Josh Crutchmer


After telling the story of the musicians who shaped his Oklahoma roots in his 2020 book Red Dirt, journalist and author Josh Crutchmer saw an opportunity to dig deeper into the artists that shaped independent roots music. His second book, The Motel Cowboy Show, is about the Americana music in the American West that began with cowboy poetry and lives on today in artists like Reckless Kelly, Micky and the Motorcars, and Ned LeDoux. A New York Times editor by day, Crutchmer also spent three years chronicling the return of the Turnpike Troubadours to the stage and studio for Rolling Stone, as well as the final concert for Robert Earl Keen.

In this episode, he joins Rhett to talk about the path that led him to writing, how he approaches his role as a storyteller, and the personal obstacle he uncovered while working on his latest book.

The Motel Cowboy Show and Red Dirt are available here.

Josh Crutchmer’s website

Follow Josh on IG @jscrutchmer

Rhett Miller website

Follow Rhett on IG @rhettmiller

Wheels Off is hosted and produced by Rhett Miller. Executive produced by Kirsten Cluthe. Editing by Matt Dwyer. Music by OLD 97’s. Episode artwork by Katherine Boils and Mark Dowd. Show logo by Tim Skirven. Distributed in partnership with Osiris Media. This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also ask Alexa to play it.  Revisit previous episodes of Wheels Off with guests Rosanne Cash, Rob Thomas, Jeff Tweedy, The Milk Carton Kids, and more. If you like what you hear, please leave us a rating or review.