2015 E2TG – Earie Awards – Mega Video Playlist Wrap Up

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I did not get a chance to post videos for every one of the “Earie” Awards.  So, I decided to close out 2015 and the 1st Annual “Earie” Awards with a Video Playlist.  This should help tide you over until I come back next week to kick off 2016.  55 Songs in the playlist.


Earies 2015 Playlist

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Great and Powerful So and So Mix

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Here we are!  The final regularly scheduled shuffle of 2015. (I’m not ruling out a shuffle tomorrow but no promises).  But first, we have one final bit of business to wrap up the debut edition of the “Earie” Awards.  Remember: The “Earies” it sounds strange, but it’s not really.  The final award is the Golden “Earie” Award (aka the E2TG Artist of the Year). 

Since we have a bunch of new readers, I thought I would indulge in a brief history of the award.

I began writing the blog in May 2011. That year, I named a “Band of the Week” every week.  As the end of the year approached, I thought it would be fun to have a Readers Poll to select a “Band of the Year”.  So, I created an on-line poll that included all of the Bands of the Week.  Being new to on-line polls, the poll was wide open meaning you could vote as many times as you wanted.  The polling was spirited and fun with several artists really getting into it.  At the end of the poll, The Mobbs (a UK band) flooded the ballot box and were named Band of the Year.  Howard Rabach’s band Ubiquity Machine finished second and Don Ryan from New Jersey finished third.

Because the poll was so much fun (and brought a lot of page views to the blog), for 2012 I decided to have a Band of the Month poll – which I did.  At the end of 2012, all of the Bands of the Month plus some “Wildcards” competed for Band of Year.  The now defunct but totally awesome Skeletons in the Piano from upstate New York were the second Band of the Year.

By 2013, I had kind of grown tired of the polls. It seemed like some artists were more into it than others plus I kind of decided it was a distraction from what was really important – being the music.  When 2013 year end came up, to me there was one obvious choice for Band of the Year.  The End Men, of Brooklyn, remain to this day the most tagged artist on #E2TG. Beyond that they are really wonderful people.  They had a big 2013 and (as I expected) they had an even bigger 2014. 

In 2014, once again the choice was obvious.  Darrin Bradbury emerged from a Wal-Mart parking lot and began to conquer Nashville. He dominated Ear to the Ground – at one point I think there was at least one DB song in the shuffle everyday for almost a month.  In 2014, I probably saw Darrin play life on average 2 or 3 times a week.   Also, as expected, in the year that followed (2015), he continued to excel and made me very proud to have him as my Artist of the Year (I had to rename it because he wasn’t a band).

Which brings us to the 2015:

The choice this year became pretty clear to me early in the year.  my anticipation of Jon Latham’s debut album was so high.  But, anticipation does not equal awards.  Real Bad News managed to exceed my very high expectations. My review can be read HERE.  And the album alone is almost enough to make Jon a lock for Artist of the Year.  But, there were several great albums released in the past 12 months.  But wait, there is more!  Jon is one of the kindest people I know. Some people may say that has nothing to do with music, but I would disagree.  Grant it, there is long list of really amazing artists who happened to be assholes, however, in the case of Jon Latham, his kindness comes through in just about every song.  Beyond that, Jon’s knowledge and interest in a wide variety of music is almost encyclopedic.  Again, at least in the case of Jon Latham, that depth of knowledge is, I think, crucial to his craft as a songwriter. 

As 2015 rolled along, people began to take notice of Jon Latham.  The Sin City vs. Guitar Town Eastside Throwdown was a turning point.  Jon Latham backed Aaron Lee Tasjan in one of the most electrifying sets I have seen all year.  Playing acoustic guitar and singing bgv, people took notice.  Since then, Jon has opened shows for Aaron Lee and for the legendary Malcolm Holcombe.  Real Bad News has garnered international acclaim and made some best of 2015.

