Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Anarchy in the Shuffle Mix

Ear to the Ground doesn’t follow rules – not even our own rules. Does that make us anarchists? 

“If Only, Aunt Sye” by Minton Sparks from Middlin’ Sisters

Another slice of Country-flavored spoken word from Nashville’s own Minton Sparks.

“Too Many Cuts” by Pork Chop Willie from Love is the Devil

One of my favorite tracks on this album which is one of my favorites of this year.  Well versed and seasoned North Mississippi Blues pushed along by a classically trained violinist who has toured with Mark O’Connor.  This is the real deal – steeped in tradition and fully a product of the here and now.

“The Green Door” by Jim Lowe from 1956 Billboard Top 100/Single

A number one song in 1956.  What is going on behind that Green Door?

“Lazarus” by The Western Shore from Thunderstorm

A great song from my new friends, The Western Shore.  I got to see them play again this past Sunday with a bunch of other newish friends. It was a great night of music.  I really love the dynamic that Charlie and Kalee Smyth have been they perform together.

“Alleluia” by Dar Williams from The Honesty Room

Another great track from Dar Williams first full-length album.  Almost twenty years old and sounds fresh as ever.

“I’m Joliet Bound” by Sidestreet Reny and Lil’ Bell

From what I could tell, this is a cover of a Kansas Joe McCoy song which has been covered by many other people including John Mellencamp on his 2003 cover album Trouble No More.  Here the song is given the unique Sidestreet Reny and Lil’ Bell treatment.  Heave emphasis on the “treat” which this is…

“Don’t Go Away Mad” by Little Village from Little Village

I am not someone who keeps up with such things, but I would consider the Little Village album an underrated classic. There is hardly a dud on the album.  The genesis of this impressive collaboration (Hiatt, Lowe, Cooder, and Keltner) began in 1987 when all of the above worked on Hiatt’s incredible Bring the Family album. In 1991, the stars (and their busy schedules) aligned and this album was born.

“Just Because” by The California Honeydrops from Like You Mean It

Always happy to hear some funky soulful music, I consider The California Honeydrops among my favorite “discoveries” of the year. Discovered in the “new to me” meaning of the word. 

“Atlanta Blues” by Young Sidney Bechet from Young Sidney Bechet 1923-1925

Let’s jump back about 90 years with legendary Jazz saxophonist Sidney Bechet doing a W.C. Handy song which was in turn adapted from a folk/jazz/blues standard called “Make Me a Pallet on the Floor”. 

“Anarchy in the U.K.” by The Sex Pistols from Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols

Jump ahead about 50 years, and we close things out with the one and only Sex Pistols. Need I say more? No… I needn’t.


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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Gallatin Pike Mule Mix

It is axiomatic that on any given night, if you go hear live music in Nashville – no matter how epically awesome your experience – there is something equally epic and awesome going on either next door or across town.  This is even more true – if something axiomatic can be “more” true during Americana Fest week which is going on now.   I just added a corollary to this axiom (Can an axiom have a corollary?  Can it have a coronary?), which states that if you hang out in the same smoky dive bar in East Nashville long enough you will hear “Freebird” accompanied by a trombone and it will be amazing.

Tonight – E2TG favorite Mark Robinson joins an amazing line-up of Rocking Roots Guitarists at The Five Spot from 5-8pm.  At 8:00 – another E2TG favorite – Pony Boy will be leading off a Five Spot Favorites show at that same location.  And it goes on…

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Another cool song from Nashville’s The Features.

“After the Hurricane” by Tim Carroll from Opening Up/Not For Sale

One of my favorite Tim Carroll songs.  I can neither confirm or deny that Tim may or may not have been involved in the formation of my corollary mentioned above…

“Cold Chicago” by Humming House from Humming House Party!

More Nashville and a prime example of the original axiom – just last night.  A fun song from a fun album recorded live in East Nashville.

“I Refuse to Lose” by Jarekus Singleton from Alligator Records: 21st Century Blues and Roots/Refuse to Lose

Some great 21st Century Blues.  And there is even a Nashville connection – as I got an e-mail just 2 days ago that Jarekus Singleton will be playing in Nashville in about a week.

