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The 1980s alt-country underground in New York City - and yes there was such a thing - sparked iconic careers (Jim Lauderdale, John Leventhal and Shawn Colvin for example), and at least two great Americana love stories. Buddy and Julie Miller married there in 1981 in between gigs at the Lone Star Cafe. And when Larry Campbell laid eyes on Teresa Williams at the Bottom Line before a show they were to play together, he declared that he’d marry her, and the rest is history. Her story too. Here, Americana's 40-year couple talks about deciding to tour together, overcoming Covid, and their third studio album All This Time.
  • I first heard Chris Smither as a fingerstyle guitar master who wrote good songs. With time I realized he’s a great songwriter who happens to be a standout guitarist. While never a household name, this 60-year veteran has long been a cherished icon of American folk and roots. His peers celebrated him in 2014 with the release of Link of Chain: A Songwriters’ Tribute to Chris Smither, featuring interpretations of his work by Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Patty Larkin, Mary Gauthier, Jorma Kaukonen, and Tim O'Brien. Now on the eve of his 80th birthday, Smither came by the studio to talk about his origins in New Orleans, his friendship with Bonnie Raitt, his boom times in the 1990s, and his newest album All About The Bones.
  • It’s one thing to get applause for your songs, and it’s another to get laughs. John Craigie of Portland, OR has quietly built a robust touring career because he’s an excellent songwriter who also keeps his audiences in stitches between songs. His newest album is a collaboration called Pagan Church with TK and the Holy Know-Nothings, the Portland band fronted by admired songwriter Taylor Kingman. We talk about how Craigie developed his stagecraft under the influence of artists like Arlo Guthrie and his friend Todd Snider, as well as his unlikely path to performing while getting a math degree in California. No surprise, it’s a lot of fun. Also in the hour, Dave Wilson and John Teer reflect on 25 years as Chatham County Line and the new directions baked into the new album Hiyo.
  • Maggie Rose returns to the String for a full hour this time, because her new album No One Gets Out Alive marks yet another leap for this magnificent singer and songwriter from Nashville. As we heard back in Episode 180, the Maryland native was scouted by major labels while still in college, leading to a country deal in the early 2010s. She fell through the cracks in that restrictive format but regrouped as a fully indie artist working as a business team with her husband. She’s built a following by working the road and a series of albums that split the difference between soul, country, pop, and rock and roll. And as the host of her own podcast, she’s also a great conversationalist.
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