You have one more chance to see the 2015 Artist of the Year in 2015. Jon will once again be joining the incredible Aaron Lee Tasjan in an opening slot for Christ Knight at the Exit/In on New Year’s Eve.   On Monday, you can catch 2014 Artist of the Year Darrin Bradbury as he kicks of his residency at The Basement East.  2015 Artist of the Year Jon Latham is on the bill for that night.  I, for one, am excited!

Basically, those who get it, will understand right away why Jon Latham is my Artist of the Year.  If you don’t get it, check out the video playlist below and you probably will.  Some of Jon’s best moments (plus if you look closely in one video  you will see the jean shorts clad leg of 2014 winner Darrin Bradbury).  A couple of bonus clips that I came across: one is a clip I had heard about but not seen, Jon doing a song that does not often make it to his playlist these days.  The touching and tender, “Put It in Your Butt” plus so that we didn’t end on that note, a rare clip of the Latham Family Band doing a Dawes cover.

Congratulations Jon!  Terry Rickards take note: 2013 Band of the Year, The End Men played the 2014 Post-Americana all-day marathon show at The Basement, 2014 Artist of the Year, Darrin Bradbury, played the 2015 Post-Americana all-day marathon show at The Basement East.  I’m just sayin’  American Fest will be here before we know it.

Now the last shuffle of the year…. a short commute and walk, and some longish songs means only 5 songs in the shuffle

“Forgive All His Sins” by Jean Synodinos

Jean Synodinos is an Austin-based singer-songwriter. This is our first listen.  The song is very moving. Her album is called Love and Blood.  Expect to hear more of this one as 2016 gears up.

“45” by Silverbird

Another track from Pureland, the debut album by this New York City based rock band.

“Pound of Grain” by Tymon Dogg

A vegan anthem from the one-time Clash/Joe Strummer collaborator Tymon Dogg from his album Made of Light. 

“Dorothy” by Jon Latham

The shuffle gods do right, and throw a Jon Latham song into this final shuffle of the year.  “Dorothy” is one of the first songs I heard Jon sing.

“Mistreated” by Delta Deep

Given the spirit of #E2TG, it seems appropriate to close out the year with a band that I am hearing for the first time.  Delta Deep is a band that features Phil Collen of Def Leppard and a real deal Delta blues singer named Debbi Blackwell-Cook plus Stone Temple Pilot bassist Robert DeLeo.  I’ll be honest, I was not the biggest Def Leppard fan (although some of their songs were pretty damned catchy).  But this!  This is really cool.  Blistering blues based rock back by an authentic blues voice.  From what I have read, I believe Joe Elliot even appears on this track.  I really like this.  Expect more as 2016 rolls on. This song is a Deep Purple cover by the way.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Celestial Beer Mix

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Hopefully, Lemmy is having a celestial beer somewhere… RIP

DISCLAIMER:  For one of the first times (if not the first times) in E2TG history, I actually composed part of this post in advance.  Over the long holiday weekend, I took time to go over the “Earies” and tried to figure out a game plan for my last three posts of the year (two “Earies” and Artist of the Year).  When I figured out what I wanted to do for today’s final “Earie” before the AofTY, I knew it was going to be time consuming and so I wrote the next bit in advance.

FURTHER DISCLAIMER:  Both yesterday’s and today’s shuffles produced head smacking moments of remembering artist deserving of “Earies”.  I can only beg forgiveness for any and all omissions.  Despite how it may appear, I do most of #E2TG posts by the seat of my pants. *I know shocking* and to boot, I often have a very disorganized mind.  It’s part of my charm…   Anyway, let’s jump right into the last “Earie” before the “Golden Earie”….

