The Show On The Road features interviews and exclusive acoustic performances with songwriters, bandleaders and musicians from around the world. Hosted by Dustbowl Revival's Z. Lupetin, each episode features an in-depth and playfully creative conversation about the real day to day lives of artists and their inspirations.
JD McPherson (Rebroadcast)
We made it to the end of 2020. To counteract the darkness of the longest days of the year, here is a special rebroadcast of our holiday show with Tulsa’s talented rocker and accidental new king of Christmas: JD McPherson.
Much like the cosmic conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn which twinkled in the city sky last night (it only happens once every eight centuries or so), it is this podcast’s opinion that McPherson’s equally fractious and festive holiday masterwork “Socks” is, like Mariah’s holiday opus, a once in a generation record. It’s a record to cherish like a family heirloom, a record about weirdo Santas eating deep dish pizza that you want to play all year long without apology. Put it on, trust us. You need this right now.
Thanks for sticking with us. See you in the new year with new episodes!
Fantastic Negrito - The Show On The Road Presents: Under The Radar Podcast
This week we're bringing you an episode from another podcast we think you’d really like. It’s called Under The Radar Podcast and this episode features the fantastic Oakland-based artist Fantastic Negrito.
Under The Radar is a monthly music podcast with host and producer, Celine Teo-Blockey. She's a music journalist who writes for the longtime indie music mag, also called Under the Radar. She interviews indie songwriters and independent artists, going deep into their childhood memories and the musical milestones that have helped shape their most recent albums.
Committed to giving voice to a diverse host of artists, her guests have included Native American Singer/Songwriter Black Belt Eagle Scout, gender non-conforming Ezra Furman who also did the soundtrack for the popular Netflix show "Sex Education", Scottish band Travis, and Caroline Rose who started with an earnest country sound and evolved to electro-pop. The whole series is sound immersive, using archival tape, field recordings and music from the back catalogue of these artists.
Under the Radar will be back with new episodes in March, 2021, and has some great guests lined up, including Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips and Emmy the Great, a Hong Kong-born Brit singer/songwriter.
Subscribe to Under the Radar wherever you get your podcasts to catch up on their first season and get ready for what's to come in 2021.
Bobby Rush (Rebroadcast)
This week we bring you a special rebroadcast of our episode featuring living blues legend Bobby Rush. Why now? Well this week he turns 87 and while he may be older than your harmonica-playing grandpa, he’s still going very strong. Bobby dropped his 27th studio record Rawer Than Raw this year and was nominated for a Grammy for good measure.
As we react to the historic 2020 election results, it is more important than ever to hear from elder statesmen like Rush who was making music during the civil rights movement, met icons like John Lewis and know what’s really at stake.
For the last six decades, Rush has been playing his own brand of lovably raunchy, acoustically crunchy and soulfully rowdy blues. Starting from his days as part of the Southern migration from his hometown of Homer, Louisiana, to the south side of Chicago (where he used to have Muddy Waters himself sub in for him when he couldn’t do a gig) Bobby won his first Grammy at the humble age of 83 after creating 370 plus recordings.
This week, we finish off this season with Larkin Poe, a powerful Southern sister-act that has been wowing audiences around the world with their transformative take on Southern blues and cagey slide-guitar driven rock n' roll.
Taking inspiration from their frontiersmen-inspired family who often build and make everything themselves, Rebecca and Megan indeed took DIY to a new level: they have written, produced and performed nearly all their own records and EPs themselves, and while they often pay homage to legends like Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson and more modern greats like The Allman Brothers and The Moody Blues, they have also put their own rawboned stamp on stellar ZZ-Top-esque originals like “Self-Made Man” which is also the title of their newest record.
While the sisters admit that doing almost everything in-house can be like walking a tricky tight rope, the results have been encouraging. From show-stopping appearances at festivals like Glastonbury, to opening for the revivified touring version of Queen (Brian May is a new fan) to headlining the 2020 Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India - to snagging a Grammy nom for their hard-stomping record Venom and Faith - one would think that they should keep on following their DIY instincts.
Larkin Poe doesn’t plan on taking it easy even though they haven’t been able to tour in 2020 - in November they will release Kindred Spirits, a collection of beloved stripped-back covers. Stick around to the end of the show to hear their acoustic version of Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away.”
This week, we feature one of the leading roots-pop bands working today: Mipso. An affable and endlessly-creative quartet formed in Chapel Hill, NC, they are made up of fiddle player Libby Rodenbough, mandolinist Jacob Sharp, guitarist Joseph Terrell, and bassist Wood Robinson.
