Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Blues in King Mix

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As June turns into July…  another cool night of music in East Nashville – this time at The Building.  Ariel Bui, Emma Berkey, Todd Henkin (all local) and Alexandra Scott from New Orleans did a outstanding round, Dylan Lee Johnston did a short set, and #E2TG Artist of the Year Darrin Bradbury closed out the evening. 

Speaking of Bradbury, my show alert of the week is for Thursday night at The 5 Spot. Darrin will be opening for Austin Lucas starting around 9:00.  Should be a fine night, and I am off work Friday so….

I got to take in a couple of shows last week and talk some to Julie Christensen, and I wanted to send out a reminder/alert to her Pre-Order campaign for her new album with her incredible band Stone Cupid.  Here is the link.  You can Pre-Order the album and there are some fine options for merchandise and exclusives. Julie has a long, rich history with many of the best artists of the modern era, and I had the great pleasure to see her and her band play an amazing set at one of the final nights of the original Family Wash.  If you are in Nashville, her next band show is coming up at the end of this month, and I will have more details later.

Now to our first shuffle of this new month…

“Half Awake” by Broken Guru

The first of two Broken Guru songs in the shuffle today.  A vibrant rocking start for the day, but I can’t help feel that the title was mocking me as I groggily hit the shuffle button to begin my commute.

“Jack of All Trades” by Soul Asylum

From Hang Time.  And yes, this one always has and always does make me feel like moshing around in a crowd in front a stage.

“Tche Belew” by Hailu Mergia and Low Mentality

Another from the World Café Sessions.  Hailu Mergia is an Ethiopian keyboardist who was member of the legendary Walias Band.  Here is teams up with Low Mentality to do a updated version of the title track of Walias Band’s 1977 album.

“Blues in King” by Marshall Crenshaw

So for a moment this morning, as I was driving over the Victory Memorial Bridge in downtown Nashville, I was suddenly transported back nearly 30 years.  As I have mentioned, Marshall Crenshaw’s Downtown was released during my early college career, and I have very specific memories of driving across town on a warm evening listening to the album with the windows down on my car.

“Ghost” by Broken Guru

Our second track of the day from New York Alternative band, Broken Guru.

“El Diablo” by Low Society

Boasting powerhouse vocals and killer guitar work grounded by an excellent rhythm section… From Memphis, a town that knows a little something about the Blues… Low Society are the real deal. From their album, You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down…  singing out those devil blues…

“Rain” by Ben Arthur

Another track from his upcoming album, Call and Response.  “Rain” is a good reminder of one of the things that sets Ben Arthur’s music apart for me.  His commitment to the craft of songwriting is evident in his work with Songcraft Presents,  Plus he has a great rich and resonate voice.

“Still Remains” by Dead in 5

Detroit rockers – Dead in 5 always inject some energy and attitude into the shuffle whenever one of their songs come up.  “Still Remains” has all of the hallmarks of a great rock song.  It is relentless, has a great hook, and man, does it rock hard.

“She Loves Love” by Michael Sackler-Berner

It’s a happy coincidence that a Michael Sackler-Berner song and a Marshall Crenshaw song appear in the same shuffle.  Crenshaw has been worked with Sackler-Berner on some of his recent songs, and he is also an excellent standard bearer fron the kind of intelligent Pop songs that Crenshaw has been making for years, and which is in short supply these days.


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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – We’re Going Downtown Mix

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Had a great night of music last night.  Saw legendary songwriter Don Schlitz again at The 5 Spot (he has just one more week in his residency – if you are in Nashville and have not seen this show yet, I highly recommend it).  Then, I headed over to the City Winery – Nashville.  It was my first time in the big room, and I was impressed.  Saw Brian Wright and Liz Longley – a pair of very different, but both amazing songwriters/singers.  My review of their show is posted to No Depression.

“Hold on to Your Hats (We’re Going Downtown)” by Science!

From the Seattle band’s latest, Alcoves and Alleyways.  A great song for the beginning of my drive downtown for work.

“My Caravan” by Hoodoo Gurus

A deeper cut from Blow Your Cool!

“Love Won’t Burn” by Young America

From their EP Pain, Rain, and the Mundane which you can still get from Noisetrade.  The always amazing Lindsay Ellyn provides the background vocals on this track.  For the record, this song covers pain and rain – not sure about the mundane. I am highly anticipating their full-length Good Old Fashioned Pain.  I added a video bonus of a Gram Parson’s cover from Young America.

“Country Comforts” by Rod Stewart

Sometimes the ol’ shuffle pulls a nice transition like this… moving from the awesome neo-traditional country of Young America to this classic Brit-country track from Rod Stewart’s 1970 album Gasoline Alley.  The song was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and appears on John’s classic album Tumbleweed Connection.  As someone who grew up only knowing Rod Stewart from “Do You Think I’m Sexy” and “Hot Legs”, discovering his earlier music was a major revelation for me. 

