Deep Dive: An AllMusicBooks Podcast
Episode 28: “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968″ with Ryan Walsh

Episode 28: “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968″ with Ryan Walsh

May 26, 2020

Take a trip back in time, as Van Morrison arrives in Boston to begin writing what would become his masterpiece, "Astral Weeks." Author Ryan Walsh joins us to unearth the album's fascinating backstory — along with the untold secrets of the time and place that birthed it.

Walsh paints an incredible picture that includes Peter Wolf (of the J. Geils Band), the "Bosstown" sound, Jonathan Richman, the Velvet Underground, and James Brown. Join us for a look into this unique history of 1968 Boston.

Episode 27: “Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music” with Greg Renoff

Episode 27: “Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music” with Greg Renoff

May 12, 2020

Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer's Life in Music takes us into the studio during the recording sessions for some of the most talented and successful artists in rock music history, including Van Morrison, The Doobie Brothers, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Little Feat, Sammy Hagar, and Van Halen.

Author Greg Renoff recounts Ted's memories and the behind-the-scenes dramas and reveals the inner workings of Ted's professional and personal relationships with some of the most talented and successful artists in rock music history.

Episode 26: “Be STIFF: The Stiff Records Story” with Richard Balls

Episode 26: “Be STIFF: The Stiff Records Story” with Richard Balls

April 28, 2020

STIFF Records was a maverick of an independent label. Founded by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera, their motto was "If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a F*ck!" One word sums up why Stiff Records came into being: frustration. Their brash and humorous takes artwork, marketing, and the music itself changed the industry.

While Stiff tongue-in-cheek called itself "the undertakers to the industry," they would bring the world Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Nick Lowe and Madness, among many others. Author Richard Balls takes us through the story of one of the most unique and influential labels in the history of music.

SEASON 2: Episode 25: “D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’” with Faith Pennick

SEASON 2: Episode 25: “D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’” with Faith Pennick

April 14, 2020

In our second season opener, author Faith Pennick takes on D'Angelo's epic album Voodoo where the singer puts his own pleasures and insecurities up front. However, the sonic expansiveness of Voodoo proved too nebulous for airplay and was nearly overshadowed by a four-minute music video featuring D'Angelo's sweat-glistened six-pack abs. 

Ms. Pennick takes us deep inside the sessions, the band, the late-night listening parties and what it was about D'Angelo that "almost made black women in particular and women in general, collectively pass out."

A Look Back, A Look Forward

A Look Back, A Look Forward

March 31, 2020

Host SteveJ and engineer Steve Folsom fill listeners in on who they are and what they've done in past lives. This episode also expounds on AllMusicBooks.com and the creation of that website, as well as the story behind the "Deep Dive" podcast, with a little help from some of our guests.

A Brief Pause…

A Brief Pause…

March 17, 2020

Things have changed. Quickly. Everyone will adapt. Here's where the AllMusicBooks podcast "DEEP DIVE" is at this moment...all good, and we hope you all are as well...

Episode 24: “Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South” with Charles L. Hughes

Episode 24: “Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South” with Charles L. Hughes

March 3, 2020

In the 1960s and 1970s, nothing symbolized the rift between black and white America better than the seemingly divided genres of country and soul music. In the legendary studios of the "country triangle" — Memphis, Nashville, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama — integrated groups of musicians like Booker T & the MGs and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section produced music that both challenged and reconfirmed racial divisions in the United States.

Author Charles L. Hughes tells us how this country-soul triangle gave birth to new ways of thinking about music, race, labor, and the South in this pivotal period. Artists from Aretha Franklin to Willie Nelson to the Allman Brothers became crucial contributors to the era's popular music and American racial politics during the turbulent years of civil rights protests, Black Power and white backlash.

Episode 23: “The Modern Lovers” with Sean L. Maloney

Episode 23: “The Modern Lovers” with Sean L. Maloney

February 18, 2020

The Modern Lovers is the essential document of American alienation, an escape route from the cultural wasteland of postwar suburbia. But The Modern Lovers was never meant to be an album; it is a collection of demos, recorded in fits and starts as Jonathan Richman and his band negotiate modernity and the music industry

Sean L. Maloney talks with us about one of punk rock's foundational documents, the archetype for indie obsession, and why Pablo Picasso just might have been called an asshole. All but disowned by its author, The Modern Lovers was an album doomed by its own coolness from day one. Hear why...

Episode 22: “Ellington In The White House” and “The Best Gig In Town” with Edward Allan Faine

Episode 22: “Ellington In The White House” and “The Best Gig In Town” with Edward Allan Faine

February 4, 2020

In his two books on jazz at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, author Edward Allan Faine pulls back the curtain on the Nixon White House. Was Tricky Dick really a jazz fan? After all, he did give Duke Ellington the Medal of Freedom in 1969. And wait 'til you hear who was in the band, and who played the “after-party.” As always in politics, there’s a backstory and Faine fills us in on the behind-the-scene machinations in "Ellington At The White House."

In his second book “The Best Gig In Town,” Faine focuses on the thirteen additional jazz-related performances Nixon would hold between 1969 and 1974. Hear the inside accounts of why Sinatra almost got canceled, and who that was playing piano behind some of Pearl Bailey’s set. Did Peggy Lee perform "Fever" at the White House? We’ll also touch on some of the more recent presidents and their bands of choice for “the best gig in town!”

Episode 21: “Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan” with Alan Paul

Episode 21: “Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan” with Alan Paul

January 21, 2020

Just a few years after he almost died from a severe addiction to cocaine and alcohol, a clean and sober Stevie Ray Vaughan was riding high. His last album was his most critically lauded and commercially successful. He had fulfilled a lifelong dream by collaborating with his first and greatest musical hero, his brother Jimmie. His tumultuous marriage was over and he was in a new and healthy romantic relationship. Vaughan seemed poised for a new, limitless chapter of his life and career.

Instead, it all came to a shocking and sudden end on August 27, 1990, when he was killed in a helicopter crash following a dynamic performance with Eric Clapton. Author Alan Paul gives us the unadulterated truth about legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.