One of the nicest things about hosting, performing and touring with the Golden Hour is that I occasionally get to collaborate with great musicians. So, on this podcast I share with you one of my favourites – Jed Milroy and I performing Bluegrass. In the podcast I explain a bit about where the poem comes from but here are some more interesting facts.

* I recorded the vocal part sitting in Jed Milroy’s loo.

* I never lived with anyone named Tuna. The name is an oblique reference to the horrendous Johnny Depp film, Blow. At some point the overweight character named Tuna wanders into the ocean as a solemn Johnny Depp says, “Nobody knows where Tuna went” or something like that. At the time, we found it very funny and it managed to sneak into the poem.

* The poem wouldn’t have been written if I didn’t live with an amazing bunch of people in a huge house in Ithaca during the Summer of 2001. This experiment in communal living was revolutionary but not in the naive way we all expected. Hammocks and skinny-dipping in waterfalls, table football, music and artistic endeavours were all around us. Living closely with a dozen artists and activists changed my life and, in a way, has guided me to this day. We made some mistakes, and we were young enough to believe we could change the world in some way. Then 9/11 happened, the house broke up and the world really did change. This is what we looked like:


* The poem wouldn’t have been written if Jed Milroy, Jack Richold, Andy McKay, and Ian Stoddart didn’t play magnificent bluegrass music every week for a while at The Jazz Bar on Chambers Street. Hearing songs like Wagon Wheel and Loudon Wainwright’s Swimming Song brought me back to America and returned me to the friends I lived with. Thank you Greenman Bluegrass Boys!

Anyway, that’s all a lot of preamble. Here’s the blurb from the SPL site. Let us know how you enjoy the podcast.

Emily Ballou & Bluegrass

“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain…”

Ryan catches up with American/Australian poet Emily Ballou just before her event at the SPL. They discuss what it’s like to be a poet abroad, the influences on her work and her recent collection, The Darwin Poems. We’re also treated to ‘Bluegrass’, a poem by Ryan, with musical accompaniment by Jed Milroy.

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And here is the surreal world of Aaron’s Magic Pants!