Woody Radio DJ Mike Show #184 1/23/2021: Pepe Espada interview!

We’ve been in this global pandemic lockdown long enough that we’re starting to see some things happen more than once, to wit: artists releasing multiple albums and appearing on my show to talk about them.

Pepe Espada, of Banjo Bones, is my latest example of that. We last spoke on the show on April 4, 2020, fairly early on in this time of quarantining, talking about his last album. Turns out he’s a super prolific writer, and nearly 10 months later, we have another Banjo Bones album to talk about. It’s a stunner. “Lucifer’s Hand” is the Sacramento-based artist’s latest release, and it’s perhaps his finest to date. It revolves around a concept that Pepe had been mulling over for a while. To quote his website, it’s “an exploration into why we think, say and do evil, and proposes we look within rather then blame the devil…”. Deep, heady stuff. Very introspective. Hey, Banjo Bones’ tagline has always been “The Dark Side of Americana”. This ain’t no cowboy hat stuff.

Once Pepe decided upon this theme, the songs coalesced into an album rather quickly. In the interview, he describes his usual painstaking songwriting process. It’s not that he didn’t employ that methodology this time, it’s just that the songs really flowed much faster than normal. Lots of them, but it became apparent which nine of his songs best
fit together. He added one choice cover, one of the best I’ve heard in a long while: a tasty and tasteful remake of the Huey Lewis and the News song “Walking on a Thin Line”, featuring stellar piano work by a friend of mine, Philip Howard. Speaking of stellar musicianship, local violin virtuoso Giorgi Khokhobashvili returns and paints his magical sound all over this record.

The band’s performance and the songwriting are tight. Pepe’s vocals are his best ever. This all came together rather nicely, and it shows. I did reference Americana above, but it’s a little broader sounding than that. Anybody influenced by country, punk, AND Tom Waits is bound to have a unique sound. More info can be found at https://banjobones.com/

Artist | Title | Album
My Little Hum | Rise Over Run | Remembering Houses
The Stone Roses | She Bangs The Drums | The Stone Roses
The Brothers Steve | Beat Generation Poet Turned Assassin | #1
Allyson Seconds | Dig My Pig | Bag of Kittens (2020 Reissue)
Nick Lowe | One’s Too Many (And A Hundred Ain’t Enough) | Nick The Knife
Sparklejet | The Comeback | Beyond the Beyond
Suburban Urchins | 4000 Miles Away | Born In The Suburbs
The Mysteries of Life | Jupiter and Saturn | Single release
fIREHOSE | Flyin’ The Flannel | Flyin’ The Flannel
John Stevens | American Dream [Explicit] | Living Room [Explicit]
DC Cardwell | The Spirit Is Willing | Crystal Set
Dara Ackerman | A Million Flowers | Partially True Stories
The Bobbleheads | Become One | Myths And Fables
Glenn Case | Today Is A Song | Noble Stuff
The Cleaning Ladys | Beer For Breakfast | Whaduya Want Fer Free?
Krista D | Plethora | Single release
The Amplifier Heads | Black Mascara | Music For Abandoned Amusement Parks
R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner | I Am The Best For You | Make It Be
Dolph Chaney | Now I Am A Man | This Is Dolph Chaney
Gretchen’s Wheel | interloper | such open sky
Lannie Flowers | My Street (N Florida version) | My Street EP
Elvis Costello | 13 Steps Lead Down | Brutal Youth
Farrington | What Would Your Friends Say | Saturday In Nowhereland
The Handcuffs | Love Me While You Can | The Handcuffs
Corey Ledet Zydeco | It’s Gonna Be Alright | Corey Ledet Zydeco
Danny Wilkerson | How She Lost My Heart | Wilkerson
Brad Brooks | Angel Of Angles | God Save The City
Rogers & Butler | Skimming Milk From The Cream | Poets & Sinners
Matt Langlois | You Are My Weekend | Merde!
The Velvet Underground | Rock & Roll | Loaded
Natalie Cortez & The Ultraviolets | Ghost Of You | Twitch!
Jody Porter | Neverlasting Love | Waterways
Alpha Cat | Mona Lisa In A Comic Book | Thatched Roof Glass House

Pepe Espada interview
Banjo Bones | Worthless Soul | Lucifer’s Hand
Banjo Bones | Hardly Recognize | Lucifer’s Hand
Banjo Bones | The Way I Live | Lucifer’s Hand

Sunshine Boys | Caroline Yes | Blue Music
Leslie Pereira & The Lazy Heroes | Hot Tamale | Good Karma
Eric Peter Schwartz | Invite The Devil To Tea | Mustard On My Sexy Dress
Pezband | Didn’t We | Cover To Cover
Jimmy Catlett | That River | Waiting To Fall Off The Earth
Nelson Bragg | I Want Love | Single release
David Brookings | If I Don’t Make It Back | The Maze
Agony Aunts | Cool Fresh Nights | Big Cinnamon
Chandler Travis Philharmonic | Air Running Backwards | Waving Kissyhead, Vol 2 & 1
Rachel Taylor Brown | Portland | Run Tiny Human
Rachel Taylor Brown | Maker | Run Tiny Human
Felsen | Lorazepam | I Don’t Know How to Talk Anymore
Sarah McQuaid | If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous | If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous
Poplord | The Voyage Home | Poplord vs The Universe
Marshall Holland | Waiting For That Peace & Love | Paper Airplane
The Jayhawks | Wichita | Hollywood Town Hall

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