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1. Episode 8 - Marc Ribot

Episode 8 - Marc Ribot

The mighty Marc Ribot joins us on the show this week! Marc is one of the most sought after session and performing musicians in modern music, not to mention an intensely creative spirit who is just as comfortable hanging with the most experimental free jazz players as he is playing with Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Joe Henry, Buddy Miller or any of the many other roots and Americana artists he regularly collaborates with. Marc emerged from the well-documented New York scene of the late 70's and early 80's with the Lounge Lizards and John Zorn before playing on some of Tom Waits' most iconic albums and creating his own impressive string of varied solo projects. Marc and I discussed those projects, his earliest influences, the importance and complexity of Chuck Berry, his history with John Lurie, how he got a gig early in his career with Solomon Burke, and lots more. It was a real honour to have Marc on the show and his stories and insights make him both an incredible Music Maker and a Soul Shaker! Subscribe for free on iTunes, and get more info on the show at:

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2. Episode 2 - Tim O'Brien

Episode 2 - Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien dropped by the Henhouse Studio here in Nashville for a conversation and a little pickin'! Tim is an indelible fixture on the acoustic music scene and is one of the most accomplished and well-versed instrumentalists out there, not to mention a hit songwriter. He has a fantastic new album out called "Pompadour" that explores all aspects of his diverse musical identity. We talked about his musical influences, how he got into music, starting the seminal Hot Rize with Pete Wernick, his songwriting, and sessions with Mark Knopfler, Steve Earle and lots more! Then we picked up a couple of axes at the end and had ourselves a little jam. Enjoy! Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes here:

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3. Episode 43 - Bil Vorndick (Engineer for Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and many more)

Episode 43 - Bil Vorndick (Engineer for Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and many more)

My guest this week is the incomparable Nashville recording engineer, Bil Vorndick. I first started seeing Bil's name on albums as I was getting into bluegrass, and he seemed to be the engineer on everything coming out by Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and the rest of the top players of the time. Bil's artistry as a producer and engineer has helped earn his clients over 45 Grammy nominations that encompass 9 that won (among them Alison Krauss’ very first Grammy). He has worked on many albums during his 40 years in music. These include projects for such other Grammy recipients as Ralph Stanley, Marty Robbins, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor and jazz bassist Charlie Haden. His credits appear on No. 1 albums in 5 different musical genres. I've had the pleasure of working with Bil a number of times and his easy-going manner, incredible knack with acoustic instruments, and attention to detail make him one of the very best in the business. Enjoy my conversation with Bil Vorndick, and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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4. Episode 10 - Cindy Cashdollar

Episode 10 - Cindy Cashdollar

Cindy Cashdollar joins me this week on the show. Cindy is a highly respected musician and sideperson, who has developed an incredible style and facility on the lap steel and dobro. Early on in her career, before she was really fluent on the lap steel, she got a gig with the popular western swing band Asleep At The Wheel, and had to really learn how to play that style on the fly. She ended up mastering the instrument, and her success as a player and sideperson to artists such as Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Dave Alvin, Van Morrison, Ryan Adams and many more is a testament to that fact. Cindy has released one album of her own called “Slide Show” that features some great performances with her and a number of high-profile slide and dobro players. She was also just nominated this week for an Americana Award for "Instrumentalist Of The Year"! I reached Cindy at her home in Woodstock, NY and we talked about those gigs I mentioned, the music that inspired her to pick up the guitar, growing up in Woodstock, getting in to blues and bluegrass, hooking up with Levon Helm and Rick Danko, and her trip through an 8 year stint with Asleep at the Wheel, to playing on Dylan’s 2007 masterpiece "Time Out Of Mind". Visit for more info on the podcast!

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5. Episode 25 - Jay Bellerose

Episode 25 - Jay Bellerose

Drummer Jay Bellerose is my guest on the show this week. If your musical taste crosses over with mine at all, Jay is probably the drummer on some of your favorite records of the last 15 years. If you've been following this show, Jay's name has come up many times in other interviews, so it was high-time to drag him in for an episode of his own! Jay's unique approach to drumming, with unorthodox setups and an awesome palette of vintage drums has made him the go-to drummer for producers like T-Bone Burnett and Joe Henry. We talk about his approach to drumming and musicality in the studio, and how he tries to be very selective about the projects he takes on. In fact, he once turned down a gig with David Byrne, only to take his first gig with Joe Henry, opening for David Byrne! Jay has played on albums for BB King, Gregg Allman, Ray LaMontagne, Allen Toussaint, Bettye LaVette, Solomon Burke, Bonnie Raitt and the list goes on and on. Jay and I talked about his early days at Berklee, his long stint with Paula Cole, how to survive in a multi-drummer session with Jim Keltner, and how he had to work to fit into the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss touring band after making the acclaimed "Raising Sand" record. It's an illuminating conversation for any music fan - please share and enjoy, and don't forget to subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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6. Episode 1 - Bill Frisell

