Show cover of The Load Out Music Podcast

The Load Out Music Podcast

Hosted by Aaron Perlut, the Load Out Music Podcast features intimate conversations with emerging and established musicians, recorded at the Gaslight in St. Louis.


Season 5: The Legendary John Oates Discusses Break with Daryl Hall, Aging Gracefully and Reuniting with Himself
He may not be the tallest musician going, but John Oates casts a immensely large shadow in music. One part of the most successful duo in music history—Daryl Hall & John Oates—he co-wrote a number of the band’s legendary catalogue including "Sara Smile," "She’s Gone,” "Out of Touch,” "You Make My Dreams,” "I Can’t Go for That," "Maneater” and more. In 2014, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2014, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But at 76, Oates is taking stock in his life, reflecting on the love he shares with his wife and their son, with his father who is 100, and those who are truly important to him.   “I wanted to make sure that things were clean and tight as I move forward in my life,” Oates said on the most recent episode of The Load Out Music Podcast. Without question, he’s moving on—leaving his immensely successful business and artistic partnership with Hall behind, working to sell his stake in the duo’s catalogue, touring with a new band and performing songs that have deeper meaning in his life. Oates is simply going forward and disconnecting from things that have held him up. He lays it all on the table in a great conversation on the Load Out. Enjoy! 
29:59 5/23/24
Season 5: Coreen Sheehan’s Scientific “Footprint” is Littered Across the Voices of the World
Coreen Sheehan knows how to sing. It’s how she’s toured all over the world fronting powerhouse rock ‘n’ roll bands and why Sheehan’s been employed by Grammy winners and helped countless singers prepare to compete in both U.S. and international versions of shows like NBC’s The Voice and American Idol. In fact, the vocal technique curricula she developed is used by the Musician’s Institute Hollywood, in music schools across Japan like the Osaka School of Music and the Fukuoka School of Music, in the Taipei School of Music in Taiwan, and why Sheen has two instructional books with Hal Leonard Publications. “That is a footprint of my work,” Sheehan told me on the most recent episode of the Load Out Music Podcast. “And because I’m so meticulous in making sure that a vocalist is absolutely prepared…mentally and physically.” Sheehan has worked with a who’s who vocalists while receiving honors like the Vocal Instructor of the Year Award in 2008 and Curricular Appreciation Award 2014 from Musician’s Institute Hollywood. She was also nominated for the Grammy’s Music Educator Award in both 2013 and 2014, and recognized by the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation for her excellence. “Some of the artists are out touring 18 months of the year and they just can’t have a bad day,” she said adamantly. “I don’t care if you’re signed or not. I’ll only work with musicians, vocalists that are really serious about wanting to upgrade their voice…because that’s what you have to do. To be a professional you have to be consistent.” So let’s get into the science of singing. Enjoy the latest Load Out Music Podcast with vocal coach extraordinaire Coreen Sheehan.
37:59 5/9/24
Season 5: Jose James Brings Hip Hop Cool to International Jazz Audiences
Acclaimed international jazz artist Jose James has a composure about him that one might compare to James Bond.   The Minneapolis native claims he was one of the least talented artists in his music circles growing up, yet he ultimately attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His first album, The Dreamer, debuted in 2008. Since then, he’s gone on to play at the Kennedy Center, The Hollywood Bowl, Ancienne Belgique, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Melbourne Symphony and has recorded 11 more records including his latest which dropped April 5—the stunning album 1978, named for the year of his birth.   Along the way, he’s picked up honor after honor in establishing himself as an extraordinary jazz singer/songwriter—but one built for the hip-hop generation. Pitchfork called him, “one of the suavest vocal improvisers on the scene,” and it’s been said his arrangements and approach are “in deep conversation with funk, R&B, and hip-hop.”   Despite oozing cool, he’s not really all about himself. You quickly understand that James lives for the collaboration and building art that he loves with others.   “I really grew up with this idea that you make music with a band, with other people,” he told me recently on The Load Out Music Podcast.  He grew up feeling the diverse vibes of bands ranging from the Ohio Players and Peter, Paul and Mary found in his mother’s record collection; the funky global beats of his multi-instrumentalist father’s band, Ipso Facto; the western church music of his Catholic school and diverse artists such as Nirvana, 10,000 Maniacs, De la Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Grammy-winner Bobby McFerrin who was the creative chair of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for a time in the early 1990s. When he was 17, James attended a McFerrin concert with the noted jazz pianist Chick Corea. It was then that he was hooked on the idea that a career in music was inevitable—but he still was surprised that others saw it as well. “Wow,” James said. “People see something in me that I might not see. I didn’t really go to college. I didn’t want to do the traditional route. I was like, I can have a coffee shop job and pay my rent and see what happens. This is where my spirit is taking me.” Despite a love for jazz, early on James understood that jazz could be limiting and wanted to explore the boundaries of the genre. “There is a strong jazz radio, but it’s pretty strict about what they play,” he said, noting that listeners essentially find smooth or classic jazz on radio, but the parameters are narrow. Thus, he approaches each record with the understanding that he must keep certain singles within the ditches, producing them to be radio friendly, while stretching boundaries on other tracks with dance, pop and hip-hop beats. “I think it’s more frustrating that jazz, in general, is not more popular in America,” he muses, despite his voice not elevating to indicate any semblance of anger. “You go to Tokyo, go to any shopping mall, restaurant, they are playing jazz.” As James’ star has risen, he’s realized two principal realities about his chosen career: That money and power still drive the industry and that he would be little without the graciousness of other artists.  “It’s not just about talent, James said. “It’s about who’s pushing you and how much money.” This became apparent to him when he released a single independently in 2012 to little fanfare. However, the same single was included on his first album for the vaunted Blue Note label and it became a sensational hit, landing him appearances on David Letterman’s and Conan O’Brien’s late-night shows.  James credits his success to mentors who have given him their time including legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner (who worked with John Coltrane), singer Anita Baker, composer Christian McBride, band leader Chico Hamilton and even former late-night host Jay Leno. “There’s so much generosity going around,” he said. “You have to take the wins.” As for 1978, James said that it is, “The first time I’ve really gotten personal in a concrete way. I’m going to reveal more about myself and where I’m from.”  He points to the racial politics of Minnesota and efforts to bring to bear a range of influences including Prince, Michael Jackson and even Bob Dylan. “I call it party and politics because, to me, that’s what the 70s kind of resonates with. People knew how to party. They could throw down. But they were also famous for taking a stand.” Thus, the first half of the album is what he calls “party,” while the second half focuses on “politics,” including pieces written in the memories of George Floyd and Trayvon Martin. “I don’t really worry about it,” James said of injecting politics into his art. “I’ve definitely gotten some of that—the shut up and sing kind of vibe. If it’s important to you, I think you’ve got to talk about it. If people don’t like it, that’s kind of fine.” It’s important to Jose James indeed. Enjoy a tremendous episode of The Load Out Music Podcast with the acclaimed jazz maestro. 
