Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – In the Middle of the Land Mix

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We are back after an unexpected day off… my late fall cold finally caught up with me.  Before I succumbed to it, I got to take in an awesome show at City Winery.  Songwriting legend (and I do not use that term lightly here) Dan Penn celebrated his 74th birthday with a nearly 2 hour solo acoustic show performing many of the amazing songs that he was written and co-written over the course of his incredible career.  Hint: If you don’t know who Dan Penn is, I guarantee that you have heard many of his songs.  Read my reflections on this show here.

Dan Penn wrote his first hit song when he was still in high school.  Sammy Brue is just 14 years old, and he is widely regarded as one of the best songwriters around.  He will be making a rare Nashville appearance tonight at The Basement (the original) with Actual Wolf (who I saw during the Campfire Propaganda residency at last month). Actual Wolf will be back by a fine collection of local players.

Today’s shuffle went down like this….

“Right Time” by Nikki Lane

All or Nothin’ is the latest album from red hot Nashville artist, Nikki Lane.  If you have not caught up with her yet, now is the right time…

“Once in a Very Blue Moon” by Nanci Griffith

Another from that amazing Rounder Records anniversary compilation on Noisetrade, and one of my all time favorite songs.  I first heard this on one of those Steal This Disk CD releases back in the day. Just a flat out gorgeous song from one of the finest voices of all time.

“Lee Harvey Was a Friend of Mine” by Homer Henderson

I’m just going to leave this right here.  I grabbed this song from a compilation called, Tragic Songs from the Grassy Knoll which was released a couple of years ago.  I snagged this track off Freegal.  The song itself dates back to around 1985 when it was released as a single.  The song has been covered by Laura Cantrell  and by The Asylum Street Spankers.

“Over the Red Cedar” by Charlie Parr

This song, from Minnesota singer-songwriter Charlie Parr, is off of his album Stumpjumper which was released back in April of this year. If I had read that it was a twenty or thirty or forty year old song, I would not have batted an eye.  It has a timeless sound.

“In the Middle of the Land” by Hoodoo Gurus

Giving us the sub-title to today’s post… from their Blow Your Cool! album.  I love this band.

“With a Girl Like You” by Alex Chilton

Making a connection to Monday night’s show – Dan Penn produced the first hit single from Alex Chilton’s old band, The Box Tops and co-wrote a couple of other songs for that band.  This is a cover version of a song by The Troggs  which was included on the compilation 19 Years: A Collection of Alex Chilton which was released in 1991.  That is where I came upon the track.

“Killin’ It In California” by Jeremy Nash

Another from Jeremy Nash’s new album Getaway Driver.  This is one of my favorite songs which I have heard him perform live a couple of times.  Filled with the bitter chill of loss and regret and winter.

“Mexican Amphetamines” by Ben Arthur

Another from Ben Arthur’s Call and Response record. Ben is one of my favorite songwriters and his Call and Response album demonstrates the innovation and fun he brings to the art and craft of songwriting.

“Beautiful Jane” by Brian Carpenter and the Confessions

This is another track from The Far End of the World.  This new album by Boston musician Brian Carpenter has emerged as of my favorites of 2015.

“Mess Around” by Cage the Elephant

At long last, new music from Bowling Green rockers, Cage the Elephant.  This is the first single from their forthcoming album, Tell me I’m Pretty which is due out in about a month.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Cold Front Mix

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Here we go… another week!

Kind of a low-key weekend.  Got to hang out with some of the folks from Nashville’s newest radio station: WXNA-LPFM on Saturday, and I picked up my t-shirt and tote bag.  Things seem to be rolling along. The studio will be in the former location of Thirty Tigers above Grimey’s and The Basement. 

Last night, I went to the Basement East where East Nashville Songwriters Club made their debut in the new location with sets by Allen Thompson, Jay Rutherford (of Los Colognes) and Elise Davis.  Cool night of music!

Speaking of cool… the temperatures were in the 30s this morning.  Which makes the first song of the shuffle appropriate even is weather isn’t exactly what the song is about.

“Cold Front” by Webb Wilder

Another toe-tapping rocker from Webb’s album Hybrid Vigor.

“The Locked Room” by Dan Martin

The strange and often random hand of fate… my friend Mary met Dan Martin at a David Olney show at The 5 Spot, and she told him that he should give me a CD, and he did.  I now count myself as a big fan of Dan Martin from Oklahoma.

“When the World’s Against Me” by The Colored Parade

A nice catchy number from …And the Walls of the City Will Shake…  by Andrew Adkins’ old band, The Colored Parade.  Andrew had a song featured in the trailer for the new documentary about Tower Records.

