On Episode 035, our very first podcast guest, Evan Felker of Turnpike Troubadours returns. Their fifth studio album, A Long Way From Your Heart, finds the six-piece Oklahoma outfit hitting their stride as in-depth, honest storytellers and top-tier musicians. They’re pushing their boundaries and gaining new territory on all facets of their craft while still staying true to their early intentions as artists. There’s an earnest, workman-like quality to these songs. You hear their hours of shaping, molding, and forming these soundscapes of sharp, rich tones and textures. As a lyricist, Felker is in a league very few folks achieve. Part idiom and expression appreciator, part cautionary storyteller, and part mythos building architect, Felker is able to take common occurrences, tragedies, and broken hearts and make them into special moments that feel larger than life. Still, they remain personal and as intimate as ever. After speaking about the new album, Felker plays standout “Pay No Rent.”
Like Turnpike Troubadours on Facebook here. Follow Turnpike on Twitter here. Find A Long Way From Your Hearthere.
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On Episode 034 of The New Slang Podcast, we talk with Brad Rice, drummer for Oklahoma staple Jason Boland & The Stragglers. As nearly 20 years in, Boland, Rice, and company have simultaneously helped establish and further Oklahoma music, their Red Dirt roots, and regional storytelling through a country twang lens. Last week, while in Lubbock, we caught up with Rice in the green room of Charley B’s. During this conversation, we discuss The Stragglers’ upcoming yet-to-be-titled ninth studio album that’s currently in the works, how Boland and company have kept their music fresh and creative 20 years in, the Oklahoma singer-songwriter, Millennials vs. The World, how social media has impacted the music industry, fan interaction, and our world in general, Rice’s love for the Oklahoma City Thunder, why Russell Westbrook is going to be the 2016-17 MVP, anti-intellectualism, and the current state(s) of the music scene in Texas, Oklahoma, and Nashville.
Like Jason Boland & The Stragglers on Facebook here. Follow Boland on Twitter here. Follow Rice on Twitter here. Find Squelch, their latest album, here. For more on Boland & The Stragglers, click here.
This week on the podcast, we’re joined by singer-songwriter Ryan Beaver. After a healthy dose of time living and touring in Texas, Beaver moved up to Nashville some four years back. This past year, Beaver released his third album, Rx, a 12-track record that ranged from dark, shadowy rooms to moments flushed with warmth and a velvet touch. Beaver’s Rx found the songwriter delivering his best, most well-rounded material to date. Bookends “Dark” and “If I Had a Horse” make the album come full circle with sombre reflections of life passing you by while songs like “Rum & Roses” and “When This World Ends” has Beaver serving up scorching statements of longing, love and/or lust. During this conversation, we discuss Beaver’s ever-evolving development as a songwriter and artist, what moves and motivates him, the changes in the music business, the making of Rx, and where he goes from here.
Like Ryan Beaver on Facebook here. Follow him on Twitter here. Find Rx, his latest album, here. For more on Ryan Beaver, click here.
This week, we caught up with Gordy Quist and Ed Jurdi of The Band of Heathens. The Austin staples released their fifth studio album, Duende, this past January. The 10 songs of Duende find the quintet in a place of deep comfort and confidence. There’s a beacon of light–circling harmony vocals, aged organ & keys, and the right amount of guitar fuzz–that warms the face like sun rays in the midst of an Indian summer. This past Friday, we thankfully squeezed in a short conversation with Quist and Jurdi between their soundcheck and performance at Lubbock’s Cactus Theater.
Like The Band of Heathens on Facebook here. Follow him on Twitter here. Find Duende, their latest album, here. For more BoH’s tour dates, click here.
On Episode 31, we catch up with Texas singer-songwriter John Baumann. He recently announced that his next album, an 11-song full-length, will be released this Spring. Last Saturday, we sat out on the back patio of The Blue Light to talk about what’s in store for Baumann this coming year, highlights and lowlights of the NBA season, how and why Championship games in sports this year have been all comebacks, The Super Bowl Halftime show, Willie Nelson, and Garth Brooks.
Like John Baumann on Facebook here. Follow him on Twitter here.
Mike Harmeier–lead vocalist for Austin’s leading honky-tonk country storytellers Mike & The Moonpies–returns to the New Slang Podcast this week. After a hearty soundcheck, the country crooning Harmeier stepped back into the makeshift pool room studio at The Blue Light for a lengthy conversation that included pit stops on side-of-the-road attractions in Texas, the highs and lows of Far West Texas (including crime, the underwhelming Marfa Lights, why national touring acts stop in the region, etc), why booking a railroad tour would be awesome, the differences in Terry Allen and Robert Earl Keen’s versions of “Amarillo Highway,” the pop sensibilities of Prince and Michael Jackson, why HGTV’s Fixer Upper works while Flip or Flop doesn’t, reality television, and our favorite hour-long TV dramas of the last 15 years.
