Eric Hodge Interviews

Merge Records

Durham's Hiss Golden Messenger is back with their 11th studio album 'Terms of Surrender.' It's an album that touches on dark topics in a hopeful and optimistic way, something principal member MC Taylor excels at. The album kicks off with the politically charged 'I Need A Teacher.' To create a video for the song, Taylor and director D.L.

An image of Trentemoller
Sofie Nørregaard

Danish electronic artist Anders Trentemøller is back with his fifth studio album 'Obverse.' The music is dark and ambient and this time features vocal contributions from Slowdive's Rachel Goswell and Warpaint's Jenny Lee Lindberg, among others.

Sacks & Co.

Andrew Bird is a singer-songwriter, violinist and master whistler. Over a two-decade career, he's created a singular body of work that is literate, beautiful, touching and at times playful.

Bird's new album is called "My Finest Work Yet," and it would be hard to argue otherwise.

An image of Jade Bird
Nicole Nodland

British singer-songwriter Jade Bird got her start as a teenager playing blues and folk clubs around London. Over the past few years, she's toured Europe and the United States several times and was one of the first artists chosen for NPR's Slingshot program.

An image of Jake Xerxes Fussell
Brad Bunyea

 

Jake Xerxes Fussell's family history plays a significant role in his musical output. The son of a folklorist, curator and photographer spent his childhood listening to old bluesmen and Native American artists his father was recording.

A picture of Chatham County Line.
Andy Goodwin / Chatham County Line

Chatham County Line is back with a record devoted to their fans.  For years the bluegrass band has included a well-chosen cover or two in their live shows.  Fans would often stop by the merchandise table and ask where they could find those songs.

Now there's at least a partial answer to that question.  Sharing The Covers contains thirteen songs written by artists ranging from Beck, to the Rolling Stones, to Wilco.

A photo of Maya De Vitry.
Laura Partain

After spending several years collaborating with her band mates in The Stray Birds, singer-songwriter Maya de Vitry set out to find a different voice. What transpired were a lot of walks in the woods, traveling to meet friends old and new and mustering the confidence to sing her own songs in her own voice. The result is Adaptations

Mandolin Orange To Unleash 'Tides of a Teardrop'

Jan 31, 2019
A picture of Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin.
Mark Maya / mandolinorange.com

Americana darlings Mandolin Orange will release a new record tomorrow called Tides of a Teardrop. It's been a couple of years since Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz released Blindfaller, which earned the duo rave reviews and an expanding audience.

A picture of Greg Hawks.
York Wilson Photography

Greg Hawks says his new record is a culmination of all of his musical influences. That means the songs on I Think It's Time contain nods to classic country, 1970s pop/rock, rhythmic soul and his roots in the American South.

A picture of singer-songwriter Doug Paisley.
LP Photographs

Doug Paisley's new record Starter Home is a quiet beauty. The Canadian musician will remind you of Guy Clark, John Prine and Gordon Lightfoot, even as he puts his own stamp on a long tradition of singer-songwriters.

He recorded the new songs over a few years at several home studios in Toronto. Paisley will be at The Cat's Cradle Back Room in Carrboro tonight. 

Dante High Debuts With Abundant Hooks

Oct 12, 2018
Brian Livingston

Ari Picker's first band Lost In The Trees was known for cinematic, orchestral folk music that incorporated many layers of instrumentation including strings and horns. It was beautiful, complex and artful. His new project is more direct and takes its lead from keyboard synths, guitar and a driving rhythm section. Dante High's debut is eight tightly performed, taut songs that clock in at just 30 minutes.

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.

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