(this next bit was written on Sunday and editing since then)

Now, we have reached the penultimate E2TG 2015 Award.  Tomorrow, I will unveil the 2015 Artist of the Year.  As I frequently write and say, I find it very fortuitous that through a series of unfortunate events that I would have never volunarily chosen to end up in the place I am at the moment I arrived.  Arrived without travelling… sure, but it has been a journey.  Finding myself smack in the middle of the East Nashville music community in the middle part of the second decade of the 21st Century, I am keenly aware of what a moment I am experiencing.  You might think I would be jaded or disillusioned by now, and you would be partially correct.  I have been jaded and disillusioned many times, and certainly if you look for them or focus on them, there are plenty of reasons to be jaded and disillusioned by the state of music.  But, there are causes for hope.  The obvious examples that people will mention – Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson… sure but it goes way deeper and way beyond that.  The level of excellence here is incredible. Songwriters, guitar players, bassists, drummers, pedal steel players, photographers, music writers, bookers…. the list goes on,  

Now, do not get me wrong East Nashville (or maybe more precisely the other side of Nashville) is not a perfect situation.  I have made off-hand (kind of) joking comments about the Nashville Conundrum – referring to the sheer volume of incredible volume of awesome live music and the impossible choices this creates.  Choices between two or more shows going on at the same time, choices between going out or staying in to get my own work done or to rest and recover. For a music fan, it is an excellent problem to have – for musicians – not always.  It is, I think, a pretty well known fact that some of our community’s best spend a significant amount of time on the road because that is where there is money to be made.  Nashville/East Nashville is home base and the spirit of collaboration and community keeps them coming back, but shows that would be events in another city are easily overlooked or passed over here in Nashville.   

I do not propose or make any claim to a solution to the monetary issues facing the musicians these days. It seems to me to be a complicated equation. The amount of artistic freedom and autonomy made possible by advancements in technology vs. the increasing difficulty of getting music fans to spend money on independent music.  Honestly, it can be discouraging even for someone not directly impacted by it.  But, for me it just drives me harder to spread the word about music of substance that needs to be heard more widely and supported.

All that wordiness to say, I am giving the final “Earie” before Artist of the Year to the community of artists who have become a part of my life over the last year and a half.  I am going to call out a few people by name, and ommissions are inevitable.  In a hypothetic sense, this last “Earie” will be represented by a giant sized “Ear” right smack dab in the middle of 5 Points. You know, that weird intersection of 11th and Woodlawn and those other streets.  
1.  Aaron Lee Tasjan –  I had to single out Aaron Lee for reasons which should become obvious if they are are not already. I had heard about Aaron Lee Tasjan before I actually heard him. The first time I heard him play guitar was on the same day that I met Darrin Bradbury.  He was backing up Tim Easton at The 5 Spot.  Later, he did a residency at that bar, and I finally got to hear him do his own songs.  To say, I was blown away would be an understatement.  In fact, I think it took me some time to fully grasp how amazing he was as a songwriter.  His mixture of humor, cultural references, and emotional resonance is incomparable. Over time, I learned more about his history and got to meet him and found him to be a really nice guy. The other thing he is – which to me typifies this community, is generous. In 2015, as he began to garner more and more (well deserved) attention, ALT (as he is known) seemed to work even harder at lifting up his fellow musicians and writers.  His album, In the Blazes, was one of my most highly anticipated releases and yet it still managed to surprise me.  It is a rock and roll record, it is a alt-folk record, it is a alt-country record – it shows off his abilities as a songwriter and as a guitarist.
2.  Tim Easton – the mentor and a driving force behind the Campfire Propaganda movement.  His experience and wisdom has helped to push these younger songwriters forward, and their influence seems to have revitalized this long-time East Nashville presence.  The celebrate his 100th published song, Easton began posting a song a day for 100 days.  He is at the tail end of this marathon project.  

3.  Zach Schmidt – One of the brightest lights in the East Nashville community. Schmidt has an album in the can that will be released in 2016.  He has all the attributes of a classic male country music star, and his songs manage to deftly walk the line between tradition and innovation.  Watch for Zach Schmidt in 2016.
4.  Nellie Marie Clay – Originally from Oklahoma, Clay made her way to Nashville after spending a few years in the far reaches of Alaska. Like Zach Schmidt, she brings a new energy to traditional sounding roots music.  Her distinctive drawl and the twanginess of her music made her a force to be reckoned with. Her new album I Never Did What I Shoulda Done is excellent,