“My Mama’s Dead” by Dream Police

Dream Police is a side project of members of the band, The Men.  This song is from the album Hypnotized which was released in November 2014.

“Half-Assed Blues” by Bark

Another side project – Bark. is made up of two thirds of the Tim Lee 3.  Susan Bauer Lee on Drums and Vocals and Tim Lee on bass, vocals, and others instruments. The debut EP by Bark. is also called Bark.

“Mulberry Street” by Matt King

This is the lead track from Matt King’s 2010 album Matt King and the Cutters.

“Black Friday Holiday” by Dead in 5

From the album, Schizophrenic Razor Project.  This Detroit band had a song in the cult film Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies (which I totally didn’t know was a thing, but which I now must see).

“Corners” by The Storm Chronicles

Directly from my inbox comes some very good music which I would describe (upon first listen) as keyboard driven, progressive, pop music.  I will update and revise that assessment as I listen more.  The Storm Chronicles are from the Pacific Northwest.

“Molting” by Shaprece

Adding some Electronic R&B variety to the shuffle…  this comes from an EP of the same name (Molting) by this Seattle artist.  We grabbed the song from the Noisetrade SXSW mixtape.

“Traffic Jam” by A Color Engine

Fortunately, I wasn’t in one when I was listening to this :21 second track from the album Voyage Underwater 56 Knots by this now defunct band comprised of Ear to the Ground favorite Don Ryan and Eric Burchfield (Elephant Goes West) another E2TG featured band.   The video we included is a song from the film Eraserhead by David Lynch. 


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Sunburn at Night Mix

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It is Tuesday.  A bit tired today after a night of great music. The Nashville Conundrum was in full effect, but one thing I didn’t say yesterday, is that I’ve learned that it is okay to feel bad for the shows you missed – especially when it means missing the show of a friend, but in the end, when you’ve made your choice, you should expend more energy appreciating the show you did see than you do regretting the show(s) you missed.  Life is kind of like that, too, I think.

 “Walter Mitty” by Cletus Kennelly and Lori Kelley

Cletus and Lori were a popular duo in the Greater Washington D.C. area over the last decade.  In 2014, Lori Kelley decided to move to Nashville to pursue a solo career, and I have been fortunate enough to hear some of her great music.  Recently Cletus Kennelly came through Nashville, and I had the rare treat of seeing them perform together.  I also got hold of their 2005 album Lotus, and I have been digging it tons.  “Walter Mitty” is a track from that album.  In the video playlist, we have the duo’s cover of “America” by another duo – Simon and Garfunkel.

“When a Car Becomes a House” by Darrin Bradbury

The title track from Darrin Bradbury’s most recent collection of demos. This song is about the time that he lived out of his car.  Stay tuned for news of his new record. I have had the pleasure of hearing the final mixes, and it is going to be amazing.

“Back Inside the Shell” by Artur U and the New City Limits

Relatively new #E2TG favorites, Artur U and the New City Limits are from Finland, and this song is from their relatively new album, Holiday from Eternity.  This is some innovative music with elements of Rock, Pop, and Alternative.

“Hymn” by Tom Schreck

A gorgeous song from Schreck’s incredible album Save Your Glory.  He calls himself the Nashville Outsider, but dammit Nashville! Let him in!

“Maggots and Flies” by Dead in 5

Sometimes, I wonder if my quest for diversity in the music I feature serves to bring a diverse audience or to drive people away.  It doesn’t really matter, I guess.  I am what I am, and Ear to the Ground is what it is.  There is no logical way to explain following up a gorgeous song like “Hymn” with a song called “Maggots and Flies” – except to say that it is a great big weird wild world, and I have a variety of interests and who is to say that the world always makes sense, and so why should my shuffles always make sense… Dead in 5 are from Detroit, and they rock… hard.  Check them out, if you dare.

“Black Pony” by The Wans

The Wans are a hard rocking, Nashville garage band who I have been hearing about.  This song is from the Noisetrade SXSW mixtape, and it was featured in a commercial for BMW – as all good aggressive, garage rocks songs should be.

“Dance With Me” by The Danbury Lie

I have two The Danbury Lie albums in my current playlist.  This is from Scattered Moments of Connection – the oldest of two albums (by about two months).  Fun fact:  two of the artists in today’s shuffle first came to my attention directly as a result of my writing about Don Ryan back in late 2012 or so.  Today is Don’s birthday, so it seems appropriate to have music from The Danbury Lie and Darrin Bradbury in the shuffle.

“A Farm Named Froo” by John Hamilton

This is the theme song to the 1970s film Come On Children which I mentioned the other day.  The song composed by John Hamilton, one of the young “stars” of the film introduces the cast.  The film is an interesting view into a particular moment in time and a particular group of young people.  As I said before, it’s kind of a representation of what “reality” television could be in some alternate reality (early 1970s Canada) where a group of teens could be transported to a farm (name Froo) and left to their own devices and vices with just a camera crew to document.  Short of major drama, the film nonetheless is fascinating to watch.  It’s available through the Criterion Collection.

