Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Just Like My Mama Said Mix

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To be sure, I see a bunch of great live music here in Nashville, and I probably miss at least as many if not more than I get to see.

Last night was one of those great shows that I did get to see, and it was a show that made me really happy that I live in Nashville. It was the Aaron Lee Tasjan Release Show for In the Blazes at The Basement (the original one) last night.  Zach Schmidt opened the show back by Adam Kurtz on pedal steel.  Zach Schmidt looks like a Country music star should look, and he has the songs and voice to back up the look. He is the real deal, and he easily kick the ass of any one of those “bro-country” posers, but he is probably too nice a guy to do that.

Aaron Lee Tasjan is a one of a kind artist, and he seems destined to as hugely famous as he deserves to be.  Seeing him live under any circumstances and in any configuration (band or solo) is always a must-see event.  When he assembles the kind of band he did last night, the show is one for the ages.  Backed by drummer Aaron Shafer-Haiss, legendary bassist Keith Christopher, the always amazing Brian Wright and Jon Latham on guitars, and on two songs backed by vocal powerhouses Sally Jaye and Sarah Potenza – Tasjan’s incredible songs were delivered with precision and power.

In short, the night was a demonstration of what I love about this city.  Great songwriters, talented players, mutual admiration, and incredible music.  The Basement was packed out and everywhere I looked were awesome songwriters and players taking it in.

In the Blazes is hands down one of the best records of the year, and you should definitely check it out.

We have a shuffle to put out….

“Hannah” by Darrin Bradbury

A live recording of a rareish Darrin Bradbury song.   From a live record called Tur-Lyfe: A Live Recording of Unfortunate Events.  I think I’ve only heard him do this one live once or maybe twice which makes it rare in my book.

“Revelator” by The Boy From the Crowd

We first heard UK rockers The Boy From the Crowd a while back.  They have just released a new EP called Where the Bees Come to Die.  And our first taste of that is a song, we’ve heard before.  It’s a damn good song, so I’m not complaining. 

“Straight to Hell” by Hard Working Americans

I was fortunate enough to see Kevn Kinney live here in Nashville on a number of occasions over the past summer.  He did this song of his several times and every time it was incredible.   Here is a cover of the song by the supergroup Hard Working Americans.

“So I’m Told” by J.R. Wyatt

I can’t believe this song is still in my playlist.  I picked up J.R. Wyatt’s solo record, The Empty Room Sessions, when I saw him live – I want to say almost a year ago????  This is one of my favorite songs on that record. 

“Joliet Bound” by Memphis Minnie

I’m not even sure how many times Memphis Minnie’s name has come up for me in the last several months.  Born Lizzie Douglas, she was an incredibly prolific songwriter and singer who made a name for herself in a field and time dominated by male performers. When I saw the Heritage Blues Orchestra last month, they did a version of this song which prompted me to seek out the original.

“Beautiful Monster” by The Train Set

We have another track from Never California by the resurgent 80s UK band, The Train Set. I continue to be grateful for a second chance to “discover” his band.

“Three Poisons” by Jet Black Factory

It seems fitting and proper to follow up a song by a 80s UK band that I missed the first time around with a song by a Nashville band that I have been fan of for almost 30 years.  Jet Black Factory were dark and brooding and there was nothing even remotely “country” about them.  This one comes to me by way of an incredible compilation of early Nashville Rock Music called, Return to Elliston Square 1979-1989.  The compilation includes some of the great music of that era.

“Spanish Harlem” by David Schnaufer

We have another instrumental cover from the late mountain dulcimer master. The song was first recorded by Ben E. King (written by Leiber, Stoller. and Phil Spector) and later famously covered by Aretha Franklin.

“Seventeen” by Silverbird

And we close out the shuffle with our second listen from the new album, Pureland, by New York band, Silverbird.  Digging the original sound of this music.


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Friday Morning Music Shuffle –

I wanted to share some news with all of my Ear to the Ground readers.  I am going to begin covering live shows at awesome Nashville venue 3rd and Lindsley for No Depression. Don’t worry, #E2TG will continue to be the same hot mess that it always is, and you will also be able to read my reviews over at and see that I can actually clean up when it is required (I hope).  Seriously, I am excited about this opportunity and I know that all of you have helped me to reach this place. So, thanks!  Hot Mess of Cool Tunes follows….