5.  Megan Palmer – Besides being a go to side musician for the likes of Darrin Bradbury, Tim Easton and others, Palmer is an excellent songwriter in her own right.  Her performace of one her best songs, “Knife Twister” backed by an all-star backing chorus that included Julie Christensen, Nellie Marie Clay and others was a highlight of the year.  She has a new album ready to go in 2016.  It will be worth your while to check it out.
6. Brian Wright – Probably a half dozen of my favorite musical moments of 2015 involve Brian Wright.  A powerhouse guitar player, an unequaled songwriter, and a supporter of his fellow musicians.  If you ever get the chance to see Brian Wright live – in any configuration, do not miss out!
7. Carl Anderson – Anderson came to Nashville by way of Charlottesville, VA.  His album, Risk of Loss, is one of the best of 2015.  Such amazing songs.

8.   Other songwriters:  Andrew Leheay, Lilly Hiatt, Tim Carroll, Tommy Womack, Kiely Schlessinger, Luella Wood, Bob Lewis, Allen Thompson, Russell Thompson, Amelia White, Adrian+Meredith Krygowski, Dave Coleman, Ariel Bui, Yosi Mesbah and so many more.  Covering music that can be described as country, alt-country, folk-country, not country, roots rock, alt-folk, rock, blues-rock, jam band….etc.  I tend to shy away from putting labels on music (though I understand that for artists it is a necessity sometimes). I think of it as excellent music.  Traditionally, Nashville has been known as a town of songwriters, and even though the quality of writing on “the Row” can be called into the question – that tradition lives on around campfires, on porches, and in clubs around the city but concentrated in East Nashville. (And by reference, I include some of the amazing writers who have already won “Earie” Awards)
9. The musicians – once you have a song, the next step is to bring that song to life. And, although that can be done by just the writer and an acoustic guitar, when the song is developed and augemented by the help of some of the best musicians in the world, the results can be amazing.  Many of the writers I mentioned are also amazing musicians who frequently back up other writers  (Brian Wright, Megan Palmer, and ALT stand out).  When you go out and hear music in Nashville, one thing you begin to notice is some of the same faces showing up again and again playing behind a very diverse mix of musical styles. Justin Amaral, Aaron Shafer-Haiss, Steve Ebe, Raun Shultz, David Strayer, Daniel Seymour, Cameron Carrus,  Adam Kurtz,  and many many more. Some of the above named front their own projects and some do not, but they are all part of the lifeblood that makes this new Music City what it is.
10.  The non-musicians – Musicians and songwriters are the reason this scene exists but it would not run if it were for the photographers, managers, bookers, writers, publicists. and behind the scenes folks. I want to call out Stacie Huckaba, Mary Sack, Terry Rickards, Sue Havlish, Karen Leipziger (who is also a songwriter and musician as I recently learned), John McCollum. Skip Anderson, Heather Lose, Randy Fox, and many more.
11.  Bands – I should probably mentioned some of the amazing bands who call Nashville home. Covering an incredible diverse range of syles and sounds,  Year of October, Dogs of Oz, Turbo Fruits, Blackfoot Gypsies, Humming House, Benchmarks, Fendrick and Peck, and many more.
2016 is going to be an amazing year, and the “Earies” will be back for their second season.  But, I’m not quite done with 2015.  The Artist of the Year for 2015 will be revealed tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

back to live posting
Now for the penultimate regularly scheduled shuffle of 2015!

“Heaven’s Gonna Have a Honky Tonk” by Dale Watson

I’m gonna dedicate this one to Lemmy. I think heaven’s gonna have a pretty bitchin’ rock show… I’ll just bet Lemmy and the Ramones are playing “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” right about now. 

This is an older Dale Watson song which was included on his latest album, Call Me Insane which is definitely one of the best albums of the year and one of my favorire 

“Windows Fogged Up in Your Pickup Truck” by The Paisley Fields

The Paisley Fields are a alt-country band from Brooklyn that boasts two opera trained singer and a prolific songwriter who happens to be gay. They have an EP that was released this year, but this is an older song of theirs.

“Tread Carefully” by The British IBM

Man, I have really been digging Psychopaths Dream in Black and White. This is really British Indie music the way it was meant to be.  Catchy as hell with just enough of an edge. 

