Woody Radio DJ Mike Show #186 1/30/2021: Interviews with Eric Peter Schwartz and Mike Collins!

Saturday–the last day of the week. And in this case, a sweet ending to a bit of an off week. As previously mentioned in this space, a massive wind and rain storm cut my Tuesday night show short, left part of a giant tree dangling from the power lines behind my home, and kind of wreaked havoc throughout the week.

Everything got fixed overnight, Friday night-Saturday morning. The bright spot on the horizon: I knew I was going to get to chat with a couple of long time musical favorites–singer-songwriter Eric Peter Schwartz, and drummer-songwriter Mike Collins of Rooftop Screamers. And as it turned out, the conversations with both gents redeemed this strange week.

Eric Peter Schwartz is a singer-songwriter from just outside the Chicago area, whose sound is rooted in folk, but occasionally rocks a bit harder. He’s got the knack for funny album titles: “Troubadork” is one, and his most recent, “Mustard On My Sexy Dress” continues the trend. It consists of 16 very well-written songs. It’s thoughtful, funny, sensitive, and whip smart. So being a big fan, I thought I’d mention how prolific he’d been, having released three albums during the prior year. I found out that Eric has been even more prolific than that, having released eight(!) albums! I missed some, because they were not all in the rock and roll genres that I focus on in my shows. It speaks to these strange quarantine times we’ve been living in. Eric hunkered down, and made music. Lots of it. His creative spark really turned into a creative fire.

It was fun catching up with Eric. I’ve had him on my other shows before, but this was his first time on Woody Radio. We had a fun and lively conversation, as we talked about, well, everything! We’ll learn about all of his projects, favorite collaborators, and even his favorite guitar–one that’s used a lot more than you would think. For those of you who know Woody Radio really well, I’d call this “recommended if you like Dolph Chaney”. More info at www.epschwartz.com

Later on, Mike Collins joined me from Portland, for his very first interview on Woody Radio. I’m kind of shocked that this hadn’t happened before now. After all, his old band, Throwback Suburbia, was a big favorite on our station, and it spilled over onto my old radio gig, Twirl Radio, when Gidget introduced me to their music. It was a memorable thrill to see Throwback Suburbia when they came and played in Sacramento many years ago, and I got to interview the whole band before their gig.

Fast forward to now, and Mike’s studio project, Rooftop Screamers (yes, the man certainly knows how to name a band). He’s one of those rare drummer-songwriter types. He writes the songs, but is not the primary vocalist. Not too many of those come to mind. Brad Elvis, Mike Collins. That’s pretty much my short list. And these songs are good. Like big arena or stadium good. Big songs need big vocalists, and the way Mike works is to write the songs first, and then decide who might be a good vocal and attitude fit for the song. I mean, anybody can just say “hmmm, this would be a good Ken Stringfellow song”–but Mike actually got Ken Stringfellow to do it! And David Paton (Pilot). And Keith Slettedahl (The 88). These songs are so good, and full of feeling, it wasn’t hard to lure accomplished, well-known singers into becoming guest Screamers. The new album, “Next Level”, is a shining example of why Mike was selected as Woody Radio’s Collaborator of the Year. We had a good chat, and caught up on things for the first time in nearly a decade. More info at www.facebook.com/rooftopscreamers

Artist | Title | Album
The Cleaning Ladys | Beer For Breakfast | Whaduya Want Fer Free?
R.E.M. | Living Well Is The Best Revenge | Accelerate
Kaz Murphy | Below The Skin | Home For Misfits
Bill Lloyd | Satellite | Working The Long Game
Bay Station | Be Kind | Go Out And Make Some
Identical Suns | Common Ground | Identical Suns
Heiskell | Just Can’t Say | Arriving
Sex 66 | Numb | Grew Up Down

Eric Peter Schwartz interview
Eric Peter Schwartz | Invite The Devil To Tea | Mustard On My Sexy Dress
Eric Peter Schwartz | I Killed 3 Hobos In High School | Mustard On My Sexy Dress
Eric Peter Schwartz | The Inevitable Sun | Mustard On My Sexy Dress

Nick Heyward | Dear Miss Finland | The Apple Bed
Felsen | Self Medicate | Accidental Drowning
Echo and the Bunnymen | Make Us Blind | Siberia
Gail George | He’s an Exclamation! | Follow Your Bliss
Jody Porter | Girl From The Other Side | Waterways
The Braam Brothers | Pretty Mouth | Landscapes
Rachel Taylor Brown | Mt. Athos | Falimy
Farrington | Anatomic | Saturday In Nowhereland
Lannie Flowers | Where Does Love Go | Circles
Molly Grue | Anyway | The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story
Petrified Max | Snowshoe | Charlie Drove North

Mike Collins interview
Rooftop Screamers | The Ladder (Rob Daiker) | Next Level
Rooftop Screamers | Our Lucky Night (Keith S.) | Next Level
Rooftop Screamers | Shifting Tides (Cy Curnin) | Next Level

The Clash | Up in Heaven (Not Only Here) | Sandinista! Disc 1
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Master Of The Slow Burn | My Colors Dark
Malo | Suavecito | Malo
Kelley Ryan | Monkey To Man | Beyond Belief: A Tribute To Elvis Costello
Spygenius | If You Go A-Roving | Man On The Sea
The Bobbleheads | Mean Girls | Make Yourself Happy
NRBQ | Over Your Head | You Gotta Be Loose
John Stevens | American Dream | Living Room
Trip Wire | Had Enough | Once & Always
Sunshine Boys | I Was Already Gone | Work and Love
Brandi Ediss | Linoleum | Bees and Bees and Bees
Don Hawkins | Observation Blind | Observation Blind
In.Deed | Heart Attack | Everest
Jackpot | Hide In The Frequency | Shiny Things
Marshall Holland | When The Rain Comes | Paper Airplane
Pete’s Copter | Magic Circle | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions | Rattlesnakes | Rattlesnakes
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | My Soft Rock Girlfriend | Make
The Brothers Steve | Carry Me | #1
Richard X. Heyman | Miss Shenandoah Martin | Incognito
Iggy Pop | Brick By Brick | Brick By Brick

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