Showing posts with label #NewMusicMonday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #NewMusicMonday. Show all posts

Monday, September 27, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • September, 2021

This Monday finds me with few words and a 60 song playlist that features several artists new to me. 

When I stumbled onto Dori Freeman's new album Ten Thousand Roses, I started to go through my normal routine of sampling an album. I usually glide across several sections of a song daring the artist that is new to me to stop my incessant 'skip clicking' and slap me to attention. I love it when my search mode mentality stops and my active music listening mode starts. Is there gold here?

Dori certainly got my attention in that she has a wonderful voice to go with her straight forward songwriting. What makes a person gravitate to a singer-songwriter artist over another? Of course you have your personal taste even within a genre like Americana, but there's a magic to finding someone that sings and speaks to you. It's rare when I feature all or almost all the songs from a new album, it just doesn't happen that often. I've included all ten songs from Ten Thousand Roses across the playlist this week. I'll now be going to listen to her other three albums

Enjoy the playlist my friends!

Albums Featured This Month (w/at least 3 songs)

  1. Dori FreemanTen Thousand Roses
  2. Billy StringsRenewal
  3. Mac McCaughanThe Sound of Yourself
  4. Third Eye BlindOur Bande Apart
  5. Adia VictoriaA Southern Gothic
  6. J.P. Saxe Dangerous Levels of Introspection
  7. Lindsey BuckinghamLindsey Buckingham
  8. Heartless BastardsA Beautiful Life
Featured Artists this Month Include:
  • Jason Isbell
  • Natalie Hemby
  • Sting 
  • Darlingside
  • Pat Metheny
  • Ric Robertson
  • Tommy Emmanuel & Richard Smith
  • Amanda Ventura
  • King Princess
  • Ronnie Wood
  • Eddie Vedder
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Alexis Taylor
  • Ringo Starr
  • Aoife O'Donovan
  • Old Sea Brigade
  • Nathaniel Rateliff

 

Monday, August 30, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • August, 2021









I've been tempted to rebrand my Monday Monday Music™ name several times since I started this blog in 2015. Did I write myself into a corner by having to publish every Monday or on a Monday? Should I have used my own name to brand myself? But, I always come back to sticking with Monday Monday Music as it's taken me this far with a dedicated reader and playlist listening base.

Now when it comes to bands, a name change after some success can be a risky venture. I know this happens, but I'm only coming up with one example from the past. I remember 'The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band' going through a short phase of calling themselves, 'The Dirt Band.' I think they quickly went back to their OG name once they realized the nitty gritty of the situation.

Naming of the most famous band-
By January 1959, Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group, and he began his studies at the Liverpool College of Art. The three guitarists, billing themselves as 'Johnny and the Moondogs,' were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer. Lennon's art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe, who had just sold one of his paintings and was persuaded to purchase a bass guitar with the proceeds, joined in January 1960. He suggested changing the band's name to 'Beatals,' as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. They used this name until May, when they became the 'Silver Beetles,' before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July, they had refashioned themselves as the 'Silver Beatles,' and by the middle of August simply 'The Beatles.' 
(Wikipedia)

Now The Beatles, did all this name swapping before they really had any real name recognition. Personally, (and please Beatle fans don't burn me at the stake here) but I've never liked the name, 'beat' pun and all. Anyway, The Beatles did start getting name recognition in 1960, stuck with the name, and the rest is history as they say. 

That brings me to one of my new favorite bands of the past several years and featured in the new music playlist this week, Mandolin Orange. The name 'Mandolin Orange' is pure Americana genius and one of my favorite band names in memory. 

However, this past year the Mandolin Orange duo of Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin changed their name to, 'Watchhouse.'

You can read the link article above for their name change and maturation as artists, and it all makes perfect sense, it's their band, period.

Personally, as a fan I'm not digging it so much. Honestly when I first heard the name, I thought of teenage slasher movies like, I Know What You Did Last Summer, or The Hills Have Eyes. I'll just forget my images of Jamie Lee Curtis, Neve Campbell, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, sorry.

Watchhouse with their self-titled new album, Watchhouse is a very good album from a very good band. If you're into acoustic guitar, mandolin and harmony look no further than Watchhouse (tagged for awhile as, "formally Mandolin Orange"). I think I'm now cured of my blog name change game I play in my head.

Featured Artists And Bands On This New Music Playlist (A-Z)
  • Marisa Anderson & William Tyler
  • John Batiste
  • Big Red Machine
  • Jade Bird
  • Bleachers
  • Lindsay Buckingham
  • Coldplay
  • Rodney Crowell
  • Dawes
  • Brett Dennen
  • Tommy Emmanuel & Richard Smith
  • Oliver Hazard
  • Natalie Hemby
  • Scott Hirsch
  • Chistone "Kingfish" Ingram
  • Durand Jones & The Indicators
  • Josiah and the Bonnevilles
  • The Killers
  • John Mayer
  • James McMurty
  • Robert Plant & Allison Krauss
  • Kathleen Regan
  • Maggie Rose
  • Sturgill Simpson
  • Toad The Wet Sprocket
  • Watchhouse 

Monday, July 26, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • July, 2021


I've paddled upstream where the river ran
I've touched sticks and stones to an olive branch
I've made a full house from a shitty hand
Yet, here I am, still gotta be bigger than the bigger man

The Bigger Man, Joy Oladokum

When I start putting together my now end of the month feature #NewMusicMonday, I'm searching and listening for songs that grab me. 

When I came across Joy Oladokum's new album, in defense of my own happiness I just kind of instinctively knew from the title that there was going to be some masterful songwriting coming from this young woman. 

So, I started listening and kept adding songs to the playlist this week. 

Seems that everyone wants to compare Joy with Tracy Chapman. Let's just let Joy be Joy Oladokun, she's charting her own path.
..........

Out of contact out of zone
Off the backbeat off the bone
Away from the wolf pack on your own now
Dance together or dance alone
There's trouble outside and trouble in
Show some hustle show some skin
Whatever was has already been now
Let this new day do its thing

Maybe Your Heart's Not In It No More, Jakob Dylan

The Wallflowers with band leader Jakob Dylan haven't made an album in nearly ten years, but it's been well worth the wait as Exit Wounds is a very good album. 

I think Jakob Dylan has a great singing voice that seems to be getting better with age. The first track, Maybe Your Heart’s Not in It No More is a great rock 'n' roll song with the added benefit of Shelby Lynne providing backup vocals on this and several other tracks. 

The Wallflowers are a good example of what makes Americana rock 'n' roll and Rock 'n' Roll Americana.
..........

Do you think of the ocean as yours?
Because you need the ocean to breathe
Every second breath you take
Is coming from the sea
We don't really know
Because we don't really see
Do you think of the ocean as yours?
Do you think about it at all?

Downhill From Everywhere, Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne, a conscious voice for a couple of generations now, still striving, still asking the essential questions. 

The complete album has just landed this past Friday and I'm still absorbing all the songs now included in this playlist. Jackson is such an inspiration, still writing and performing with his ageless voice, still at the top of his game, one of the greats that just keeps going and going. I will say, after all these years, he's finally got a little age in his face to go with the wisdom that he has expressed in song since his journeys up down the U.S. 101.

The song Downhill From Everywhere has a great Rolling Stones riff-like feel and I'm loving it! Just like Jackson to turn an environmental bummer into a catchy beat. I would guess Val McCallum his lead guitar player would have something to do with that too!

Random thought- Why haven't Bonnie Raitt and Clyde (real first name of) Jackson Browne made an album together? You know it would be fantastic, and you already know the name of the album, Bonnie & Clyde.
..........

Real Estate is a band from New Jersey since 2009 and I would have guessed they were from across the pond. I really like their easy Indie rock sound that makes me gravitate to them like U.K bands Flyte, Teenage Fanclub, and The Fratellis that I have featured this year in #NewMusicMonday posts.

Half a Human is a good summertime EP and worth a listen.
..........

I stepped across the dreaded green line
When the self-inflicted wounds are slowly healed
I couldn't find the forest, couldn't see the trees
I had to find my way by touch and feel

Boxes, David Crosby

David Crosby's cover of Joni Mitchell's For Free is brilliant. Like several of the songs on this album, Crosby has wisely collaborated with top shelf musicians like Sarah Jarosz on For Free, Michael McDonald on River Rise, and Donald Fagan on Rodriguez For A Night.

I personally think he should have done the whole album this way cowriting or performing with distinguished artists like Sheryl Crow did on Threads (2019). But unlike Crow, It feels to me that David's still got something to prove whether it be his ability to sell as a solo artist, or just to show people he's still got the goods.

His acidic comments over the years have caused such a rift between former band mates Stills, Nash, and Young that they now want nothing to do with him. Personally, I wish these guys the best in patching up their collective wounds and hope they can have a friendship together with David in the future. Listen to the song Boxes, as he openly acknowledges his responsibility and reflection on the subject.

Now professionally, these four guys need to stay divorced from each other, forever. All four are actually doing great collaborating with other people musically, and the comments I read about fans wanting them back together is just too much, that wooden ship sailed long ago...

However, the YouTube comments about David's voice and new songs are spot on. David Crosby's singing voice came down from the gods, and the gods have not taken away that gift. I saw him in concert several years ago and was amazed by the clarity and quality that voice has endured and continues today as he successfully delivers on this very good album. 

Enjoy my friends, lots of little gems in the playlist this week!

Monday, June 28, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • June, 2021


Did you notice this past year during the pandemic that many musicians were recording their favorite covers at home and posting them on social media? 

The playlist this week has the usual number of covers, but I found two new albums entirely made of covers that I think are worth a listen. First, is Dylan LeBlanc's "pastimes" an EP of six cover songs. Second, is Lowland Hum's So Low, an entire cover of Peter Gabriel's 1986 masterpiece, So.

Here's 99 songs for your music week. Enjoy my friends!

Monday, May 31, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • May, 2021


Curating new music playlists is no slapdash exercise in doing the search, shift, and sort from 'New Releases' across the Internet to find worthy new songs and covers. I follow my Rock 'n' Roll, Folk, Americana, Country, Indie, Blues, Soul, and Alt Rock ears to give you an eclectic playlist different from streaming service generated playlists*.

In most streaming services, algorithm-created or hand-made playlists are collected into a current narrow genre format. From a pure listening perspective, I can't take the same-same type of songs all in a single playlist for one sitting. I guess it's the same reason I gave up on commercial AM-FM format stations years ago. 

So if you feel the same way, let's get this #NewMusicMonday started for your week ahead and mix things up with this new100 song playlist! There's even some new releases from a few folks who've been around the block a couple times, or are smiling down from the stars above.


*Note- I do 'steal' songs from many different sources on the Internet to make my playlists. In turn, I would be honored if someone stole from this playlist to add to their mix.

Monday, April 26, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • April, 2021

I wrote this post right after the guilty verdicts came in for the Derek Chauvin trial in the murder of George Floyd. During the past couple of weeks, there have been marches in Minneapolis and Chicago for recent police shootings, including a thirteen year old boy. 

My current thoughts are a general feeling of relief, and that these marches and protests will continue, peacefully. I believe that the Black Lives Matter protests in the streets for the past several years actually helped create a positive result in the Minneapolis courtroom last Tuesday.

New police shootings of unarmed people of color seem to happen every week. The black body count continues. The difference now is video- from phones, security cameras, and police body cameras. This is why the purpose of shining a light by the Black Lives Matter movement is not going away. 

The Black Lives Matter movement is a continuation and renewal of the civil rights movement started in the early 1960's. It's actually a wonderfully simple branding that harkens back to the, "I Am A Man" posters carried by the black Memphis sanitation workers in their 1968 strike, and at protests shortly after Dr. Martin Luther King’s death.

As a sixty-six year old white man, the Black Lives Matter movement has given me a better understanding of what black people deal with everyday in America. 

The Black Lives Matter movement simply presents the fact that white lives have always mattered in a dominant Anglo-American society, but with particular favor compared to people of color in our criminal justice system. 

Of all the things for and against the slogan, "Black Lives Matter," I believe Michael Che has said it best way back in his 2016 Netflix special.

 

In the Chauvin trial, one realizes that justice itself is something much systemically larger than a singular guilty verdict of a police officer methodically killing a black man in the street. But, I'm hopeful that this may be 'the catalyst event' in our history to begin the process for the transformation of law enforcement in our country. The blue wall of silence was not a factor during this particular trial, and I'm encouraged by the testimony of the many law enforcement individuals called to the stand. The factor that made this guilty verdict possible was in large part due to the brave citizens who stood witness, and most importantly video-taped what the Minneapolis Police Department initially reported as a "medical incident." 

