I found my way back to the radio biz; at least I think I did. Quick flyby Wilmington's z107.5 Morning Show, circa 6:14 am. How do Morning People do it?! Like the miracle of oil 'round Hanukkah time, there was only enough caffeine for about 8 minutes.
In conjunction with Wilmington, North Carolina's Cameron Art Museum, DC Virgo middle-schoolers created a spoken word response to "The Conversation," the iconic painting from Romare Bearden. We recorded in the courtyard (bees, wind, potential for train whistles) in an effort to "converse" in a similar setting. If painting could talk, they'd sound like this:
Over the course of the semester, seven creative kids channelled their audio side, interviewing both real and imagined personalities. Show prep, voice work, and actve listening produced the following montage extraordinaire...
Sonic Byways brought the mics and the mixer to DREAMS Center for Art Education in Wilmington, an arts-driven nonprofit catering to youth in need. Donning my "engaged teacher look," I showed the kids how to prepare and execute an audio interview. We then transformed what we heard into something we'd want to read, using a brief audio clip to create a more in-depth written profile. Thanks to Eric Lindell's "If Love Can't Find a Way" for fancying up the intro and outro--every interview needs a good music bed.
Most important of all, Jesse and Jemerit previewed the must-have footwear of the future: a swanky new pair of NBA Jemerits.
We all know Sonic Byways loves to travel. So when singer-songwriter Mike Adams suggested a hootenanny of sorts, wayyy out in the country (i.e., seven miles across town, a couple exits off the parkway), Jamie Lynn revved her engine. As promised, there was a back porch, back-up singers standing by, and spontaneous strumming into the sunset. P.S. Um, yes. Most definitely. Sonic Byways would love to come back for the neighborhood Oyster Roast.
Photo Credit: Tom Sapp
I pull into Tony's Guitars
on Wrightsville Avenue, mid-Wilmington, NC, where Justin Fox presides over rows upon rows of beautiful, semi-precious battle axes. By night, however, the axes come down, and Justin makes indelible impressions around the region, across many musical genres. On this particular night, he overwhelms his audience of one (and her unworthy sound equipment) with his signature, microphone-melting vocals.
Sonic Byways has never captured such music in its natural habitat.
Keith Richards on the wall. Tom Waits over the drum set. Rotating circles of red and green light illuminating the next guitar riff. The gods of rock and roll, ambiance, and general all-around cool smile down benevolently upon Loose Jets and their sound studio--and they're nodding their heads in approval. If you, too, want to be a rock star, Loose Jets just might need an apprentice. Friend 'em on Facebook, buy their EP, check out their youtube.
And above all? Turn it up
Lukas Nelson goes for a three-block ride in RedRide, Jamie's convertible, and joins Sonic Byways at Aspen Public Radio, after-hours.Talk leads to Empire Strikes Back, Nelson Family Reunions,and why Yoda kicks ass, while music leads to an in-studio performance that kind of makes Jamie swoon.
Huka Entertainment's Meredith Ezzell hosts a traveling, sunscreen-filled episode of Sonic Byways at theTiki Surf Lounge (aka TSL) in Carolina Beach, NC. The inimitable Troy Coghill regales Jamie Lynn with original compositions, tales from theTeamsters, and just generally lets his Bearded Freak Flag fly. In an inspired outro, Troy hatches the beginnings of a Sonic Byways theme song, while Jamie Lynn coins the term "musical phlanges."
After years of interviews and in-studio sessions, Jamie talks to her first real set of Rock Stars. The Dandy Warhols' Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Brent DeBoer give the inside scoop on Dig! - what really happened, vs. what was 90% staged - and welcome the Brian Jonestown Massacre to dinner. From the shower scene in Spinal Tap to the French Police, they reminisce about life on the road, while cursing the the elevation in Aspen, Colorado. Enjoy a sampling of recorded tracks and the most intense unplugged Sonic Byways performance to date.
Mat Kearney hops in RedRide (aka Taxi to Visiting Rock Stars) and joins me in the studio for an unplugged set. Son of a mermaid and still recovering from the Irish Potato Famine, Kearney pontificates about sweet potato pie, women in purple boots, and the real reason people just can't seem to graduate from Chico State.
