Welcome to Cover to Cover with Matt Tarka!

Welcome to Cover to Cover, a podcast featuring musical conversations about an album or song which has changed and enhanced someone’s life.

I’m your host, songwriter Matt Tarka. 

We humans connect with the presence of music in our own unique way – as an artist, a concertgoer, through our headphones, or as something that simply lives in our everyday background.

During each conversation, we will discuss a single or an album with a special guest. Our guest will choose the single or album and reflect on what that piece of music means to them. We may focus on lyrics, a guitar tone, a piano solo, a state of mind.

Through these conversations, we hope you will discover some new music, rekindle your love for an old forgotten song, and share a good moment with us as we sonically explore a world from Cover to Cover.  

Episode 86: The W Lovers – David Rawlings/Poor David’s Almanack

Our guest today is one Fluer Wood and one Wesley Wood. Together they are The W Lovers from Seattle, Washington and have made their mark on the live music scene all over the American West, playing over 100 shows a year, since their inception in 2014.

Their sophomore album “This Little Town,’ was produced by Ryan Hadlock (Brandi Carlile, The Lumineers) and was released June 2019. ‘This Little Town’ made it to #1 on the Roots Alternative Folk Chart for three weeks and hit #8 on NAAC Folk Chart. Voted #2 album of the month on Americana Highways in July and made several college radio top 10 lists across the US.

Our conversation with Fluer and Wesley centers around David Rawling’s Poor David’s Almanack, which was released on August 11, 2017 via Acony Records and the eighth collaborative LP for Rawlings and Welch, and the first under the name David Rawlings. Enjoy!


Episode 85: Rory D’Lasnow – Taking Back Sunday/Where You Want to Be

Our guest today is one Rory D’Lasnow. Rory is a singer-songwriter from New Jersey who plays the guitar upside down and backwards. He released his new EP, “Songs From an Empty Room” in Fall 2021 and you can catch him playing live throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Rory is also the host of an Instagram Live event once a week titled The Songwriter Showcase, which is an excellent way for those wishing to discover new songwriters and a place that I will recommend you give a follow.

For our conversation today, we will be discussing “Where You Want to Be” – the second album from Long Island, NY’s pop-punk outfit Taking Back Sunday. WYWTB was released on Victory Records back on July 27, 2004 and we took a deep dive into the lyrics, melodies and textures found on this record. Enjoy!


Episode 84: Jared Saltiel – Frank Sinatra/In the Wee Small Hours

Our guest today is one Jared Saltiel.

Jared is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Brooklyn, NY. Always a clever lyricist and imaginative storyteller, Saltiel’s rich orchestrations elevate his musical narratives with cinematic overtones.

As lead singer and songwriter of Ann Arbor, Michigan pop/rock band The Dirty Birds, he released his debut album How the Cause Became the Cure in 2009. After moving to Brooklyn NY, he launched his solo career, releasing two interconnected full-length albums of lushly orchestrated, “magical realist” story-songs: The Light Within in 2013, and Out of Clay in 2018. His follow-up One More Revelation was a return to more conventional songwriting and contemporary folk-rock aesthetics. With his new EP No Heroes, Saltiel channels the zeitgeist with emotional intelligence and evocative production.

As a producer and arranger, he has worked with a variety of musicians, including KAYE, Bell the Band, Cassidy Andrews, Lee Reit, and his brother Jason Saltiel. And as the co-creator of satirical slasher-comedy musical South by South Death, and the composer of Amina Henry’s original play Hunter John & Jane, his theatrical work has been covered in the New York TimesThe Village Voice, and TimeOut.

For our conversation today, we are going to be discussing In the Wee Small Hours, which is the ninth studio album by “The Chairman of the Board.” Of course, we are referring to Frank Sinatra. In The Wee Small Hours was released on April 25, 1955 by Capitol and produced by Voyle Gilmore with arrangements by Nelson Riddle.

Enjoy the conversation!


Episode 83: Chris Rider – JJ Grey & Mofro/Country Ghetto

Our guest today is one Chris Rider of Liverpool, PA. Chris is a photographer and an avid concertgoer. You can find him throughout south Central Pennsylvania and other parts of the Commonwealth behind a camera lens at a wide variety of venues including the Englewood near Hershey, PA and The Whitaker Center in Harrisburg.

We spoke in late July of 2021, one week before he was set to snap pictures of one of his all time favorite bands in action at Spy Glass Ridge Winery in Sunbury, PA.

So you may be wondering aloud now – what band are we referring to? Well, that would be a fantastic blues rock outfit from Jacksonville, FL known as JJ Grey and Mofro and their 2007 record titled Country Ghetto. Country Ghetto was the band’s third album and released on Alligator Records. There is an unmistakably deep connection between Chris and this record, which I hope comes through in this interview. Enjoy the conversation!


