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Back to the Light
Musician and music writer J.D. Reager talks to friends and fellow creatives about the artistic process, maintaining mental health, and silencing self-doubt.
5 days ago
Friend of the Show with James Enck (Turnt, The Long Mynd, A World Away)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician and radio host James Enck about his personal story of recovery, the intertwined nature of the music and alcohol industries, his predilection for musical "torture," doing a show for WYXR, and more. J.D. also spins "So Disappointing" by James' former band The Long Mynd.
May 9, 2022
A Pretty Lucky Guy with Jody Stephens (Big Star, Those Pretty Wrongs)
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Big Star's #1 Record, host J.D. Reager talks to surviving member Jody Stephens about the making of that album and how joining the band changed his life. They also discuss his work with Those Pretty Wrongs, Golden Smog, Matthew Sweet, The Lemon Twigs and more, and J.D. spins "It's About Love" by Those Pretty Wrongs.
May 2, 2022
The Lord's Chords with Chris Milam
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician, songwriter and fellow podcast host Chris Milam about his life and career, having mixed feelings about Memphis, overcoming issues with mental health and substance abuse, collaborating with the great William Bell, and more. J.D. also spins "In The Blood" from Chris' most recent album Meanwhile.
Apr 25, 2022
LIVE from Midtown Con with Joshua McLane (HEELS, South Point Grocery) and Harry Koniditsiotis (The Switchblade Kid, 5 & Dime Recording)
Host J.D. Reager chats with returning guests Joshua McLane (HEELS, South Point Grocery) and Harry Koniditsiotis (The Switchblade Kid, 5 & Dime Recording) live on the scene of the inaugural Midtown Con! This episode was recorded on April 9, 2022 at Black Lodge in Memphis, TN.
Apr 18, 2022
Songs & Stories Part 3 LIVE from The Green Room with Graham Burks (Loose Opinions) and HEELS
Host J.D. Reager shares an on-stage moment with guests Graham Burks (Loose Opinions) and HEELS. This episode was recorded live on March 17, 2022 in Memphis, TN at The Green Room in Crosstown Arts.
Apr 11, 2022
Songs & Stories Part 2 LIVE from The Green Room with Cory Branan and Alicja Trout (Alicja-Pop, River City Tanlines)
Host J.D. Reager shares an on-stage moment with guests Cory Branan and Alicja Trout (Alicja-Pop, River City Tanlines). This episode was recorded live on March 17, 2022 in Memphis, TN at The Green Room in Crosstown Arts.
Apr 4, 2022
Songs & Stories Part 1 LIVE from The Green Room with Jeff Hulett (Snowglobe) and Michaela & Will Forrest (Rosey)
Host J.D. Reager shares an on-stage moment with guests Jeff Hulett (Snowglobe) and Michaela & Will Forrest (Rosey). This episode was recorded live on March 17, 2022 in Memphis, TN at The Green Room in Crosstown Arts.
Mar 28, 2022
Everything with Jeff Jarrett (My World, WWE Hall of Fame) and Brian Balough (You Look Like A Comedy Show)
Host J.D. Reager talks to professional wrestling legend Jeff Jarrett about his hardcore feud with The Moondogs in Memphis, transitioning from babyface to heel in WWE, his new persona "The Last Outlaw," the expansion of WrestleMania weekend, and the power of sobriety. Then wrestling expert Brian Balough returns to discuss Jarrett's legacy, WrestleMania, All Elite Wrestling, and more.
Feb 28, 2022
Fishing In Heaven with Mark Edgar Stuart
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician Mark Edgar Stuart about his journey from Arkansas to Memphis, the rise and fall of his band The Pawtuckets, playing bass behind Alvin Youngblood Hart, John Paul Keith and The Secret Service, finding solo success with Blues For Lou, the pitfalls of writing highly personal songs, making his new record Until We Meet Again with Reba Russell and Dawn Hopkins, producing for Bailey Bigger, and more. J.D. also spins "What's Louder Than Love?" and "Coffin Half Full" off Until We Meet Again, and Mark performs "Fishing In Heaven" live.
Feb 15, 2022
Living My Dream Life with Andy Fleming (30 Characters, Character Assassination Roasts)
Host J.D. Reager talks to comedian Andy Fleming about appearing in TV commercials for his family's furniture business as a child, coming up as a comedian in Memphis, leaving Memphis behind, adjusting to life as a Chicagoan, inhabiting characters on his podcast (30 Characters) and on stage at The Laugh Factory (Character Assassination Roasts), their shared love of Colt Cabana, and more.
1 hr 3 min
Feb 7, 2022
Future Scumbag with Harry Koniditsiotis (The Switchblade Kid, The Angel Sluts)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician, filmmaker and comic book aficionado Harry Koniditsiotis about the recent reunion of his band The Angel Sluts, working on a new Switchblade Kid record, various 5 & Dime Recording projects, the making of Harry's film Who The Hell Is Alfred Medley?, the continued success of 901 Comics, and J.D.'s sordid past as a high school troublemaker. J.D. also spins "Designer Heat" from The Angel Sluts' new LP Live at the Buccaneer.
1 hr 20 min
Jan 23, 2022
Bear Grease with Jeremy Scott (Reigning Sound) and Graham Burks (Loose Opinions)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musicians Jeremy Scott and Graham Burks about their upcoming release show for Jeremy's solo album Bear Grease, disappointing news for the Reigning Sound, collaborating with Alicja Trout and Harlan T. Bobo, working together in the studio, and more. J.D. also spins "What Am I Talking About" from Bear Grease, and Jeremy and Graham perform "Fred Neil Armstrong" live.
