Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the Right Side of 2011

        As usual, I don't have too much to say about the year that's passed.  I do think that there were a lot of good albums, but there weren't too many that thrilled me from beginning to end.  Perhaps I'm just a harder boy to thrill these days. :) Still, there was no dearth of songs to put on my year end mixtape - in fact, I had to leave off some cuts that would have made it in previous years.  (And as in 2009 and 2010, all the mp3s are tagged with the album they came from.)


Video Games Lana Del Rey
Escape Richard Buckner
Montezuma Fleet Foxes
The Reason Why Ron Sexsmith
Gone, Gone, Gone Nikki Lane
Always Looking Dum Dum Girls
Get Some Lykke Li
Relax Das Racist
Tropical Affair Money Mark/Thalma de Freitas/Joao Parahyba
Paraty Mia Doi Todd
Progress Booker T Jones
Stone Rollin' Raphael Saadiq
Checkout Time Nick Lowe
Between The Cheats Amy Winehouse
A Commotion Feist
She Stole The Blush Tom Waits
Born To Be Loved Lucinda Williams
Calgary Bon Iver
Heartaches and Pain Charles Bradley
The Way The Whole Thing Ends Gillian Welch

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Selections from the Harlan Howard Songbook

It's been a real long time (probably about 15 years ago), but I remember reading an interview with Harlan Howard where he said that when he first started writing country songs, he didn't know anything about love (or maybe he said women). I thought of that quote a couple of weeks back when I listened to Charley Pride's version of "Image of Me". While the psychological realism is a tad lacking, the male melodrama in the song is undeniably appealing. I'd try to find a quote to give a better description of Harlan Howard's songwriting genius, but I have some other stuff I have to get to, so the second volume of my tribute to HH will have to do.

Download (both volumes)

Heartaches By The Number Dwight Yoakam
I've Got A Tiger By The Tail Ray Charles
Busted Duane Eddy
Sally Was a Good Old Girl Waylon Jennings
Why Not Me ? The Judds
Don't Call Me From A Honky Tonk Johnny & Jonie Mosby
The Sound Of Laughter Johnny Cash
The One You Slip Around With Skeeter Davis
Your Heart Turned Left (And I Was on the Right) George Jones
The Keys In the Mailbox Tony Booth
Odds and Ends Justin Trevino
Heartbreak U.S.A. Kitty Wells
The Image Of Me Charley Pride
I Fall To Pieces Carla Thomas
A Thief in the Night Jean Shepard
He Called Me Baby Ella Washington
I'll Catch You When You Fall Buck Owens
Above & Beyond (The Call Of Love) Wynn Stewart

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Heartache Headmaster - A Harlan Howard Tribute

Just to be clear, I'm not a proponent of "great man" theories of history.'s kind of hard to imagine what country music would be like without the songs of Harlan Howard. His own recordings may leave a little something be to desired (though they're not terrible), but damn, the guy was a gifted and prolific songwriter. As with Townes Van Zandt last year and Tom Waits in 2009, I've put together a two volume compilation of Harlan Howard covers (with Volume 2 to follow next week).

Download (both volumes)

Streets of Baltimore Gram Parsons
The Hurtin's All Over Connie Smith
Pick Me Up On Your Way Down Charlie Walker
Excuse Me, I Think I've Got a Heartache Cake
The Chokin' Kind Joe Simon
Evil on Your Mind Jan Howard
I Don't Believe I'll Fall In Love Today Derailers
It Takes One to Know One Skip Heller
You Took Him off My Hands Patsy Cline
Too Many Rivers Brenda Lee
It's All Over The Everly Brothers
Life Turned Her That Way James Carr
Ain't Found Nobody The Mavericks
I've Seen That Look On Me (A Thousand Times) Willie Nelson
I'm Down to My Last Cigarette k.d. lang
Baby Me Baby Gene Watson
Don't Our Love Look Natural Keith Whitley
She's Gone, Gone, Gone Lefty Frizzell

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Billie Holiday and Elis Regina

I was listening to the Billie Holiday - Elis Regina comp I made last year (which you can still download) a while ago and, well, I thought it'd be nice to have another volume. Score one for niceness. :)

20 Anos Blue Elis Regina
I Love My Man Billie Holiday
I Don't Want To Cry Anymore Billie Holiday
O Que Foi Feito De Vera with Milton Nascimento Elis Regina
All Of Me Billie Holiday
Madalena Elis Regina
Bicho Do Mato Elis Regina
Swing, Brother, Swing Billie Holiday
Canto de Ossanha Elis Regina & Toots Thielemans
Jeepers Creepers Billie Holiday
Alo Saudade Elis Regina
Who Wants Love? Billie Holiday
East Of The Sun Billie Holiday
O Que Tinha De Ser Elis Regina
These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You) Billie Holiday
Gracias a la Vida Elis Regina
Them There Eyes Billie Holiday
E Com Esse Que Eu Vou Elis Regina
Confissao Elis Regina
What A Little Moonlight Can Do Billie Holiday

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Baby, I'm A Charlie Rich Fan

In addition to his eclecticism (and his rather unique career arc), one of the things I find most intriguing about Charlie Rich is that his wife Margaret Rich wrote (or co-wrote) some of his material. Offhand, I can't really think of another male singer (or even that many female singers) with that dynamic. One of her compositions, in fact, leads off this compilation - Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs. I tried to stay away from any songs on his great 2 two cd best of collection: Feel Like Going Home, but Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs was just too perfect as the opening track. I did however, have enough willpower not to put his great demo version of Feel Like Going Home from that collection as the closer. :)

Life Has It's Little Ups And Downs
Down On The River
Philadelphia Baby
You Win Again
Just Like Old Times
Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast
Blowin' Town
A Sunday Kind Of Woman
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Am I Blue?
Almost Persuaded
Now Everybody Knows
That's How Much I Love You
You Can Have Her
Don't Come Knocking On My Door
Just a Little Bit Sweet
Very Much Alone
I Take It On Home