loader from loading.io

Episode 160: Ben Dickey

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Release Date: 12/20/2019

Episode 176: Heath Carpenter show art Episode 176: Heath Carpenter

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Heath Carpenter, a professor of English at Harding University in Arkansas, is the author of The Philosopher King: T. Bone Burnett and the Ethic of a Southern Cultural Renaissance (2019). He is also a native Arkansan, who is friends with previous podcast guest Bonnie Montgomery (featured in his book). Heath has traveled widely, but his globe-hopping has only emphasized the importance of having strong roots in his home state. Musician and producer T. Bone Burnett has worked on such landmark soundtracks as Crazy Heart, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, and Cold Mountain and produced acts such as the...

info_outline
Episode 175: Bob Dylan show art Episode 175: Bob Dylan

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Dr. Court Carney returns to the podcast to talk about Bob Dylan. Court is not only a fan, he has taught a class on Dylan at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he is a professor history.  Court's interest in Dylan began when he listened to his dad's copy of Nashville Skyline thirty years ago. In grad school, he took a deeper dive into the Zimmerman catalog by absorbing such classics as Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, and John Wesley Harding. Court has also been fascinated by the Dylan-Guthrie connection, which has taken him to archives in Tulsa to examine Guthrie's personal...

info_outline
Episode 174: Drew Prehmus show art Episode 174: Drew Prehmus

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Not many undergraduates publish a book, but Drew Prehmus did. Drew grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, where he now lives. In 2004, he enrolled at Hampden-Sydney College, where he majored in English. In his sophomore year, he started work on a book with Sam. The project took seven years to complete. The result was General Sam: A Biography of Lieutenant General Samuel Vaughan Wilson. Colin chats with Drew about his background, work at Hampden-Sydney, and the seven years he spent on Sam’s biography. He also provides an inside look at being a student at Hampden-Sydney as well as reminiscences about...

info_outline
Episode 173: Michael Foley show art Episode 173: Michael Foley

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Michael Foley lives in France, where he is a professor of history at University Grenoble Alpes. He might be far from home, but Mike is used to moving around. The son of a blue collar dad, his father's work took the family around New England and, briefly, into Pennsylvania. He grew up in the culture of Democratic politics and small town meetings, which has informed his later work. Yet, as an undergrad, he went to Florida to pursue a business degree. After "five miserable years" working in Boston in the late 1980s as an auditor for mutual funds, Mike, inspired by historians of the civil rights...

info_outline
Episode 172: Michael Scott show art Episode 172: Michael Scott

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Move fanatic Michael Scott is a regular on the film podcast The Dana Buckler Show and a huge fan of the related podcast F This Movie! When he's not lending his expertise to an episode of "The 20th Century Movie Club," he's working in Utah as a prosecuting attorney. Mike talks with Colin about his career path in the justice system--beginning with his time at Emory University law school--and gives some recommendations about films he's been watching lately. He also lets us know which lawyer movies get the details right. Hint: his favorite legal flick may not be what first comes to mind. Mike and...

info_outline
Episode 171: The Job Market for Ph.D.s, Part II show art Episode 171: The Job Market for Ph.D.s, Part II

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

This is part two of Colin's talk with Dr. Brent J. Steele of the University of Utah about the academic job market. Colin and Brent start out by walking us through the interview process, including the infamous Dinner, in which a candidate talks with the committee and tries not to order too many drinks and say something stupid. From there, they get into interview nightmares, which range from problems with technology to rude dinner and lunch companions, to phone calls from long-forgotten committee people.  In the intro, Colin provides a Coronavirus update and debates whether anything we now...

info_outline
Episode 170: The Job Market for Ph.D.s show art Episode 170: The Job Market for Ph.D.s

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Dr. Brent J. Steele, head of the Political Science Department at the University of Utah (and loyal friend of the podcast) returns to American Rambler to talk about the (challenging? woeful?) state of the job market for Ph.D.s. Unfortunately the Coronavirus is only going to make harder an already daunting job search process. Is there hope for those wanting to land a tenure track position or just a good, stable job at some kind of research institution?  2020 may suck so far, but times have always been hard for scholars. And in Part I of this discussion, Brent and Colin talk about the many...

info_outline
Episode 169: Megan Kate Nelson show art Episode 169: Megan Kate Nelson

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

A fascination with Game of Thrones inspired Megan Kate Nelson's new book, The Three-Cornered War, which examines the role of the Union, Confederacy and Native Americans in the southwestern theatre of the Civil War. It's Megan's third book. Now that she is writing full time, she shows no signs of slowing down. Megan is a native of the West herself, and to write The Three-Cornered War, she traveled to the places she describes in her book. She lives in Massachusetts, but she is still fascinated by the West she grew up in. She is already working on her fourth book, on the history of Yellowstone,...

info_outline
Episode 168: Bonnie Montgomery show art Episode 168: Bonnie Montgomery

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

She lives near Austin now, but musician Bonnie Montgomery is a native of Arkansas. Raised in a musical family in Searcy that owned a music shop, she started playing classical piano at a young age. Later, she picked up a guitar. After graduating with a graduate degree in music, she taught in China, lived in Nashville, and traveled overseas with the popular (though now defunct) Arkansas group The Gossip. She is known for her alt-country records, but it was an opera she co-wrote with a college friend that got her noticed. The subject: Bill Clinton, of course. With an opera to her credit, she soon...

info_outline
Episode 167: G. J. Meyer, Part II show art Episode 167: G. J. Meyer, Part II

American Rambler with Colin Woodward

Part two of Colin's talk with author and historian G. J. Meyer goes deeper into the writing life. It's an honest discussion of how the business works and how success is fleeting and difficult to predict amid the "sorry state of the American publishing industry." Jerry is working on a novel, so he and Colin discuss the literary influences that have made Jerry want to write fiction. For him, those included The Paris Review, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O'Connor, and Annie Poulx. They also find time to discuss Faulkner, Walker Percy, Robert Penn Warren, and how Otto Von Bismarck turned out to be a...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Musician and actor Ben Dickey is the star of the 2018 biopic Blaze, where he played the doomed, legendary singer-songwriter Blaze Foley. Blaze was from Arkansas and so is Ben. As he tells Colin, he learned music from his grandfather, who sang and played guitar, turning him on to country stars Jimmie Rodgers and Lefty Frizzell. Ben drew on many influences growing up, and by the time he was in high school, he was playing and recording for the math rock group Shake Ray Turbine.

Ben left Little Rock for Philadelphia. A day job as a chef helped him pay the bills, while he played live gigs and recorded several albums with Blood Feathers. In Philly, he met his lifelong sweetheart, who was friends with Ethan Hawke's wife. Ethan and Ben became friends, and Ethan would direct Ben in Blaze later. It was Ben's first major role, and his turn as Blaze won him an acting award at Sundance.

These days, Ben tries to balance a life as a busy actor and musician. Music remains his first love, but he is working with Ethan Hawke again on a cable series about abolitionist John Brown. The show will air in 2020 on Showtime.

Ben's been around the country and back, a journey that has involved everything from gigging in a Bob Wills cover band in Arizona to playing with John Prine and sharing the screen with Kris Kristofferson. Among his many talents, he also does a killer Bill Clinton impersonation. 

 

Music in this episode: Ben Dickey and cast, "Let Me Ride in Your Big Cadillac" from Blaze soundtrack; Ben Dickey, "The Bizzy Waltz," from A Glimmer on the Outskirts; Ben Dickey and cast, "Clay Pigeons" from Blaze soundtrack; Ben Dickey; "Down the Shore," from Sexy Birds & Salt Water Classics