Music Trails with Mark Lafond
By Mark Lafond
Music Trails with Mark LafondApr 17, 2023
Episode 29 Infamous Stringdusters
Meet the Grammy- award winning progressive bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters! Two of the founding members Andy Hall, and Chris "Panda" Pandolfi talk about the upcoming release of their 13th album A Tribute to Flatt and Scruggs as well as their Grammy- nominated 2022 album Into the Fray. We discuss the importance of touring, the advantages of having their own Americana Vibes recording label, as well as what makes for a great cover song.
Episode 28 Jessie Haines Interview
Episode 27 John "Papa" Gros Interview
New Orleans has its fair share of musical ambassadors; but few are more rooted in the Crescent City than John “Papa” Gros. Born and raised in the city, Papa Gros melds funk, rock, jazz, and blues to deliver a sound that is both innovative and unmistakably New Orleans. Papa launched his career as a solo performer in the early 1990s, quickly gaining attention from marquee artists such as George Porter Jr. and Snooks Eaglin, both of whom brought him on board as a supporting musician. In this episode of Music Trails Papa shares how and when his musical journey started, the influence that many of New Orleans's most icon artists have had on him, leading the successful Papa Grows Funk band' to finding his way back to writing, playing and recording music that best represents who he is as an artist maintaining his deep New Orleans's roots.
Episode 26 Raquel Cole Interview
On this episode of Music Trails we meet British Columbia native, and current Nashville TN resident Raquel Cole. Raquel shares her journey of growing up in Vernon British Columbia and the origins of her love of music at a very young age. Raquel talks about her recent appearance on the Stampede City Sessions series (Canadian version of Austin City limits), as well as her two recent released singles and music videos. Raquel gives us insight into song writing and her love of collaborating with other song writers. Listeners will get an update on all things The Woods (Nashville based band she is a member of) related.
Episode 25 Opal Agafia Interview
On this episode of Music Trails we meet the talented singer, song writer, music festival promoter Opal Agafia. Opal’s trail is embedded in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas where she developed a love of music at a young age but lacked the self -confidence and a plan to share with others. While finishing high school and starting college she discovered she and her mom shared an interest, and talent in writing which resulted in a song writing collaboration.
With original songs in hand Opal developed a receptive audience which of course has grown over the years with the release of multiple recordings and touring with her accomplished band. Opal is also a successful music festival promoter and talks about her upcoming Ozark Soul Music Festival which shares the name of her brand of music.
Episode 24 Sasha Dubyk Interview
Sasha talks about learning to do things she may have previously not even thought about such as learning to play the upright bass, and songwriting. Sasha talks about her teaching at the Crown Heights Music school in Brooklyn that she and fellow band mate and very soon husband to be Max Capistran (Season 1 Episode 9) operate together as well as an update on all things Damn Tall Buildings related. I hope you enjoy
Episode 23 Christine Havrilla Interview
On this episode of Music Trails you'll be introduced to Christine Havrilla. Christine originally from Philadelphia, is a musician, performer, singer songwriter who’s musical career has spanned the last 20 years, including 13 albums, 3 EPs and playing a variety of venues, stages large, small, music festivals, to living rooms. When seeing Christine live it might be as a solo act, a duo with long time collaborator Coleen Clark, or with her full band Christine Havrilla and the Gypsy Fuzz. Which ever version or venue your guaranteed to get her best each and every night. Christine will talk about her new EP and single California Nights, her current, and future projects, as well as her personal journey that has shaped her artistry.
Episode 22 David Graham Interview
On this episode of Music Trails we meet one of Nashville’s best and well know Honky Tonk musicians David Graham. David shares his story which starts with realizing at a very young age, after first hearing Elvis’s Heat Break Hotel he knew all he wanted was to be was a "Rock Star". David will give us his insight into life in Nashville, from the changing demographics, to the local music scene. David’s blue collar, hard working live performances are memorable ranging from his residency at Layla's Honky Tonk in Nashville, to national and international audiences.
Episode 21 Bruce Molsky Interview
In this episode of Music Trails we meet Grammy nominated Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Singer, Songwriter Bruce Molsky. Bruce talks about his upcoming participation in the Folk Alliance International, as well as his partial tour schedule for 2023. Bruce shares his musical journey from being introduced to music at an early age, to picking up the fiddle and banjo while an engineering student at Cornell, his day in the mountains of North Carolina with the great fiddle player Tommy Jarrell, to his collaboration with musicians from all over the world playing a variety of genres but staying close to his Old Time Music roots. Hear Bruce play live a Music Trails first.
