Sounds Around Town: Billings-Based Podcasts 

October 2020 | by ashlynn reynolds-dyk

Collaboration. Connection. Leadership. Inspiration. Laughter. Education. You’ll find it all among some of our Billings-based podcasts and their accompanying hosts and storytellers. 

As mentioned in the The What, Why, and How of Listening to Podcasts blog, podcasts have gained great popularity in the last decade, and some incredibly interesting, bold, and talented folks in Billings have initiated their own podcast series. Some of these must-listeners include: 

The Campfire Hour with Kelli Maxwell, Kellan Evans, and Kyle Taylor:   

photo by Ashlynn Reynolds-Dyk

It’s just like it sounds- a conversation, or “banter,” as the hosts lovingly refer to it, amongst friends sitting around the campfire (except that it is now recorded in a studio around a table with microphones) where you will likely find the hosts sipping whiskey. This podcast is unedited, and as host Kelli Maxwell says, “it is raw and real.” Aiming, in part, to shift the culture of the local business scene to promote greater connection and collaboration, this crew is onto something.   

Gaining over 10,000 subscribers and a local sponsor (Jeramie Meadows of Northwest Mutual) in their first year, they interview guests who are typically involved in the local business scene, are up-and-coming, and are “movers and shakers,” explains Kelli. 

In growing their own special campfire hour community that now extends across the country, the crew also hosts occasional guests from outside of the Billings community - guests like Vivia Collins (a well-known podcaster and storyteller from Jamaica) - who demonstrate characteristics of leadership and inspiration.   

Most recently, the crew came out with a campfire blend whiskey coffee which is every bit as delicious as it sounds (I can attest to this!). This coffee is aged in an 1889 Montana whiskey barrel from Bozeman Spirits Distillery and ground at Mazevo Coffee Roasters in Billings where it can also be purchased (along with a number of other local retailers). 

The Time Machine Podcast with Don Corcoran: 

All of the things that make a good story are in this speaker/storyteller’s podcast series.  Listening to many podcasts himself, Don Corcoran noticed a gap in the podcast world when it came to cancer. After speaking in public forums about his own journey with cancer, he wanted to give others space to share their cancer stories and that’s exactly what he has done.  

Don’s podcast is as raw and real as the Campfire Hour podcast but in an entirely different way. Don bares his soul to tell all about his cancer journey, and then invites guests to do the same by telling their stories.  

If you or anyone you know has been impacted by cancer, this one is a must listen. Then again, it is really a must listen for anyone who has ever struggled with any kind of grief. As Don states, The Time Machine Podcast is a great way to be uplifted by “stories of strength and hope in uncertain times,” especially as we continue to recover from the difficulties all have all faced in the midst of COVID-19. 

The Liam McCollum Show with Liam McCollum: 

Twenty-year old Liam McCollum of Laurel, Montana started out with the goal of supplementing what he was learning in the college classroom at UM in Missoula (yes, he is a Griz fan, but hear me out and give him a chance!) with a podcast of his own.   

Hosting guests like the 2020 presidential and vice-presidential Libertarian party nominees Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen along with Pulitzer Prize winners like Ian Johnson, Liam’s podcast quickly took on a life of its own as big names agreed and continue to agree to be guests on his show. If you are looking for some out-of-the-box thinking about politics, economics, and society, Liam is sure to challenge your critical and philosophical thinking. 

Ranch Investors Podcast with Colter DeVries, Andrew Rahn, and Denver Gilbert: 

Brand new and fresh out of the gates with their very own podcast is this ranch investor crew.  They offer a “unique insider-perspective to local and regional markets” discussing what it takes to become an investor.   

The hosts bring considerable knowledge to the microphone, and their podcast will help with the processes, procedures, vocabulary (manager, broker, appraiser, etc.), and names you need to know when it comes to farm, ranch, and land investments.  

Offering a wealth of information, tools, and resources, this is a great podcast for anyone looking to learn more about the risks, opportunities, transactions, etc. of investing in ranch and land ownership in Montana (along with Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota). 

Other Local Podcasts:

There are a number of local organizations that produce podcasts associated with local churches, political organizations, and more. Be sure to check out the digital piece on our website that discusses The What, Why, and How’s of Listening to Podcasts. And, once you’ve checked out our local podcasters, you can also check out our directory of some of the most popular podcasts out there. 

Originally printed in the October 2020 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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