Back to the Light

Back to the Light

backtothelight.net
Memphis musician J.D. Reager (that’s me) moved to Chicago, lost his day job during a pandemic, and found inspiration in the midst of a personal crisis. Now, in addition to making records in his basement apartment, he’s having meaningful conversations with friends and fellow creatives and turning the tide in a lifelong struggle with mental health.


Developing the Voice with Jared “Jay B” Boyd (WYXR, Daily Memphian, Beale St. Caravan) and Ben Crowell (Sheet Ghosts, Glassworks Coffee)
Oct 19 • 55 min
Host J.D. Reager talks to Jared “Jay B” Boyd about his high-profile gigs at WYXR 91.7 FM, the Daily Memphian and Beale St. Caravan, and the career journey that eventually brought him back to Memphis. Then Chicago musician Ben Crowell joins the show to…
Big Stupid Steak with Kelly English (Restaurant Iris, The Second Line)
Oct 5 • 46 min
Host J.D. Reager talks to Memphis Chef Kelly English, the man behind Restaurant Iris, The Second Line, and Magnolia House (Biloxi, MS) as well as the new owner of Fino’s From the Hill, about his career in the food industry, the difficulties of operating a…
Hands Down with John Forbes (Mount Shasta, Tijuana Hercules)
Sep 28 • 49 min
Host J.D. Reager talks to his friend, neighbor and Chicago musician/artist John Forbes about his many musical projects, including Phantom 309, Dirt, Mount Shasta and Tijuana Hercules. Along the way they discuss the lasting influence of growing up in the…
Gonerfest 17 Spectacular with Eric Friedl (Goner, Oblivians, True Sons of Thunder)
Sep 20 • 47 min
Host J.D. Reager briefly touches on some good things going on for Back to the Light before playing the title track off of Rev. John Wilkins’ new release for Goner Records, Trouble. Then Goner co-owner Eric Friedl (Oblivians, True Sons of Thunder) joins…
The Heeliocopter Episode with Sean Rowader (Badge 212, General Joystick, F.A. Naes)
Sep 14 • 54 min
Host J.D. Reager debuts “the Sunken Road,” a single by Heeliocopter - which is new band featuring himself and Chicago musician Sean Rowader. After the song, J.D. talks to Sean about their collaborative process, his work in the groups Badge 212 and General…
Modifiers Chronicles 2 with Chuck Roast (Suburban Lawns)
Sep 7 • 38 min
Host J.D. Reager debuts a previously unreleased recording of the Memphis and Los Angeles-based ’80s punk band the Modifiers featuring the rhythm section of the legendary L.A. new wave group Suburban Lawns, Chuck Roast and Vex Billingsgate. Then J.D. and…
Horrible With Purpose with Ross Johnson (Panther Burns, Alex Chilton)
Sep 2 • 112 min
Host J.D. Reager speaks to one of his all-time favorite people, Mr. Ross Johnson, about his richly lived life in the music business. They discuss his work with Alex Chilton, Tav Falco & Panther Burns, the Modifiers and his new group Turnt, his early life…
The Sumeria of Rock ‘n’ Roll with Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.)
Aug 24 • 78 min
Host J.D. Reager chats with one of his musical heroes, the great Ken Stringfellow. They deep dive into the two projects Ken’s most known for, The Posies and Big Star, but also touch on his work with R.E.M., Brendan Benson, Robyn Hitchcock and Tav Falco,…
Foundations with Elizabeth Cawein (Music Export Memphis)
Aug 13 • 48 min
Host J.D. Reager is joined by his friend, colleague and a big-time supporter of Memphis music and musicians, Elizabeth Cawein. Elizabeth talks about her inspiration for founding the non-profit organization Music Export Memphis and it’s mission, working…
Modifiers Chronicles with David Catching (Rancho De La Luna)
Aug 9 • 65 min
Host J.D. Reager acknowledges the birthday of his late friend, bandmate and mentor Bob Holmes before talking to guest David Catching (Rancho De La Luna, Eagles of Death Metal, earthling?, Queens of the Stone Age, Tex & the Horseheads) about his time in…
Artist Statement with Zachary Caputo (ZJC, Sharkula)
Aug 6 • 84 min
Host J.D. Reager talks to his friend, onetime co-worker and Chicago musician and “sound artist” Zachary Caputo (Ze’ev, ZJC) about a trio of recent projects, including ZJC’s These Monsters Will Haunt You and underground rap legend Sharkula’s BBQ…
Lollapalooza-palooza with Graham Burks, G3 and Jack Alberson
Aug 3 • 44 min
A very special Lollapalooza-themed episode. Host J.D. Reager tells his story of attending Lollapalooza 1993 at age 14, guests Graham Burks (Perfect Vessels, Pezz, Sweet Knives, Loose Opinions) and his son Graham Burks (the Becomers), A.K.A. “G3,” discuss…