Jan 17, 2022
What Could Be with John Michael (96X)
Host J.D. Reager talks to alternative rock radio DJ John Michael about his early days in broadcasting, the original run of 96X in Memphis on terrestrial radio, the station's demise, his journey to KROQ in Los Angeles and beyond, meeting big-time rock stars, the revival of 96X as a streaming entity, and more.
1 hr 8 min
Jan 10, 2022
Memphis Luck with Stephen Deusner (Where the Devil Don't Stay)
Host J.D. Reager talks to music writer and author Stephen Deusner about his upbringing in Selmer, TN, moving on to Memphis and beyond, becoming a contributor to Pitchfork, Uncut, etc., writing his new book Where the Devil Don't Stay: Traveling the South With the Drive-By Truckers, their shared love of Centro-matic, and more.
Jan 3, 2022
Thundering Foamy Motion with Mark Akin and Jay Hines (The Subteens)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musicians Mark Akin and Jay Hines about their longstanding friendship and creative partnership, the nearly 30-year history of their band The Subteens, how addiction almost destroyed the group, working together on a new full-length album, and more. J.D. also plays a clip of the new Subteens song "I Don't Think It's Worth It."
Dec 13, 2021
The Rebirth of Vinyl Records: Side 2 with Jeff Powell (Take Out Vinyl) LIVE at The Memphis Listening Lab
Host J.D. Reager resumes his conversation with producer, engineer and vinyl cutter Jeff Powell in front of a live crowd at the Memphis Listening Lab. They dig into the vinyl mastering process, the current vinyl manufacturing "crisis," and take questions from the audience.
1 hr 13 min
Nov 28, 2021
Never Gonna Happen with Jay Hines (The Subteens), Marvin Stockwell (Champions of the Lost Causes, Pezz) and Tyler Ransom (In The Shed)
Host J.D. Reager gears up for an imminent trip to Memphis by checking in with old friends Jay Hines (The Subteens) and Marvin Stockwell (Pezz, Champions of the Lost Causes). He also chats with musician, author, martial artist and the subject of the recent documentary In The Shed, Tyler Ransom, and spins the song "Never Gonna Happen" by The Subteens.
Nov 16, 2021
RELIVE IT: Just Wait with Matthew Caws (Nada Surf)
Host J.D. Reager revisits his conversation from 2020 with one of his all-time favorite musicians and guests, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf. Included is a Back to the Light-exclusive solo performance of the Nada Surf song "Just Wait."
1 hr 14 min
Nov 8, 2021
Howlin' with Alicja Trout (Alicja-Pop, Sweet Knives, Lost Sounds, River City Tanlines)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician Alicja Trout about her love of analog synthesizers, collaborating with her husband Severin in the new band Sharkteef, the volatility of the Lost Sounds, continuing the Lost Sounds legacy in Sweet Knives, touring Europe with River City Tanlines, her brief collaboration with Love's Arthur Lee, and the new Alicja-Pop album Howlin'. J.D. also spins two songs from Howlin' courtesy of Black & Wyatt Records.
Nov 1, 2021
Live From The Tambourine Bash with Bailey Bigger, Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady), Elizabeth Cawein (Music Export Memphis), Andrew Geraci (Alicja-Pop) and Chris Davenport (San Salida)
Host J.D. Reager chats with guests Bailey Bigger, Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady, Bash & Pop), Elizabeth Cawein (Music Export Memphis), Andrew Geraci (Alicja-Pop, San Salida) and Chris Davenport (San Salida) on location at the Levitt Shell during The Tambourine Bash, an annual fundraiser for Music Export Memphis. J.D. also shares a live performance from the evening - Selvidge's "Lazarus" featuring Amy LaVere and Jody Stephens (Big Star) - courtesy of Memphis Magnetic Recording.
Oct 25, 2021
The Rebirth of Vinyl Records with Jeff Powell (Take Out Vinyl) LIVE at the Memphis Listening Lab
Host J.D. Reager moderates a discussion with producer, engineer and vinyl cutter Jeff Powell in front of a live crowd at the Memphis Listening Lab. They have a long chat about the recent resurgence of vinyl sales, the ins and outs of vinyl mastering and production and Jeff's career cutting big-time records while taking questions from audience throughout.
1 hr 9 min
Oct 20, 2021
Tradition with Michaela Forrest and Will Forrest (Rosey)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musicians Michaela and Will Forrest about falling in love and founding Rosey (in that order), their individual musical pasts, and the band's imminent emergence from pandemic hibernation. Then J.D. spins the song "Tradition" from the new Rosey album I'd Move House if My House Moved Like Yours, and Michaela and Will perform an acoustic set live in the studio.
Oct 10, 2021
Live From Gonerfest 18 Part 3 with Alex Greene (Reigning Sound) and Ross Johnson (Panther Burns)
Host J.D. Reager presents the third of a three-part series of episodes recorded live at Gonerfest 18 in Memphis, TN. This installment features conversations with Alex Greene (Reigning Sound, Rolling Head Orchestra, Memphis Flyer) and Ross Johnson (Panther Burns, Alex Chilton, Turnt).
Oct 4, 2021
Live From Gonerfest 18 Part 2 with Wreckless Eric, Jeremy Scott (Reigning Sound) and Cameron Mann (Young Avenue Sound)
Host J.D. Reager presents the second of a three-part series of episodes recorded live at Gonerfest 18 in Memphis, TN. This installment features conversations with the legendary Wreckless Eric, returning guest Jeremy Scott (Reigning Sound, Toy Trucks), and Young Avenue Sound owner and co-founder Cameron Mann.