“Caroline” by The Silos

There are several bands who can be cited as innovators of the sound that would become Alt-Country.  The Silos certainly earned their place it that discussion. Bottom line, great songs are great songs. This is from the bands self-titled major label debut also known as “the one with the bird on the cover”.

“Take Your Shoes Off Pt. 2” by Booker T. Averhart and The Mustangs

A funky instrumental b-side from a 1963 single released on the Kent label.

“Blood Oranges in the Snow” by Over the Rhine

A gorgeous song – the title track from the band’s 2014 holiday album. Perfect for this latest cold front we are experiencing (although no snow yet in Nashville – at press time.)

“Possibly” by Ben Arthur

Seriously, if you haven’t checked out Ben Arthur’s latest project novel/album on Noisetrade.  Do it now! I will wait here.

“Homeless” by Paul Simon

My recent conversations with a friend about Paul Simon’s Graceland album prompted me to add it back into my rotation.

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“World Party” by The Waterboys

Supposedly Karl Wallinger got the name of his band from this song (per Wikipedia – so who knows), in any case, I love The Waterboys, I love this song, and I love World Party the band, so it’s all good.  Come on, let’s party, world! From Fishermen’s Blues.

“Making Breakfast” by Twin Peaks

So supposedly the band got their name from the restaurant chain and not the David Lynch series which is returning!!!!!  Rumor has it the restaurant chain’s name is also not a reference to the David Lynch series.  Still a good excuse to say that Twin Peaks the David Lynch series is returning in 2016.  The band are from Chicago, and I really dig this song. From their album Wild Onion.

“Next Time” by Satellite Sky

Satellite Sky are an Australian brother/sister rock duo currently based in L.A. I can’t remember where I got this song, but it appears to be a recent single.  It is not on any of the albums I could find listed.  I like it.

“Take it Off” by Alex Chilton

How about Alex Chilton on a Friday morning…  Take it all off!

“In the City” by J.R. Wyatt

Another appearance by phenomenal Nashville songwriter J.R. Wyatt in the shuffle.  Such a great voice and such great songs. 

“Caucasian Cancer” by The Danbury Lie

The Danbury Lie are flat out one of my favorite bands.  This song is from their latest release called Scattered Moments of Connection. The song is highly original and sooo good.  Check them out on Facebook and at Bandcamp.


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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Another Magic Mart Mix

Kiely Schlesinger, Lindsay Ellyn, and Jon Latham at Two Old Hippies 1/21/2015

Had a great time watching three of my favorite songwriters trade songs yesterday evening in The Gulch.

Reminder, TONIGHT: Darrin Bradbury and the Fran’s Eastside Super High Band will be starting off a great night of music at The 5 Spot in East Nashville.  Be there! 9:00p.m. $5.00.


“Drinkin’ In My Sunday Best” by Maria McKee

From the very first time I heard Lone Justice, I knew Maria McKee was something special.  This song is off of her solo debut, and it was a fine burst of energy to start my morning.

“Little America” by R.E.M.

R.E.M.’s second full-length album Reckoning ends with their “road” song. “Jefferson, I think we’re lost…”

“More Than This” by Roxy Music

The emotional connections I have made to this song are numerous and deep.  This is the first track on the classic Avalon album.  For some reason, this song brings to mind a hungover/still buzzing sunrise at the end of a wild night.

“Love On Low-Fi” by J.R. Wyatt

Another track from J.R. Wyatt’s excellent solo record, Empty Room Sessions.  I dig the songwriting and the voice of this song Nashville songwriter.  Glad I got to see him on Tuesday at The 5 Spot playing with a full band.

“Natural Disaster” by Gretchen Peters

Speaking of fine Nashville songwriters.  Gretchen Peters is a living legend.  Another stand out track from her album Hello Cruel World.

“The Boogie Man” by The Cadillacs

I think this one has been creeping (pun partially intended) around the Playlist since Halloween, but really is it ever not the right time for the Boogie Man?

“Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone” by Matt Prater

This is an awesome track off the forthcoming Tables and Chairs by Alabama based songwriter/performer Matt Prater.  Recommended if you dig great songs and REAL Country music.

“Metropolis” by The Belle Brigade

The Belle Brigade are an LA Brother and Sister duo.  This is from their 2014 album Just Because.  This was on a friend’s annual mix CD, and I really dig their sound, and I definitely want to check out more.

“On and On” by Joey Bada$$ (feat. Maverick Sabre and Dyemond Lewis)

How about some Hip Hop sounds to take us out of this Thursday Shuffle.  Brooklyn-based Joey Bada$$ released his latest album B4.Da.$$ just about a week ago.  This song is on that album.  I am by no means an expert on Hip Hop music, but I also am not willing to dismiss it all without listening.  I didn’t really expect to, but I do like this a great deal.


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – If You Don’t Know Mix

Getting back on schedule…

ICYMI:  Check out my review of Dale Watson and Rosie Flores at Exit/In.

If you are in Nashville this evening, head on over to City Winery Nashville. A great night of music is on tap with #E2TG Artist of the Year Darrin Bradbury kicking things off at 8:00 sharp so don’t be late. $5.00 to hear some really great people make really cool music.

“Love For Tender” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

I don’t know about you, but for me any morning that starts off with Elvis Costello can’t be all bad.  From Get Happy!

“Tennessee Plates” by John Hiatt

A classic song from John Hiatt’s Slow Turning album. About stealing one of Elvis’ Cadillacs….

“My Felon Girlfriend” by Don Dixon

Don Dixon had a hand in creating the sound that dominated by musical formative years.  Best known as co-producer of the first two R.E.M. albums as well as the many other great records he produced, Dixon is also one hell of a songwriter.  This song comes from his most recent solo record called High and Filth and Borderline.

“Knowing Me” by J.R. Wyatt

A brief but really rad song from Empty Room Sessions.

“Don’t Say No” by Tom Tom Club

Another great song from Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom.  This runs counter to the message I got handed in school via Nancy Reagan. Hmm, who should I listen to? Nancy Reagan or Chris and Tina? What do you think?

“Lawyers, Guns and Money” (Warren Zevon cover) by Magnolia Electric Co.

Magnolia Electric Co covering Warren Zevon is truly sublime. RIP Jason Molina and Warren Zevon. This is from a Daytrotter session in 2009.

“Soul II Soul” by Flo Mega

Okay. So this was a random download from Freegal. Flo Mega is from Germany and this is some funky ass shit.  I rate it a “hell yes!”. From the album Mann uber Bord.

“Has He Got a Friend for Me” by Richard and Linda Thompson

This song came on as I began my solitary walk toward the office. A perfect somber song for this grey morning. From I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight. 

“Nobody’s Singin'” by Matt King

This is the penultimate song from our run-through of Matt King’s stripped down album Raw.  As we await new music from King and his new band, Killing Street.

“Conclusion of the Railway Earth” by Jack Kerouac with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims

We close out the shuffle with ten minutes of Kerouac spitting the beat poetry. The recording includes some studio banter before and after the poetry.  From Blues and Haikus.


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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Fifty Amp Fuse Mix

A short but very sweet shuffle as Nashville gears up for coming arctic blast… We’ve reached mid-week, let’s do this damn thing!

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones

From Let It Bleed… The year was 1969, and the 1960s were winding down… As we all do, the children of the revolution lost their innocence…  “If you try sometimes, you get what you need…”

“Burden” by J.R. Wyatt

From the Empty Room Sessions…  As the only recent song in today’s shuffle and surrounded by some of my favorite songs and artists of all time, this song held its own… A well written song, and the sparseness of the sound (recorded in an actual empty room) was spot-on perfection.

“Little Doll” by The Stooges

From their self-titled album. Like Let it Bleed, The Stooges was also released in 1969.  The Stooges were not the only predecessor of what would become Punk Rock music, but they were certainly one of the best.