33:08 4/20/24
Season 5: Guitarist Tobin Dale’s Authentic Soul Shines Through
Earnestness. Authenticity. These are the things Nashville-based guitarist Tobin Dale relates to when he considers his chosen craft as a guitarist and playing the music he loves. A true student of rock‘n’roll guitar, Dale has been at it since discovering the Beatles and subsequently picking up the guitar around age 12, growing up in Orlando. In music circles, he’s become known as a go-to sideman for touring and sessions when artists are seeking the much-admired weave sound of guitars made popular by the likes of Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and heard in the sounds of bands like The Faces, Humble Pie, the Black Crowes, Dan Baird projects and more. He first began life as a working musician in Los Angeles after following the cross-country voyage taken by one of his heroes, Tom Petty, who went from central Florida to LA. In California, he first joined the band the Nasty Souls, playing his first live show at the famed Roxy on Sunset at age 21. It was there that the likes of Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt, Patti Smith, Prince and more had played prior. Alcohol and drugs, of course, were ever-present in the LA music scene. In particular, booze became a particular vice when playing with Caldwell Jack & the Six Pack during a residency at the Kibitz Room. Dale had a wakeup call during an East Coast tour that helped Dale find sobriety. He ultimately moved to Nashville with the love of his life and began finding bigger opportunities through encounters with the likes of Alejandro Escovedo, through producer Julian Raymond at Big Machine Records, touring with Brock Ganyea and ultimately hooking up with the legendary Ray Wylie Hubbard. Dale’s relationship with Hubbard started during his time playing on tour with Ganyea, who was opening shows for Hubbard. The iconic Texas songwriter approached Dale after a few performances and asked him to come up on stage to join him on the song “You Got to Move.” Dale asked Hubbard if he wanted, “the Fred McDowell or the Rolling Stones version.” A kinship was formed and the bond has only solidified since. It didn’t hurt, of course, that Dale quickly found chemistry with Hubbard’s son and bandmate Lucas—the two weaving their guitars seamlessly—and Dale continues playing with Hubbard’s band today, such as his recent gigs on the Sirius XM Outlaw Country Cruise (where Dale also played with Andrew Leahey and the Homestead) and at Red Rocks in Colorado. It would seem, at just age 34, Dale is only getting started. He has a big summer ahead, touring with Tuk Smith & the Restless Hearts, picking up gigs here and there in Nashville and across the U.S. But with every consideration, Dale seemingly comes back to his fundamental tenants—particularly, authenticity. We discuss all of this and more on a terrific edition of The Load Out Music podcast with guitarist Tobin Dale. Enjoy!
40:28 4/7/24
Season 5: A Visit with Rap Music Royalty in the Sugarhill Gang
Like any other art form, rap music or hip-hop has a defined, ever-evolving legacy. There are names etched in the walls of the greats industry founders ranging from Curtis Blow to Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J to Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, Will Smith, Doug E. Fresh, the Fat Boys and Queen Latifah. As the genre evolved, rap developed more of an edge, telling painful stories of street life from performers like N.W.A., Ice-T, Public Enemy, Tupac Shakur, and the Notorious B.I.G. Rappers Jay Z, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg took rap to new heights of popularity, giving hip-hop a seat at the mainstream table. And others like Lauryn Hill,  50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Lil’ Wayne, Eminem, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Drake, DMX, J. Cole and others have kept rap going strong and made it a viable and highly profitable music style. But rap is incomplete without the group that coined the phrase “hip-hop” in their groundbreaking anthem “Rapper’s Delight”—the Sugarhill Gang.  Indeed, any conversation about rap—which in 2023, celebrated 50 years as an art form—is incomplete without the Sugarhill Gang. Formed in 1979, it started outside an Englewood, New Jersey, pizza shop when singer and music executive Sylvia Robinson asked Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson—who would croon as he made pizza inside—to sing for she and her husband Joe in their car parked outside. Jackson was ultimately joined by Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien and the two of them went to the Robinson home along with Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright. The three young me thought they were auditioning against one another, but in the end, were assembled into a music act that would go on to become one of the first rap groups ever—the Sugarhill Gang—holding a legendary place in popular music history.  We sit down with the Sugarhill Gang including Master Gee, Wonder Mike, Hendogg and DJ T-Dynasty for the latest episode of the Load Out Music Podcast. 
47:11 2/20/24
Season 5: Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Dave Mason Kicks off Season 5
Some guests need no introduction, especially when they've been a founding member of one of the most lendary rock bands in history, Traffic. But if you need more, Dave Mason has it. He's penned well over 100 songs, has three gold records, worked with the late Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartnery, George Harrison, Eric, Clapton, Rita Coolidge and the list goes on. The self-described "country boy" from England who now lives in Nevada is about the hit the road again--because he wouldn't feel comfortable anywhere else--and has a new memoir and fresh blues album out this summer. We welcome the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee to The Load Out Music Podcast for a great kickoff to Season 5!
28:11 1/27/24
Season 4: Caleb Lee Hutchinson Emerges
You might recognize Caleb Lee Hutchinson from his short stint on NBC's The Voice, on American Idol, country music radio or your favorite streaming platform. But after dropping an EP and a few popular singles, as well as working with some renowned producers, he emerges with his first full-length album, Southern Galactic, and it's certainly not your run-of-the-mill country music fare. Indeed, it's reminscent of the forays into pop, electronic music and rock that we've heard from the likes of Sturgill Simpson and Paul Cauthen in recent years. Either way, Hutchinson is certainly drawing a line in the sand and expressing his own sound that is rooted a creative process driven by brutal honesty and the rich storytelling tradition of country music’s roots. 
42:56 10/23/23
Season 4: NEEDTOBREATHE's Josh Lovelace Joins The Load Out
Despite a rather decorated, 20-year history that includes accolades any band would relish, the GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum band NEEDTOBREATHE isn't satisfied. Indeed, the band came into their latest studio album feeling there was much to prove despite living in rare air in the modern genre landscape--having placed five Number One albums all across the Billboard chart spectrum. In our most recent episode of The Load Out Music Podcast, we speak to NEEDTOBREATHE's Josh Lovelace about where the band has been, where is is now, and where it's headed. 
28:58 10/18/23
Season 4: ZZ Ward Polishes That Dirty Shine
If there’s anything to be learned from the monumental successes of Beyonce and Taylor Swift, it’s that music artists can do more than simply record and perform music. Certainly, each has established themselves as exceptional artists. But they have also cultivated remarkably strong seemingly interpersonal bonds with their fans ranging from Beyonce’s “Bee Hive” to Taylor’s “Swifties.”  A few rungs down the ladder, yet furiously climbing higher and higher, sits the uniquely engaging Zsuzsanna Eva Ward. She is better known as ZZ Ward and was our most recent guest on The Load Out music podcast.  Ward’s fan community is known as “Dirty Shine,” a term revolving around being one’s authentic self—imperfections and vulnerabilities included. The term itself, “Dirty Shine,” that is, has become something of a mission statement and rallying cry for the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, whose alternative, blues and hip-hop-blending music has quietly exploded amongst her passionate fanbase. “The concept of ‘Dirty Shine’ is larger than the record,” Ward said of her new album. “When I put out my first album (2012’s Til the Casket Drops), my fans and I started saying we are dirty shine. It was about embracing who you are—we are all dirty, a little rough around the edges. I’ve always had this vibe, but I feel like this time in my life is like dirty shine on steroids. I can fully be myself, and nothing can stop me.”  Ward, however, has gone beyond embracing her who she is, embracing her fans and polishing that dirty shine through her relationships each and every day, noting that she chats “with my fans on Discord every day.” Ward’s Til the Casket Drops made a notable entry into the AAA Radio Charts Top 10. Her sophomore album, The Storm, clinched the number one spot on the Billboard Blues Charts. On her third and latest effort, Dirty Shine sets a new bar as more of a cinematic piece with a diverse blend of sounds—from bold electronic textures, rugged hip-hop beats, to juke joint harmonica. The album was recorded in collaboration with renowned producers such as Ludwig Göransson, Mike Elizondo, Jason Evigan and more. The single "On One," features Jean Deaux and is inspired by Ward’s new role as a mother. It carries an empowering message, defying the stereotype that motherhood equates to weakness.   “You just have to run your own race and do your own thing,” Ward said. As Ward expands her role in making music she has gone beyond artist and become a video director, record label owner, a new mom, and she hand-makes versions of her signature fedoras that are available for purchase via her website Watch her polish that dirty shine as we enjoy a great conversation with ZZ Ward on the latest edition of The Load Out music podcast.