Sep 29, 2021
Live From Gonerfest 18 Part 1 with Alicja Trout (Alicja-Pop, Lost Sounds), Mike McCarthy (Guerrilla Monster Films), Graham Burks (Loose Opinions) and Jared McStay (Shangri-La Records, So Gung Ho)
Host J.D. Reager presents the first of a three-part series of episodes recorded live at Gonerfest 18 in Memphis, TN. This installment features lively conversations with Alicja Trout (Lost Sounds, River City Tanlines, Sweet Knives, Alicja-Pop, Sharkteef), Mike McCarthy (Guerrilla Monster Films, Time Warp Drive-In, Teenage Tupelo), Graham Burks (Loose Opinions) and Jared McStay (Shangri-La Records, The Simpletones, So Gung Ho).
Sep 20, 2021
Gonerfest 18 Preview with Eric Friedl (Goner Records, Oblivians)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Goner Records co-owner Eric Friedl - A.K.A. Eric Oblivian - about the success of last year's virtual Gonerfest and the many challenges of putting together this year's festival. J.D. also spins recent music by five bands appearing at Gonerfest 18: Reigning Sound, The Archaeas, Big Clown, Optic Sink and The Exbats.
Sep 14, 2021
Solace with Bela Koe-Krompecher (Love, Death & Photosynthesis, Anyway Records)
Host J.D. Reager talks with author, social worker, record label owner, and record store legend Bela Koe-Krompecher. They dig into Bela's time behind the counter (most notably at Used Kids Records in Columbus, OH), founding the Anyway Records label, finding sobriety and a new career in social work, and writing the autobiographical book Love, Death & Photosynthesis. J.D. also spins songs by two of the book's primary figures: Gaunt and Jenny Mae.
Sep 6, 2021
Hard Times with J.Robot (Blindcopy), Brian Balough (You Look Like A Comedy Show) and Joshua McLane (HEELS)
Host J.D. Reager digs in to the new Blindcopy song "Hard Times," which he sang and co-wrote. First, Blindcopy founder J.Robot discusses the song's musical origins and J.D. shares his inspiration for the lyrics. Then musician/comedian Joshua McLane performs a dramatic reading of Dusty Rhodes' legendary "hard times" promo and Brian Balough chats with J.D. about the promo's historical significance. J.D. also spins "Hard Times" and its A-side, "Permanent Collection."
Aug 30, 2021
The Inspiration Train with Graham Burks (Loose Opinions) and Marvin Stockwell (Champions of the Lost Causes) LIVE at The Memphis Listening Lab
Host J.D. Reager chats with two close friends - musician Graham Burks (Loose Opinions) and fellow podcast host Marvin Stockwell (Champions of the Lost Causes) - in front of a live audience at The Memphis Listening Lab. J.D. also spins his new single, "Back Off."
Aug 16, 2021
Shadow of a Shadow with Graham Burks (Loose Opinions)
Host J.D. Reager talks to his friend, frequent collaborator and Loose Opinions bandleader Graham Burks about the night they met over 20 years ago, how Graham developed an interest in music early on, and his rich and eclectic musical history. J.D. also spins the extended version of the title track from the new Loose Opinions album Shadow of a Shadow, and Graham performs live from his home studio in Memphis.
Aug 9, 2021
Spiritual Necessity with Hannah Sandoz
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician, songwriter and visual artist Hannah Sandoz about their early life in Louisiana, the creative benefits of a formal education from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, moving to Chicago, and finding the inspiration to release two records in one year. J.D. also spins two tracks from Hannah's new EP To Love and Loss!
Aug 2, 2021
A Driving John Hughes Movie with Brian Venable (Lucero, The Venable Exploration Society)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Lucero guitarist Brian Venable about his early days in the Memphis punk scene, picking up guitar and co-founding Lucero, the highs and lows of life on the road, the decision to get sober, balancing fatherhood with being a working musician, and his many side pursuits. J.D. also spins two songs by Brian's new electronic/dance project, The Venable Exploration Society.
1 hr 47 min
Jul 26, 2021
Three Good Songs with Jeff Powell (Take Out Vinyl, The Afghan Whigs/Alex Chilton engineer)
Host J.D. Reager talks to recording engineer and producer Jeff Powell about his early career at Ardent Studios, working with The Afghan Whigs and Alex Chilton (both solo and in Big Star), learning to cut music vinyl, the move from Ardent to Sam Phillips, and starting his own business, Take Out Vinyl.
1 hr 15 min
Jul 19, 2021
Spray Them All with J.B. Horrell (Aquarian Blood, Ex-Cult)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Aquarian Blood singer and guitarist J.B. Horrell about their history together recording J.B.'s previous band Noise Choir, the time his band Reginald performed both for and with inmates at a Shelby County correction facility, finding unexpected success with Ex-Cult, the healing power of music in the midst of personal tragedy, collaborating with his wife Laurel, and Aquarian Blood's progression towards quieter music. J.D. also spins "Bolted and Embossed" from the new Aquarian Blood album Bending The Golden Hour, and J.B. performs "Spray Them All" live.
1 hr 11 min
Jul 12, 2021
The Idea and the Energy with Sherman Willmott (Memphis Listening Lab, Shangri-La Projects)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Sherman Willmott about the newly opened Memphis Listening Lab and the vast collection of music it houses, the journey from selling Stax bricks at Shangri-La Records to the creation of the Stax Museum, making the professional wrestling documentary Memphis Heat, and the entrepreneurial spirit that drives him. J.D. also makes a big announcement about a Back to the Light event at the Memphis Listening Lab in August.