Music Trails Podcast Season Three Trailer
If you love music, enjoy being introduced to new artists that you might not other wise know about and enjoy learning about the independent music business this podcast may be for you. New episodes are currently in production, I encourage you to subscribe today and you will be notified when new episodes are released. Your host is Mark Lafond www.musictrails.info
Episode 20 Season Two Walnut Valley Festival Finale
In our last episode of the season we will hear from present and past artists that have loved performing at Winfield. These are guests that were unable to be interviewed but had an interest in participating in this project. Our guests in this episode submitted audio files of them answering submitted questions.
We will hear from Dave Firestine a founder of the famed Carp Camp. Mike and Katie West of Truckstop Honeymoon a Pecan Grove campground favorite check in from their current home in Wales. 2021 Battle of the Bands winner Pretend Friend's Grant Boesen checks in following their second consecutive year of playing on the main stages. We will also hear from fan favorite and Ireland's Socks in the Frying Pan's Aodan Coyne.
Episode 19 Tommy Emmanuel Interview
In this episode of Music Trails we meet Tommy Emmanuel, maybe the best guitarist on the planet, certainly your host’s favorite. Tommy will share part of his music trail which started as a youth in Australia, playing and touring in the family band, reaching out to his boyhood idol Chet Atkins and having the life changing opportunity of meeting and studying under him as a young man.
Tommy talks about his Guitar Camp which at the time of this interview is just kicking off in Nashville, meeting and collaborating with the great Mike Dawes, and shares his unique song writing and performance techniques. Tommy closes the episode reminiscing about his Walnut Valley Festival debut, and introduces us to his popular song Fuel.
Episode 18 Beppe Gambetta Interview
Meet Beppe Gambetta Italian born guitarist, singer-songwriter, author, and researcher. Beppe introduces us to his unique music, how a young man in Genoa Italy develops a love for American roots music specifically flat picking, his new soon to be published book, and his love for the Walnut Valley Festival.
Episode 17 Still On The Hill Interview
Episode 16 Seth Bate Interview
Episode 15 Bing Futch Interview
Episode 14 Rhonda Vincent Interview
Meet Rhonda Vincent, who along with her outstanding band The Rage will be making their Winfield debut this year. Rhonda is a renowned bluegrass singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who was recently inducted into The Grand Ole Opry, is a seven time Grammy award nominee and Grammy award winner for best Bluegrass album. Rhonda takes time from her international travel schedule and talks about making something fun, and positive during Covid, coming back full throttle on tour, the challenge of recording a classic cover song, her unlikely partnership with Bernie Taupin, meeting Elton John, and how excited she is to be making her Walnut Valley Festival debut.
Episode 13 Tom Chapin Interview
Meet Tom Chapin whose career has spanned six decades, 26 albums, three Grammy awards and has been a regular scheduled performer at the Walnut Valley Festival over the last 25 years. Tom will share his excitement to return once again to Winfield in celebration of its 50th year, as well as his early days playing with his brothers Harry, Steve, and his father Jim in the successful early folk group The Chapin Brothers. Tom shares how as a father he found a way to connect with his grade school aged daughters, other children and their parents with his family and children’s recordings. Tom reflects on the recent documentary Harry Chapin When In Doubt Do Something, which chronicles Harry's life as an award winning singer/songwriter and political activist. We will also get a "sneak peek" of his new song Walnut Valley Moon which will be on his soon to be released new album Hold our Ground.
Music Trails Podcast Season 2 Trailer
Music Trails Season 2 centers around the Walnut Valley Festival held during the third week of September in Winfield, KS. This is the 50th anniversary of the festival. Listeners will meet festival performers, and various people behind the scenes that make the festival the success that it is.
Episode 12 Stevie Coyle Season One Finale
Meet Stevie Coyle! Stevie joins us from his high end acoustic guitar shop Mighty Fine Guitars located in the East Bay area of Lafayette CA. Stevie talks about his current touring and music projects both as a solo artist and with his long time music collaborator Glenn Houston that make up the duo The Quitters. Stevie shares his early days of growing up in Southern California, early music influences, joining, and touring with the world’s smallest circus, as well as his experience with one of his earlier music groups the wildly successful group The Waybacks.
