Feature Friday Music Shuffle – Swim to Japan Mix

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Here we are at the end of the work week! 

I had such a massively fun time last night at The Basement East.  Two shows, six full band sets, seeing and hanging out with some of my favorite people.  Music-wise: Nancy Terzian and the Leg Men, Stone Cupid featuring Julie Christensen rocked the early show.  Lauren Farrah, Raelyn Nelson Band, Darrin Bradbury leading Hot Garbage (which included Margo Price on Drums and Andrew Leahey on Guitar), and Brian Wright closed the night with four very different but all incredible sets.

Onward, we have our second installment of the newly repurposed Featured Friday… enjoy!

“Middle” by Paul Zografi

We start out our last shuffle of the work week with another great song from Paul Zografi’s album Bright. 

“Magnetized” by Wilco

We continue to dig into the recent surprise Wilco release Star Wars.  “Magnetized” is the final song on the album.

“Whiskey” by Grumsling

“Whiskey” is the first track on Grumsling’s album Full Coverage. The song goes down easy and leaves a warmth in your belly… just like fine whiskey…

“Uniform” by The Poorhouse Says

Has anyone else noticed that the first four songs in today’s shuffle all had one word titles?  The streak ends after this song, but a happy coincidence. as patterns go is one of my favorite albums of 2015 – delightfully understated and brilliant. The Poorhouse Says are a relatively long-running band from St. Louis.

“Great Highway” by Dog Without Warning

Dog Without Warning have been an #E2TG favorite for a few years.  Great Highway is one of a handful of  new songs the band has released in the last couple of months. As they seem to do at every opportunity, the band has once again reinvented their sound while maintaining their integrity of writing great songs. Great Highway comes off to me as a classic-sounding California rock song.

“The Deadly Depression of a Sad Salesman” by Bashful Hips

Word on the street is that Bashful Hips may be returning to Nashville. After our run of one word titles followed by a two word title, this one comes it at seven words!  The music is unique and the songs are very good. 

“I’m Through Hurting” by Dale Watson

Another track from Dale Watson’s Call Me Insane album.  Watson has been making music for close to 40 years, and his latest album finds him sounding as good as he ever has – offering hope that the best is yet to come.  

“Poseidon’s Daughter” by Susan James

Susan James’ new album, Sea Glass, finds the California singer-songwriter adding a page to the rich and storied California Pop Song lexicon.  There is a delicate and subtle psychedelic vibe to this opening song. Or at least that is the feeling the song evoked in me.

“Don’t Wanna Fight No More” by Patrick Kinsley and A Fistful of Dollars

We close out the week’s music with a favorite song from Patrick Kinsley’s For a Thousand Miles album which I reviewed earlier this month. Kinsley’s music falls into a musical gray area that often gets labeled as Americana these days. Kinsley favors verse-heavy songs over choruses, but as in this song, he shows that he is capable of writing a mean hook when necessary.


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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Glorious Sound Mix

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(All though he probably won’t read this): Thanks for Kevn Kinney for raising the bar for the 5 Spot residency, for putting on four very different and very awesome shows, and for reminding me once again why I love this town. (took someone not from town to do it, too!).  Last night was phenomenal with Kinney generously sharing his time with Todd Snider, Rorey Carroll, Tom Clark, Chuck Mead, and Warner Hodges (who was backed by Dan Baird, Joe Blanton, and Brad Pemberton). There were so many amazing moments.

Tonight should be another amazing night of music… did I mention I love this town?  The Basement East will be my destination tonight for Nancy Terzian and The Leg Men and Stone Cupid (starting at 7:00)  and then four full band sets from Darrin Bradbury, Brian Wright, Raelyn Nelson, and Lauren Farrah (starting at 9:00)

Now to the shuffle… and we have a great one today….

“Angel in the Snow” by Whiskey Shivers

A perfect antidote for the blistering heat we’ve been experiencing this summer… this glorious sounding song from Austin, Texas based Whiskey Shivers.

“Everybody Knows (For Trayvon)”  by Hurray for the Riff Raff

A heart-breaking, powerful, moving, and beautiful song from the New Orleans based band.