Jul 5, 2021
Spreadsheet Freaks with Mike Fox (Arthhur)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Chicago musician Mike Fox about the origin of the two-H spelling of "Arthhur," migrating from Ohio to Chicago, the evolution of Arthhur from an indie solo project to a disco-punk trio, the band's love of Microsoft Excel, making the new album Occult Fractures, returning to live performance, and more. J.D. also spins "Ripped and Dumb" from Occult Fractures, and Arthhur performs "Choc Electronique" (the opening theme to the podcast) live.
Jun 28, 2021
New Beats, New Rhythms with Howard Grimes (Hi Rhythm, Al Green, Ann Peebles)
Host J.D. Reager talks to legendary Memphis soul musician Howard Grimes about coming up as a drummer in the '50s, working with fellow legends such as Rufus & Carla Thomas, William Bell, Al Green, Ann Peebles, O.V. Wright and Willie Mitchell, writing his new autobiography Timekeeper, and how Memphis music has evolved over the years. J.D. also spins two songs featuring Mr. Grimes on drums: Don Bryant's "A Nickel and a Nail," and Hi Rhythm's "Superstar."
1 hr 7 min
Jun 7, 2021
Memphis Trip: Week Two with Graham Burks and Neil Bartlett (Loose Opinions), Arthhur
Host J.D. Reager gives a quick update on his first week in Memphis and upcoming shows at B-Side and Black Lodge before turning over the podcast to Graham Burks and Neil Bartlett from the band Loose Opinions. Then J.D. plays a cover song that he recorded during the pandemic and makes an exciting announcement about the Chicago band Arthhur.
May 31, 2021
Memphis Trip: Week One with Ross Johnson, Harry Koniditsiotis (901 Comics) and Brian McCabe (The Hi-Tone)
Host J.D. Reager previews part one of a two-week, action-packed trip to Memphis. First he talks to musician and purveyor of fine collectibles Harry Koniditsiotis about the 5th anniversary celebration for 901 Comics, which J.D. will be a part of on June 5th. Then J.D. presents the world premiere of a new song called "Philanderer," which features guest lead vocals by the Baron of Love himself, Ross Johnson. After that, Ross gives his best sales pitch for their show together at the Hi-Tone, also on June 5th. To close the show, J.D. talks to Hi-Tone owner Brian "Skinny" McCabe about the challenges of keeping the venue open during the pandemic, the features and upgrades at the new location at 284 N. Cleveland, and his early history in the music business.
May 23, 2021
Recovery with Joshua C. Travis
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician and Back to the Light Records recording artist Joshua C. Travis about their shared history in the Memphis/Jonesboro band Sal Si Puedes, Josh's various experimental music projects in Jonesboro, how drug addiction derailed and nearly ended his life, and why his path to recovery and return to creativity are intertwined. J.D. also spins two new songs by Joshua C. Travis: "Paper Airplane" and "Ameriswan."
1 hr 5 min
May 17, 2021
On the Level with Frankie Siragusa (The Posies, theLAB)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician and producer Frankie Siragusa about his upbringing and education in music, founding theLAB studio in Los Angeles, joining and touring with The Posies, collaborating with The Lickerish Quartet, the inspiration behind his new Beatles tribute album Goodbye My Love, living with social anxiety, and more. J.D. also spins two solo tunes of Frankie's: "Amuse" and "Everybody's Scared."
1 hr 55 min
May 10, 2021
The Road with Aaron Robinson (Imaginary Baseball League, Pale Houses, My So-Called Band)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician Aaron Robinson about the Murfreesboro music scene, the rise, fall and return of his band Imaginary Baseball League, his later work both as a solo artist and with Pale Houses, the Memphis-Nashville rivalry, and the importance of proper wig maintenance. J.D. also spins "The Road" by Imaginary Baseball League and "The Ocean Bed" by Pale Houses.
1 hr 3 min
May 3, 2021
Heart and Earnestness with Christian Walker (Pezz, Bury The Living, Best Revenge Pictures)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician, filmmaker and podcast host Christian Walker about his wide range of experience in the film industry, why death is a recurring theme in his work, how their tenures in Pezz were wildly different, and what it was like to tour with the legendary Wesley Willis. J.D. also spins the recent Pezz single "We're Not Alone."
Apr 26, 2021
Space, Place and Time with Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think)
Host J.D. Reager talks to one of his all-time favorite musicians and people: Craig Wedren. They have a lengthy discussion about Craig's early forays into music, the rise and fall of his legendary post-punk band Shudder To Think, how friendships with members of the comedy troupe The State lead to a career in TV and film scoring, and Craig's future release plans. J.D. also spins two new singles by Craig Wedren, "On My Tongue," and "Going Sane."
1 hr 40 min
Apr 19, 2021
Safe Distance with Janet Simpson
Host J.D. Reager talks to old friend and musician Janet Simpson about her newfound success as a solo artist, her work in the bands Teen Getaway, Delicate Cutters, Wooden Wand & the World War IV, and Timber, fighting through imposter syndrome, and more. J.D. also spins three excellent tunes from Janet's latest album Safe Distance.
Apr 12, 2021
A Long Journey with Elizabeth King and Mark Edgar Stuart
Host J.D. Reager talks to gospel singer Elizabeth King about performing with The Gospel Souls in the early '70s, why her recording career took a nearly 50-year hiatus, and the making of her comeback album, Living In The Last Days. Then, singer-songwriter and session musician Mark Edgar Stuart calls in to talk about his experiences working with Ms. King on her new album. J.D. also spins cuts from both The D-Vine Spirituals Recordings by Elizabeth King & The Gospel Souls and Living In The Last Days.
