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Cover to Cover with Matt Tarka

Arts & Culture Podcasts

A podcast featuring musical conversations about an album or song which has changed and enhanced someone’s life.


United States


A podcast featuring musical conversations about an album or song which has changed and enhanced someone’s life.




Episode 103: Scout Gillett (Musician)

Today, we’re speaking with one Scout Gillett, from Brooklyn, NY by way of Kansas City, MO. Scout is a musician and runs her own booking agency called Road Dog Booking. Her atmospheric and contemplative debut record titled “no roof no floor” is out now via Captured Tracks, and at the time of our conversation in November 2022, wrapped up a tour in support of Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, and celebrated a release party for “no roof no floor” at the record Bar in KC with The Whiffs, Blanky, and...


Episode 102: Jeff Cumpson - Musicologist/Marketing Professional

Today, we are speaking with a very old friend of mine. He is one Jeffrey Thomas Cumpson. These days, he’s a marketing professional and I also know him as a musical mastermind in such projects as The 9th Great Power and The Block Signals. I first met Jeff in the summer of 1989 on the ball fields in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Sports were always part of the fabric of our friendship and as time marched on, music also began playing a crucial role – fiddling around with a four-track recorder, writing...


Episode 101 - Continental Drifters (Rock band)

Today’s conversation focuses on an as-yet untitled book written by musician Sean Kelly (A Fragile Tomorrow, So Sure) about an acclaimed and criminally overlooked American rock and roll band known as Continental Drifters . Formed in Los Angeles in 1991, the Drifters consist of guitarist/vocalist Vicki Peterson from The Bangles and The Psycho Sisters, bassist Mark Walton from The Dream Syndicate, Susan Cowsill of The Cowsills and also Psycho Sisters, Peter Holsapple from the dBs, Carlo...


Episode 100: Jamie Aston (Musician/Bassist)

Our guest today is south central Pennsylvania's Jamie Aston, acclaimed bassist of Wes Hoke and the Bare Roots and the Joe Olnick Band. Back in August of 2022, we had a lively conversation about Burlington, Vermont's Phish and their fifth studio album released in 1994 titled Hoist. The mid 1990's was a pivotal era for the band, which saw Jon (Henrietta), Trey (Big Red), Mike (Cactus) and Page (Chairman of the Boards) leap from the club circuit in the U.S. to large scale amphitheaters and...


Episode 99: Salim Nourallah (Musician/Producer)

Our guest today is a solo artist, producer, Palo Santo Music Group co-founder in Dallas, TX, and its indie music godfather. He is one Salim Nourallah. You may remember Salim as our guest in Episode 40 and our discussion about one of the most consequential records in our lifetime and beyond, The White Album. As a solo artist, Nourallah has long mined the terrain between catchy and devastating. Rolling Stone called him “a singer-songwriter who can stop time.” As a producer and owner of...


Episode 98: Marco Castro (Musician - The Castros)

Our guest today is one Marco Castro of the Chicagoland band known as The Castros. Born & raised in Costa Rica , embraced by the Midwest, Marco is also a Metroid & coffee enthusiast. The Castros newest single that was released on December 31st, 2021 called "Sail Away" which they recorded and self-produced. For our conversation today, Marco and I discussed in great detail Vheissu (pronounced "vee-sue"), the fourth studio album from the band known as Thrice. Vheissu was recorded at Studio...


Episode 97: Fine Lace (Singer-Songwriter)

Our guest today is one Fine Lace. She is a 28 year old indie singer-songwriter from Idaho currently based in Seattle. In 2020 she released the first 2 songs off her upcoming EP centered on mental health ("Hold On" and "Amazing Mom (Infertility Song)"). Producing music got put on hold last year when in her own words gave birth to a “little miracle baby” but says she should be back in the studio sometime in 2022. For our conversation today, she has chosen is "We Can Still Sing" by Nashville...


Episode 96: Sarah Harralson (Country Recording Artist)

Our guest today is one Sarah Harralson from Nashville, by way of Knoxville, TN. Sarah began writing songs when she was ten years old, her bluegrass musician grandfather being her biggest musical influence. After her grandfather passed in 2011, Sarah decided she would move to Nashville in 2013 to pursue music at Belmont University. Upon the release of hearing her debut EP Finally Found, in 2014 Music Connection Magazine wrote “Sarah Harralson presents honest, bare-boned recordings that are...


Episode 95: Finley Martin (Musician)

Our guest today is one Finley Martin. He enjoys every aspect of making music – from songwriting, to performing live, to engineering and production. He primarily plays bass and guitar, but he's been known to add other instruments (keys, drums, field recordings) when he's recording at home. Finley was born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Canada, but has been based in the DC area since 1998. In addition to his solo work, he's played with a number of area bands since then: Gist – 1999 to...


Episode 94: Kiana Corley (Pop/Soul Artist)

Our guest today is a Pennsylvania pop/soul artist - one Kiana Corley. She’s been featured in Guitar Girl Magazine, WXPN’s The Key,, the podcast Brian Funk and many other media outlets. For our conversation today, we’re going to discuss the debut, self-titled studio album from English singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae. released on February 24, 2006 on EMI Records. Within the first few minutes, you will recognize you how much this record has had a profound impact on Kiana, and...


