Friday, December 27, 2019

On the Right Side of 2019

    I don't know if it's a sign of age, but the fact that a decade is soon to end hasn't really entered my consciousness.  And even though it's only 4 days away, I still don't really have any thoughts, let alone deep thoughts, on the subject.  Anyway, here's my favorite tracks from 2019 with the usual disclaimer that I don't include any artist who appeared on the best of compilations from the previous two years.   And since it's the end of a decade, I've re-upped all my previous best of compilations 20092010201120122013201420152016, 2017, 2018).  

Download all three discs 

Disc 1

Lark Angel Olsen
Glorious Sudan Archives
Spider Web, Pt. 1 The Budos Band
You'll Need A New Backseat Driver The New Pornographers
Please Don't Call Me Crazy The Cactus Blossoms
Andromeda Mekons
Mariners Apartment Complex Lana Del Rey
South Fourth Street Ransom Pier
Human Molly Sarle
All My Happiness is Gone Purple Mountains
Black Light The Dream Syndicate
Song For Winners Nick Waterhouse
Stay Flo Solange
Flor do Real Sessa
Courtyard Mercury Rev (w/Beth Orton)
Ride Out In The Country Yola
Duchess Erin Rae
1988 Swimming Bell
Disc 2
Jupiter 4 Sharon Van Etten
Empty Locket Eleni Mandell
Prazer Em Te Conhecer Allah-Las
Warranty Meat Puppets
David Buxkemper Dale Watson
Big Bear in the Sky Chuck Mead
Lost Faith Bob Mould
Passaic 1975 The Mountain Goats
Wrong About The Rain Sandro Perri
Sabana de luz Helado Negro
Stay High Brittany Howard
Secret Medicine Vagabon
Where Are You Sonny? The Delines
Chemical Beck
Hot Summer Cool Ghouls
Get Set Go Kid SOAK
Bogeyman Kim Lenz
Crowded Table The Highwomen
Disc 3
Spinning Song Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
Piano Joint (This Kind Of Love) Michael Kiwanuka
ZORA Jamila Woods
Goyita Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
Something To Do Vivian Girls
Follow Me Fabienne Delsol
Letter Juan Wauters
Moving On Leonard Cohen
Lonely Ain't Hardly Alive Robbie Fulks
Everybody's Crying Mercy Bonnie Raitt
Train Train Jimmy "Duck" Holmes
Vagabond Steve Gunn
Anyhow Kelsey Waldon
Sing Along Sturgill Simpson
Tell Me When It's Over The Three O'Clock
iMi Bon Iver
When The Family Flies In Julia Jacklin
Belongs to God Raphael Saadiq

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

On the Right Side of Christmas 2019

There's only about four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year so I'm posting my yearly Christmas compilation a little early.  I've also re-upped all the previous Xmas compilations so have at 'em.


Silent Night Brother Joe May
Lonely This Christmas (Mud) Lucky Soul
Cutty Wren Richard Thompson
Walking In The Air The Eastern Sea
We Three Kings of Orient Are The Swingle Singers
Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit The Christmas Jug Band/Dan Hicks
Santa, Please Bring Him Home Jenny Don't And The Spurs
Christmas, It's Not a Biggie Say Sue Me
Twistin' Bells Santo And Johnny
Santa Claus' Daughter Charlie Rich
Christmas Bells Bobby Nunn
Christmas Time in Bossier City Shinyribs
Just a Sad Xmas The Soul Duo
Peppermints and Mistletoe Chelsea Williams
First Snowfall The Coctails
Frosty the Snowman Freddy Fender & Flaco Jimenez
Mary's Boy Child Esso Trinidad Steel Band
Rudolph's Ruin The Wildebeests
Holiday Baby Fat Daddy
It's Christmas Time Smokey Robinson
Peace & Love (Little Drummer Boy) Sonny Bradshaw
Please Come Home for Christmas The Insight
New Year's Eve Amy Allison
Auld Lang Syne Sufjan Stevens

Friday, November 1, 2019

Can't Shake These Blues: A Chris Smither Retrospective

      I'm not sure exactly why Chris Smither has flown under the radar for so long, but his three Hightone releases from the 1990's (Live as I'll Ever Be, Small Revelations, and Up on the Lowdown) still stand up really well and he's one of the few solo performers I've seen that can really hold a stage for 90 minutes (Ted Hawkins is another one that comes to mind).  He started out in the 1970s, overcame his alcoholism, and has been recording and touring since the early 1990s.   So here's a nice retrospective to celebrate his career.


