Hubby Jenkins sings the Blues with Nine Volt Heart.


Greenfield’s Hawks and Reed Performance Center will be transformed to the house of  blues next Saturday 11/17. Hubby Jenkins’ love of old time music including gospel, stringband bluegrass and especially, country blues will delight fans of these under-represented roots genres. Hubby Jenkins was my guest on Nine Volt Heart in a delightful and insightful conversation that ranged from his time busking in NYC subways to playing the Grand Old Opry with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. We talked about his blues heroes and meeting Bob Dylan. Along the way, we listened to a half dozen songs from both his Carolina Chocolate Drops work to his recent solo release. Do yourself a musical favor, get a pair of tickets to see Hubby perform; it’s an informative, engaging and humorous show focused on the acoustic blues. Here’s the audio of our conversation:

Liz Frame ” kicks” off her Parlor Room show with a visit with Nine Volt Heart.


Liz Frame and the Kickers hail from Newburyport, Massachusetts where they’ve been playing a rockin’ soulful Americana for years. Liz is a very powerful songwriter I compare with Mary Gauthier and Lucinda Williams. She crafts songs with vivid imagery and sings them in her strong voice more rock than folk. We feature songs from their latest release, Sparrow in a Shoebox. Her band will play the Parlor Room Friday November 9 in support of Ward Hayden and the Outliers.

I’ve included our interview with a handful of songs including; “What you gonna do When I Go”, “Sparrow in a Shoebox”, “Little Brown House” and “Ungrateful Girl”. I also include Ward Hayden’s “Wine Went Bad” from Guns, Girls and Glory’s Love and Protest.

Lexi Weege and the Wonder Twins showcase new tunes on Nine Volt Heart.


Lexi Weege along with bandmates AJ and Tom DelNegro joined me on-air yesterday for the first hour of Nine Volt Heart. The band is currently working towards a new release through a KickStarter Campaign to help fund the effort. There are currently less than two weeks left to support this worthy cause. Here’s the link,

We were lucky to hear a number of new tunes as well as from their previous release, Marigold. The tunes played were;”Always”, “Good Loving Man”, Greg Hall’s “Mountain Glow”, “Birds in the Sky”, “Ohio”, “Green Eyes” and “Sourpuss”.44896652_2595397780478018_3802105127175716864_o

Here’s the link to the audio of the segment with Lexi Weege and the Wondertwins,:


Frank Solivan cooks up a tasty treat for Hawks and Reed.

IMG_3338Frank Solivan’s band, Dirty Kitchen, is a reference to Frank’s passion for cooking. This Kitchen cooks up a lively gumbo of progressive bluegrass mixed with eclectic covers of pop songs. The band won 2014’s IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year and nominated the next year for a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. All the players have received numerous individual awards which creates a tour de force band. They will make their only area appearance at Greenfield’s Hawks and Reed on October 20.

My conversation with Frank on Nine Volt Heart covers a lot of topics including Frank’s time with the US Navy band, Country Currents, as well as his latest album called “Family Friends and Heroes”. The release was conceived as a tribute to Frank’s mother, Lorene. While her death prevented this concept from being completed, the songs are some of her favorites and the disc includes numerous family members.

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen will be releasing a new album on Compass Records in February 2019. Expect a little of everything in this show from creative covers to acoustic jams. All band members can sing and play in many genres. The live show is enthusiastic and passionate. The Pioneer Valley’s Salvation Alley String band opens the show. Check out our chat along with a trio of songs on the audio clip below:




Jim Henry plays a rare acoustic solo show on Nine Volt Heart.


Multi-talented musician Jim Henry specializes in being a “hired gun” for some of the best in the business. He’s added color and nuance to the music of luminaries like Mary Chapin Carpenter, Paula Cole, Eliza Gilkyson, The Box Car Lilies as well as local heroes Abe Loomis and Eric Lee. He’s an in-demand engineer and producer as well. But this week he’s my guest in a completely different role; solo acoustic folk singer. He has a few local shows to help promote and it was my pleasure to welcome him back to Nine Volt Heart to play and sing a few of his original songs live in-studio.

We open the set with an instrumental “Windy and Wet” from an early album, now out of print called “Jacksonville”. Jim performs a fun tribute to his son, Jackson, called “We Think We’ll Keep Him”. That is followed by ” Sound of the Whistle Blow” from the 1999 disc “The Wayback”. Jim follows this with a brand new song which is a cowrite of sorts with Abbie Gardner called “Since You’ve Been Gone”.

Since Ruby Henry, Jim’s daughter, is the opening act in his latest tour, we listened to her rendition of “Sugartown” with Jim on guitar. I convince Jim to do one more live and he gives a gorgeous nostalgic look at small town life called “The Wayback”.

Our discussion covers lots of ground; from his preparation as a “sideman for the stars” to his latest projects which include a book and a podcast called “Pro Tips” as well as raising musical kids. Jim and Ruby Henry play Northampton’s Parlor Room on October 7th at 7:00PM

Listen in to our set with this audio link:

Zak Trojano’s Got Heart! This singer-songwriter is celebrating his new album release 9/13 at the Parlor Room


Zak Trojano returns to Nine Volt Heart with an amazing new release to talk about. “Wolf Trees” is an ambitious song cycle with lots of reflections on our “modern world”. The songs have been written and arranged to tell the story beginning with “Kid’s Got Heart” which opens our segment with Zak. Before he is introduced I play a song he wrote for Rusty Belle bandmate, Kate Lorenz; it’s called “Red Dress Blues”. As Zak walks in the studio, he recognizes the song and breaks into a wide grin. We talk about how this latest album was recorded with David Goodrich and Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab Studios. It was such a relaxing atmosphere due to their extensive previous work together and the songs exude it. Comfort and calmness. Zak has brought his guitars and we’re treated to live versions of “My Room” and “99 Ways”. I also fit in another cut from “Wolf Trees” called “Nowhere Shuffle”.

Zak will be appearing locally at Northampton’s Parlor Room this Thursday 9/13. Check out the audio from a singer-songwriter who is really hitting his stride showcasing his warm baritone and amazing finger-style guitar work.


Izzy Heltai talks about Freshgrass 2018 on Nine Volt Heart.

My guest, Izzy Heltai, the friendly folkster who lived in North Adams while attending school there, is getting excited for his third straight appearance at Mass MocA’s Freshgrass festival this weekend September 14-15-16.

Izzy played three new tunes live in-studio; “Marching Song”, “Stuck in Stone” and “The Stranger You’ve Become”. We also played “Anyone to Anybody” from last year’s Sweet Apathy.

The remainder of the hour, we talked about and played our favorite artists who’ll be at this weekend event. Anna and Elizabeth will host a “FreshScore” to a silent film so we have a cut from them. Additionally, we listened to two Ricky Skaggs cuts in honor of his closing set on Sunday. We finish with Rhiannon Giddens’ “She’s Got You” and Darol Anger/Emy Phelp’s newest release of songs from the Sixties with their version of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin”