Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Love That Album Episode 160 - Interview with Michael Elliott, author of Have A Little Faith: The John Hiatt Story

 


Without repeating the details, over the years, John Hiatt has assumed the status of legend in LTA lore....go back to episode 100 if you need a refresher. His life story is the focus of episode 160 of the show. Is this episode any good? Have a little faith......


Welcome to episode 160 of Love That Album.


My friend of many years and fellow Hiatt fan Geoff Smith joins me as we welcome radio announcer and author Michael Elliott to the show. He has written the first ever biography of John Hiatt called “Have A Little Faith: The John Hiatt Story”. The book looks his life and work. The first half of the book tells the story of a talented songwriter who has faced adversity through family trut broken, substance abuse, and personal tragedy. In the 21t century, it' also unthinkable that an artist would go through three major labels before finding some public success at the fourth. His circumstances would have weakened many....but through his own determination, and the respect of his peers, Hiatt found his way.


Michael has written a wonderful book that while never salacious, doesn't shy away from the hardships of Hiatt's early life. We speak about how he tried many musical styles before he settled on what was true and honest artistically for him. We speak about songcraft, humour, the connection to David Bowie, why Emmylou Harris makes everything better, and many other topics around Hiatt's life and Michael's book.


My gratitude to Geoff for coming up with some great questions for Michael and bringing in his own experiences with John Hiatt. Also huge thanks goes to Michael for providing an entertaining discussion around his biographical subject.


If you feel so inspired to grab a copy of Have A Little Faith, you can find the links to any number of book stores at https://michael-elliott.com/. The site also has links to numerous articles Michael has written over the years for a variety of publications about all manner of musicians. If you live outside of the US, just walk into your local book store and tell them to order you a copy pronto.


Download this episode of LTA from your podcast app of choice. The wider back catalogue of episodes can also be found at http://lovethatalbumpodcast.blogspot.com


Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.


You can send me feedback at rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au (written or mp3 voicemail) or join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lovethatalbum


If you’d consider writing an iTunes review I’d be immensely grateful. However, it’d be even better if you told a friend about the podcast and Pantheon – at a barbecue, over coffee, on social media….whatever way you choose, consider me grateful.


Proudly Pantheon.


You can download episode 160 from here.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Love That Album Podcast Episode 159 - Interview with Steven Jurgensmeyer about album cover design

 



In the days before music streaming services became a ubiquitous, when physical media ruled the music world, the first thing a music fan encountered before playing the music on a record, a CD or a cassette was the artwork on the cover. The cover was the always gateway to the music. Some cover art is tastefully done, some covers have Facebook groups devoted to their awfulness. If done very well (or very poorly), cover art can come to define the music the listener is about to play.


Welcome to episode 159 of Love That Album.


Even before you play a note, looking at the covers of albums like Abbey Road, East or Whipped Cream and Other Delights will bring memories or impressions into your head. You may buy the record for the music, but it may well be the album cover that persuades you to pick it up in the record store in the first place. The very important role of cover designer often decides whether you decide to give an album a second glance.


One gentleman who knows this very well is Steven Jurgensmeyer. He may be known to podcast listeners as the host of the excellent All Music Books: Deep Dive podcast (also on the Pantheon network), but his day gig for many years has been in designing album covers. He worked for may years at Ryko and Rounder, so you may well know the artwork he's done for albums by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Sugar (featuring Bob Mould), Branford Marsalis, Robert Cray, Chris Bell and many others. We had a great discussion on his own work, whether an album's success and its artwork are linked, and the contrast between the previous world of physical art layout and its modern digital counterpart....we also take some time to talk about Steven's work with All Music Books.


Thanks so much to Steven for his time and invaluable insight into a side of music that we know about, yet don't make as much a part of the conversation.


You can check out all the album covers (and more) that we discuss at https://www.stevenjurgensmeyer.com/#/music/ and you can read reviews of a large library of music books at https://allmusicbooks.com/. AllMusicBooks: Deep Dive is also part of the Pantheon Network of music discussion podcasts and is available wherever you get your podcasts.


Download this episode of LTA from your podcast app of choice. The wider back catalogue of episodes can also be found at http://lovethatalbumpodcast.blogspot.com


Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.