33:26 8/28/23
Season 4: Susan Gibson Still Loves Her Wide Open Spaces
Singer-songwriter Susan Gibson was born in Minnesota but spent most of her formative years in Amarillo, Texas. Growing up, she and her family would often drive between Amarillo and Missoula, Montana, where she drew comfort and inspiration from the wide open spaces along their route.  Ultimately, Gibson took to music and the continuum of movement through those scenic vistas would become an essential muse that, in the early 1990s, would end up on a cassette tape of her early songs. “I didn’t start writing songs to become a professional songwriter at all,” Gibson recently told me on the latest episode of The Load Out music podcast.  Recorded way back in 1992, that cassette tape had a gem that, not-so-ironically, was called “Wide Open Spaces.” The song ended up on a demo tape for Gibson’s former Amarillo-based band, The Groobees, which they sent to legendary music producer Lloyd Maines in hopes he would produce a record for them. Maines connected with the lyrics of “Wide Open Spaces,” a tale of a daughter leaving home. But he thought it would be an ideal match for the voice of his daughter Natalie, who had just joined a little country outfit called The Dixie Chicks (now The Chicks). And the rest, as they say, is history. The Chicks released the album Wide Open Spaces in 1998 and the title track went on to become a smash hit around the world and one of the most impactful country songs of the past 50 years. But Gibson has no remorse about one of her songs turning into a hit for another artist. She not only adores The Chicks as a band, but is grateful that her inspiration remains so appreciated. “I’m proud that I captured something at 24-years-old that still feels true to me today,” she said. “That idea of being a tumbleweed is really attractive to me. I lean into that part of the job…I love kind of a gypsy-ish lifestyle.” Gibson is realistic about the song, playfully calling it her “lightning strike lottery ticket,” but it’s important to understand the context of just how big “Wide Open Spaces” became. Not only was it named the Country Music Association Single of the Year in 1999, but it won Gibson the American Songwriter Professional Country Songwriter of the Year award in early 2000, along with a BMI award the previous year. Despite the acclaim, however, Gibson has remained grounded and committed to her craft—writing, playing, singing. She is highly respected across the industry as a songwriter which is on display throughout her catalogue of seven albums and a variety of singles.  Her last full-length record—2019’s The Hard Stuff—dug deep into her personal journey. It examined Gibson’s battle with alcoholism (she’s been sober since 2010), and we spoke at length about the signals she received that led her to finally giving up the bottle.  “I had all of the stuff that you are imaging happened when you have a drinking problem,” she said. “The lying, cheating, stealing, blaming other people for your own mistakes. It makes good relationships incredibly hard when you are an alcoholic.” A hand injury suffered in a 2010 car accident turned the light on, leading her to realize that—without her physical talents—she had no music.  “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she said. “Getting sober has changed my life profoundly.” Thus, today Gibson is clear-eyed, loving the craft of playing music every single day; being thankful for moments in time like writing “Wide Open Spaces,” and the experiences that drove her to follow an artist’s path.  Enjoy an amazing conversation with a terrific songwriter and wonderful person, Susan Gibson, on the latest Load Out music podcast.
49:14 8/20/23
Season 4: Diane Gentile and Alejandro Escovedo Take a Walk
Singer-songwriters Diane Gentile and Alejandro Escovedo seemingly could not be more different.   Gentile grew up as one of eight siblings in Flushing, Queens, and every morsel of her oozes New York City in a manner that evokes memories of the famed all-female band The Runaways.   While Gentile cut her teeth in the music business as a club booker in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Escovedo—the son of a Mexican immigrant who grew up in Texas—was living the life of a classic, nomadic troubadour.   Yet, there were always connections. Mutual friends, moments where they occupied the same spaces. Eventually, they would meet and form a kinship. Together, Gentile and Escovedo joined me on a recent episode of The Load Out music podcast to discuss a new collaboration.
35:53 8/14/23
Season 4: Anthony and Steven Babino Get Their Rebel Kicks Out
Over the four seasons of The Load Out music podcast, we’ve had a variety of artists on the show that have ranged from Rock-and-Roll Hall-of-Fame inductees like John Oates, Steve Cropper and Chris Hillman; to Grammy winners, alt-country stars, longtime record executives and noted rap producers.  On the latest episode, we welcome an up-and-coming band from New York City that’s a little bit rock, a little bit pop, and a little bit electronic music—a very different twist for our listeners.  Rebel Kicks—comprised of talented, multi-instrumentalist brothers Anthony and Steven Babino—have shared stages with the likes of the Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Mac Miller, Iggy Azalea, Incubus and more. The band’s new EP features the well-received singles “Silhouette” along with “Electrophoria,” a hard-hitting, groove-centric track inspired by the recent growth of artificial intelligence. The band drew its name from a line in the song ‘Feel It Still’ by the band Portugal. The Man—"I’m a rebel just for kicks"—and have gone on to draw comparisons with Grouplove, Portugal and The Killers.  Welcome to the Babino brothers!  
