Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ep 13 - Song 1: "Rotary Dial" by Patresa Hartman (feat The High Crest)

"Hartman brings the mature and soulful voice of a woman who has something to say. As she puts it, making music is really about making an important human connection. 'I use songwriting as a way to understand my own human experiences and then communicate them in the most honest way I know how.'

"The result is a dynamic set of original songs in what Hartman calls 'soul-folk' style. Taking turns behind the guitar and the piano, Hartman’s compositions meld musical flavors of Janis Joplin, Miranda Lambert, Ingrid Michaelson, and Ani Difranco. Confessional lyrics and heart-opening melodies weave together with relatable storytelling to make every performance an intimate one and every audience a gathering of friends."
- from her ReverbNation page

"I’m the third of three daughters to musical parents. I grew up with church choir, barbershop quartets, show tunes, the symphony, military marches, Fifth Dimension, Crosby Stills & Nash, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, my father’s whistling, and The Gaithers. I made music everywhere, all the time. Then, at some random time and for some unidentified reason, my confidence tanked, and I stopped.

"Through the entirety of my 20’s and the start of my 30’s, I did anything but music. I finished college and went to graduate school. I cycled through four careers in fifteen years. At one point along the way, I missed music enough to buy a piano for $200 from a thrift store, and I learned chords on a beat-up classical guitar my then-boyfriend salvaged from the dumpster of the music store where he worked. Several songs fell out, and I recorded them using an analog four-track and a borrowed microphone. But I didn't play them for anyone.

"Over the next several years, I continued to write music that I was too insecure to play for others. Eventually, I recognized what a waste that was. You don't have to be great; you just have to be honest.

"I play acoustic sets of mostly original music (some covers), including a monthly Women’s Songwriters in the Round series I cohost with Mary McAdams at the Ritual Cafe in Des Moines. One of my very favorite things in the world is introspection and honesty as vehicles for important human connection. I believe that when we’re honest about who we are--with ourselves and each other--we find good company and validation. I believe good company and validation have magical healing powers. In this spirit, I like to use songwriting as a way to understand my own murky humanity and then communicate that in the most honest way I know how. And that is my extremely exciting story.

"Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for connecting. Hope to see you at a show soon."
- from her home page

Acoustic Guitar & Lead Vocals: Patresa Hartman
Djembe & Harmony Vocals: Kat Darling
Harmonica: Aaron Earl Short

Home page:



Ep 13 - Song 2: "The Thing About the Devil" by The High Crest

"The High Crest is the Folk & Roll duo of Kat Darling and Aaron Short. They are living small and traveling big, taking their sustainable Iowa grown original music across this country. They have released two albums, sold their house, and have now downsized to travel and perform their music. Their music is a strong blend of dueling guitars, harmonies and songwriting infused with harmonica, resonator guitar, and driving djembe hand drum. The songs lead into shared storytelling and invite humor, reflection and camaraderie. With hard-earned maturity and wisdom their songs ring true and will find a way into you."
- from their home page

"Aaron and Kat write and perform on acoustic guitars but often switch gears to include Aaron’s slide guitar and Kat’s djembe drumming on their album and at their shows. They thrive in an acoustic setting and can transform into a full band. Not fitting into the traditional genres, they dubbed their music, Folk and Roll.

"The couple was married in 2007 and recorded an EP, Fire. In 2008 their daughter, Abileen was born and in 2010 they recorded a family EP, Simple Songs Simple Feelings. They formed their partnership, 5 of Hearts Productions, in 2012 to support current projects which include, The High Crest self-titled debut album, Aaron’s solo album, Strange and a full album of their family songs, Simple Songs Simple Feelings. The High Crest performs an average of 100+ shows per year at top events and venues in the Des Moines and surrounding Midwest area. They have also been recorded live on Des Moines’ radio station, KFMG 99.1 and continue to have their songs played regularly.

