Caroline Spence

July 30, 2020
The first time I heard Caroline Spence's single 'Sit Here And Love Me', was in a plane - somewhere in between Amsterdam and Glasgow. When Ryan Joseph Burns picked me up from the airport, I just had to play it for him in his car. Five times in a row. I had heard her music before, but this was the first time I really connected with it and registered it was Spence. Ever since, her albums have been on high rotation. At Take Root festival in Groningen, late 2019, we met and recorded this session. Caroline Spence and her guitarist Charlie Whitten played covers of Sheryl Crow and Lucinda Williams, and her own 'The Long Haul'.

Caleb Elliott

July 24, 2020
Caleb Elliott and I spoke about staying hungry for music, discovering fairly late there’s more than just classical music and the important people in his development; his high school orchestra conductor, his cello professor at the liberal arts college and his mother who, after his dad passed, got a degree, raised four children and started a women’s shelter by herself. I know, what have we been doing with our lives, right? What her youngest son has been doing, is focus on his songwriting rather than being the cellist, with his 2019 Single Lock records debut album ‘Forever To Fade’ as the first stunning output. Shortly after its release, we met at the Down by the River festival in Venlo, The Netherlands. Elliott, who was touring with Nicole Atkins at the time, recorded covers of Neil Young and Johnny Cash and one beautiful original from his debut on this session.

Senora May

July 10, 2020
Back when traveling and going to shows were still things people did, I met up with Kentuckian artist Senora May in Utrecht. Her self-released debut ‘Lainhart’ has been a very nice surprise and so was recording this session where she covered Rilo Kiley and Beyoncé. Seeing her perform live in Utrecht, on a double bill with Erin Rae, it was actually like an extra layer was added to her songs. Her stage presence, the stories and her expression made the songs come to life – possibly more than the record had done for me previously - as much as I liked it. “That’s my goal: I want to have a connection with the audience and I want them to feel a personal connection. I want to express what I feel and when I do that in shows, people are more open.”

Premiere: Great Lake Swimmers – ‘Come A Long Way’ (Kate McGarrigle)

June 3, 2020
'When We Last Shook Hands: Cover Songs Volume 1' is a collection of cover songs that Great Lake Swimmers has recorded over a period of roughly 12 years, between 2007 – 2019. Most of the songs have been released in one form or another as part of compilations, live sessions, outtakes, or album bonus tracks, but there are also a handful of tracks which are seeing the light of day here for the first time. It will be digitally released on June 5th 2020, exclusively on Bandcamp.

Sofie Winterson

May 28, 2020
Sofie Winterson and I only film in musea it seems. Last year we had the honor of filming at Panorama Mesdag in The Hague - find her Unknown Mortal Orchestra cover on the website - and early 2020 we gave it another go at the Eye Film museum in Amsterdam. She had just decided to spend most of her time in Los Angeles for the forseeable future, so I figured I had to capture some more songs while I could. This time, Winterson recorded a lovely cover of Judee Sill's 'The Kiss' and an acoustic of her own killer song 'Moral'.

Ole Kirkeng

May 14, 2020
The summer of 2018 would soon be coming to an end, and Rachel and I had just seen two of our favourite bands – Hiss Golden Messenger and Courtney Marie Andrews - play a double bill in Ghent, Belgium, when I started talking with Andrews’ bass player. Somehow, Ole Kirkeng knew The Influences already and soon we’re talking about sessions, Buck Meek and other musicians we both like. The Norwegian songwriter lived in the United States for about six years, but soon after our meeting in Belgium moved back to Oslo just before coming to Utrecht to record this session in the exact same spot as Buck Meek a year earlier.

Lewin

May 7, 2020
The Amsterdam Songwriters Guild has been around as long as I can remember and my friend Ro Halfhide is one of the people of the collective promoting the local songwriters. I visited one of their weekly open mic nights in Amsterdam some years ago, because Ryan Joseph Burns was in town and felt like playing some songs. One of the few things I remember about that night was that we drank too much and there was one performer who had us both in awe. That was Jara Holdert, who now performs as Lewin. So, a bit later Jara performed our live show in Utrecht and last January we filmed this session at Johnny Wonder's office. Lewin covered Joni Mitchell and The Beatles and played her own 'The Giant'.

William Fitzsimmons

April 30, 2020
Usually when I interview someone, I go in pretty well prepared. I never have questions written down or anything like that, but I’ll have read things and have an inkling of what I’d like to talk about. Not this time. I had focused mainly on filming the session with William Fitzsimmons, but when we sat down at the Backstage Hotel in Amsterdam to talk afterwards, it didn’t take much to get deep into conversation with the songwriter who was born in Pennsylvania. It started with pretty much a ten-minute monologue about his love for Tom Petty, whose 'Learning To Fly' he’d just covered.

John Alexander

April 24, 2020
Earlier this week I dreamed of walking through Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park. I looked at the wild squirrels, sat on a bench, ate a curry at Mother India's Cafe, strolled through the Art Gallery and had a coffee at Artisan Roast on Gibson Street. Then the coffee woke me up, and I realized I was in Utrecht, with no idea when I could visit Glasgow again. But, I did still have this session that I filmed with John Alexander, in Kelvingrove Park surrounded by blossom. We filmed Who Why When and a cover of Tom Waits' Walking Spanish.

Ryan Joseph Burns

April 16, 2020
Do you still know what day it is? I don't, half of the time. I do know it's Thursday though, because I'm posting a new video. About a year ago, Scottish songwriter Ryan Joseph Burns was in Utrecht and as always, we end up filming songs. You've already seen the 'Hickory Wind' duet with Demi Knight, but we also filmed this stunning cover of Courtney Marie Andrews' brilliant song 'How Quickly Your Heart Mends'. "Her voice I suppose is the first thing that grabs you, but I find the lyrics and pacing within the melody so captivating."