“Gallatin Pike Blues” by Tim Easton from Not Cool

I got to see Tim Easton do this song with the amazing Megan Palmer at The Building this week.  Another cool slice of Nashville and a tribute to the late John Hartford.

“Mule” by Francie Moon and the Great Outdoors  from Francie Moon and the Great Outdoors

I saw Francie Moon do this song in East Nashville a month or so ago. It was awesome.

“Lonesome Poor” by Pork Chop Willie from Love is the Devil

This is one of my favorite albums of 2014.  I had some technical difficulties that kept this out of my shuffle for a while, but it has been resolved.  This album was passed along to me by Sue Havlish who I hope to see tonight at The Five Spot.

“Here Comes Love” by The California Honeydrops from Like You Mean It

I have no Nashville connection – I hate when I write myself into a corner like this…. ah heck man, this is a great song with a great groove – just enjoy…

“In and Out” by Francie Moon and the Great Outdoors  from Francie Moon and the Great Outdoors

Two songs from New Jersey’s own in the shuffle.  By the way, one of the Francie Moon videos I added is from this past year’s Couch by Couchwest Virtual Music Festival.

“Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier” by A.A. Bondy from Divided and United: The Songs of the Civil War

Just before this song came up on the shuffle – I was feeling a particular vibe from the shuffle and I was realty hoping the final song didn’t harsh that vibe.  I mean, I like all of the music I add to my player, but because I have such wide-ranging tastes… okay, I think I’m over explaining.  Anyway, this old, old song from the American Civil War did not harsh my vibe.  In reading up, this song has been covered many, many times by a variety of artists.  I haven’t heard them all, but I can safely say that this is a great version.  All around the Nashville area, you can monuments to Civil War battlefields.  Also, just to wrap this shuffle into as neat a bow as possible…  The album from which this is drawn features new versions of Civil War era songs performed by relatively new “Americana” artists like A.A. Bondy and Angel Snow along side songs performed by some amazing Country music legends – including Dolly Parton.  Dolly’s cousin and former band member Richie Owens is playing the Rocking Roots Guitar Showcase with his band The Farm Bureau. 

And that is a wrap…


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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Number Three Mix

One of the best side-effects of writing this blog (and certainly not one I expected or intended) has been the incredible people I have met.  Honestly, that is one of the main reasons, I have kept this up for three years.  One of the very first people I “met” way back in the early stages of Ear to the Ground was Howard Rabach.  Last night, I was fortunate enough to meet him in person and have an enjoyable dinner. Tonight, I get to see him again – playing bass for The Grey A for their CD Release Show at The Stone Fox.

Shuffle – let’s go!

Today, I found videos of the actual artists and songs for all but one of the songs in the shuffle…

“What a Way to Go” by Tim Carroll from Opening Up/The Devil is a Busy Man

Tim Carroll is about release a new album which should be awesome.  In the meantime, dig on this!

“When it Was Wrong” (Live) by The California Honeydrops from Honeydrops Live/Spreadin’ Honey

The California Honeydrops’ music just makes me feel good all over.

“Inside Job” by Little Village from Little Village

The hits keep coming from Hiatt, Cooder, Keltner, and Lowe

“Pictures” (acoustic) by Madi Diaz from Stripped Chopped + Screwed

A pretty song from the talented Ms. Diaz.

“In a Cold World” by Toot Sweet from Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 5/American Hymn

Talk about a rich well of talent!  It seems like we’ve already featured like 100 songs from the latest Mama Coco’s sampler, and they are all good.  I really like this one, and I’m going to check out more music from Toot Sweet!

“A New Life” by Jim James from Regions of Light and Sound of God

I don’t care if you call him Jim James or Yim Yames. I don’t care if he is fronting My Morning Jacket, jamming with the all-star Monsters of Folk, or like here on his own – Jim James rarely misses the mark as far as I am concerned.

“Number Three” (Live) by They Might Be Giants from First Album Live

I think anyone who writes (music or words) has experienced (at least temporarily) the feeling that you’ve used up all of your ideas.  This song has always been a favorite of mine by TMBG.

