Saro Lynch -Thomason and Sam Gleaves discuss their new release of Si Kahn’s songs, “I Have Known Women”.


The music of Si Kahn is well known. He has also worked for over 45 years as a civil rights, labor and community organizer. This background informs his songwriting for than 20 albums including the latest release by my guests, Saro Lynch Thomason and Sam Gleaves. The album, “I Have Known Women”, contains¬† thirteen songs by Si Kahn, many never before released.

Saro is a ballad singer, folklorist, illustrator, author and social activist from Asheville, NC. Her talent was noticed by Si Kahn was said,”During the course of my more than 50 years as a civil rights, labor and community organizer and musician in Appalachia and the South, I have had the privilege of working with and getting to know some truly amazing artists, activists, and scholars. As extraordinary as so many of them are, few are as impressive in all three areas as Saro Lynch-Thomason.”

Sam Gleaves was born and raised in Wytheville Va. where he began playing as a teenager. Rooted in appalachian traditional music, Sam’s songwriting adds stories about contemporary rural life and social justice issues. Sam’s “Ain’t We Brothers” 2015 release has long been a Nine Volt Heart favorite.

Our conversation covers the work of Si Kahn, the decision of what songs would be included and the decision to focus on the perspective of womens rights. The centennial of the 19th Amendment upon us gives these songs a topicality.

Our segment includes a number of songs from the new release including “Ten Thousand Miles Away”, “Conductor” and “No More No More”.

Sam’s music will be featured on the live stream called “Porch Pride” on 6/27 and 6/28 as part of the BluegrassPride Queer-Antine Festival as part of Bluegrass Pride.

Sam and Saro will be doing a live stream of this featured album on the Facebook Page of Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer on Wednesday 6/10.

Abe Loomis shares his “most productive” songwriting project.


Abe Loomis is back in Conway Massachusetts during our national pandemic. But he’s making the most of his time with a new songwriting goal; a new song every week. Abe has created a “Patreon” platform to share this musical outpouring with his fans. Every Wednesday he posted a newly minted song on this crowd supported platform. On today’s Nine Volt Heart radio program, we listen to two brand new songs (“Last Bar on Earth” and”Don’t You Let Go”) a as well as songs from Abe’s 2017 release, “The Hoosac Line”(“Franklin County” and “Crow Crow”). The segment opens with “Refugees Are Welcome Here”, which Abe released as a single after “Hoosac Line’s” debut. The segment finishes with an in-studio performance along with Jim Henry of Abe’s ode to Conway, “Johnny Bean Brook”.

We talk about his Patreon project, his return from NYC, his song writing process and, of course, the songs. Listen in.

Nate Lee flies on the “Wings of a Jetliner”



Nate Lee soars on the mandolin. His fingers take flight in every tune he plays. His latest effort, “Wings of a Jetliner” features an all star cast from Tennessee including members of the award winning Becky Buller Band, Wyatt Rice (Tony Rice Unit), Todd Phillips (Far too many collaborators to mention) and Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (from Mile Twelve). Produced by Dan Boner from the esteemed E.T.S.U music program, Nate Lee sings, plays fiddle, banjo and mandolin.

Our conversation covers some of his biographical information, his early influences, his teaching and practice regimen, as well as the tunes from this upcoming release.

The segment includes “Chinqaupin Hunting” from Nate’s first solo EP, the latest from Becky Buller, “The Barber’s Fiddle”, and the first single from Jetliner called “Love Medicine”. Our interview finishes with Nate introducing his latest single, “Serenity”.


Harrow Fair document the “Sins We Made”.


The Toronto based duo, Harrow Fair, were my guests on Nine Volt Heart to help celebrate the release of their newest “Sins We Made”. Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner spent some time discussing the songs on this CD and their plans during quarantining. The segment covers some their biographical information (They’ve been part of Sunparlour Players, Great Lake Swimmers, and Belle Starr), their unique name (Ontario’s longest running agricultural fair), as well as the Folk Festival Miranda has served as Artistic Director for (Muskoka Music Fest). We also cover their collaborative songwriting style and their signature cocktail!

The segment includes five songs from their recent catalog; “Shiloh”, “Till the Levee Breaks”, “Sins We Made”, “Seat at the Table” and “Rules of Engagement”.

More “In Her Words”; Conversation with Women Musicians for”Women’s Herstory Month”.

