Bill Kirchen

Bill Kirchen - Seeds And StemsBill Kirchen plays three tracks from “Seeds and Stems” and talks about his “slack-jaw ham-fisted rock & roll,” predating the outlaw movement, and passing his songs on to the next generation.

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Bill Kirchen

preview Seeds And Stems

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Interview Recap

Bill Kirchen talks about the production of Seeds And Stems “It was designed to be all the songs that had stood the test of time that were still in our live show Some of them from quite a few years ago, some of them my original days with the Commander Cody days that I had sung 40 years ago but were still in the live act. It was recorded fairly live, especially by todays standards. We were on tour in the UK and we would go in, do a gig, drive back to where we were staying near London. Get up in the morning, go into the studio, record some, do another gig, etc, so we shoehorned into a live tour….. They were songs we already knew so we could get in there and record them straight through.”

Bill Kirchen sets up “Too Much Fun.” “I wrote this song with Billy C [Farlow] long time ago. We’d been trying to write some dead serious songs for hours and hours and we kind of gave up and went back to bed. I lay in bed going ‘whole lot of things I know I ain’t had too much fun’ jumped up and we cranked it out.” Bill Kirchen says Asleep At The Wheel has covered it.

[Calvin plays “Too Much Fun” from Seeds And Stems by Bill Kirchen.]

Bill Kirchen says that song is “slack-jaw ham-fisted rock and roll, the way we like it.”

Bill Kirchen runs through the line up. Jack O’Dell on drums, Maurice Cridlin on bass, Jorma Kaukonen on acoustic guitar,. Austin de Lone (“Audie”) on piano. Bill goes into some of Audie de Lone’s history noting that “he’s credited with starting the whole British Pub Rock scene by all the people involved with a band called Eggs Over Easy which predated Brinsley Schwarz and predated Ducks Deluxe.

Bill Kirchen talks about the title track, “Seeds and Stems.” He says he did not write the song. [It was written by George Frayne – Calvin] Bill Kirchen says “It’s sort of the steeds and stems of my career.” Bill Kirchen says this song pre-dated and set the stage for the outlaw movement. Bill Kirchen says, “Songs like this were straight ahead country but aimed at a slightly different audience. It’s not a drinking song it’s a smoking song. It predated Waylon an Willie’s forays into any of that. That song to me is one of the reasons.” He goes on to say “we played a DJs convention in 19171 or 72 in Nashville. We were a long-haired country band and we played ‘Seeds and Stems’ and it was pretty much an anomaly in Nashville at that time. We could kick ass with straight ahead country music… That whole thing ended because we put out a song called ‘everybody’s doing it now.’ It has the f-bomb in it about 80 times and that got us run out on a rail from Nashville in ’73.”

[Calvin plays “Seeds And Stems” from Seeds And Stems by Bill Kirchen.]

Bill Kirchen says he was hosting playing a benefit on California. There were a lot of stars there. Steve Earle, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Ryan Bingham were playing at it. “Ryan wanted to do that song because he had come to see me in Austin with his Uncle in a little bar and heard it. And his uncle used to play it for him all the time as a kid. So he sang that song. He sang it as a shuffle back in a much lower key. It was nice to see that tune through a younger persons eyes and it kind breathed new life into that song for me. Even though I’ve been doing that song for years I was informed by hearing Ryan sing it. He’s a soulful guy.

Bill Kirchen sets up his signature tune, “Hot Rod Lincoln” and says “I hope people take the song in the spirit it was intended. I was really trying to honor those songs. To me those are the building blocks of the guitar literature of the past quarter century.”

[Calvin plays “Hot Rod Lincoln” from Seeds And Stems by Bill Kirchen.]

Bill runs through his upcoming gig schedule and points people to billkrichen.com to keep up with the tour schedule.

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The Americana Music Show is podsafe and copyright 2013 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists.

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