“Ever Start to Wonder” by The Dirty Guv’nahs from Hearts on Fire

This is from The Dirty Guv’nahs’ most recently album. They are from Knoxville, Tennessee, and they groove like you won’t even believe.

“Vagabon Special” by an All-Star Cajun Band from Evangeline Made: a tribute to Cajun Music

This is the instrumental first track from the Evangeline Made album featuring an All-Star band of Cajun musicians that includes the legendary Michael Doucet. I could not find a video of this song, but the song was written by Marc Savoy, and I found a video of The Savoy Family playing and people dancing.

“It Didn’t Matter” by The Style Council from The Singular Adventures of the Style Council/The Cost of Loving

And we close out the day and the week !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”);of shuffles with another song from the impressive Style Council catalogue.


Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Ear to the Wall Mix

Life is a balance of patience, hard work, dumb luck, and the occasional moment of happy coincidence. Or so it seems from this particular moment in my existence. I was thinking about the two recent reviews I wrote, and the circumstances that lead me to having the opportunity to write those reviews.  In 2011, when I started Ear to the Ground, I was trying to find a blog platform that would be easy to use and be visually interesting.  I came across Posterous which seeming fit the bill.  Through that site, I came into contact with Howard Rabach and his enigmatic band Ubiquity Machine.  We became Facebook friends, and now Howard plays bass for The Grey A, and he sent me their new album to review.

About six months later, around the time that I decided that Posterous could not do everything I wanted to do*, I happened upon a cool band from New Jersey called Those Mockingbirds. That band lead me to Don Ryan, Popa Tunes, The Dead Exs, The End Men, and my whole fascination with New York/New Jersey/Connecticut bands and artists which continues to this day.  Through all of that, and I think through a direct recommendation from Don Ryan, I became familiar with a band called Big Wilson River – a cool band which featured Darrin Bradbury who put out Motel Oatmeal, the other album I reviewed last weekend. 

Just thought I’d share… I don’t know what it all means…  The End Men have taught me the idea of saying yes to almost everything, and so far that philosophy seems to be working out okay.

Well we have a shuffle to put on… so enough musing…

“The T.G.V.” by Tim Carroll from Opening Up/Always Tomorrow

“Great, great speed. Oui, Oui!”

“Take Another Look” by Little Village from Little Village

You take Jim Keltner, Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, and Ry Cooder and you put them together in one group – what could possibly go wrong.  Absolutely nothing!  Just wished it had lasted a bit longer.

“What’ll We Do ‘Til Then” by Tim Carroll from Opening Up/All Kinds of Pain

This and the first song of this shuffle are from a live album called Opening Up which was recorded in Atlanta (I think).  Both tracks feature intros of a sort from Elizabeth Cook. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Tim do these songs over the last few weeks, and maybe I’ll hear ’em again tonight.

“From Now On” by The Features from Old Familiar Melodies – 2008-2013/The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn – Part I Original Motions Picture Soundtrack

That’s right I said Twilight Saga… Edward, Jacob, Belle, vampires that don’t act like vampires… the features are a cool band from Nashville who make some really catchy music that a bunch of people really like.  They’ve released a kind of best of… sampler on NoiseTrade.

“This Thing That I’ve Found” by The Autumn Defense from NoiseTrade Eastside Manor Session/Fifth

I added began adding a bunch of The Autumn Defense music to my list after seeing them play live at last years Americanarama deal at Grimey’s.  For now, this is the last of those tracks. This is part of their Eastside Manor Session – recorded in East Nashville for NoiseTrade.

“Heart Full of Now” by Deena from Rock River

Two days in a row, we have songs from Deena’s remarkable album Rock River.  For pure fun, this may be my favorite song.  After I hear it, it takes quite a while to stop singing it.

“Cry for Me” (live) by The California Honeydrops from Honeydrops Live

Also two days in a row for The California Honeydrops, and this two is very fun and funky song.  Groovetastic!

