Marcus King on Songwriting: Episode #8

Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader. At only 21 years of age, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout The Marcus King Band, the young phenom’s 2nd full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records. Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls "soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock," the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts. Raised in Greenville, South Carolina, King was brought up on the blues, playing shows as a pre-teen sideman with his father—bluesman Marvin King, who himself was the son of a regionally-known guitarist—before striking out on his own. Going beyond the sonic textures of his acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soul Insight; The Marcus King Band broadens his sound, touching upon everything from funky R&B to Southern soul and Americana in the process. His band gets in on the action too, stacking the songs with blasts of swampy brass, a lock-step rhythm section and swirling organ. Ever the multi-tasker, King bounces between several instruments, handling electric and acoustic guitar — as well as pedal and lap steel — while driving each track home with his soulful, incendiary voice.

 

Click HERE to hear The Marcus King Band's hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to hear The Marcus King Band's hour long broadcast. 

David Ramirez on Songwriting: Episode #7

Veteran singer-songwriter David Ramirez (who Paste once called "The best damn songwriter you don't know yet") was nothing short of magnificent during his performance at Live From The Divide. The room of 50 hung on every heart wrenching note Ramirez delivered "I've learned a lot from being alone and isolated," says Ramirez, who until recently toured completely by himself, without a band, manager or anyone else for company. "Yes, it's romantic in a way. But it has also been kind of rough on my head and my heart. After a while it made it difficult to connect with people on a personal level when I got home. In hindsight, I can see that it's been kind of detrimental. You know, when you travel around alone for months at a time, the world revolves around you. There's no one else in the equation. Everything was just about me. It's a selfish way of living. And I'm ready to move on from that."

Click HERE to hear David Ramirez's hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to hear David Ramirez's hour long broadcast. 

Bonnie Bishop on Songwriting: Episode #6

Bonnie Bishop started her career as a country rock singer-songwriter from Texas. After arriving in Nashville, Bishop began writing and performing. She received awards and recognition and In 2012, Bishop's idol Bonnie Raitt recorded her song "Not Cause I Wanted To" The album went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album in 2013 . With all this success Bishop was hitting the road hard playing 200 dates a year. After a grueling 14 years of touring and after taking an extended break from her career in music, award-winning producer David Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson) signed her to her first record deal at the age of 36. Convinced Bishop should be singing soul music he told her that he wanted to make a Muscle Shoals-type album on a female. And that's exactly what they did with her latest's 'Ain't Who I Was' 

Click HERE to hear Bonnie Bishop's hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to hear Bonnie Bishop's hour long broadcast. 

Shinyribs on Songwriting: Episode #5

Kevin Russell is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, and banjo) based out of Austin, TX. After years of fronting alternative country band The Gourds in 2013 Kevin formed Shinyribs. Kevin Russell’s musical journey began in Beaumont, TX when, at 14, he found that he had a strong affinity for the guitar and songwriting. After being shown just a few chords he began writing his own songs. 

Click HERE to hear Shinyrib's hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to hear Shinyrib's hour long broadcast. 

Paul Cauthen on Songwriting: Episode #4

Paul Cauthen is a singer-songwriter that grew up in Tyler, Texas. His grandfather was a songwriter and also led music for the local Church of Christ congregation. This is where Cauthen and his two sisters learned to sing harmony. After his grandfathers passing Paul wrote his first song and discovered that songwriting could be an outlet for his deepest thoughts and feelings. It is not easy to pigeon-hole Cauthen's music into a generic 'country' genre. It's blues, gospel, honky-tonk with a strong dose of rock-and-roll mixed in there. Just listen to those vocals! 

Click HERE to hear Paul Cauthen's hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to hear Paul Cauthen's hour long broadcast. 

Sunny Sweeney on Songwriting: Episode #3

Sunny Sweeney is breath of fresh air. Not only is she powerful enough to command any stage, she is a bad ass songwriter. All the while maintaining a healthy dose of humility and approachability that draws her fan base in. That level of approachability has worked against her in the past with some not so welcome advice from fans. Yep, she wrote a song about that as well. Her flair for frankness can be plainly heard in her songs which never leaves you guessing how she really feels about something. Jewly Hight from NO DEPRESSION describes her perfectly. 

"That stubbornness definitely comes through in her singing; in her vinegary directness and occasional bold-faced sarcasm; in her knowing, straight-on phrasing and how little use she has for flowery embellishment; in the undiluted, hardcore twang of her timbre and its resistance to the leaven of pop, rock, or R&B influence.“This drunk guy at a bar one night goes, ‘Girl, you need to take that clothespin off your nose,’” she testifies. “And I said, ‘I borrowed it from Willie Nelson. It’s doing fine for him.’”  -Jewly Hight NO DEPRESSION

Click HERE to hear Sunny Sweeny's hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to hear Sunny Sweeny's hour long broadcast. 

Whiskey Wolves of the West on Songwriting: Episode #2

The Whiskey Wolves of the West are a newly formed group created by Leroy Powell and Tim Jones based out of Nashville, TN. Together these two create what Tim Jones describes as a southern rock Simon and Garfunkel. Both Powell and Jones have each experienced success as songwriters, studio musicians, and band leaders capable of doing just about anything they want musically. Luckily for us they have joined forces to bring us their high and lonesome sound. 

Click HERE to hear the Whiskey Wolves of the West's hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to hear the Whiskey Wolves of the West's hour long broadcast. 

Band of Heathens on Songwriting: Episode #1

 When it comes to American-Roots music know one walks the walk like the Band of Heathens. Every member has the unique ability to write songs, arrange harmonies and come up with hooks that will leave you wanting more. Just looking at the overall musicianship of these guys is staggering to say the least. With an impressive 7 albums under their belt the Band of Heathens show no signs of slowing down. Gordy Quist laid out some sage advice regarding not getting "stuck" that I'd like to share with you. He uses the analogy of inputs & outputs to unpack the daunting task of keeping yourself creatively inspired. I'd also like to add that I am paraphrasing a bit so make sure you listen to podcast to hear the discussion in its entirety. 

Click HERE to listen to the Band of Heathens hour long broadcast. 

Click HERE to listen to the Band of Heathens hour long broadcast.