Apr 5, 2021
Oh Yeah! with Dustin Starr (Championship Wrestling From Memphis)
Host J.D. Reager talks to professional wrestler, wrestling promoter and podcast host Dustin Starr about their shared love of Memphis wrestling in the '80s and '90s, Dustin's in-ring career, bringing wrestling back to Memphis television, the future of the Mid-South Coliseum, this year's Wrestlemania card and more.
Mar 29, 2021
Silver Linings with Aaron Sayers
Host J.D. Reager has a soul-searching conversation with returning guest, PhD psychologist and practicing therapist Aaron Sayers about how being in therapy has positively affected both of their lives, the social and cultural stigmas attached to mental health treatment, and a few iconic portrayals of therapists from TV and film.
1 hr 8 min
Mar 23, 2021
Vessels with Matt Ciani (Flesh of the Stars, Arthhur)
Host J.D. Reager opens the show with a short plea for support for a Back to the Light fundraiser before talking with musician Matt Ciani about the latest Flesh of the Stars single, small batch candle production, the evolution of Arthhur from solo project to disco punk trio, working on the new J.D. Reager record, and why Matt ends up producing every band he's in. J.D. also plays a 5-minute excerpt from the Flesh of the Stars song "Vessels," and a hot off the press mix of his own "Jed's Song."
Mar 15, 2021
Too Much Downtime with Scott Danbom (Centro-matic, Static Diary)
Host J.D. Reager talks to his old friend and a wildly talented multi-instrumentalist musician, Scott Danbom, about his early days on the Oklahoma competitive piano circuit, moving to Denton, TX and joining Centro-matic, recording with acclaimed Memphis producer Jeff Powell, getting amicably kicked out of Slobberbone, collaborating with Patterson Hood and The Drive-By Truckers, and founding his solo project, Static Diary. J.D. also plays two songs from the self-titled Static Diary album, "Phrase From Business" and "Carefully Poisoned."
1 hr 11 min
Mar 8, 2021
A Little More Time with Jeremy Scott (Reigning Sound, The Toy Trucks)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Memphis musician Jeremy Scott about re-uniting with the original line-up of Reigning Sound on the road and in the studio, making the classic Reigning Sound album Too Much Guitar, the future of The Toy Trucks, and the solo album he's releasing on Back to the Light Records. J.D. also spins Reigning Sound's new single "A Little More Time," "Pulling Away" by The Toy Trucks, and Jeremy's "Your Ice Cream's Gonna Melt One Day."
Mar 1, 2021
The Ultimate Span with Jon Daly (Kroll Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Host J.D. Reager talks to one of his favorite comedians in the world, Jon Daly, about his experience having COVID and other career setbacks due to the pandemic, his forthcoming comedy-music album, parody coming from a place of love, his Bill Murray impression, working with Larry David, and much more. J.D. also spins one of Jon's recent singles, the equally infectious and hilarious "The Snowman (2017)."
Feb 22, 2021
Peace and Freedom with Josh Shaw (Blvck Hippie)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician Josh Shaw about the big snowstorm in Memphis, how the pandemic derailed his band Blvck Hippie's plans for 2020 and beyond, getting started as a musician, playing and coaching basketball, and their shared love of video games. J.D. also spins the recent Blvck Hippie single "Bunkbed."
Feb 15, 2021
The King Is Dead with Josh Stevens (Glorious Abhor, Tape Deck)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician Josh Stevens about the evolution of his band Glorious Abhor, how becoming a parent has affected his ambition and creativity, moonlighting with Back to the Light pals Tape Deck and Jack Alberson, moving from Illinois to Memphis, and more. J.D. also spins two new songs: Josh's "The King Is Dead," and his own "Stop Staring."
1 hr 11 min
Feb 8, 2021
There's Always More with Zachary Corsa (Nonconnah, Lost Trail)
Host J.D. Reager talks to musician Zachary Corsa (Nonconnah, Lost Trail) about relocating from North Carolina to Memphis, the burgeoning Memphis experimental music scene, his creative process in Nonconnah, making post-pandemic plans, and more. Then J.D. plays an excerpt from the new Nonconnah album Songs For And About Ghosts.
Feb 1, 2021
Safe At Home with Jeff Hulett (Snowglobe)
Host J.D. Reager talks to his old friend and Memphis musician Jeff Hulett about his recent hot streak of creativity during the pandemic, remote collaborations, his evolving role in Snowglobe, the highs and lows of the Rock for Love benefit project, and much more. J.D. also spins "Money," a soon-to-be-released new song of Jeff's.
1 hr 3 min
Jan 25, 2021
COVID-19 Special Report with Kelly Orcutt (Glossary) and J.R. Wicker (Imagination Head)
Host J.D. Reager shares how his life has been affected by COVID-19 before talking to two former collaborators about their experiences. First, Kelly Orcutt of Glossary tells a frustrating story about being assaulted in a popular department store chain by an unmasked "patriot." Then, Imagination Head bandleader and ICU Nurse J.R. Wicker recounts tales from the front lines of the pandemic. J.D. also spins tunes by both Glossary and Imagination Head.
1 hr 36 min
Jan 17, 2021
Don't Say It, Show It with John Paul Keith
Host J.D. Reager kicks off the show by spinning "How Can You Walk Away," the first single off of Memphis musician John Paul Keith's new album The Rhythm of the City. Then J.D. and J.P. have a lengthy conversation about the recent siege on the Capital, the legacy of Donald Trump, writing and recording his new album, mentoring fellow songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart and more.
