E2TG – Video Premiere: Jon Latham (Live at Fort Dakota) – "LA Freeway" (Guy Clark Cover)

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Hey!  It is Tuesday night, I have been catching up on laundry and trying to catch up on e-mail.  My inbox has been flooded with a ton of great music – some of which you will be hearing here on Ear to the Ground, so of which will be coming your way soon.

In the midst of the excitement of scrolling through pages of unopened e-mail (sorry), I got a call from the 2015 E2TG Artist of the Year, Jon Latham.  That is how he is tagged in my phone by the way… “2015 E2TG Artist of the Year, Jon Latham”.  He filled me in on a project he has in the works.

Returning to Fort Dakota Studio, Jon has recorded five solo acoustic songs all of which were also recorded on video. The recordings were a reunion of sorts with Fort Dakota’s mastermind, Josh Morris who produced Jon’s album, Real Bad News.

Look for an EP of those sessions coming your way soon, in the meantime, I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to present the very first video from that session.

When Jon and I talk, we often talk about music. As I have said before, Jon is extremely knowledgeable about a pretty wide variety of music genres – including some bands that I would not expect someone his age to know (thank you Michael Latham).

Inevitably, we talk about songwriters.  Names like John Prine, Steve Earle, and Guy Clark come up quite often.  We have discussed the importance of Guy Clark to much of the best music being played in songwriter rounds around this fair city.

“LA Freeway” has long been one of my favorite Guy Clark songs, and I really like Jon’s cover of that song here – recorded at Fort Dakota.

A little trivia:  Steve Earle sang background vocals on Guy Clark’s recording of this song from his debut album, Old No. 1.  Steve Earle, as you may recall, is prominently referenced in the opening seconds of  Real Bad News.

Without any further ado: Here is “LA Freeway” by Jon Latham

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Opening Day Mix

Well, it’s back to school time, which means my morning commute reverts back, and the Morning Mix of Music goes back to a more manageable length – or something…

Let’s get to it – after the jump…


Today 3/5 of our Pre-Shuffle comes from the Texas Alt-Country legends, Centro-Matic:

“The Massacre Went Well”   from their 1999 sophomore effort, Navigational
“Ninety Secretaries Down” from the 2000 South San Gabriel Songs/Music – original credited to Centro-matic – it is considered the first album by South San Gabriel (an off-shoot – sort of – of Centro-matic)
“D.Boon-Free (A Ninth Grade Crime) from Centro-Matic’s third album (also 1999) called The Static Vs. The Strings Vol. 1

Other, non-Centro-Matic, songs in the Pre-Shuffle were:

 “Jazzy Mcgee” by The Blind Owl Band from their latest album. (2013)


“Triggers” by Beijing from their album Night. (2013)


“Insane in the Brain” (Cypress Hill cover) by The Connells from When Pigs Fly (2002)

We earlier featured Devo’s rendition of the CSNandY song, “Ohio”.  From the same compilation (thought of and produced by Cevin Soling of The Neanderthal Spongecake) comes this version of the 1993 hip-hop crossover hit. The Connells – the North Carolina Alt-Rock, Power Pop legends fit the bill as being unlikely artists to record this song. It’s a ton of fun, though.

“Dancing Song” by Little Comets from In Search of Elusive Little Comets (2011)


A fun song from the Debut album by this Indie band from Tyne and Ware county in  England. 

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“The Sarge” by Casey Black from It Shapes Me As It Goes (2011)

I’ll just flat-out say it. This is what a great modern folk song sounds like and is. At once witty and poignant, with a great hook and a great story.  — There was a recently completed research study that showed the significant economic impact the music industry has on Nashville. The great music writer Peter Cooper wrote a response in which he expounded on the significant cultural impact music has on “Music City USA”.  Fact is, for better or worse, Nashville has an embarrassing abundance of musical talent packed into our medium-sized city. It takes something indefinable to stand out – Casey Black stands out.

