Season 2, Episode 6: Fruit Bats’ Eric D. Johnson

Season Two of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media network, continues with the return of Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats. JamBase’s Andy Kahn interviewed Johnson about the excellent new Fruit Bats album, A River Running To Your Heart. The chat also included Johnson, who previously appeared on the podcast in 2019 and 2021, relaying the story of the time he performed his “Worst Show Ever.”

Fruit Bats’ album, A River Running To Your Heart, came out last week on Merge Records. The LP is the 10th Fruit Bats album released by Johnson, who is credited with producing the album along with engineer Jeremy Harris. Johnson talked about taking the reigns and self-producing the album, which was technically a first for him, and how that influenced the recording sessions.

The interview touched on the album’s recurring themes of space and place, and how the influence of geography repeatedly surfaced throughout the album. Johnson was preparing to set out on tour with Fruit Bats, and he dug into his approach for translating what he does in the studio to the live stage.

The chat ended with a “Worst Show Ever” segment. Johnson recalled a Fruit Bats performance in Seattle in the mid-2000s that was particularly painful to get through. An utterly indifferent audience of record store employees, Thai fusion food being served for dinner, and the Postal Service receiving a Gold Record were just a few of the circumstances that led to it being his Worst Show Ever. Be sure to stick around to the end to hear that wild memory.

This episode is sponsored by DelFest. Taking place Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 – 28, and hosted by Del McCoury and family, the 15th annual DelFest welcomes to the stage the Del McCoury Band, the Travelin’ McCourys, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Trampled by Turtles, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, The California Honeydrops, Sierra Ferrell, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway, and so many more musical acts playing around the clock for nearly four days. Grab your tickets today!

This episode is also sponsored by 2023 destination vacation events Moon Crush “Pink Moon”, Brandi Carlile’s Mothership Weekend and Moon Crush “Blue Moon”. Event producers Topeka Live connect you with your favorite artists and people through meaningful shared music experiences in Miramar Beach, Florida. Moon Crush “Pink Moon” (April 20 – 23) features The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell and more; Brandi Carlile’s Mothership Weekend (May 12 -14) features Brandi Carlile, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, and others; while Moon Crush “Blue Moon” (September 1 – 3) features Ben Rector, NEEDTOBREATHE and more. Visit for details and to purchase tickets to Moon Crush Pink Moon, Mothership Weekend and Moon Crush Blue Moon.

Listen to the new episode of The JamBase Podcast via all major podcast services including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Podcast.