Listen to an interview with the singer-songwriter about his second album on John Prine’s label Oh Boy Records, ‘This Mess We’re In.’
Episode 134 of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media Network, features an interview with Arlo McKinley. JamBase’s Andy Kahn spoke to the singer-songwriter about his newly released studio album, This Mess We’re In, and much more.
McKinley and Kahn spoke recently over a video call that started with Arlo calling in from the front seat of his tour van while out picking up supplies for tour. The signal turned a little wonky, so about 10 minutes or so into the chat he headed home to call back in with the assistance of a strong wifi signal.
The interview focused mainly on McKinley’s new album, This Mess We’re In, which is his second album on Oh Boy Records following 2020’s Die Midwestern. Oh Boy Records was co-founded by the late John Prine. McKinley talked about the times he got to meet Prine, and what it means to be part of the roster of such an important independent record label. McKinley detailed his relationship with Jody Whelan, Prine’s son who now runs Oh Boy.
McKinley was peppered with questions about his songwriting and he went deep into his evolving process. McKinley discussed writing songs about real-life experiences and how they help him work through some of the heavy emotions that can be attached to them.
As he did on Die Midwestern, McKinley worked with producer Matt Ross-Spang on This Mess We’re In. McKinley talked about his experiences working with Ross-Spang, who has a truly impressive resume, and what it was like recording at Sam Philips’ historic studio in Memphis. McKinley also talked about working with the same musicians that appeared on Die Midwestern, each with their own impressive resumes, that included drummer Ken Coomer, guitarist Will Sexton and keyboardist Rick Steff.
Other aspects of the interview touched on the mysteriousness of what it means to be Midwestern, song-related tattoos, singing the National Anthem for the Cincinnati Reds and much more.