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Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #2—of the Cornbread Cafe. We’ve got Keeton Coffman, Alicia Beale, The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, and SO much more!
I am the mongrel, and I will be your waiter today. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. We are the Internet’s new hang-out for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.
On this Episode:
“Killer Eyes,” Keeton Coffman, Killer Eyes
“What We’re Reaching For,” Keeton Coffman, Killer Eyes
“Beautiful,” Alicia Beale, Ignite
“Take That Bath,” Francesca Brown, Collide
“Whiskey In My Tea Master,” Signs Point East
“Nothin But My Whiskey,” Honey Whiskey Trio
“Big Ol Bottle of Wine,” Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, The Heart of the Run
“Bad Man Road,” The Walker Avenue Gang, Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws
“Homewrecker,” Sam Sliva, The Drained
“What You Took,” Faint Peter, Redoubt
“Swansong,” Molly Pinto Madigan, Wildwood Bride
“Goodnight,” Oh Susanna, Namedropper
I want to start off this show with a HUGE thank you to the listeners who shared links to our launch episode on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. Without even being in iTunes, without even any marketing to speak of, Episode #1 racked up over 600 downloads almost right out of the gate, which is wicked good for a show that’s not produced by, you know, like WNYC or RADIOTOPIA or somebody. So, the management and staff of the Cornbread Cafe would like to acknowledge that we owe it all to YOU, you crazy roots-music lovin’ fools, you!
Well, I’d never say that we’re trying to “top” a previous episode, but we did set a pretty high bar with that first show, so I’ve definitely been feeling the pressure. Choosing today’s music, and obsessively arranging each song in exactly the right order was kind of like making the first mix-tape for my sophomore year girlfriend in high school. It had to be juuuuuust perfect to demonstrate my undying adolescent love. And I’m not sure we want to go too deep into the analogy, but my promise to you is that I’ll use the same neurotic perfectionism in every single episode until you are convinced of my devotion to you and your musical edification. When I get a phone call from your parents telling me to stop leaving sticky notes with links to the show on your car windshild, then I’ll know I’ve hit the sweet spot.
And what do we have for you today? We have another set of twelve exceptional tunes ranging from old-school Bluegrass to the very edge of the DMZ between Country and Rock ’n’ Roll. And, to make it a baker’s dozen, we also have an interview with Houston-based Keeton Coffman. In Episode #1, we heard his recent hit “The Mountain” off his 2016 album Killer Eyes. The song resonated with a lot of you, and my guess is that it straddled the line between Alt-Country and Rock so comfortably, that you just couldn’t help but get hooked on it. Well, let’s have another round of that top-shelf tunage with the title track off Killer Eyes.
Extended Interview with Keeton Coffman
That was Keeton Coffman, with “Killer Eyes.” When Keeton accepted our invitation to come on the show and talk about that album and the just-released video for “What We’re Reaching For,” I knew exactly what I wanted to ask about. I wanted to know what drives the upbeat optimism that fuels his extremely danceable anthems. You can hear the full interview by clicking the player in the shownotes at cornbread.cafe, but here’s a preview of that conversation right now in the Cornbread Cafe.
I didn’t mean to start off this show with two Texans, but after getting into such a good mood with Keeton’s music, I was reminded of a song by our friend Alicia Beale, a Texas girl who now makes her home in Nashville. Alicia’s latest release, IGNITE, did exactly that to the Indie music scene last year. She was our guest on another show back in October, so you can imagine how excited we were for her when she took home the prize for Best Pop Single at the Independent Music Awards in November with “New Fling,” featuring Kristo Rewlz. Many of the tracks off IGNITE are perfect examples of the blurring of musical lines that this Cornbread Cafe was built to celebrate. Flavors of Country accent this deep track, “Beautiful,” off that breakout release by Alicia Beale.
Facetime Interview with Alicia Beale
Well, I think I’ve heard myself talk about as much as I can stand for a little while, so why don’t we get some musical momentum started here, right? And, I should warn you, we’re going to go on a little bit of a bender at this point. I’ve been looking for an excuse to fire up the Dodge and make a whiskey run for a while now. Are you game? Joining us are some new friends Signs Point East with “Whiskey In My Tea,” followed by the soon to be everywhere Honey Whiskey Trio with “Nothin But My Whiskey.” And cashing out our tab are our good buds the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, and a live “Big Ol Bottle of Wine,” First though, Francesca Brown is going to intoxicate us with some poison of her own with my favorite track from her latest release, Collide, “Take that Bath”
You want to know how popular Roots music is getting? I’ll tell ya’. The largest contemporary art museum in the country, MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., is home to the Fresh Grass festival, now in its sixth season. The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow are actually playing a show there on St. Patrick’s Day. What kind of a wild time does THAT sound like, eh? Of course I want you to get to know all the artists on this show better—that’s why I put links every seventh word or so. But I want to make a special suggestion that you visit the Honey Whiskey Trio’s website and check out their videos section. Their harmonies on songs like “The Lone Wild Bird” are so defined and so clear as to be dizzying. They tell me that an album is due out this Spring, and when it shoots to the top of the charts, just remember you got your first taste of that sweet Honey Whiskey right here on the Cornbread Cafe.
Sadly, there’s usually a good amount of air between sweet liquor and sound judgement, you notice that? And I reckon it’s a good time to throw a couple of cautionary tales into the mix to sober us all back up a bit. From the soundtrack to the movie Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws, scheduled to be released this year, we’ll hear “Bad Man Road,” by the The Walker Avenue Gang, followed by Sam Sliva with “Homewrecker,” here on the Cornbread Cafe. Buzzkill, I know, right?
Well, I think we have time for a little bit Roots music news don’t we? Not much, but some. First of all, this weekend kicks off the South By Southwest festival, which has gotten so big that Vice President Joe Biden is a speaker and the festival has its own app for navigating time and space while you’re gliding through the marvels assembled in Austen, Tejas.
But SXSW ain’t the only game in town—not by a stretch. Rounding out the rest of March is:
South By Southwest (SXSW) • Austin, TX • Mar 10 – Mar 19
Suwanee Spring Reunion • Live Oak, FL • Mar 23 – Mar 26
Savannah Music Festival • Savannah, GA • Mar 23 – Apr 8
Paluxy River Bluegrass Festival • Glen Rose TX • Mar 30 – Apr 1
Big Ears Festival • Knoxville TN • Mar 23 – Mar 26
And, of course, you can find the link to more info on AmericanaFest 2017 WHERE? Yes, in the shownotes. You’re catching on.
We’re going to serve up a triplet of singer/songwriters who represent some of the best in poetic wordsmithing you could hope to hear on this or any show. First up is Faint Peter with “What You Took,” from the 2016 release Redoubt. Faint Peter is the Boston-born, Seattle-based Joseph De Natale, who, with this album of piercing storytelling, proves he might just be THE standard-bearer for new American folk.
Next, Molly Pinto Madigan mesmerizes us with Swan Song off her 2016 release, Wildwood Bride, which enraptured critics with brilliant lyrics sung with otherworldly elegance.
And closing out the episode will be beautiful, graceful, melancholy “Goodnight,” from Oh Susanna, off Namedropper. We’ve had the good fortune to speak with Suzie Ungerleider, who was born in Northhampton, Mass., and crafts her gorgeous melodies in Toronto, Canada.
I hope you enjoy the dessert course, starting right now with “What You Took.”
I think it’s best if I let Oh Susanna have the last word. Join us next time right here in the Cornbread Cafe.
This show was engineered and hosted by me, the mongrel, and I’m looking forward to serving up more great Roots to you and your kin next week. No reservations needed. Just bring your appetite for great music.