“All I Know” by Lydia Loveless

The great songs continue with this one – the lead track from the 2013 EP Boy Crazy.

“Little Bit of Whiskey” by Bill Morrissey

The late folksinger with a song from the 1991 rerecording of his self-titled debut album with was released in 1984.  Pure songwriting at it’s very best.

“Out of Road” by Lindsay Ellyn

The title track from Lindsay Ellyn’s EP – released back in May which is one of my favorite releases of 2015 so far.  “Lindsay Ellyn represents all the best qualities of the “New Nashville” music scene… She brings a fresh perspective and a new voice to town, while maintaining an understanding and interest in the traditions that made us Music City in the first place.” (I said that!)

“Broken Heart Tattoos” by Ryan Bingham

From Bingham’s latest album, Fear and Saturday Night.  By this point in my shuffle- I knew the random feature was onto something pretty cool.  “Accidently” pulling together a fantastic string of really great songs.

“Mr. Musslewhite’s Blues” by Ray Wylie Hubbard

From Hubbard’s latest album Ruffian’s Misfortune.  This song was one of the highlights when I saw him live earlier this year.

“Rods and Cones” by A Color Engine

The lead track from Voyage Underwater; 56 Knots.  A fantastic song from the now defunct band/duo that paired Eric Burchfield from E2TG featured band Elephant Goes West with Don Ryan who is one of my all-time favorites.  A little bird… told me Don’s new album is getting close to being finished… but that bird actually has “lie” in its name, so who knows…

“Love is All Around” by Husker Du

And what better way to end the shuffle then with Minneapolis post-punk legends doing a cover of the theme song to the classic sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  “We’re gonna make it after all!”



Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Too Far From the Limb Mix

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And now, we reach the mid-point of the work week… tonight in Nashville is the final week of Kevn Kinney’s residency at The 5 Spot.  Warner Hodges and Chuck Mead are the guests, and word has it that Dan Baird, Joe Blanton, and Brad Pemberton will be on hand as well… should be a fun show!

“All My Best Friends Are Cigarettes” by Darrin Bradbury

We start off the shuffle with another track of Darrin Bradbury’s The Story of Bob EP.  A good chance for a reminder that Darrin, Brian Wright, Raelyn Nelson, and Lauren Farrah will all be playing full band sets at The Basement East on Thursday (tomorrow night).  That show begins at 9:00p.m.  If you get there early, Nancy Terzian and the Leg Men and Stone Cupid featuring Julie Christensen are playing starting at 7:00p.m.

“IX” by Mike Watt

What have hear is Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE) setting the words of James Joyce to music.  It is from a 2008 compilation that features all 36 of Joyce’s Chamber Music poems adapted by different musicians.  The album is called Chamber Music – James Joyce (1907). 1-36.

“Most in the Summertime” by Rhett Miller

This is from Rhett Miller’s album The Traveler which features Black Prairie.  The recording is from a World Café Session.  

“Woman on Fire” by Amy Black

Another of the three original tunes on Amy Black’s new album, The Muscle Shoals Sessions is a powerful statement of purpose embedded in a song that sounds as timeless as the classics that dominate the rest of the album.

“Driven Back” by Jesse and Noah

I just got a listen to the first song from the forthcoming Jesse and Noah album – which will be in the shuffle soon, I’m sure.  In the meantime, we have the excellent title track from their album Driven Back.

“Save the World” by Shovels and Rope

Swimmin’ Time is Shovels and Rope’s 2014 release.  This song is from that album.  More evidence of just how awesome Shovels and Rope really are.

“Pretty Girls” by Against Me!

Another from World Café… The song originally appeared on the band’s 2005 album Searching for a Former Clarity, and a live version will be on 23 Live Sex Acts – a live album due in September.  I really dig the World Café Session version of this song.

“The Sky is Crying” by Elmore James

From 1959, the Elmore James original of a song that has become a Blues standard.

“The New Day” by Tomas Doncker Band

Another song from the Big Apple Blues album.  Doncker and his band have become extremely adept at fusing a variety of influences into a complex, diverse, and yet consistent “Global Soul” sound.  

“Back Back Back” by Anthony D’Amato

From the album The Shipwreck From the Shore… From a Noisetrade compilation. I’m late getting to the Anthony D’Amato party, but I really like this song, and I want to hear more!


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Burn, Burn, Burn Mix

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One of my absolute favorite people and one of Nashville’s best songwriters, Jon Latham has completed his first album, Real Bad News.  Real Bad News is the name of the album.  The fact that he has completed it is real good news!  He has a Indiegogo campaign to help get the album out in physical form.   Here’s the details…


On to the shuffle!

“Roman Candles” by Benchmarks

Benchmarks is the band formerly known as Todd Farrell and the Dirtybirds.  The name change was meant to better represent who the band have become.  Based upon their new EP American Night, which came out a month or so ago, they are a band who have found themselves. This track in particular evokes the comfortably unpredictable feel of a hot summer night in the South – out in a field… fireworks and alcohol and abandon. 

“Please Don’t Give Up on Me” by Amy Black

Singer-Songwriter Amy Black’s latest album, The Muscle Shoals Sessions, is a tribute to the great music that has (and continues to) come out of the “Shoals” in Alabama. The album contains covers of some truly classic songs mixed in with some choice original songs – like our track today.  I would think that it takes some audacity to place ones own songs along side some proven classics, but Black has the songwriting chops to pull it off.  She is backed by a stellar band.

“Lovin’ Babe” by Anna and Elizabeth

Anna and Elizabeth are a duo from Virginia. They play Appalachian Roots music.  This song is a traditional tune from their self-titled album which came out earlier this year.

“My Baby Got It” by The Satisfactors

One more dose of pure rock and roll from the New Jersey super-group from their self-titled debut album.

“Sympathy for the Devil” by Ben Arthur

The leadoff track from Ben Arthur’s forthcoming album of “answer songs”, is a response to the classic Rolling Stones’ song from Beggars Banquet. Whereas the Stones’ classic is epic in scale, Arthur’s response is intimate and personal.  It is one of my favorite tracks on this album – maybe because I most familiar with the source material.

“For God Knows Why” by James Roquemore

The opening track from Roquemore’s The First EP. Sometimes you don’t know why you do things you do…

“Pickled Ginger” by Wilco

Another track from the brand new “surprise” release from Wilco finds the band sounding a good as ever.

“Down the Road” by Steve Earle

From Steve Earle’s Guitar Town album – one of my all-time favorites.

“Sometimes I Wish I Didn’t Care” by Kevn Kinney’s S.T.A.R.

And we close out this Tuesday shuffle with a song from Kevn Kinney’s Sun Tangled Angel Revival (S.T.A.R.) from 2006’s Comin’ Round Again.  Kinney closes out his month-long residency at The 5 Spot tomorrow night with guests Warner Hodges and Chuck Mead. Hodges has announced that he will be backed by a band that is essentially The Bluefields (Dan Baird, Brad Pemberton, and Joe Blanton).


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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Noisey Mix

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Well… let’s just jump into today’s shuffle!

“186” by The Vigilance Committee

From the album Exit a Hero – some most excellent, proggy sounding, Indie Rock out of Long Island, NY. 

“Watching the Sun Go Down” by Kevin Gordon

We’ve started listening to Kevin Gordon’s forthcoming album, but this one goes way back to his 2005 album called, O Come Look At the Burning.  We got it off a Noisetrade Sampler that this still available at that site.

“Trap Door” by Stars

Stars are from Canada.  Their Facebook Page lists their genre as Melodramatic Popular Songs, Amazon lists it as Alternative Rock.  E2TG doesn’t care too much for genres.  Pretty upbeat fun sounding music. 

“SGS” by Grumsling

Another track from our new friends from Oakland, California.  Grumsling are one of my favorite “discoveries” of the year so far.  This song is from their 7 song release from 2014 called Full Coverage

“Noise” by Jesse Terry

Connecticut based singer-songwriter Jesse Terry with a track from his latest EP called, The Calm and The Storm. This is one of those  gorgeous songs that seems like it should have always existed.  From some reason, it struck me that this song would not be out of place on Billy Joel’s classic Cold Spring Harbor – and I mean that as high praise. 

