10 episodes

Radio Free Song Club is a group of veteran songwriters with a monthly song deadline. Host Nicholas Hill presents these new tunes along with interviews and live performances and special guests. Some of the songs are finished and fully produced, some are roughly recorded fragments, some in-between. The writers are looking for a good song, the world is looking for a good song. Someone might get lucky.

Radio Free Song Club The Radio Free Song Club

    • Music

Radio Free Song Club is a group of veteran songwriters with a monthly song deadline. Host Nicholas Hill presents these new tunes along with interviews and live performances and special guests. Some of the songs are finished and fully produced, some are roughly recorded fragments, some in-between. The writers are looking for a good song, the world is looking for a good song. Someone might get lucky.

    32 1/3

    32 1/3

    All new music from:
Eszter Balint, Howe Gelb, Don Piper, Victoria Williams, Peter Holsapple, Kate Jacobs, Dave Schramm, Franklin Bruno, Chris Cochrane, Amy Allison and Freedy Johnston
    Presented by: Nicholas Hill
    The Radio Free All Stars: Konrad Meissner, JD Foster, Don Piper, Franklin Bruno, Chris Cochrane, Dave Schramm and Eszter Balint
    We recorded this show last July at Andy Taub’s majestic Brooklyn Recording. Eszter Balint, Chris Cochrane, and Franklin Bruno were the wonderful guests. Eszter brought chaos, thankfully, Chris ran into Oren, Franklin brought heartbreak, and oh yeah, Howe broke out the Fun Machine. Best line was Victoria’s, from her song, Wonderin‘ — “I’ve been wondering about all those women who were burned at the stake — maybe it was a mistake?” Imperfect rhyme, perfect question.


    Don Piper, Standing Near (Don Piper); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Situational Sounds (ASCAP)
    Victoria Williams, Wonderin’ (Victoria Williams) recorded by Victoria; Mumbletypeg Music
    Eszter  Balint, All You Need (Eszter Balint); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Towing Pound Music/ASCAP
    Peter Holsapple, Chappy’s Song (Peter Holsapple); performed and recorded by Peter; Hospital Music (BMI) admin by Bug Music
    Kate Jacobs, Every Single Time (Kate Jacobs); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Small Pond Music (BMI) admin. Bug Music
    Dave Schramm, The Other Side of What (Dave Schramm); recorded live; Hot Stove Music (BMI)
    Franklin Bruno, Heartbreaking Business (Franklin Bruno); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Stopgap Measures (BMI) admin. Pacific Electric Music
    Chris Cochrane, Running into Oren (Chris Cochrane); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; (BMI) Copyright control Chris Cochrane.
    Eszter Balint, Departure (Eszter Balint); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Towing Pound Music/ASCAP
    Howe Gelb, Cry 2 Cry; recorded by Howe Gelb with live overdubs by some All-Stars; scatterland my little darlin’ (BMI)
    Amy Allison, This Prison (Amy Allison); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Shop Girl Songs (BMI) admin. Bug Music
    Freedy Johnston, Promises Promises (Pete Byrne/Rob Fisher); performed and recorded by Freedy Johnston
     
    Recorded by Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording, July 22, 2014
    Assisted by Nick Nagurka, Chris Northrop, and Teresa Lam
    Edited and Mixed by Dave Schramm
    ___________________
    Note from Peter Holsapple:

    Happy New Song! Took me long enough, but here you go.
    News from the home front: I got a ton of drum mics finally, so I used them on this one. Note: on next recording, I will find a way to make them sound less like clay pots. The new P Bass makes its debut here, as does the Emu Proteus that allowed me to indulge in ‘trombones’ and ‘saxes,’ and as a nod to Jonathan and Darlene Edwards’ percussionist, ‘timpani.’ (Like ‘krab.’) I had a thoroughly excessive good time layin’ it on thick, and I think the song supports the weight I added. Special thanks go out to my brother-in-law Tom Webb for the name and Dave Schramm for the vetting.
    Chappy is just your happy hapless pal, generous and remaining unaccountably aloft for years until he finally doesn’t, which changes him and your attitude toward him. His friends have always known better but chose not to share that with him because it wouldn’t have been as much fun.

