Simple Folk Radio is back on Sunday 20th January 2013 at 5:00pm featuring in session OHIOAN. The show will be presented by Dillon along with guest presenter Jo Chapman. Over to Dillon:
I first heard Ohioan late last year. They had one song on a compilation put together by one of my favourite musicians, Adam Gnade. Like Adam’s own music it really didn’t fit into any pigeon holes, I found it hard to pin down and couldn’t get enough of it.. They had a huge sound, epic, like something from Akron/Family (who I later discovered are huge fans), with horns, constant rolling drums and mad apocalyptic cries in the night. Adam happened to tune in one night when I played the song (for perhaps the fourth time), and I put the call out, “if anyone knows this band, please, introduce us. I need more”
Adam, if you’re reading this, thank you.
One of the things I love about this band is how they keep moving, changing, evolving. Every album is it’s own island, so very different from the last, more so then any band I’ve ever heard.
Anyway, here’s the story of Ohioan in their own words.
OHIOAN is living music. It is living because it changes, it grows and reduces. Some nights its a minimalist drone ensemble of mountain dulcimers. Next week theres a wedding gig playing Lucinda Williams and Charlie Feathers covers. Hitchhiking tours with cassette loops and lap steel. Generator parties in the desert, stacks of amplifiers and drumsets boogie all night. EL34s and 12AX7s glowing in the dark, and the spark of a shotgun blowing a bottle of Dos Equis off the wall of adobe ruins. High country, desert stone. The project started on a lone walk from Chicago to Portland, first show at a hair salon in southern Illinois, playing “She’ll be Comin Round the Mountain” to grandmas and cheerleaders for $20.
It was never intended as a solo project, or a forum for ego or a personality. Along with the music, a main element in the band is radical politics and environmentalism, with many members involved in direct resistance and organisations such as DGR and No Mas Muertos. The band has come to encompass a changing collective of activists, artists, bikers and farmers, dishwashers and dog-lovers, shoplifters and carpenters. Its a mess and its never finished. Its a situation to work out an idea. The music is never played perfectly because perfection is a dull myth. We keep it simple, only ask that the players listen to each other, react. It is not a nightly recital. It is an ongoing dialog. At the core there are songs. Impressions of life during an empires decline. Minimum wage and public schools. Songs of dying earth, struggling people, dirty dishes and the joy of eating a good cookie. Country weepers and arrogant defiance. But they all ask the same questions: Why do we do it? Open pit mines and disposable cellphones, polluted water and abused children… They ask these questions and they all make the same statement: There is something else. If we want it. But in the end its just making noise with some friends, trying to fight off the black cloud for 45 minutes.
Sometimes all that’s left to do is make sure the electric bill is paid, the guitars are reasonably in tune, and ask if everyone knows the lyrics to “Born to Be Wild.”
OHIOAN originally formed in Portland Oregon 9 years ago by O Ryne Warner as a project to explore the boundaries of country music, combining it with wild free improvisation, creeping minimalist drone, doom metal and the occasional indulgence in The Riff. Over the years, the band has involved members of BRAINSTORM, Castanets/Raymond Byron & the White Freighter, Old Time Relijun/Malaikat dan Singa, AU, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Eternal Tapestry, Ghost to Falco to name a few, and has played/toured with Michael Hurley, Akron/Family, Castanets, Old Time Relijun, Dan Deacon, and Jolie Holland amongst others. The bands sound has been compared to artists ranging from Earth & Wooden Wand to Tinariwen & Hank Jr. Ohioan is currently based in the Sonoran desert near Tucson, Arizona.
Broadcast Schedule – UK Time Zone
First Broadcast: Sunday 20th January 2013 @ 5pm – on Folk Radio UK
The repeated on the following:
Monday: @ 2am
Wednesday: @ 9pm
Friday: @ 1pm
NEXT WEEK ON SIMPLE FOLK RADIO
On next weeks show we have something very in store for you. We’ll be handing over control of Simple Folk Radio to someone who has toured with the likes of Bert Jansch & John Martyn, someone who was once described by John Peel as “The finest songwriter of his generation”. I’m talking of course about James Yorkston.
Previous shows and more are available here: