Each episode of the Nathans & Roncast features a deep dive into a single song. Hosted by Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt, this podcast includes conversations with the artists, as well as subject matter experts about the real-life stories behind story songs you know and love.

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Serenity Fisher's "Winter"

Serenity Fisher & The Cardboard Hearts is a family band in many senses of the phrase, and not just because Michael, who plays cello, is married to the lead singer (pictured in the center here). There are all kinds of family ties that bind this group together, literal and figurative. The band blends playful pop-rock with a Tim Burton-esque quirkiness, which is especially true on this song. A wordsmith, Serenity coaxes stories into becoming songs by telling her truth, writing lyrics that are especially visual, and melodies that are dreamy. She is a powerhouse singer whose nuanced vocals vary from bluesy belt to sultry whisper, from technical prowess to stripped-down raw emotion. Her piano style is theatrical and passionate. Her music has been compared to Regina Spektor, Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. She has a background in theatre and enjoys singing jazz, musical theatre and classical pieces. These styles are evident in her original music and have led her to writing...
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Serenity Fisher's "Winter"

Serenity Fisher & The Cardboard Hearts is a family band in many senses of the phrase, and not just...
Peter Macdonald Blachly, with guitar, with lake in background

Peter Macdonald Blachly's "Vicksburg"

A few weeks back we featured Peter MacDonald Blachly as our interview guest as we discussed the song...
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The classical side of Michael G. Ronstadt

You know Michael G. Ronstadt’s alternative folk side, but do you know he’s classically trained,...
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Tim Reisert's "Oleander True"

Tim Reisert writes songs with meditation, nature, and memory close to the surface. His songs bring the...
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"One Dollar Gloves": Gregory Hugh Brady, the man behind the magic

The stunning sound quality on “Hello World” was made possible by Gregory Hugh Brady, a recording...
LisaBeth Weber

LisaBeth Weber's "Where the Sky Meets the Ground"

This week we feature our friend, the amazing multi-talented LisaBeth Weber. She’s a writer, a visual...
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Rachel Mousie's "I Can Do What You Can Do"

Rachel Mousie Rachel Mousie, vocalist, songwriter, and looper, was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH....
Clarence Dan Blachly

In Search of Our Dead Poet Co-Writer… "Evening" w/Peter Macdonald Blachly

Who was Clarence Dan Blachly? Michael came upon his book of poems named “Stubble Fields,” published in...
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Rob Lincoln's "Roosevelt's Around" (mini-episode)

This week we are featuring a musical force of nature here in the Philadelphia music scene: Rob Lincoln. Rob...
Michael J. Ronstadt in a studio, during younger days.

Michael J. Ronstadt's "Wynken, Blynken & Nod" (mini-episode)

These days, so many of the Ronstadt family members actively perform and sometimes tour. In the fall...
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"Flatbush Sunset": Rory Costello on the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ebbets Field

Aaron’s love of baseball history led him to Rory Costello’s fabulous essay about the secret history of...
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Liz and Pete's "Back Home to Blue" (mini-episode)

She’s Liz, he’s Pete, they are Liz & Pete. Liz Cerepanya and Peter Dalton Ronstadt (Michael’s...
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Thar she blows?

In Aaron & Michael’s first real-life podcast adventure, they take to the high seas in search of whales....
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Beth Kille's "All Is One" (mini-episode)

This week we are featuring an old friend of mine, Beth Kille, who fronts the Beth Kille Band in Madison,...
Nick Pyenson in cold weather suit, sunglasses over his hat

"Man and a Whale": Nick Pyenson, paleontologist and whale spy

Nick Pyenson We dive deep into the ocean — and the past — to explore whales, Earth’s most fascinating...
Meghan Cary

Meghan Cary's "River Rock" (mini-episode)

This week we are featuring a good friend of Aaron’s, a very special artist named Meghan Cary. The...
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Josh Hisle's "Son of a Roofer" (mini-episode)

Josh Hisle, left, and Michael G. Ronstadt, in an undated photo. Lost in Holland was Michael’s...
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"Sorry, Alan": George Dyson on Alan Turing

George Dyson Aaron’s song “Sorry, Alan” explores the inspirational and tragic life of Alan Turing,...
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Suzy Ronstadt's "Red River Valley" (mini-episode)

The Ronstadt family has been in Tucson, AZ for five generations and the next generation is growing fast!...
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"Let's Play in the Snow": Doug Hamilton

This song by Aaron explores the simple pleasures of a parent playing in the snow with their child. We...
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Bobby Ronstadt's "My World" (special mini-episode)

In this first mini-episode, we feature “My World,” by Michael’s cousin, Bobby Ronstadt....
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"Without the Cold": Alan Jay Prescott

“I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome, I took some comfort there,” wrote Paul...
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"Dr. Joelson's Bag": Sally Hayman

Who was Dr. Morris Joelson? In this episode we revisit the life of a physician in Paterson, New Jersey...
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"Hello World": Brian Kernighan

Learning any new skill requires that scary first step. We’re honored to take our first step into podcasting...
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