    Lyrics are attached. I hope you like it, it sure was fun to do.

    Number 31

    Number 31

    All new music from: Jonathan Spottiswoode, Laura Cantrell, Chris Cochrane, Kate Jacobs, Amy Allison, Dave Schramm and Rick Moody, Peter Holsapple, Timothy Hill, and Jody Harris
    Presented by: Nicholas Hill
    The Radio Free All Stars: Dave Schramm, David Mansfield, Chris Cochrane, Timothy Hill, Paul Moschella, JD Foster, Dave Schramm, Jimi Zhivago
    Number 31 was recorded live at The Living Room on the very last night of that wonderful venue on Ludlow Street — we happily anticipate its official renaissance in Brooklyn. Jonathan Spottiswoode was a guest. Chris Cochrane was a guest and first-time All Star, and Jimi Zhivago emerged from the control booth to make an All Star cameo. Dave and Laura were present and accounted for, but brought pre-recorded tracks for live over-dubbing. Both Peter Holsapple and Jody Harris had laryngitis. Peter bravely sang his song anyway to great effect and acclaim. Jody was able to perform his song, but with only a ghost of a vocal. Sadly he refused to do his Barry White. He recorded his vocal later, making this show a particularly mashed up mash up of the Live, the Later, and the Prior.

    Dave Schramm, I Will Dream Blessed Dreams (Dave Schramm/Rick Moody); Performed and recorded by Dave, augmented live by the Radio Free All Stars; Hot Stove Music (BMI)/Grow Your Own Music (BMI)
    Amy Allison, Goodbye Lovers’ Lane (Amy Allison); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Shop Girl Songs (BMI) admin. Bug Music
    Jonathan Spottiswoode, So Much to Do (Jonathan Spottiswoode); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Super Pitch, SACEM
    Jody Harris, What Your Friends Say (Jody Harris); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars, Jody’s vocal recorded weeks later after his flu relented; Copyright Control Jody Harris

    Kate Jacobs, Closing Time (Kate Jacobs/arr. Dave Schramm); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Small Pond Music (BMI)
    Chris Cochrane, Things Change (Chris Cochrane); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Chris Cochrane
    Peter Holsapple, Susie Taxi (Peter Holsapple); performed and recorded by Peter; Hospital Music (BMI) admin by Bug Music/Chrysalis

    Laura Cantrell, Secret Language (Laura Cantrell); Performed and recorded by Laura, augmented live by the Radio Free All Stars; Thrift Shop Songs (BMI) admin. Bug Music
    Timothy Hill, Where We Are (Timothy Hill); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Timothy Hill
    Jonathan Spottiswoode, It Doesn’t Take Long (Jonathan Spottiswoode); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; J SPOT music, ASCAP
    Recorded live at The Living Room in NYC on October 26, 2013 by Jimi Zhivago with Steve Ha and Gabe Wilhelm
    Note from Peter Holsapple about Susie Taxi:



    Slinging this over the transom at an ungodly hour.


    I could tell things were in bad shape when I got the miserable cold early this week. Though the song was nearly assembled, it was not yet recorded, as real life had intruded, as often it does, on my studio time. So when I started blowing my nose incessantly and feeling as though I’d swallowed a brick, I was feeling peril at hand. But I’m a diehard and rather than risk having to delve into my sordid recorded past one more time (because I didn’t finish the new song on time), I got most of the track done on Tuesday night, just as the symptoms were beginning to take me out. I had a couple days to incubate lyrics, which you will sense from their depth and vast emotional reach. But I had no voice to speak of. At the job, my comrades suggested that I look for new employment as a phone sex worker. Still I soldiered on.


    Then it became Friday night. You remember, right? Last night. No vocals recorded. No ostensible voice with which to record. What to do, what to do.


    It occurred to me that, in the condition my voice was in, the only thing left for an approach would be idiotic whimsy and self-

    Number 30

    Number 30

    All new music from: Joe McGinty, Will Musham, Karen Schoemer, Dan Bryk, Lianne Smith, Amy Allison, Peter Holsapple, Freedy Johnston, Kate Jacobs, Peter Blegvad and Dave Schramm
    Presented by: Nicholas Hill
    The Radio Free All Stars: Dave Schramm, Jeremy Chatzky, Paul Moschella, Joe McGinty and Don Piper
    The not-quite-so-final-next-to-last show at The Living Room’s Ludlow Street digs. A fine time was had by all.