Strolling Down The Highway
Frankie & Albert
Have You Seen My Baby
Hundred Dollar Valentine
Crocodile Man
Cave Man
Nobody Home
Time Stands Still
Friend Of The Devil
Lonesome Georgia Brown
It Ain't Easy
The Devil's Real (Live)
Can't Shake These Blues
Seems So Real
No Love Today

Friday, September 27, 2019

Smiths and Elliott Smith Covers

         It occurs to me that The Smiths/Elliott Smith dueling tribute compilations may be too cute by half (or even more than that), but please don't let that deter from you listening to these compilations.  Even when the artists aren't doing anything particularly original, the affection for the material and the quality of the songs make for a worthwhile listen.

Shoplifters of the Smiths Catalog Unite

Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me Grant-Lee Phillips
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want The Dream Academy
Rubber Ring Girl in a Coma
Oscillate Wildly Badly Drawn Boy
Estuvo Bien Mexrrissey
You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby Kirsty MacColl
The Headmaster Ritual Radiohead
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out Dum Dum Girls
Everyday Is Like Sunday Pretenders
Shoplifters of the World Unite Tanya Donelly, Dylan in the Movies
Well I Wonder Janice Whaley
Back to the Old House Live Everything But The Girl
Let Me Kiss You Carla Morrison
I Won't Share You Morning Benders
I Know It's Over Jeff Buckley

Between The Bars Emily Mure
Pitseleh Marissa Nadler
Needle in the Hay Juliana Hatfield
Ballad of Big Nothing The Thermals
Waltz #2 (XO) Minnie Driver
Easy Way Out Vitamin String Quartet
Angeles Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield
Satellite Petra Haden and Bill Frisell
A Fond Farewell The Gazettiers
Miss Misery Tomo Nakayama
Taking a Fall Portland Cello Project
Division Day We Are Telephone
Twilight Lily Pryor
Kings Crossing Kevin Devine
Clementine Beck

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Saluting 70's Singer-Songwriters - Volume 6

          Other than to say that I continue to be impressed by the breadth and depth of 70's artists, I think I've run out of things to say about the music of the '70s.  So I'll just say that this is likely the last volume of 70's singer-songwriter compilations (at least for a while).  But I have re-upped all the previous volumes along with all the Sucking in the 70s compilations.


Here He Comes Brian Eno
On Some Faraway Beach Brian Eno
Bless The Weather John Martyn
Solid Air John Martyn
You Don't Know Me Caetano Veloso
Da maior importância Caetano Veloso 
Perfect Day Lou Reed
Coney Island Baby Lou Reed
Thank You Master (For My Soul) Donny Hathaway
Come Little Children Donny Hathaway
Mary C Brown and the Hollywood Sign Dory Previn
Atlantis Dory Previn
Old Man Neil Young
Long May You Run Neil Young
Brass Buttons Gram Parsons
How Much I've Lied Gram Parsons
My Tennessee Mountain Home Dolly Parton
It's All Wrong, But It's All Right Dolly Parton

Monday, July 29, 2019

Sweetheart cds

Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs
Sweetheart: Love Songs     I was going to wax nostalgic about the days when Starbucks used to sell cds at their stores and even had their own record label Hear Music (not sure exactly how that worked, but I digress), but it's not like I regularly bought cds there.  Plus, the ways they marketed the cds placed an inordinate emphasis on lifestyle, imho.  However, I will forever defend their Sweetheart compilations - at least the two I have that are now out of print.  