You can send me feedback at rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au (written or mp3 voicemail) or join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lovethatalbum


If you’d consider writing an iTunes review I’d be immensely grateful. However, it’d be even better if you told a friend about the podcast and Pantheon – at a barbecue, over coffee, on social media….whatever way you choose, consider me grateful.


Proudly Pantheon.


You can download episode 159 from here.



Monday, June 20, 2022

Love That Album Podcast Episode 158 - Interview with John Kennedy and Peter Timmerman about Raining Treasure

 


Since the Beatles showed up with a built-in songwriting team, bands have always had those members who practised the mysterious art of creating and arranging compositions rather than relying on outside professionals to do that for them. Of course, even those great songsmiths liked to take a break and release an album of music that inspired them to pick up the quill and ink in the first place – Bowie's “Pinups”, Patti Smith's “12”, John Lennon's “Rock n Roll” (maybe more for contractual obligations, but still...)

Now we can add Australian songwriter John Kennedy's “Raining Treasure” to that mix.

Welcome to episode 158 of Love That Album.

John's been making great records since the 1980s with his bands like John Kennedy's Love Gone Wrong and JFK and the Cuban Crisis. His music has always had an Americana flavour to it, and he writes wonderful tales of life in Sydney. His 2017 album JFK and the Midlife Crisis was a concept album about a middle aged musician recalling his times younger days in Sydney working in the indie music scene and where he now sees himself.

In 2019, this led to the idea of recording an album of covers from fellow travellers in Australian independent music of the 70s and 80s, “Raining Treasure – Australian Indie Gold Covers Vol.1”.In 2022, John and his band The '68 Comeback Special have released a second volume, “Raining Treasure – More Australian Indie Gold Covers Vol.2” with their interpretations of songs from The Scientists, Weddings Parties Anything, Radio Birdman, and (in an extension of the definition of “independent”) The Angels (aka Angel City in the US). These are not carbon copies of their originals – the gents put deep thought into the arrangements of these songs, and the results in some cases show a greater musical alignment with the lyrics.

I met up with John Kennedy and Peter Timmerman from the band to discuss these great albums. Tales are also told of the oppressiveness of Queensland under the Bjelke-Petersen government, John's “Sex Pistols” moment meeting the Go Betweens, and whether it's appropriate for an audience to chant during a cover of THAT Angels song. If you're a fan of Kennedy, you won't want to miss this. If you're unfamiliar with his work, you're in for a treat.

You can stream the Raining Treasure albums from the usual places OR get a physical copies of the CDs from https://www.thegroovemerchants.com/Product/106392?fbclid=IwAR0x6jxrn6V3nds5OV4EcVGER_pkmkSQrG6KqBUplMqxLWP4JKDY2-wREP4

If you want to do a compare and contrast with the originals, I've created a YouTube playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUPF49t_p_U&list=PLvosm3nd-62VG0NoFR3x8jhoMgPBkcm51

Download this episode of LTA from your podcast app of choice. The wider back catalogue of episodes can also be found at http://lovethatalbumpodcast.blogspot.com

Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.

You can send me feedback at rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au (written or mp3 voicemail) or join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lovethatalbum

If you’d consider writing an iTunes review I’d be immensely grateful. However, it’d be even better if you told a friend about the podcast and Pantheon – at a barbecue, over coffee, on social media….whatever way you choose, consider me grateful.

Proudly Pantheon.

You can download episode 158 from here.



Monday, May 16, 2022

Love That Album Podcast Episode 157 - Interview with Prescott Niles of The Knack

 


It's the tail end of the 70s, and top 40 music is heavily leaning to disco and AOR. Sure there's plenty of other things out there, but the charts point not only to disco artists, but pop singers jumping on board the disco train (Barbara Streisand, Kiss, Paul McCartney and Wings).


Then 4 guys based in Los Angeles recorded and mixed a powerful rock and roll album in a little over 10 days, and for a brief time, the world couldn't get enough of them.


Welcome to episode 157 of Love That Album.


It seemed that you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing that flammed drum beat that held together a song as lustful as anything in rock music, My Sharona. Doug Fieger, Berton Averre, Prescott Niles and Bruce Gary released their debut album Get The Knack and music fans went crazy. Of course, things turned sour with fickle fans and the media who had to take these guys down a peg or two. That's not the story (in the main) that this episode is about.