"Aaron and Kat will be taking their music further into the Midwest area and also have plans of touring to Colorado and the West Coast. Armed with their new album, family and passion, The High Crest is dedicated to making music and sharing it with you."
- from their Facebook page

Aaron Earl Short - vocals and guitars
Kat Darling - djembe drum




Ep 13 - Song 3: "Cockles and Mussels" by Orckes & Trolles

"Orckes & Trolles is a high-energy vocal and instrumental music group that specializes in Medieval, Renaissance, Celtic, and pirate songs.

"Formed in 1992, this madrigal group has performed in many of the top Renaissance festivals in the Midwest, such as the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, the Renaissance Faire of the Midlands, and the Salisbury Faire. Check out our Performance Schedule and Links page to find out where we will next be singing.

"If you've never seen our shows, our music can best be described as 'alternative madrigal,' mixing madcap stage antics with vocal and instrumental music.

"We have also released three CD recordings! Please look for them at a faire near you. Or click here or on the CD Page button on the left for ordering information.

"During the Christmas season, we are also available as the Top Hat Carolers to perform period and traditional Christmas carols in Victorian garb."
- from their home page

Vocals: Patricia Uy-Westlund, Robert Uy, and Warren Westlund
Guitar: Robert Uy



Ep 13 - Song 4: "Ocean Blue Live" by Red Comet

"Red Comet is a folk-inspired alternative band from Iowa City, Iowa. The group began in early 2015 when Reid Turner approached Allison Orvis and Mike Nelson to sing vocals in the group. They soon formed a group with four talented vocalists, a few jazz-trained instrumentalists, and extremely stellar songwriting.

"Our goal is to convey stories through the guise of music. Each song acts as a unique perspective, describing the different challenges, ambitions, heartbreaks, and successes that we might face in life. Every person has a particular way of experiencing the world around them, and each experience is as significant as the last. Therein is the beauty of the arts; they act as a way to process and share these experiences. They serve to help evolve our understanding while enjoying our existence, and almost nothing in this world achieves this in the same way that music is able to.

"We are glad to have you listening."
- from their Facebook page

Allison Orvis: Vocals
Mike Nelson: Vocals
Reid Turner: Piano, Melodica, PVC Pipe Marimba, Songwriter
Dan DiMonte: Vocals, Guitar,Trumpet
Jared Poland: Vocals, Bass Guitar
Emily Roane: Drums/Percussion
Noah Andrys: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Dulcimer




Ep 13 - Song 5: "Rio Grande" by The Lawn Chairs

"The song commemorates an experience on the 'Savanna Studio' that the ISU Department of Landscape Architecture conducts each fall, during which students and faculty travel around the country for extended field study. In fall 2011 the travel included a visit to Big Bend National Park in SW Texas and a canoe trip down the Rio Grande, and Martin wrote 'Rio Grande' the following spring. The song is dedicated to Professor Gary Hightshoe, the 'godfather' of the Savanna Studio, who led the Rio Grande adventure in 2011 and retired the following year.

"The Lawn Chairs came together as a band during Savanna Studio travels during the fall of 2012, and have been performing in Ames and around central Iowa since then. Their repertoire includes original songs written by Martin, Murtha and Van Denack as well as covers of songs in pop, rock, country and Americana genres."
- from Micheal Martin for this podcast

Michael Martin - guitar and lead vocal
Molly Murtha - vocal
Kyle Schellhorn - cajon
Morgan Van Denack - vocal

Songwriter: Michael Martin
Arrangement: The Lawn Chairs (all 4 members)
Recording: December 2013 at Kocimski Auditorium, ISU Design Building, two simultaneous tracks on a Fostex VF80, one take, no frills :·)


Ep 13 - Song 6: "I Won't Be the One" by Lindgren & Lewis

"Iowa’s music scene bids welcome to newcomers Kevin Lindgren and Tommy Lewis. Blending southern twang and Midwest soul, the Ohio native Lindgren and Texas boy Lewis were both performing as solo singer-songwriters across southern Iowa when they joined forces in January 2013. Kevin’s dark but contemplative lyrics drape minor chords while Tommy’s charcoal filtered vocals fill the room with what he happily describes as 'honky folk.' Mixing acoustic guitars, rotgut harmonica riffs, and a car full of assorted instruments, Lindgren & Lewis look destined to make an impact on the Iowa sound."
- from their ReverbNation page

