Travels in Music-logo

Travels in Music

Culture >

More Information










UPDATE: Listen to my new podcast, Humans in Love: A Podcast for Passionate People

Hello fellow music lovers! Man, it’s been a long time. A whole lot has happened between the last episode in 2016, and today. And I wanted to speak to you today to fill you in on what happened to Travels in Music, and more importantly share something pretty exciting. I just launched a brand new […] The post UPDATE: Listen to my new podcast, Humans in Love: A Podcast for Passionate People appeared first on Travels in Music.


B-side: An Update On the Future of Travels in Music

Live from Chiang Mai, northern Thailand! Today's episode features an update about the future of Travels in Music, my thoughts after recording twenty episodes, what it's like producing a podcast, what I've learned, how I'm thinking about changing moving forward, and more. Above all: thank-you, so much, for listening so far. Bigger and better things to come. Also available via Stitcher Radio (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id))...


Ep. 21: As Time Goes By: In Defense of Harry Nilsson’s “A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night”

The past few years have been very good to fans of the late singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. We got to see an excellent feature-length documentary on Nilsson’s life and work, the remastering of his entire discography with several discs of bonus material, along with the release of what will surely go down as the definitive Nilsson biography by Alyn Shipton. What’s more, several high-profile online publications have published long overdue retrospectives celebrating his all-too-brief...


Ep. 20: Escape Is At Hand: Joshua Kloke on Canada’s Favourite Rock Band, the Tragically Hip

The Canadian rock n’ roll band The Tragically Hip occupy a special place in my country’s musical culture. Although the Hip have dedicated American and European fans, they have, for the most part, concentrated their efforts on building and sustaining their ravenous Canadian fanbase. Many of the band’s most loved songs address distinctly Canadian themes—hockey, the wilderness, unremarkable small towns—but they also address wider conflicts and inequalities in Canadian society. They are, in...


Ep. 19: Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: Bill Brewster on the Artistry and History of the Disc Jockey

Even though the art of disc-jockeying is nearly one hundred years old, with modern DJs selling out stadiums and celebrated like rock stars the world over, there remain many misconceptions about DJs, and the art of djing. Perhaps the most egregious of these misconceptions is that djing is easy, and anyone with half a sense of rhythm and the ability to push a button can do it—this is, to put it mildly, absolutely, patently, violently untrue. For the most talented DJs know how to read and...


Ep. 18: I’m Your Man: Sylvie Simmons on Montreal, Making Music, and the Life of Leonard Cohen

The Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen has written some of the most eloquent, powerful, and important popular songs of the past half century. Although many members of the younger generation are only familiar with his modern day hymn “Hallelujah,” that’s really just skimming the surface of Cohen’s brilliance. For the man who wrote "Hallelujah" has also given us "Suzanne," "So Long, Marianne," "Anthem," "Closing Time," "If It Be Your Will," and several dozen other songs that...


Ep. 17: On Chicago, Hip Hop, and Finding Freedom in Northern Thailand: A Conversation with Binkey

Binkey is a Chicago-born, Chiang Mai-based poet, musician, MC, and teacher. He's also a man with many different interests, ideas, and opinions, and he and I go deep in this episode of Travels in Music. As my first sit-down, in-person interview (so much more fun than Skype), in today's episode Binkey and I discuss growing up in Chicago, the Chicago music scene, artistic competition, racism, hip hop, police violence, winning arguments with your girlfriend, Kanye West, Black Lives Matter,...


Ep. 16: From Delhi 2 Dublin: Sanjay Seran on Charting Your Own Course in the 21st Century Music Business

My guest today is a founding member of one of the most unique, interesting, and eclectic groups on the world stage. Back in 2006, Delhi 2 Dublin began as a side project for vocalist Sanjay Seran. As the band name suggests, Sanjay and fellow founding member Tarun Nayar began playing a fusion of North Indian bhangra and Celtic music with a healthy dose of electronica thrown in for good measure. I remember that when the band first appeared on the Canadian music scene ten years ago, they...


Ep. 15: The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock n’ Roll: Preston Lauterbach on Rock’s Forgotten Pioneers

When we think about the roots of rock n’ roll, we generally tend to think about people like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly. For reasons owing to politics, race, and the various prejudices of historians and music journalists, many of the earliest African-American blues, jazz, and r n' b pioneers, such as Louis Jordan and Roy Brown, are often confined to the footnotes of rock history. My guest today is trying to change that. Preston Lauterbach is the author of The Chitlin...


Ep. 14: Around The World With The Rolling Stones: Rich Cohen Shares a Personal History

Think about your all-time favourite musician. Someone you’ve been following since you were very young. Someone whose music touches you like no one else’s. Now imagine being invited into that person’s world, watching them rehearse behind closed doors, spending time with them, sharing drinks on their plane, taking in their concerts from the side of the stage. My guest today had the rare opportunity to live out this teenage fantasy. Today, Rich Cohen is an award-winning author and...