 “More to Rust” by Sci-Fi Romance from The Ghost of John Henry (2012)

It is so good to have our friend Vance and his band Sci-Fi Romance back into the Shuffle, and to be reminded of just how damn good they are. The Ghost of John Henry  – a album-length take on the John Henry legend – is an amazing album – which we were proud to offer up in a pre-release stream back in May of last year. “More to Rust” is a stand-out on a album full of stand-out tracks.


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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – In the Backroom Mix

 Heard Walk on the Wild Side on the radio this morning. It’s going to be a good day.

Today’s shuffle includes some old friends and a pretty weird ass mix of some pretty bitchin’ tunes.  It’s all after the jumpy thing:

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  1. Song: Spread Your Wings Artist: The Walla Recovery  Album: With Trembling… (2009) – (One of our early Bands of the Week in 2011, Chamber Folk Rock from Dallas/Fort Worth, Beautiful music made by beautiful spirits)  

2. Song: Cry  Artist: Tipi Valley  Album: In the Woods (2012) – (Another artist we featured, this time in 2012, the eclectic and talented Tipi Valley from Swansea, UK. In the Woods features the acoustic side of this band. Not on Amazon widget – no video is available – so see the Bandcamp Widget)

3. Song: She’s a Woman (And Now He is a Man)  Artist: Husker Du  Album: Warehouse: Songs and Stories (1987) – (Post-punk legends. Husker Du were extremely prolific. Warehouse ended up being the band’s swan song.  This song was released as a promotional single. It was written by Grant Hart.)

4.  Song: Good Wife  Artist: The Grisly Hand  Album: Safe House (2010) – (Kansas City band, Love this song, the amazing Sloane Spencer of Country Fried Rock likes this band)

5.  Song: Good in White  Artist: Delta Saints  Album:Bird Called Angola (2010) – (Nashville-based, NOLA sounding, down and swampy rock ‘n’ roll.)

6. Song: Hold On  Artist: Alabama Shakes  Album: Boys and Girls (2012) – (One of the hottest bands of 2012, Yes – you hear this on the radio quite often. Yes – I heard this morning as a matter of face. Yes – I didn’t mind hearing it again)
7. Song: Toward the Ghost (Steve Moore Remix) Artist: BRAHMS Album: unknown (2010) – (Brooklyn based electronic, alternative band – broke up in 2011, Not on Amazon Widget, gleaned from Stereogum, Steve Moore is a keyboardist/bassist with Zombi)

8. Song: The Funeral Artist: J Duff  Album: The Introduction (2012) – (New Jersey Hip-Hop, majestic swagger and in-your-face lyrics)

9. Song: Paranoid Android (Radiohead Cover)  Artist: Weezer Album: None (2011) – (The Radiohead original is on the Amazon Widget, OK Computer track done up right by Weezer, Not much new ground, but it’s a great song done well)


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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – The Icestorm Cometh (or Not) Mix

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Here we go… I’ll plug the Sandy Hook single again.  Really, check this out and buy it.  $1.29 – just don’t super-size your fast food meal for one day. 😉  


Our shuffle is all over this this a.m. – check it out – after the… wait for it… jump:

1.  Song: Ugly  Artist: Garrison Starr Album: Eighteen Over Me (1997) – We listened to a live version off a Noisetrade release – Awesome singer-songwriter originally from Mississippi)

2.  Song: Birmingham  Artist: Mikey Wax  Album: The Traveler EP (2010) – (Long Island based singer-songwriter – attended college in Nashville, one our early “Bands” of the Week, one of his songs – Counting on You – was an elimination song on Season 9 of So You Think You can Dance, spread his music through a series of house concerts during the summer of 2010 and 2011)

3. Song: PT Cruiser Artist: O Children  Album: Apnea (2012) – (London based Alternative band – my first time hearing this actually – I like it – what do you think?)