On the Bandwagon with Joshua Cosby (Star & Micey)
Jul 28 • 48 min
Host J.D. Reager unveils the finished version of his song, “Waking Life (I’m Wearing Out)” before talking to Memphis songwriter/musician Joshua Cosby from the band Star & Micey. Joshua tells J.D. about his latest project, the collaborative compilation…
Cine-magic with Chad Allen Barton (Piano Man Pictures)
Jul 22 • 59 min
Host J.D. Reager talks to Memphis filmmaker and entrepreneur Chad Allen Barton, who happens to be J.D.’s ex-brother-in-law. Chad tells J.D. about how the pandemic has affected his creative life, recruiting Twin Peaks’ Michael Horse to appear in his film…
Wires with Ben Ricketts
Jul 14 • 37 min
Host J.D. Reager has a conversation with Memphis musician, artist and educator Ben Ricketts about his new album, Songs For Ruined X-Rays, hospital nostalgia, relocating to Memphis, not forcing creativity, and more. —- This episode is sponsored by ·…
On the Beat with Big Don Valentine and Aaron Sayers
Jul 8 • 42 min
Host J.D. Reager briefly checks in before turning things over to returning guest Aaron Sayers and Memphis blues musician Big Don Valentine (Hollywood All-Stars, Big Don Valentine & the All-Star Band). They discuss Big Don’s long and illustrious career on…
Mindfulness with Aaron Sayers
Jul 2 • 40 min
Host J.D. Reager chats up old friend, musician (the Houseflies, Liftoff, Makeshift Mafia) and PhD psychologist Aaron Sayers about his career as a musician and therapist, mindfulness in musical and therapeutic contexts, and much more. —- This episode is…
Evil Eye (A Pezz Story) with Marvin Stockwell and Joe Demaree
Jun 23 • 32 min
To help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the legendary Memphis punk rock band Pezz, host J.D. Reager relives a fond memory from his short time in the band with help from co-founder Marvin Stockwell and old friend Joe Demaree. —- This episode is sponsored…
Eric O Re-post with Eric Friedl (Oblivians, Goner)
Jun 16 • 53 min
Host J.D. Reager revisits his 2013 conversation with Eric Friedl, AKA Eric Oblivian, from the Oblivians and Goner Records. —- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app —- Send in a voice message:…
GP Re-post with Gary Parrish (CBS Sports)
Jun 1 • 79 min
Host J.D. Reager revisits his 2013 conversation with CBS Sports analyst and Memphis radio personality Gary Parrish. —- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app —- Send in a voice message:…
BTTL Grab Bag with Joey Pegram and Jennifer
May 19 • 44 min
Host J.D. plays a rough mix of a song about his favorite NBA TV analyst, Vince Cellini. Then Jennifer joins the show to talk about getting take-out from Alinea and recent TV watching. To wrap things up, Joey Pegram (Shabbadoo, Two Way Radio, the Joint…
This Place with Joey Pegram
May 14 • 16 min
Host J.D. debuts a brand new song. Then special guest Joey Pegram (Shabbadoo, Two Way Radio, the Joint Chiefs, Professor Elixer’s Southern Troubadours, etc.) reports from China about life under quarantine and shares a song about his adopted home country.…
Tall Trees with John Bonds
May 5 • 19 min
Host J.D. Reager talks through a recent self-esteem crisis. Then, special correspondent Harry Koniditsiotis (the Switchblade Kid) talks to our guest “Bubba” John Bonds (River City Tanlines, Subteens, Kenny Brown, etc.), who tells a story about touring…
Valuing Oneself with an All-Star Brain Trust
Apr 26 • 27 min
Host J.D. gets into why he decided to launch a crowdfunding page and talks to four creative friends - Chicago visual artist Dylan Sowle, Chicago musician Mike Fox (Arthhur), Memphis musician Jeremy Scott (Reigning Sound, Toy Trucks), and Chicago comedian…
Kill Memphis Now with Jack Alberson and Jennifer
Apr 16 • 23 min
Host J.D. re-lives the week gone by, including such highlights as finally filing for unemployment and celebrating 13 years of marriage to Jenn. Later, Memphis musician Jack Alberson checks in via prerecorded message, J.D. unearths a forgotten “gem,” and…
The Prologue
Apr 9 • 18 min
Musician J.D. Reager introduces himself and his struggle to the listening audience and tells the sad but ultimately uplifting story of how he “got here” and why he decided to launch a new podcast in the midst of a pandemic. —- This episode is sponsored by…