Download Sweetheart

My Funny Valentine Rufus Wainwright
Let My Love Open The Door M. Ward
Buckets Of Rain Neko Case
Love Will Tear Us Apart Calexico
She's Got Everything Old 97's
How Can I Tell You Gary Jules
Give Your Moma One Smile Madeleine Peyroux
The More I See You Sondre Lerche
I Only Have Eyes For You Martina Topley-Bird
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out Joseph Arthur
Your Sweet Voice Milton Mapes
Use Me Jim White
Forever Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham
Inutil Paisagem Vinicius Cantuaria
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square Mindy Smith
Download Sweetheart: Love Songs
It's All In The Game Nick Lowe
What The World Needs Now Aimee Mann
Until You Came Into My Life Joe Henry
A Face In The Crowd Kathleen Edwards
I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire Clem Snide
Au Fond Du Reve Dore Nada Surf
Love Rosie Thomas
Moonlight Becomes You Ron Sexsmith
Tonight You Belong To Me Josh Ritter With Blake Hazard
Home Soon (The Cherry Song) Sarah Harmer
Ab's Song Iron & Wine
Crazy For You Miho Hatori
Your Tender Loving Care Jon Hyde

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Texas Legends Series - Volume Three: Shaver, Dale Watson, and Ray Wylie Hubbard

   Back in 2012, I posted a compilation featuring three great Texas artists: James Hand, Justin Trevino, and Don Walser and then last year, I posted a second volume of Texas legends - The Gourds, Doug Sahm, and Spoon.  I decided not to wait another six years so here's another volume in the Texas Legend Series featuring Billy Joe Shaver, Dale Watson, and Ray Wylie Hubbard.   I won't discuss their careers except to mention that Billy Joe Shaver was supposedly the inspiration for the Jeff Bridges character in the movie Crazy Heart.  Also, I must issue a mea culpa - I haven't been keeping up with Dale Watson's recordings over the last 5-6 years, but was very pleasantly surprised (well, not really surprised) at how good his latest, Call Me Lucky, is.  Additionally, if I had to recommend just one album from each of the featured artists, I'd go with Shaver's Tramp on Your Street, Dale Watson's I Hate These Songs, and Ray Wylie Hubbard's Loco Gringo's Lament.

     I've also re-upped a bunch of other Texas artists:
The Damnations' Where it Lands
The 3 named singer-songwriter compilation
The Robert Earl Keen - Lyle Lovett compilation
A Trip Back to Alternative Country - Volume 4 compilation


(Up Against The Wall) Redneck Mother Ray Wylie Hubbard
Highway Of Life Shaver
Sweet Jessie Brown Dale Watson
Nashville Rash Dale Watson
When She Sang Amazing Grace Ray Wylie Hubbard
Restless Wind Shaver
...Loose Nut Behind The Wheel Dale Watson
She Can Dance Shaver
Love Never Dies Ray Wylie Hubbard
Coricidin Bottle Ray Wylie Hubbard
Hey Driver Dale Watson
This River Runs Red Ray Wylie Hubbard
Ragged Old Truck Billy Joe Shaver
I Hate These Songs Dale Watson
Bottom Dollar Billy Joe Shaver
Blue Eyes Dale Watson
The Ballad Of The Crimson Kings Ray Wylie Hubbard
Live Forever Shaver

Friday, May 31, 2019

The Case for Calexico

   I really only got into them in the last 3-4 years, but I'm increasingly convinced that Calexico is pretty much the platonic ideal of an indie rock band.  They're musically adventurous without seeming like they're just doing it to seem adventurous, record with a lot of different folks, have great taste in covers, and, perhaps most impressively, they're still releasing really good music.  Indeed, I think their last two albums, 2015's Edge of the Sun and 2018's The Thread That Keeps Us are their two best (and definitely get the deluxe versions if you can).

      While I'm sure Calexico still has a lot of great music left in them, I believe it's still high time for a two volume compilation.  Truly, there's no better musical accompaniment for a hot and humid summer afternoon than a couple of hours of Calexico.

Download both discs

Frank's Tavern
Sundown, Sundown
Crystal Frontier 
Roll Tango
Esa Banda En Dub 
Love Will Tear Us Apart
He Lays In The Reins
Dance of Death
Tulsa Telephone Book
Curse of the Ride
What's a Little Wait
Casey's Last Ride
Bisbee Blue
Side B
Stinging Nettle
Fortune Teller
Writer's Minor Holiday
Sonic Wind 
Guns of Brixton 
6 White Horses
Cracklin' Water
Firestorm Of Impossible Odds
Walls Came Down
All The Pretty Horses
In the Light
Ocean of Noise
Lunada Lando
El Picador

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Darling, It's Wonderful: Music From The 1950's - Volume Six

The last volume of the 50's comp is finally here.  And though I would guess a high percentage of people who frequent this blog have probably heard Miles Davis' "So What" and Elvis Presley's "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" many times already in their lives, I still thought they were apropos to, respectively, open and close this volume.   It's a little late so I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts, but they just seem like perfect choices to capture the 50's music aesthetic.  At any rate, hope people like the less well known cuts, too.  I also confess that I'm already thinking of doing some additional volumes at some point down the line so I'm open to any suggestions people might have.