4.  Song: Alright  Artist: Adam Carroll Album: Far Away Blues (2005) – (Texas singer-songwriter – Adam Carroll is up there with some of the great country/folk/whateveryouwanttocallit singer-songwriters.  It does not seem like hyperbole to through around names like Townes and Prine and Dylan)
Couldn’t find a video for Alright – here’s Screen Door 

5.  Song: Nobody Does it Better (Carly Simon cover)  Artist: Radiohead Album: Covers by Radiohead (???) – (aka The Spy Who Loved Me – Simon’s version is on the Amazon widget above – pretty straight ahead cover by Radiohead – Thom Yorke is not Carly Simon, but this is a pretty sweet cover nonetheless)

6.  Song: From the News  Artist: The Joy of Painting  Album: Asterisk (2012) – (Another past Band of the Week, TJOP promise new music for 2013)
7.  Song: Kick It In (Studio Demo) Artist: The Replacements Album: Pleased to Meet Me (Expanded Edition) (2008 reissue, 1987 original album) – (oh the joys of the expanded reissues, The ‘mats Kick It In – in fine form)
A different Replacements song with Kick in the title – live from ’81

8. Song: It Happened Today  Artist: R.E.M. Album: Collapse Into Now (2011) – (from what ended up being the Athens-based swan-song)

9.  Song: Big Blue Train  Artist: Whiteboy James and the Blues Express Album: Extreme Makeover (2011) – (California Blues – my first time hearing this – first thought was hell yeah, then The Blasters came to mind. Turns out James played some with Dave and Phil Alvin at some point.  I’m a fan now)

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Easy Listenin’ Mix

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Well congrats again to Walking for Pennies and Nena Anderson for being voted Bands of the Months for November/December combined.  Next, we turn our attention to the 2nd Annual Ear 2 the Ground Band of the Year Poll.  Throughout this year, we’ve had some epic battles for Band of the Month.  Who can forget the nail biting photo finish from January when the mighty, mighty MAKAR edged out The End Men, so the battle between South of Ramona and Sci-Fi Romance with the boys from Utah coming out on top.  Or the no-holds-bar Texas death match when Upstate NY band Skeletons in the Piano narrowing defeated Georgia’s own Killing Kuddles.  Well, soon all of these bands and more of your favorite E2TG featured Artists will be pitted in a Battle Royale.  Remember, no biting, eye gouging or hitting below the belt.  And mostly remember, our main purpose is to have another opportunity to present some of the great music that has reached our ears this year. So keep it clean and have fun.

Before we jump into  the Band of the Year battle, we’ll take a look back at our inaugural Band of the Year Poll.

But, now, we have a Morning Shuffle to present so, let’s stop jibber jabbering and get to it… 
Shuffle after the jump…


I tend to  think of The Sea and Cake as Easy Listenin’ Music for the cool kids.  And, I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. There is an appeal to music that mellows you out.  It’s why so many alternative boys and girls take guilty and secret pleasure in listening to the classic Easy Listenin’ songs from the 70s.  The Sea and Cake provide the mellowness free of any guilt.  Up on the North Shore from 2011’s The Moonlight Butterfly is a good introduction to the band.  


Former Drive By Trucker, Jason Isbell along with his fabulous band, the 400 Unit, are tearing it up on the Americana rock circuit.  In the shuffle today, we have a bonus track from the Deluxe edition of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit album – a cover of Big Star’s When My Baby’s Beside Me which was on Number 1 Record.

By 1987s See How We Are, Billy Zoom had departed from X and was replaced on the album by ex-Blaster Dave Alvin.  Alvin left shortly after that and was replaced by Tony Gilkyson for a subsequent tour.  See How We Are found the band fully embracing the emerging Americana/Alt-Country sound which had been hinted at in their earlier. (I contend that even their early punk days, Billy Zoom’s rockabilly guitar style was a natural precursor to the later more explicitly countryesque sound). Today’s shuffle contains When It Rains from See How We Are.
Could not find a video for When It Rains – here is an early version of the album’s title track

We’ll close out today’s Morning Shuffle with a Classic from Hank Williams – Hey Good Lookin’.