Darnella Frazier (Center)

My thoughts are with the eyewitnesses who also testified at the trial. I can't get out of my head seventeen year old Darnella Frazier who recorded the entire killing on video, as she was crying on the witness stand,

"When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles," Frazier said. She said she has stayed up some nights "apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life." But, she said, "it’s not what I should have done. It’s what he (Chauvin) should have done." (USA Today)

Darnella, the whole world watched your video, you're a hero.

We don't need to "Defund the Police," a stupid liberal branding that in fact does not help solve the larger problem of systemic racism in the criminal justice system. 

We have to move forward with national strategic planning to completely 'transform' NOT 'reform' law enforcement as it currently exists. To me, policing reform initiatives are like buying retread tires where new tire tread is molded onto an existing tire, for an old car. Criminal justice transformation is entirely different, it's like designing and building a new car not dependent on dinosaurs.

The planning and implementation required for such a transformation will in fact need MORE funding to help structure an entirely new criminal justice system. A new justice system that systemically performs at least to the low bar expectation that the lives of all people of color 'just matter' in interactions with the police. This verdict is not justice, it is rare. Hopefully it's the beginning, that spark in time for a new standard of accountability in law enforcement.

•••••••••••••••••

In my search for new music this month, I found an Allison Russell song on Spotify who will be releasing her debut solo album, Outside Child in May.

Allison Russell is a new find for me and so I began to search her on the Internet. In that discovery, I found her moving spoken word essay, Dream of America published on YouTube (10/30/2020) just before the Presidential election. As I listened to Ms. Russell talk about her life experiences, I found it an important piece that continues to help my awareness of race and culture, and where we need to be as a people, for the people. 

I would suggest that if you don't have the time right now to view this video, that you come back to view it later as it will be well worth you time.

   

My usual moaning in new music searches for rock 'n' roll and Americana genres of music is that there is just sooooo much music coming out every month. Actually, a nice problem to have in a world full of real problems, don't you think?

I look at lots of different 'New Releases' reviews and playlists from many of the music streaming services or major (and even minor) online music publications out there. 

So why check out my little music publication every Monday? 

My answer, I generally curate a new playlist every week. I do this from artists' EP's or albums over just 'singles' releases. It doesn't mean I don't do singles, I include them in almost every playlist I make. It's just a marked contrast with the commercial music streaming playlists today that are typically put together with a mix of singles only. 

As a distinction from the pack, my YouTube playlists are most often a mix of  2-5 songs from an album or live video recording with individual artist singles mixed throughout. My hope is that you'll come away with at least one familiar or new artist that causes you to further seek out their songs or albums. 

With that said, here's 68 songs, most you've probably have never heard before. Believe me, I'm often just a couple of weeks or even days ahead of you on that one, but in channeling my inner Stephen Colbert I'll say, "A curated mix of my taste in music, found in album, sifted and separated by song, and carefully sorted, that is my segment... A Playlist." 

Enjoy my friends, stay well and mask-up!

Monday, March 29, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • March, 2021

March has been a Neil Young month of sorts. Neil has so much unreleased material that he is just now getting around to share with the public- Neil Young Archives Vol. II: 1972-1976, and Young Shakespeare (1971). If you're a fan, it's new music (or a new release) to our old ears.

Right now, I'm on a Neil Young biographies jag. Good friend Ken Forman sent me Neil's 2012 autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace: Hippie Dream that was perfect timing with his new batch of releases that I have mixed in this month's playlists. Thanks Ken!

Friend Mark Hunter and I are getting together next week for some takeout sushi and beers. After not seeing each other for many months due to the pandemic, he's going to bring along the 2003 Neil Young biography Shaky for me to borrow, and I'm going to do the same as he has never read Waging Heavy Peace. I love how I'm reading these backwards in time. 

Neil's a very special musician to several generations now. If you're into my blog and playlists, you know I always manage a way to stick his tunes in my playlists. So enjoy some of his new old stuff that I have selected and mixed right in with all the younger musician's new songs. I'm thinking, Neil would probably like that last sentence.

