4x Grammy-winning producer, engineer and mixer Vance Powell has worked with a wide range of artists and bands including Chris Stapleton, Buddy Guy and Phish. For vinyl collectors, he's arguably most known for being a consistent studio go-to for Jack White, not only being involved with proper studio releases from Jack and his various projects (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs) but Vance is behind the boards of most every Live At Third Man Records LP, where bands record short sets in front of a couple hundred fans, direct-to-acetate. On this episode, Vance points to his favorite Third Man sessions he's recorded (including some Radiohead demos), how Chris Stapleton's famous cover of "Tennessee Whiskey" almost didn't happen, and why Vance's own barbecue kept him from his dream of recording U2. Visit sputniksound.com for more info on Vance's work, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter @vancalot.
Early in his musical development, Dan Wilson was sure his true calling was to be a songwriter-for-hire, similar to his heroes like Carole King. And this drive continued despite the rise of his own Minneapolis-based band Semisonic in the late 90's and early 2000's, whose massive hit "Closing Time" remains one of the most recognizable singles of the late 20th century. As the trio's pace slowed, Wilson began accumulating co-writing gigs, eventually leading to a full-on second career behind the scenes, hitting a new peak by partnering with Adele on her smash "Someone Like You," which eerily enough turned out to be one of the most recognizable singles of the next century. On the cusp of a new Semisonic EP titled You're Not Alone dropping September 18th -- featuring their first new music in nearly two decades -- Dan chats about being blown away by the 20th anniversary vinyl pressing of Semisonic's Feeling Strangely Fine, how losing the band's original master tapes in the now-infamous Universal fire actually inspired a recent song, and coming full circle by co-writing with the aforementioned Carole King. Follow @danwilsonmusic as well as @semisonicband on Twitter and Instagram.
From the first time she ever put a Kylie Minogue cassette in her pink Sony stereo, Australia native Emma Swift has been a music obsessive. Her songwriting prowess brought her to Nashville in 2013 and she recently dropped the terrific LP Blonde On The Tracks, an album of Bob Dylan covers ranging from 1965's "Queen Jane Approximately" all the way to this year's "I Contain Multitudes" (which Dylan released as a single only just a few months ago), backed up by partner Robyn Hitchcock and Wilco's Pat Sansone. On this episode, Emma talks about Gram Parsons being a sort of "gateway drug" to country music, splurging on 7" Smiths singles while in Japan and why her dad was "a record collector's worst nightmare." Follow her on socials @emmaswiftsings, and get Blonde On The Tracks digitally or on vinyl from emmaswift.bandcamp.com.
Long before his flawless debut album Dying Star in 2018, Ruston Kelly had been loud and clear about metal and punk rock shaping his brand of Americana songwriting. But last year's covers EP, Dirt Emo Vol. 1, cemented that fact and laid out a confessional throughline between Taylor Swift and Saves The Day. On this episode, we’ll hear how vinyl played an important role in Ruston’s childhood, his attraction to authenticity -- be it from Eminem or the Carter Family -- and after overcoming addiction, what event made him realize "the universe is not out to get me, it’s out to show me what things are worth." Ruston’s new album Shape & Destroy is available August 28th, wherever you get physical or digital music. Visit RustonKelly.com for vinyl pre-orders and more.
For more than 20 years, Kentucky quintet My Morning Jacket has continually shifted and grown its sound — embracing folk, soul and psychedelia — leading to three Grammy nominations and a reputation as one of the best live acts working today. Half a decade after releasing their seventh studio album The Waterfall, ten more tracks from those same sessions emerged earlier this month with the surprise announcement of The Waterfall II, giving fans fresh material to digest while concerts are off the table during the current pandemic. On today’s show, bassist and founding MMJ member Tom Blankenship (aka Two-Tone Tommy) chats about thrash metal, playing 1st century coliseums while on tour in Italy, and why now was the right time to let fans know that there was more Waterfall material to be had. Visit MyMorningJacket.com for band news and vinyl pre-orders of The Waterfall II, and follow Tom on Instagram and Twitter, @sometomguy.
Los Angeles native Robert Fisher has designed records for some of the most popular acts since the alternative rock boom, including Beck, Weezer and No Doubt. But starting with 'Nevermind' onward -- including all posthumous releases following Kurt Cobain's death -- Robert is most recognized for being Nirvana's sole art director, creating iconic album covers, sleeves for singles, box set packaging and anything else relating to arguably the most important band of the last 30 years. Recently, Robert launched the @NirvanaBucket Instagram feed, dedicated to his body of work for the group and showcasing rare flyers, tapes, scrapped ideas and even items Kurt provided him for inspiration throughout their partnership.
On today's show, Robert discusses how the final version of 'Nevermind' came to be, as well as stories surrounding Beck's 'Odelay' and Urge Overkill's 'Saturation'. HIs latest work for Nirvana is on the 'Live & Loud' 2LP set, released last summer, capturing the band's 1993 performance in Seattle for MTV. Visit flyingfishstudio.us to check out more of Robert's work.
Music on today's show is from 'Every Sun, Every Moon,' the new album from I'm Glad It's You, available from 6131Records.com.
First emerging from Minneapolis in the mid-80's, The Jayhawks have become one of the most noteworthy and influential bands within Americana/folk-rock, releasing a pair of albums between 1992 and 1995 (Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass) that are cited by fans and critics alike as touchstones of their genre. Today, lead singer/guitarist Gary Louris dives into his love of Krautrock, touring the Acoustic Sounds pressing plant, hunting for weird Italian or French LP's, and the one record that cost him a speeding ticket. The Jayhawks' new album XOXO comes out July 10th. Visit jayhawksofficial.com for social media, Gary's acoustic streaming performances during quarantine and more.
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.