Sunday, February 25, 2024

Your Roots are Showing: Immersed in '80s Torch and Twang


A couple of years ago, I happened to be watching both Halt and Catch Fire as well as Red Oaks, two shows set in the 1980s.  I generally liked the vast majority of musical choices, but the near complete lack of anything remotely twangy on either show got me thinking about how the rootsy music of the 80s, whether it be mainstream country fare or the various strains of alternative country (even though it wasn't called that then), seems very underappreciated today.  Maybe it's because I'm a Gen Xer, but it does seem like both 70s and 90s roots music maintains both more cache and more popular appreciation.   To remedy (well, as much as I possibly can) the situation, I decided to put together a six volume compilation - volumes 3-6 will follow over the next three months.  I did, however, make a decision not to include any of the artists that were on my '90s and '00s alternative country compilations.

           I should also note that there are probably at least 2-3 vinyl rips on each disc and the quality does vary a bit.  But it's still a lot better quality than listening to it on a cassette player in a car so don't complain to management unless it's really bad. :)  Lastly, I thought I should recommend a couple of the albums that I relied on to put together the compilations.   I highly recommend the Mekons' Honky Tonkin' and the Long Ryders' State of Our Union from the first disk and The Meat Puppets II Blasters  and Ted Hawkins' Happy Hour.

 Download Both Disks

Disc 1

Country Death Song

Violent Femmes

Five Feet High And Risin'

Tracey and Melissa Beehive

Heart Attack

Beat Rodeo

Pledge Of Love

The Del-Lords

Venice Skyline Rag

Pete & The Bigshots

Lights Of Downtown

The Long Ryders

Oh Darlin'

The O'Kanes

Every Angel In Heaven

Gene Clark & Carla Olson

The Way We Make A Broken Heart

Rosanne Cash

Heart to Heart

Skeeter Davis,NRBQ

Diamond Hill

Butch Hancock

Dark Glasses

Ben Vaughn

Crazy Country Hop

The Skeletons

Who's That Knocking At My Door?

The Dreadful Snakes

Crazy Over You

Foster And Lloyd


The Bodeans

Prince of Darkness


Shut It Tight

T-Bone Burnett

Disc 2

The Lubbock Tornado (I Don't Know)

Terry Allen & The Panhandle Mystery Band

Punk Rockin' Honky Tonk Girl

The Blue Chieftains

The Long Bow

Bill Monroe

Thirty Years Of Farming

Fred Eaglesmith

Let There Be Love

Dave Durham

They Never Will Know

Marshall Crenshaw

So Blue About You

True Believers

Track You Down (His Master's Voice)

Green On Red

Tennessee Plates

John Hiatt

Nothing Can Stop Me Loving You

Lone Justice


Meat Puppets

All Falls Away

The Silos

Ain't It Strange

Drivin N Cryin

Wild and Blue

John Anderson

Border Radio

The Blasters

Happy Hour

Ted Hawkins


Neil Young

The Catfish Song

Townes Van Zandt

Sunday, February 4, 2024

The Wonder of it All: A Stevie Wonder Collection

   If I was a fella prone to conspiracy theories, I would probably believe it if someone said that Stevie Wonder was much older than his official birth date.  Like, I know, he was first Little Stevie Wonder, but I will never wrap my mind around the fact that he completed the last of his string of mid-70's brilliant albums - Music of My Mind (1972); Talking Book (1972); Innervisions (1973); Fulfillingness' First Finale (1974); and Songs in the Key of Life (1976) - by the time he was 26.   Just bananas.  But rather than dwell on such things, I figure it's much better just to listen to the music so here's a Stevie retrospective.


The First Garden
I've Got You
I Want My Baby Back
If Your Love Cannot Be Moved
If You Really Love Me
Love Having You Around
Golden Lady
It Ain't No Use
Isn't She Lovely
Everybody's Talking
Ain't That Love
Jungle Fever
Be Cool Be Calm (And Keep Yourself Together)
I'm More Than Happy (I'm Satisfied)
Purple Rain Drops
Heaven Help Us All