Establishing a reputation and fan base is vital as a musician, but how can a band evolve once they’re known for a sound? On this episode, Portia sits down with Justin Ringle, whose band Horse Feathers just released their sixth album, Appreciation. Justin and longtime producer Skyler Norwood discuss developing the band’s sound while preserving its identity and how they worked to push their boundaries after 12 years. We also hear about the album’s cycle and promotional strategies.
Podcasts have surged in popularity over the last few years, and have proved to be a great way to connect with your audience — so why don’t more musicians take advantage of the format? Today we talk with three musicians making their mark on the podcast charts, Hrishikesh Hirway, creator of Song Exploder, Joe Pug, host of The Working Songwriter, and Silverstein’s Shane Told, host of Lead Singer Syndrome.
When people talk about “making it” in the music industry, it’s usually in reference to making a living writing or playing original songs in a popular band or as a solo artist. Today we explore alternative career paths playing music. We’re joined by Phil Hernandez and Chris Maxwell, who make up production duo The Elegant Too. They’re also the composers of some of your favorite musical moments on Bob’s Burgers. We also talk with successful children’s (or “kiddie” rock) band, The Not-Its. Finally, we hear about an underrated route to success from cover artist Chris Huff.
The ASCAP and BMI consent decree issue has put songwriters in the news this year, but we don’t hear a lot about how the profession has changed as a whole in recent years. To help us get a sense of what modern songwriting looks like, we talked to Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo) and Michelle Lewis, founders of Songwriters of North America (SONA). SONA filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice in September, which, as they say, is pretty punk rock. Michelle and Kay give us an update on the lawsuit and other issues facing songwriters today. We also talk to acclaimed songwriter Sue Ennis, who wrote over 70 songs with Heart.
Music has the power to inspire people and change lives. On this episode we spotlight one organization using music education to empower and amplify the voices of young women and girls. Portland’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls was founded in 2001 and provides tools and education for girls interested in music. Along with the camp’s director, Kristi Balzer, we talk to some of the women who have been influenced by and serve as role models for the camp, Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists) and Fabi Reyna (She Shreds Magazine).
In 1986, iconic alt-rock band Blake Babies was born at Berklee School of Music. John Strohm, Freda Love and Juliana Hatfield released a few albums and toured before breaking up in 1991, but their work impacted both the Boston and national alternative music scene. Despite their short run, Blake Babies helped define what we think of today as an independent band. On the heels of their reunion, we welcome John, Freda and Juliana on the show to talk about their enduring legacy and future plans.