This week, all the work is in the playlist (80 songs), or my new spin on an old proverbThe proof of the playlist is in the listening. 

That's all I got. 

Enjoy my friends, stay healthy and mask-up. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • January, 2021

Two Days In January 

January 6th - A Day of Desecration 
A day, I as an American citizen would never have thought possible. Almost three weeks ago, a mob incited by President Trump, descended upon our U.S. Capital and created a violent insurrection against our constitution by trying to stop the legislative process to certify our 2020 Presidential election.  

Back in October 2019, I created the American flag graphic above to go with a blog I wrote, Save The Country, 50 Years Later and the #WrongSideOfHistory. In that blog I used the 1968 song, Save The Country by Laura Nyro to frame my personal opinion where I stated, "After listening to 'Save The Country' 50 years later, I couldn't help but link the lyrics with our current political times under one Donald Trump as history's loop-tape back to the civil rights movement and the policies and behavior of the Nixon administration. These lyrics are as relevant today as when Laura Nyro wrote them in 1968 expressing her fortitude with the continual efforts to preserve our democratic principles and the dreams they are built on."
Come on, people, come on, children
Come on down to the glory river
Gonna wash you up and wash you down
Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down

One year later in October 2020, I wrote another blog, The Senate A Silent Majority, and the #WrongSideOfHistory, where I updated the graphic by adding the 'electoral 2020' to go along with the featured song of that blog by Paul Hobbs, The Senate A Silent Majority. In taking inspiration from Paul's song I wrote, The present Senate majority (fifty-three) Republican senators have simply been, SILENT. Silent to act as Trump almost provoked a war with North Korea. Silent to act on any meaningful legislation like rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. Silent to act by watching immigrant children locked in cages at the southern border. Silent to act on the President's attempt to use a foreign power to influence our election. Silent to act on a world-wide pandemic with over 8 million U.S. cases and over 220,000 American deaths (so far). I could go on...

During this current month of January, that number of U.S. deaths is now over 420,000, not to mention Trump's impeachment for a second time in the House. Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate begins in February, and down the road, a (911-type) independent commission to investigate the entire insurrection, including the possible direct involvement by members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Now why I'm bringing up my American flag-Save The Country graphic again is due to the indelible video embedded in my brain forever of a particular Trump supporter beating a police officer with an American flag and pole. Now let that horrible irony really sink in because our waving flag is the definitive American symbol of our democracy.  For folks who talk about 'Patriotism' and 'Law and Order,' that specific act of terrorism toward that police officer within the totality of all the mob violence on January 6th, is the literal epitome of hypocrisy, and an haunting image I can't shake right now.

As an American, I have long destained the right's hijacking of the flag starting with it being 'Nixon's flag' and printed on everything from the 'mandatory' politician's lapel pin to patriotic underwear. The American flag represents ALL Americans, it flies over all of us.
I got fury in my soul, fury's gonna take me to the glory goal
In my mind I can't study war no more
Save the people
Save the children
Save the country now

January 20th - A Day of Democracy 
Exactly two weeks after January 6th, President Joseph Biden is sworn in as our 46th President of the United States. The Capital is returned to its glory and the splendor of the ceremonies both day and night brings an exhausted feeling of relief to a weary nation. I have no illusions that we are anywhere out of the woods of lies fueling rage, but a new sense of calm has come over me. Only in America.

On January 20th, two songs lifted my spirits and are bookends for the playlist this week. One, Lady Gaga opens the inauguration by singing the Star Spangled Banner that started a very emotional day for me. Second, Katy Perry closes the celebration by singing her 2010 hit Firework set to a fireworks display over Washington DC that was a four-year rainbow exhale for our nation. I cried.

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

On January 6th, I started this #NewMusicMonday January playlist to escape from the shear horror of what happened on this infamous day in history. The new music I have discovered this month has provided a great comfort from the daily news and video that has come to light from that terrible day. 

Today, I'm hoping to retire my 'Save The Country' graphic from the blog forever. I'm feeling very positive for the days ahead in keeping the dream and riding the dove. 

Enjoy the new music and covers this week my friends, stay well and mask-up.