35:44 7/31/23
Season 4: Red Dirt Pioneer Cody Canada Visits The Load Out
Let’s start here. Cody Canada—our latest guest on The Load Out Music Podcast—is many things but he is most certainly not some radio DJ in Canada, in the event you were curious.  No, he’s a pioneering figure in red dirt music and one of the more respected musicians in songwriting circles today. But many casual music fans might be unfamiliar with his name, instead knowing his work from the legendary band that he founded and led from 1994 – 2010: Cross Canadian Ragweed.  For those unfamiliar with red dirt music, it’s a genre stuck between country and rock-and-roll named for the color of the Oklahoma soil. It has featured acts such as Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Stoney Larue, Charlie Robison, the Turnpike Troubadours, and the Randy Rogers Band—but has also extended to the likes of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Ray Wylie Hubbard and those who have built the Texas country-rock scene.  Canada got hooked on music when he attended a George Strait show while living in Texas as a kid. The next day he asked his parents for a guitar and it was on. In his teen years, Canada was insulated, a loner, he freely admits he didn’t have many friends. His family then relocated to Yukon, Oklahoma, and his obsession with the regional outlaw country music and the Seattle sounds of Nirvana and Pearl Jam only deepened.  Music became his thing—his only thing—and in 1994, Canada put together a band with Matt Weidemann (bass), Grady Cross (guitar), and Randy Ragsdale (percussion). Cross Canadian Ragweed was born and one of their first gigs was playing a on a glorious trailer on “Czech Day” in Yukon—where they played for six hours. The band would move to Stillwater, Oklahoma, and in 1998 put out its first album, Carney. But it wasn’t until Ragweed’s 2002 self-titled album featuring Canada’s song “17” that the band broke through. Then things really went next level in 2004 with the album Soul Gravy. It debuted at number five on Billboard’s country charts—despite Canada wanting to be as far from Nashville country as he possibly can to this day—and featured the hit songs “Sick and Tired” with Lee Ann Womack and “Alabama.”  But like happens in most bands, tensions rose in Ragweed—a topic Canada does not shy away from—and the band dissolved in 2010.  In 2011, Canada and bassist Jeremy Plato formed Cody Canada & the Departed, releasing the album This Is Indian Land, a collection of covers written by Oklahoma songwriters. The band ultimately minimized to simply, The Departed, and over the past decade, Canada has moved forward with the band as well as on solo projects, writing music and reaping the rewards of a legacy he’s built over 30 years. In 2020, MusicFest, the esteemed festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, paid tribute to Canada with live recorded performances from his songwriting peers, releasing the album The Years: A MusicFest Tribute to Cody Canada. Ragweed also released the reboot of “Soul Gravy” in 2022. Womack returned to sing on the new version along with performances from some key musicians who helped shape the original album including Randy Rogers and Ray Wiley Hubbard. And just recently, Canada joined longtime friends Micky and Gary Braun (of Micky and the Motorcars) on the “Acoustic Healing Tour.”  All along, in spite of being a pioneer in red dirt music, family remains the bedrock of Canada’s life. He and his wife Shannon lead a School of Rock in their hometown of New Braunfels, Texas, where they are raising their children Dierks Cobain Canada (named for friend Kierks Bentley and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain) and Willy Vedder Canada (named for Willy Braun of the band Reckless Kelly and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder).   So, sit back for a great conversation on The Load Out Music Podcast with an incredibly accomplished musician and fascinating character in Cody Canada.
40:59 7/17/23
Season 4: Joshua Radin is Working to Create a World to Live In
Singer-songwriter Joshua Radin didn’t think he was going to be a musician. Certainly, he loved art and studied drawing and painting at Northwestern. But after college he worked as a teacher, screenwriter and other odd jobs.  In his late 20s, Radin’s father bought him a guitar and things slowly came together. In 2004, actor Zach Braff—a friend since college—helped Radin get his song "Winter" on the NBC show Scrubs. Ultimately, Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence cherry-picked several of Radin’s other songs for the show which would also go on to appear on Radin’s debut record, We Were Here.   And off Radin went.  He recently joined us on The Load Out Music Podcast, and over his career thus far, he has since tallied more than one billion streams. Radin’s single, “I’d Rather Be With You,” was certified gold, his music has appeared in over 200 films, television series, and commercials; and Ellen Degeneres loves his music so much that Radin played her wedding. In recent years, Radin decided a change of scenery was necessary and essentially left his life behind, traveling with nothing more than the essentials (and enough tools to be creative). He decided to live somewhat of a vagabond lifestyle overseas while also making stops to record new material in places such as Stockholm, Paris, and Lisbon. The result is his forthcoming album (out August 4) Though the World Will Tell Me So, Vol 2, which follows Vol 1—also written in Europe—that came out last year.  Radin recently released the EP’s latest single “Man Of The Year,” which finds him exploring his personal struggles with intimacy and vulnerability.  “I build walls around myself,” he said, “Always terrified of being hurt, making myself too vulnerable, which is I’m sure why the music I write is the exact opposite—I try to create a world in which I want to live.” So enjoy the latest episode of The Load Out music podcast with singer-songwriter Joshua Radin. It’s a great one!
34:16 7/11/23
Season 4: Blues Rock Guitar Legend Joe Bonamassa is Keeping the Blues Alive
When he was 12, Joe Bonamassa started his career in blues-rock by opening for the legendary B.B. King. Somehow, things only got better for his career from there. Bonamassa has since been nominated for three Grammy Awards, had the number one position on the Billboard Music Blues Charts 26 times and been noted as one of the pre-eminent modern day blues-rock guitarists. But in reality, he is much more. Bonamassa is a tremendous songwriter and vocalist, but also continually demonstrates his passion for preserving and elevating blues as an art form beyond his music. Through Bonamassa’s philanthropy, the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, he’s working to chart a path and raise millions for children in music. At the same time, he’s also helping guide and manage rising artists through his management agency and record label, Journeyman Records. Bonamassa recently dropped a fantastic live concert film and album shot at Red Rocks in Colorado while he is also celebrating the 20-year-annivesary of his groundbreaking independent album Blues Deluxe with the just-released studio album Blues Deluxe Vol. 2. This all brings us to a terrific conversation with Joe as he visits the Load Out music podcast. Enjoy!
34:03 6/20/23
Season 4: Shawn Mullins Still Shimmers
The 1990s saw a host of new rock ‘n’ roll and adult-oriented roots come to the forefront on the American music scene. There was an understated, long-haired kid from Georgia in the mix with bands like the Black Crowes, Wilco, Sheryl Crow and the Counting Crows.  His name was Shawn Mullins and his brooding, lyrically-thoughtful style stood out, harkening back to the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. He exploded out of the gates with the album Soul’s Core and it left a mark with the Grammy-nominated song “Lullaby” and the hit “Shimmer”—which became an anthem for Australia as part of its promotional campaign during the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. His career has only grown since, with songs like “All in My Head,” which was featured on the hit television sitcom Scrubs and his huge hit “Beautiful Wreck” from 2006’s 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor record. We discuss his career and more as Shawn celebrates the 20th anniversary of Soul’s Core by recording two new versions of the album, dubbed Soul’s Core Revival. The songs are not a remix or a remaster of the original, rather, brand-new recordings with new arrangements of the songs. One album will be new stripped down solo performances – some on guitar, some on piano, and one a cappella – and the second will be a new studio recording with his full band, Soul Carnival. Enjoy the latest episode of The Load Out music podcast with the great Shawn Mullins.