“Losing Sleep Tonight” by John Moreland

Another great song from one of the best albums of this year, High on Tulsa Heat by one of the best songwriters of our time.

“Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back” by Brock Zeman

An unconventional song about songwriting that manages to be awesome without any of that fancy song stuff like Choruses and Bridges and ever a consistent melody.  Looking forward to Brock Zeman’s return to Nashville in early November. As I understand it, there will be a couple of chances to catch him while he is in town.  I will have details soon. This is the title track from his latest album.

“The Rain Song” by The Shakers

A mind-blowingly good Led Zep cover from Nashville’s groundbreaking Southern Gothic Psych-Folk band, The Shakers.  From their album, Songs From Beneath the Lake.

“What’s My Scene” by Hoodoo Gurus  

And we close out this Monday shuffle with a song that decades later still gets me pumped up every time I hear it.  From Blow Your Cool! window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”;

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Never Chew a Pickle Mix

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ICYMI – check out the exclusive premiere of Mark Robinson’s “Gone South (Electric Rock)” Video.

It is a rainy day in Nashville… You know what I like on a rainy day?  Music!

“Memphis Bound” by Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau

Richie Owens was an important part of the 1980s Nashville music scene that I became interested in during my musical formative years.  Back in those days, he lead a band called The Movement.  That band’s song, “Lost Horizon” seemed to be in my ears or stuck in my head almost constantly during that time period. When the once promising Nashville Music Scene of the mid to late 80s  crashed and burned – overcome by poor decisions and excesses of various kinds – Owens left for the West Coast. Thankfully, he came back and his current band, Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau are making awesome music and putting on great shows. You can catch them most Tuesday’s at Drifters in East Nashville.  The band’s most recent album, Tennessee, is filled with songs based upon stories that Richie Owens heard growing up or in the case of the song we are featuring today – the song was inspired by a invitation and trip to play a Blues Festival in Memphis.  The video is awesome!

“Come On” by Hoodoo Gurus

From Blow Your Cool!  “Well come on!”

“Rattle That Lock” by David Gilmour

Rattle That Lock is the title track of the brand new album by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame. It is his fourth solo and his first studio solo album since 2006’s On An Island.  Expect a US tour next Spring.

“Slap and Tickle” by Squeeze

A funky fun track from Cool for Cats.  Seriously, I know they were very British in some respects, but I really don’t understand how Squeeze were never completely massive here in the U.S.  Suffice it to say, they were very massive in my circle of friends.  I am thrilled that I got to see them in 1985 on their “reunion tour”.

“Old Rugged Cross” by Carl Rutherford

What kind of psychopath follows up “Slap and Tickle” with “Old Rugged Cross”? Seems like another great time to point out, again, that the shuffle function on my phone orders the songs – I am just the messenger.   That being said, it has great having so many tracks for the Music Maker Relief Foundation come up in the shuffles of late. This is a devastating take on the Inspirational classic from the late Carl Rutherford. 

“Plaster Shoes” by Atticus Floyd

Plaster Shoes is the single release from Atticus’ 7 song release, We’ll All Come Down. Atticus just released a new song, “Walking into Murals”.    The video is a repeat, but it is one I love – an animated retelling of Atticus Floyd’s first show.

“Don’t Look That Way” by Shelly Poole

This is a song from British singer/songwriter Shelly Poole’s 2006 debut album, Hard Time for the Dreamer.  I’m honestly not sure where I got this song, but I really dig it.  It’s my first listen to Shelly Poole.

“Peace and Happiness” by Evan Felker

Another track from the Ted Hawkins tribute album, Cold and Bitter Tears. Evan Felker is best known as a member of the Oklahoma Red Dirt band Turnpike Troubadours.

“East vs. West” by Units

Another from the 13 O’clock compilation by PPNW Records.  Units were an electronic band from San Francisco, active in the late 1970s to early 1980s.  East V. West is from 1979 and it is a sturdy electronic rock instrumental.  This compilation has introduced me to a several bands that I missed out on the first time around.

“Trumpets” by The Waterboys

One of my favorite tracks from This is the Sea.  “Your Love Feels, Like Trumpets Sound”.

“Leave a Trail” by Dan Martin

And we close out the day with another track from Dan Martin’s album Hoka Hey.  A great way to close out another wildly diverse shuffle of music.  

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Lock the Door and Unplug the Phone Mix

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Be sure to check out my review of Drew Kohl’s new EP, Sweetheart.

