Truckstop SouvenirI cannot say my daddy farmed these fields
and I cannot say my mama roamed these hills
I've been high in the mountains, in the desert and by the sea
and now this rolling land is calling me.
~ Song For Iowa, Lauryn Shapter

I've been eagerly awaiting the new CD by husband and wife Americana duo Truckstop Souvenir for a while now, and the release party is this weekend!  Under A Big Blue Sky was recorded in Lauryn and Dennis' home studio here in Fairfield, which is no easy trick with all the frequent trains passing by.  

And you just may hear a train whistle during their interview on Lyrical Venus this Tuesday, what with the station being right by the tracks!  Luckily it's a nostalgic sound that fits with their themes - dusty roads, wide rivers, tiny mining towns, old time rodeos and lonely motels. 

If you need an escape to the good ole days, tune in at 9am for some Lyrical Venus-y tunes, and the Truckstop Souvenir interview at 9:30.

the solvents, emily and jarrod, promo for eden's hour Emily and Jarrod of the Solvents stop by Eden's Hour this weekend!!!

Having recently returned from a West Coast tour which they have blogged in detail here, these Port Townsend natives have their sights set on a new recording and another trip down south! But you don't have to go far to warm up with this adorable duo this Saturday evening.

Josh Lake of Shark Shark by Erin Skipper

On a recent trip to my hometown Port Townsed, Washington I met Josh Lake of Shark Shark who played an impromptu set at our friend's party. A living room show was a great introduction to his folksy music and I have been hooked on his lyrical genius ever since.

Josh has released some music through Murder Mountain Records and is planning on recording another album in the near future. But we got a special sneak peek at a few unreleased songs while he was in studio with us this week en route from his home base Portland.

This Saturday night tune in to Eden's Hour and treat yourself to a hidden gem from the Northwest. [Rebro 4am Friday.]

Katja Graduation Day
I have a universe inside me
Where I can go and spirit guides me
There I can ask oh any question
I get the answers if I listen

~ Sinéad O'Connor, The Healing Room

Last week I was off in Seattle with some of my college pals to
celebrate the graduation of our friend Katja from Naturopathic medical
school. It was a sweet time staying up late in a cabin on the lake with trips into the city for fun adventures. I manage to get together with this group of friends about once a year, and one thing I always look forward to is sharing what kind of music we've been listening to lately. We thought it would be fun for us to do a show together, so guest DJ's Megan and Karuna introduced me to some new artists and we all picked out some songs to celebrate the occasion (like The Healing Room by Sinéad O'Connor), plus some all around good stuff by Ellis, Lori McKenna, Edie Brickell, Beth Orton and more!


This week on Lyrical Venus the songs are all about rivers and rain.

Iowa Flood Waters by Stacy Dalton

Rivers, rain and flooding have been on everyone's mind here in Iowa lately. While we've been fortunate to have some nice sunny days lately, the rivers are still swollen and the crisis isn't over for some. For the people who have lost their homes and businesses, the road to recovery has only just begun. Some of the hardest hit are the artists and musicians without insurance who have lost equipment, portfolios, tools, studios, housing and more. Legion Arts and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation has set up an artist relief fund where you can donate to those in need:

Hallie Pritts of Boca Chica
Some girls cry for wedding bells
and some for diamond rings
What I want for right now
is a quiet place to think
~ Boca Chica, Beasts

This week on Lyrical Venus I'll be interviewing Hallie Pritts of the indie alt-folk band Boca Chica. Their quiet, lush and sometimes quirky sound has drawn comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine and Bright Eyes with flavors of Old Crow Medicine Show and Gillian Welch. Boca Chica means "little mouth", and just like the small fruit they sing about in their song Blackberries, Hallie and company provide sweet-tart morsels of sound that leave a stain of faded purple behind and satisfied smile on your lips. Voted one of the city's best bands by the 2006 Pittsburgh City Paper poll and featured on NPR's Open Mic podcast, Boca Chica has been charming audiences across the country since 2004. Tune in Tuesday at 9 am to hear from Hallie!

Rayna RoyerHooray for hometown talent!!

Tuesday on the Lyrical Venus Radio Hour I'll be interviewing Fairfield's Rayna Royer. The 22 year old singer-songwriter is graduating from Indian Hills this spring. She learned guitar chords from her friend Nik Sorak of Nik Sorak and the Dead Wait, and Troy Morgan of she swings, she sways backed her up on bass for those tracks you can hear on her MySpace page. (and both of those guys are in awesome SE Iowa bands, check 'em out.)

Rayna just joined MySpace as a musician a little over a month ago, but she's already got Irish singer-songwriter Amy McGarrigle commenting that Rayna's music reminds her of a cross between the main song from Juno and Laura Veirs. Rayna is even going to bring her guitar in because she has new stuff to play for us! Tune in Tuesday at 9am.

Amy Raasch
"She's got her own inner groove; nothing tentative about it. A force to be reckoned with."

- Don Was

You know why I love the internet? Because I can find new music, meet the cool independent musicians from all over the world who make that music, and interview them on my radio show! Take Amy Raasch for example - she's all the way out on the West coast, winning songwriting contests and coming up with projects to push her songwriting to a whole new level. Join me on Tuesday to meet Amy and find out how she's doing on her "52 Songs" quest to write one song per week for a year, and post it on YouTube for the world to see!

You know why else I love the internet? Everyone all over the world can tune in!

Voices On The Verge
You were the last in my twenty-fourth year
To make a demand of my voice
I tickled your ear and I laughed in your face
I gave you my choice
We were born to hum
We were born to hum

~Erin McKeown, Born to Hum

Voices On The Verge was the name of a tour with Rose Polenzani, Erin McKeown, Jess Klein, and Beth Amsel back in 2002. I was living in Boulder at the time and my roommate brought back a CD from their concert which was put into heavy rotation for the rest of my time there. Years later I was happy to re-discover this album, that I still loved the songs on it, and that all four ladies have gone on to release their own solo albums in the years since the tour. Tune in Tuesday at 9am to hear the full concert, plus a few of their newer songs!

Dennis Driscoll by Erin Skipper

Tune in Saturday evening for an in-Studio performance and interview with singer-songwriter Dennis Driscoll, K Records alumni and founder of Egg Recordings. Dennis is a quirky and lovable storyteller and artist and will share some poems and a few spanking new songs.