This week on Sonic Byways, Jamie detains her favorite traveling band of friends in the back room of Reggie's 42nd St. Tavern for some hearty guffaws, the good word on the new album and to get a closer look at Bailey's finely-coiffed moustache.
In a fond nod to this spring's international Sonic Byways Border Crossing, we'll hear from The Slip, and Brad and Andrew Barr's newly-formed The Barr Brothers.
Jamie spends her last night in Montreal, Canada in hot pursuit of live music.Unsure of where she's going (and how long it'll take to actually get there),she walks an hour and a half in non-sensible shoes to reach Will Call at Lachine Canal, where a coveted guest pass awaits. On the edge of town/off the pedestrian walking map/somewhere way too far to walk in high-heeled Mary Janes, she finds a killer sunset, an ebullient crowd, and a dazzling performance from her friends, The Barr Brothers.
While road-tripping - again! - Jamie finally parks it at the Vermont Studio Center, for a month-long creative Festivus. One rainy afternoon, she lures legendary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell into the hallowed, white-washed halls of Bill's studio, for an impromptu episode of Sonic Byways. (Listen closely, you'll hear daughter Monica on backing banter; you may even hear the ink drying on her fresh, impromptu tatoo. )
Every now and then, it feels good to cue up, wind down and get lost in the lyrics. The band Dawes is deep and has an established sound: that nostalgic, sunshine-infused, Southern California-folk kind of rock and roll. From Joni Mitchell to CSN, Laurel Canyon has long been a creative enclave, and Dawes - hailing from greater Los Angeles - brings some new energy to the neighborhood. Throw in jam partner Conor Oberst and tour-mate Jackson Browne, and we've got ourselves an episode! It's a feel good hour of Sonic Byways, now playing around your electronic campfire.
...let's hope so! Jamie heads to the back room of the Soapbox Laundrolounge and Night Club, and tonight, the Sonic Byways Lair, to catch-up with Chris Henderson of Bronze Radio Return. An appreciative crowd soaked up the positive on-stage vibes, and rock and roll's nicest lead singer effuses on the importance of positive energy, radios with knobs and writing original music--and in a confessional, never-before-recorded radio moment, Henderson admits he's intimidated by cover bands.
It's a dark and stormy night on Sonic Byways, a perfect time for a good visit from an old friend. And corralling her onto the mic. Emily Hyatt from Aspen, and now Baltimore, drives down to Wilmington, grabs Jamie, and drags her to a beach bungalow in Oak Island, North Carolina. Jamie straps Emily to the chair (this is getting good), introduces her to Warren Zevon, and peer-pressures her into co-hosting Sonic Byways. Emily provides her own one-liners; you just can't script this sort of thing.
What do Patrolled By Radar, Patti Smith, The Velvet Underground and The Wood Brothers have in common? They were playing across borders, in unison, the day the MP3 player died.
Never mind the end of the world. This was way more catastrophic.
Jamie, stuck in the Dominican Republic; tropical rain falling down, music blasting through the MP3 player and across the palm trees until--dead silence. Battery too low. System shutdown.
She had an outlet but unfortunately, she had no charger. So what were the last tunes on the desert island? An amalgamation of punk, folk and rockabilly, in no particular order. This week on Sonic Byways, we'll revisit that fateful soundtrack. Turn it up, bring your chargers--or better yet, throw a gal an IPOD.
Jamie's sailing off the edge of the world before the ball drops, so here's an advanced musical surprise. However: Do Not Tune In Before December 22, 2012. I'm serious. This is one present you can't open early; you'll jinx it, and then where will we be? Flailing about the universe without a post-apocalypic music bed. Come December 23, here's a sublime Sonic Byways for those who wait.
Catchy title, eh? I actually mean my imaginary boyfriend Bruce--but if he ever hears this, he may just show himself. It's an experimental, old-timey-radio type of Sonic Byways: the music of the Boss set to a spoken-word tribute to the man, the music and my first true love, Bruce Springsteen.
