Eric Hodge Interviews

A picture of Amanda Shires.
Elizaveta Porodina / All Eyes Media

The surprisingly hard rocking song "Eve's Daughter" is just one of the stand-out singles on Amanda Shires' new record To The Sunset. The singer-songwriter and fiddler wrote her fifth collection of songs while sharing child-care duties with her partner Jason Isbell.

A picture of the Cowboy Junkies.
Heather Pollock

Cowboy Junkies have been making music together for more than 30 years. 

Siblings Michael, Margo and Peter Timmins are once again joined by childhood friend Alan Anton for their first new recording is six years.  It's called All That Reckoning, and it reflects a more direct political stance from the band.

A photo of Ryan Gustafson with a guitar.
Shervin Lainez

When he's not on the road playing in Hiss Golden Messenger or Phil Cook's Guitarheels, Ryan Gustafson lives in the mountains near Asheville. But he often hits the road on his own, taking in the sights and sounds of other cultures and other places. As he travels, he writes down some of his thoughts and puts them to song. The result is his third album as The Dead Tongues. The band will play from its new album in Carrboro this weekend.

A picture of the band Wye Oak.
Shervin Lainez / Merge Records

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

This time, Eric Hodge chats with Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner about the title track from their latest record, 'The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs.'

She says the song has different meanings for different people, and that duality fueled her creative process.

Listen to the episode here:

Phil Cook
Courtesy of Josh Wool

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge chats with Durham's Phil Cook about 'Miles Away,' the first single from his new album People Are My Drug.

Robert Plant
Ed Miles

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

This time, Eric Hodge chats with rock icon Robert Plant about the title track of his latest solo record, Carry Fire. It's a dramatic sounding song, and Plant says the idea for it began as a fragment of music he heard during a practice session.

Listen to the episode here:

Noah Gundersen explores big themes like religion, relationships and our culture's need to have it all in his latest recording, “White Noise.”
Courtesy of Charlie Shuck

Noah Gundersen’s latest recording is called  “White Noise.”  The Seattle-based singer-songwriter is exploring big themes like religion, relationships and our culture's need to have it all.  

Mipso
D.L. Anderson

The North Carolina band Mipso decamped to Oregon last winter to record the recently released Edges Run. 

A photo of the band Superchunk.
Lissa Gotwals / Merge Records

Decades after forming, Chapel Hill band Superchunk is sounding as engaged and vital as ever.  The new recording is called What A Time To Be Alive and features some vocal assistance from Stephin Merritt from Magnetic Fields, Katie Crutchfield from Waxahatchee and Skylar Gudasz.  But aside from that, the tempos and the roar of guitars are undiminished by time.

A picture of Jphono1 and The Chevrons
Kevin Clark

Carrboro-based JPhono1 used to be a solo act. But now, Jphono1 and The Chevrons is officially a band.

The 2016 release Time In The Chevron was head-honcho John Harrison's first experiment in using a band for his Jphono1 project. Well, he must have thought it was a good idea because he's back with an additional band member for the new recording Magic Meadow Hour. It's out now and if you like Dinosaur, Junior, Kurt Vile or Neil Young it could be right up your alley. 

A picture of H.C. McEntire.
Heather Evans Smith / Merge Records

The new year marks a new chapter for Heather McEntire. The Durham-based singer of Mount Moriah has released her debut solo album. H.C. McEntire's new record is called Lionheart.  She said it's inspired by the American South and a desire to reclaim country music from the hetero-normative, homogenous schtick of tailgates and six-packs and men chasing women.

Winston-Salem native Caleb Caudle
Courtesy of Maria Ivey

Winston-Salem native Caleb Caudle recorded his new collection Crushed Coins in Los Angeles. The record reflects a tightly knit group of musicians and a fertile period of song-writing. Caudle has been compared to Jason Isbel and lauded in Rolling Stone magazine and on NPR.  

Crushed Coins is released today, Caleb is playing at the Cat's Cradle Back Room Saturday night.

Hillsborough's Yep Roc Records is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend with a series of concerts in Hillsborough and Carrboro. Label co-founder Glenn Dicker sat down with Morning Edition host Eric Hodge to talk about the history of the label and to give us a run down of this weekend's events.

The Be Loud! event poster,
Be Loud! Sophie Foundation

The Be Loud! Sophie Foundation is holding its annual celebration at the Cat's Cradle this weekend in Carrboro.

Tift Merritt's latest album cover
Alexandra Valenti

Tift Merritt is throwing a party Saturday night at the North Carolina Museum of Art. M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, Eric Slick of Dr. Dog, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig from Mountain Man will be there. So will someone who calls himself the Suitcase Junket.

A picture of Jenn Wasner
Courtesy of Paley Fairman

Jenn Wasner is best known as half of the Baltimore-based band Wye Oak. But for the past few years, she's been quietly working away at her own music under the banner Flock of Dimes

Front Country band
Big Hassle

Grab your picnic blanket and round up the kids because it's time for the start of Back Porch Music on The Lawn at American Tobacco in Durham.