Episode 11 Holly Gleason Part 2
Episode 10 Holly Gleason Part 1
Episode 9 Damn Tall Buildings -Max Capistran
Meet Brooklyn, NY based Damn Tall Buildings. Band member Max Capistran shares the band's journey that includes meeting up in Boston at the Berklee school of music, busking on Newbury street, moving to Brooklyn opening a music academy ttimeo becoming a popular sought after act at many well known music festivals. Max and fellow band members Sasha Dubyk and Avery Ballotta (who we met S.1 Ep. 4) take traditional bluegrass music and mix in elements of blues, classical, old- time, and jazz to form their unique sound.
Episode 8 Kelly Hunt
Kelly shares with us her musical trail and the fact it wasn’t until she finished college and after trying a few other artistic outlets that she found music, chose her preferred instrument the banjo, and began to find her unique style of music and her voice.
Kelly shares her song writing process, her upcoming sophomore album Ozark Symphony, and the camaraderie and support she has found in her new home of Kansas City.
Episode 7 Tracy Walton of On Deck Studio
Episode 6 Savanna Chestnut
Meet Savanna Chestnut a small- town girl from Kansas who knew at an early age she wanted to be a singer. Song writing came first followed by performing on stages as small as the one in her grandparent’s bar to as grand as the stage on NBC’s The Voice. Like so many up- start country artists she follows her dream to Nashville where she makes important contacts and hones her songwriting and performance skills. Savanna returns home, staying true to herself, her roots and forging her career as a traditional country singer, songwriter, and performing artist. Savanna’s fourth, and newest album Scars and Stitches will be released May 2.
Episode 5 Suzie Brown
Meet the incomparable Suzie Brown! Suzie has "forged her own path" that is unlike any other. Canadian born, Boston raised she like her parents, heard a call to the medical field. Music became a refuge and outlet for Suzie while in medical school. Beginning her medical career and starting a family with husband Scot Sax in Philadelphia, Suzie felt the Nashville music community tugging at her in order to find a more balanced life. Suzie makes her home in Nashville where she is the mother of two daughters, a part time cardiologist that specializes in patients with heart failure and advanced heart transplants while at the same time is a successful recording and touring artist.
Episode 4 Avery Ballotta
In this episode we meet Avery Ballotta a composer for film, dance, a music teacher, and one hot fiddle player. Avery’s trail starts in Montana’s Big Sky Country where at the age of 9 while attending a used music instrument swap he finds himself drawn to a half -sized fiddle and something inside him makes him put his hands on it. Classically trained he found solace in playing in school orchestra and quintet. Avery describes his relationship with the fiddle as a roller coaster of such much like any other type of relationship but admits he and the fiddle have ended up in a really good place. Avery shares his experience in Boston where he studies at Berklee College under the tutelage of Bruce Molsky and hones his love for American fiddle tunes. Avery currently calls Brooklyn home where he pursues individual projects, and is in the bands Alice Valentine, and Damn Tall Buildings.
Episode 3 Dan O'Rourke of The Woods
In this episode we meet Dan O’Rourke of the band The Woods based in Nashville, TN. Life is full of chances and circumstances and this certainly holds true for Dan and band mates Raquel Cole, and Leland Rooney. Who would know that a foot injury Dan experienced in high school just as he was moving out of state would expose him to the music of Bob Dylan and that exposure would make a lasting influence on his music career, to a chance meeting of a future band mate (Raquel Cole) on a shuttle bus of The Voice contestants headed to the airport or that being in a Covid lock down would present an opportunity for three musicians to form a band and create a unique sound that has been described as "something I’ve heard before but yet sounds brand new". https://www.getintothewoods.com/
Episode 1 Scott Henson "Super Fan" Interview
In this episode we will be talking to Scott Henson. Scott’s personal trail has taken a few interesting twists and turns and has included stops along the way as bartender, musician, poet, singer/song writer, teacher, principal, school administrator, music festival promoter, and has been referred to by friends and family as a true "Super Fan"
Episode 2 Nathan Bliss-Barnaby Bright
In this episode we meet Nathan Bliss who is 1/2 of the poplar duo Barnaby Bright. Nathan will share his musical trail which started at an early age from grooving to the tunes on The Monkeys TV show to listening to his parent's vast record collection from Dylan to Black Sabbath. We will here about stops along the way from studying jazz at Berklee College of Music to rediscovering his musical past and finding a new and authentic way of connecting to his musical audience. We will hear how he and wife,(musical partner) Becky Bliss met and their stops in New York, Nashville, and coming home to Kansas City where they are building and finding a new musical community.