Come on, people, sons and mothers
Keep the dream of the two young brothers
Gotta take that dream and ride that dove
We can build the dream with love, I know
We can build the dream with love
We could build the dream with love, I know
We could build the dream with love

Monday, December 28, 2020

My Favorite Songs of 2020

2020, A YEAR of #NewMusicMondays  
This year I began a monthly feature called #NewMusicMonday. At the top menu here, I've included the individual and combined months of all the new music I was able to listen to this year and eventually determine my 'favorites.' For December, I've included my favs for this month in the year-long grouping.

I begin this post with my 20 favorite albums of 2020 from which My Favorite Songs of 2020 playlist draws heavily from these albums. These albums are organized left to right from 1-20 but after the top 5, it's pretty loose as most regular readers here know I usually avoid 'The Best of' label. I just wanted to recognize all these great albums released this year that cover the main genres of my personal tastes in: Rock 'n' Roll, Americana, R&B, Pop, and even some (real) Country made it this year. 

Note- The following 'album links' are Amazon music options for purchase.

Now my #1 album for 2020 needs a little explaining. Wildflowers was released in 1994 by Tom Petty although you can easily call it Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers because his band is all over the record. So long story short- Tom Petty, Mike Campbell and his producer, Rick Rubin spent two years making what was intended to be a double album of twenty five songs. Lenny Waronker, the President of Warner Bros. Records "suggested that it was too long." In the corporate world, CEO's don't suggest and it was made into a single album with 15 songs. Petty's family and bandmates arranged a 2020 re-release of the album that includes the deleted [10] songs, demos, and live tracks entitled Wildflowers & All The Rest. The super deluxe edition of the box set included a fifth disc of alternate versions of the Wildflowers tracks (Wikipedia). 

So most of the 10 missing songs are found in this year's playlist as Tom Petty is one of my (and probably yours too) all-time favorite singer-songwriters. It's hard to believe these 10 songs sat on the shelf for a quarter-century as they make an album most people could only dream of making. But Tom always had plenty of songs, and so we get some old new Tom Petty this year!

#1 Wildflowers & All The Rest (Amazon options)

My #2 album is World on the Ground by Sarah Jarosz. I think I have most of her ten songs from the album scattered about on the playlist. Sarah has all the tools- composition, voice, guitar, banjo and mandolin player, and is one of the most compelling singer-songwriters in music today. Sarah Jarosz is the real deal and in my opinion had the #1 album this year overlooked by the siloed format music business and critique. I guess Taylor Swift can dip her toes into folk-pop with her 2020 release of Folklore this year complete with the album jacket cover of Taylor in the woods. Well, the suits are playing it on pop radio and if that translates into 'whatever it takes' to maybe get people like Sarah Jarosz some airplay...

My #3 album is XOXO by The Jayhawks. Again I believe I have most of their songs on the playlist as this band has steadily emerged to be my newest favorite band. The Jayhawks are hard to pigeonhole as either Alternative Country, Country Rock, Folk Rock, or Americana, and so it just doesn't matter. This group is heartland rock 'n' roll who run a very democratic ship as far as bands go, and hopefully that will keep them together for years to come. This band is also often overlooked due to the narrow-minded music genre format structure. C'mon suits, can't you even play one new rock 'n' roll song on the classic rock radio dial?

My #4 album is McCartney III by Paul McCartney. This album was just released last week and featured in my blog from last week as well. From my perspective, what's not to like as most of the songs makes the playlist as an encore here this week. The playlist includes new material from both Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney, the two greatest singer-songwriters of all-time. What a gift for their fans in 2020!

My #5 album is See Here, I Have Built You A Mansion by Josh Ritter. This EP of eight songs is simply outstanding and introduced me to the music of Josh Ritter, as now I'm a big fan and think you will enjoy this singer-songwriter.

I was talking to my friend Ron Zieman on the phone about the playlist I did a couple of weeks ago, 50 Years of Music • My Favorite Songs of 1970. We both just couldn't get over how many great songs came out on one album back in the day.  Here, what all my top 5 albums above have in common is just like the old days, these individual records are all packed with great songs and well worth your 2020 music dollar. 

