For Songs

For Songs

This podcast is for those who love music but can't write a tune to save their lives. We talk with singer/songwriters of all stripes, professional touring musicians to those who can't quite catch a break. Maybe you'll hear something you'll like. Maybe not. But you will come away with a greater appreciation for the gift of songwriting, and how hard it really is. Now sponsored by @thepugdc!

Episodes

July 13, 2022 45 min

For me, this episode is 11 years in the making. For my guest Barry Lynch and his group the Armagh Rhymers? We’re talking 30 years. The Armagh Rhymers, a traditional Irish mummers band from Northern Ireland, released their first album in 1992. So now 30 years later, “Vol. 2” is on the streets and, well, you need to take a seat, grab a pint or two, and listen in. Mumming, for those who don’t know, is an ancient tradition, dating back...

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Peter Argyropoulos has a way with words. The lead singer/songwriter of the LA-based hard-rock band Sons of Silver has his finger on the pulse on what’s happening across the country and, indeed, the world. On his band’s debut EP Doomsday Noises, he presaged the pandemic, the social unrest, and the decaying fabric of society that has been our existence the last two years. Now, a year and half later, the band is back with a blistering...

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There’s something about simplicity and subtlety that sets the best songwriters apart. The simplicity in using the exact, perfect word—and only that word—to describe a feeling in a way that everyone can relate. And the subtlety of taking the listener on an emotional journey with a song that only lasts three minutes. Few artists have attained a mastery of both quite like my next guest, singer/songwriter Ben Vaughn. An exceptionally t...

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Funny how the world works, at least in the world of music. This is the story of Kira Annelise and her husband Willie Heath Neal, who together make up the country duo The Waymores. When they met, Willie was a seasoned songwriter about to hang it up. He was still singing in bands when Kira saw him performing, and her world changed. A talented singer, Kira had yet to pick up a guitar or even listen to real country music—real being Han...

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It’s been a little more than since my next guest first joined me on For Songs. Michael Patrick F. Smith and I go way back. Way way back. To elementary school, middle school, high school, and even church. Michael returns to the show for the first time since January 2021, a few weeks before his book The Good Hand was published. The Good Hand is a blistering read, telling the tale of his journey to North Dakota at the height of the sh...

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It’s been a rough two years, to say the least. Music is one of the few things keeping us together, and for some of us, The Clash have been doing the heavy lifting. In this unique episode, Tony from the Pug joins me for an enthralling conversation about music, the Clash, and so much more. The general theme of this conversation is as follows: What Big Audio Dynamite/Joe Strummer solo songs would’ve been great Clash songs? We tried to...

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Question for you: If you had the chance to spend an hour in the car with one of your musical heroes—you are driving—what music would you play? Believe it or not, this is a difficult, stressful decision. And my next guest, northwest London-based Emily Capell, faced this very dilemma. Emily, who literally grew up on the Clash and its various offshoots, is an old soul. Her music is inspired by, well, the Clash, Big Audio Dynamite, but...

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It is a cliché that blood is thicker than water, but its also true. And my next guests are living proof. Bonnie and Eleanor Whitmore of the Whitmore Sisters have just released their first album as a duo. Ghost Stories is an emotional powerhouse. And it is full of inspiration. Eleanor and Bonnie have been in and around the Americana genre for pretty much their whole lives. Eleanor and her husband Chris Masterson make up folk rock du...

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So if there’s one theme in most all these interviews I’ve conducted the last nearly two years, it’s that the music biz is a tough one, even in the best of times. When you think about it, it’s almost impossible to make money—spotify, pandora, and the Internet have seen to that. And my next guest, Seattle-based singer/songwriter [Ian Jones,](www.ianjonesmusic.com) knows this better than most. Back in the 90s and early 2000s, Ian left...

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Here we go—nearing Year Three of this pandemic. Not to mention the coldest days of the year, hazardous weather, you name it. Days like these, you gotta dig deep to keep going. If you are struggling to trudge ahead as the news seemingly gets worse every day, have I got a song for you. Joining me for this first episode of 2022 is my old friend Kevin Adkins of Franklin Gotham. In this episode, Kevin and I talk about Franklin Gotham’s ...