“Pictionary” by APE MEN

“Edgy indietronica formed on the post Iron Curtain fringe of the European Union.”  From their debut EP Zero which was released earlier this year. Pretty cool sounds… and a fun reminder of when me and my sister ruled at Pictionary the game.

“Destroy Me” by The Naddiks

The Naddiks are a high energy Alternative band from Canberra. This is the opening track from their EP called 21cb. 

“Mama’s Don’t Let Your Cowboys Grow Up to be Babies” by Dale Watson

So far, the shuffle has moved between singer-song writers and alt/prog/indie bands from all over the world.  Let’s bring this whole mess together as only E2TG can… with Dale Watson covering Tony Joe White’s answer to the Ed and Patsy Bruce song made famous by Waylon and Willie.  This song is on Dale’s latest album Call Me Insane.


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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Featured Friday v2.0 Mix

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I had an enjoyable evening last night – a sort of last minute (day before actually) invite to Amy Black’s CD Release Show at The Bluebird Café for her new album, The Muscle Shoals Sessions.  The album was recorded down in Alabama and features covers of some of the great music that has come out of Muscle Shoals plus some original songs – inspired by that sound. Black is in the process of moving to the Nashville area, and she is currently touring with a band that features her husband on drums and a talented group of young musicians who are or have attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

I came home to hear the sad news out of Lafayette, Louisiana – yet another mass shooting. This hit close – I have a lot of family in the area, and at least one family member posted that they often see movies in that theater.  I also so that a Facebook friend knew one of the victims.  I fully expect – after our shared sense of “community” shock, to see a bunch of posts from both sides of political spectrum about this and the far too many other events like this one. My hope is for people of all political stripes to say, “this is terrible, things like this should not be happening”, and then have real dialogue about the complex issues surrounding this and all of the other mass shootings. Mostly, my wish for all of us, is that just for today, we treat each other with a little extra kindness.


As you may have gathered if you follow Ear to the Ground, 2015 has been an extremely busy year.  I seem to have gotten on some people radar, and I am very grateful for that.  With all that, however, comes some challenges, and I move forward – with some exciting things on the horizon, I have discovered the need to get creative in dealing with the volume of new music that comes my way.  Historically, my primary thing has been to add music to my playlist and feature it in the shuffle. Recently, I have been writing more reviews (though not as many as I would like to), and I have seen my active playlist continue to grow (it is currently over 1,000 songs) which means that some albums I really want to feature may or may not come up in my shuffle. To that end, I decided to bring back and revamp an old E2TG thing – called Featured Friday.  Back in the earlier days of Ear to the Ground, I would “feature” 10 artists/bands every month, and I would create a playlist of their music which I would then shuffle on Featured Friday.

This new Featured Friday, is a playlist that is a subset of my regular playlist, that is limited to newer music that I really want to feature.  So this playlist – unlike the regular one, will not include classic and obscure older music or one-offs from compilations, well, let’s just do it, and you may see what I mean.

“Odyssea 1201” by Susan James

It is always fun when a brief instrumental track comes into the shuffle. Like this from Susan James’ brand new album, Sea Glass.

“Aching Heart” by Angela Easterling

Angela Easterling’s latest album Common Law Wife is due out next month.  I have really been enjoying the album. It is filled with wonderful songs and she is backed by some amazing players.  Put it on your to-listen list.

“Machines” by The Foresters

It is kind of strange that I have been listening to The Foresters for around three years – stranger given that the oldest member of the band is 15 and the youngest is eleven. Strange but in this case, extremely gratifying, to have seen the musical growth that has happened and continues to happen.  The band’s new album, Sun Songs, which was just released this week, finds the brothers from Connecticut moving further away from their Pop Punk roots in an organic way that is in line with their maturing musical vocabulary.  Looking forward to seeing where they go from here.  Machines is the second single from Sun Songs.

