On this week’s episode,I’m experimenting with a 2 hour show format. Why? Because I want to share even more great music with you. This is just an experiment. Gonna try it a few weeks and see how it goes. I’m gonna play another track from that new Alabama Shakes album. I’ve got new honky-tonk from Whitey Morgan and the 78s. The Old Ceremony has a new indie-rock album coming and we’ll hear a track from that one too. Plus new Calexico, new Grant Langston and a whole lot more.
My interview guest this episode is John Moreland. He is going to play tracks from his new album for us. It’s called High On Tulsa Heat. I’m going to ask him about the theme running through the album and I’m going to ask him about what it was like to self-produce the album. I’m also going to get him to tell his gateway drug story.
- The Greatest / Alabama Shakes / Sound & Color / 3:50 (preview) (review)
- Settled Down / Mandolin Orange / Such Jubilee / 3:04 (preview) (review)
- Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue / Whitey Morgan and the 78s / Sonic Ranch / 3:40 (preview) (review)
- Live It Down / The Old Ceremony / Sprinter / 2:22 (preview)
- OOOEEOOOEEOOO / 6 String Drag / Roots Rock 'N' Roll / 3:20 (preview) (review) (Episode 232)
- Things Will Never Be Same / Sam Lewis / Waiting For You / 3:14 (preview) (review) (Episode 239)
- Edge Of The Frame / The Honeycutters / Me Oh My / 2:59 (preview) (review)
- Light That Never Dies / KaiL Baxley / A Light That Never Dies / 3:48 (preview)
- Any 3 Chords / Mia Dyson / Idyllwild / 5:38 (preview)
- Old North State / American Aquarium / Wolves / 4:09 (preview) (review) (Episode 236)
- *** John Moreland interview *** (preview) (review)
- Down by the River / Ray Wylie Hubbard / The Ruffian's Misfortune / 3:19 (preview) (review)
- Box Of Wine / Todd Grebe & Cold Country / Citizen / 2:48 (preview)
- Our Lucky Day / Adventures In Bluesland / The American Dream / 2:54 (preview)
- More Of You / Chris Stapleton / Traveller / 4:38 (preview)
- Easy Down / Grant Dermody / Sun Might Shine On Me / 4:56 (preview)
- Gambling Girl / The Grahams / Glory Bound / 3:43 (preview)
- Drinks With Ghosts / The Plott Hounds / Rum River Rising EP / 5:23 (preview) (review)
- Beneath The City Of Dreams / Calexico / Edge Of The Sun / 2:35 (preview)
- Put Your Hands Together When You Spin The Wheel / Spirit Family Reunion / Hands Together / 2:42 (preview)
- Drive / Grant Langston / Hope You're Happy Now / 3:36 (preview) (review)
- I Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down / Reverend Freakchild / Hillbilly Zen-Punk Blues / 3:28 (preview) (review)
- You Was Right Baby / Eight O'Five Jive / Too Many Men / 3:06 (preview) (review)
- Keep Your Skillet Good and Greasy / Spuyten Duyvil / The Social Music Hour, Vol. 1 / 3:06 (preview)
- She Talks to Me (GPS Song) / John Lilly / Thinking About the Weather / 2:49 (preview)
- Tina the Superfreak / AJ Ghent Band / Live at Terminal West / 5:45 (preview) (review) (Episode 242)
About John Moreland
John Moreland interview recap
Calvin notes that Tulsa OK is an interesting place with a lot of history and backstory. Calvin asks John Moreland to tell folks what Tulsa means to him. John Moreland says, “For me, Tulsa is just like, it’s just home. I don’t really know how to sell it to anybody else. I’ve lived here since I was 10. I like the idea of this job where you go out on the road and you’re constantly in unfamiliar surroundings and coming back home to the most familiar place on earth. It feels good, you know? “
Calvin notes that this album was completely self-produced and fan funded. Calvin asks how John managed to do that. John Moreland says, “I did my last record myself too. I produced and engineered that one. I did that one more out of necessity. It’s what had to be done. But this time I was sorta stressing out about what studio to go to if I wanted to find a producer. Just make plans about how I was going to make the record. Kind of on a whim I just got a couple of friends together and we made the record ourselves. My parents were going out of town for a couple of week so we kind of took over their house and turned it into a studio and recorded for a few days. On less than a day’s notice we came in and did that. But I like doing it that way. Just getting some buddies together and pooling together all our gear. And you go, ok, here’s what we have, how do you make something cool with this stuff. And it gives you a direction to go it.”
“High On Tulsa Heat”
Calvin asks John to set up the title track, “High On Tulsa Heat.” John Moreland says, “That one was the last one written for the record. It was written the day we started recording it. I think the melody came to me in a dream or something because I woke up and it was just stuck in my head. And I grabbed a guitar and started writing some words down and then we recorded it later that day.”
[Calvin plays the title track from High On Tulsa Heat by John Moreland.]
Calvin asks if that song is a “coming home” song. John Moreland says, “Yeah, I think so. I was living in Norman at the time, which is a couple of hours from Tulsa. That’s not my home town and central Oklahoma is way different than Tulsa. So I was going through some weird stuff and being on the road all the time. I was trying to figure out what home is. And then came to Tulsa to record and it just felt really good to be back so yeah maybe that’s where that song came from.”
Calvin notes that John Moreland once described Steve Earle as his gateway drug and asks which artists have inspired him the most over the years. John Moreland says, “When I was a kid I was raised on the stuff that my Dad listened to which was mostly classic rock. some outlaw country and some soul and stuff. And then I got into punk rock when I was a teenager. That was my thing for several years. At a certain point I think I was burned out. You’re going full blast for years and then you need to slow down. And I was like, I just want to hear something beautiful, now, you know? So I found myself going back to stuff my Dad listened to. And I got way into Steve Earle at that time. I was probably 19 or so and I vaguely knew who Steve Earle was. I knew Copperhead Road. and Guitar Town and stuff. But I heard one of his newer records that had just come out, The Revolution Starts Now and it blew me away and I got my hands on everything of his I could find. That was kind of eye-opening. I realized that I had always been in bands and I realized that I had always been the guy that wrote the songs,kind of just by default. It was like we’re a band, we need some stuff to play, so I’ll make something up. Steve Earle opened my eyes to this whole different kind of songwriting where you could say something with it. So that led me to songwriters like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt and Rodney Crowell I’d just get on the Internet and do all the research I could. So that’s what led me here I guess.”
“Cleveland County Blues”
John Moreland sets up “Cleveland County Blues,” “That one is just about living in Norman and bummer stuff that was going on there.”
[Calvin plays “Cleveland County Blues” from High On Tulsa Heat by John Moreland.]
Calvin notes that several songs from John Moreland’s previous album were featured on the TV show, Sons Of Anarchy. Calvin asks John what it’s like to see that. John Moreland says, “I’ve seen one of the episodes. I think they used three songs and I’ve seen one of them. I didn’t see the whole episode I just saw the part that featured my song because my sister downloaded it on iTunes and showed it to me. I haven’t watched the other episodes so I don’t know if it’s weird. But it’s cool you know I get people at shows who told me that’s how they heard about me.”
“Sad Baptist Rain”
John Moreland sets up “Sad Baptist Rain,” “That one was written pretty quick and sort of a stream of consciousness thing where I was thinking back to this scene from my youth being a church kid outside the punk rock show trying to have some fun and trying to reconcile that with my Baptist guilt.”
[Calvin plays “Sad Baptist Rain” from High On Tulsa Heat by John Moreland.]
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