Episode 93: Avi Walter (Bassist of Friday Night Flicks)

Our guest today is Avi Walter, bassist for several DC bands including Albino Rhino, Bells & Hunters, allthebestkids and is now the bassist for the group Friday Night Flicks, a project which began in April of 2020. In addition to his passion for music, Avi has a degree in alternative medicine and physiology, so health and human performance are always top of mind. For our conversation today, we’re going to discuss Frank Zappa and his self-produced 1974 record Apostrophe. Apostrophe was...


Episode 92: RJ Conrad (of Rascal Revival)

Our guest today is one R.J. Conrad from the Harrisburg, PA band six-piece known as Rascal Revival. They recently released an EP titled Passing Time Around, which you should take the time to seek out and put the band on your radar. For our conversation today, we’re going to discuss a collaboration between Dave Matthews from the Dave Matthews Band and multi-instrumentalist Tim Reynolds of TR3, and the profound impact this record had on our guest. Of course, we are talking about Live at...


Episode 91: Ron Babcock (Comedian/Editor)

Our guest today is one Ron Babcock. Ron Babcock is a comedian and editor living in Los Angeles. His debut album THIS GUY. went to #1 on iTunes Comedy and #13 on Billboard Comedy. He’s appeared on Adam Devine’s House Party, Last Comic Standing and other cancelled shows. He’s edited for Netflix, Disney, HBO, Adult Swim and others - most recently, CAT BURGLAR, an interactive series which debuted on February 22nd, 2022 on Netflix. He’s also currently working on a project animating voicemails...


Episode 90: Max Feinstein (Musician/Producer/Studio Owner/Inventor/Hemophilia Advocate)

Our guest today is one Max Feinstein. He’s a musician, producer, studio owner, inventor and a New Jersey based hemophilia advocate using music to promote bleeding disorder awareness. Incidentally, March is Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month. Learn more about BDAM by clicking here. Currently, Max is promoting singles off a record he wrote while spending the better part of the last 18 months rehabilitating an elbow after a decade of living with severe osteoarthritis. He is also the inventor...


Episode 89: Brittany Valint (Musician/Teacher)

Our guest today is one Brittany Valint, who is no stranger to the program. Previously, we dissected Ben Kweller’s 2002 record Sha Sha, which you can listen to in Episode 70. Brittany is someone who I’ve gotten to know a little more over the past year and I’m so proud to call her a friend. She makes up one-half of the atmospheric project known as Wall of Trophies with her co-conspirator Will Copps, and also pens songs under her own moniker, Brittany Jean. This time around, Brittany has...


Episode 88: Waylon K. Smith (Musician)

Waylon K. Smith is a singer-songwriter living in Bel-Air, MD. His sound is a mash up of Damon Albarn, Radiohead, REM, & Roger Waters. He is currently singing silly songs to his new daughter & booking live performances of his original tunes & the classics that inspired them. Our conversation centers around English singer-songwriter, baroque chamber/electro pop artist Patrick Wolf and his debut studio album Lycanthropy, which was released back on July 28, 2003 on Tomlab. Enjoy!


Episode 87: M.R. Morrison (Artist/Poet/Yoga Instructor)

Our guest today resides just outside of Harrisburg, PA and is no stranger to the program. She is one M.R. Morrison: an artist and poet of We Doubt The Call Even As We Answer It. At the present, she is no stranger to travel which is an integral element of her practice as an artist. Current projects include design for a board game (Daude; Seasons) and her second collection of poetry. For our discussion today, Ms. Morrison has chosen HORSES the debut studio album from the artistic icon known...


Episode 86: Grant Santoscoy of Bloodhounds (Band)

Today's guest is Grant Santoscoy of Cleveland, Ohio’s indie rock band Bloodhounds to discuss Philadelphia, PA’s Modern Baseball and their debut record Sports. Sports was recorded at Free Studios at Drexel University and released in December 2012 on Lame-O Records. Enjoy this deep lyrical dive into a brilliant band!


Episode 85: The W Lovers (Alt-Country Band)

Our guest today is one Fluer Wood and one Wesley Wood. Together they are The W Lovers from Seattle, Washington and have made their mark on the live music scene all over the American West, playing over 100 shows a year, since their inception in 2014. Their sophomore album "This Little Town,' was produced by Ryan Hadlock (Brandi Carlile, The Lumineers) and was released June 2019. 'This Little Town' made it to #1 on the Roots Alternative Folk Chart for three weeks and hit #8 on NAAC Folk...


Episode 84: Rory D'Lasnow (Musician)

Our guest today is one Rory D’Lasnow. Rory is a singer-songwriter from New Jersey who plays the guitar upside down and backwards. He released his new EP, “Songs From an Empty Room" in Fall 2021 and you can catch him playing live throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Rory is also the host of an Instagram Live event once a week titled The Songwriter Showcase, which is an excellent way for those wishing to discover new songwriters and a place that I will recommend you give a follow. For our...