself) running at Chicago's Chopin Theatre through early March. To coincide with those performances, the band finally has a seven-inch out on vinyl for the very first time to boot. On this episode, Jason chats about working at record stores in his late teens, how his dad played a formative role in his early love of vinyl, the moral battle of separating great art from a problematic artist, why writing songs for this musical has been easier than writing his own, and his recent experience at a vinyl listening bar in Japan. Performance details and tickets for the Verböten musical can be found at thehousetheatre.com. Follow Jason and get news on Split Single via Twitter @splitsingleband, on Instagram @jasonnarducy and from Facebook @splitsingle.
Comedian, podcasting pioneer and former MCA Records employee Jimmy Pardo returns to discuss what defines prog rock, whether there's a current American band that could garner the sendoff that Canadians gave The Tragically Hip, finally owning a favorite LP after a 20-year search, and his new web series Jimmy's Record & Tapes, where he revisits albums in his collection from 1975 to 1995, along with hilarious personal stories. Subscribe and catch a new episode every Tuesday at youtube.com/nevernotfunny. You can also use that link for the 11th annual Pardcast-A-Thon -- a 12-hour, live-streaming celebrity fundraiser to benefit the cleft palate charity Smile Train -- airing Saturday, May 23rd. Dive into Jimmy's award-winning podcast Never Not Funny however you listen, follow him on the web at jimmypardo.com and on Twitter, @jimmypardo.
The youngest son of two church choir directors and musicians, Daru Jones has played drums since the age of 4, having grown up behind the kit at his parents' congregation. His love for gospel eventually led him to jazz, country, funk, R&B and hip-hop, where he has flourished as a touring, session and for-hire musician for emcees, vocalists, songwriters and producers like Nas, Talib Kweli, Sturgill Simpson, Dwight Yoakam, Pete Rock, Gloria Gaynor and Pharoahe Monch. He's also performed as part of Jack White's band, both on the road and on record, most recently to promote Third Man Hardware's latest guitar pedal line, viewable on Instagram, @thirdmanhardware. On today's episode, Daru reflects on the influence of everyone from Gene Krupa to DJ Premier, how he relates to the film Whiplash, why classic album covers should be taken as seriously as the music it represents, and the art of respecting composition over the urge to upstage. Catch Daru on the road in coming months as he accompanies original James Brown saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis. You can also follow Daru on Instagram and Facebook, @darujones.
Bassist and Alabama native Jimbo Hart has been holding down Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit's low end for over a decade -- touring the world and earning a Grammy for the group's 2017 barnburner The Nashville Sound. Recorded in his home studio, Jimbo articulates why geology plays a significant role in the music of Muscle Shoals, the joy he gets from recording others (like recent projects for Ross Adams and King Corduroy), his adoration for Monty Python, how New Orleans radio station WWOZ still broadcasts vinyl, and killer stories about encounters with Robert Plant, Kris Kristofferson and dobro legend Jerry Douglas. Jason and the 400 Unit's first two albums -- 2009's self-titled effort and 2011's Here We Rest -- were recently remixed, remastered and reissued on vinyl, available on limited edition colored variants at your favorite local indie retailer or while on tour. Visit JasonIsbell.com for more information. Jimbo also appears on bandmate Sadler Vaden's upcoming solo LP Anybody Out There? (available March 6th) and Isbell merch manager Chance Gray's debut EP The Long Crossing, out now. Stop by sadlervaden.com and chancegray.com for details. Follow @jimbohart on Twitter or @thejimbohart on Instagram.
Since releasing their self-titled debut in 2014, Grammy-nominated electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso has hopscotched around the world, gracing countless festivals as well as late-night TV, fueled by vocalist Amelia Meath's enigmatic energy and Nick Sanborn's deliriously inventive production. Previous to his partnership with Meath, Sanborn was a mainstay of the Wisconsin music scene as a member of Decibully, Megafaun and Headlights. Over the last few years, he's also engineered or produced projects for Daughter of Swords, Why? and Meath's trio Mountain Man. Recorded backstage at Nashville's iconic Ryman Auditorium, Nick discusses his anticipation as a then-record store employee for the original release of Radiohead's Kid A, how the lyrics of Gillian Welch's "Everything Is Free" stay consistently relevant with every new update to how we get music, and the new LP Bluebird, his latest instrumental collaboration with Chris Rosenau of Volcano Choir, Pele and Collections of Colonies of Bees. Follow Nick on Twitter and Instagram @madeofoak, and for Sylvan Esso tour dates, music and more visit sylvanesso.com. You can purchase Bluebird on vinyl from www.rosenausanborn.com.
After years of playing upright bass for cult country act BR5-49, Jay McDowell stumbled into a dream job for any music geek: Multimedia Archivist for Nashville's Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, established in 2006. From the actual drumkit Santana's Michael Shrieve played at Woodstock to the original lathe used to cut Elvis Presley's first recording to hand-written lyrics from some of the greatest songwriters ever, the MHFM is a literal treasure trove of artifacts and memorabilia that speaks both to the brilliance of music's biggest stars as well as the ingenuity of those behind the scenes. To Jay's end, he wears many hats day-to-day, whether giving private tours to everyone from school kids to the musicians themselves who are being honored, on top of video production, archival research and assisting with the presentation of specific exhibits. On today's program, recorded at the Russell Hotel in Nashville, Jay speaks to his own history with vinyl, how historical context can morph a good song into a classic, why we continue to absorb and collect music even though it's impossible to hear everything, and he shares plenty of stories behind some of the MHFM's coolest acquisitions and inductions, involving Elvis Presley, Velma Smith, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan. For more information on the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum or to plan your trip today, visit musicianshalloffame.com. On Instagram, follow @musicianshalloffame.