6. Imploding The Mirage, The Killers
7. Beginners, Christian Lee Hudson
8. Expectations, Katie Pruitt
9. Rough and Rowdy Ways, Bob Dylan
11.  Rise Above, Tomar & The FCs
12. Starting Over, Chris Stapleton
13. Ever-Roving Eye, James Elkington
15. Reunions, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
16. Pick Me Off The Floor, Nora Jones
17. Saint Cloud, Waxahatchee
18. Fish Pond Fish, Darlingside
19. Desolation Sounds, Ayla Brook & The Soundmen
20. Songs For The General Public, The Lemon Twigs

My Favorite Songs of 2020
playlist this week stands at 183 songs strong that has been a labor of love putting together this past year. These songs helped pull me through a tough tough 2020 and are not in a rated order other than that the top 20 or so are loosely put at the top of the list. I will mention my #1 favorite song of 2020, I Don't Mind by Sturgill Simpson. This song just caught me off guard the first time I was going through Sturgill's Bluegrass versions of his songs on the album, Cuttin' Grass, Vol. 1: The Butcher Shoppe Sessions. I think it's one of the best Country songs I've ever heard, and wish more artists could right that Country-pop music tilt back towards a more Bluegrass tradition. To tag-along on that last sentence, I've also included a song on the Playlist by Chris Stapleton, called Nashville, TN that speaks directly to 'Music City.'

Anyway, I guess that's why we have now have the Americana genre to thank for filling the 'roots' void as a new generation of artists will take us through the next century with new songs not often heard on AM/FM radio formats or on TV. I miss the old variety TV shows in the 60's and 70's where an older Hollywood star in a tuxedo would introduce a new band of young long-hairs to lip-sync their current hit song with their electric guitars not plugged in to their amps.

I guess we can be thankful for the Internet to be our current source for listening to NEW Rock 'n' Roll and Americana music that I'm happy to share with you here on Monday Monday Music.

Stay well, mask-up, and Happy New Year my friends!

Monday, October 05, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • September • 2020

A YEAR of #NewMusicMondays  
The Immediate Family - Russ KunkelLeland Sklar, Steve Postell, Danny Kortchmar, and Waddy Wachtel


I've been working on this playlist for several weeks as these songs are mostly releases from September, 2020. As usual, I'm always discovering groups, albums and songs from earlier releases in the year and have included them here. One such find was discovering the band, The Immediate Family, a group formed of legendary session players who have played on a great number of rock 'n' roll albums. If you've ever listened to a James Taylor, Jackson Browne, or Linda Ronstadt album, you already know these guys very well. Check out their cover of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London (cowritten by Waddy Wachtel) where Waddy sings a new line, "Except for Steve we've all been fired by James Taylor" that had me laughing out loud. 

Artists from this weeks playlist also include: Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, The Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes, Waylon Payne, Ben Harper, Joan Osborne, Mike Polizze, Gillian Welch, Sarah Jarosz, Molly Tuttle, and Sierra Ferrell to name the multiple songs.

Enjoy and stay well my friends. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • June • 2020

Hampton & Papa social distancing
with strangers in the kiddie pool.
A YEAR of #NewMusicMondays  

Summer's here
I'm for that
Got my rubber sandals
Got my straw hat
Got my cold beer
I'm just glad that I'm here
–James Taylor

Adaptations
So we've had a rough four months. Everybody's glad summer is finally here. My HOA pool has just reopened with 'new rules' - residents must register online to reserve a 2 hour block with limited capacity in designated social distanced squares. Most people never have anything good to say about any HOA (Hobby Opportunity for Authority), but I have to say they have done a good job trying to keep everyone safe.

A typical Pickleball setup using a tennis court
The HOA tennis courts have also just reopened right across from my house. Pickleball is back in full-swing, the game made for my generation who have either forgotten how to run or can't. I'm not poking pickleballers here, it's more about me dealing with my own body and what it used to do compared to now. I'm also lamenting about the wonderful game of tennis, with less young people playing real tennis, I just hope the original white court lines don't fade away.

Pickleball is a great social activity. Everybody is chatting it up with lots of laughter just like old times, but from my box seat view, I see no masks or social distancing. C'mon boomers, you still can be flexible, just like your pickleball wrist!

