Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: You’ve Got a Friend in Jeffrey Silverstein

The Portland songwriter celebrates friendships old and new.

Jeffrey Silverstein — the Portland, OR-based “cosmic country” songwriter — describes his forthcoming Western Sky Music as his first full-band album. The record features contributions from his friends, like Akron/Family’s Dana Buoy on drums and North Americans’ Barry Walker Jr. on pedal steel, as well as guest appearances from William Tyler and Karima Walker. In honor of the record’s announcement, Jeffrey put together a playlist celebrating the music of a few of these friends, and many more. Western Sky Music is out May 12 on Arrowhawk Records.
— Annie Fell, Editor-in-chief, Talkhouse Music

I’ve often said that music has given me everything, including some of my closest friends. “You’ve Got a Friend” is a playlist that celebrates friendships old, new, and burgeoning through song. Tell your friends you love them. 

John Andrews — “Checks in the Mail”
John is equal parts inspiring and supportive. He’s 100% invested in his art, be it his music or animations, etc. “Checks in the Mail” is the first single from a new album for Woodsist. 

North Americans — “Classic Water”
Patrick took a chance on my first solo release back in 2019 and I’ve been grateful for his support and friendship since. It’s been a joy to watch him grow as a songwriter via the North Americans moniker alongside Barry Walker Jr. on pedal-steel. “Classic Water” is the lead single from Long Cool World, their latest for Third Man Records.

Mikayla McVey — “Drunk House Guests”
Mikayla is a frustratingly talented songwriter. I was lucky to share a stage with her in San Francisco on my first solo tour and I will not stop screaming her name from rooftops. “Drunk House Guests” comes from her criminally underrated 2022 release Time Turns Everything.

Credit Electric — “Selfus”
Credit Electric’s music scratches every itch for me. We recently got to do a short PNW tour together that further cemented my love for them. Beautiful music made by the kindest people. “Selfus” is a track from Out of Love in the Face of a Shadow, my favorite album of 2022.

Solid Bronze — “Yakisoba Dub”
Ian Everett, primary songwriter for Solid Bronze, is one of my oldest and closest friends. Someone I cannot speak any higher of. He does his own thing in his own time and this music is proof. Also, you should hire this man to do a custom pet portrait. “Yakisoba Dub” is the lead track from their second LP Mt. Fuji (2022).

Dana Buoy — “African Violet”
Dana is a founding member of a band that changed my life, Akron/Family. I now call him a close friend, neighbor, and bandmate. A phenomenal drummer, woodworker, singer, and composer. “African Violet” is a serious groove from 2022’s Experiments in Plant Based Music Vol. 1.

Bobby Lee — “Reds For A Blue Planet”
Bobby Lee is a kindred spirit. I hold him in high regard and cannot wait to join him and Joe Harvey-Whyte at the end of the month for our Cosmic Country Revue tour of the UK. “Red For A Blue Planet” is his latest for Tompkins Square. 

Mouth Painter — “Yardin’”
Mouth Painter are easily one of the best bands in Portland. Eclectic but accessible is hard to do well and they nail it time and again. I count my lucky stars to be part of their universe as both friend and collaborator. “Yardin’” is a certified bop from the album Tropicale Moon (2021)

Misha Panfilov  — “Baltica Calls Me”
I’ve yet to meet Misha in person, but I already consider him a good friend. He just can’t miss. His ouput is unlike anyone I’ve come across. Really motivating. Have found so much comfort in his music the past few years and am really looking to giving him a hug in the UK this month. “Baltica Calls Me” is from his 2022 album The Sea Will Outlive Us All.

Small Sur — “Rest”
I’ve known Bob Keal (who performs/records as Small Sur) for a long time. Bob was instrumental in welcoming me into the Baltimore music scene as a young songwriter and I was overjoyed to see him release Attic Room last year, his first since 2013. 

Pops Staples — “Friendship”
Can’t say I knew Pops personally (that would have been cool), but this is one of the most beautiful tunes about friendship I’m aware of. Gets me every time. 

Hamilton Belk — “Whole Again”
I had the privilege of touring with Hamilton last summer on the East Coast. We had never met before but a close friendship formed instantly. Dude is one hell of a steel player and I couldn’t be more excited to see him releasing new music under his own name. “Whole Again” is guaranteed to be on heavy rotation for me for a while. 

(Photo Credit: Shade Standard)

Jeffrey Silverstein is a songwriter based in Portland, OR. His new EP, Roseway, is out June 14, 2024 via Arrowhawk Records.

(Photo Credit: Shade Standard)