“Tight” by Paul Zografi

This is the only 2014 album I added into this Featured playlist.  It was released late last year, but I didn’t get hold of it until 2015. In any event, I really love the album, and due to the random nature of the shuffle – it was not until this past week that a song appeared in the shuffle – so I am really glad this song came up today.  The album is called Bright, and it features J.P. Lilliston who often backs up my friend Joe Nolan.

“Cold Slope” by Wilco

I hesitated to add this album to the shuffle – despite my lame joke yesterday – it really doesn’t fit the criteria I had in my for this playlist, but you know what… what’s the point in writing your own blog if you can’t make up rules and break them at will.  I have been really digging this surprise gift from Jeff Tweedy and company, and so here is another track.

“If You Will” (bonus track) by Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon’s new album is not due out until September, but I am happy to get to spend some time with it, and to get the chance to remind myself and then you that he is one of the best songwriters and performers out there. Long Time Gone is the name of the new album, and I will keep reminding you about it. It is the follow up to 2012’s Gloryland, which if you haven’t you should hear.

“Lost Creek” by Elephant Revival

Thanks to bands like Elephant Revival, Elephant Goes West, Cage the Elepant, Elephant Stone etc.  Klout now thinks I am an “expert” on elephants.. 🙂 Elephant Revival are from Colorado, and they just released Sands of Now which is a live CD/DVD.  This song is on that album, and it is worthy of your attention.


“Catch You in the Fall” by Reckless Johnny Wales

The enigmatic yet legendary Reckless Johnny Wales returns to the shuffle with our second listen from his album American Heart.  The album really represents well the diverse experiences that made the man behind the legend.  This is one of my favorite’s from the album.


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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Paper in My Pocket Mix

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Last night was week 3 of 4 of the Kevn Kinney Residency at The 5 Spot in East Nashville.  Each show has been unique and each show has been wonderful.   Last night, Kinney was joined by Lydia Lunch (in what may or may not have been Ms. Lunch’s first Nashville appearance – she wasn’t sure). The combination/collaborations of Kinney’s songs with Lunch’s spoken word/poetry was different and brilliant. They were accompanied by Audley Freed on guitar and James Haggerty on upright bass. Definitely a one of a kind event.

“The Gay Day” by Atticus Floyd

We have another visit to Atticus Floyd’s album, Russell Stover Stole My Babbie. This is a mostly instrumental song (the track opens with a stuttered utterance of a single word).  I am repeating the Neutral Milk Hotel cover video (in the Playlist below), because: a) it is a Neutral Milk Hotel Cover (and a good one) and b) because Atticus plays the singing saw on the song.

“Child Support Blues” by Adolphus Bell

I recently got a hold of some more music from the Music Maker Relief Foundation.  In case you missed my previously posts, they are a great organization that helps support and preserve some of the living lesser know legends of Blues and roots music.  Check them out.  Adolphus Bell was a bluesman/one-man band. He passed away in 2013.

“Used and Abused” by Midnight Oil

Up next a track from Midnight Oil’s self-titled debut album which was recorded in 1977 and released in 1978.  Because, why not?

“Whiskey Pick” by Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones

It never fails… first of all, I could not remember how I came to have this song on my playlist, and when I heard it, my first thought was – this is fantastic, David Horton (Popa Tune’s) needs to hear this, and then I did so research, and guess what – I got this song from him – on his Popakazooza Vol. 13 Mixtape.  I should have known.  You can’t get great music like this past the Popa very often.  From their album, Luck Maker.

“Guilty of Myself” by Jesse and Noah

The first of two tracks today from Nashville brothers, Jesse and Noah from their album Driven Back.  Look for a new song from them coming soon.

“Forever Valentine” by Dale Watson

A slow Country ballad from the latest Dale Watson album, Call Me Insane.

“You Satellite” by Wilco

Last week, Wilco, unexpectedly sent me a download link to their album – I assume because I am cool. What can I say, except that is Wilco!

“Weather Man” by Jesse and Noah

One more Jesse and Noah.  

Now enjoy the video playlist…