“The Frame” by Jon Latham

One of the most powerful songs on Real Bad News.  Jon will be playing as part of Aaron Lee Tasjan’s killer band opening for Chris Knight at the Exit/In on New Year’s Eve. Boom 2015!

“Only the Young” by Indigenous Engines

From the Werewolves EP, by Indigenous Engines aka “Earie” award winner Andrew Adkins.  A new Andrew Adkins is on tap for 2016!

“The Old Testament” by Man Named Pearl

Yeah,  Man of Pearl should have won an “Earie”.  Can I give them a special award now? It is my blog… ug… whatever…. seriously, Man Named Pearl is the nom de plume of Jesse Turits and part of the fantastic collective/thing called Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen.  This is from -Quietus Make- which I highly and forcefully recommend. 

VIDEO PLAYLIST

Monday Morning Music Shuffle – The Pills Ain’t Working Mix

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I am back after an extended time away…  When I last posted, storms were on the horizon for Nashville and that appears to be the case today six days later. In fact, as I look out the window, the rain has started.

This is always an odd week.  Christmas is over, New Years Eve is still a few days away. There is a sense of winding down of the old year and anticipation of what is to come.  In my office, there are many people out this week.  The overall pace of life seems just a wee bit slower.  But, here at E2TG, we keep pushing to the end.  We have more “Earies” to hand out and more shuffles to be shared.

The “Connections” Award. 

The premise:  Although, I don’t always explicitly state it, one of the central themes of Ear to the Ground has always been the thread of connectivity that runs throughout all music.  The Shuffle (which to me is more than random) can often serve to highlight those connections. When songs that seem to be incongruous are placed together, they can often serve to reveal previously unseen connections. These connections come in all different forms and can be difficult to explain.  Long time readers may recall a post I made a few years ago when I shuffled together the then new records by Imperial Rooster and Black Jake and the Carnies.  These two bands came from different regions of the U.S. and were not even aware of each others existence but I found connections.

The Award:  So for this award, I thought about artists/bands who have come into my consciousness who have no visible connection but who speak to me in very similar ways despite their obvious differences.

1.  Tim Lee 3/Bark – A long time favorite of #E2TG, I first encountered TL3 via Couch by Couchwest.  They are based in Knoxville and have roots in Jackson, MS. As I have gotten to know Tim and Susan Lee, I have discovered their deep connection to much of the music I listened to growing up.  To illustrate, I found out not too long ago, that Tim Lee produced or co-produced Will and the Bushmen’s Gawk album which has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time.  In 2015, Tim and Susan celebrated their vinyl anniversary (33 1/3 years) with the release of a new Tim Lee 3 album (331/3) and the very first EP from Bark.  I was lucky enough to see both configurations live in 2015.  The music of both bands manages to sound both fresh and familiar to me.

2. Susan James – A couple of years ago, I got the opportunity to hear and write about Susan’s then new album, Driving Toward the Sun.  Susan is based in Southern California. At the time, I saw where D.J. Bonebrake of X (one of my all-time favorite bands) had acted as emcee for a CD release show for an earlier album.   In 2015, Susan James released Sea Glass which marked a departure from the Americana feel of her previous two releases.  Sea Glass is a wonderful example of California pop music.  Several times on the album, the Paisley Underground sound is evoked very effectively.  It is an album I want to hear over and over. 

Just to put too fine a point on my premise, Tim and Susan Lee have some very deep and personal connections to the original Paisley Underground scene of the 1980s which is evoked so well on Susan James latest album.

On to the shuffle:  I am going to be shuffling from the “Featured  Music” playlist for the three days I am at work this week.  Trying to get through some of 2015’s featured music to clear some room for the many new releases expected in early 2016.

“Taste the Ceiling” by Wilco

So, I think I read somewhere that Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy did not know that there was a new Star Wars movie imminent  when naming the band’s latest album.  The album, which was initially offered as a free download, made many top ten lists for 2015.  I enjoyed the album as I have much of Wilco’s long and extensive catalog.

