Thursday, January 5, 2023

The Month of Starday

Some exciting Starday Records-related events are happening this month and I'd love to see y'all there either virtually or in person.

This Tuesday 1/10 at 5:30pm(cst) I'll be giving an online talk about the importance of Starday Records for the Tennessee Historical Society's Tennessee 101: History of Tennessee Music series. Tickets are free, but you do need to register for the event here:

The following morning, Wednesday 1/11 from 9am-noon(cst), I'll be hosting a Starday Spectacular on WORT's Back to the Country program that'll tie in with Tuesday's talk. Southern WI friends can tune in via 89.9FM or you can stream it at

And then later this month, on Saturday 1/28, I'll be debuting a new band and lots of new tunes at Full Mile Beer Co. and Kitchen--Nate Gibson and the Stardazers. The group is tops and we are dusting off a whole slew of awesome tunes for your listening and dancing pleasure. With any luck, I'll be able to convince the entire wait staff to sing Happy Birthday to me. Feel free to join the party early here:

photo by: Tall and Small Photography
photo by Tall and Small Photography

And while it is still on the way down low, I am also partnering on a super cool Starday project that we will be able to announce publicly soon... Stay tuned for more Starday goodness soon!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Smell of Country Music on Back to the Country WORT 89.9FM

Howdy Friends, Tomorrow morning I'll once again be hosting Back to the Country from 9am-noon (CST) on WORT. This week's theme is the Smell of Country Music, and boy does it have a lot of smells! Dolly Parton has a new line of perfumes and body sprays, Kacey Musgraves has her own line of scented candles, and you can still buy Blake Shelton air fresheners on Etsy.

But tomorrow's show will specifically focus on lyrics--three hours of country music songs that'll tickle your noses and ears while evoking the familiar smells of Shirley Thompson's breath (who's had a nip of gin), the Sunday smell of someone fryin' chicken, the foul odor of the coal mines, and hundreds more. Tune in to 89.9fm in southern Wisconsin or stream it via for the smellabration jubilee!
#Scratchnsniff #countrymusic #smellofcountrymusic #smellabrationjubilee

Monday, November 28, 2022

Press Play Exhibit Talk Now Online

Howdy Friends, Just wanted to let anyone who wanted to attend my Press Play exhibit talk last month but couldn't know that the presentation is now available on YouTube:

The exhibit highlights the music collections of Mills Music Library and the Wisconsin Music Archives and the accompanying playlist of songs featured in the exhibit (including unissued recordings from Dave Dudley's first session among lots of other cool WI music) can also be streamed online:

The exhibit is still up for one more month in case anybody wants to come to the 9th floor Special Collections in Memorial Library (Madison, WI) to hear/see it all in person and sign our guest book. Please do let me know if you are planning a visit and I'll come by and say howdy.

Press Play exhibit talk (photo by Charlie Chaz Lemm)

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Press Play Exhibit Talk 10/26/22 at Memorial Library

Tomorrow afternoon from 3-4:00pm (cst) on the 9th floor of Memorial Library (University of Wisconsin-Madison campus) I'll be giving an exhibit talk about Press Play: Recorded Sound from Groove to Stream. It was a joy to curate this exhibit with my colleagues at Mills Music Library and I'm excited to share some insights into our collections and what we do at Mills and the Wisconsin Music Archives.

If you're able to visit us in person, great! We've got snacks a-plenty and rumors of special guests. If you're not able to make it in person, that's OK too. We'll be sharing it live via zoom just for you (link on the page)
For more info on the exhibit, see here:
and here:
and here:

and of course, at Memorial Library, tomorrow (10/26) from 3-4:00pm (cst).

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Playing Bass for the U.S. Tour of Irrbloss: Songs from the Poetry of Signe Aurell

What a fun month of music it's been! Last weekend's New England Shake Up was a joyous reunion of some of my very favorite bands and people. This weekend I'm off to Minneapolis to kick off a tour with Maja Heurling, Ola Sandström, and Livet Måssebäck Nord at the American Swedish Institute on Saturday (2-3:00pm).