1 hr 26 min
Jan 11, 2021
Distraction with Joshua McLane and Brennan Whalen (HEELS)
Host J.D. Reager speaks to Memphis musicians Joshua McLane and Brennan Whalen about their work together as HEELS, how the pandemic canceled "their year" in 2020, the inspiration behind the band's musical self-help albums Wake Up with HEELS and Sleep with HEELS, how they inspire each other creatively and their love of professional wrestling. J.D. also plays the song "King Drunk" from HEELS' 2019 album Good People Even Do Bad Things.
1 hr 13 min
Jan 3, 2021
Best of 2020 Volume 2
Host J.D. Reager and guest producer Brendan Danley present the second in a 2-part collection of favorite moments from the very first year of Back to the Light - and it's a super-sized doozy! Clips include Kate Crowder (Two Way Radio), John Forbes (Tijuana Hercules, Mount Shasta), Kelly English (Restaurant Iris), Ross Johnson (Panther Burns, Alex Chilton), Roger Manning Jr. and Eric Dover (The Lickerish Quartet, Jellyfish), Tommy Bateman (The Passport Again), Chuck Roast (Suburban Lawns, The Modifiers), Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) and a trio of guests - Alan Sparhawk (Low), Robert Poss (Band of Susans) and Ben Ricketts - from the Jack Alberson SongStory.
1 hr 51 min
Dec 28, 2020
Best of 2020 Volume 1
Host J.D. Reager and guest producer Brendan Danley present the first in a 2-part collection of favorite moments from the very first year of Back to the Light! Clips include Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star), David Catching (Rancho de la Luna), The Modifiers, Joey Pegram (Shabbadoo, Two Way Radio), Joshua Cosby (Star & Micey), Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady, Sons of Mudboy), Big Don Valentine with Aaron Sayers, Arthhur, Michael Graber (Graber Gryass) and William Luke White (Snowglobe).
Dec 21, 2020
We're Adults with Tommy Bateman (The Passport Again, The Henrys, Benton's Country Ham)
Host J.D. Reager kicks things off by playing two songs - one Christmas-y and familiar, one not - from the archives of his guest, longtime friend and former bandmate Tommy Bateman. Then J.D. and Tommy have a deep conversation about their friendship and time together in The Hentrys, Rooms for Tourists and The Passport Again, Tommy's work with The Rockwells, Seven Sons of Otis, Snowglobe and more, Tommy finding his professional calling with Benton's Country Ham, the life-changing nature of fatherhood and more. To close the show, J.D. spins Tommy's original Christmas song, "All I Can Manage."
1 hr 47 min
Dec 14, 2020
Threesome with Roger Manning Jr., Tim Smith and Eric Dover (The Lickerish Quartet, Jellyfish)
Host J.D. Reager kicks things off by spinning "Snollygoster Goon," the new single off of The Lickerish Quartet's new E.P. Threesome Vol. 2. Then he talks to Roger Manning Jr., Tim Smith and Eric Dover about collaborating in The Lickerish Quartet and Jellyfish, their individual work with Ringo Starr, Beck, Noel Gallagher, Slash's Snakepit and Alice Cooper, and how the pandemic has affected the music business.
1 hr 33 min
Dec 7, 2020
The Two Way Radio Episode with Andrew McColgan and Kate Crowder (Two Way Radio, The Downsprouts)
Host J.D. Reager celebrates the release of his old band Two Way Radio's long lost album Succinct Extinction by playing three of its key tracks, and by talking to fellow band members Andrew McColgan and Kate Crowder. They discuss circumstances that lead to Succinct Extinction's creation and ultimate demise, participating in the MTV series $5 Cover, winning the Memphis Pops Festival fan vote and more.
Nov 30, 2020
Brick Walls and Train Tracks with Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady, Bash & Pop, Sons of Mudboy)
Host J.D. Reager kicks off the show by debuting two unreleased songs: one of his own featuring this week's guest Steve Selvidge on lead guitar, and one of of Steve's. Then the two have a long conversation about how Steve's late father Sid influenced his path to becoming a musician, continuing his father's work in Sons of Mudboy, forming and re-forming Big Ass Truck, joining big-time rock bands The Hold Steady and Bash & Pop and more. To close things out, J.D. plays a song by MEM_MODS, a new pandemic-born project featuring Steve Selvidge, Luther Dickinson and Paul Taylor.
1 hr 23 min
Nov 23, 2020
Drifting Away with Charlotte Tolley (Nourish Knoxville) and Michael Graber (Graber Gryass)
Host J.D. Reager talks to his longtime friend and the founder of Knoxville's Market Square Farmers Market, Charlotte Tolley, about their days together in school, her work with the non-profit group Nourish Knoxville and her budding professional relationship with former WWE champion Kane. Then Memphis musician Michael Graber joins the show to share some new music by his band Graber Gryass and talk about his previous work in groups like 611, Professor Elixir's Southern Troubadours and the Bluff City Backsliders.
Nov 16, 2020
Just Wait with Matthew Caws (Nada Surf)
Host J.D. Reager is joined by one of his all-time favorite songwriters, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf. They talk about the election results and how Matthew found inspiration in America's deep political divide, meeting and recording with Ric Ocasek, the band's relationship to their breakthrough hit "Popular," how the album Let Go brought them back after a career setback and his solo collaborations with Telekinesis and Juliana Hatfield. Then Matthew performs the Nada Surf song "Just Wait."
1 hr 14 min
Nov 8, 2020
Banking on Disaster with Alex Greene (Reigning Sound, Rolling Head Orchestra, Memphis Flyer)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Memphis musician and journalist Alex Greene about the results of the presidential election, the writing job they both wanted but Alex ultimately got, working on the new Reigning Sound album, touring with Tav Falco's Panther Burns and the evolution of his solo project, Alex Greene & the Rolling Head Orchestra. Then J.D. plays a song off Alex's album American Elegy.
