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Compiled By: Arna Zucker

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Beyond a Song (Series)

Produced by ISOAS Media

Most recent piece in this series:

Beyond a Song: Max Gomez (Part 2)

From ISOAS Media | Part of the Beyond a Song series | 01:00:00

Gomez2_prx_240x240_small MAX GOMEZ (Part 2) : PUBLISHED ON PRX  12 / 8  / 2017  
BEYOND A SONG
 originates in BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA   and is sponsored by:
  THE BLUEBIRD NIGHTCLUB   ,  AIRTIME RECORDING STUDIO   ,  AFRICA SASA  and
 VISIT BLOOMINGTON.COM  

Host Rich Reardin has a conversation with New Mexico singer/songwriter Max Gomez . Though still only in his twenties, Max Gomez has always had the heart of an old soul. As a child, the first songs he learned to sing were originally recorded in the 50s by Johnny Cash. As a teenage guitarist he adopted Big Bill Broonzy as his blues master. And as a budding performer, he apprenticed in the rarefied musical climate of northern New Mexico, where troubadours like Michael Martin Murphey and Ray Wylie Hubbard helped foster a folk and Western sound both cosmic and cowboy. You’ll find his hometown of Taos and nearby Red River right there between Colorado and Texas on both your sonic and Google maps. Splitting his childhood between there and a farm in the Flint Hills of Kansas, Gomez is at home in the heartland, too. 
The youngest of five brothers, by several years—“That’s why I got into ‘old’ music”—Gomez got a children’s guitar for Christmas when he was 10. The family moved from Santa Fe to Taos in the ’80s, and his father, Steve, became a furniture craftsman. “There’s a similarity between my dad’s work and mine,” says Gomez. “He really studied what he did; there were always a lot of books on old furniture in his studio.”
Gomez reports that growing up in Taos was “wild. It’s still the Wild West compared to any city or suburb. You can get away with just about anything there, and we were turned loose as kids.”
At 14, when Gomez performed at a benefit concert, he played “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down”—the down-and-out classic by future labelmate Kris Kristofferson. Soon thereafter he was playing at a late, lamented institution of a venue called the Old Blinking Light. “The school I went to was playing in that bar,” he says.  Country greats like Mentor Williams and Lynn Anderson frequented the place that led them to become fans of his music. 
Gomez moved to Los Angeles at 18 to pursue his music career and began writing songs and   performing around the city at many notable clubs. He wrote some songs with Shawn Mullins, who later recorded them. “That’s when I began taking it all a little more seriously and turned my music into a job,” says Gomez.  In his early twenties he began recording his own songs with producers in  New York, L.A., and  Nashville. His debut album, Rule the World, was released in 2013 by New West Records, home to the likes of John Hiatt, Buddy Miller, and Steve Earle. Soon after, Kiefer Sutherland directed the music video for the single “Run From You.”

Gomez grew up in a rich musical environment, but represents more than the sum of his influences—he’s got that ineffable and instantly recognizable x-factor called talent. Melodies that flow naturally. Trenchant lyrics that express wise-beyond-his-years observations on the ways of the heart. Laconic phrasing in a cafe mocha timbre, and guitar skills that can stand alone. In short: the whole package.
Judging by the company he keeps, Gomez is there positioned to emerge as a prominent voice of Americana’s next generation. Since the release of his debut album, Rule the World, in 2013, he’s shared billing on hundreds of stages with stalwarts of the genre like Shawn Mullins, James McMurtry, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Patty Griffin, and John Hiatt.
“I first saw Max perform when he was 17, about 10 years ago,” says songsmith and sideman extraordinaire Keith Sykes. “I sensed he had something even then. When I saw him last year, I was pleased to see, and hear, something has turned into it. Listen and you’ll see, and hear, what I mean. He’s among the best of his generation.”
Gomez’s career is being steered by the veteran A&R man Gary Briggs, who signed him to New West and has now assembled an industry A-team around him as the first signing of the newly formed Brigadoon Records. Neil Young’s managers Frank Gironda and Elliot Roberts are on board, and Frank Riley is handling booking.
Jim Scott—who’s worked with Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, and Lucinda Williams—produced Gomez’s new EP Me & Joe, which features Williams collaborator Doug Pettibone on guitar and Eric Clapton and Jackson Browne accompanist Greg Leisz on pedal steel. The soundscape is acoustic and warm, a comfort zone for Gomez’s buttery vocals. “Senseless Love” and “Make it Me” reflect on love lost and, perhaps, found, while “Sweet Cruel World” sounds like it could find its way onto a Taj Mahal album. “Rule the World (Reprise)” revisits and re-works the title song of his debut album, which—like the new “Make it Me”—has the ring of a neo-classic. The surprise tune here is “Joe,” written by Max’s musical compadre Jed Zimmerman. The song is sung from the point of view of a regretful character who compares cocaine to coffee and pain to cash in a powerful twist of emotion laid on a rich bed of steel guitar and swirling cellos. Gomez considers the track “lightning in a bottle. It took us 15 minutes to make that record. Jim Scott would always say, ‘You know how long it takes to make a hit record? Three minutes.’ ” 
“I asked Max to try the song and he nailed it,” says Briggs, the executive producer on the recording. “Max’s passion and pursuit for the perfectly written song has always inspired me. He’s always been a great singer and as a self-taught performer he’s been surrounded by headliners and learned from the best. He’s on the verge of finding his audience.”