The final edition of “In Her Words” aired over two hours last night. I cobbled together some short interviews and insights by some of my favorite Women artists. The first hour includes Kaia Kater, Allison DeGroot with Tatiana Hargreaves, Laurie Lewis and Amanda Ann Platt. The second hour features Kate Lorenz, Liz Frame, Letitia VanSant, Pamela Means, Nora Jane Struthers and Christa Joy. Each artist introduces a song or two; most of them speak to some element of Women’s Herstory in their songwriting.

“In Her Words”; a Womens “Herstory” tribute.

In honor of Women’s Herstory Month, Nine Volt Heart has compiled some of our favorite women artists to feature. In the last few years, I’ve spoken with nearly one hundred women song writers, singers and pickers. In this episode, I’ve culled a few interviews from Amythyst Kiah, Heather Maloney, Emma June, Lindsay Lou, Maya DeVitry, and Dori Freeman. These segments include song introductions and inspirations “in Her Words”.


Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen bring their fiery gumbo to the Parlor Room 3/4.


Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen’s latest album, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat” was nominated for Best Bluegrass album by the Grammy Awards. His mandolin playing earned him nods by the IBMA and his band won “Best Instrumental Group” from the International Bluegrass Music Association as well.¬† My segment with Frank covers a lot of his musical and personal biography from Alaska to playing in the US Navy band. We talk about his highly accomplished band, Dirty Kitchen and his love of cooking. Along the way we listen to three songs he recorded; the Box Top’s “The Letter”, Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” and an original from his latest called “Crave”

Nora Jane Struthers “Wants It All”. Parlor Room show on 3/7


Nora Jane Struthers has just released a brand new release called “Bright Lights Long Drives First Words” which documents her brand new dilemma. Nora Jane and band mate and husband Joe Overton have a one year old daughter. While this journey has been long desired, these new songs speak of the potential conflicts of both being a new mom and a touring musician. We talk about these issues and much more in this segment. It also includes the songs, “Nice to be Back Home”, “Band Family” and “A Good Thing” from her latest two releases. She will be appearing at Northampton’s Parlor Room on 3/7th.

Corey Laitman talks songwriting and “Seafoam”;Nine Volt Heart in-studio performance.


Corey Laitman was my guest on Nine Volt Heart on 2/15/20. They are a recipient of 2018 Passim Iguana Fund to help fund their latest project. The songs on their latest release are “lush, compelling and deeply human”We talked quite a bit about songwriting and poetry focusing on their latest release called “Seafoam”released in 2018.

Our set of music included “Marching Band” from Seafoam, a live in-studio version of “Carnival”, “The Well” from the latest release, a gorgeous version of “Tuscon” live. The CD version of “Barn Owl” is followed by a new song on ukele called “Soft as the Mouths”.

Corey is curating a series of live shows at Northampton’s Majestic called “Shut Up and Listen to the Music”; the next one happening on 2/20¬† along with Sister Jawbone and Julie Cira and the Wake. Corey also appears at Greenfield’s Root Cellar on 2/22,and Cambridge’s Club Passim on 2/25.

Dominick Leslie of Hawktail visits Nine Volt Heart;


Dominick Leslie is one of the bright young mandolinists of his generation. Selected to be one of the Young American Mandolin Ensemble representing in France, Dominick has studied with the very best. David Grisman, Sam Bush, Chris Thile, Andy Statman, Mike Compton and countless others have made him one of the “go to” mando played for many a spontaneous ensemble. Last summer’s Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots festival included Dom in their all star “Strength in Numbers” tribute, for example. Dominick is a highly sought-after collaborator as evidenced by his numerous side projects including Sam Reider and His Human Hands, Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers, The Bee Eaters, Missy Raines and the New Hip, Grant Gordy Quartet, and The Deadly Gentlemen.

This month he’s touring with the fabulous instrumental quartet, Hawktail. The band also includes Brittany Haas on fiddle, Paul Kowert on bass and Jordan Tice on guitar. They will be appearing at The Academy of Music’s Back Porch Festival on Saturday 2/29 as part of the bluegrass bill with the Travelin McCoury’s and Della Mae. Hawktail will also be performing a Parlor Session on Sunday 3/1 at Northampton’s Parlor Room.

Our interview includes a trio of tunes from the recently released album “Formations” including Annbjorg,Dandelion and Last One on the Line.