38:15 6/13/23
Season 4: Ivan Neville Wants to Touch Your Soul
In 1994, I moved to New Orleans, where I lived until 1998. I loved my time there and still love the city today. Life in NOLA is hard to explain to those who’ve never been, or maybe only spent time partying in the French Quarter. It’s unique in so many ways, and as my children grew up, we tried to expose them to it as often as we could.    Unlike most cities, communities in New Orleans are often racially integrated. They call them “checker-board neighborhoods,” which gives you a depiction of how white and black families live side-by-side. That doesn’t mean racism does not exist in NOLA. It does, just like any other city or town in America. But relations between races is very different there in that the identities are more closely shared than in other places across the U.S.   Among several factors is the city is a living, breathing celebration of life and music runs through New Orleans’ veins. You very well might run into it at nearly any turn, and oftentimes, that music is being played or enjoyed by multicultural audiences, regardless of the style. This can create a unique sense of community that has the ability to overshadow differences. Our most recent guest on The Load Out Music Podcast is the great Ivan Neville. He’s not only a true king of modern-day funk and standard-bearer for New Orleans music, but the son of one of the most distinctive vocalists of the past half-century—Aaron Neville of the legendary Neville Brothers. “I saw my own place in the conversation about our musical and cultural heritage and history,” Neville said. “I got to see my role in the evolution of the music of New Orleans. The crowds may not have seen the Neville Brothers back in the day, most of the audiences were too young for that. But spiritually speaking, these were the Brothers’ children and that makes me appreciate what (his band) Dumpsta does even more. You become an elder, a teacher, by example.”  Neville and I spent time reminiscing about our shared NOLA haunts—I lived a block from his family’s home for a time—but focus largely on the evolution of his career that emerged from his father’s shadow long ago. Indeed, he has performed or recorded with the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, Robbie Robertson and is a charter member of Keith Richards’ X-Pensive Winos. Now, he is out with his first solo record in nearly 20 years and Ivan has a lot to say about life, fatherhood, sobriety, and what he and I believe might be the greatest place on earth—New Orleans.   “I haven’t written any new material for myself in a long time,” Ivan explained, “So this project is very special to me. I made it up as I went along, a song here and there.” The new record, Touch My Soul, is filled with joy, beauty and pain. It exudes an unmistakable New Orleans ambience and breathes new life into his singular sound. It’s both a love letter to the Crescent City and a celebration of his emotional and spiritual journey as an artist, a father and a man.    “When I was growing up,” Ivan said about the spirit of Touch My Soul, “People interacted differently on the street. They acknowledged each other. There was a feeling of connection. Just a nod or a look that said, ‘Where y’at?’”    And with that in mind, Neville brings together old friends on the album, with vocal contributions from Michael McDonald, Bonnie Raitt, Big Aaron and David Shaw of the Revivalists, and instrumental sparks from Troy Andrews on trombone and violinist Theresa Anderson.    “I wanted familiar voices to bring back a feeling of community,” Ivan said. “I figured, if everyone said hello to a stranger, spontaneously but within reason, it might make the world a better place. It certainly can’t hurt.”    That sense of community-mindedness extends throughout Touch My Soul—one that is alive with the pulse of the Crescent City.    “When I think about the way music has touched my soul and all the songs that became special moments in my life, I become very emotiona,” added Ivan. “Music should touch your soul. I hope this record and this music touches someone’s soul.”    Ivan Neville unquestionably has that ability to touch your soul, so sit back and enjoy the latest episode of The Load Out Music Podcast with the modern standard bearer of New Orleans funk.  
44:20 5/4/23
Season 4: Tom Lipsky, The King of Classic Rock, Looks to Bring Artists the Respect They Deserve
If someone introduced themselves by saying they’d worked with historic music artists such as Neil Young, Robert Plant, the Allman Brothers—you probably think one of two things: Either this person’s “completely full of shit” or “holy shit!” And in welcoming the relatively anonymous Tom Lipsky to the latest episode of The Load Out Music Podcast, we’ll take that “holy shit” and then some, as I didn’t even mention his associations with Rush, Iron Maiden, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nancy Wilson of Heart, Motorhead, Lenny Kravitz ,Judas Priest, Styx, Widespread Panic, Kiss, Rob Zombie, The Steve Miller Band and many more. Often referred to as “the King of Classic Rock,” Lipsky is a longtime record industry fixture who previously led CMC International Records, Sanctuary Records, Loud & Proud Records and now heads Carry On Music. His work today principally focuses on creating business opportunities for iconic, legacy artists such as working on selling the rights to catalogues with investment funds—deals like we’ve seen from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan in recent years.  More than anything, as Lipsky noted throughout our conversation, he simply wants artists to ensure the artists he works with receive the respect they deserve.  “Everyone wants to be respected, I don’t care what industry you’re in,” Lipsky said during our interview. “And it’s no different in music. The rock stars that are out there—it doesn’t matter how high they’ve been, how far they’ve fallen. They want to be respected for what they accomplished.” He started in music during what he called “the 8-track era,” working in live entertainment and running a music theater in Baltimore, Maryland. He met everyone in the business and moved into managing artists, ultimately joining CMC in North Carolina. He transformed CMC into an industry force and has continued successfully trudging through the industry until today.  “I like the way the business has evolved in most cases,” Lipsky told me. “I love that fact that independent creators, independent companies, labels, publishers, producers have been able to have an impact—standing toe to toe with the much bigger labels.” He finally “accidentally” fell into the veteran artists community, working with established music acts looking to maintain relevancy in an evolving landscape.   “I found myself finding an incredible opportunity with the veteran artists,” he said. One thing that stuck with him was how Crosby, Stills Nash and Young had been released by Atlantic Records. The band merely received a form letter in the mail. “You think of that group,” noted Lipsky. “They were one of the building blocks of that label….and they didn’t even get a phone call. They didn’t have an executive fly out. That’s a terrible way of doing business.” Convinced there was a niche with veteran artists, he convinced a handful to join his movement—one of the first of which was Lynyrd Skynyrd—and it mushroomed “very quickly.” But more than anything, Lipsky simply wanted artists to get the respect they deserve. It’s at the forefront of what he does every day for the artists he has and continues to work with—and the list is long and impressive.  Sit back and enjoy a terrific episode of The Load Out with the King of Classic Rock—Tom Lipsky. 
