SongWriter, the podcast of stories and “answer songs” has returned for Season 3 and will be distributed by the American Songwriter Podcast Network.
SongWriter is the creation of songwriter and host Ben Arthur and features all-star literary and songwriting greats. The podcast format includes a story or an excerpt read by the author, and a song written in response by the songwriter, as well as interviews with the artists.
“I keep being surprised by how the conversations with the artists turn out to be my favorite part of the show,” Arthur says of Season 2. “I love learning how these incredible artists shape — and are shaped by — their stories.”
Season 3 includes a diverse and extraordinary list of artists, from Grammy-winning country stars like Amanda Shires, to MacArthur geniuses and bestselling authors George Saunders and Jonathan Lethem, not to mention Tift Merritt, Toshi Reagon, Joyce Carol Oates, Roxane Gay, and Mary Gauthier. The podcast is bi-monthly with 13 episodes planned for this season.
The first episode stars bestselling author Cheryl Strayed – whose memoir Wild was turned into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon – and songwriter Maia Sharp, whose songs have been covered by Cher, Trisha Yearwood, and Bonnie Raitt.
Strayed reads a letter from her beloved advice column, Dear Sugar, about losing her mother at a young age, and how small, unexpected moments and mementos can offer hope and solace. Maia talks about a recent break-up, and how Strayed’s writing meant to her during a difficult time.
“I was with someone who’s just amazing…and there was something in me saying that I had to go,” Sharp says. “You know, I just felt a little crazy.”
She also introduces her song, “It’s Always Good to See You,” which is on Sharp’s upcoming album, Mercy Rising (out May 7).
“I love Cheryl’s story, love hearing her warmth and wisdom in telling it, and had such an interesting and illuminating conversation with Maia,” Arthur says.
Check out the first episode below or head over to the American Songwriter Podcast Network. Episode 2 will be released on May 18 and features Roxane Gay, Celisse, and Toshi Reagon.