“More and More” by Bob Margolin

Another track from the new album by Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin. The album is called My Road.  This is real deal blues music folks!

“Love to a Ghost” by Brandy Zdan

Nashville singer-songwriter Brandy Zdan recently released her self-titled debut solo album.  She was previously a member of the duo Twilight Hotel and the band The Trishas.  I was pleased to find a sampler from her new album on Noisetrade.  Check it out and if you dig – pick up the whole album at the usual spots.

“Pinyin” (Instrumental Version) by Batkhi Dahn

We may be done featuring the Batkhi Dahn Chritmas EP, but we still have several more songs in our playlist.  This is the instrumental version of the latest single. 

“Call Out Mellobird” by The Jackals

Another track from People, the latest album from Edinburgh band The Jackals.

“In the End” by Ilana J

Another listen to the highly listenable debut EP, Free Fallin’ from the Ground Up.  Ilana J is from Birmingham (not Alabama).

“Little Meghan Kelly” by Fendrick and Peck

Fendrick and Peck are a hard travelling, neo-traditionalist folk duo currently residing in Nashville.  They released Lucky Penny this year, and it is one of my favorites of the year.

“Pills” by Carl Anderson

Speaking of favorites, we close out this shuffle with another track from Risk of Loss – which is definitely among my top ten albums of 2015  (if I made such a list).  Carl Anderson is another Nashville artist having moved here from Charlottesville, VA.

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Wednesday Morning Festivus Music Shuffle – Pretty Girl Dancing to Jugband Music Mix

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Happy Festivus!  Stay tuned for the traditional airing of grievances and feats of strength.

You know, even though I have been featuring some holiday/Christmas/Winter/Red Cup themed music for the last few days, I honestly have not been in the spirit of the season.  Maybe it the fact that it is almost 70 in Nashville and tornados are possible later today or maybe it is just the realities of current life.  However, last night, I attended the Ornaments Christmas Show (it was actually their 14th performance this season) which featured the music of Vince Guaraldi from A Charlie Brown Christmas.  The night also featured Holiday music from Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers  and a Tuba Christmas.  There was so much great music and great vibes present that I found myself- wholly against my will caught up in the Spirit. 

It also helps that today will be my last day of work for four days and I get to leave early today!!!!

The “Earies” continue with the “Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plain” Award.

The premise:  I don’t think I’ve ever been to the state of Oklahoma (my parents lived there a short time before I was born). And other than the musical and some college football games, I’ve never given it much thought. (no offense – I really don’t think much at all about anything).  In 2015, however, it seems like I kept hearing awesome music from artists who call Oklahoma home. 

The Award:

1.  I would be severely remiss if I did not give an “Earie” Award to John Moreland.  His album, High on Tulsa Heat, was a break-through and definitely among the top tier of best albums of the year.  Throughout the year, I was fortunate enough see him perform live a few time, and each and every time, he managed to give me goosebumps and stir my heart and soul.  At Americana Fest, Moreland managed to mostly silence a packed out Mercy Lounge and garnered a very rare AMA Showcase encore.  

2.  Dan Martin. I met Dan Martin at a David Olney residency at The 5 Spot earlier this year, and I got hold of his CD Hoka Hey, and it quickly became one of my favorite albums of 2015.

3. Levi Parham and John Calvin Abney.  These two amazing singer-songwriters blew me away when I saw them perform during the Campfire Propaganda residency at The 5 Spot.  Actually, I kind of feel like their is a definite psychic link between Oklahoma and East Nashville. 

4.  Samantha Crain:  I saw Samantha Crain perform as part of an incredible round at the Bluebird Café earlier this year.  She combines excellent songs with a unique voice.  There was some hope that she would make it back to Nashville this month or so, but it did not pan out.  Hopefully, we will see her here again in 2016.

Next, we wrap up our Red Cup Season Playlist!  Best to everyone no matter what you celebrate and if you are struggling with anything during this season remember you are not alone. Peace!

“somerkersfees” + “stille nag” by velodrones

We finish up velodrones Christmas EP with lovely versions of Christmas Carols.