1 hr 19 min
Oct 26, 2020
Election Anxiety SuperShow with Aaron Sayers and Katrina Coleman
Host J.D. Reager talks to returning guest Dr. Aaron Sayers, PhD psychologist and practicing therapist, about techniques for dealing with the stress, anxiety and fear associated with the coming election and the ongoing pandemic and social unrest. Then comedian Katrina Coleman (You Look Like, Memphis Comedy Festival) joins the show to talk about her election-related anxieties, why she's voting for Joe Biden, women's reproductive rights and the importance of voter participation.
1 hr 40 min
Oct 21, 2020
Glory Line with William Luke White (Snowglobe, The Coach and Four, Spiral Stairs)
Host J.D. Reager plays the new single, "Glory Line," off of Memphis musician William Luke White's new self-titled solo EP before talking to his old friend about the new record, collaborating with the late Clay Otis, his ongoing battle with cancer, touring with Pavement's Spiral Stairs, the value of seeing a therapist and more. Then William Luke White performs the song "My Worst" live.
Oct 19, 2020
Developing the Voice with Jared "Jay B" Boyd (WYXR, Daily Memphian, Beale St. Caravan) and Ben Crowell (Sheet Ghosts, Glassworks Coffee)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Jared "Jay B" Boyd about his high-profile gigs at WYXR 91.7 FM, the Daily Memphian and Beale St. Caravan, and the career journey that eventually brought him back to Memphis. Then Chicago musician Ben Crowell joins the show to talk about his new project Sheet Ghosts and his small-batch coffee roasting operation, Glassworks Coffee.
Oct 5, 2020
Big Stupid Steak with Kelly English (Restaurant Iris, The Second Line)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Memphis Chef Kelly English, the man behind Restaurant Iris, The Second Line, and Magnolia House (Biloxi, MS) as well as the new owner of Fino's From the Hill, about his career in the food industry, the difficulties of operating a restaurant during the pandemic, the signature dish he no longer feels affection for and the incident involving NBA all-star Tony Parker that propelled him to SportsCenter. Then J.D. debuts an unreleased song by Two Way Radio as a Back to the Light exclusive.
Sep 28, 2020
Hands Down with John Forbes (Mount Shasta, Tijuana Hercules)
Host J.D. Reager talks to his friend, neighbor and Chicago musician/artist John Forbes about his many musical projects, including Phantom 309, Dirt, Mount Shasta and Tijuana Hercules. Along the way they discuss the lasting influence of growing up in the South, recording with Steve Albini and the challenges of releasing new music during a pandemic. Then John plays a couple of songs live in the basement.
Sep 20, 2020
Gonerfest 17 Spectacular with Eric Friedl (Goner, Oblivians, True Sons of Thunder)
Host J.D. Reager briefly touches on some good things going on for Back to the Light before playing the title track off of Rev. John Wilkins' new release for Goner Records, Trouble. Then Goner co-owner Eric Friedl (Oblivians, True Sons of Thunder) joins the show to discuss the upcoming virtual event Gonerfest 17 and a bunch of new Goner releases. Then J.D. closes the show with new songs by True Sons of Thunder, the Archaeas and Optic Sink, who are all scheduled to appear at Gonerfest.
Sep 7, 2020
Modifiers Chronicles 2 with Chuck Roast (Suburban Lawns)
Host J.D. Reager debuts a previously unreleased recording of the Memphis and Los Angeles-based '80s punk band the Modifiers featuring the rhythm section of the legendary L.A. new wave group Suburban Lawns, Chuck Roast and Vex Billingsgate. Then J.D. and Chuck have a great conversation about playing drums with both groups, the L.A. punk and new wave scene, and the prospect of releasing new music in today's online culture.
Sep 2, 2020
Horrible With Purpose with Ross Johnson (Panther Burns, Alex Chilton)
Host J.D. Reager speaks to one of his all-time favorite people, Mr. Ross Johnson, about his richly lived life in the music business. They discuss his work with Alex Chilton, Tav Falco & Panther Burns, the Modifiers and his new group Turnt, his early life in Little Rock, the pitfalls of alcoholism and more before being derailed by technical difficulties. Then our man on location Harry Koniditsiotis (the Switchblade Kid) takes over the interview and the two have a wild journey of their own.
1 hr 53 min
Aug 24, 2020
The Sumeria of Rock 'n' Roll with Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.)
Host J.D. Reager chats with one of his musical heroes, the great Ken Stringfellow. They deep dive into the two projects Ken's most known for, The Posies and Big Star, but also touch on his work with R.E.M., Brendan Benson, Robyn Hitchcock and Tav Falco, what being a member of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame means to him, developing self-confidence in collaborative settings and more.
1 hr 19 min
Aug 13, 2020
Foundations with Elizabeth Cawein (Music Export Memphis)
Host J.D. Reager is joined by his friend, colleague and a big-time supporter of Memphis music and musicians, Elizabeth Cawein. Elizabeth talks about her inspiration for founding the non-profit organization Music Export Memphis and it's mission, working with J.D. on the Rock for Love benefit show and her new side hustles as a DJ and radio host.
Aug 9, 2020
Modifiers Chronicles with David Catching (Rancho De La Luna)
Host J.D. Reager acknowledges the birthday of his late friend, bandmate and mentor Bob Holmes before talking to guest David Catching (Rancho De La Luna, Eagles of Death Metal, earthling?, Queens of the Stone Age, Tex & the Horseheads) about his time in Bob's somewhat notorious, but largely unknown punk rock band the Modifiers. Plus Dave tells the story of how he ended up in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's TV show No Reservations, and J.D. plays some unreleased Modifiers music.