Thursday night Front Country rolls into town with their genre-busting brand of roots music.  This is the first of eight in a series of concerts. 

Friday night at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, the Cat's Cradle presents the North Carolina premiere of the concert film "Thank You, Friends." The movie's name comes from a Big Star song from Third (the band's third album). The movie documents an on-going, star-studded tribute to the band.

A picture of Mike Doughty
Rachelandthecity / Chartroom Media

Rocker Mike Doughty has a new collection of songs called The Heart Watches While The Brain Burns. It's his ninth solo record and his first since leaving his longtime home in Brooklyn for the southern comforts of Memphis.  He recently played at The Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, and came to WUNC for a chat.

You can hear more of Mike's songs on WUNC Music on our HD2 channel, streaming at WUNC.org or through TuneIn.

Mark Holthusen / Merge Records

For his first recording in five years, "Hey Mr. Ferryman," Mark Eitzel traveled to London to work with Mercury Prize winner Bernard Butler. Among other things, he said the songs are about celebrating musicians and music, and how death waits for you even in the happiest place on earth: Las Vegas.

"We were staying at the El Cortez (in Las Vegas) because it's the cheapest casino around. It's $12 a night," Eitzel said.

Tift Merritt
Alexandra Valenti / Sacks & Co.

Tift Merritt is back home in Raleigh.  After spending years in New York City, the North Carolina native took the advice of friends—including Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor—and headed south to have her first baby and see what her hometown had to offer.  Before making the move, Merritt managed to record a new album called Stitch Of The World.

FLOTUS album cover
Merge Records / Merge Records

It's rare when an established band with a recognizable sound makes a big change. But that's what Lambchop has done with it's new recording For Love Often Turns Us Still, or FLOTUS

Lead singer and songwriter Kurt Wagner has electronically treated most of his vocals and made room for drum loops and other audio treatments on songs inspired by the sounds he heard coming from his neighbors and recent records from Kendrick Lamarr, Kanye West and Frank Ocean.

Turnpike Troubadours
David McClister / All Eyes Media

The Turnpike Troubadours came roaring out of Oklahoma ten years ago with a sound that has been described as a synthesis of Woody Guthrie and Walyon Jennings with the guitars turned way up. Their fourth release is self-titled, and it swings from melancholy ballads, to out-and-out rockers fiddle not withstanding. Turnpike Troubadours play in Raleigh tomorrow night at the Lincoln Theatre.

Michael Rank (right) with Heather McEntire
Andy Tennille

Michael Rank has released his sixth record in about four years. Being that prolific can lead to self-indulgence, but not this time. Red Hand contains nine taut songs of what has been called outlaw folk, damaged country and backwoods Americana. Whatever you call it, it comes with duet vocals from Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire on every song.

Mandolin Orange
Scott McCormick / Sacks & Co.

Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz are back with a new Mandolin Orange recording. It's called Blindfaller.  The duo recorded its fifth album in their hometown of Chapel Hill during a week off between tour dates.  The record builds on a mix of folk, country and bluegrass while always keeping the spotlight on their captivating vocal harmonies.

Carrboro Album Cover
Stan Lewis / Blood Shot Records

You may know Dex Romweber from his recent work with his sister in the Dex Romweber Duo. Maybe you first heard Dex in his early band the psycho-surf-rockabilly-garage-punk combo Flat Duo Jets. Or maybe you've heard Jack White, Neko Case, and Cat Power pay tribute to his music. 

Whatever the context, the Chapel Hill native continues to record and tour with his own brand of rock-n-roll mayhem. And, occasionally he records a solo album. The latest is called Carrboro.

Teenage Fanclub
Courtesy of Donald Milne

After a six year hiatus, Scottish alt-rock favorite Teenage Fanclub is out with a new album called Here. It's safe to say that the gaps between some of the band's records can be as long as some musicians' careers. Since the late-1980s, Teenage Fanclub has sustained a die-hard fan base with songs built around chiming guitars, harmony-laden vocals and a democratic approach to songwriting.

Chatham County Line
Patrick Shanahan / Yep Roc Music Group

Chatham County Line is back with its seventh studio recording.  It's called Autumn and features eleven original songs recorded in Kernersville. Dave Wilson is the lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. John Teer plays fiddle, mandolin and also sings.

singer and songwriter BJ Barham embarks on a tour to promote his solo-recording "Rockingham."
Courtesy of All Eyes Media / http://alleyesmedia.com/clients/bj-barham/

Fans of Raleigh-based American Aquarium are in for a treat as lead singer and songwriter BJ Barham embarks on a tour to promote his solo-recording "Rockingham."

John Paul White
Allister Ann / Sacks and Co.

John Paul White was one half of the four-time Grammy winning duo The Civil Wars.  Since finishing with that band, he has founded a record label, built a studio and collaborated with artists including Jason Isbell, Roseanne Cash and Emmylou Harris. 

When he paused long enough to write some songs, his new solo recording Beulah was born.

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