Episode 133 of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media Network, features an interview with Peter Rowan. JamBase’s Nate Todd spoke with the bluegrass legend about his recently released album, Calling You From My Mountain, and much more.
The interview with Peter Rowan took place at the 2022 High Sierra Music Festival. Peter was fresh on the heels of performing Old & In The Way with Railroad Earth. Rowan discussed what it was like sharing the beloved collection of songs — just a few days ahead of his 80th birthday — featuring many of his classic tunes including “Midnight Moonlight,” “Panama Red” and “Land Of The Navajo” as well as how the Old & In The Way collaboration with RRE came about.
Peter also spoke in-depth about his fantastic new album, Calling You From My Mountain, much of which he recorded with his ace band in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. Rowan touched on how the album evolved from a tribute to Hanks Williams Sings Luke The Drifter to an LP colored by the pandemic as well as other current events affecting the world today. The title track, “From My Mountain (Calling You),” inspired by his friendship with Tibetan singer-songwriter Yungchen Lhamo, served as a starting point for the new set of songs as well as a metaphor for the isolation of the pandemic but also a new form of connectedness that arose from it.
“From My Mountain (Calling You)” features Molly Tuttle and Lindsay Lou. Peter spoke about how the singers helped to craft the song’s gorgeous vocal arrangement. Additionally, Rowan talked working with guitarist Billy Strings on two of the album’s tracks, “A Winning Hand” and “Freedom Trilogy,” as well as a new guitar Billy used on the record which shared a connection with Peter’s Old & In The Way bandmate Jerry Garcia.
Rowan also gave a rundown of some of his upcoming performances as well as how the new material is fitting into his live sets. The conversation concludes with Peter detailing a song on the album, “The Red, The White And The Blue,” which carries an anti-war message, and how it relates to its companion song “Light At The End Of The World.”
This episode is sponsored by Grateful Fred. Grateful Fred specializes in high-quality chrome car badges that incorporate designs like the 13-point bolt, the stealie, bears and numerous other classic Grateful Dead designs. Check out a wide array of designs and find the full Grateful Fred collection at Grateful-Fred.com.