Amerikan Rambler with Colin Woodward

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Amerikan Rambler discusses history, music, film, politics, and pop culture. The show is hosted by Colin Woodward, a Damn Yankee, historian, writer, and archivist. He is the author of Marching Masters: Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He is writing a book on Johnny Cash. You can reach Colin at his Twitter, WordPress, and Facebook page.
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Amerikan Rambler with Colin Woodward



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Mar 8, 2018

Jon Bachman stops by again to talk music and history. As always, the conversation begins with a discussion of modal jazz, then makes twisted turns into Virginia folklorist A. K. Davis, southern mystic Edgar Cayce, and, of course, Johnny Cash. Also, Jon talks about the upcoming albums by his son, guitar wizard Daniel Bachman.

In the intro, Colin rambles about the recent blustery weather, the start of baseball season, and why you should never casually google Klaus Kinski.   

Feb 28, 2018

Greg Hansard just finished his first book, German Sailors in Hampton Roads: A World War I Story at the Norfolk Navy Yard, and he talks with Colin about teaching full time after many years of adjunct work and having a 9-5 gig. He also discusses his grandfather's experiences in France in World War II, playing baseball in Germany, and the joys of craft beer. You know, the usual stuff you hear at an Applebee's.

In the intro, Colin talks about getting over yet another cold, his unabashed love for his old Zune, and the uncertainties of owning a Mickey Mouse record player.   

Feb 20, 2018

Historian and confirmed Anglophile Graham Dozier returns to the podcast to talk about his recent visit to London, where Colin lived for a semester back in 1996. Listen as two Civil War guys manage to get through a whole conversation without discussing Richmond monuments! Instead, Colin and Graham discuss why Cromwell died three times, the Mouse Trap's pretty good run, and the pointless mudbath that was World War I. It all begins and ends with the Beatles, of course.

So, hold on tight to your bumper shoot, have a bite of spotted dick, and try not to spill your cuppa Earl Grey. It's the most English episode yet (Patrick Carr excepted)!

Feb 15, 2018

It's part two of Colin's talk with Gettysburg College professor and author Pete Carmichael. Hear more about Pete's work, the Civil War, and today's politics of commemoration.

In the intro, Colin talks about seeing a bunny movie and how it didn't quite make as much of an impact as seeing Nazis melted when he was five.

Feb 7, 2018

Pete Carmichael is one of the busiest Civil War historians working today. He talks with Colin about growing up in Indiana, living in Richmond, and landing in Pennsylvania. He's now a professor of history and the Civil War at Gettysburg College. He has a book coming out in the fall on the "common" soldier of the Civil War. He discusses his latest work, but Colin and Pete cover everything from sports to the Confederate monuments debate. It's a two-part Amerikan Rambler extravaganza!

In the intro, Colin talks about the Super Bowl, the late comedian Bill Hicks, and the odd similarity between one Confederate soldier and Dustin Hoffman.   

Feb 6, 2018

The Rambler be ramlin'. Enjoy this fire pit chat as Colin talks about recent movies, writing projects, TV shows, and the 2018 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In this episode, Colin hopes to answer timeless questions such as: Why doesn't Link Wray get the credit he deserves? What is Danny McBride doing in an Alien movie? And just what is Yoda's problem, anyway? It's another amazing episode of free content!

Feb 1, 2018

Michael Streissguth is a music writer, teacher, and filmmaker. His latest project is the documentary film he directed, The Nighthawks on the Blue Highway. He and Colin talk about how he got interested in music as a kid growing up in D.C., his books on Johnny Cash, and his collaboration with the Nighthawks. He also discusses his earlier work on Jim Reeves and Eddy Arnold. Lot of music talk here! 

Jan 18, 2018

It's Southern, the debut demo album from Country Kitchen, the house band at Amerikan Rambler. Country Kitchen draws on everything from the Who and the Beatles to Black Sabbath and the Drive-By Truckers to write songs about drinking, family, and a demonic hound haunting the Delta. The usual stuff. Is the album good? Does it suck? Take a listen and find out!

In the meantime, Country Kitchen is available for weddings, children's parties, and bar and bat mitzvahs.


1. Traveling

2. Daddy Didn't Fish Cuz He Couldn't Sit Still

3. Up is Down

4. Devil Dog

5. It's a Fine Line Between Living and Dying

6. Sydney

7. Ella

8. Just Got Paid

9. I Love Drinking Too Much to Ever Drink Too Much

10. 100 Degrees in Little Rock

11. Blind Willie McGhee

12. Southern

13. Gonna Go Far Away


Jan 12, 2018

Jack Lauterback got his start as a writer, blogging about his adventures in the Richmond bar scene. His funny and honest articles about bartending, drinking, and relationships led to a column in Style Weekly, where he stayed for years. Now, you can find him on the Richmond morning radio program he co-hosts with Melissa Chase at 103.7 FM. Colin and Jack talk about the Richmond bar scene, the writing life, and some jobs that aren't worth doing. It's happy hour at Amerikan Rambler!  

Jan 2, 2018

WS "Fluke" Holland is Johnny Cash's one and only drummer. After playing drums several years with Carl Perkins, Fluke joined Cash's band, which he never left until Cash stopped touring in the late 1990s. As one of the original members of the Tennessee Three, Fluke talks with Colin about the early days at Sun, discovering Bob Wootton, and what he's going to do on his 100th birthday.

Music credits: "Drum Time," "The Legend," and "Ring of Fire" courtesy of the album Johnny Cash's Legendary Tennessee Three: The Sound Must Go On. Live, 1968 versions of "Matchbox" and "Big River" courtesy of the Winthrop Rockefeller Collection, UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, Little Rock.  