So What Miles Davis
It Don't Cost Very Much Mahalia Jackson
Zoo Lake Dorothy Masuka
Lust Bas Sheva
The Wayward Wind Tex Ritter
Go Go Go Roy Orbison
Bird Dog The Everly Brothers
Ooh Poo Pah Doo  Pt. 1 Jessie Hill
Yes, Sir The Cues
Bweebida Bobbida Gerry Mulligan
El Cayuco Tito Puente & His Orchestra
Rocket 88 Jackie Brenston & his Delta Cats
Gimme A Pigfoot Bobby Short
Fatback, Louisiana, USA Tennessee Ernie Ford
La folle complainte Charles Trenet
I Don't Want You To Go The Casanovas
I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know The Davis Sisters
The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise Mary Ford
Blinuet Zoot Sims
Blossom's Blues Blossom Dearie
Sixty Minute Man The Dominos
I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone Elvis Presley

Friday, March 29, 2019

Darling, It's Wonderful: Music From the Fifties - Volumes Four and Five

  I was almost done with putting these 50's collections together when I remembered how ubiquitous those advertisements for 50's box sets were on late night tv in the 1980's and 1990's.  I hope my collections are more diverse than those collections (kind of defeats the purpose of making them), but I realized kind of late into making it that Volume Four seems to be significantly heavier on the well known acts than the other volumes.  Anyway, hope the choices aren't too obvious.  Also, in case you were wondering, the artists on the pictures above are Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant (Volume Four) and The Famous Ward Singers (Volume Five)


Volume Four

Jeep's Blues Duke Ellington & his Orchestra
Aguiti Lord Invader
Jericho Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Jammin' With Jimmy Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant
Feelin' Low Ernie Chaffin
Pork Chop Stomp Grady Martin
Mean Mean Man Wanda Jackson
All Day, All Night Bill Parker featuring Jesse Palmer
En Guantánamo Abelardo Barroso & Orquesta Sensación
Prayer Changes Things The Gate City Singers
Luyah! The Glorious Step Cecil Taylor
Try Me James Brown & The Famous Flames
Stars Fell On Alabama Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
I'll Never Deceive You Jimmy Scott
Weary Blues From Waitin' Hank Williams
There I've Said It Again Big Maybelle
Smokestack Lightnin' Howlin' Wolf
Wishful Thinking Wynn Stewart
London Is the Place for Me Edmundo Ros
Slim's Thing Memphis Slim,Willie Dixon
For All We Know Billie Holiday
Drown In My Own Tears Ray Charles

Volume Five

Since I Met You Baby Ivory Joe Hunter
Je Cherche Un Homme Eartha Kitt
Where Shall I Go Irving Fields Trio
I'm An Old, Old Man (Tryin' To Live While I Can) Lefty Frizzell
I Can't See Them Now Edna Gallmon Cooke
Mood Indigo Nina Simone
Hey Hey Hey Hey Little Richard
Mambo Caliente Bebo Valdes
Crazy Rythm Django Reinhardt
Wild Child Donnie Elbert
Good Googa Mooga The Magic Tones
W.O.M.A.N. Etta James
I Love You John Coltrane
Ten Long Fingers Groovey Joe Poovey  
West Indian Drums Russ Henderson
I'm So Glad The Famous Ward Singers
I'm Sittin' On Top Of The World Bill Monroe
Act Like a Married Man Jean Shepard
Mystery Train Little Junior's Blue Flames
Are You Real Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
The Walkin' Blues Jessie Powell Orchestra
It's A Great Life (If You Don't Weaken) Faron Young

Friday, March 1, 2019

Darling, It's Wonderful: Music From The Fifties - Volume Three

       In putting together these 50's compilations, I relied fairly heavily on a number of formal releases.  One of my favorites is the "London is the Place for Me" cds put out by Honest Jon's Records.  Tonight's Volume Three features the wonderful Zoo Lake by Dorothy Masuka from London is the Place for Me 4. I also highly recommend the three volume "Screaming Gospel Holy Roller on Vee Tone Records.  The Kelly Brother's "He's the Same Today" is from Screaming Gospel Holly Rollers, Vol 1, btw.