Despite the anxious mood of their swing-state home base, it’s quite an exciting time for the band. Z. was able to catch up with Libby and Jacob (via Zoom of course) to discuss their lushly orchestrated self-titled record which just dropped last week; and if you walk down 8th Avenue in Nashville this week, you might catch a billboard with their sheepish grins writ large in the sky.
How did they get here? It’s hard to find a group where every member can effortlessly sing lead and write genre-bending songs that fit seamlessly on six acclaimed albums and counting in under ten years. Well, maybe the resurgent chart-toppers Fleetwood Mac? Earlier standout records like the breakout Dark Holler Pop, produced by fellow North Carolinian Andrew Marlin (Mandolin Orange,) and Edges Run, which features a veritable online hit in the broken-voiced, emotional “People Change,” show how they appeal to not only folk fest-loving moms and dads, but also their edgier kids who appreciate their subtly subversive turns of phrase and playful gender-ambiguous neon-tinted wardrobe.
As Z. found out during his conversation with Libby and Jacob, the band nearly broke up after a series of grueling 150-show-a-year runs, a scary car wreck and the pressure of putting out Edges Run for their rapidly growing fanbase. The forced slower pace of this last year and a half has been a gift in several ways - allowing the group to catch their breath and hole up to write more collaboratively than ever. The shimmering sonic backdrop that the gifted producer and musician Sandro Perri was able to bring to the sessions at the Echo Mountain studio in Asheville really makes the songs feel like they could exist in any era.
You wouldn’t be alone if you heard the connection between their honey-hooked newest record with the timeless mellow-with-a-hint-of-menace hits of the 1970s (looking at you James Taylor and Carly Simon) - as songs like “Never Knew You Were Gone” show off Terrell’s gift for gently asking the deepest questions, like where he might go when he transitions to the other side in a “silvery fire,” or the sardonically nostalgic “Let A Little Light In,” which wonders if the soft-focused images we have of the peaceful boomtime 1990s (when Mipso was growing up) could use some real scrutiny. Rodenbough’s silky fiddle work stars throughout - and her courageous, vulnerable lead vocal on “Your Body” may be the most memorable moment on the new work.
Stick around to the end of the episode to hear mandolinist Jacob Sharp introduce his favorite contribution, “Just Want To Be Loved.”
Run River North
This week, a cross-freeway conversation with a daring electro-roots outfit born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of LA: Run River North.
Z caught up with frontman and lyricist Alex Hwang to discuss how this group of Korean-American friends came together nearly a decade ago (they then called themselves Monsters Calling Home) and found a waiting fanbase who eagerly embraced their emotive songs about immigrant family dramas done masterfully with acoustic instruments and a lush electronic backdrop. Early standout songs like “Growing Up” harnessed their nuanced classical chops and show how large the divide can be between their parents' and grandparents' view of America and how it really is for the new generation born and raised in LA.
Gaining notice in Southern California’s coffee shop scene, an unexpected live performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live (thanks to a beloved music video they shot in their Honda) shot the band to national awareness. Non-stop touring began in earnest with their gorgeous self-titled rebrand “Run River North” which got them signed to Nettwerk.
It’s no secret that the band is looked up to in the rarely-represented Asian rock and pop communities, and by 2016 Run River North was playing some of their biggest shows to date at festivals in Japan and South Korea. But with the realities of the road hitting hard, in 2018 the group pared down its lineup to what we see today, with founding members Alex Hwang (guitar/vocals), Daniel Chae (guitars/vocals), and Sally Kang (keys/vocals) leading the way forward.
The last few years saw the band go independent again, and during the pandemic they have put out a flurry of hooky folk-pop gems, like the subversive “Pretty Lies,” that have them cautiously more excited about the future than ever.
Stick around to the end of the episode to hear Alex present his favorite new single “Cemetery” about the off-kilter first date he took his now wife on. Their new full length Creatures In Your Head will drop early 2021.
Customer ReviewsSee All
New to the show
I came here for Larkin Poe, but I’ll definitely be sticking around!! Great interviewing skills, actually interesting questions, and wonderful production skills.
Can’t wait to hear more!
A great show that has interesting conversations! It taps into an artist’s inspirations, their process, and WHY???
It also has a great variety of musical genres represented!
Wandered upon this following a trail from Smithsonian Folkways to learn about an unfamiliar artist and found a treasure trove of interviews with artists new and familiar. Nice format, combo of back stories and artistic inspirations from featured guests. Can’t wait to hear more.