    Joe McGinty, Incident at Food Court (Joe McGinty); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Tralfaz Music (ASCAP)
    Amy Allison, Silverstone (Amy Allison); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Shop Girl Songs (BMI) admin. Bug Music
    Peter Holsapple, 15 Minutes (Peter Holsapple); performed and recorded by Peter; Hospital Music (BMI) admin by Bug Music/Chrysalis
    Will Musham, Downriver (Will Musham); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Will Musham
    Karen Schoemer, Third Floor Walk Up (Karen Schoemer); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Karen Schoemer
    Freedy Johnston, Diamond, Diamond Blue (Freedy Johnston); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Trouble Tree Music (BMI)
    Kate Jacobs, Uhura (Kate Jacobs); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Small Pond Music (BMI)
    Dan Bryk, E-R-I-N (Dan Bryk); ©2014 Dan Bryk (Socan/BMI) Performed and recorded by Bryk in Kinondoni, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania except electric guitars which Dave Schramm laid down in a basement in Brooklyn.
    Dave Schramm, What Appears to be a Song About a Tree (Dave Schramm); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Hot Stove Music (BMI)
    Peter Blegvad, Simon at the Stone (Peter Blegvad); performed and recorded by Peter Blegvad; Copyright Control Peter Blegvad
    Lianne Smith, No Stopping, No Stopping (Lianne Smith); Copyright Control Lianne Smith
    Recorded live at The Living Room in NYC on July 24th, 2013 by Jimi Zhivago with Steve Ha and Gabe Wilhelm
    Notes:
    Dan Bryk on E-R-I-N:
    E-R-I-N is not entirely coincidentally the name of my wife, but the scenario is fictional, at least for the time being. I always wanted to get around to writing one of these, after having insisted to musician friends over the years that a spelled-out chorus almost guarantees a hit! Who could forget YMCA, Beechwood 4-5-6-7-8-9, G-L-O-R-I-A, 1-2-3-4, T-R-O-U-B-L-E, Method of Modern Love, A-E-I-O-U (and sometimes Y) . . . I could go on.
    In your iTunes playlist, I suggest my song be followed by either L.O.V.E Love or D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Your call.
    Peter Blegvad on Simon at the Stone:
    I found myself recording a new version of Simon at the Stone as if drugged (which, alas, I yam not). Might have sucked all the life out of it, but then it is about a dead friend.

    Our Saturn Return

    Our Saturn Return

    It was early June 2013 and we were back at Gary’s Chop Shop. Richard Buckner was our guest. Jon Graboff was an All Star for the first time. Summer was about to begin.
    All new music from:
 Richard Buckner, Victoria Williams, Howe Gelb, Jennie Lowe Stearns, Timothy Hill, Dave Schramm, Kate Jacobs, Peter Holsapple and Don Piper.
    The Radio Free All Stars: Jon Graboff, Konrad Meissner, Don Piper, JD Foster, Timothy Hill and Dave Schramm

    Presented by: Nicholas Hill

     
    Peter Holsapple, Bride School (Peter Holsapple); performed and recorded by Peter; Ilene Markell, bass; Carlo Nuccio, drums; Hospital Music (BMI) admin by Bug Music/Chrysalis
    Jennie Lowe Stearns, Rag and Bone (Jennie Lowe Stearns); recorded and performed by Jennie, live overdubs by Timothy Hill and Jon Graboff; Porchbone Publishing (BMI)
    Richard Buckner, Higher Ground (Richard Buckner); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars;
    Kate Jacobs, Cool Thing (Kate Jacobs); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Small Pond Music (BMI)
    Howe Gelb, Lost Love (Howe Gelb); Performed and recorded by Howe, with live overdubs by the Radio Free All Stars; scatterland my little darlin’ (BMI)
    Victoria Williams, People Who Love Jesus (Victoria Williams); Recorded with JC Hopkins and friends; Mumblety Peg Music (BMI)
    Dave Schramm, Mad, Mad World (Dave Schramm, with lyrics based upon the poem Mad Song by William Blake); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Hot Stove Music (BMI).
    Don Piper, Solace (Don Piper); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Situational Sounds (ASCAP)
    Timothy Hill, Live Through Twice (Timothy Hill); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Melihodos Music (ASCAP)
    Richard Buckner, Now That I Know (Ted Lucas); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars;
    Recorded live at Gary’s Chop Shop in NYC on June 3, 2013 by Gary Arnold. Mixed by Gary Arnold.