I am hugely privileged to have Knack bassist Prescott Niles join me to talk about the 6 albums the band released over their career, putting paid to the lie that My Sharona is all they accomplished....but this episode is about more than just The Knack. Prescott talks about his music life starting in Brooklyn, and his time working with musicians like Velvet Turner, Arthur Lee, and George Harrison. He also talks about Fillmore East and Woodstock, and tells some interesting tales about Jimi Hendrix, and a few others.


This is a mammoth conversation we recorded over two sessions (one wasn't enough to get all these stories out). I am hugely grateful to Prescott for taking the time to join me on the show – something 15 year old me who played Get The Knack to death on original release could never have imagined. I'd also liked to thank Randy Haecker who hooked me up with Prescott.


So put on your skinny ties and download the show.


Download this episode of LTA from your podcast app of choice.The wider back catalogue of episodes can also be found at http://lovethatalbumpodcast.blogspot.com


Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.


You can send me feedback at rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au (written or mp3 voicemail) or join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lovethatalbum


If you’d consider writing an iTunes review I’d be immensely grateful. However, it’d be even better if you told a friend about the podcast and Pantheon – at a barbecue, over coffee, on social media….whatever way you choose, consider me grateful.


Proudly Pantheon.


Download episode 157 from here.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Love That Album Podcast Episode 156 - The Tom Robinson Band "Power In The Darkness"

 


In the past, Love That Album has avoided getting political. The albums being focused on for the most part didn't require the conversations to get embroiled in the very furnace that keeps people blathering on talk-back radio and social media – mostly in uncivilised fashion.

That all changes for this episode. If you don't like talk about what a pack of knobheads (I use less polite terminology on the show) fascists really are and the political masters who enable them....you might wanna skip this show.

Otherwise......welcome to episode 156 of Love That Album.

It seems like we're still in a dark era for humanity with wars and bigotry continuously being part of every day life across this broken planet. In England back in the 70s, the National Front were gaining supporters from both ends of the class system. There was a very real chance that their racist ideology was going to be allowed into mainstream government – not just staying in the fringes of society. The Rock Against Racism movement was born to fight this ideology – particularly after the likes of Eric Clapton and David Bowie started saying things in public that would have been frightening to immigrants and Holocaust survivors.

It was into this environment that songwriter and activist Tom Robinson brought his music into the public arena. He and his band (aptly named The Tom Robinson Band) brought a tough combination of pub and punk rock mixed with unambiguous lyrics explaining that if people didn't confront the fascists, then life as they knew it was over.

I am privileged to be joined by podcaster and punk historian Tom Austin-Morgan to discuss the debut album by the TRB, Power In The Darkness. The album is confronting lyrically, but Robinson is smart enough to know that if you back up your messages with catchy hooks and singalong choruses, you'll have a better chance of getting your message across. Tom and I discuss Tom's music in a broader sense, but the necessity is that we have to discuss the political environment of England in the 70s to give the album context. We really couldn't have done the album justice without providing the history.

I'm super grateful to Tom for providing his time and expertise. I highly recommend his excellent show “Banned Biographies”. The show focuses on the history of the original era of British punk – both by documentary style episodes and interviews with those who were there. Trust me – you need this show in your life. You can find it at all the usual places you get podcasts, or you can find it at https://www.bannedbiographies.com/ You can check the show's socials out at:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

Download this episode of LTA from your podcast app of choice.The wider back catalogue of episodes can also be found at http://lovethatalbumpodcast.blogspot.com

Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.

You can send me feedback at rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au (written or mp3 voicemail) or join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lovethatalbum

If you’d consider writing an iTunes review I’d be immensely grateful. However, it’d be even better if you told a friend about the podcast and Pantheon – at a barbecue, over coffee, on social media….whatever way you choose, consider me grateful.

Proudly Pantheon.

Download episode 156 from here.




Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Love That Album Podcast Episode 155 - Small Faces' "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake"

 


Are you all seated comfortable, too square on your botty? Then Love That Album can begin.


Welcome to episode 155 of Love That Album podcast.


As the 1960s rolled on, popular music evolved....and yet some of it looked back for inspiration. In the late 60s, the pop songs that had propelled the early British Invasion bands had moved on to make way for heavier sounds of psychedelia and blues based rock. The mod bands that had started out as purely “maximum R&B” were exploring different avenues while still maintaining some connections to their roots.