"Kevin Lindgren and Tommy Lewis were already singer-songwriters when they joined in January 2013 to form the Americana duo Lindgren & Lewis. Setting off on a run of live shows deemed the 'Heartaches and Whiskey' tour, they quickly gained a passionate following around Southern Iowa for their high energy shows, witty lyrics, and for the multitude of instruments they use to convey the Americana sound. By June, they had already been named by Des Moines music review The Insider Sessions as 'one of the best new bands of 2013' and had played Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas shows. Opening for national acts such as Granger Smith and Earl Dibbles, Jr., Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Dunville, and Zach Dubois, they capped off their inaugural year with a three night stint at the Silverton Casino in Las Vegas December 6-8.

"2014 started off with a bang as the “Twang and Soul Revival” tour took Kevin, Tommy, and new addition Samantha Lewis to Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, finishing off the first month of touring in the music capitol, Nashville.

"Kevin now lives in Lamoni, IA and spends off time with his family. Tommy splits time between Houston and Nashville and spends his off time fishing in the Gulf Coast water."
- from their Facebook page

Kevin Lindgren - Lead & Harmony Vocals, Guitar
Tommy C. Lewis - Banjo, Harmonica



Ep 13 - Song 7: "Johnny Fire" by Ryan Sheeler

"Ryan is a composer, instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, educator and music researcher from Ames IA. He has studied guitar, composition, conducting, and musicology at Iowa State and the University of Iowa.

"He has won awards from ASCAP, The Iowa Motion Picture Association, and the Paramount Group. Ryan is also co-author of From Bakersfield to Beale Street: A Regional History of American Rock n' Roll with David Stuart and Scott Anderson (2nd edition - 2009, Kendall-Hunt).

"Ryan's latest solo album is entitled Skies and Shadows (2013)."
- from his Facebook page

Ryan Sheeler - guitar and vocals

Home page:



Ep 13 - Song 8: "Too Late to Stay (live solo acoustic version)" by Nate Nelson

"The Nate Nelson Acoustic Show started out as a solo gig playing for tips in 2013 and has evolved into an acoustic/electric duo that is growing in popularity and developing a following with a setlist of original songs and unique cover tunes. These two guys (Nate Nelson and Doug Cochran) do what they can to stay away from the mainstream and gravitate toward the B side tunes from country artists like Hank Williams Jr., David Allan Coe and Gary Allan and modern 'red dirt' country bands like Cross Canadian Ragweed and southern rock staples like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker Band. These two have a way of switching gears mid-set and providing their own arrangements of more modern songs and offering their vision and songwriting talents with their lyrical weighted originals. 

"Nate, an Iowa boy originally, found his musical influence while living in Houston, Texas, but didn't take the leap of faith on stage until relocating (again) back to Des Moines in 2011. Nate's favorite bands include The Black Crowes, Widespread Panic and David Allan Coe, but he was ultimately inspired by the local Des Moines bands that provided the encouragement to "do it".

"Doug was born in Iowa as well. It's no surprise that he became a musician growing up in Fairfield. His truck drivin' life has made it's roots in Colorado, Arizona, Texas and in 2008 back here in Iowa. He played lead guitar in a few different bands throughout his life but never found the "right" fit... until now. Doug was heavily influenced by legendary guitarists like Joe Walsh and bands like Aerosmith, Steve Miller Band and, during his time In Texas, Cody Canada and Cross Candian Ragweed.

"These two first crossed paths on a freezing cold night in February 2014 while filling in at a gig for an ill mutual friend. After a couple of jam practices, they realized that what they had, deserved to be shared with the public.

"You won't hear too many Top 40 tunes out of these guys. What you will get is a unique vocal sound from Nate, mixed with the harmonies and lead guitar that Doug brings, from two humble guys that are just happy to be doing what they're doing and hope to entertain people at the same time."
- from The Nate Nelson Acoustic Show Facebook page

Nate Nelson - guitar and vocals



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