Bear and a Banjo explores musical history and events that shaped American culture though a scripted podcast


Dennis Quaid has long been both an actor and a musician, but now he’s found a way to combine his love of storytelling and his love of rock and roll with his new podcast, Bear and a Banjo.

The fictional anthology series follows the story of two friends, Bear (played by contemporary music producer “Poo Bear”) and Banjo (played by music producer “Jingle Jared”) who just happen to be in the vicinity where major musical or historical milestones take place through American history.

In the show’s first episode, they find themselves on a midnight train right with Sonny Liston, the mob and Muddy Waters — Bear and Banjo unwittingly influence and define events that shaped America between the 1930s and 1970s.

“It has a very Forrest Gump feeling about it,” Quaid, who is an executive producer as well as the show’s narrator “Dr. Q,” tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. He adds, “It’s very funny.”

  • For more about Dennis Quaid, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Bear and Banjo Podcast
Credit: Joshua Woolen

The show also has a host of guest characters, including two played by Rosanna Arquette, one played by Timbaland, and one by singer-songwriter Zac Brown, who plays a character in the show’s 5th episode and will release a remix of the show’s original song “Can You Hear Me Now” (out Nov. 7 across all digital and streaming platforms).

The most interesting aspect is that each episode will feature a new, original song (produced by legends like T. Bone Burnett, with lyrics to one song written by Bob Dylan) and at the end of the series, an 8-song album will be produced and made available for purchase.

“The audience reaction to it has been amazing,” says Quaid, 65, noting that they release a new song with every episode out on Thursdays.

Quaid, who recently got engaged to his girlfriend Laura Savoie, says he’s also excited about the podcast sphere in general, which has rapidly been gaining traction in Hollywood.

“I think right now, no one can tell you where it’s going,” he says. “It’s really like when TV came out or Sirius radio came on, no one could tell you what it’s going to be. So it’s exciting to be in the center of it.”

He likes listening to scripted podcasts to days of yore when families would gather around to listen to fictional shows on the radio. “It’s amazing how old ideas keep coming around to renew themselves,” he says.

Listen to Bear and a Banjo at iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.