NEM#150: Josh Caterer (Smoking Popes): Punk + 40s Melodies (+ Occasional Jesus)

Josh formed Chicago-area punk band Smoking Popes in 1991 with his brother Matt, and his other brother Eli joined soon after. They released three albums and several EPs in the 90s then broke up after Josh became a Christian. He then released an album and a half as Duvall and then reformed the Smoking Popes, who have released three new albums since 2008. He’s also released some religious material as a solo artist, and his new album is composed of live covers of classic songs and reworkings of his own material.

We discuss “Need You Around,” originally from Born to Quit (1995) and re-arranged for The Hideout Sessions (2021). We then turn to the Popes’ “Amanda My Love” from Into the Agony (2018) and Duvall’s “Taking Me Home” from Volume & Density (2003), and we conclude with another new recording, “My Funny Valentine” (Rodgers/Hart). Intro: “Megan” from Destination Failure (1997). More at

Watch the video for the original version of “Need You Around.Hear all of “Megan.Watch a recent live Smoking Popes show and witness a bit of them in early punk mode in 1991. Here’s Josh acoustic in 1998 and in 2016. Watch Josh be interviewed on video.

Audio editing by Tyler Hislop.

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