Singing a Song to the 81%: An Interview with Daniel Deitrich

On July 17, 2020, Trax on the Trail Research Assistant Haley Strassburger and Founder Dana Gorzelany-Mostak interviewed Daniel Deitrich, the South Bend Indiana singer-songwriter who created quite a stir with his praise anthem “Hymn for the 81%.” Read on to learn more about the song that Religion News Service called “a cocktail of prophetic fireContinue reading “Singing a Song to the 81%: An Interview with Daniel Deitrich”

Musicians. Organizers. Activists. An interview with Andrew Scotchie and Andrew Fletcher, Organizers of the Feel the Beat! Feel the Bern! Fundraiser, Asheville, NC

On May 19, 2020 Trax founder Dana Gorzelany-Mostak and Trax Research Assistant Sarah Griffin had the pleasure of chatting with the two Asheville-based musicians who organized Feel the Beat! Feel the Bern!, a concert to support the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. The February 26th event, held at the Asheville Music Hall, featured The Paper Crowns, Mike Martinez, EleanorContinue reading “Musicians. Organizers. Activists. An interview with Andrew Scotchie and Andrew Fletcher, Organizers of the Feel the Beat! Feel the Bern! Fundraiser, Asheville, NC”

Tommy Oswalt Weighs in on Pop Culture and the American Presidency

On May 14th Trax Co-editor Dana Gorzelany-Mostak and Research Assistant Sarah Griffin had the pleasure of interviewing recent Vanderbilt University graduate Tommy Oswalt, who developed a TEDx talk and an interactive game exploring campaign playlists. Here Tommy weighs in on music and political engagement, candidate music strategies, and music’s role in sustaining a robust democracy.Continue reading “Tommy Oswalt Weighs in on Pop Culture and the American Presidency”

On the Inside Trax: Dr. Nicholas Phillips, Pianist, Educator, and New Music Advocate

A search by genre in the Trail Trax database will reveal very few examples of classical music on the trail. There was Stephen Colbert’s live string quartet with underscore for the final debate, “Hillary” (Kate McKinnon) and “Bernie’s” (Larry David) “Waltz of the Flowers” on Saturday Night Live, and Trump’s memorable entrances to “Nessun dorma” in 2016. Although aContinue reading “On the Inside Trax: Dr. Nicholas Phillips, Pianist, Educator, and New Music Advocate”

Rebecca Pronsky: Singer-Songwriter, Brooklyn’s Truth Bearer

On October 28, 2019 Trax research assistant Sarah Griffin and Trax founder Dana Gorzelany-Mostak had the pleasure of speaking to Rebecca Pronsky, a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn. Pronsky first came to our attention when we heard her delightful 2020 Candidate Jams, 60-second didactic songs dedicated to each Democratic presidential candidate. What made this country-noir artistContinue reading “Rebecca Pronsky: Singer-Songwriter, Brooklyn’s Truth Bearer”

On the Inside Trax: Stuart Schimler, Founder, American Pioneer Music

September 20, 2016 Today on the Inside Trax, I chat with Stuart Schimler, founder of American Pioneer Music. The former UC Berkeley history major makes his living as a software exec by day, but he also has a secret (or not so secret) passion—he loves campaign songs! Schimler’s company has produced two campaign song albums:Continue reading “On the Inside Trax: Stuart Schimler, Founder, American Pioneer Music”

On the Inside Trax: Kraig Moss, A Modern Day Troubadour for Trump

September 2, 2016 Over the course of the 2016 election cycle, the press has eagerly reported on the many pop songs candidates take to the trail. Journalists sometimes criticize the candidates’ seemingly tone-deaf choices: “Tiny Dancer” for Trump….really? In other instances, the pundits of pop culture debate the legality and ethics of candidates using theContinue reading “On the Inside Trax: Kraig Moss, A Modern Day Troubadour for Trump”

On the Inside Trax: John Balduzzi, Political Consultant

March 15, 2016 In addition to bringing you the viewpoints of students and scholars, Trax on the Trail is committed to going behind the scenes to bring you insiders’ perspectives on the creative processes that bring the campaign soundscape to life. Political candidates use music throughout their campaigns to paint a picture of their priorities,Continue reading “On the Inside Trax: John Balduzzi, Political Consultant”