1 hr 6 min
Aug 3, 2020
Lollapalooza-palooza with Graham Burks, G3 and Jack Alberson
A very special Lollapalooza-themed episode. Host J.D. Reager tells his story of attending Lollapalooza 1993 at age 14, guests Graham Burks (Perfect Vessels, Pezz, Sweet Knives, Loose Opinions) and his son Graham Burks (the Becomers), A.K.A. "G3," discuss going to Lollapalooza 2019, and J.D. and returning guest Jack Alberson review the 2020 streaming festival.
Jul 28, 2020
On the Bandwagon with Joshua Cosby (Star & Micey)
Host J.D. Reager unveils the finished version of his song, "Waking Life (I'm Wearing Out)" before talking to Memphis songwriter/musician Joshua Cosby from the band Star & Micey. Joshua tells J.D. about his latest project, the collaborative compilation Bandwagon, the future of Star & Micey and more, and performs a live version of his new song "Figure It Out (Sundance's Song)."
Jul 22, 2020
Cine-magic with Chad Allen Barton (Piano Man Pictures)
Host J.D. Reager talks to Memphis filmmaker and entrepreneur Chad Allen Barton, who happens to be J.D.'s ex-brother-in-law. Chad tells J.D. about how the pandemic has affected his creative life, recruiting Twin Peaks' Michael Horse to appear in his film Lights, Camera, Bullshit, co-owning Black Lodge Video, growing up around video rental stores, and more.
Jul 14, 2020
Wires with Ben Ricketts
Host J.D. Reager has a conversation with Memphis musician, artist and educator Ben Ricketts about his new album, Songs For Ruined X-Rays, hospital nostalgia, relocating to Memphis, not forcing creativity, and more.
Jul 8, 2020
On the Beat with Big Don Valentine and Aaron Sayers
Host J.D. Reager briefly checks in before turning things over to returning guest Aaron Sayers and Memphis blues musician Big Don Valentine (Hollywood All-Stars, Big Don Valentine & the All-Star Band). They discuss Big Don's long and illustrious career on Beale Street, at Wild Bill's, and beyond, and the importance of connecting with the audience.
Jul 2, 2020
Mindfulness with Aaron Sayers
Host J.D. Reager chats up old friend, musician (the Houseflies, Liftoff, Makeshift Mafia) and PhD psychologist Aaron Sayers about his career as a musician and therapist, mindfulness in musical and therapeutic contexts, and much more.
Jun 23, 2020
Evil Eye (A Pezz Story) with Marvin Stockwell and Joe Demaree
To help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the legendary Memphis punk rock band Pezz, host J.D. Reager relives a fond memory from his short time in the band with help from co-founder Marvin Stockwell and old friend Joe Demaree.
Jun 16, 2020
Eric O Re-post with Eric Friedl (Oblivians, Goner)
Host J.D. Reager revisits his 2013 conversation with Eric Friedl, AKA Eric Oblivian, from the Oblivians and Goner Records.
Jun 1, 2020
GP Re-post with Gary Parrish (CBS Sports)
Host J.D. Reager revisits his 2013 conversation with CBS Sports analyst and Memphis radio personality Gary Parrish.
1 hr 20 min
May 19, 2020
BTTL Grab Bag with Joey Pegram and Jennifer
Host J.D. plays a rough mix of a song about his favorite NBA TV analyst, Vince Cellini. Then Jennifer joins the show to talk about getting take-out from Alinea and recent TV watching. To wrap things up, Joey Pegram (Shabbadoo, Two Way Radio, the Joint Chiefs, Professor Elixer's Southern Troubadours) checks in again from Tianjin, China and shares two impressive new recordings.
May 14, 2020
This Place with Joey Pegram
Host J.D. debuts a brand new song. Then special guest Joey Pegram (Shabbadoo, Two Way Radio, the Joint Chiefs, Professor Elixer's Southern Troubadours, etc.) reports from China about life under quarantine and shares a song about his adopted home country.
May 5, 2020
Tall Trees with John Bonds
Host J.D. Reager talks through a recent self-esteem crisis. Then, special correspondent Harry Koniditsiotis (the Switchblade Kid) talks to our guest "Bubba" John Bonds (River City Tanlines, Subteens, Kenny Brown, etc.), who tells a story about touring with R.L. Burnside that includes an Iggy Pop sighting and and run-in the with law. To close things out, J.D. debuts a rough mix of a new song he's working on.
Apr 26, 2020
Valuing Oneself with an All-Star Brain Trust
Host J.D. gets into why he decided to launch a crowdfunding page and talks to four creative friends - Chicago visual artist Dylan Sowle, Chicago musician Mike Fox (Arthhur), Memphis musician Jeremy Scott (Reigning Sound, Toy Trucks), and Chicago comedian Andy Fleming - about monetizing their creative lives. Then J.D. plays a couple of songs off of his "great lost album" project.
Apr 16, 2020
Kill Memphis Now with Jack Alberson and Jennifer
Host J.D. re-lives the week gone by, including such highlights as finally filing for unemployment and celebrating 13 years of marriage to Jenn. Later, Memphis musician Jack Alberson checks in via prerecorded message, J.D. unearths a forgotten "gem," and Jenn joins the show to talk about binge-worthy TV.
Apr 9, 2020
Musician J.D. Reager introduces himself and his struggle to the listening audience and tells the sad but ultimately uplifting story of how he "got here" and why he decided to launch a new podcast in the midst of a pandemic.