     

    Vingt-Neuvième

    Vingt-Neuvième

    Happy Summer to you all. It was July outside, but cool and dark in The Living Room. Goodbye Ludlow Street? Not so fast. The first of three “final” shows at The Living Room’s Ludlow Street haunts got Chris Stamey out of the house. Laura wrote about nuns, Kate referenced Supertramp, Freedy studied the lava flows, and Steve Goulding debuted as an All-Star. And then after the show half of the participants hightailed it across the river for a farewell performance at Maxwell’s, which was in it’s final week of existence. Sigh.
    All new music from:
 Chris Stamey, Freedy Johnston, Dave Schramm, Jody Harris, Amy Allison, Kate Jacobs, Peter Holsapple and Laura Cantrell
    The Radio Free All Stars: Jeremy Chatzky, Steve Goulding, David Mansfield, Timothy Hill and Dave Schramm

    Presented by: Nicholas Hill


     
    Laura Cantrell, Sister What’s Her Name (Laura Cantrell); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Thrift Shop Songs (BMI) admin Bug Music/Chrysalis
    Peter Holsapple, The Ongoing Blues (Peter Holsapple); performed and recorded by Peter; Hospital Music (BMI) admin by Bug Music/Chrysalis
    Chris Stamey, I Wrote This Song for You (Chris Stamey); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; ShangMoto Songs (BMI)/administered by Bug Music
    Chris Stamey, Lovesick Blues (Chris Stamey); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; ShangMoto Songs (BMI)/administered by Bug Music
    Freedy Johnston, I Got to Get Out of the Lab (Freedy Johnston); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Trouble Tree Music (BMI)
    Dave Schramm, He’s a Leaf in the Western Wind (Dave Schramm/Rick Moody); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Hot Stove Music (BMI)/Grow Your Own Music (BMI).
    Kate Jacobs, Oh Joy (Kate Jacobs; arr. Dave Schramm); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Small Pond Music (BMI
    Jody Harris, Not For Nothing (Jody Harris); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Jody Harris
    Amy Allison, Blue Plate Special (Amy Allison); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Shop Girl Songs (BMI) admin. Bug Music
    Recorded live at The Living Room in NYC on July 24, 2013 by Jimi Zhivago with Eric Feigenbaum and Gabe Wilhelm. Mixed by Dave Schramm, except I Wrote This Song For You and Lovesick Blues, which were mixed by Chris Stamey.
    Notes:
    Peter Holsapple on The Ongoing Blues:
    It’s been a crappy month. Such overwhelming sadness from so many sources. And still I can’t seem to cry. So I wrote a song for the song club as partial therapy. I don’t feel one iota better, so I will do what the song says and soldier on.
    No guitars were abused in the recording of this tune. Electric piano, organ, electric bass, singing (if you can call it that) and a lonely hi-hat in lieu of waking the family up with my ham-fisted drumming in the middle of the night. Seems fine without them, but a drummer might think otherwise.
    Unsolicited advice: tell your friends and family that you love them because they need to know it.
    Peter H.
    Dave Schramm on He’s a Leaf (unfortunate rock variant):
    Impulsive/spontaneous often = fresh/exciting. Sometimes not. I had a different song prepared for this evening. One that Rick wrote the lyric for, that we had crafted over the course of weeks. Considered, fretted over, finally grew to love. It had the same title as the song that appears here. But then, because I rather wanted to MAKE NOISE that day -sometimes you just want to make a loud noise – that morning I quickly fashioned a ROCK song hung on Rick’s lyric, a lyric for a folk song. Is that relevant? Possibly. Certainly the tone of the thing has changed with the delivery. In the end I think I have saddled the verse with noisy mediocrity. And apologies to Rick for that. And he didn’t even know about my treason until long after the deed had been done. But there is a consolation prize. I quite like the bridge bit – “A constant love,

