Over the past few years, there has been a surge of podcasts created for and by music lovers. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of podcasting has exploded, allowing almost anyone to easily share their thoughts or discoveries with listeners. Podcasts serve as a new platform for artists to share their stories and music with fans. There are an array of incredible podcast series that give listeners new context to old favorites, introduce lesser-known artists to a new audience, and allow singer-songwriters to share open and honest conversations in a brand new way.
From shows that explore the lesser-known history of country music, to others that profile artists and explore issues like equity and representation in music, there’s an ample amount of podcasts to tune into from artists, members of the media and other folks at various levels of the industry. If you haven't tuned into many music-centeric podcasts and aren't sure where to start, or even if you just want to take a listen to something new, we've complied a list of series that has a little something for every type of country fan.
Here are The Boot's 11 favorite country music and Americana podcasts that you should hear right now:
Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music
Host Tyler Mahan Coe, son of outlaw country singer David Allan Coe, digs into the (mostly) untold history and lore of country music in the 20th century on Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music, a podcast he first launched in the fall of 2017.
Featuring only Coe’s narration rather than guest interviews, the host takes deep dives into everything from contraceptive laws in the USA and the inequality of morality between women and men in country music through the lens of Loretta Lynn’s “The Pill” to the trials and tribulations of George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
Hippies & Cowboys Podcast
Iowa native Mike Hart, Canadian Garret McKie and Kentuckian Jonathan Oost — better known as Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Meme — joke around and take deep dives into artists’ music and life journeys on the Hippies & Cowboys Podcast. Named after the Cody Jinks song of the same name, the bi-monthly podcast’s recent guests have included Ian Noe, Leah Blevins, Jody Whelan of Oh Boy Records and Sierra Ferrell, among others.
Brought to life by long-time public radio personality Cindy Howes and singer-songwriter Lizzie No, Basic Folk presents thought-provoking conversation about humanity from a creative perspective while showcasing a genre too often misunderstood. Past guests include Brent Cobb, Joy Oladokun, Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats and Miko Marks.
Jrodconcerts: The Podcast
Jamie Rodriguez, a Nashville-based music journalist and former Y-100 radio personality in Miami, hosts Jrodconcerts: The Podcast. On the show he talks with working musicians on all rungs of the Nashville music ladder in addition to covering some of the country’s biggest festivals including SXSW, Bonnaroo, Floydfest and Railbird, among others. Recent guests on the show range from The Infamous Stringdusters’ Chris Pandolfi to Erin Rae, Emily Scott Robinson and Morgan Wade.
Call & Response is a podcast from Nashville-based musician Adia Victoria that explores the musical lineage of her guests and herself along with current work and other issues present in the music industry. Guests on the show include Brandi Carlile, Tré Burt, Jason Isbell, Margo Price and Rhiannon Giddens.
A fairly new podcast launched last fall, The Recovering Catholic with Nashville-based musician and active member of the LGBTQ community, Katie Pruitt, is a podcast that discusses faith, creativity, artistic expression, and identity with a variety of musicians, comedians and more. Previous guests on the show include Julien Baker, Jaime Wyatt and Leslie Jordan.
West Texas-based music journalist Thomas Mooney has been hosting New Slang since 2016. The podcast features longform discussions with Americana, country, folk, and rock artists from his native Lonestar State and beyond about influences, songwriting and other facets of each guest’s life. Artists who’ve joined him on the show consist of Joshua Ray Walker, Jesse Daniel, Joe Ely and Zach Bryan.
Nashville soul spinner Maggie Rose hosts conversations with her female musical heroes on Salute the Songbird, a podcast created in late 2020. In addition to exploring the significance of each guest on her own music, Rose also picks their brains about life both in and out of music as well. Past guests include Jade Bird, Amanda Shires, Yola and Brittney Spencer.
W.B. Walker’s Old Soul Radio Show
Based in the hollers of Dingess, West Virginia, W.B. Walker has used his Old Soul Radio Show to highlight the music of artists from his beloved Appalachia and beyond for nearly a decade. With over 300 episodes to date (and counting), the bi-monthly podcast was an early champion of Tyler Childers, Colter Wall and others prior to them becoming household names. The program is formatted like a radio show, with Walker acting as DJ and occasionally introducing guests to perform live with short interviews interspersed. Recent featured music includes Cole Chaney, Cody Lee Meece and Kadie Meadows.
Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett hosts Walking the Floor, a podcast where he sits down with various musicians, writers, athletes, and artists of other sorts to discuss their creative inspirations, struggles, successes and more. Previous guests on the show range from Dwight Yoakam to Brad Paisley, Sturgill Simpson, S.G. Goodman and Devon Gilfillian.
Hosted by Nashville songwriters India Ramey and Will Payne Harrison, Americana Station has featured Charles Wesley Godwin, Mercy Bell, Great Peacock, Adeem the Artist and Eric Bolander.