iHeartRadio is excited to announce a brand new musical podcast that’s unlike any other! It’s called “Bear and a Banjo.” The scripted story stars actor Dennis Quaid, music producer and multi-instrumentalist Jared “Jingle Jared” Gutstadt and songwriter Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd. The podcast tells the wonderfully charming folklore of Bear and Banjo, an unlikely duo traveling through American musical history, as Dr. Q works to find evidence of if they actually ever existed in the first place.
Bear is an enigma whose powerful voice changes hearts, minds and even history and Banjo, a mischievous guitar player, is his sidekick. Spanning through time from the 1930s to the 1970s, their adventures are meticulously archived and presented by Dr. Q, played by Dennis Quaid. Each episode places this duo at pivotal moments in American history where they unwittingly influence and define events that shape the 20th century.
Whether they’re helping legendary bluesman Leadbelly escape from a chain gang, playing cards with boxing great Sonny Liston, attending the stadium wedding of rock n’ roll’s first lady Sister Rosetta Tharpe, creating sonic weapons for the CIA or making dicey deals with the devil, Bear and Banjo always embody the healing and connective power of music.
But that’s not all this musical podcast journey has to offer: there’s an album to match, too. Before recording and launching the “Bear and a Banjo” podcast, Gutstadt and Poo Bear teamed up with legendary producer T-Bone Burnett and the one-and-only Bob Dylan to create an album of the same name. The album’s eight songs are a collection of low-fi Americana tracks infused with blues, rock and hip-hop and will act as the backdrop for each episode of the show.
In addition, the musical podcast also tackles heartfelt topics through the power of music. Listeners can tune into the podcast to hear “Better Days,” a song created for the podcasts sponsor, healthcare provider, One Medical. The hopeful song is inspired by anonymous social posts of real people suffering from depression. Poo Bear, Gutstadt, One Medical’s ad agency Giant Spoon, and the creative agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners collaborated to create the crowdsourced song.
Check out the first episode of “Bear and a Banjo” today on iHeartRadio and get an inside look into how “Better Days” was made below!
Bear and a Banjo