Episode 82: Matt Wheeler – Great Lake Swimmers/Ongiara

Our guest today is one Matt Wheeler. The terms “troubadour”, “poet with a guitar”, & “stage banter-conversationalist” all describe Matt Wheeler’s music & performance style well. Matt’s songwriting paints pictures with words. Matt has delighted audiences from New England to North Carolina, Ontario to Chicago. His new album “Wonder of it All” – a collection of songs based on classic works of literature like “The Little Prince” & “The Hobbit”, was released on 5/21/21.

For our conversation today, we are going to be discussing Ongiara “ahn-gee-AR-uh”, with a hard “g – the third studio album by Canadian folk rock band Great Lake Swimmers, released on March 27, 2007. The album was released on Nettwerk and the band recorded most of the album in London, Ontario’s historic music venue Aeolian Hall with producer Andy Magoffin.

For those wondering, Ongiara is the name of a boat that ferried the band to the site where they recorded the first demo. It’s also the original indigenous name of Niagara Falls. Enjoy and thanks for listening!


Episode 81: Keith Valcourt – Prince/Purple Rain

Our guest today is one Keith Valcourt. Keith is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp. He is also the co-author of the forthcoming autobiography of 1980’s new wave singer Dale Bozzio titled “Life Is So Strange: Missing Persons, Frank Zappa, Prince and more.”

Previously Keith worked as Global Project Manager for GeneSimmonsVault.com, an Artist Development rep at Capitol-EMI Records and as an actor in several TV shows and films including: “The Exes,” “Retired At 35,” “General Hospital” and his best known role as Ted on an episode of “The Office.” You can find everything that Keith is up to online over at: www.KeithValcourt.com

For our conversation today, we are going to be discussing Prince and The Revolution’s monumental record known as Purple Rain. This is Prince Rogers Nelson’s sixth studio album, which was released on June 25, 1984, by Warner Bros. Records. The album also serves as a soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name. Enjoy!


Episode 80: Mitch Easter – Stephen Duffy/Duffy

Our guest today is a native of Winston-Salem, NC. He is one Mitch Easter, legendary front man of the acclaimed Let’s Active and record producer at the Drive-In and Fidelitorium Recordings. For our listeners who might be unfamiliar with Mitch’s musical career to date … Easter formed Let’s Active in 1981 and that same year, produced R.E.M.’s debut single “Radio Free Europe,” which was issued on Johnny Hibbert’s label Hibtone Records in Atlanta. Incidentally, Radio Free Europe is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2021 and a reissue of an exact replica of Hibbert’s 7” mix is now available as of July 23rd, shortly before the time of this interview.

Easter went on to produce for R.E.M. their Chronic Town EP in 1982, their first full-length Murmur in 1983, and shortly afterwards, Reckoning. Murmur’s success also drew more attention to Easter, as did the release of Let’s Active’s debut EP Afoot, which launched the cult hit “Every Word Means No.” Mitch has produced the likes of Pavement, Wilco, Suzanne Vega, Dinosaur, Jr., The Baseball Project, Chris Stamey, The dBs, Alejandro Escovedo, A Fragile Tomorrow – the list goes on and on. He is also part of an ensemble that over the past few years has paid homage to Big Star’s Third record. And I would be remiss if I did not mention that he was also inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2019.

Our conversation today will center on British singer/songwriter Stephen Duffy and his second solo offering from 1995 titled “Duffy” where Mitch both produced and contributed electric guitar. Some may know Stephen Duffy as a founding member, vocalist and bassist of Duran Duran and later the front man for the folk rock outfit The Lilac Time.

This record is an auditory delight. If you are unfamiliar with it, please go out and get your own copy. Enjoy the conversation!


Episode 79: David “Vlad” Urban – Sonic Youth/Daydream Nation

Our guest today is one David “Vlad” Urban – Vocalist, Guitarist, and keyboard player in the Shoegaze / Postpunk trio – Waking Lily. He is also a member of the Experimental Electronic Dirge Duo known as Filament Band.

For our conversation today, we are going to be discussing Daydream Nation: the 5th studio album by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth, which was released on Enigma Records on October 18, 1988.

Daydream Nation has since been widely considered to be Sonic Youth’s greatest work and was chosen by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Recording Registry in 2005. Enjoy!


Episode 78: Derek Evry – Mark Mulcahy / The Gus

Episode 78 is now avail on 🍏, Stitcher, Google podcasts and Amazon!

For today’s episode we have a return guest, Mr. Derek Evry. Derek is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who has gone on to front several successful rock bands in the D.C. area (1999-2006) before briefly attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA (2006) and returning to D.C. to work on his own music.

For our conversation today, we will be placing our focus on American musician @mark_mulcahy and his 2019 solo record titled The Gus. For those unfamiliar, he is the front man for the New Haven, CT based band Miracle Legion. He later formed @thebandpolaris : a house band for the mid-1990s alternative TV series The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
To quote our guest verbatim about The Gus, “Each song on this album is a double sided coin of both joy and pain. It’s the perfect record for almost every occasion. Mark, being an already very accomplished songwriter, really takes this one to a personal yet eccentric place. Do not skip this album.” Enjoy! 🙂🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌✋👉👆👉#markmulcahy#thegus#covertocoverpodcast#covertocover#covertocoverwithmt