Episode 1 - Bill Frisell

In the first episode of Music Makers and Soul Shakers, I speak with guitarist and composer Bill Frisell over the phone from his home in Seattle. Bill has created an incredible body of work as an artist and sideman over the last 35 years that has straddled the lines between jazz, blues, and Americana music. Bill and I talked about growing up in Colorado, his early years as a struggling musician, hooking up with legendary jazz musicians in New York and Europe, why he walked away from his diploma at Berklee, his first guitar, playing the clarinet, his band with Ginger Baker, what the sessions were like for some of my favorite albums of his, and much more! You'll also hear clips of Bill's music and some of the music that inspired him throughout his life. Feel free to leave some comments, and please share! Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes here:

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7. Episode 3 - Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers)

Episode 3 - Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers)

In this episode, Oliver Wood drops in at The Henhouse to talk about the evolution of the Wood Brothers, his early experiences playing in rock and blues bands, being on the road with Tinsley Ellis, and recording with a 14-year old Derek Trucks. While his brother Chris was off starting Medeski, Martin and Wood, Oliver's band King Johnson was touring all over the US. When they finally reconnected as brothers and musical partners, the Wood Brothers recorded a string of killer acoustic and electric albums that draw from blues, soul, funk and jazz. We hear about all that from Oliver, and hear some of the songs that influenced him, and we also grab a couple of axes and have at it on an old blues number and a Wood Brothers tune! Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes here:

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8. Episode 21 - David Hood (Bassist from Muscle Shoals and FAME Studios)

Episode 21 - David Hood (Bassist from Muscle Shoals and FAME Studios)

David Hood, the legendary bassist and member of the Swampers, the Muscle Shoals-based band that backed up countless classic soul records, is my guest this week. Guys like David are the reason I was inspired to do this show in the first place. I first heard him through the Duane Allman anthology, an album I picked up as a kid that contained all this amazing soul music that Duane had been a part of in the late 60's. Upon further investigation, I was led to the world of Muscle Shoals, and FAME Studios, the home of classic soul music for artists like Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs, John Hammond, Clarence Carter, and so many more. David also went on to play on albums for Paul Simon, Traffic, and the list goes on and on. The Muscle Shoals documentary from a few years back is a must-see, and David was kind enough to spend some time with me talking about the studios, life during that time in Muscle Shoals, and to detail some of the sessions that so many of us know and love. Enjoy my conversation with David Hood and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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9. Episode 4 - John Hammond

Episode 4 - John Hammond

In Episode 4 of the podcast, I speak with the legendary blues artist John Hammond. John has had an incredible career that spans over 5 decades. Since his debut in 1965, John has recorded over 40 albums, and has worked with luminaries in the field such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Band, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and many more. During the 70's and 80's John stayed true to his roots and almost singlehandedly kept the solo country and delta blues styles alive. John and I had a great conversation that touched on his guitar playing, his recording history, a memorable night in New York that had him playing with BOTH Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton in his band, signing numerous record deals that never seemed to quite work out, how the Wicked Grin record with Tom Waits almost never happened, and lots more! Leave some comments - we love to hear from you! Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes here:

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10. Episode 44 - Lloyd Green

Episode 44 - Lloyd Green

My guest this week is pedal steel legend Lloyd Green. Lloyd is most notable for his session work, having played on records with artists such as The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, The Monkees, Paul McCartney, Charley Pride, Bob Dylan, Johnny Paycheck, and many others. Green landed in Nashville after college and soon found steady work as a road musician supporting artists like Ferlin Husky and Faron Young. He stayed with Young's band for 18 months and then left town to be with his new wife. During those months, he appeared on the George Jones track, "Too Much Water Runs Under the Bridge" and then for some reason had a hard time finding more work. At that point, Green basically quit playing and became a shoe salesman in Nashville. A few years and a couple of fortunate turns later, Lloyd became one of the top call steel guitarists in Nashville in the 60's and 70's, and definitely one of the most recorded of all time. His memorable, bluesy licks grace so many classic country recordings, not to mention kicking off the classic "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" album by the Byrds. Lloyd dropped by The Henhouse Studio here in Nashville to talk about his life and career and give us all a glimpse into what life was like as a session ace, playing on hundreds of records every year. Enjoy my conversation with Lloyd Green, and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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11. Episode 16 - Joe Henry (Part 2)