Ep. 13: War, Refugee Week, and the Healing Power of Music: Lis Murphy of Music Action International

Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week of World Refugee Day on the 20th of June. In the midst of the current refugee crisis, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. Refugee crises are nothing new in history, and there are rarely easy answers or solutions. Depressingly consistent throughout history are those who...


Ep. 12: India Psychedelic: Sidharth Bhatia Shares the Untold Story of the Indian Rock Music Scene of the 1960’s and 70’s

If you’re someone who regularly listens to this podcast, chances are good that you’re well acquainted with the rock and roll revolution of the 1960’s. For a generation, rock n’ roll defined youth culture in the West, and was an integral part of the political, social, and cultural revolutions occurring at the same time. For many, rock n’ roll represented freedom, undoing the shackles imposed by previous generations, and doing one’s own thing. Now I’m sure this isn’t news to you. But have...


Ep. 11: Meditating with the Beatles in India: Paul Saltzman Shares his Remarkable Story

Paul Saltzman is a two-time Emmy-award winning TV producer, film director, and accomplished humanitarian. In 2008, he wrote and directed the wonderful documentary Prom Night in Mississippi starring Morgan Freeman. But in 1968, Paul was a fresh-faced 24 year old traveling solo through India. And through a strange combination of heartbreak, good fortune, and sheer coincidence he found himself at an intimate meditation retreat with the biggest rock stars on the planet. In today’s episode of...


Ep. 10: Wheeler Walker Jr. talks Drinking, Twitter Wars, and the Sorry State of Modern Country Music

This episode contains what some would call offensive language, and mature subject matter. So if there are small children within earshot, or you don’t want to hear some serious profanity, it's probably best for you to skip this one. Wheeler Walker Jr. is the alter-ego of American comedy writer and performer Ben Hoffman (The Ben Show, Comedy Central), who recently released his first album, Redneck Shit. Incredibly, the self-released Redneck Shit,which Wheeler describes as his "fuck you"...


Ep. 9: Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Exploring the History of Salsa Dancing with Juliet McMains

My guest today is an award-winning dancer, dance scholar, and one of the world’s leading experts on the history of salsa dancing. Juliet McMains has a PhD in Dance Theory and History from the University of California at Riverside, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Dance Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. As a salsa teacher, Juliet incorporates history lessons into her technique classes, educating students about the history of salsa music and dance, tracing...


Ep. 8: Vagabonding: Rolf Potts on the Geto Boys, ‘Letting the Battery Die,’ and Twenty Years of World Travel

My guest today has traveled longer, and further, than just about anyone else I know. Over the past twenty+ years, Rolf Potts has covered the better part of the planet in his travels. He is perhaps best known as the author of Vagabonding, a book that remains just as widely read and influential among long-term travellers today as it was when it was published thirteen years ago. Vagabonding mixes practical advice with philosophical insights about the value of travel, and it was, as it was for...


Ep. 7: “Sound and Vision”: Remembering David Bowie, Song by Song, with Author Chris O’Leary

When David Bowie died earlierthis year at the age of 69, he left behind one of the most diverse, interesting, and impressive bodies of work in the history of popular music. In his lifetime, the English musician released 27 studio albums, 6 extended plays, and 121 singles. When considering this vast discography, it seems it would take a lifetime to sort through, analyze, and assess the critical value and cultural importance of each and every David Bowie song. But that’s exactly the...


Ep. 6: Beyond War and Terror: John Baily on the Music of Afghanistan, and 50 Years of World Travel

When you hear the word 'Afghanistan,' you probably don’t think of a vibrant and important music tradition. But if world travel has taught me anything, it is to look beyond our TV-news-enforced myopic view of the world, get beyond the headlines, and find out what’s underneath. Unsurprisingly, what we often find on the ground in countries like Afghanistan is very, very different from what we find on the nightly news. Today’s episode of Travels in Music is about looking beyond the headlines,...


Ep. 5. On the Road with Stevie Wonder: Jasmin Cruz talks Singing, Touring, and Chasing A Dream

My guest today is a backing singer for one of the most influential and important artists of our time. Jasmin Cruz has been singing with r n’ b titan Stevie Wonder for the past several years, touring on multiple continents and selling out arenas, festivals, and auditoriums in cities all over the world. Through popular documentaries likeStanding in the Shadows of Motown, and Twenty Feet from Stardom, only now is the general public finally starting to recognize the crucial contribution of...


Ep. 4: What Made Frank Sinatra Great? Explaining (And Celebrating) New Jersey’s Favourite Son with Chuck Granata

My guest today is a Frank Sinatra expert with a capital “E.” Chuck Granata is an author, archivist, record and radio producer as well the occasional co-host of Nancy Sinatra’s Sirius satellite radio program “Nancy for Frank.” Chuck has spent much of the past fifteen years studying and preserving Frank Sinatra’s recorded legacy, and is the author of Sessions with Sinatra: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording. In today’s episode of Travels in Music we discuss the centennial of Sinatra’s...