49 episodes

This podcast is for those who love music but can't write a tune to save their lives. We talk with singer/songwriters of all stripes, professional touring musicians to those who can't quite catch a break. Maybe you'll hear something you'll like. Maybe not. But you will come away with a greater appreciation for the gift of songwriting, and how hard it really is.
Now sponsored by @thepugdc!

For Songs Rob Thormeyer

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

This podcast is for those who love music but can't write a tune to save their lives. We talk with singer/songwriters of all stripes, professional touring musicians to those who can't quite catch a break. Maybe you'll hear something you'll like. Maybe not. But you will come away with a greater appreciation for the gift of songwriting, and how hard it really is.
Now sponsored by @thepugdc!

    A Conversation with Barry Lynch

    A Conversation with Barry Lynch

    For me, this episode is 11 years in the making. For my guest Barry Lynch and his group the Armagh Rhymers? We’re talking 30 years. The Armagh Rhymers, a traditional Irish mummers band from Northern Ireland, released their first album in 1992. So now 30 years later, “Vol. 2” is on the streets and, well, you need to take a seat, grab a pint or two, and listen in. Mumming, for those who don’t know, is an ancient tradition, dating back in Ireland to the pagan, pre-Catholic days. It consists of musicians wearing straw masks, becoming characters, and performing a play based on fables and other rituals dating back thousands of years. They go door-to-door, singing and playing for whomever let them in. So yeah, this one goes back a bit. Barry helped produce and mix the album, as well as playing all kinds of stringed instruments and adding his distinctive vocals. I met Barry more than 11 years ago on a trip to Northern Ireland and we stayed in touch over the years. This is the first time we’ve talked since we met at a pub in the small town called Moy, maybe 45 minutes west of Belfast. Barry is an accomplished musician, having played all over the world and even at the White House in the late 90s, promoting the peace process that ended decades of sectarian strife in Northern Ireland. While this is an ancient artform, the Armagh Rhymers Vol. 2 is at its core about peace; it’s about coming together through music. So go grab that pint (or two) and welcome Barry Lynch to For Songs.

    • 45 min
    Another Conversation with Peter Argyropoulos of Sons of Silver

    Another Conversation with Peter Argyropoulos of Sons of Silver

    Peter Argyropoulos has a way with words. The lead singer/songwriter of the LA-based hard-rock band Sons of Silver has his finger on the pulse on what’s happening across the country and, indeed, the world. On his band’s debut EP Doomsday Noises, he presaged the pandemic, the social unrest, and the decaying fabric of society that has been our existence the last two years. Now, a year and half later, the band is back with a blistering follow-up EP called Ordinary Sex Appeal. In this five-song set, Peter and the band capture the angst, divisions, and frustrations that seem to be a part of our everyday lives. But there’s also a little hope included, if you listen closely. Peter joins me for the third time to discuss the new EP, when/how it was recorded, the magic of drummer Dave Kruzen’s playing, and much much more. As much as this is a commentary on society, this interview is also a clear love letter to the power of music. So sit back, get on your thinking caps, and welcome Peter Argyropoulos back to For Songs.

    • 45 min
    A Conversation with Ben Vaughn

    A Conversation with Ben Vaughn

    There’s something about simplicity and subtlety that sets the best songwriters apart. The simplicity in using the exact, perfect word—and only that word—to describe a feeling in a way that everyone can relate. And the subtlety of taking the listener on an emotional journey with a song that only lasts three minutes. Few artists have attained a mastery of both quite like my next guest, singer/songwriter Ben Vaughn. An exceptionally talented musician, Ben is a persistent writer; indeed, he writes almost every day. The tough part is getting it all down before it goes away. His music may remind you a bit of They Might Be Giants, a little Tom Waits mixed in with some Lou Reed. Ben’s been at it since the early 80s and even scored music for television shows and movies. He’s funny, witty, subtle, and unfailingly polite. We spoke from his California home about his newest album The World of Ben Vaughn, released in May 2022. Listen in as he discusses how he approaches his craft, his inspirations, and four songs from new album—Wayne Fontana Was Wrong, Blind Alley, Asking for a Friend, and New Jersey Rock and Roll. Dig in and welcome Ben Vaughn to For Songs.

    • 42 min
    A Conversation with the Waymores

    A Conversation with the Waymores

    Funny how the world works, at least in the world of music. This is the story of Kira Annelise and her husband Willie Heath Neal, who together make up the country duo The Waymores. When they met, Willie was a seasoned songwriter about to hang it up. He was still singing in bands when Kira saw him performing, and her world changed. A talented singer, Kira had yet to pick up a guitar or even listen to real country music—real being Hank Sr., Johnny Cash, John Prine, etc. After seeing Willie, Kira started playing guitar and writing music. It wasn’t too much longer that they started playing together, and, predictably, they became an official couple. Fourteen years later, Kira and Willie are still at it, and their newest album The Stone Sessions is proof positive of their magic. In this episode of For Songs, Willie and Kira talk about their past, their future, and, most importantly, their compelling present. We talk about four songs in particular from The Stone Sessions—Even When, Bat Shit Crazy, Roll That Chain, and I Don’t Like the Liquor. Their lush harmonies will send chills down your spine as they recall June and Johnny, while their self-depreciating humor will leave you in stitches. Buckle up, grab a drink, and welcome Kira and Willie to For Songs.

    • 41 min
    For Songs Singles! Restless Companion, Michael Patrick F. Smith

    For Songs Singles! Restless Companion, Michael Patrick F. Smith

    It’s been a little more than since my next guest first joined me on For Songs. Michael Patrick F. Smith and I go way back. Way way back. To elementary school, middle school, high school, and even church. Michael returns to the show for the first time since January 2021, a few weeks before his book The Good Hand was published. The Good Hand is a blistering read, telling the tale of his journey to North Dakota at the height of the shale-gas revolution that turned parts of the state into a latter-day gold rush. With the paperback version having just been released, Michael joined me to discuss a new song called Restless Companion. Restless Companion was one of a few new songs accompanying the audiobook of The Good Hand. It is a breezy tune that would fit right at home on Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne, or Son Volt’s Trace. The song itself is an ode to The Good Hand and all the literal blood, sweat, and tears that went into it. So sit down, grab a beer, and welcome back Michael Patrick F. Smith to For Songs.

    • 23 min
    Another Conversation with The Pug--Talking the Clash, Joe Strummer, Big Audio Dynamite & Much More!

    Another Conversation with The Pug--Talking the Clash, Joe Strummer, Big Audio Dynamite & Much More!

    It’s been a rough two years, to say the least. Music is one of the few things keeping us together, and for some of us, The Clash have been doing the heavy lifting. In this unique episode, Tony from the Pug joins me for an enthralling conversation about music, the Clash, and so much more. The general theme of this conversation is as follows: What Big Audio Dynamite/Joe Strummer solo songs would’ve been great Clash songs? We tried to put in some ground rules, but those quickly went out the door. Aside from the Clash we talk about Poguetry, go-go music, cow punk, ska, and you name it. So rather than sum it up, it’s better if you just listen in. And join us online for an ongoing conversation! What songs would you pick? Ping us on Twitter--@thepugdc & @forsongs2!

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings