Results for Evan Chung

interviews

Billy Bragg

Roots, Radicals and Rockers In the 1950s, a surprising, short-lived musical craze swept across the UK: skiffle, a raw version of African-American blues and folk performed by white British youth. Folk-punk singer-songwriter Billy Bragg has written about skiffle in his new book Roots, Radicals and Rockers. This week, he sits down with producer Evan Chung to make the case for skiffle as the origin of English guitar pop and the first sign of the DIY sensibility of punk.

Skiffle emerged out of the trad jazz scene – an early New Orleans jazz revivalist movement in the UK. In the middle of their sets, the trad jazz musicians would put down their horns and pick up acoustic guitars, washboards, and upright basses to play the songs of Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, and others. Skiffle hit the top of the pop charts in both the UK and the US when Lonnie Donegan released his version of Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line." Bragg argues that this was a revolutionary moment that taught British youth that anyone could play the guitar – and led to skyrocketing guitar sales. As a result, members of The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, David Bowie, and even ABBA got their start in DIY skiffle groups. According to Bragg, if you want to understand everything that came after in the UK – from the British Invasion to the English folk revival to R&B to punk – you have to look at the impact that skiffle had on the emerging British teenage culture.

Go to episode 613
dijs

Jim

“All Revved Up with No Place to Go”Meat Loaf

Jim often mentions Meat Loaf on the show but when he went back into the archives, he realized he very seldom plays the music of Meat Loaf on this show. However, there is good reason to take Meat Loaf to the Desert Island this week. Recently, everyone on the Sound Ops staff attended a ‘family band’ night, where Sound Ops producer Evan Chung wowed Jim with his Meat Loaf tribute band – MeatBute. Inspired by that performance, Jim highlights "All Revved Up with No Place to Go" from Meat Loaf's 1977 album Bat Out Of Hell. Jim notes that producer Todd Rundgren, saw it as an answer to Springsteen's Born To Run. For his pick, Jim says“I don‘t know if there is better writing in the opening of any rock song ever.” He states that, whether you’re 13 or 53, these opening lines are profound.

Go to episode 609
lists

The Best Albums of 2017

It's Jim and Greg's favorite show of the year, where they get to reflect on the Best Albums of 2017. They also hear picks from listeners as well as the Sound Opinions production staff.

Go to episode 627
features

Instrumental: Bass VI

Bass VI In the latest installment of our Instrumental segment, producer Evan Chung takes a look at the history of a lesser-known instrument that doesn't have a proper name – the Bass VI. Once again, we get some help from Daniel Escauriza and Shelby Pollard of Chicago Music Exchange to demonstrate. The Bass VI is a hybrid six-string instrument that looks and feels like a guitar, but is tuned in the range of a bass. Sonically, the Bass VI features a sharp attack and a distinctive twangy sound.

Fender released the most popular model, but the Danelectro company put out the first version of the instrument in the 1950s. It then became a staple of country, rockabilly, and early rock ‘n’ roll. In a style known as "tic-tac bass," Nashville producers would use an upright bass and a Bass VI simultaneously on recordings by Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, Roy Orbison, and more. In the 1960s, it was a favorite tool of the Wrecking Crew sessions musicians in LA, who used it on classic recordings with The Beach Boys and Glen Campbell.

Beginning in the 1980s, artists began to find new spookier uses for the Bass VI. New Order, The Cure, and The Cocteau Twins all incorporated it into their sound. Doug McCombs has been the most prominent Bass VI player of the last few decades, featuring it in his work with Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, and Brokeback. McCombs stopped by our studios to discuss his love of the instrument and to perform Brokeback's "From the Black Current" live.

Go to episode 626

C.W. McCall's "Convoy"

Convoy C.W. McCall had a surprise #1 hit in 1976 with the novelty country song "Convoy," sparking a global C.B. radio craze. But C.W. McCall was, in fact, a fictional creation. Producer Evan Chung tells the strange story of how“Convoy”became a cultural phenomenon. He speaks with the songwriters behind“Convoy”– ad executive-turned-lyricist/vocalist Bill Fries and composer Chip Davis (later of Mannheim Steamroller fame) – who reveal the origins of C.W. McCall in a series of Nebraska bread commercials. With its tale of trucker rebellion told through C.B. radios,“Convoy”reflected actual nationwide strikes by truck drivers in the '70s. Historian Meg Jacobs, author of Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s, explains how the oil crisis of 1973 upended Americans‘ self-perception as consumers and led to turmoil across the country. Like the song“Convoy”itself, it’s an odd, rollicking tale that takes many surprising turns.

Go to episode 598