“Take a Chance With Me” by Roxy Music

It is kind of hard to believe that Avalon was the last Roxy Music studio album, but man what a way to go out! Avalon remains one of my all time favorite albums, and it seems like whenever I write about the aftermath of a night of some sort of debauchery, I always have the characters listening to Avalon (usually the title track or More Than This).  Although vastly different, like The Stooges, Roxy Music had an influence of their own on the development of Punk and New Wave music especially in the UK.

“Make a Little Love” by Alex Chilton

From his album High Priest, Alex Chilton brings it on down in all the best ways… This is a cover of a 1967 song by Bluesman Lowell Fulson.

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Sunflower/Locomotive Mix

I am not a morning person.  It seems important to say that because I post a daily Morning Shuffle which features music I listen to between 6:45 a.m. (or so) and 7:15 a.m. (or so).  I just wanted you to know that I don’t do a morning shuffle because I am a morning person, but rather by current necessity, I have to be up and about by this time, and being a non-morning person, I need a soundtrack of cool music to keep me moving….  This is my soundtrack for Monday morning January 5, 2015.

“American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

What a great song to start the soundtrack.  It’s like I’m heading off to work, and everything is just about okay at least for the first scene.  Everything may well go to hell in scene two, but at this point, everything is swell.  This was the second single from the self-titled debut by TP and the Heartbreakers. 


“Hip Hop Thighs #16” by Ike Reilly

So, apparently, there are many other versions of this song????  I found #17 in my search and some that were not labeled with a number… I don’t really know the history of this, but I know a cool song when I hear it.  This one got me through the awkward transition scene where I am on the road and maybe credits are still flashing… From Poison the Hit Parade.

“I Can’t Help Myself” by Jason and the Scorchers

There was a certain reckless country soul to the seminal music of Nashville’s Jason and the Scorchers.  People like to throw around the term CowPunk, but I have always hated that term.  It was raw, fresh high-energy rock and roll music that was only punk in sense that many early 80s Nashville punk kids really got into their music.  In a different universe, Jason and the Scorchers are one of the biggest bands ever.  In the universe they are one of the best.   Some high-energy aggression to help me navigate the passive-aggressiveness of Nashville drivers.

“Bulletproof” by J.R. Wyatt

At this point, the frenetic part of my drive is over and I’m just easing into downtown roadways and making my way past delivery trucks on 2nd Avenue partially blocking lanes of traffic, but what do I care? I’m Bulletproof.  Another great tune from The Empty Room Sessions.

“Firewater”  by Old Crow Medicine Show

By now, I’ve just about made it to my parking lot.  Our third Nashville artist in a row. Legendary Nashville string band Old Crow Medicine Show with this track from their 2014 Remedy album pushes my that final 1,000 feet or so through Bicentennial Mall.

“The Sunflower Sutra” by Allen Ginsberg

And then I begin my walk.  It’s a cold morning, but I don’t care.  I may be just another schmo dressed how I don’t want to be dressed and trudging through life, but in my ear buds is Allen Ginsberg, and I feel subversive in the midst of my conformity. And I am transported somewhere, San Francisco, and I am thinking I should have been a Beat Poet, if I had been born in a different era. And, I should have been a Beat Poet anyway, and I should be a Beat Poet anyway, and I will be a Beat Poet anyway…

“Are You Ready for the Country?” by Jason and the Scorchers

And there isn’t really a good way to move from Allen Ginsberg to Jason and the Scorchers stunningly powerful cover of the Neil Young song which had already been covered by Waylon Jennings, but which the band made their very own…. I grabbed this off the now out of print CD named for this song which compiled the bands first two EMI recordings with some b-sides and rarities.  I begin my long ascent of capitol hill to this song…

“Rock Hard” by Alex Chilton

Like Flies on Sherbert is a broken, shattered masterpiece of an album. Alex Chilton was a mad wrecked genius of man, and Jim Dickinson was the alchemist who held this crazy thing together.  At this point, I’ve reached the summit, and I don’t necessary like what I’ve found there, but I can still appreciate that I have made it.