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Controversial Mix

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Well, here we go.  We ended up with a tie for Band of the Month!  Our crack legal staff are currently reviewing the results.  I went to bed before midnight, and the poll format we are using does not automatically cut-off voting at any particular time.  It has to be done manually.  So this morning, we had a tie, however, a few votes were received after midnight.  We will be reviewing to make sure we were clear enough in setting the deadline.  In the meantime, what I can tell you is that And the Giraffe and The Great American Novel have both earned a spot in the Band of the Year Poll which will be kicking off in just a couple of months.  Congrats to both of those great bands.  We will post an official Band of the Month announcement once we have made a final determination.  

Second, I’m pleased to reveal and announce our Featured Artists for October.  I think we have a another great and diverse group of bands and artists.  Again, we will have an “official” Featured Artist announcement soon, but in the mean time, go HERE to check out the 10 Featured Artists for October. 

We are in a brand new month which means tomorrow (if all goes as expected) we will be posting a shuffle of a brand new playlist of songs.  Before we do that, though, we created a Highlights Playlist of songs we added to our database in July and August but have not yet had the chance to present to you.  So, today’s shuffle includes 4 songs from that Playlist.

First up, we have a song from OK, the debut EP from Mr. Kind.  Mr. Kind is the new band featuring July Featured Artist Brian Bergeron.  The song we present today is a nifty number called, The Artist.

Next up, we have Jackson Cage  the third song on the first disc of Springsteen’s epic classic, The River


Next, we have a song from June Featured Artist, Shayfer James off of his 2011 Counterfeit Arcade album –  L.V.S. (Your Lady Waits).  Right here is why we love Shayfer James:

And finally, we have an awesome cover of one of my all-time favorite songs.  On October 26, 2010, 50+ Bay Area bands got together and played a live tribute to the seminal album The Velvet Underground and Nico.  From that show, we have Meklit Hadero – an acoustic soul singer/songwriter performing I’ll Be Your Mirror

Here’s another cover by Meklit Hadero
And here is another cover of I’ll Be Your Mirror

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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Granny Glasses and a Cardigan Mix

Many, many exciting things are happening around the Ear to the Ground studios*.  And, I’m not just saying that.

Next week, we are looking forward to bringing you a video premier from one of our Featured Artists (Cosmonauts). That is on Tuesday.

The Americana Music Conference and Festival is just weeks away, and Ear to the Ground will be your ear on the ground with highlights and who knows what else.  

June Featured Artist Jo Wymer is coming to Nashville for the Americana shindig, and she will be playing a show at the Red Rooster on Wednesday of that week.

Another featured Artist, The Raindoggs are going to hit Memphis in November.

A Band of the Week alumnus and great friends of the blog are plotting out a tour for early 2013, and we have fingers crossed for a Nashville stop.  We will have lots more on this when it becomes available.

Today is the 35 anniversary of the day Elvis died. 

I will be unveiling the Band of the Month poll soon – I promise.

In the meantime, we have a morning shuffle to get out – so let’s not delay any more….

First up, we have Party Generation from Dar Williams’ 1997 album End of the Summer.  I don’t have much hope that we are actually at the end of this summer, but we are experiencing some cooler than normal temps, so it’s not impossible to imagine the end of this season.  

For the second day in a row, we have an Athens, Georgia band doing a cover song.  This time, the cover stays much closer to home. The live record is called Finest Worksongs: Athens Bands Play the Music of R.E.M. Yesterday’s coverers, Five-Eight are on this collection, but the track we have today is by The Observatory – a band made up of members of the Elephant 6 collective.  Do some Googling to find out more about that group.  In any event, the song is one of two songs left off the cover tracklist on R.E.M.’s fourth album Lifes Rich Pageant.  Underneath the Bunker, the brief, odd song that closes the Dinner Side of the Record.

 And finally, we close out the day with a famous song which comes from Coldplay’s 2008 fourth album, VIva La Vida or Death and All his Friends. Viva La Vida is the song. Do I need to say more?


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