“Blanket” + “Fantasy” + “Stocking” by Batkhi Dahn

We wrap up the Batkhi Dahn Christmas EP with three songs.  “Blanket” refers to the thing you place under the tree. I’ve always called it a “skirt” but I will defer to the New Englanders since they actually might have snow this season.   

“Barbeque” + “Closer Now Than Ever Before” + “Brothers” + “Hole in the Washtub” from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas

We roll through the last four songs from the Emmet Otter Jugband Christmas.  The two-tapping Barbeque, the two songs which were mashup yesterday, and the equally toe-tapping Hole in the Washtub.   I just noticed that Hulu has the special, so maybe I will watch it all tomorrow.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Milktooth

Nashville band, Milktooth – who we have featured in the past, released a lovely version of this Carol along with a  powerful and moving video (which is in the Video Playlist below).

“Winter’s Lie” by Angela Easterling

“Earie” Award winner Angela Easterling released a season song.  It is a gorgeous song.

“The Earth Stood Still” by Future of Forestry

And we finish off the Future of Forestry Advent Anthology with this song.  I think this is an original song – or at least I have not heard it before and I could not find anything in a brief search to indicate it is not a Future of Forestry original.  A really lovely song.

 

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Tuesday Morning Red Cup Season Music Shuffle – Shepherd’s Quake Mix

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We are reaching the end of the 2015.  After today’s post, we only have three more “Earies” to award before the crowning of the 2015 E2TG Artist of the Year.  The anticipation is palpable.

One of the many perks of writing Ear to the Ground, is that I get the opportunity to hear and write about awesome music which otherwise may have slipped past me. So, today’s “Earie” Award is going to go out to the some of the best of that category from 2015.

1.  The Poorhouse Says are an Americana/Indie-Folk/Folk-Rock band from St. Louis.  They released As Patterns Go, and I was fortunate enough to get to hear it and tell you folks about it. 

2.  Broken Guru are a Alt-Rock band from New York City.  They released Bent Up Halo earlier this year.  The album injected a refreshing burst of hard alternative rock into our shuffle.

3.  The Hidden Agendas are a Pennsylvania rock and roll band who came to my attention is 2015.  Although, I have only been able to feature one or two of their songs, they made a big impression, and I look forward to more music ahead.

4.  The Naddiks –  This band from Canberra, Australia could have easily been included in the International “Earie” category, but then I could have had to do some heavy-duty geographic research to figure out if Canberra or Christchurch, New Zealand was further away.  And nobody wants that.  The Naddiks combine blistering, upbeat rock and roll with positive lyrics which are much appreciated in this day and age which can be a rather negative place.  They released 21CB (21st Century Boy) this year, and more recently, they just released an anti-bullying single called, “Stop, Listen, and Love”

Moving on – we jump back into  our holiday music shuffle with a very special edition….

A dialogue Intro from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas

A nifty Intro to Intro the shuffle…

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Jeff Black recently made available the 2008 edition of Black Tuesday Christmas Special featuring Black and his kids.  The award winning Nashville songwriter performs such holiday favorites as “Away in the Manger”, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer”, “Winter Wonderland” and more.  A great addition to the shuffle.

“Riverbottom Nightmare Band” + “Closer-Brothers Medley” from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas

Two more classic tunes from the Jim Henson production. Some hard rocking critters called the Riverbottom  Nightmare Band deliver their theme song.  And although it is referred to as a medley, the other track is by all estimations a mash-up.

“Silent Night” by Future of Forestry

And we close out the shuffle with a lovely, atmospheric rendering of the German Christmas carol, “Silent Night”.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

Monday Morning Red Cup Season Music Shuffle – Grandma Otter Mix

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I have to just admit right now that I’m really not feeling it today. Whatever “it” is.  The approaching holiday with everything surrounding it, the fact that this is the shortest day of the year, and that fact that it is a grey and rainy day here in Nashville…   But, I will press onward…  rest assured…

The “Earies” are getting down to the wire.  Our last six awards are forthcoming. It is getting difficult to decide which award to post.  Do I save one for right toward the end or do I go ahead and post it now… who have I forgotten… what should I call this or that award… but I don’t really have time for all that existential overthinking…

Consider this the counter-point to the “All the Young Dudes” award – kind of… I will call it the “Southern Women Showcase”  Award focusing on some of the excellent music I came across this year that happened to come from female artists who either live in or originated the southern part of the United States) (or both)….

