“I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” — Groucho Marx. Despite what Groucho said, this is one club you want to be a part of.
The Radio Free Song Club is a group of ten veteran songwriters with a monthly deadline: ready or not, write a new song every month for host Nicholas Hill to play in a regular podcast.
Some of the songs are raw and barely finished, while others are beautifully polished. It’s a balancing act and you never know what you’ll get — the surprises are half the fun.
Kate Jacobs created the series, which debuted in January 2010, and it’s reminiscent of the old Brill Building days of songwriters like Carole King and Neil Diamond cranking out songs on deadline.
Recorded at Gary’s Chop Shop in SoHo (NYC) overlooking “the beaufitul skyline” of Hoboken, NJ, Session Number Two (the latest) features in-studio performances by Kate Jacobs (“On My Monitor”) and Freedy Johnston (“A Little Bit of Something Wrong”), as well as phone conversations with Victoria Williams and Laura Cantrell.
Listen to the program or check out the featured songs. Especially nice is Laura Cantrell’s “Kitty Wells’ Dresses” written by Laura with Amy Allison, and performed by Laura and Mark Spencer. Laura, a Nashville native, considered herself Kitty Wells’ number one fan for years, having grown up in a family of Grand Ole Opry fans.
The broadcasts offer a unique glimpse into the creative process involved in songwriting. There is a delightful intimacy, as if you’re sitting around a comfy livingroom chatting with talented and intelligent musicians.
The latest show ends with Hill (not known for his singing prowess) and Dave Schramm paying tribute to the late Vic Chesnutt in a moving live performance.
Mr. Hill probably states it best. “This show is a balancing act. An album of sorts. A radio program with no FM modulation. A broadcast that you will seek out. You will find it right here monthly, where it lays in wait for you.”
Well said. Radio Free Song Club is a gem.