Possibly it was all these piano classes. Or these years in marching band. Or my dependancy to VH1’s “Basic Album” sequence, with its many wonderful mixing-board moments. No matter it was, I’m now a sucker for a music-geek podcast, and “Sturdy Songs” has made a deep dive into my nerdy coronary heart.
Created, produced and hosted by Portland-based musician and author Kirk Hamilton,the unbiased, sponsor-free “Sturdy Songs” seems to be beneath the hood of nice pop, rock and soul tunes to see what makes them tick, cruise and roar. Whether or not it’s the buoyant magic behind Earth, Wind & Fireplace’s “September,” the cryptic pull of Wilco’s “Jesus, And so forth.,” or the enduring rhythms of drummer Bernard Purdie’s signature “Purdie Shuffle,” Hamilton analyzes every music, riff and chord change with a musician’s specificity and a fan’s pure, pie-eyed delight.
You may sometimes get misplaced within the musical-theory weeds, however cling tight. As soon as he will get that chord-progression mini-tutorial out of the best way, Hamilton could have you reveling in Verdine White’s bounding “September” bass strains, Kate Bush’s use of the fairy-princess celesta in “Wuthering Heights,” or the best way Joni Mitchell’s fluttering vocals and flickering melodies make “Assist Me” sound the best way falling in love feels.
And preserve an ear out for the blissful chuckle Hamilton unfurls when he has simply shared one thing actually particular. It’s a symphony.
“Sturdy Songs” is accessible on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or at strongsongspodcast.com