1.  Tiffany Huggins Grant – A Jonquil Child from Smyrna, Georgia (now a Nashville resident). Tiffany released here stunning album, Jonquil Child early this year, and it serves as an excellent testimony to her extraordinary vocal abilities and her strength as a songwriter.  The album was produced and features guitar work from fellow “Earie” winner – Mark Robinson.

2. Amy Black – Although she recently relocated from Boston to the Nashville area, Amy Black grew up near (but apart from) the music mecca of Muscle Shoals, Alabama.   Her recent album, The Muscle Shoals Sessions includes classic and lesser known tracks recorded in that fertile ground – plus a few original compositions inspired by recording and being around that hallowed ground.

3. Angela Easterling – Hailing from South Carolina, Angela Easterling released the amazing, Common Law Wife this year.  The album is a showcase of her amazing abilities  as a singer/songwriter.  Coincidently (or whatever) both Easterling’s album and Amy Black’s album feature the guitar work of Nashville icon, Will Kimbrough.  

I was fortunate enough to see all of these talented artists perform live during 2015, and I look forward to what they each have in store in the future.

We have three shuffles before Christmas… so let’s have our second installment of the Red Cup Season Playlist shuffle.  Remember – I tried to pick a name for this playlist that could not possibly cause offense. Red Cup seemed like a pretty neutral thing….

Just as E2TG strives to cover music from as many different angles has possible, today’s shuffle pretty much does the same with holiday music. 

“Tree” by Batkhi Dahn

The opening track from the Batkhi Dahn Christmas EP.  This one is about that classic Christmas symbol – the Tree – oh Tannenbaum.  No, it is not that song.  To add this EP to your collection simply use the widget below.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=734596539/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

“Yancey Woodchuck’s Barbeque” from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas

I’ve come to the realization that even though Emmet Otter was a Christmas special, the music was not particularly Christmasy..  This track records the moment when ol’ Yancey Woodchuck performs the song that Emmet and his Jugband were going to perform. Even though his performance was subpar, our heroes were forced to quickly rehearse an alternate song.  You may recall, they went with the Metallica song, “Enter Sandman”… I think – it’s been years since I’ve seen the show.

“The Bathing Suit She Wore” from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas

What says the Holidays more than a song about the extremely large bathing suit once worn by your deceased Grandma Otter?  Not much, not much!

“Santa’Self (F*ck Your Christmas Party)” by Butch Walker

Thankfully, the Christmas party I attended this weekend was not like the one described in this song, but I do know what Butch Walker is talking about.  Some NSFW language unless you are wearing headphones or working from home.

“Little Drummer Boy” by Future of Forestry

“Carol of the Bells” by Future of Forestry

I just grabbed hold of  a holiday sampler from Future of Forestry on Noisetrade.  These are some lovely and original arrangements of some classic songs.

“kom alle getroues” (O Come All Ye Faithful) by Velodrones

“Bleibet meine freude/Bron van al my Vreugde” (Joy of Man’s Desiring) by Velodrones

In a moment of inattentiveness, I first played this now (seemingly) unavailable velodrones EP in the Summer last year,  before realizing it was some lovely experimental arrangements of Christmas tunes mostly sung in Turt Darren’s native Afrikaans.

“When the Mountains Part 2” from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas

“Instrumental Theme” from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas

We close out this Red Cup Season shuffle with two more tunes from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas.  We have the reprise of a song we played last week, and we finish up with the Instrumental Theme from the beginning of the show.

Once again, because I knew I would not find most of the songs in today’s shuffle on You Tube, I have created a playlist of some of my all-time favorite Red Cup songs….

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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