49:13 4/28/23
Season 4: Tanya and Michael Totter’s Love Story Paints Every Corner of The War and Treaty
What do you get when you cross the movie Sister Act 2 and Saddam Hussein? But of course, the Americana band The War and Treaty, led by the married couple, Tanya and Michael Trotter.  Tanya (formerly Blount) began building a music and entertainment career at 16, appearing in the 1993 Whoopi Goldberg sequel and then releasing a debut album, Natural Thing. She went on to sign with Sean Comb’s Bad Boy Entertainment, appear several musicals, and in the 2008 Tyler Perry film The Family That Preys.  As Tanya’s career was taking off, a 13-year-old from the “hood in Cleveland”—as Michael Trotter noted on the most recent episode of The Load Out music podcast—was arriving on a bus into Washington, D.C. Along with his mother, Michael was hoping to escape a life of poverty and abuse, finding a home in a D.C.-area shelter that took them in.   Some 10 years later, Michael was serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq, patrolling Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad palace, when he came across a perfectly tuned piano that would change his life. Michael taught himself to play, pairing his newfound passion for the black and white keys with the vocal prowess he’d honed throughout his childhood.   When Michael returned home from Iraq, however, he had a crippling case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but also a new focus on performing and songwriting. He and Tanya would subsequently meet and fall in love, bringing together a dynamic love story and powerhouse vocal duo, ultimately playing an Americana blend of gospel, country, soul and rock as The War and Treaty.   Now based in Nashville, we recently sat down with Tanya and Michael to discuss their love, life and take stock in The War and Treaty.   Over roughly 25 minutes, we covered a lot of territory: Looking back at the past 15 years, building and strengthening a blended family, deepening their love affair and crafting a professional partnership that has become one of the most respected husband and wife performance duos in a generation.   Certainly, the road to success has not been without its challenges. There were incredibly lean times trying to feed a growing family. But there were also many highs, like jaw-dropping performances at the Grammys and the Academy of Country Music Awards. The continuum of comparisons to Ike & Tina Turner have been ever-present, of course; Rolling Stone magazine called them “one of Nashville’s most thrilling new acts”; and they played with the likes of Emmylou Harris, toured with Al Green, shared stages with Brandi Carlile, Elvis Costello and more.    “When you look at a married couple like Michael and I, people see the happiness and they see us on stage,” Tayna said. “They see the love. But they don’t understand that we’re just like any other couple. We have our ups and downs.”   Like any artist, COVID-19 took the air out of what had been a fast-rising balloon for The War and Treaty. But things quickly reinflated, and Tanya’s and Michael’s love for one another—along with the couple’s immense talent—have been driving the band’s continued success.   In speaking with the couple, it’s hard to miss the visible pain on Michael’s face—anguished by a cocktail of PTSD, depression and anxiety—as he works to answer questions about their past, digging into his memory banks about the life they’ve shared and what he endured prior. But it’s also remarkably heartening to watch Tanya as she intuitively senses that pain, frequently placing her hand on the back of Michael’s neck, gently massaging him—bringing him back into the present at that moment.   It seems to always get back to the love they share.   Throughout the years, The War and Treaty have released five albums and a variety of EPs and singles—each heavily influenced by their passions for one another. The group signed a major label deal with Universal Music Group in May 2022, and just released its major label debut album: Lover's Game. It’s an exceptional record containing 10 uniquely diverse tracks produced by multi-Grammy award-winner Dave Cobb.   “I had a lot to say,” Michael explained. “It all started for me with the death of John Prine (in April 2020) and it didn’t stop after that. You can believe whatever it is you believe, but for me, my source is God, and this was the first time in my life I’ve ever questioned him or her. I wrote maybe 30 songs standing outside our bedroom door when Tanya had COVID-19, just really confused and hoping that this wasn’t it for her. My comfort was songwriting.”   On Lover’s Game, Michael and Tanya dig deep into the lessons their love has laid bare, especially as COVID-19 turned life upside down. The title track is a rollicking banger unlike anything in the band’s catalogue. The song “Blank Page” uses a rootsy R&B sway to tribute the kind of love that gives weary hearts a second wind. “Up Yonder” is a tune that bounds with folky freedom in the promise of eternal companionship. The spirit-lifting “Angel” soars on wings of gratitude and sweeping steel guitar while “Have You a Heart” aches for real partnership.   In total, it’s one of the most memorable conversations we’ve had in recent memory on The Load Out. So enjoy the most recent episode with The War and Treaty. Feel the love. It’s hard not to.
23:52 4/20/23
Season 4: Sixteen Years Later, The Band of Heathens Keeps Its ‘Vibe’ and ‘Cool’ Working
In the fall of 2005, four musicians—Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist, Brian Keen and Colin Brooks—all had residencies at Momo’s, the since-shuttered music club on West 6th Street in Austin, Texas. Ultimately, the four songwriters found themselves jamming each week, sharing a bill in what was lightly called “The Good Time Supper Club” on the Momo’s stage.   It became a local staple of the thriving Austin music scene and the stage became “an extended hang,” as Quist noted, somewhat joking that the performances “specialized in tequila and trainwrecks.” He said it was, “a good time for cutting our teeth on danger and taking chances on music and experiencing the magic that comes from that.”   After a misprint in a local newspaper billed the act as "The Heathens," the collective became known as “The Band of Heathens”—our latest guests on The Load Out Music Podcast.   Over a 16-month-period, the group began to galvanize into what would become what remains a force today in Americana-driven rock-and-roll. Now led by Jurdi and Quist, The Band of Heathens has built one of the most dedicated followings for an independent act worldwide.   “It was exciting,” said Jurdi of those formative years. “Everything was very new at that point. So, we were sort of sharing in all these experiences together.”   There was an unquestioned magic that they all could sense, even in the beginning. The band’s first recording, Live from Momo's, brought the band national attention and they were voted "Best New Band" at the 2007 Austin Music Awards.     “The fact that we received ‘Best New Band’ was a nice reflection of Austin and the scene and the collaboration of the scene,” Jurdi said.   Ultimately, the great Ray Wylie Hubbard—a past guest on The Load Out—signed on to produce The Band of Heathens’ self-titled first record.   “Ray is a legend and is a great guy,” Quist said.” He took us under his wing and said, like, ‘let me show you how to make a good record.’ He specializes in vibe and cool.”  
46:55 3/30/23
Season 4: The Load Out Kicks off Season 4 with the brotherhood of Robert Jon & The Wreck
We’re back to kickoff Season 4 of The Load Out Music Podcast with Southern California-based up-and-comers Robert Jon & The Wreck, speaking with the band’s understated founder and frontman, Robert Jon Burrison.   The Wreck, which has been together since 2011, has a tremendous new record out called “One of a Kind.” It’s the first of a series of singles and EPs to be released in 2023, and the songs have been created in partnership with legendary producers including Don Was (The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt) and Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, The Highwomen) among other producers, and are being released by blues legend Joe Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records.   With 10 records released over 13 years, it’s been a painstaking yet satisfying tenure for the band which presently includes Burrison on lead vocals and guitar, Andrew Espantman on drums and background vocals, Jake Abernathy on keyboards, Henry Schneekluth on lead guitar and background vocals), and Warren Murrel on bass.   “We’re growing up as we’re doing this,” said Burrison. “We’re learning what takes priority in each other’s lives…We were all in our early 20s, you know, and the early 20s and late 20s are the most formidable years.”   Burrison said the band collectively writes all of The Wreck’s music. It’s an organic process to songwriting where, he said, “We just start jamming and somebody plays something that’s cool…It’s a brotherhood. We’re a family and we’re all working together and sacrificing together.”   Known for its electrifying live shows, The Wreck has built a global following with soaring guitar leads, boogieing grooves, rich vocal harmonies, and memorable tunes. And like the legendary band Little Feat—whose founder, Bill Payne, we spoke to last season on The Load Out—the band brings a diverse dynamic blending southern roots music with blues, rock, funk and country among other styles.   “We thought you were from Atlanta or Georgia or Jacksonville and you’re not,” Burrison said he is most often asked. “And then I say, ‘You’re right and you’re right. We’re from Southern California. We’re playing music that we love.’”   So have a listen to our conversation with Robert Burrison of Robert Jon & The Wreck to kickoff Season 4 of The Load Out Music Podcast.      
32:35 3/26/23
Season 3: Maroon 5 Founding Drummer Ryan Dusick Talks Booze, Anxiety and the Pain That Drove Him Out of Music
We wrap up what has been a stellar Season 3 with the founding drummer of one of the world's most renowned bands: Ryan Dusick of Maroon 5.  In the 1990s, when Dusick and his buddies including some guy named Adam Levine, dreamt of making it big in music---they never imagined Maroon 5 would emerge as one of the biggest bands on the planet. But it happened, and along with that fame came expectations, an unimaginable grind, pain, anxiety and the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll that envelopes nearly any music story. Dusick ran into problems with anxiety, alcoholism and more and ultimately left the band. Today, the lives an altogether different life as a marriage and family therapist---far from the glamorous lifestyle of playing percussion for a band that tours across the world to millions upon millions of fans. During our conversation, Dusick candidly outlines his long and winding journey and talks about his new memoir “Harder to Breathe," with a foward written by Levine.  So sit back and enjoy the final episode of Season 3 of The Load Out Music Podcast with Maroon 5 founding drummer Ryan Dusick.   