“(She Was A) Hotel Detective” by They Might Be Giants from First Album Live

“She’s got her ear to the walls and she’s tapping the calls
If you’ve got a secret, boy, forget about it”

“Puts The Sugar On” by Tim Carroll from Always Tomorrow

Why not three from Mr. Carroll?  He played this one last week during his Happy Hour at The 5 Spot.  If you’re in Nashville, he’ll be back at The 5 Spot this Friday for Happy Hour with his crack band featuring Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil) and Steve Latanation.  Tonight you can catch Tim solo at Logue’s Black Raven Emporium at 8:00 opening for Greg Garing and later at Fran’s Eastside with Darrin Bradbury opening up.

“Sad Saturday Night” by David Olney from When the Deal Goes Down

Speaking of… what? The Five Spot Happy Hour? Artists we featured yesterday? Nashville? Whatever, David Olney is back in the shuffle today with another from his When the Deal Goes Down album.  He will be at The 5 Spot tonight from 6-8:30 with his crack band featuring Sergio Webb, Dan Seymour, and Justin Amaral.  The video from this song is kind of new, and features some awesome Nashville locales.

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Blue Rainbow Mix

ICYMI (Labor Day Weekend Edition):  

We created an E2TG Facebook Page – so like it please maybe?

We posted a couple of album reviews over the weekend.

1.  Darrin Bradbury – Motel Oatmeal –  on E2TG and cross-posted to No Depression (go visit both sites if you have time)

2. The Grey A – My Country – on E2TG and cross-posted (and currently featured!) to No Depression.

Shuffle to follow:

“When the Deal Goes Down” by David Olney from When the Deal Goes Down

I had the good fortune to see David Olney at The Five Spot joined for the night by Ear to the Ground favorite Mark Robinson.  Mark also co-produced this Olney’s latest album, and it’s a good one.

“Valse de Balfa” by Linda Thompson from Evangeline Made: a tribute to Cajun Music

From the Cajun Music tribute album, the always incredible Linda Thompson.  The video is another version of this long.  Linda you may remember made a few of the best albums of all-time with her then husband Richard Thompson. 

“Pastorale” by Clocks and Clouds from The Creation of Matter

A gorgeous addition to my morning drive from the classically inspired Clocks and Clouds.

“Les Flammes d’Enfer” by Richard Thompson from Evangeline Made: a tribute to Cajun Music!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”);

Speaking of Richard Thompson – he is also on that Cajun Music tribute album I’ve been listening to of late.  The video here is of a version of the song by Jo-el Sonnier who previously covered Thompson’s Tear-Stained Letter.

“Over the Rainbow” by Victoria Williams from Sings Some Ol’ Songs

Victoria Williams recorded an album of classic songs.  This is her stunning version of the song Judy Garland sang in The Wizard of Oz.  I couldn’t find a video of her version of this song, so I’ve included a performance of her song “Crazy Mary” where she is joined by the late Lou Reed.

“Carolina Peach” by The California Honeydrops from Like You Mean It

Once again, Popa Tune’s turns me on to a band, and once again I have a new band I like. 

“Why so Blue?” by David Olney from When the Deal Goes Down

Another great track from the new album.  In the video playlist, we’ve included the latest edition of Olney’s video newsletter so I don’t have to try to write about all of his goings on -which are many and all awesome.

“When in Roam” by Delta Spirit from Lost and Found

I saw the Delta Spirit at Live on the Green a couple of years ago.  They were incredible live.  This one is from a 2006 EP.

“Astronomy” by Chris Stamey from Lovesick Blues

Another great track from Chris Stamey’s 2013 album.  Last time I posted some songs from this album, I failed to mention that a couple of years ago (the same night that I saw Delta Spirit at LOTG in fact, I saw Chris Stamey along with Jody Stephens and an all-star band performing songs of Big Star as part of the Americana Fest.

“My Own Advice” by Deena from Rock River 

And, we close out our shuffle with this song from Deena.  As the recent reception to my album reviews has been so overwhelming, I am reminded of some long overdue reviews I have to get to soon.  Including this album from the former member of The Cucumbers.


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