Oh, Yeah! I Know That Guy!
Often songwriters are more known by fans for their former bands or bands with whom they have played, even if they work primarily under their own names. In this week’s Podcast Corner, we highlight a few such musicians: Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule, Allman Brothers Band v2, Grateful Dead v2) on Best Radio You Never Heard; Ted Russell Kamp (Shooter Jennings’ bands, Wanda Jackson’s live band, Ray Wylie Hubbard’s live band) on Freight Train Boogie; T. Hardy Morris (Dead Confederate, Diamond Rugs) on Country Fried Rock; and Michael Rank (Snatches of Pink/Clarissa) on Americana Music Show. Each of the songwriters chosen above represents different types of “Oh, yeah! I know that guy!”
Warren Haynes is the best known by name of the the four featured songwriters, with the bands with whom he associates also being the most recognizable of those chosen this week. As the writer of one of my favorite songs, “Soulshine,” Haynes keeps the Southern jams coming, reinterpreting his own songs and those of others through the years and through his various lineups. In this episode of BRYNH, Haynes covers a live version of “Jessica,” from one of his many ventures with the Allman Brothers Band (version 2).
Ted Russell Kamp inspired this week’s title, “Oh, Yeah! I Know That Guy!” because I had that response a few years ago watching my first streaming live video concert (like Concert Window, Livestream, Ustream). As I watched the show to learn more about the video platform and that technology, I kept thinking he looked familiar, but could not place him. Initially, I misspelled his last name, so I was having trouble finding “Ted Camp” (my error), but when I finally searched for him properly, I realized that I had seen him play live with tons of roots musicians, ranging from Waylon Jennings’, and later Shooter Jennings’, band, the .357s, to Wanda Jackson’s live band.
T. Hardy Morris is known more for his Southern indie rock supergroup, Diamond Rugs, than he is for his own noted band, Dead Confederate. When his songs will not fit either of those projects, Morris funnels them into various solo albums, such as his latest with Hardy & The Hardknocks. With intense influences of early Meat Puppets and Nirvana, to a heavy dose of his own buddies in Deer Tick, The Black Lips, and Los Lobos, Morris’ sounds are so widespread that keeping all of these songs under one name would certainly yield the description “scattered.” On this week’s CFR, Morris explains how he channels his songs to keep them from being muddled.
The least known nationally, but likely most intensely “regional cult following” songwriter highlighted here is Michael Rank. with a new album, Horsehair. His past band, Snatches of Pink (who had to use the name “Clarissa” when signed to a major label), still yields devoted fans, especially in the Southern East Coast region surrounding Chapel Hill. Sara Romweber (Let’s Active, Dex Romweber Duo) initially drummed for SoP, but the lineup rotated over the years. Rank has released several albums under his own name or backed by a band he calls Stag, but locally, he is nearly always described as “Michael Rank, the guy from Snatches of Pink.”
What songwriters do you think fail to "get their due" by their own names, but instead continue to be known as "formerly of _____?"
Do y’all have a podcast theme, recurring thread, or podcasting technical question you’d like me to cover in the Podcast Corner? Pop me a note via the Contact link, and I’ll do my best to serve it up soon. As always, if you know of a great roots music podcast, we would love to have them upload it to No Depression — all a podcaster has to do is join at the top right of the page (free!), read & agree to the FAQ & regulations, and post under “Podcasts.”