‘Ear Hustle’ Returns with Season 2

This season brings additions to the team, a new segment and a spate of stories about life inside San Quentin State Prison.

Ear Hustle is back with its second season today, March 14, and the new season means new sounds and new stories.

Listen to the first episode of Ear Hustle’s second season now.
Earlonne Woods, left, and Nigel Poor pose for a photo in the yard at San Quentin State Prison.
“We are adding things and people to the show, and just trying to expand creatively. We are trying to go to different parts of the institution and explore different stories,” said Earlonne Woods, who is a co-host of Ear Hustle and currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. “We believe that we currently have a great formula that has gotten us this far. Of course, our formula will evolve through trial and error, or trial and success.”

Earlonne and his co-host, Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist, say stories for this season will cover sex trafficking, death row, creativity in prison and father/son relationships, among other topics. Nigel says her personal goal is to craft an episode about food.

These episodes will also feature a new segment, called Count Time.

“This will be bonus content at the end of the episode that will allow us to share what I like to think of as tidbits of sound, curious pieces of audio that we want you to hear: jokes, recipes, music, very short stories — just a little extra to make you think,” Nigel said. “It will also be a place where we can experiment with sound.”

And speaking of experimenting with sound, the team is trying a few new things with their sound design for season two.

David Jassy, left, and Pat Mesiti-Miller work together in the San Quentin Media Lab.

Nigel and Earlonne are bringing on Pat Mesiti-Miller, a producer for Snap Judgment, to help them produce Ear Hustle’s second season. Pat is also working with a group of incarcerated men at San Quentin, teaching them about sound engineering and design.

This season, the team has also brought on David Jassy, the incarcerated Swedish musician who contributed to sound design during season one when Antwan Williams’ privileges were limited.

Antwan, a co-founder of the podcast, sound designer for season one and inmate at San Quentin, will have a more limited role this season, according to Nigel.

“Unfortunately, there is a situation happening right now in the prison that is affecting H-Unit, where Antwan Williams lives. Until this is resolved, he is not really able to come to the media lab,” Nigel said.

Nigel says Antwan will still contribute music when he can — and so will a lot of the men who contributed music for season one, including Lee Jasper, JB Burton, Phil Phillips and the band Quentin Blue.

Nigel, center, and Earlonne, right, interview in the yard at San Quentin.

The second season, like the first, will also air inside the prison on San Quentin’s closed-circuit station. Nigel and Earlonne both say the men inside have given them “nothing but love” in response to their first season.

“They love the fact that we are humanizing the incarcerated population,” Earlonne said. “I love when the guys that have been incarcerated for over 40 years come up to me and say that they love the show and are ready to share their incarcerated experiences.”

Because the show is also available outside the prison, Nigel says some of the men’s children have started listening, too.

“Men constantly come up to tell me how much they love the show, and that their children are tuning in and sharing it with their friends,” she said.

And Earlonne says he’d like to see people on the outside keep listening to the second season of the show.

“I hope that Ear Hustle continues to create dialogues that make regular citizens want to get involved,” he said.

You can get all of Ear Hustle’s stories on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic or wherever you listen. Follow the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too.

P.S. As part of their season two celebration, Ear Hustle has created T-shirts! The shirts are available for purchase here.