Mike & The Moonpies are hot off releasing Live at WinStar World Casino & Resport, a double-disc live affair where the six-piece runs through a vintage Moonpies set, circa 2016. At 23 songs long, they have plenty of room to stretch out and visit the highlights of their three studio albums and debut EP–along with honky-tonk classics like “Amos Moses,” “Pick Up the Tempo,” and “Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance.”
Find Mike & The Moonpies’ latest live album, Live at WinStar World Casino & Resorthere. Like Mike & The Moonpies on Facebook here. Follow him on Twitter here.
On Episode 029, we catch up with Ft. Worth-based singer-songwriter Jacob Furr. Furr’s steady and calculated approach to songwriting has delivered a catalog of weighty storytellers balanced with an even keel demeanor and delivery. It’s help set him apart from the pack in a town full of rising singer-songwriters and storytelling poets. Often, calling a songwriter a “songwriter’s songwriter” comes across as a backhanded compliment at best. With Furr though, it happens to be songwriters–or, just those who pay attention to the fine detail in the craft–who are often the ones who notice the nuances and delicacy within his catalog. With the release of Sierra Madre, his latest full-length, Furr traded in folky rolling hills for towering mountains and jagged cliffs. He often comes down from the mountain after setting them ablaze with roaring, sharp guitars.
We caught up with Furr last week when he made the trek for Ft. Worth to Lubbock. Being a Texas Tech alum (and playing keys with Red Shahan), Furr’s more than familiar with the Lubbock music scene. On this episode, we dive into Lubbock music history of the last decade, thoughts on Top 10 Albums we listened to in high school and college–Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, The Shins, The Mountain Goats, etc heavy–, why criticism isn’t always being a “hater,” the political climate in the Social Media age, and opinions on the Josh Weathers backlash (and backlash to the backlash) after he performed at President Donald Trump’s inauguration a few weeks ago.
Find Furr’s music catalog here. Like Jacob Furr on Facebook here. Follow him on Twitter here.
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For the first podcast of 2017, we welcome in Bill Corbin and Kevin McClain, the rhythm section of Americana country-rockers American Aquarium. The trials and tribulations have been well documented for the hard-working outfit. The six-piece is as sincere and earnest as the songs they’ve crafted over the years. A few weeks back, it was announced that long-time guitarists Ryan Johnson and Colin Dimeo would be leaving the band. And after 300+ days on the road for the better part of a decade, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based rockers decided that taking a break would be best. As Corbin and McClain explain, the band is taking off the rest of the year come the end of March. With only a handful of dates left on the calendar–their two-night stand Roadtrip to Raleigh, a Cayamo Cruise, and a string of European tour dates, the band is getting a well deserved rest. On this episode, we talk with Corbin and McClain about their interests–weightlifting and cycling–that keep them sane on the road, how they’ve matured as a band–as individuals and musically as a band–over the years, working with Jason Isbell on their breakout album Burn. Flicker. Die., and where they go from here.
Episode 027 of The New Slang Podcast finds singer-songwriter K. Phillips returning. Recorded about a month back, this 45-minute conversation has Phillips and company with about 10 dates left on his cross-country venture with Counting Crows and Rob Thomas. On the episode, we discuss the ins and outs of being out on tour versus playing weekend shows across Texas during his early years, running into ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Elaina Kay (who rented out Phillips’ Nashville room these past few months), the iconic songs of Counting Crows & Matchbox Twenty, Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville,” Phillips’ iconic “Came 2 Fuck,” and writing songs with Lubbock’s William Clark Green & Ross Cooper. K. Phillips’ upcoming album, Dirty Wonder, is officially due out this Fall.
On Episode 26, we catch up with Mike Harmeier, lead vocalist and chief songwriter in Austin’s honky-tonk revivalists Mike & The Moonpies. With stellar albums like The Real Country, The Hard Way, and their latest, Mockingbird, the six-piece country band has been one of the leading forces in preserving honky-tonk and classic country within Austin and Texas at large. We caught up with Harmeier while in Lubbock a few Fridays back–specifically between playing a spur of the moment tailgate party at Texas Tech University and Blue Light that night. On this episode, we talk about the core of Austin honky-tonk bands, the closing of large dancehalls in Texas, Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, floating Texas rivers, an upcoming live album recorded at WinStar World Casino, and writing for The Moonpies upcoming studio album.