November 1st, 2022 | Season 1 | 36 mins 45 secs
countryrock myheart, decembrists, folkrock, nekocase, noraoconnor, singer-songwriter
There’s a moment in singer/songwriter Nora O’Connor’s new album My Heart when you realize just how special her talent is. By admission, the Chicago-based musician is more comfortable in the background, singing backup and playing with such Americana luminaries like Neko Case, the Decembrists, Robbie Fulks, among others. But for the first time in 18(!) years, Nora is back with My Heart, released in early October. With a soothing voice, Nora has been an in-demand harmony vocalist for two decades. In this episode, Nora gives a refreshing interview about My Heart. We discuss about four songs—Sore, Cambridge Cold, the album’s one cover It’s Alright Now, and Fare Thee Well. Nora walks us through how these songs came to be and how performing outdoor shows during the COVID lockdowns unlocked her creative juices. So sit back and listen in as Nora O’Connor joins me for this episode of For Songs!
April 18th, 2022 | Season 1 | 23 mins 10 secs
dakota, folkmusic, folkrock, indierock, newmusic, thegoodhand
It’s been a little more than since my next guest first joined me on For Songs. Michael Patrick F. Smith 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 shale-gas revolution that turned parts of the state into a latter-day gold rush. With the paperback version having just been released, Michael joined me to discuss a new song called Restless Companion. Restless Companion is a breezy tune that would fit right at home on Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne, or Son Volt’s Trace. The song itself is an ode to The Good Hand and all the literal blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. So sit down, grab a beer, and welcome back Michael Patrick F. Smith to For Songs.
October 1st, 2021 | Season 1 | 39 mins 52 secs
darwilliams, folk, folkmusic, folkrock, joanbaez, newalbum, newmusic, pandemic
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. On this episode of For Songs, singer/songwriter Dar Williams covers these themes and more on her latest album “I’ll Meet You Here,” released on Oct. 1. Dar has been making music since the early 90s, following in the footsteps of folk-rock luminaries Joan Baez, Jim Croce, and others. In fact,Joan took Dar under her wing, offering her advice and spots on tour throughout her career. And now Dar is roughly the same age as Joan Baez was when they first met, and she is returning the favor. Dar and I discuss four songs from “I’ll Meet You Here,” along with her influences—some will surprise you—and how she is gearing up to tour during a pandemic. So join me and welcome Dar Williams to For Songs.
August 16th, 2020 | Season 1 | 42 mins 18 secs
antifolk, folkrock, indiefolk, indierock, monicasamalot, newmusic, paleface, pf&mo
Listen in as indie-rock legend Paleface and his partner/drummer Monica “Mo” Samalot talk about their latest album “Go Forth,” their first self-made, self-produced record. “Go Forth” came out in early 2020, and their touring plans came to a halt as the pandemic settled in. Paleface (PF) talks candidly about how he got into the music biz in New York’s anti-folk scene in the late 80s, his process for writing, and how things have changed over time.