Episode 16 - Joe Henry (Part 2)

This week is the conclusion of my conversation with producer and artist Joe Henry. Joe is one of my favorite producers, taking huge risks and pushing sonic boundaries in the studio, mixing cutting-edge jazz with folk music, and capturing stellar live tracks that sound larger than life. He's been at the helm for some of what I think are the coolest sounding records of the last decade, for artists like Solomon Burke, Mary Gauthier, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, and so many more. Last week, I spoke with Joe about his upbringing and how he got into record-making, his association with T-Bone Burnett, and some of his first production projects. This week, the story continues and we delve into Joe's philosophies on recording, some of his recent work, and his amazing encounter with the great Ornette Coleman. Thanks to Joe for being so generous with his time and giving us this cool 2-part interview. Enjoy, share it, and please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes for free!

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12. Episode 19 - Bruce Cockburn

Episode 19 - Bruce Cockburn

My guest on the show this week is legendary performer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn. Bruce has been recording and touring for over 40 years, and has 30 spectacular albums to his credit. One of the most beloved of Canadian artists, Bruce has made a huge mark in the US and Europe as well. With humble beginnings in the folk scene of Toronto in the 60's, to releasing his first few classic albums on True North Records, before achieving massive commercial success in the late 70's and 80's with classic songs like "Wondering Where The Lions Are", "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" and "If I Had a Rocket Launcher". I've always been drawn to Bruce's creative guitar playing, which incorporates blues, jazz, folk and ragtime elements into a unique sound that instantly recognizable. Bruce and I had a chance to discuss his life and career in music and all the stages of his amazing career. Enjoy my conversation with Bruce Cockburn, and please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes for free!

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13. Episode 9 - Stephen Hodges (drummer for Mavis Staples, Tom Waits and many more!)

Episode 9 - Stephen Hodges (drummer for Mavis Staples, Tom Waits and many more!)

Stephen Hodges joins us this week on Music Makers and Soul Shakers. Stephen is an incredibly creative and grooving drummer who plays on the most iconic Tom Waits' albums (Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs, and Mule Variations to name just a few!), all of Mavis Staples' recent recordings, and lots of other cool sessions and albums. He worked with David Lynch on the "Fire Walk With Me" Soundtrack, and cut his teeth in the bars of Long Beach and Los Angeles in the late 70's and early 80's alongside Los Lobos and the Blasters. Stephen discusses his early days as a drummer/composer for modern dance classes, working in seedy bars in through the 70's, getting his mind blown by Howling' Wolf, developing his unique drum setup with James Harman, and landing gigs with Tom Waits and John Hammond. This is a hilarious and energetic interview with a very humble and generous musician and much can be learned from him by drummers and non-drummers alike! Subscribe for free on iTunes, and get more info on the show at:

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14. Episode 28 - Dave Alvin

Episode 28 - Dave Alvin

My guest this week is songwriter and guitarist Dave Alvin. Dave, along with his brother Phil, is a founding member of the Rock n' Roll group The Blasters. The Blasters tore it up on the LA roots/punk scene from the late 70's through the 80's and toured endlessly around the world. Dave went on to join The Knitters and X, as well. He has great stories about growing up in the outskirts of LA, the great scene that evolved there, songwriting, and his lengthy career making a string of excellent solo records. I love Dave's songs and delivery, but he's also a badass guitar player - a rare feature in singer-songwriters! In recent years, Dave has teamed back up with his brother Phil for some great duo recordings. I got to know Dave a few years back when we worked together on a tribute to the Mississippi Sheiks, and he's always been one of the artists that I hold in the highest regard, so he seemed like the perfect guest to kick off Season 2 of the show! Enjoy my conversation with Dave Alvin, and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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15. Episode 49 - David Bromberg

