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Dan Cable’s Intimate Interviews With Musicians Have Made Him One of the Most Successful Podcasters in Portland

Aug 04, 2023

What is Dan Cable Presents? In short, it's a "progrum." So says the catchphrase of the Portland music podcaster Dan Cable, who asks his guests to end each episode with that proclamation—a shout-out to Cable's grandfather, who pronounces program that way.

Cable clarifies with a laugh that granddad is not from the Midwest, as his pronunciation might imply. "He's just from California. It must be a generational thing," he tells WW.

Cable is friendly and funny, striving for each interview to be well researched but agendaless. "I’ve always had a really vivid memory for recalling things for sure," he says. "Like, stupid good. Like, sometimes I wish the memory was not so solid. But it comes in handy."

"Stupid good" memory and unrelenting curiosity is part of what brings out the kind of storytelling that happens on Cable's show. He points to a 2020 interview he did with Soft Kill's Tobias Grave (Episode 235), in which Grave opens up about his history with substance abuse and some of his motivations for recovery.

"At a certain point I was like, yo, this means a lot to me," says Cable, who shared with Grave that he had a good friend who had died of a heroin overdose. Cable hadn't disclosed the information before going into the interview; it was just something that came up, and the episode ended up being one of his more moving shows.

"They’re not like that every episode—and that's the joy of it," he says. "Some episodes are really goofy and fun and there are lots of laughs, then others get really heavy. So if [the guests] are going to get vulnerable, I’m going to do my best to jump in that water, too."

Cable is wary of overshadowing anyone's story by interjecting himself too much into the episodes. But the beauty of his hosting style is that it creates space for humanity and connection that comes out in shootin’-the-stuff conversations.

Cable says he begins his research process by asking himself, "What do I want to learn about this person?" He mentions Episode 328, in which he interviews musician and busker Johnny Franco, who moved with his brother Dom to Portland from Brazil.

Cable considers all of Franco's performances to be amazing, whether they’re in a venue or on a street corner. So he went into that conversation hoping to break down the art of busking. "To me, [busking] was this very simple thing and maybe even sometimes an annoying thing that you come across when you’re walking about your day," Cable says.

He adds, "Getting to really understand his mentality behind it just completely changed my thought process." He realized that by busking, Franco was creating a soundtrack for peoples’ days, learning and perfecting the art of how to navigate the folks who might not be in the mood to hear his music, and how to play for the ones who are.

Since starting in 2016, Dan Cable Presents has had a new episode out every single week. As Cable's audience and sponsorship continues to grow, his goal remains the same: to be ever curious and excited to promote both emerging and established artists across genres.

Cable cites podcasters like Marc Maron and Pete Holmes, whose openness encourages their guests to face a direction they might not normally look. "I think everybody brings out something different, you know?" he says. "I’m just trying to find that common ground or where to connect with them."

LISTEN: Dan Cable Presents episodes stream at