On this episode of the Saturday THING, I welcomed back artists who’ve become a big part of my radio shows over the past few years. It was an interview doubleheader, with Lindsay Murray of Gretchen’s Wheel in the leadoff position, and Don Hawkins and Glenn Case of Great Mimes batting cleanup. (Yes, it’s World Series time, so inevitably, a little baseball talk was liable to slip in.)
Nashville-based Lindsay Murray, who doesn’t even get mad when people accidentally call her “Gretchen”, has made some major inroads in the indie rock world with her Gretchen’s Wheel project over the past 5 years. Incredibly prolific, with 6 albums and an EP in her catalog (so far), she released her latest, “Such Open Sky” this month. It’s a rocker of an album, which started out as an EP, but going out to a live performance earlier this year inspired her to make a full length LP out of it (she can tell you the full story when you listen to the interview).
It’s no secret that Lindsay’s favorite band is Nada Surf. It’s a well-deserved honor that most of the band played on this record with her. She also got some stellar help from Nick Bertling, Brendan Benson, and Jon Auer. Make no mistake–she still sings on every track and played most of the guitars. She’s still got the D.I.Y. ethic–but hey, if you’ve got friends that want to collaborate–and some of them are your musical heroes–you let them!
If you read some of the song titles–they’re intriguing and ominous. Titles like Interloper, Heat Death, Infernal Machine, and Shapeshifters. Vocally, I love her duet with Brendan Benson on Interloper, and some of her most raw and emotional vocals, where she really steps out of her normally cool persona, are heard on Infernal Machine. That one got an instant second listen from me as I was playing the album, in its entirety, for the first time. Go ahead and get Such Open Sky. It’s available on vinyl and not vinyl: http://www.gretchenswheel.com/
I was only half correct when I noted above that I “welcomed back” artists to my show. In the case of Great Mimes, the Spokane-based duo of Don Hawkins and Glenn Case–Don has been on my show before, but this was Glenn’s debut visit. That just speaks to the fact that these are two established solo artists who’ve chosen to make music together. This pooling of their musical resources has resulted in two brilliant albums so far, “Baker’s Nine”, and the current “Second Helping”.
Glenn has an amazing and fun story of how the two came together. Turns out, they’re both originally from here in Sacramento. They didn’t know each other here, and they met in Spokane. I don’t want to give it away, so just listen to the interview to hear the details. Some things were just meant to be.
Don had been a fixture on the Sacramento scene for years, including a legendary stint as guitarist for Anton Barbeau’s Joy Boys. Our mutual friend Gail George (who Woody Radio listeners should be familiar with) introduced me to his music. And Glenn is uber prolific–after only starting to release music about 6 or 7 years ago, he now puts out a few albums a year, and has a song-a-week project on his Patreon site.
Their Great Mimes partnership is a perfect songwriter’s collaboration. They don’t have one specific way they write songs. Sometimes one will write lyrics, and the other will fit a tune to it. Sometimes it’s the other way around. But the thing is, they play off of each other really well. On Second Helping, some of the lead vocals are Glenn, other songs are Don, and there are some instances where their voices blend perfectly singing lead vocals. It’s a grown-up rock album, recommended if you like clever lyrics, great ensemble playing, and soulful vocals. Maybe Steely Dan meets Richard X. Heyman meets Bill Lloyd. That’s an unlikely and quirky combination–but it’s hard to describe Great Mimes accurately. Maybe you’d best listen to them, to see how close my description is: https://greatmimes.bandcamp.com/
I hope you enjoy listening to the show as much as I did participating in it.
Artist | Title | Album
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | Make A New Day | Make
The Cleaning Ladys | Destroy Our Love | Whaduya Want Fer Free?
Led Zeppelin | Hots On For Nowhere | Presence
Trip Wire | Easy Exit | Once & Always
Rose Reiter | Where You Are | What I Don’t Get
Dolph Chaney | If I Write It Down | Be My Old Fart (Big Stir Digital Single No. 89)
Gail George | A Wonderful Life | Bloom
Sex 66 | My Dying Day | Grew Up Down
Interview with Lindsay Murray of Gretchen’s Wheel
Gretchen’s Wheel | interloper | such open sky
Gretchen’s Wheel | you should know | such open sky
Gretchen’s Wheel | shapeshifters | such open sky
Heiskell | Hunkered Down | Single release
Kat Jones | Dear Apocalypse | We Are Warm, Young, Blood
Project:Ghost Outfit | Never Remember | Project:Ghost Outfit
Felsen | Heroin | Accidental Drowning
Brandi Ediss | Linoleum | Bees and Bees and Bees
NRBQ | The Same Old Thing | At Yankee Stadium
Sam Phillips | Wheel of the Broken Voice | Martinis & Bikinis
Sunshine Boys | The Serpent in Spring | Work and Love
The Well Wishers | All The Same | Shelf Life
Steve Barton | 05 Gimme Your Hand | Tall Tales And Alibis – album 3
THE WELCOME MATT | Apathy | More Empire Days
Chris Church | Someday’s Coming Fast | Backwards Compatible
Natalie Cortez | I Wanna Ride | Backyard
Interview with Don Hawkins and Glenn Case of Great Mimes
Great Mimes | Leave It Where It Is | Second Helping
Great Mimes | Adore | Second Helping
Great Mimes | We’re Only Perfect In Our Dreams | Second Helping
Great Mimes | Feel | Second Helping
Bill Mumy | Having You Around | Lockford
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | Witchi Tai To | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Adam Marsland | Talking about Myself | Go West [Disc 1]
Frank Black | St. Francis Dam Disaster | Dog In The Sand
Lannie Flowers | Doin’ Fine | March To Home
Elk City | Ride The Slide | Everybody’s Insecure
Jet Electro | For Sale By Owner | Jet Electro
Chris Church | Someday’s Coming Fast | Backwards Compatible
Petrified Max | Hole In The Sky | Charlie Drove North
Rachel Taylor Brown | Little Gyre | Run Tiny Human
The Breeders | I Just Wanna Get Along | Last Splash
Anton Barbeau | Coming Home | Manbird Disk 2
Sedan Delivery | You Know | Untitled
Krista D | Left of Me | Playing with Myself
Nick Lowe | Shake That Rat | Bowi
AC/DC | It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll) | High Voltage