Monday, July 15, 2024

Remembering Al Hawkes & Event Records w/ the Maine Historical Society (7/16/24)

Tomorrow evening (7/16) at 7pm EST (that's 6pm CST) I'll be giving a virtual talk about my friend Al Hawkes and his amazing Event Records label for the Maine Historical Society. I'm super excited and honored by the invitation, as this event ties into their current Music In Maine exhibit (on display through Dec. 2024), and I'll get to share a lot of never-before-seen or -heard Event tidbits.

I feel like I could ramble endlessly about Al and Event Records, but I'm going to do my best to condense the talk to under an hour (including Q&A) and--I think Al would appreciate this part--I'll be telling the story through the records.

The Zoom event is FREE, but it does require registration via this link if you'd like to participate. If you love country music, bluegrass, rockabilly, western swing, doo-wop, Al Hawkes, and/or Maine (and who doesn't?!?), I think it'd be an hour of your time well spent!

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Nate Gibson & the Stardazers Belleville Music in the Park Gig Is Now In the Library (7/2/24)

Howdy Friends. For anyone planning to come out and see Nate Gibson & the Stardazers tonight (7/2/24) in the charming town of Belleville, WI, we have GOOD NEWS! Our Music in the Park series concert has been moved INSIDE into the Belleville Public Library (due to rain). Apparently the library has a very nice community room and I'm guessing a lot of great books, too! Our pal Early Endres will be running sound and we'll be making some noise in the library from 6:30-8:00pm tonight! No shushing!

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The St. Louis Blues on Back to the Country, WORT 89.9 FM 6/12/24

Hi There Friends, I'll be hosting Back to the Country tomorrow morning on WORT FM and the theme of the show will be St. Louis Blues. I seriously considered naming the show St. Louis Steamers, because I think the name of their soccer team is funny, but for now I'm sticking w/ St. Louis Blues.

I'm sure a lot of folks know that Chuck Berry, Ferlin Husky, the Dillards, John Hartford, Deke Dickerson, and Wilco are all from St. Louis. It's also where the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame is located. And maybe you knew that three of the most famous murder ballads (Frankie and Johnny, Duncan and Brady, and Stagger Lee) were inspired by events within a few blocks of each other in St. Louis. But did you also know that I was born there?

As I was pawing through records recently, I noticed that I had a lot Starday customs from the St. Louis area and several 45 and 78 gems on STL labels like K-Ark, Norman, Bobbin, Rebel Ace, Boot Heel, Mid-Land, Marlo, Town & Country, and more. And so, I've gathered a handful of my favorite records and tomorrow's show will be a tribute to my ol' hometown and the Gateway to the West. Tune in from 9am-noon (CST) via 89.9 FM or streaming at!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Nate Gibson & the Stardazers w/ Jenny Don't and the Spurs 6/3/24 High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI

Howdy Friends, For those who couldn't tune in to today's Back to the Country show, I've got some exciting news to share: Nate Gibson & the Stardazers will be opening for cowpunk phenoms Jenny Don't and the Spurs this Monday night (6/3) at the High Noon Saloon. The gig is part of Live Nation's "On the Road Again" program so, truly, "Thank you, Willie Nelson!"

As it's our first time playing the High Noon Saloon indoor stage and we'd love to be invited back sometime, we'd love to see any and all of our friends out there with us. Doors are at 6:30, Stardazers are on at 7:30, and we promise it'll be a fun (and early) weeknight of rockin' country music. And FYI, tickets are cheaper in advance than they are at the door!


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hiked Up Hemlines and Hopped Up Country on WORT 89.9 FM 5/29/24

Howdy Friends! It's a bit last minute, but I wanted to let y'all know that I'll be hosting Back to the Country tomorrow morning on WORT FM from 9am-noon EST and presenting my show on Hiked Up Hemlines and Hopped Up Country. Over the years there have been hundreds of great country music records concerned with rising (and lowering) hemlines, be they long dresses, short shorts, mini skirts, hot pants, or bikinis, and tomorrow I'll play for you my favorite 50 or so.

Stay tuned for the whole show and you just might hear an interview with my mom about her 4-H purple ribbon-winning mini dress and her clash with the fashion police! Heard throughout Southern Wisconsin on 89.9FM or streaming via

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

ARSC 2024 Re-Cap and Thanks

I just got home from another great Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) conference and I highly recommend this gathering to all of my music-loving friends. If you've never been, it's an annual summit of recorded sound collectors, institutional archivists, and audio preservation engineers and it's a musical geek-out fest in the very best way.

On Friday I gave a presentation about the Cuca Records collection at Mills Music Library and as it turned out, I wasn't the only one at ARSC who talked about Cuca (shout out to the Baylor University's Black Gospel Archive). I also thoroughly enjoyed the presentations from Justice Brokenrope on Wathéča Records, Seth Winner's Playback of 1930s non-commerical private recordings, the Möllendorff Cylinders chronicles, Ted Olson's Steve Young retrospective, and the always enlightening and entertaining copyright panel, to name just a few.

It was great fun spending a night out on the town with my pal Deke Dickerson which culminated in hanging out with Dave Hartman and Southern Culture on the Skids before their show and Deke joining them on stage for a tune. Loved having lunch and talking baseball and vintage music with Gail and Cary Ginnell and Mark Cantor (amazing video presentation, btw Mark) on Friday. And I had the most wonderful evening on the lake Saturday evening playing Finnish old-time tunes (and even some rockabilly) with my dear friends Ralph and Jaana Tuttila and their group
Lauluaika. Thank you again for the invitation and amazing party! On the way home I even got to do some record digging with my Uncle Mark up in Balsam Lake and meet his precious pup, Precious.

Overall, it was a really great conference. I got to check out some amazing '40s and '50s clothes at The Cat and the Cobra with fellow fashionable archivist Chris Walker. And of course I checked out a few my favorite Minneapolis record shops: Vintage Music Company, Hymie's Records, and Cheapo Records. I got to catch up with many friends doing some really amazing audio preservation projects: Lance and April Ledbetter of Dust-to-Digital, Steve Ramm, Filip Šír, Meagan Hennessey and Richard Martin at Archeophone Records, Michael Biel, Martin Fisher, Jay Bruder, and many, many more. Y'all are inspiring! And I owe a huge thanks to my buddy Patrick Feaster for sharing a room with me, chairing the ARSC program committee, and making such a fun conference possible. Hope to see you all again next year!

Friday, May 10, 2024

Recent appearance on Oliver and Jeb's You Seem Exceptional Podcast

Earlier this semester I gave a lecture about yodeling for Lowell Brower's Folklore 100 course and a short while later, one of his students emailed me and asked if I'd be a guest on his radio show. Oliver said that he enjoyed the lecture and that he and his radio co-host Jeb would like a private yodeling lesson.

Turns out, Oliver Gerharz and Jeb Blossom host a podcast on WSUM where they interview UW faculty and staff, community members, and local politicians, ask them about their life's journeys and what led them to UW, and then end each episode by saying, "We know we've said this a lot before, but you really do seem exceptional." It's a super sweet tagline and a really interesting podcast.

In case anyone wants to hear my story, how I learned to play music, why I studied folklore and ethnomusicology, what brought me to UW-Madison, and why yodeling is important to me, you can check it out here: I'd also highly recommend their other podcast episodes, as they really are exceptional.