When I hit shuffle this morning, there were 985 songs in my active playlist. Based upon statistical averages, the number of combinations for the first 10 songs to come up in a random shuffle of those songs, is… well, I don’t know, but it’s probably a pretty big number.  And yet, on any given shuffle, only one combination actually did come up, and here it is…

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The recently reformed Memphis/Nashville band with a song from their self-titled album from back in the day. 

“Everything Blue” by Kansas Bible Company

Nashville via Goshen, IN horn-based rock and roll 12-piece with a song from their Dad’s Day EP.

“Sugah Daddy” by D’Angelo and The Vanguard

From the album Black Messiah… D’Angelo always makes my shuffles better.

“I Missed the Point” by Neko Case

From her third album, Black Listed… 

“Out the Door” by Hoodoo Gurus

From Blow Your Cool!  I don’t listen to Hoodoo Gurus as much as I used to, but every time I do listen, I am reminded again why they are one of my all-time favorite bands.

“I’ve Wasted My Time Getting Wasted” by Reckless Johnny Wales

Reckless Johnny Wales had probably forgotten more about Nashville music than most people ever knew.  He is larger than life – and in a previously incarnation he was a Music Row Executive who is a CMA Founding President’s award winner and who discovered and signed Faith Hill. In retirement, he reinvented him self as a folk/roots legend. Reckless Johnny has a new album coming out soon, and this is the first taste of it, but it definitely will not be the last.  Having met Reckless Johnny and heard some of his stories, I tend to believe that he writes from experience.

“No One’s Home” by  Gear Daddies

The Gear Daddies capture a period in my life almost as if they were watching me… I remember – in the days before cell phones and constant internet connections – being lonely and filled with ennui as only a young twenty-something can be… and choosing to combat my loneliness by unplugging my phone to further isolate myself from the world. It made sense at the time. Anyway, this song brings me back to those days.

“Handsome” by The Vaccines

For some reason, I always think The Vaccines are an old band from like the 70s or something. I don’t know why and it’s not really relevant. Anyway, I always like a shot of rock and roll added into my shuffles.  Handsome is the lead single from the brand new album by The Vaccines  which is titled English Graffiti. I like the song quite a bit.

“Where I Lead Me” by Townes Van Zandt

Taken from a 1973 live recording which I downloaded on the late singer-songwriter’s birthday.  This is a song from Van Zandt’s 1971 fourth album, Delta Momma Blues.

“The One I’m Still Thinking About” by Darrell Scott

We close things out today with a song written by the late Ben Bullington.  Darrell Scott’s latest album ’10’ features the songs of Bullington who was a country doctor and a songwriter who passed away from cancer a couple of years ago.  I was fortunate enough to attend a CD Release party which featured an all-star cast and which was a celebration of songs – Ben Bullington’s songs and the songs of the various performers – all songs Bullington would have loved.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Ooh La La Mix

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New Release News:  Lindsay Ellyn Out of Road EP released today!

I met Lindsay Ellyn last Autumn.  I featured some songs from her Shores EP here on Ear to the Ground, and I have had the great good fortune to see her play live a number of times since then.  She has been hard at work on her new EP for some time, and it is finally released to the world as of this morning.  I will be grabbing my copy after work today, but based solely upon the songs I’ve heard (which are fabulous) and the quality of the people Lindsay worked with on the EP (which is stellar), I can easily recommend you give a listen and add it to your collection.

It is also available on Bandcamp and iTunes you prefer.

“Ooh La La” by The Faces

The title track from the final studio album by The Faces. The song was written by Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood, and Ronnie Wood sings the lead vocals on the track.  The song was used in Wes Anderson’s film Rushmore, and in the 2004 comedy Without a Paddle.  There is a volume of information about the final days of The Faces and Rod Stewart which does not paint Mr. Stewart in the best possible light.  Of course his music from the late 70s and 80s provides it’s own damning evidence (apologies to Rod Stewart fans)….

“Heart of Darkness” by Hoodoo Gurus

A week or so back, we had a song from Syd Straw called “Heart of Darkness”.  This is a different song, taken from the Gurus 1987 album, Blow Your Cool!

“Chemistry” (Instrumental_125) by Hayden Coleman

Okay, this one has been lingering around our playlist for a while. We featured Hayden Coleman’s song, Chemistry some time ago, and then later we featured the a cappella version of the song.  Now, we have the instrumental version which showcases the fantastic beat making skills of my Mr. Coleman.

“Slowly, Surely Suzanne” by Ben Arthur

A song from Ben Arthur’s new album, Call and Response (which features “Answer” songs based upon other songs, poems, and fiction).  Arthur has also been hard at work producing and hosting the web series Songcraft Presents and working on the spin off Songs of the Road.  Check it all out.

