Podcast

Interviews with some of the world’s most successful songwriters.

Don McLean Episode 193 – Don McLean

Enduring Singer-songwriter Don McLean discusses the writing of songs from throughout his extraordinary career including ‘American Pie’, ‘Vincent’, ‘Wonderful Baby’, ‘The Legend of Andrew McCrew’, ‘Prime Time’, ‘Sea Man’ and ‘When July Comes’. In the conversation, Don teases out the importance of artists like Fred Astaire, Bob Dylan and The Beatles, and explains why he wants to write songs that are useful to people.

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Edie Brickell Episode 192 – Edie Brickell

The New Bohemians singer-songwriter joins Simon and Brian for a chat about the band’s excellent album Hunter and the Dog Star, her approach to lyrics and melody, and the music that inspired her. During the conversation, Edie also reflects on her time away from music, her work with Steve Martin, and a potential collaboration with her husband Paul Simon.

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Dan Penn Episode 191 – Dan Penn

Legendary R&B writer and Muscle Shoals figurehead Dan Penn discusses his recent album Living On Mercy and timeless classics like ‘The Dark End of the Street’, ‘Do Right Woman, Do Right Man’ and ‘I’m Your Puppet’. During the conversation, Dan talks about his time at FAME Studios, his collaborations with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, and why he’s not trying to tell his own story through his songs.

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Jon Bon Jovi Episode 190 – Jon Bon Jovi

In this special episode, legendary singer, songwriter and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi joins Simon and Brian to discuss his recent album 2020, and his incredible hits through the years. During the conversation, Jon talks about writing topical songs, collaborating with people like Desmond Child and Dave Stewart, and why he keeps coming back to a guitar named Bob.

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Steven Wilson Episode 189 – Steven Wilson

Singer-songwriter and producer Steven Wilson joins Sodajerker to discuss his terrific album The Future Bites, why he hates songwriting, and what it was like collaborating with Elton John. Steven also describes his work remixing classic albums and explains how he finds it important to divorce himself from his love for other artists in his own songwriting.

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Gregory Porter Episode 188 – Gregory Porter

The incredible Gregory Porter drops in to chat about his Grammy-nominated album All Rise, why he prefers to be in motion when writing songs, and how inspiration is a flower that opens up at midnight. Gregory also discusses his relationship with Nat King Cole’s music and explains why super sexy guys have to be careful about what lyrics they sing.

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The Staves Episode 187 – The Staves

Jessica and Camilla of The Staves join us to talk about their stunning new record Good Woman. The pair explain their different mindsets in the writing process, how they created the sonic textures on the record, and how they completed the album after a momentous personal loss. Jess also remembers her time spent in Liverpool, and tells the story of how their father once sang Christmas carols with Paul McCartney.

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Ray LaMontagne Episode 186 – Ray LaMontagne

In a rare interview, singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne shares insights into his latest album Monovision and reflects on why it’s important to maintain playfulness in the songwriting process. Ray also revisits classic songs like ‘Trouble’, compares the songwriting process to catching fireflies, and explains why he’ll never forget performing with Elvis Costello.

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Ghostpoet Episode 185 – Ghostpoet

Obaro Ejimiwe aka Ghostpoet talks about his writing process on the album I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep and building songs from long improvisations in the studio. During the course of the chat, Obaro also reflects on his lack of affiliation with particular genres, the political nature of his words, and his relationship with social media.

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Jeff Tweedy Episode 184 – Jeff Tweedy

In this episode, the tremendous Jeff Tweedy of Wilco provides a masterclass on creativity and songwriting as he discusses his outstanding new book How To Write One Song, and his excellent recent solo album Love Is The King. If you enjoy hearing the world’s best break down practical and useful strategies that you can apply to your own work, look no further.

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Mark Oliver Everett Episode 183 – Mark Oliver Everett

EELS frontman Mark Oliver Everett (aka ‘E’) drops in to talk about about the writing of the band’s new album Earth To Dora and his creative process. During the chat, Mark highlights the power of resilience, how he collaborates with his bandmates, and his love for John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band.

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Lucinda Williams Episode 182 – Lucinda Williams

The formidable Lucinda Williams chats with Simon and Brian about the writing of her latest album Good Souls Better Angels. Talking through her expansive catalogue, the veteran artist uncovers a range of themes that have informed her songwriting and her outlook on the music industries including politics, domestic abuse, depression, experiences with record labels and reviews on social media.

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