Our Swedish pals will be visiting several classes on the UW-Madison campus this week, including my own, and then on Tuesday evening at 6pm we're playing a free concert at Tripp Commons in the Memorial Union (w/ snacks!). Then it's on to Augustana College in Rock Island and the Swedish American Museum in Chicago next weekend. I'm stoked!
In addition to the camaraderie, I'm looking forward to hearing and playing the music from Irrbloss: Songs from the Poetry of Signe Aurell. Aurell was a Swedish woman who came to the United States in 1913, worked as a laundress and seamstress, joined the Industrial Workers of the World, and wrote poetry and essays—including her self-published poetry collection, Irrbloss (Will-o’-the-Wisp)—during her seven years living in Minnesota.
Maja and Ola collaborated to set music to a selection of poems from Irrbloss, blending folk stylings and the Swedish visa tradition together to amplify the importance and continued relevance of Aurell’s words. In doing so, the group has employed the Swedish visa tradition to interpret not just Aurell’s poetry, but also the migration histories of the over one million Swedes who came to the United States.
I'm still learning all the upright bass parts as I type this, but I promise I'll have it down by Saturday (extended slap solos and pitchy avant-garde meanderings included)! Hope to see you there and, of course, feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A Back to the Country Back to School Special 9/14/22

Howdy friends, tomorrow morning (9am-noon CST) I'll be back on the airwaves hosting a Back to the Country Back to School special on WORT 89.9 FM.

It's a new semester, the sun is shining, birds are chirping, I'm teaching a really fun course in the music school, I've got patches on my sleeves (thanks again, mom!), and good records surrounding me all the time.
This week I'll play three hours worth of back-to-school-themed classics about schools catching on fire (the Dixon Brothers), schools exploding (Elton Britt), busses of kids drowning (the Stanley Brothers, Ralph Bowman), truckers killing themselves to avoid school kids in the road (Red Sovine), federally mandated integrated bussing (Tadpole Creek Opinion, Earl Beecham, Tommy Riggs), inappropriate teacher-student relationships (Vickie Mitchell, Johnny Christopher, Tommy Millwood, Bonnie Guitar), high schools as prisons (Mojo Nixon), intense school bullies (Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Dale Hawkins), high school loners without friends (Reggie Perkins), teachers hitting kindergartners and leaving marks (Brenda Carter), teachers stabbing each other in the back (BJ Snowden), deceptive administrators (Arlie Duff), hypocritical PTAs (Margie Singleton), church being taken out of schools (the Louvin Brothers), the state of sex education in public schools (in the '60s) (the Hill Dillies), homophobic anti-college and anti-hippy rants (Ace Ball), communist professors (Leroy Van Dyke), unloved book worms (Ernest Tubb), and corporal punishment (Cliffie Stone), among other school-related topics.

Streaming via and available via 89.9 FM in southern Wisconsin.

And as always, the show is available for two weeks after broadcast by visiting and looking for the 9/14 episode of Back to the Country.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Press Play: Recorded Sound From Groove To Stream - A Special Collections Exhibit 9/7-12/22

Today marks a new semester at UW and I'm particularly excited for this one because today is also the opening of my first curated Special Collections exhibit! It's called Press Play: Recorded Sound from Groove to Stream and is located on the 9th floor of Memorial Library (UW-Madison). It'll be up all semester, but you'll have to visit when Special Collections is open to see it: M-F 9am-5pm.

This summer I spent countless hours pawing through the amazing collections at Mills Music Library and Wisconsin Music Archives and, using my favorite finds, I was given the opportunity to curate a show that illustrates what we collect and why, as well as how we engage various audiences with our collections. On display are roughly 300 rare, unique, beautiful, historic, iconic, and obscure sound recordings with accompanying texts expounding the evolution of sound recordings, how records are (sometimes) made, and why I hate Spotify, to name just a few topics.

The entire staff of Mills Music Library has been working on it for months and we're excited it's finally open. There's a playlist with some amazing tunes you can only hear if you scan the QR code or visit the Listening Station, and if you let me know you're coming in advance, I'll crank up the 1915 Edison Diamond Disc of "On, Wisconsin!" for ya!