Hulu’s ‘Reboot,’ PBS’ ‘Endeavour’ and the ‘Object of Sound’ and ‘Strong Songs’ podcasts are worth celebrating

Maybe it was all those piano lessons. Or those years in marching band. Or my addiction to VH1’s “Classic Album” series, with its many glorious mixing-board moments. Whatever it was, I am now a sucker for a music-geek podcast, and “Strong Songs” has made a deep dive into my nerdy heart.

Created, produced and hosted by Portland-based musician and writer Kirk Hamilton,the independent, sponsor-free “Strong Songs” looks under the hood of great pop, rock and soul tunes to see what makes them tick, cruise and roar. Whether it is the buoyant magic behind Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” the cryptic pull of Wilco’s “Jesus, Etc.,” or the iconic rhythms of drummer Bernard Purdie’s signature “Purdie Shuffle,” Hamilton analyzes each song, riff and chord change with a musician’s specificity and a fan’s pure, pie-eyed delight.

You might occasionally get lost in the musical-theory weeds, but hang tight. Once he gets that chord-progression mini-tutorial out of the way, Hamilton will have you reveling in Verdine White’s bounding “September” bass lines, Kate Bush’s use of the fairy-princess celesta in “Wuthering Heights,” or the way Joni Mitchell’s fluttering vocals and flickering melodies make “Help Me” sound the way falling in love feels.

And keep an ear out for the blissful chuckle Hamilton unfurls when he has just shared something really special. It’s a symphony.

“Strong Songs” is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or at

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