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It is Christmas time, and while this isn’t a Christmas episode per se, it is the gift that keeps on giving. If you’ve ever heard Nicole Atkins sing, you know there’s something eerie, calm, haunting yet beautiful about her voice. There’s a sense of mystery, a compelling sound that keeps you coming back for more. Perhaps this has something to do with where she’s from, a small town not far from the Jersey beaches, maybe 40 minutes sou...

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The spark of freedom can be seen anywhere if you look for it. In this episode of For Songs-Singles, we bring back Lisset Diaz of the Sweet Lizzy Project (www.sweetlizzyproject.com) to discuss her band’s latest single, Dreaming of a Revolution/Otra Revolucion. The song is inspired by the protesters in Cuba, who are putting their lives on the line to protest against the existing regime. The song is the first from their forthcoming al...

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Never doubt it—music can change lives. My next guest is living proof. Renowned reggae singer The Mighty Joshua certainly had no intentions of singing and playing in front of thousands. In fact he started his musical career in Richmond, Va., as a percussionist in a few reggae bands, content playing a supporting role to others. But at the heavy urging of well-traveled reggae keyboardist Chris ‘Peanut’ Whitley, Joshua embraced his cal...

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With Hurricane Ida bearing down on his home state of Louisiana, musician Louis Michot felt helpless. After a quick jaunt for his band’s—Grammy winning Lost Bayou Ramblers—first gig outside Louisiana in nearly two years, Michot and his crew raced home to be with their family as the storm approached. An unlucky break during the show led to a short COVID scare, but even more frightening were the cries for help he saw online as Ida pum...

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It sounds like a cliché, but sometimes when you expect the unexpected, you might just get exactly what you need. That’s what happened to then-California-based singer/songwriters Jade Jackson and Aubrie Sellers after a chance meeting in 2019. Jackson and Sellers, both accomplished artists on different ends of the country-rock spectrum, began working together on one of Jade’s songs Hush during the start of the pandemic. One thing led...

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Welcome to the first episode of For Songs Singles! Instead of four songs, we talk about one. It’s a bit shorter and lets us take a deep dive into the creation and meaning of one song in particular. On this first episode we feature Hesitate, the blistering new song from LA-based indie-rock band Sons of Silver. Hesitate is a musical and lyrical tour-de-force. It jumps out of the speakers with driving guitars and pounding bass and dru...

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Time has a funny way of working, right? Some days feel like they last forever, while others are over in a blink of an eye. And the cruel joke is that as you get older, time seems to move even faster. One day you are a bright eyed, bushy tailed 20-something ready to take over the world, and the next, the world has chewed you up and spit you out. Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but you get the point. On this episode of For Songs, sing...

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It’s a #ForSongs first! Check out my in-person interview with the mighty [Dom Flemons](www.theamericansongster.com), singer/songwriter/historian/storyteller/trailblazer. Dom and I chatted about a hour before a mid-August 2021 show just south of Washington. Listen in as Dom discusses the touring life during COVID, what’s changed, and how his connection with his fans is deeper and stronger than ever. We also discuss his important wor...

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Let me be clear: this is the most important interview I’ve ever done. It is my humbling honor to welcome the amazing singer/songwriter Lisset Diaz of the [Sweet Lizzy Project](www.sweetlizzyproject.com) back to For Songs. Lisset and her bandmates emigrated from Havana, Cuba, to Nashville, TN, in 2017 to record their second full-length album Technicolor. Lisset is a frequent guest of the show, but this interview is different. If you...

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Buckle up folks. This is a special episode of For Songs. My guest is Larry Kirwan, lead singer/songwriter for the seminal Irish-American rock band Black ’47. Black ’47, for a time, was considered New York City’s house band; they had a massive following up and down the East Coast. For folks of a certain age, Larry’s music was their introduction to Irish history, particularly the Northern Ireland conflict. Join us as we talk about th...

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