This week, it's an enlightened evening at the laundromat. Jamie takes a break from not seeing live music and hits the Mother Lode: Ben Sollee, Luke Reynolds, with shades of Abigail Washburn at Wilmington, North Carolina's The Soapbox. A load of laundry, a potential tattoo, a killer concert on the top floor - now THAT's a proper nightclub.
Welcome to Sonic Byways from Wilmington, NC - Jamie sets up shop in her home studio; think humidity, unidentified "critters" and walls that are talking. The new Sonic Byways studio dates back to 1858 - but don't worry, the music is a little more current. This week, we'll discover Yarn, the Wood Brothers, some of Wilmington's finer speakeasies and music venues, and revisit the grandeur of Peter Wolf.
While gettin' jiggy in my home studio in Wilmington, North Carolina, I'm reminiscing about the Wilds of Wyoming and a band to be reckoned with, Patti Fiasco. I first heard the Fiasco outdoors, lots of hay and a forest and barn-burning guitar riffs and then, they moved a few blocks over to Jill Hunter's rip-roaring Lander Bar, where they thoroughly lit the town on fire. I told them about a little place called Aspen and now, they're coming. Enjoy a vintage Sonic Byways and kindred sounds from Johnette Napolitano, just in time for Patti Fiasco's Aspen debut. As of press time, the band is still on fire.
This week on Sonic Byways: Featuring Kutcher Miller, International Media - and Music- Man of Mystery. From MTV to the Middle East, featuring Beanland, Jason Isbell, talented newcomer Alice Reid...and a Sonic Byways World Premiere of WIDESPREAD PANIC (never before heard on a Jamie Lynn radio show).
Jamie discusses her love for the capo, which has revolutionized her guitar tab possibilities - if not her 90-second chord change - and brought her ever-closer to playing some of her favorite songs heard 'round the campfire, after climbing and throughout her years of music appreciation. From Landslide to Pancho and Lefty, Hayes Carll to the Monkees, Jamie calls out the chords, shares stories behind the songs and maybe-barely -almost perfectly air guitars along on her side of the mic.
And remember, people...every rose has its thorn.
Jamie tears her ACL and decides to go to SXSW Music Festival for a pre-surgery hurrah. She discovers a five-hour Woody Guthrie Tribute; ogles Bruce Springsteen during his keynote address; visits with well-dressed musicians (Patrolled by Radar!) and pries herself away from day-drinking just in time to catch her flight.
Back in Aspen, it's the Aspen's 7908 Songwriter's Festival, and Austin's Carrie Rodriguez and Luke Jacobs stop by the studio for a special Saturday a.m. edition of Sonic Byways. The three talk songwriting therapy, food trailer favorites, and Carrie's penchant for a coupla ice-cold Baltimore Ladies.
Featuring an in-studio performance, highlights from SXSW and a music medley from The Preservationists and Patrolled by Radar...you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll go to Austin.
It must've been both sides and all the groovy liner notes on my Johnny Cash "Live at Folsom Prison" LP...cuz I finally got a tax refund. Thanks Johnny! Tune into a just-for-fun-and-refund episode of Sonic Byways, and join Jamie as she wades through receipts just long enough to flip to Side 2.
Festival-going brings new music revelations, as Jamie discovers the Ryan Montbleau Band and revisits some related feel-good highlights from Paul Simon, Michelle Shocked - and a nod to Martin Sexton.
The most exciting thing to come out of New Orleans since the lunar eclipse...Jamie visits with her new favorite musical act, The Revivalists, and ponders the end of the world, UFOs and why bands sound better with their shirts off. For further reading, see the spread in OffBeat Magazine: http://www.offbeat.com/2012/03/01/the-revivalists-cosmic-things/
Got a core shot in your Phat Luvs? Need a bar chord and a capo? Patrick Vaughan and Ken Quiricone join me - on Valentine's Day, no less - to talk ski shop, bathroom sets and launch the world-premiere of the cult classic "Man From Japan": the only minute-seventy second song that ends on a bridge. With a screeching halt.
And in an historical radio moment, the fellas dust off the Beatles' C-side never-before-aired basement/attic/gear-locker tape..."Let Us Ski".