In 1968, The Small Faces had been through their share of grief with crooked management, contracts that did not favour them, and money woes. (Sadly, Steve Marriott's own future was set for a lot more grief). They wrote and recorded what many believe was their masterpiece, “Ogden's Nut Gone Flake”. Side 1 was a collection of hard rock, psychedelia, and old world British music-hall inspired tunes. Side 2 was a concept piece – a story about Happiness Stan who searches for the “missing” half of the moon. The story is narrated by Professor of Gobbledegook, Stanley Unwin. Oh yes, oh yes.....


I'm joined by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Ian Kitney (Overnight Jones, Tim Rogers and the Temperance Union) to contemplate the moon, lavatories, raising one's “oars”, the drumming of Kenny Jones, whether Marriott was mocking the state of contemporary British music, putting holes in one's snare drum, and what happens when George Formby is cleaning “winders”. It was a thrill to have Ian on the show – not only as a musician I've long admired, but also as a wonderful conversation partner about music we love.


I also want to give a shout out to author Alan Pattinson who has written a series of wonderful books about so many musicians and bands from the “classic” rock era. I bought his book on The Small Faces to get a feel for their history, and I'd recommend anything he'd write.


You can get Ian's albums from his Bandcamp site at https://iankitney.bandcamp.com/ including his latest called BGM – a wonderful collection of songs crossing over a number of styles over the history of pop.


You can read Alan's writings at http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/ which features links to his multiple e-books about the histories and discographies of many bands you love.


Download this episode of LTA from wherever you prefer getting your podcasts.


Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.


You can send me feedback at rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au (written or mp3 voicemail) or join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lovethatalbum


If you’d consider writing an iTunes review I’d be immensely grateful. However, it’d be even better if you told a friend about the podcast and Pantheon – at a barbecue, over coffee, on social media….whatever way you choose, consider me grateful.


Proudly Pantheon.


Download episode 155 from here.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Love That Album Podcast Episode 154 - Joni Mitchell's Hejira

 


The late 60s to early 70s saw a popular run of troubadours, aka singer / songwriters who were usually known for performing acoustic songs, often of a confessional nature or trying to make sense of the world through their work. The best ones sought out new musical territory as they progressed through their work.

Welcome to episode 154 of Love That Album podcast.

Joni Mitchell’s run of albums from the late 60s onwards were beloved of fans of songwriters. She had a way with unusual chord progressions and very personal storytelling. Very much a part of the Laurel Canyon scene, albums like Ladies of the Canyon and Clouds were well received acoustic guitar and piano based records. She evolved stylistically from folk based pop to pop with jazz leanings over a run of albums in the 70s.

In 1976, Joni released Hejira, a collection of songs related to travel – flight, hotel rooms, the musician’s life versus domesticity, affairs had on tour. Many people consider her earlier album Blue with its songs of love and its failings to be her masterpiece. As great as that is, I’m on team Hejira. It was written while Joni was on the road, and it sounds like the wide open plains and deserts it was probably written in. The compositions are incredibly dense, but the real secret weapon to the success of the album is Weather Report bassist, Jaco Pastorius.

Once again, I am thrilled to be joined by film writer, Kerry Gately Fristoe and guitarist, Shane Pacey. We look into Joni’s history, the themes behind Hejira, compare the differences between that album and Blue, and we also find time to diss each other’s musical tastes in other areas…..as you do. These two fellow music enthusiasts always bring something great to the conversation....looking forward already to their next appearance.

Have a read of Kerry’s excellent essays at https://prowlerneedsajump.wordpress.com/author/echidnabot/ and https://www.brattleblog.brattlefilm.org/author/kerry-fristoe/

 Shane has just released a wonderful album with his new band Pacey, King, and Doley. You can order a copy of Better Together from their Bandcamp site, https://paceykingdoley.bandcamp.com/album/better-together

Download this episode of LTA from wherever you prefer getting your podcasts.

Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.

You can send me feedback at rrrkitchen@yahoo.com.au (written or mp3 voicemail) or join the Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/lovethatalbum

If you’d consider writing an iTunes review I’d be immensely grateful. However, it’d be even better if you told a friend about the podcast and Pantheon – at a barbecue, over coffee, on social media….whatever way you choose, consider me grateful.

Proudly Pantheon.

Download episode 154 from here.