    Delirium Twenty-Sevens

    Delirium Twenty-Sevens

    All new music from:
 Peter Stampfel, Ed Rogers, Amy Allison, Jody Harris, Don Piper, Peter Blegvad, Kate Jacobs/Ted Reichman, Peter Holsapple, Laura Cantrell, and Dave Schramm/Rick Moody
    Presented by: Nicholas Hill
    The Radio Free All Stars: JD Foster, Konrad Meissner, Andy Burton, Mark Spencer, Don Piper and Dave Schramm.
    Peter Stampfel brought his banjo and his fiddle and his rainbow bow, along with a tune copped from Prince Albert Hunt’s Texas Ramblers via the Harry Smith Anthology, and another old favorite he completely re-imagined. Ed Rogers brought us all to the street where he was born, channeling the Village Green. Peter Blegvad brought his God Detector. Jody sang the blues. Amy, Don, Kate and Ted, Mr. Holsapple, Dave and Rick, Laura brought daisies, thirteen year-olds, telecasters played with abandon, tremelo, hidden sorrow, and tales of West Eighth Street.

    Peter Stampfel, Wake Up Jacob (trad. arr. by Peter Stampfel) recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Peter Stampfel.
    Amy Allison, Daisy (Amy Allison); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Shop Girl Songs (BMI) admin. Bug Music
    Jody Harris, Read Before You Sign (Jody Harris); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Jody Harris
    Don Piper, The Less I Know is Real (Don Piper); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Situational Sounds (ASCAP)
    Peter Blegvad, God Detector (Peter Blegvad); performed and recorded by Peter Blegvad; trombone is played by Pascal Wyse; Copyright Control Peter Blegvad
    Ed Rogers, My Street (Ed Rogers); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Edward F. Rogers (ASCAP)
    Kate Jacobs, When You’re 13 (Kate Jacobs/Ted Reichman); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Small Pond Music (BMI)/Early Nothing (ASCAP)
    Peter Holsapple, Only You Would Know (Peter Holsapple); performed and recorded by Peter; Hospital Music (BMI) admin by Bug Music/Chrysalis
    Laura Cantrell, Tremelo (Laura Cantrell); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Thrift Shop Songs (BMI) admin Bug Music/Chrysalis
    Dave Schramm, Electric Ladyland (Dave Schramm/Rick Moody); recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Hot Stove Music (BMI)/ Grow Your Own Music (BMI).
    Peter Stampfel, New Fiddler’s Dram (Peter Stampfel) recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Peter Stampfel.
    Recorded live at The Living Room in NYC on Febraury 6, 2013 by Jimi Zhivago with Milton Ruiz and Steve Ha.
    Notes:
    Peter Holsapple on Only You Would Know: It tried to write itself, but it tripped over its own shoelaces and waited for me to help it back up. I think it’s an advisory song to a certain someone who would seem to have all the answers already. Rock me Sisyphus. If this were to pass beyond the demo/RFSC stage of its nascence, it would require more retooling of the words, possibly with a band saw. But for now, to use today’s vernacular, ‘it is what it is.’ (I still prefer ‘I yam what I yam’ uckguckguckguckguck.) Two telecasters (the same one twice, I mean), the Squier modified Jag bass, the drums which, after the vivacious “Pictures of My Mother” last month, are sporting a woefully taped together bass head. My new cheap vocal mic. No keyboards were harmed during the recording of this tome except to rest my drink on, nor did I once consult a thesaurus. Much love to all who sail the RFSC line this day, and I hope to see you all again in the foreseeable future, presuming we will all have one.
    Peter H.
     
    Dave Schramm on Electric Ladyland: Most fun I’ve had writing in a long, long while. Working from lyric to music rather than the usual music to lyric, especially with verses and meter so fluid as these, was a treat. Why don’t I always write the lyrics first? Well, because I don’t, that’s why. Anyway, thanks to Rick for asking me along on this one. And to Mark, JD, Andy a

Top Podcasts In Music

Listeners Also Subscribed To