Musical selections include:   Senseless Love, Cherry Red Wine, Black and White, Run From You, Joe, Make It Me, Season Of My Memory.

This program is "Evergreen" and not necessarily date specific.  

For more information, visit BEYOND  A SONG.COM

The Emotion Roadmap: Take the Wheel & Control How You Feel (Series)

Produced by Chuck Wolfe

Most recent piece in this series:

Controlling feelings can lead to improved self talk and help with unresolved issues

From Chuck Wolfe | Part of the The Emotion Roadmap: Take the Wheel & Control How You Feel series | 54:23

Women_recovering_from_surgery_small The Emotion Roadmap is an innovative approach to taking control over your feelings. In this show I talk with three people: Joan who is caring for her aging Mother with whom she has unresolved issues, Dave who shares the wisdom he learned from his Grandmother who was 104 when she passed away, and Jake who struggles with self-doubt and learns how changing what is going on inside his own head can help him to cope and to feel more confident.

A Way with Words (Series)

Produced by A Way with Words

Most recent piece in this series:

The Last Straw (#1486)

From A Way with Words | Part of the A Way with Words series | 54:00

Straw_small There's a word for the first person to walk through your door on New Year's Day. The word quaaltagh, and it's used on the Isle of Man. This Manx term is one of many linguistic delights in a book Martha recommends for word lovers: The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities: A Yearbook of Forgotten Words, by Paul Anthony Jones.

Why do we use the term air-conditioner to refer a mechanism for cooling air, when we use the word heater to describe a mechanism for heating air? The term air conditioning was borrowed from the textile industry, where it referred to filtering and dehumidifying. The first use of this term is in a 1909 paper by Stuart Cramer called Recent Developments in Air Conditioning.

Snuba is a portmanteau--a combination of snorkel and scuba--and refers to snorkeling several feet underwater while breathing through a long hose that's attached to an air supply float on a raft.

What do you call that last small irritation, burden, or annoyance that finally makes a situation untenable? Is it the last straw or the last draw? Hint: it has nothing to do with a shootout at the OK corral.

We've talked before about kids' funny misunderstandings of words. Martha shares another story from a Dallas, Texas, listener.
Quiz Guy John Chaneski has an inside-out puzzle that's clued by a short sequence of letters inside a longer one. For example, what holiday contains the letters KSGI?

A man in Surprise, Arizona, wonders why people jumping into a pool sometimes yell Geronimo! The history of this exclamation goes back to an eponymous 1939 movie about the famed Apache warrior Geronimo. The film was quickly popular on U.S. military bases, where the warrior's name became a rallying cry. A widely circulated story goes that in 1940, a U.S. Army private named Aubrey Eberhardt responded to teasing about his first parachute jump by yelling Geronimo! as he leapt into the wild blue yonder.

The acronym NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard. A more emphatic version used among urban planners is BANANA, which stands for Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

Someone who's really hungry might say I'm falling to staves, meaning they're famished. It's a reference to the way a barrel falls apart if the metal hoops that hold them together are removed.

A listener in Plaza, North Dakota, says he tried to signal some teenagers to lower their car window by moving his fist in a circle, but since they grew up with push-button window controls, they didn't understand the gesture. What's the best gesture now for communicating that you want someone to roll down their car window?

For the book lover on your gift list, Grant recommends the mix of magic in science in All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. He also likes the work of Firoozeh Dumas: It Ain't So Awful Falafel, about an Iranian teenage girl living in California, as well as Dumas's books for adults, Funny in Farsi, and Laughing Without An Accent. Martha recommends Kory Stamper's love letter to lexicography, Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, and Jessica Goodfellow's poetry collection about mountaineering, Whiteout.

A woman in Virginia Beach, Virginia, says her Appalachia-born grandmother would occasionally say that it was time to string the leather britches, or hang up the leather britches, or string up the leather britches. She was referring to preserving green beans. So why the leather and britches?

If you're living with a chronic illness or disability, you often have to ration your physical and mental energy. And if that illness isn't readily apparent to others, it can be hard to explain how debilitating that process can be. On her website But You don't Look Sick, writer Christine Miserandino, who has lupus, illustrates that process with handful of spoons, each representing a finite amount of physical and mental energy that must be spent in order to get through a typical day. Someone without a disability or illness starts each day with an unlimited number of spoons, while others must weigh which task is worth spending a spoon for, and then making more decisions as the supply is depleted. Inspired by that metaphor, a growing community of people facing such invisible challenges call themselves spoonies.

A listener in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, recalls that his grandfather used to announce he was headed to the restroom by saying I have to go see a man about a horse. An earlier version of the phrase is I have to go see a man about a dog. These phrase are among many euphemisms for leaving to take care of bathroom business, such as going to see Miss White or going to go pluck a rose.

A Burlington, Vermont, listener wants to settle a dispute: Can laughter be described as gregarious?

This episode is hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, and produced by Stefanie Levine.