“twinkle” by ricky mirage

Repetitive spoken word over a hooky indie pop beat.  Really digging this album a bunch.

“99 to Life” by Social Distortion

From Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell… “Lonely Weekends, Baby Lonely Night/The Judge he gave me 99 to Life”… 

“Here Tonight” by [debut]

Postcards from Berlin is the new album by this L.A. based Electronic/Alternative band.  This is a very catchy song that sounds like something I’ve known about for a long time.  Okay, that maybe a weird way to say it, but occasionally I hear new songs that are so wonderful that it is hard to believe they never existed before. This is one of those songs to me.

“A Casual Conversation with Superman” by Darrin Bradbury

From a live album from back before Darrin perfected his stage banter about this song, but from when the song itself was flawless.  “Truth you know kid, sometimes me and Lex we fight for kicks, if he weren’t hell bent of destruction, hell I’d probably let him win…”   “Sometimes this old world just ain’t worth saving…”

“Love Assassin” by Christopher Allen Slade

The e-mail I received described the music thusly: “If Blondie and Scissor Sisters threw a Party, and AC/DC crashed it.”  Hell yes, I wanted to hear more.  The song is in video playlist so judge for yourself, but I do not think the description was misleading.  More to come!

“Music City USA” by Billy Joe Shaver

And had the good fortune to see Billy Joe Shaver perform on Music City Roots last month.  This song is from his latest album Long in the Tooth.  A living legend for sure.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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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. 

VIDEO PLAYLIST


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Eats Like a Horse Mix

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It was kind of a cool morning here in Nashville, but it felt great.  The certainty that Spring is in full effect, and that Summer is barreling down the turnpike hot on Spring’s tail. Spring seems as good a time as any (maybe better?) to step back and reassess and think about what comes next.  Ear to the Ground has exceeded my wildest expectations (mainly because I didn’t have many), and I am happy that nearly four years on, I am not feeling any real desire to stop.  Still, from the beginning, Ear to the Ground had frequently (or infrequently) evolved (usually due to some external pressure).  The Shuffle was originally about 3-5 songs, then for a while I had the “pre-shuffle” which kind of expanded the shuffle to upwards of 20 or more songs. We’ve settled into a groove of 8-12 songs per day, and it is good, but I feel an itching to do something more, something different.  I don’t know what that is yet, but I have some ideas…. until then… let’s hit the shuffle….

“In the Summertime” by Beat Rodeo

Another cool track from Home in the Heart of the Beat (1986 IRS Records).

“Miss Marcy” by Johnny Horton

A classic murder ballad from the one and only Johnny Horton.  Horton was killed by a drunk driver on November 5, 1960.

“Ballad of the Choir Boy Band Robber” by Ike Reilly

One of the last two songs from the Ike Reilly compilation we grabbed off Noisetrade a good while back.  This is an Ike Reilly Assassination song originally released on the album Sparkle in the Finish.  

“Your Name is Wild” by Guided by Voices

From the 1996 album Under the Bushes Under the Stars…  It was for many the years, the last Guided By Voices album to feature the band’s “classic” line-up.  Guided by Voice broke up in 2004, reformed in 2010, and then disbanded for a second time at the end of last year.

“Future 40’s (String of Pearls)” by Syd Straw (feat. Michael Stipe)

Guess what?  This song has been in the shuffle before – recently.  I forgot to remove it from the playlist – like I usually when songs appear.  Guess what? I really don’t care.  It is a great song featuring the amazing Ms. Straw along with R.E.M. front man, Michael Stipe. For R.E.M. fans, this album was released between Green and Out of Time.  Classic Nickelodeon fans may remember Syd Straw from her role as a middle school math teacher on The Adventures of Pete and Pete.  This song is on her 1989 solo debut Surprise which also featured contributions from Anton Fier, Richard Thompson, and Jody Harris among others.

“Hell for Leather” by Hoodoo Gurus

A track from the Hoodoo Guru’s third album, Blow Your Cool! which was released in 1987.  We’ll be digging more into that album in the days, weeks and months allow – subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous shuffles.

“Down Yonder” by David Schnaufer

More music from the late, great Mountain Dulcimer master, David Schnaufer.

“Side by Side” by Grant Lee Buffalo

Another track from Mighty Joe Moon.  I am really digging this album (which was a goodwill rescue).

“It’s a Big Old Goofy World” by John Prine

What better way to end the shuffle than with this big old goofy song from Prine’s 1991 album, The Missing Years.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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