47 episodes

Riffs on Riffs is a podcast that studies sampling in popular music. Hosts, Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell, connect the musical dots between legendary tracks and the often lesser-known songs they sampled. Hear behind-the-scenes stories of musicians and their inspiration; it’s like being in the studio while an artist creates a new song from an old riff. Uncover the way these epic songs borrow from music of the past, enriching the musical landscape for generations to come. *This podcast is a production of the Ohio Film Tax Credit.

Riffs on Riffs Evergreen Podcasts

    • Music Commentary
    • 4.9, 50 Ratings

Riffs on Riffs is a podcast that studies sampling in popular music. Hosts, Joe Watson and Toby Brazwell, connect the musical dots between legendary tracks and the often lesser-known songs they sampled. Hear behind-the-scenes stories of musicians and their inspiration; it’s like being in the studio while an artist creates a new song from an old riff. Uncover the way these epic songs borrow from music of the past, enriching the musical landscape for generations to come. *This podcast is a production of the Ohio Film Tax Credit.

    Music 2 Protest 2

    Music 2 Protest 2

    America's history is full of protests and this time is no exception. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other black Americans have moved many to protest against police brutality. In this episode, Joe and Toby discuss protests from a musical perspective, exploring songs both past and present that have fueled protests. The revolution will not be televised, but it will be podcasted!
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    • 26 min
    Mama Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

    Mama Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

    Episode Description: 
    Join us as we travel the coasts of Cameroon and pay a visit to Manu Dibango and “Soul Makossa”. Michael Jackson would later steal the famous hook, “ma-ma-se, ma-ma-sa, ma-ma-ko-sa” for his hit Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, and even go on to give permission he that wasn’t his to give for Rihanna’s hit “Don’t Stop the Music”. We’ll discuss all that and along the way connect the dots to The Fugees, The Outsidaz, Eminem, D12, Quincy Jones and his daughters.
    What we geek out over in this episode: Manu Dibango, Coming to America, Makossa, crate digging, Ms. Fat Booty, Sing alongs with Mitch, David Mancuso and The Loft, The Fugees, Cowboyts, Pace Won, Rah Digga, The Outsidaz, offending Tupac, Famous Irish bands, Enya, Latoya Jackson, Rebbie Jackson, Eminem and D12, story time with Boo Kapone.

    Bonus Material: The story of the that time Tupac and The King of Pop threw down.
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    • 32 min
    Evil Beep

    Evil Beep

    Back in the day, children would read stories at school during story time and would often hear the "beep” that would signify when the page should be turned.  ELO’s Evil Woman and The Pussycat Dolls' “Beep” are generations apart but both illustrate how they worked to turn the page in creativity, impact, and style. Join Joe and Toby as they wind through the connections between these tracks.
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    • 32 min
    Ms. Jackson is OUT of Strawberries

    Ms. Jackson is OUT of Strawberries

    Truth be told, there is a bit of confusion about what exactly was sampled from Shuggie Otis' "Strawberry Letter 23” to help create Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”... But one thing that isn’t up for debate is that both of these songs are hits and there’s no time like the present to discuss these artists and their impact. Join Joe and Toby as they wind through the connections between these tracks.
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    • 34 min
    I'd Rather Have Whiskey

    I'd Rather Have Whiskey

    If given a choice between sipping whiskey and going blind, the answer is pretty clear. But when listening to Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” and Chris Stapleton’s cover of “Tennessee Whiskey”, things get a little fuzzier. Join Joe and Toby as they wind through the connections between these two tracks.
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    • 34 min
    We Have Bobby in Common

    We Have Bobby in Common

    Bobby Caldwell is a longtime crooner and someone that can rightfully say he’s big in Japan. Bobby’s classic track, “What You Won’t Do for Love,” is his most recognizable hit, but in this episode Joe and Toby show how Common sampled another Caldwell track, “Open Your Eyes,” for his iconic song “The Light”.
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    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Super dog lover 2013 ,

So well done!

This is definitely one of the best podcast I’ve listened to by far! It’s well-researched and well-written. The humor is on par and the connections between so many different songs is astounding. This is a perfect example of a podcast that keeps its novice music listeners engaged and with it while still providing fun new insights to even the most learned musicians out there. All in all a very well done podcast and would highly recommend!

chefcherylann ,

In depth and well researched

I love the story of a story, be that a song, a lyric, poetry or a novel. These two gentlemen are bringing that and then some.
They’re digging deep and proving that indeed, “everything old is new again”. So well done!

HisNameIsSpeed ,

Ahh the Circle of Music

A podcast right up my alley. An excellent idea for a podcast and a very well rounded presentation of music history. I think the thing I like the most about Riffs on Riffs is Joe and Toby’s personal music backgrounds provide for a wide variety of perspective and makes each episode feel like, not only the audience, but even they are learning something each show. Good work gentlemen!

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