50:14 12/7/22
Season 3: Drew McManus Talks the Broad Expanse of Satsang
If you’re one of those people who says you like “all kinds of music,” then Drew McManus and his band SatSang just might be for you. The entirety of SatSang’s catalogue spans comparisons to Ben Harper, G-Love and Special Sauce and Jason Mraz among others. However, the band’s new record “Flowers from the Fray” includes performances and arrangements that are broad and spacious, reflecting the wide-open fields and soaring mountains that surrounded the band during the whirlwind recording process in McManus’ home state of Montana. It’s an Americana record fueled by acoustic guitars, fiddle, and pedal steel, hinting at everything from Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks to Gregory Alan Isakov and The Head and the Heart as it meditates on the power and pull of home. McManus is fascinating. Born in Montana, he spent much of his formative, extremely troubled years in Des Moines and Chicago. His childhood was marked by physical abuse at home and a nose for trouble on the rough streets that surrounded him, and by his late teens, he was struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. After returning to Montana for rehab, he got clean and sober, married the woman of his dreams, and launched Satsang with ‘The Story of You,’ the band’s breakout 2016 debut that is steeped in reggae, hip-hop, and world music.
26:00 11/8/22
Season 3: Stephanie Abbajay and Dominic Vaiana Talk 'A Bar In Toledo'
In 1963, Duane Abbajay—the 15th child of Syrian immigrants—took over ownership of a bar in Toledo, Ohio. And with the backing of the Detroit mafia, he would make it one of the legendary homes of music—first for rock artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Chubby Checker and others in the 1960s; and then for a who’s who of country music legends in the 1970s. We recently welcomed our authors Stephanie Abbajay and Dominic Vaiana whose book “A Bar in Toledo” tells the true story of a man, the mob, and a #1 song—Kenny Roger’s “Lucille,” which was written about the bar. “A Bar In Toledo” is a cautionary tale about the American dream, told through the eyes of an infamous music club owner; it’s a story about the rise, fall and resurrection of a local business celebrity in Toledo, along with the scars that the hidden aspects of his life left on a family that adored him; as well as an intimate portrait of the power of organized crime in the Rust Belt, rock-and-roll—all told by an adoring daughter who didn’t know her father as well as she thought. 
23:48 10/18/22
Season 3: Legendary Jam Band moe. Visits The Load Out
Jam band culture is a thing unto itself that drives passions that are perhaps hotter than any other music fandom. And the the list of legendary jam bands is well known: the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, Phish, Widespread Panic and more. One of the great American jam bands is moe. out of Buffalo which as been praised for its musicality and appeared at Woodstock '99, opened for Allmans and The Who, performed at Radio City Music Hall and at Bonnaroo Music Festival five times and more. On the most recent episode of The Load Out Music Podcast, we welcome in moe.'s Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico.    
38:06 9/8/22
Season 3: Legendary Singer-Songwriter Steve Forbert Joins the Loadout
Welcome back to another episode of the Load Out Music Podcast. We’re thrilled about our guest this week, Steve Forbert, whose first four albums charted on the Billboard 200, and in, 1979 he had a huge hit with “Romeo’s Tune.” A native of Meridian, Mississippi, his 2004 record “Any Old Time” was nominated for a Grammy award for best traditional folk and his songs have been recorded by Marty Stuart, Keith Urban and Rosanne Cash and more. He has a terrific new record out now and we welcome Steve to the podcast.
29:27 9/2/22
Season 3: Happy to “Be in That Crowd” -- Americana Music Pioneer Jeff Hanna of NGBD Reflects on Those Around Him Rather Than His Career
Coming down the homestretch of Season Three of The Load Out Music Podcast, we settle into our new digs in one of the great music venues in St. Louis – The Old Rock House. Most important, we welcome yet another Grammy Award winner in Jeff Hanna, founder and longest serving member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In the 1960s, the Detroit-native landed in Long Beach, California, where music was being transformed. The sounds of folk, rock, country, bluegrass and blues were being blended in from San Francisco to Los Angeles into what is today considered roots, Americana or alt-country. But it was the bands at that time, in that place that were doing it – The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers (both led by past guest Chris Hillman), Poco, Emmylou Harris, New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Buffalo Springfield, Linda Rondstadt Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell and, of course, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Hanna started hanging out at McCabe’s guitar shop with a cast of characters that would shape the alt-country movement: Les Thompson, Jimmie Faddon, Ralph Barr, the legendary Jackson Browne and other founding or future members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB) such as former Load Out guest John McEuen. NGBD’s first big hit was a cover of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles.” But when the legendary Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson agreed to record with NGDB, it set in motion a recording effort in Nashville akin to The Band’s Last Waltz documentary film and album. It was released in 1972 as Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which is in the Grammy Hall of Fame as well as The Library of Congress. Rolling Stone called the first record (there were ultimately three), “The most important record to come out of Nashville” and a 2004 ZAGAT survey called it “the most important record in country music.” True to form, Hanna just downplayed it and instead applauded those around him. “I think most of just felt like, how lucky are we get to make records,” he told me. “It was such a communal project.” All along, Hanna – in and out of NGBD – has succeeded. From the NGBD’s start in 1966 to its 1985 country number one song "Modern Day Romance,” followed up by the smash hit "Fishin' in the Dark" in 1987. The song Hanna co-wrote with Marcus Hummon and Bobby Boyd in 1994, "Bless the Broken Road," won a Best Country Grammy Award for Rascal Flatts in 2006. Most recently, Hanna and NGBD – now featuring Hanna’s son Jaime on vocals and guitar – has taken on another American institution near and dear to their hearts in Bob Dylan’s songbook. Dirt Does Dylan, a ten-track album highlighting some of the gems from Dylan’s vast catalog, was just released with stellar cuts of songs like “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry,” “Forever Young” and other Dylan hits. Throughout our conversation, Hanna spends most of his time heaping praise on everyone in his circle but himself. From his longtime NGBD bandmates to his wife Matraca Berg and son, contributors to Circle like Levon Helm, producer Ray Kennedy and others – Hanna’s intention is summed up in how he described the experience of recording Will the Circle Be Unbroken. “I’m so happy to be in that crowd.” Please enjoy the latest episode of The Load Out Music Podcast with founder Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
45:53 6/23/22
Season 3: Gregory Dwane is More Than Just a Sideman for Alanis Morissette or Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls
The furniture-making country of little Trinity, North Carolina, is not where one generally presumes an ultra-liberal, New York City-living, music-lifer hails from. But there are exceptions to every rule, such as Gregory Dwane, our most recent guest on The Load Out Music Podcast. In the 1990s, Dwayne left small town life and headed to New York where he began playing in punk bands and ultimately producing music. His long and winding trip the through the industry would steer him back-and-forth between New York, LA and Trinity; through an unexpected turn as a young father and years of alcohol abuse, joining Alanis Morissette’s road crew, working with Dave Navarro and Macy Gray, major label record deals and helming production on two solo records for Amy Ray of The Indigo Girls. But Dwane – who looks like he came straight out of central casting for a sage Jedi knight – persevered. His friend Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and The Tantrums introduced him to the healthy paychecks of jingle writing, which he took up for some 15 years. “It’s a hard way to make a living,” he said of writing commercial music. “…a fully produced song practically every day for 15 years.” But Dwane burnt out so he left the music industry altogether and took up fine art painting. Ironically, the change in focus helped inspire him back into music. “If anything, I probably liked music more after I quit,” he said. During the pandemic, like many of us Dwane found he had plenty of spare time on his hands. He dove into Kacey Musgraves’ album “Golden Hour,” rediscovered Waylon Jennings’ record “Ladies Love Outlaws,” and found his personal archive of old demos – some of which were over 20 years old. The result was released last Fall when Dwane dropped his solo debut – a self-titled, alt-country record that is reminiscent of Kris Kristofferson at the height of his powers. The songs are reflective of a man searching for balance and understanding, acknowledging life’s tough lessons and joyful experiences, contemplating male fragility, social consciousness and opening up about his past wounds and traumas.  On June 24, Dwane delivers Act Two – a seven-song record entitled “XX” which comes on the 20th anniversary of his sobriety and largely speaks to his addictions. Gregory Dwane is certainly no sideman any longer. So dig in and enjoy a great conversation with him on The Load Out.
47:18 5/10/22
Season 3: Legendary Little Feat Pianist Bill Payne Finds Political Climate “Frightening” But Takes Solace in the Band's Community
In the late 1960s, Lowell George was playing rhythm guitar in Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention when Zappa suggested George leave the band. There are conflicting versions as to why: Zappa believed George was too talented to be a backing player, he did not like the drug references in George’s song “Willin’,” or Zappa didn’t appreciate George’s fondness for pot. Regardless, George left. He connected with Roy Estrada, who had played bass in the Mothers of Invention, drummer Richie Hayward and keyboardist Bill Payne. The foursome became Little Feat, one of the most distinctive and influential bands in rock history; while “Willin’” would become one of Little Feat’s most recognizable songs. As bands often do, that Little Feat lineup evolved and expanded, lasting about a decade and producing a series of critically acclaimed albums. In 1979, George dissolved Little Feat due to artistic differences with Payne and then died of a heart attack later that year at age 34. “I never quite understood Lowell’s reticence to jazz,” Payne told me on the most recent episode of The Load Out Music Podcast. “I don’t know, maybe he was ahead of us or we were behind.” Payne relishes all that was, and remains, of Little Feat – Lowell George included. He loves that people of all stripes still pack into music venues to see the band play, grooving side-by-side to the sounds of Little Feat songs like “Dixie Chicken” or “Fat Man in the Bathtub.” Yet, he’s deeply concerned with what’s occurring in American culture. “When you walk outside the concert hall, I find it tougher to hold a conversation with people that don’t appreciate voting rights,” he said. “What’s happening with this country and the world is beyond frightening.” Payne feels like when Little Feat plays music, however, “all those lines disappear.” Like Jeff Beck on guitar or Freddie Mercury’s vocals, Payne is revered for what he can do on the keys. His work on the barrelhouse blues piano and Hammond B3 organ is legendary – considered one of the definitive rock-and-roll piano greats along with Leon Russell, Elton John and several others. Payne is so respected, in fact, that he has worked with a who’s who of music elite including The Doobie Brothers, Phil Lesh, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Brown, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Robert Palmer and the list goes on and on. About a decade after George dissolved Little Feat, Payne reformed the band with holdovers Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton, Kenny Gradney and Hayward. Craig Fuller seamlessly slid into the lead vocal role and the band released Let It Roll in 1987. The album went on to become an instant success, earning Little Feat its first No. 1 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, becoming certified gold and reviving interest in the band’s early works. Payne said Little Feat has always an “elastic” idea and its success – from 1969 to this day – remains a product of the band’s musicianship. “I think it’s a direct correlation to the music,” said Payne. “It connects because of the music. Yes, we miss Lowell. Lowell was a defining and distinct voice…When it works, it works because people can grasp what the idea of what that music was and is.” More than five decades after starting Little Feat, Payne is also the last man standing. He is the only original band member still with the band. During our conversation on The Load Out, we cover a lot of ground over about an hour. Payne and I discuss his astonishing career in-and-out of Little Feat, reflections on George dissolving the band, the various incarnations of the group, Payne’s love for making music and sadness for those who’ve passed, as well as his concerns regarding race and politics. We also zero-in on perhaps the only missing piece from Little Feat’s 50-year resume: Sitting on the outside looking in at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – a remarkable hole for the group Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page calls his favorite American band. “Yeah, I’d like to see that for Little Feat,” Payne said. “I think it’s well deserved. I think that if Little Feat can’t get it, who the hell should?” For any concerns he may have, Payne still finds solace in the “community” that is Little Feat. Over a half-century, it’s been a revolving yet consistently diverse collection of players with varied beliefs and backgrounds that has endures even now. “Music is about community,” he told me. “Art is about community.” The legendary Bill Payne has a lot to say, so sit back, enjoy and have a listen to the most recent episode of The Load Out Music Podcast.
54:51 4/29/22
Season 3: Unconventional Singer-Songwriter Jamie Lin Wilson Discusses Her Authentic Musical Journey
Despite being surrounded by the music of countless great female country singers growing up – Lorrie Morgan, Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless, Dolly Parton and others – Jamie Lin Wilson did not see herself pursuing a career in music. As she noted to me on the latest episode of The Load Out Music Podcast, there were “so many great, strong female artists that I really latched onto.” Yet, the fame that often accompanies playing music in front of thousands was a deterrent. “I would love to be a singer but don’t want to be famous,” Wilson said. “I’m good at math so I’ll become an engineer.” That was the thinking and thus the path she found herself on – working towards an engineering degree at Texas A&M. Then came that one week when she was 19. Wilson went to see The Dixie Chicks (now The Chicks) and lead singer Natalie Maines took time to play a solo acoustic version of “Cold Day In July.” Wilson thought to herself, “Hey, I could probably do that.” Later in the week, she went to the Cow Hop bar where she caught Susan Gibson, who ironically wrote “Wide Open Spaces” – a huge hit for the Chicks. Wilson was hooked. The math-nerd engineer was now going to be a singer-songwriter. But her long and winding music industry journey has since been anything but conventional. The Sealy, Texas-native cut her teeth playing open mic nights in College Station, then joining the local band the Sidehill Gougers. She eventually left the Gougers and was put together with an all-female group that became The Trishas. They built a unique chemistry, transforming from a collection of singers and players into an actual band. They ultimately found themselves opening up for the likes of Todd Snider and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as well as touring the country with infant babies in tow. Despite their success, however, The Trishas collectively made choice to disband. They had their own priorities, and in Wilson’s case, it revolved around life raising a family with husband Roy while playing music on her own terms. Yes, she wanted to tour and make records. But needed to do things like coach her daughter’s softball team and “stay married.” In addition to the numerous three-named Texas singers, these are among the many topics we dive into on the latest episode of season three of The Load Out Music Podcast. At the end of our conversation, it was clear that what’s most important to Wilson is being present for her family despite making a living as a touring musician, while remaining true to herself, her values and her rural roots. “I am on my own timeline,” she told me. “I’m a small town. I’m sitting in a ‘60s trailer next to a dog pen next to my husband’s shop. I tell stories of people who are rural.”
54:07 4/12/22

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