Twirl Radio #839 – Pepe Espada

After ten years at a National Public Radio station in Chicago, Mike Lidskin returned to California in 1997 and created Twirl Radio, a weekly two hour radio program which features the finest independent music and artists from the rock era. Mike’s on a mission to not “just spin rock music, but to educate listeners about this vital art form.” Indeed, he doesn’t just announce the songs, but gives histories about some of the artists, the albums, and the songs themselves.

You can catch Twirl live each Saturday afternoon, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM PST on Sacramento’s Voice, KUBU 96.5 FM, and archived right here, as well as at If you haven’t headed into your Saturday night with an earful of Twirl, you’re doing it wrong!

Artist | Track | Album
Chris Church | Be My Nuisance | Limitations Of Source Tape
Translator | Everywhere That I’m Not | Translation
Duncan Faure | Very Truly Yours | Single release
Daniel Trigger | Days Gone By | Right Turn
Maxi Dunn | Everything | Edmund & Leo
Steve Rosenbaum | Get The Hell Out Of My Lane | Big Stir IPO Sampler 2018
Lisa Mychols | Endless Daydream | Sugar

Pepe Espada interview
Banjo Bones | Dangerous Game | Ghostly Musings From The Delta
Pepe Espada | Picking Up The Slack | Live in studio
Banjo Bones | Tale Of An Outcast | Ghostly Musings From The Delta
Tom Waits | Gun Street Girl | Single release
Chris Whitley | Kick Them Stones | Single release
Beck | Farewell Ride | Single release
Pepe Espada | The Sermon | Live in studio
Banjo Bones | Rabbit Hole | Ghostly Musings From The Delta

Big Red Ants | Where I Wanna Be | Big Red Ants
Sunshine Boys | Glider Pilot | Blue Music
The Imperial Sound | I Feel Strange | The New AM
Lannie Flowers | Good | Single release
Elk City | Sparrow | Everybody’s Insecure
Wilkerson | Let It Go Tonight | Wilkerson
Poplord | Kill Me | The Fowl Tone Sampler

Today’s show was a fun one. Pepe Espada, of Sacramento’s own Banjo Bones, returned to the Twirl studios, and spent a full hour with me on the air. He’s about to release the fourth Banjo Bones album, “Ghostly Musings from the Delta”, and it is a fine record–perhaps his finest to date. Stellar songwriting–bleak subject matter juxtaposed with sometimes upbeat melodies, a great vocal performance, against the backdrop of a National Resonator steel guitar–make for a good, thoughtful listen.

Banjo Bones’ tagline is “The Dark Side of Americana” but don’t think that’s the only thing they’re known for. Pepe’s earliest influences include rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock. Influences included Chris Whitley, Tom Waits, and Beck. And while not a blues artist, much of this record owes a debt to the early bluesmen–and that beautiful Resonator guitar kind of reinforces this.

The album has a release date of Thursday, August 30th–with a release show at Sacramento’s Blue Lamp music venue. The live band is tight and professional, and they really make the songs come to life. I hope to see you there. More info at


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