Don't Say No To The Muse: Side Hustles, Part Two

Let’s say you want to be a musician. The music bug bit you, and you just can’t resist the urge to pick up an instrument, maybe keep a notebook handy at all times to write down ideas and lyrics. You start recording pieces of melodies and sing them to your phone before the ideas evaporate. Maybe it was because you saw that performance where the light bulb went off over your head, or you heard a song in a movie soundtrack that moved you, or you got on stage and felt more alive than anywhere else. However it happened, you are soon wood shedding and finding like minds to play with and then finding an audience to play to. The muse serves up a sweet elixir, and you may be forever under its spell.

The Deer, from Austin, Texas, perform in Greer, SC 4-13-19. Photo: John Gillespie

The Deer, from Austin, Texas, perform in Greer, SC 4-13-19. Photo: John Gillespie

Our guests on this podcast are firmly in that camp, but there are also plenty of musicians who have dropped out. Some came back, too. In our first episode on Side Hustles, there were a lot of examples of why music artists would want to quit making music, at least as a primary means of making a living. Making money by making music is harder than ever, it seems, unless you are at the very top of the heap. The pitfalls for professional musicians seem to have no end. But, there is no shortage of people making music, and plenty who stay with it through thick and thin. I hinted at why that’s the case in our first episode, but never spelled it out. If you haven’t deciphered the clues yet, stick around and it will come together by the end of the episode. Along the way, you’ll hear from Dangermuffin, Joey Burns of Calexico, The Deer, Max Brown and Phil Bronstein from The War and Treaty, and Dan Fedoryka from Scythian, along with a lot of their music, too.

Thanks for visiting! Please support the music of the artists you enjoy hearing here, and I hope you will spread awareness about this independent project and consider helping by subscribing, rating and commenting on the show where you get your podcasts, and by becoming a patron. You can find out about contributing on our Patreon page, linked in the column to the right. To correspond, shoot me an email and I will be glad to get back to you from southernsongsandstories@gmail.com.  This series is available on most every podcast platform, as well as on Bluegrass Planet Radio. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it. - Joe Kendrick

The War and Treaty: Blowing The Roof Off and Loving Without Limits

Their biographies read like something out of a movie, and probably should be made into one. Maybe those plans are already being made. While being the subject of a film is highly unlikely for 99.9% of all other bands, including themselves less than a year ago, now it seems not only logical but also like it might be just another chapter in their story rather than the high point of their career. Who knows how far that career can go for The War and Treaty, but even without all the acclaim, Michael and Tanya Trotter would be just fine. The couple would be happy as long as they still could make music together, whether that meant being in front of small crowds or in front of full arenas.

The War and Treaty play at the Albino Skunk Music Festival in Greer, SC. Photo: John Gillespie

The War and Treaty play at the Albino Skunk Music Festival in Greer, SC. Photo: John Gillespie

Michael and Tanya, along with Buddy Miller, who produced their album Healing Tide, speak about the couple’s incredible music and improbable journey, and we have conversations with Albino Skunk audience member Sharon Meeker and music therapist Gretchen Chardos Benner as well. There is plenty of music from The War and Treaty’s set at the Albino Skunk Music Festival too, and some history of how they came to resemble something out of a fairy tale. Their story definitely did not start out that way.

Thanks for being here, and stop by any time! We hope you would spread awareness of this independent project and the artists we profile, and one of the best ways to do that is to subscribe to our podcasts, and rate and especially comment on them wherever you get your podcasts. Check out what The War and Treaty are doing on their website, and the Albino Skunk Festival on their site here.

We have been quite busy lately, and have interviews with The Ruen Brothers, Elizabeth Cook, Dangermuffin, The Deer and David Ball in hand for upcoming episodes. Stay tuned! - Joe Kendrick