‘Longer than most bands’: Strange Grooves celebrates five years

Cherise Letson and Cait Milberry co-hosts of the New Brunswick music podcast Strange Grooves. (Submitted: Naomi Peters)

Five years ago, Cait Milberry and Cherise Letson decided to record one of their conversations about music. Now, over 100 episodes later, they’re celebrating the five-year anniversary of their podcast, Strange Grooves.

“I was stoked,” said Letson. “Five years, we’ve [been] together longer than most bands are.”

Based out of Saint John, N.B. Letson said they never expected the podcast to be such a hit.

The podcast evolved from two friends chatting about music into inviting friends and guests from the community.

The content of Strange Grooves is described by Letson as getting into the “deep cuts” of life – a play on words referring to songs on a record that may not be as popular.

She said talking to guests on the podcast about these “deep cuts” is the most special part of it for her.

“I think that’s always something that continuously surprises me – just how much of a
connector music is,” said Letson.

Letson explained that “digging deep” into the stories about how people have connected with music is what Strange Grooves is all about.

The podcast often has guests who come into the room feeling nervous or unsure what to talk about, according to Letson, but the love of music makes them feel comfortable and leads to an interesting conversation.

“No matter who you are, or what your background is, you have a piece of music or song that you’ve really connected with,” she said.

The podcast focuses on both up-and-coming and well-known artists. Some of their most popular episodes include talks with Ken Tobias, who received Music New Brunswick’s first Directors’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and Brett Emmons, lead singer of the Juno award-winning band Glorious Sons.

Others include discussions with non-musicians about how music has influenced their lives. One of the podcast’s most popular episodes was with Steve DeAngelo, an American advocate for cannabis reform in the United States.

Letson describes Strange Grooves as very conversational.

“I think that’s what our listeners really resonate with,” she said. “It’s like you’re sitting in on the conversation too.”

In 2018, Strange Grooves hosted a backstage lounge at Area 506, a waterfront concert series in Saint John, N.B. They’ve also worked with Mud City Meltdown, a music festival located in Moncton, N.B., and hope to do more video content in the future.

“We just can’t wait to see what the next five years bring,” said Letson.