“Born in the U.S.A.” by Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell

If anyone was still confused about the meaning of Bruce Springsteen’s song (how many times have you heard it played at a 4th of July celebration). This devastatingly beautiful version by Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell leaves very little room for misinterpretation.  From the Dead Man’s Town – Springsteen Tribute record. 

“Keep Yourself Alive” by Queen

The first single off the very first Queen album.  Because sometimes you need a little 70s arena rock in your life.

“The Ballad of Ira Hayes” by Townes Van Zandt

Van Zandt’s cover of a folk classic written by Peter La Farge.  The song has been covered by among others: Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Kinky Friedman, and Pete Seeger.

“Ghost of the Road” by Guadalcanal Diary

We close out today’s shuffle with a song from the album, Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man, by Georgia band, Guadalcanal Diary.


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – No, All! Mix

Back in the shuffle business after an absolutely incredible weekend at the 2nd Annual Safety Harbor SongFest.  Expect more detailed and official reports once I have fully recovered, but for now, let me just say I had a blast at this well-organized, artistically uplifting event and enjoyed some gorgeous weather.  Despite my peeling nose and flight delay coming home, I can strongly recommend fans and musicians alike check out this still relatively new festival.

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“Heart Beats” by Hey Marseilles

From Lines We Trace. Hey Marseilles are an indie/chamber pop band from Seattle. Contrary to what some may tell you, there are no fiddles in the band.

“Kiss Me When I Get Back” by Tom Tom Club

From Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom. Chris, Tina, and company add some funky grooves to the morning shuffle.

“Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” by Alex Chilton

Taken from the Alex Chilton compilation 19 Years… This is a cover of the 1965 single by the American garage band, The Seeds.

“Crazy Love, Vol. II” by Paul Simon

From Graceland. I have no opinion about that….

“Conquistador” by Love Tractor

 The instrumental rock band that was instrumental in the creating the vibrant Athens, Georgia music scene that spawned so many great bands.  This is from their 2014 comeback album Dear Aliens.

“No, All!” by Descendents

From the album All.  This follow up to the 1 second lead and title track expands on the theme stretching out to a full 2 seconds allows the band to really explore the overarching philosophy of “to not settle for some but to always go for All.”  Melodically simple (as I suppose a 2 second song is bound to be), the music nevertheless conveys a deep insight into the band’s influences from the punk and post punk era. The lyrics, “No, All!” while seeming self-explanatory bear repeated reading in order to fully comprehend the intricate nuances.  When Milo Aukerman left the Descendents, the remaining members formed a band named All which I got to see live sometime in 1991 or 1992.  It was a good show. 

“2013” by Mothers

From Panamanian Times.  Another cool track from the Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen band Mothers from their most recent album Panamanian Times.  Some good vibey punk rock and a nice palate cleanser from the spicy Descendents’ track.  Not so much fond of the year, but I love the song, “2013”.

“Cusp” by Forebear

Cinematic L.A. Progressive Folk band Forebear return to the shuffle with another track from their self-titled EP. 

“Killing What’s Left of Me” by Dead in 5

Dead in 5 bring some Detroit Hard Rock and outlaw attitude to the morning shuffle. It was a perfect bit of raw power to drive me forward toward work after a long and enjoyable weekend.  The album is called Schizophrenic Razor Project.  The graphics are awesome and the music delivers on the promise of the visual images…. CRACK!

“Trudy and Dave” by John Hiatt

From Slow Turning.  After the raw energy of Dead in 5, I really needed to come down a bit before I faced my workplace.  Who knows, I might have punched someone… not really, but I might have thought about it.  A great song from one of my all time favorite artists.

“Talking Thunderbird Blues”  by Townes Van Zandt

Taken from a 1973 live recording…  What a better way to get ready to solve the whole world’s problems (or at least my tiny corner of the world) then to listen to a song about drinking Thunderbird wine for the very first time… 


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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Among the Lost and Found Mix

As I alluded to yesterday, I am heading out, and so I leave you with a shuffle and a related Video Playlist (with the songs or other songs by the same artist if the exact song could not be found on You Tube)….  Enjoy…. see you next week!

“Heart of Darkness” by Syd Straw

“Sliver” by Dead in 5

“Family Flesh Garden” by The Ghoul Goes West

“Shop it Around” by Jason and the Scorchers

“Mall Boutique” by Neighborhood Texture Jam

“Paper Thin” by John Hiatt

“Drug Mule” by the transcendents

“Our Lady of the Highway” by Tim Lee 3

“Dead Man’s Song” by Joe Nolan

“Lost in the Supermarket” by The Clash


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