Dec 28, 2017

Jeffrey Abugel is a native of New York who now calls Petersburg home. He talks with Colin about growing up in NYC, living in California and writing about surf music, and suffering long winters in Iowa before landing in Virginia. He is an authority on depersonalization disorder, a prevalent but not well-known affliction that has historical roots in existentialist philosophy but has only recently entered the lexicon of mental health. Plus, Jeff discusses his work on Edgar Allan Poe, a new novel, and playing cards with Al Pacino. 

Dec 20, 2017

Colin runs down his December, which included an accidental attendance at a Confederate Pride Christmas Parade in Mechanicsville and a welcome night at a concert given by by Drive-By Truckers front man Patterson Hood. Also, to start the show, Larry and David and Marlon Brando stop in for a spirited reading of The Night Before Christmas. It's Christmas! You'll laugh and cry (over your credit card bills)! Throw another yule log on the fire and snuggle in with some free online content! 

Dec 14, 2017

Erin Devlin is a professor of History and American Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. She has written a book Remember Little Rock (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017), about racial integration in Arkansas's capital from the 1950s onward. As she discusses with Colin, the story of Little Rock integration was one of progress and setbacks, and it's a story that resonates not just throughout the South, but in the North as well. It is also a story important to today's politics and battles over public education.

Dec 8, 2017

In their first episode in Richmond, Bun and Hawk take on the usual topics: film, politics, sexual deviancy (with focus on Louis CK), Mother Teresa, and Harriet Tubman. Why can't Bun keep the Jewish Community Center and the Byrd Theatre straight? Why does Hawk think that "no one is clean?" It's another R-rated foray into the world of pop culture and current events.

Nov 28, 2017

Colin survived Thanksgiving. And on this episode, he talks about his run up and down I-95 with the family, describes the glories of the fire pit, sees some dinosaurs, and offers a brief Tony Soprano impersonation. Will he keep the tree up until MLK day? Listen and find out! 

Nov 16, 2017

Bill Martin is the Director of the Valentine Museum in downtown Richmond. A Virginia native with stops in Georgia and Florida, he has lived in RVA for over twenty years and seen big changes in the city's landscape, demographics, and attitudes. Bill has dedicated himself to telling RVA's rich and often controversial story. Along the way, he corrects some common misconceptions about the capital and its history. Tatted hipsters! Craft beer! I-95! Bill and Colin discuss it all.  

Nov 12, 2017

Colin discusses the recent political campaigns in Virginia, the cold weather, and some of his favorite alt-country albums. Wilco! Drive-by Truckers! Bobby Bare, Jr.! We're sure they were very happy to make the list.

Nov 2, 2017

Stan James plays drums for two bands: the southern metal group Iron Tongue and the alt-country outfit Jeff Coleman and the Feeders. Stan talks about playing music from an early age, his days with Cry Havoc, the Little Rock music scene in the 1990s, and what it's like to teach high school kids. Stan also remembers his first tattoo, discusses his Kiss worship, and recounts the decline and fall of 80s hair band Warrant.    

Oct 27, 2017

Colin is back in Arkansas to do research on the prisons and give a talk on Johnny Cash. Along the way, he reconnects with some friends, visits historic Dyess yet again for a concert featuring Rosanne Cash and Kris Kristofferson, and discovers what it's like to spend a night in a Cormac McCarthy novel. It's fall in the South, where the country-rock bands are jumpin' and the cotton is high. A very special Amerikan Rambler travelogue!

Oct 17, 2017

In anticipation of his talk in Dyess, Arkansas, Colin uploads his paper on the relationship between Johnny Cash and his father Ray, which is part of his book, Country Boy: The Roots of Johnny Cash. In the outro, he discusses a recent, belated purchase of two classic rock albums, the horrors of getting a hair cut, and the arrival of fall.

Oct 12, 2017

Patrick Carr knows music. A writer for the Village Voice and Country Music Magazine, Patrick collaborated with Johnny Cash on his second autobiography, which was published in 1997. Patrick talks with Colin about growing up in northern England and his early love of "the Hanks," moving to New York City, and what it was like to know and work with the Man in Black at the height of his 1990s comeback.  

Oct 6, 2017

It was a horrible beginning of the week, but it got better, right? Colin discusses the tragedy that took place in Las Vegas and the sadness of Tom Petty's unexpected passing. He also talks about a rare date night and seeing a Johnny Cash tribute band in Henrico. To quote from a "Boy Named Sue": "this world is rough, and if a man's gonna make, he's gotta be tough." Let's hope next Monday isn't as rough.

Oct 2, 2017

He works in Charlottesville now, but Brendan Wolfe is a native of Iowa. This year, he published a book on Davenport jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke. Brendan worked more than ten years on Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend. He talks with Colin about Bix's short, brilliant, and controversial life, doing non-traditional biography, and dealing with nasty reviewers.

Sep 15, 2017

Alan Taylor is one of the most accomplished historians working today. A two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and professor of history at the University of Virginia, his latest book is American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804. He talks with Colin about the craft of history, his time in California, moving to Virginia, being a loyal Red Sox fan, and, of course, the War of 1812.

Sep 1, 2017

What do the Richmond Confederate monuments and the band Drive-By Truckers have in common? Colin sits down with Chris Graham, a Ph.D. in history, Richmond transplant, and Truckers fan, to talk about intersections between the 19th and 21st century South. As it turns out, the Civil War's legacy has a lot to do with the Truckers, whose most recent album, American Band, got political.

Also, legendary drummer Ginger Baker stops by the studio to dispense a few words of wisdom.     

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