I have family driving down all the way from Seattle on several different trips this summer, finally merging our packs together. Quite a long distance travel adaptation, all the while airlines like American Airlines announced they will scrap social distancing and start booking full planes July 1.

For our visiting grandkids their parents have come up with a simple term to explain our times, No San Diego Zoo (opened last week), Legoland, or Disneyland because of the "Big Germs." :-(

It's a different summer in a turbulent year, but we are learning to do things differently and still have fun together.

Recently I wrote a blog, Outdoor Exercise In The Time Of Coronavirus: Who was that masked man? where I basically talked about the current culture war of wearing a mask. My working titles were, #ManUpMaskUp, or #MaskUpMother####ers, but opted for a little more informative heading in the end. For people walking, running or biking it's really not political, wearing a mask just has become more of a hassle and can't be bothered with, I call it, "an inconvenient truth- coronavirus edition." I see my regulars, the people that exercise around me in my neighborhood every week. Most everyone, young and old have just given up the mask outdoors. There is such irony here, people making the effort to exercise, but too damn lazy to adapt to a new simple behavior by wearing a mask that SAVES LIVES.

Breaking News- VP Pence gets pensive and decides to wear a mask to a Texas mega-church on Sunday. Better late than never... at least I hope it's not too late?  Anyway, baby steps for Trump's little bucko.

So unless you're living under a rock, you know that there is more than a little uptick in coronavirus cases across the country in the month of June. I haven't heard, "flatten the curve" since the end of May. 

However, I still hear that we are still in the 1st wave, and there is going to be a second wave sometime in the fall. I think after the past several weeks, we probably should adjust our 'waves' talk too. For Western States who has lived through enough wildfires in the last twenty years, the analogy of the coronavirus being an 'uncontained wildfire' is a much more accurate way to describe how the virus is currently surging and spreading across the country. The term, "hot spots" seems quite appropriate.

Source - New York Times
The solid burnt orange of new coronavirus cases in Southern California is disconcerting to say the least, where as Disneyland staying closed is not really our biggest problem. When the brush fires do start in the coming days ahead, maybe the masks people aren't wearing now will suddenly have a function to them. Instead of Fire and Rain, we'll call it Fire and Fire and the masks will serve a dual purpose- keeping coronavirus from going red in your town while breathing in falling ash from your local brush fire.

Hey, but on the positive side, new music keeps rolling in everyday. I can't keep up with all the broadcast and Internet services with artists and bands just putting out more live and recorded music across all the streaming services everyday. I'm glad I've made #NewMusicMonday a series because I keep finding new songs and albums being pumped out in this first half of 2020.

If you are spending the time to read this blog, you probably love music, and I will suggest, you need to be listening to music more than ever! Make the adaptation necessary in your behavior to spend 15 more minutes a day listening to music. I'm just a guy here finding and organizing what I think are good songs to listen to and if you like my playlists, cool. If not, find sources where you can hear music that moves you emotionally. I need that movement more than ever, and I'm guessing so do you.

Stay well and enjoy this playlist my friends.



References

Monday, May 18, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • April-May • 2020

A YEAR of #NewMusicMondays  

In March, I started a new and reoccurring blog series that I call #NewMusicMonday. I plan to highlight new music releases hopefully during a current one, two, or thee month stretch throughout the year. This installment is for April-May, but it's really impossible for me to find and capture on a playlist every song released at a particular month. 

So this month, you will see some of my new favs I found dating back to January that I missed in my January-March installment. I may also throw in an old song that's been recently recorded. For example, I have several #StayAtHome videos of Jimmy Fallon and James Taylor songs that I think you will enjoy. I may also throw in a song or two I haven't heard before. Paul Hobbs sent me a 2019 Keb' Mo'/Taj Mahal song plus several new releases, and I added a 2019 video from Rosie Flores who played the San Diego club circuit in the 1970's with Rosie and the Screamers, and rekindled some fond memories. 

Purchase or Stream on Amazon
For this week's playlist I have 69 songs. For me, one album stands out above the rest, James Elkington's 
Ever-Roving Eye

An epiphany… a cryptic storyteller and dazzling acoustic guitarist. – Rolling Stone 

Elkington stands apart among the wave of 21st century guitar soloists. Beautiful, complex, and assured.
– Pitchfork

Stay well my friends, music always helps.



References