“Bitchin’ Camaro” by The Dead Milkmen

I don’t know how many times I heard this song on college radio back in the day or how many times I heard it once I bought the album Big Lizard in my Backyard.  With it’s ridiculous spoken introduction which may well be longer than the song itself (it has to be longer) and which includes an offensive cover version of Love Me Two Times… to the break-neck nonsense of the song itself… which for no reason but some rhyme, name drops Tony Orlando and Dawn…  The fact that I (to date) have never gotten tired of this song says something about the song or about me… probably me…

“Down on Up to Me” by Soul Asylum

And I reach my office, and the vast soundtrackless day awaits, but there is one final scene of riding the elevator… From Hang Time…


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Stumps Mix

A great Monday night at The Basement with Sadler Vaden opening for American Aquarium.

Sadler Vaden has a great gig – playing guitar for Jason Isbell, and he makes some pretty awesome music on his own, too.  Opening for American Aquarium at The Basement in Nashville, Vaden was backed by a fellow Isbell bandmate on keyboards, Steelism’s drummer, and the bass player for Sheryl Crow, and they heated up a cold, dreary Monday night.

Headliners, American Aquarium were the artist with most tour dates in 2014 according to Bandsintown app.  I understand they are expected to play even more dates in 2015.  They have a new album, Wolves, due out in February, and they treated a sold out Nashville crowd with a healthy dose of their signature high energy Alt-Country/Rock and sad songs.  If this ends up being the last live music I see in 2014, it was a heck of a way to end the year!

This year seems to be winding down.  It has been a year of changes and challenges and growth of the kind I thought I was incapable of experiencing let alone surviving.  I have good feelings about 2015, and I hope you will join me for what is sure to be an interesting year.  There are tons of new albums on the immediate horizon and as always new and old music to be discovered/rediscovered. This is the last proper shuffle of 2014, but I think maybe the year isn’t over yet.  There may be a surprise shuffle and maybe even a “Band of the Year” post coming up.  Peace!

“5ive Gears in Reverse” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

When Elvis says, Get Happy!…

“Trope” by Charles Rosen

Pianist Charles Rosen takes on French composer Pierre Boulez in pretty nifty example of 20th Century “classical” music.  Trope is from Boulez’s 3rd Piano Sonata which was first performed in 1958.  Charles Rosen died in 2012 at the age of 85.  Besides his career as a pianist, Rosen was also known for his writings on music.  And with that I’ve reached the limits of my time to look up stuff on Wikipedia.  I may not know much about this type of music, but I know I like it.

“Ain’t That Tough” by Soul Asylum
“Lone Rider” by Soul Asylum

A couple more from the Soul Asylum album Made to be Broken. Made me remember one of the best shows I ever saw.  Soul Asylum, fIREHOSE, and Nashville band Clockhammer at 328 in the early 90s (probably 1991). Good times…

“Brownsville Girl” by Bob Dylan

Only seven songs in the shuffle today, and here is the main reason for that… from Dylan’s 1986 album Knocked Out Loaded.  “Brownsville Girl” clocks in at 11+ minutes, and was co-written by playwright Sam Shepard.  What a great 11 minutes of music. 

“Killer Angel” by J.R. Wyatt

Another cool song from The Empty Room Sessions… kind of a nice follow up to the Dylan song and for good measure, since I couldn’t find the video for this song, I included a video of Wyatt doing a Dylan cover.

“Torsos of Murdered People” by Neighborhood Texture Jam!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

I honestly can’t remember what lead me to pick the CD of Funeral Mountain when I found it in a used CD store in the early 90s. I’m not sure if I had read about them or if the cover intrigued me, or if I made the purchase based upon the song titles. The latter reason is a bit disturbing but entirely possible… I was young what can I say.  Neighborhood Texture Jam were abrasive, offensive, and pretty darn brilliant.  Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you can deal with subject matter… I’m not sure what it says about me… don’t answer that! But, I loved this album at first listen and 20 some years later, I still dig it just fine.  It isn’t punk per se or metal exactly… the album has some pretty catchy tunes that just happen to be about some pretty subversive topics.  (I couldn’t find a video for this song, and I haven’t heard the song that I included).


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