Episode 49 - David Bromberg

My guest this week is songwriter and guitar player David Bromberg. David is mostly known as a guitar player, but also plays a mean fiddle, pedal steel guitar and dobro. Bromberg began releasing albums of his own in the early 1970s, but at the same time was building a career as a prolific sideman, recording with everyone from Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and Jerry Jeff Walker to George Harrison and Ringo Starr. After a string of solo albums through the 70's, David decided to switch gears and got into violin repair and sales, starting his own shop in Delaware. David has recently hit the road again with a killer new band, and made his latest record last year, entitled "The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The Blues". Enjoy my conversation with David Bromberg, and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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16. Episode 45 - Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids)

Episode 45 - Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids)

My guest this week is guitarist and songwriter Kenneth Pattengale. Pattengale makes up one half of the killer duo Milk Carton Kids, which formed in 2011 when Pattengale teamed up with fellow songwriter Joey Ryan. The duo formed a fast chemistry which relies on tight and intricate harmony singing, and the slippery guitar playing of Pattengale. Together they have made 4 albums, and have had an incredible run over the last 5 years working with Joe Henry, T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Freeland, receivig a Grammy nomination, and touring all over the world. Previous to the Kids, Kenneth was a solo artist living in LA, making solo records under the radar and getting really good at Scrabble. I've been a fan of these guys since seeing them a few years ago at Folk Alliance and then at the Americana Conference in Nashville. Recently, my friends in Birds of Chicago, another killer band, did an EP at my studio and Kenneth was a guest. We had a good hang, played some music together and then he was nice enough to drop by and talk about his young but extremely successful career. Enjoy my conversation with Kenneth Pattengale, and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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17. Episode 5 - Mary Gauthier

Episode 5 - Mary Gauthier

In Episode 5, songwriter Mary Gauthier drops by The Henhouse in Nashville for a wide-ranging conversation about her unorthodox path in the music business that didn't start until she was 40! She has had songs on Grammy winning albums, and had them covered by artists as diverse as Jimmy Buffet and Bettye Lavette. Mary has recorded a number of exceptional albums, working with some heavy-hitters in the production world, such as Joe Henry and Gurf Morlix. Her latest album, Trouble and Love is some of her finest work to date. Mary and Steve discuss her songwriting process, how she approaches making records, some of her studio experiences, her new book and some of the hurdles she has overcome to go from being a successful chef and restaurant owner to one of the most respected songwriters of her generation. At the end of the interview, Mary and Steve pick up the guitars and perform her song "Last Of The Hobo Kings". Subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes here:

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18. Episode 15 - Joe Henry (Part 1)

Episode 15 - Joe Henry (Part 1)

My guest on Episode 15 is producer and artist Joe Henry. Joe came up through the ranks originally as an artist, but through some early interctions with T-Bone Burnett, ended up being T-Bone's assistant on a number of projects, which led to him producing artists for himself. Joe continues to make great albums of his own every couple of years, and I’m a huge fan of all of them. He’s developed a close working relationship with my guest from episode 6, Ryan Freeland. Ryan’s ability to capture depth and live performances in the studio along with Joe’s abilities to set the stage, and create a sonic vision for his recordings has led to what I think are some of the most interesting albums made over the last 10 or 15 years. Their recordings have inspired me both as a musician and producer, and their philosophy of recording live and letting the moment dictate the feel, and spontenaity override perfection has pushed me more and more down a similar path over the years, and is something that I hold in high regard and strive for. Joe has been at the helm for some great records by Aimee Mann, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint, Rodney Crowell, Mose Allison, Bonnie Raitt, his grammy-winning album for Soloman Burke, my pals the Birds of Chicago, and so many more. It’s a huge and important slice of American Music that his body of work represents, and I was really excited to talk to Joe about some of these sessions and his path to where he is now in his career. Enjoy Part 1 of my conversation with Joe Henry!

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19. Episode 24 - John Convertino (Calexico, Giant Sand)

Episode 24 - John Convertino (Calexico, Giant Sand)

My guest this week is the very creative and grooving drummer, John Convertino. Along with Joey Burns, John started Calexico in the mid-90's after a long stint playing and touring with the seminal group, Giant Sand. His work with Howe Gelb in Giant Sand brought him from LA to Tucson, where he's been living for many years, and has helped to develop a creative and nurturing music scene. Calexico has released a series of amazing albums, and John's unique approach to the drums is always a highlight. The group successfully mixes folk, rock, twang, mariachi, and avant-garde music into their sound, and it was great to discuss all of those elements with John, as well as his history playing in his family band, how he met Howe Gelb and started playing in LA, his move to the desert of Tucson, and his experiences recording and working in the studio. Enjoy my conversation with John Convertino and please subscribe to the podcast for free on iTunes!

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