It almost sounds like a song in itself: An acclaimed musician on his big album release day, three years in the making, finds himself on jury duty for a murder trial. As crazy or poetic as it may sound, that was the story for Maryland-based Joe Pug back in July, as his latest LP The Flood In Color hit shelves. Though born in the mid-'80s, his tales of destruction and redemption ring with a wisdom that could reflect an artist twice his age, effortlessly penning critical and emotional snapshots of the human condition. The Working Songwriter, Joe's monthly podcast since 2016, also allows him to plug into the minds of friends in the same boat, exchanging stories and unique perspectives on crafting music. On today's program, Joe details how the limitations of vinyl only add to its mystique, why he's using today's postmodern methods of promotion, whose albums filled his childhood basement, why the artwork for Weezer's self-titled debut bucked the trends of its era and how talented people survive a media that's dying around them. Stop by JoePugMusic.com for news, tour dates, social media, info on The Working Songwriter and more.
As a member of Foo Fighters for the last twenty years, guitarist Chris Shiflett is regarded as one of the most consistently versatile personalities in rock: From his punk roots in Rat Pack and core Fat Wreck Chords alumni No Use For A Name to goofing off with sped up covers in Me First & The Gimme Gimmes to one-off back-up duties for Norah Jones to recording his own albums drenched in country music's Bakersfield sound. He's even parlayed his engaging demeanor and inquisitive mind into hosting and producing the popular Walking The Floor podcast, interviewing authors, fellow musicians, athletes and the like about their inspirations, struggles and successes. Earlier this summer, Chris also released "Hard Lessons," his third solo LP and second with renowned, Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb. Before the Foo's headlining slot at last month's Pilgrimage Festival just outside Nashville, Chris sat down to discuss the heavy influence that Hanoi Rocks wielded, his new Pro-Ject turntable, which songs brought him to tears as a kid, his 11-year-old son's new fascination with vinyl and more. Visit ChrisShiflettMusic.com, WalkingTheFloor.com and FooFigthers.com for news, social media and more. Look for "Hard Lessons" wherever you get physical or digital music.
Racking up an astonishing 13 proper albums within the last two decades -- not including singles or EP releases -- Matt Pond has solidified himself as one of the most prolific singer-songwriters working today. Though the name Matt Pond PA was retired in 2017 (a moniker for his recording and touring band of which he was the sole consistent member), his work over the last 12 years with musician and engineer Chris Hansen has led to film and commercial scoring, as well as An Orchestrated Impulse, a new multi-sensory collaboration with visual artist Eva Magill-Oliver, comprised of twelve paintings each paired with an instrumental composition in a different key. On today's show, Matt muses about The Minutemen's "Double Nickels on the Dime," why he's had to abandon three completely separate record collections over the years, the Beatles-influenced stage name he almost went by when he moved to Brooklyn and how his mom's confusion between John Waite and Tom Waits paved Matt's musical journey. The installation of An Orchestrated Impulse debuts October 11th at the O+ Festival in Kingston, NY with full performance details at orchestratedimpulse.com, and accompanying music available for digital download at anorchestratedimpulse.
Enjoy this encore presentation of Episode 73, featuring our conversation with Dan Didier of The Promise Ring and Maritime. "Don't Break Down," a documentary on the influential punk trio Jawbreaker which Dan co-produced, was released earlier this month on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and other digital outlets. His current musical project Dramatic Lovers can be found online at dramaticlovers.com.
For close to a decade, Cleveland's Gotta Groove Records has earned its reputation as "the artist's preferred pressing plant." By having their quality assurance team play every 25th LP or 7" that comes off their presses, they're known for going the extra mile and implementing some of the highest standards in the industry, whether manufacturing limited 100-copy runs or thousands upon thousands for worldwide distribution. On the cusp of their 10th anniversary, Gotta Groove sales and marketing VP Matt Earley chats about where they've been, where they're going and how the vinyl business can stay vibrant and innovative. Visit GottaGrooveRecords.com and follow @gottagrooverecs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Enjoy this rerun of Episode 64, featuring our conversation with the great Rosanne Cash. Tour dates and more are available at rosannecash.com, and her latest album She Remembers Everything is available wherever you get music.
Since the late 1970's, both Evelyn Shriver and Susan Nadler have worked with an impressive list of country music's biggest names. Armed with their shared PR experience, the duo headed up Asylum Records as the first women to ever helm a major country music label and flipped Nashville's Music Row on its ear, building longtime partnerships with Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Lorrie Morgan, Randy Travis and more. Their countless years of experience, legendary debauchery and hilarious stories of life behind-the-scenes and on the road are now part of a new podcast courtesy of Momument Records called Shady Ladies Of Music City, which encourages listeners to submit their own country music rumors for discussion on the program, to find out if they're tall tales or legendarily confirmed stories. Today, Susan and Evelyn sit down to discuss the homogenized state of mainstream country radio, Pittsburgh's National Record Mart (the first music store chain ever in the United States), the industry's reaction to the launch of the compact disc, their childhood memories of 45RPM singles, and how to get rid of gold records. Podcast info, social media and more are available at shadyladiesofmusiccity.com.