Touch The Hem Of His Garment Sam Cooke
Jeannie The Unique Teens
I Ain't Got Nobody Mae Barnes
Drugstore Rock and Roll Janis Martin
Kansas City Kitty Dave Carey Jazz Band
He's The Same Today The Kelly Bros
Whirlwind Charlie Rich
Come Runnin To Me Baby Little Eddie Love
Louisiana Percy Mayfield
One O'Clock Jump Joe Williams
Playboy's Theme Cy Coleman
Cheiro de saudade Ana Lucia
Why Don't We Do This More Often Doris Day
Cryin' Blues Charles Mingus
The Thrill Is Gone Roy Hawkins
Row Bullies Row Ewan MacColl, A.L. Lloyd
Foggy Mountain Special Flatt & Scruggs
Hoy Hoy The Collins Kids
Vitalogy Duke of Iron
Tell Me Mama Little Walter
Ida Red Likes the Boogie Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys
Milord Edith Piaf

Friday, February 1, 2019

Darling, It's Wonderful: Music From The 1950's

     As I age, I've started to become wary of nostalgia - or, more accurately, over-indulging in nostalgia.  I'm not always as vigilant as I probably should be, but I try to remember that past eras are never as wonderful as we remember (or imagine them to have been).  Still, about a year ago, I watched the 1982 movie Diner for the first time in at least a decade.  It features an ensemble cast of male twentysomething friends and it's set in Baltimore during the last week of 1959.  It still holds up really well, and despite my aforementioned wariness about nostalgia, it kinda sent me off on a 50's nostalgia trip - well, at least musically speaking.  

      Since I've been listening to a lot of 50's music and since it's been ten years since I started this blog, I figured I should put together a really big compilation of 50's music.  It's got a lot of artists that are probably familiar to most people, but hopefully there are enough artists and songs that people haven't heard to keep it interesting.  Hope you like Volumes One and Two (with volumes 3-6 to follow over the next three months).

(Also, as long as I'm indulging my nostalgia jones,  I've re-upped my homages to early 1960s music)

Download Both Volumes

Volume One

Moanin' Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
The Chill Is On Joe Turner
Farther Up The Road Bobby "Blue" Bland
Crazy Arms Ray Price
Juke Joint Johnny Red Sovine
Give Me a Pinto Pal Elton Britt
Iku Koni Payin West African Rhythm Brothers
Will Call  Joe Jones
Wagon Stan Kenton
Basin Street Blues Julie London
My Prayer The Platters
Yesterdays Cal Tjader
Chega de Saudade Joao Gilberto
Let's Get Lost Chet Baker
Rabbits Don't Ever Get Married Hank Penny
Red-Headed Woman Sonny Burgess
Bad Penny Blues Humphrey Lyttelton
Something's Got A Hold Of Me The Soul Singers
Guitar Boogie Woogie T. Texas Tyler
Too Much Monkey Business Chuck Berry
Lost Mind Mose Allison
Angel Of Love The Schoolboys
Volume Two
Pledging My Love Johnny Ace
Just Walking in the Rain The Prisonaires
Jumpin' The Blues Jimmy Witherspoon with Jay
Birth of Ghana Lord Kitchener
Gopher Mambo Yma Sumac
Car Hoppin' Mama Hawkshaw Hawkins
Train Of Love Johnny Cash
Clickety Click Clack The Turbans
Soon I'll Be Done with the Troubles of the World Five Blind Boys Of Mississippi
Junco Partner James Wayne
Eisenhower Blues J.B. Lenoir
Finders Keepers The Miller Sisters
Let Her Go, God Bless Her The Louvin Brothers
Rave On Buddy Holly
Rawhide Link Wray & The Wraymen
Right Now! Jackie Wilson
Tomorow Is The Question Ornette Coleman
Take Out Some Insurance Jimmy Reed
Nem As Paredes Confesso (I Don't Confess It, Even to the Walls) Amalia Rodrigues
Darling, It's Wonderful The Lovers
My Rifle, My Pony And Me Dean Martin
Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray Patsy Cline