• Basic Folk Podcast: Matt Smith of Club Passim

    • July 13, 2019
    • Cindy Howes

    Matt Smith is a living legend with his unbelievable run at Club Passim, the historic folk venue nestled in a Harvard Square basement in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Currently Managing Director at Passim, Matt is the most passionate music lover I know. As Basic Folk’s producer Laura McCarthy said to him, it’s easier to name the episodes that don’t mention Matt’s name and unwavering support. This episode is a must listen to any musician or musical gatekeeper!

  • Basic Folk Podcast: Chris "Critter" Eldridge

    • June 28, 2019
    • Cindy Howes

    In this week's Basic Folk podcast, Cindy Howes talks to Chris "Critter" Eldridge, Grammy Award-winning guitarist for the Punch Brothers. In their conversation, Critter talks about how he initially (unsuccessfully) tried his hand at electric guitar, but could not get a grasp on it. His mom gave him a Tony Rice record, he picked up the acoustic, and then took it from there. He also reveals how Rice unintentionally revived his childhood nickname back into his adult and professional life.

  • Basic Folk: Jim Kweskin

    • June 21, 2019
    • Cindy Howes

    Jim Kweskin is maybe the most famous person you might not know. With the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, he mixed together folk and jazz which invigorated the straight-laced Cambridge folk scene in the 1960’s. That jug band went on to inspire other jug bands that later became the Grateful Dead and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. A regular at Club 47 - now Club Passim - Kweskin talks about how he came to the jug band style and how his band’s relaxed stage presence changed the dynamic of the live folk show in profound ways.

  • Basic Folk: Livingston Taylor

    • May 16, 2019
    • Cindy Howes

    Livingston Taylor has managed to carve out an impressive and interesting career as a successful songwriter and extremely effective professor of stage performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Younger brother to the very famous James Taylor, this is an interesting and vast conversation with a fascinating man. To be honest, I have a hard time following where his brain goes sometimes, but I feel like Liv shares some stories on here that I haven’t heard him tell before. While we’re talking about stories, I got him to break down the speech pattern he uses when telling a story.

  • Hangin' & Sangin': Best of...Blues Rockers

    • May 13, 2019
    • Kelly McCartney

    It's a “Best of” collection featuring "enlightening rounds" and performances by some of our favorite blues rockers, including Larkin Poe, Fantastic Negrito, Cedric Burnside, and more.

  • Basic Folk: Jenna Nicholls

    • May 09, 2019
    • Cindy Howes

    Jenna Nicholls was the imaginative kid who was friends with trees and believed furniture was alive. Raised in Western Pennsylvania, she was raised on jazz, classical and Irish music. Her music is reflective of the golden age of radio and The Great Depression. Her lyrics put people in a place visually and she encompasses a couple different tones including a delightful lighthearted falsetto. Now a resident of New York City, she considers her music an oasis from the political landscape.

  • Basic Folk: Ethan Gruska

    • May 02, 2019
    • Cindy Howes

    My guest on this episode of Basic Folk is the cinematic, multi-talented, mystical/magical, human-songwriter Ethan Gruska. We touch upon topics ranging from his mother’s stroke (which happened right after he was born) and the movie NBC produced about it, to his grandfather (JOHN GD WILLIAMS,) to his weird interest in magic tricks. I try and get him to explain how his music is so freaking good, but we just come to the conclusion that the world is a mystery and life is beautiful…. or something.

  • Hangin' & Sangin': Best of...Songwriting Heroes

    • May 02, 2019
    • Kelly McCartney

    It's a “Best of” collection featuring "enlightening rounds" and performances with host Kelly McCartney's songwriting heroes including the Indigo Girls, Mary Gauthier, Kim Richey, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and more.

  • Beehive Field Recording: Taarka

    • April 29, 2019
    • Beehive Productions

    Once described as “a collision between Django Reinhardt and David Grisman.” Taarka's high-energy performance weaves the sounds of old and new—from world folk, celtic, bluegrass to jazz, and classical.

  • Basic Folk: Marissa Nadler

    • April 25, 2019
    • Cindy Howes

    It is wonderful to have songwriter Marissa Nadler on the pod! Ethereal, goth, ambient and gauzy are often used to describe her sound. She has collaborated with musicians like John Cale, Sharon Van Etten and black metal band Xasthur. Starting out as an artist, Nadler attended Rhode Island School of Design as an illustrator with a passion for painting. We talk about how her painting and artwork influence and affect her music. She also explains what makes a good painting: focal point, asymmetrical composition, contrast between light and dark, etc…. and that a song needs to have similar elements.