Lauryn Shapter's blog

Butch HancockGravel Road Radio is honored to interview Butch Hancock, the West Texas native songwriter, who along with friends and fellow Texans Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Joe Ely, founded the legendary trio, The Flatlanders.  Hancock graces Fairfield with a rare appearance at Cafe Paradiso, on Sunday, September 11.

 

With lyrics more influenced by the poetry of the West Texas landscape and a sound more rough hewn than that of commercial country music, Hancock moved from Lubbock to Austin in the ‘70s, where he helped shape a “new” genre of music that has taken many names over the past few decades: Progressive Country, Alternative Country, Americana,  and Insurgent Country.  But what all of these names are attempting to capture is something Hancock has always done in his songs: honoring the rural influence on song writing that has existed as long as we have been a country while not falling prey to the overly produced, rhinestone-wearing, mindless flag waving, saccharin lyric driven music that is modern pop country music.  Hancock writes music more in the vein of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie than Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, and as a result, has garnered a highly respected place in the storied history of Texas song writing.

 

Join me Tuesday, September 6, for a conversation with Butch Hancock about life, music, and song writing on Gravel Road Radio, from 2-4 p.m.

Gillian Welch and David RawlingsIt's a big deal when one of the most significant and prominent artists in the Americana music scene comes out with a new album.  But when that artist is Gillian Welch and that new album is eight years in the making, it's a really big deal.  Gillian and partner David Rawlings officially release The Harrow and the Harvest today and in honor of that, Gravel Road Radio will be featuring tracks from their new CD as well paying homage to their place in the Americana music world with a set highlighting some of my favorite tracks from their previous four releases.  The esteemed duo did release an album in 2010 under the name of The Dave Rawlings Machine called, appropriately enough, A Friend of a Friend.

Zoe MuthLucky Us!  Today on Gravel Road Radio we are honored to have Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers live in the studio.  Zoe and the band have just released their sophomore CD, Starlight Hotel and are currently touring the country to promote it.  I've managed to snag them on their way up to The Mill in Iowa City for a little sampling of their live show right here at KRUU.  Garnering wide praise on both sides of the Atlantic, with comparisons to Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, and Iris Dement, Zoe has that sweet ache in her voice that defines real country music.  Add to the mix some darn fine song writing and a stellar backing band, and it's hard to top this combination.  Since I first heard her, Zoe has been a regular on the show.

Greg BrownIf any one musician can be said to represent the Iowa roots music sounds, it's unarguably Greg Brown. Today, on Gravel Road Radio, Greg Brown joins me for a conversation about life in rural Iowa, music, song writing, his lovely wife Iris, and what being in the music "business" for the better part of four decades has meant to this self-described "old boy" from Iowa.  One of our fair state's truly great songwriters, Greg has managed to land himself firmly among the more respected artists of his generation while still living a quiet life on a gravel road in rural Iowa.  Find out more about this unique and brilliantly talented song writer this afternoon.  Gravel Road Radio with host Lauryn Shapter, Tuesday, from 2-4 PM.

The Pines


Like the Iowa landscape, the beauty of the roots duo The Pines lies in its subtlety. Iowa native Benson Ramsey (son of musical legend Bo Ramsey) joins me on Gravel Road Radio today for a conversation about music and life. Ramsey and David Huckfelt, who together make up the Minneapolis based duo, create songs that seep in slowly, drawing you in and quietly settling in your bones. Benson’s vocals are almost startlingly fragile, and therein lies his greatest strength: his willingness to lay bare his vulnerability opens up the listeners to feel their own.

 

The music of The Pines calls to mind a more traditional Midwest roots sound, but it is decidedly more atmospheric. And while this atmospheric quality is present throughout all of their songs, underlying it all is a driving pulse that serves as a quiet and constant reminder of the rhythm of life. Theirs is a musical landscape captured in sepia tone, not kodachrome, one well worth the trip. So join me, your host Lauryn Shapter, for a glimpse into what makes these extremely talented songwriters tick.  Gravel Road Radio, Tuesday afternoon from 2-4 p.m.

Jonathan ByrdHey y'all.  Today on Gravel Road Radio I'll have the honor and the pleasure to speak with the exceptionally talented songwriter and musician, Jonathan Byrd, who performs at Cafe Paradiso in Fairfield on Thursday, April 28.  

A seventh generation North Carolinian, Byrd is a master songwriter who manages to run the gamut of the human experience in his songs, snapshots of people and places and characters, never shying away from the more challenging aspects of human existence while still managing to write cleverly -- in the best sense of the word -- about the lighter side of life.  With a voice that truly delivers the lyrics and easily some of the finest guitar playing I've ever heard to support his songs, Byrd does not disappoint, on his recordings or in concert.  Tune in to Gravel Road Radio, Tuesday from 2 - 4 p.m. for a glimpse into what makes this great musician tick.  

And of course, as always,great Roots and Americana music, Real Country, Bluegrass and more.

Dave MooreHey y'all, what better way to spend a snowy, blizzardy afternoon than curled up in front of the radio for Gravel Road Radio.  On today's show I'll be speaking with the great Dave Moore, Iowa musician and song writer extraordinaire.  Dave has long been a pillar in the Iowa City music scene and truly captures that Iowa Roots Sound, never mind being an all around good guy.  We'll talk about his long and storied musical (and other) travels, his plans for future musical projects, and his upcoming show at Cafe Paradiso here in Fairfield.  So pay no mind to that wintry weather ... keep warm and tune in to Gravel Road Radio, Tuesday from 2-4 pm!

JohnsmithHey folks.  Today on Gravel Road Radio, I have the honor and privilege to interview singer-songwriter and traveling troubador, Johnsmith, winner of the New Folk Competition at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival.  John will be performing at a house concert in Fairfield on Saturday, June 26.  We'll talk about his sixth release, Gravity of Grace, life on the road, and the art and craft of songwriting.  Join me, your host Lauryn Shapter for Gravel Road Radio Tuesday, from 2-4 for some great roots & Americana, country, bluegrass, and beyond ... and a conversation with Johnsmith.

Coyote GraceHowdy folks!  Today on Gravel Road Radio I have the honor of interviewing Ingrid Elizabeth and Joe Stevens, who together make up the powerful acoustic Americana duo, Coyote Grace.  With just two incredible voices, a bass, and a guitar, Coyote Grace packs a powerful musical punch to support some stellar and poetic song writing.  The two alternate lead vocals and song writing duties and the result is a dynamic landscape from two different perspectives uniting into one warm and inviting sound.  Coyote Grace makes its Fairfield debut this Sunday, April 18 at Cafe Paradiso and today's show will you give you a hint of all they have to offer.  Tune in today at 2 p.m. for Gravel Road Radio, with the interview at 3.

MoZoLive in the studio today, Gravel Road Radio is honored to have the Seattle-based duo, MoZo.  Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and recording Moe Provencher and percussionist (and Iowa native) Aimee Zoe Tubbs make up this Roots-Americana pair that has been performing and busking all over the United States, as well as Europe.  With topics that cross a wide range of subjects and an equally wide ranging performance style, MoZo is truly a duo that is more than the sum of its parts.  We'll talk to them about their travels, song writing, and life as traveling troubadors, as well as what lies ahead for this fabulous pair.  Join me, your host Lauryn Shapter, on Gravel Road Radio, Tuesday from 2-4 p.m.

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