Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Change Your Shirt Mix

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One of the outstanding things about Americana Fest is that it brings people from all over the world who are dedicated to making and appreciating the wildly diverse, enigma that is Americana Music.

Aussie songwriter/singer Imogen Clark came to town for Americana Fest last year, and she was invited back this year.  She is still in town and is putting on a release show for her EP Love and Lovely Lies at Twin Kegs II on Wednesday at 7:30.  Here is the link to the Facebook Event.

And here is a video so you know why you need to get there if at all possible.

To the shuffle:

“Friendlies” by Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe

via Aquarium Drunkard.  Tess Parks is from Toronto and Anton Newcombe is the founder of the Brian Jonestown Massacre.  He currently lives in Berlin. The pair released an album entitled I Declare Nothing – back in June.  This is my first listen, and it was a great way to start my morning.

“Jennifer” by Tom Schreck

Schreck’s new EP Added Glory is in post-production or something like that.  Looking forward to it.  This is another one from Save Your Glory which I assume was a prequel to the new EP or vice-versa, or else they both just have Glory in the title… either way.  We have a video of Tom with a string section.  Not this song but you can get this song and the rest of Save Your Glory via bandcamp.

“Fake Roses” by The Lone Bellow

The Brooklyn based alt-country band headed up a long list of artists that I was not able to see at Americana Fest.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not regret anything I did see, but there was just way too much great music happening all at once, and just to be a little negative, I’ve decided to focus on the things I did not do and the artists I did not see.  It seems like a productive use of my time.  Anyway, I love this song.

“Meeting Across the River” by Bruce Springsteen

The song that leads into Jungleland on Born to Run. 

“The Mountain” by Angela Easterling

Another great track from Common Law Wife. So glad I got to see and meet Angela a few weeks back when she was in town.

“Indiana Rose” by Barna Howard

Yeah… another artist I missed at Americana.  Love this guys songs.  This is our second listen from his Quite Feelin’. Barna Howard is from Missouri.

“Ghetto” by Amelia White

I did see Amelia White perform – which is always a pleasure, but I also missed another performance – so in the spirit of negativity, I will focus on the show I missed. She has new album, Home Sweet Hotel in the can. This goes back to her last album, Old Postcards.  A gorgeous song with a video that features a bunch of people I know.

“Freak” by Mouth Reader

Some high energy fun from the Murfreesboro band off their Hands record. 

“Past Lives” by Real Estate

We close out the shuffle on a mellower note with a track from New Jersey band, Real Estate.  This song is off of their 2014 album Atlas.


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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Rivers of Suggestion Mix

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Just a heads up… there will not be a Morning Music Shuffle tomorrow.  Plan accordingly…  So this will be the last shuffle of the week, and we have a good one…

“I’m Sorry (But So is Brenda Lee)” by Marshall Crenshaw

One of the best songwriters of all time – from his album Downtown referencing Little Miss Dynamite and one of her best known songs.

“Cry Baby Cry” by Richard Barone

Richard Barone covers the Beatles in spectacular fashion with this track from his groundbreaking live album Cool Blue Halo.

“So. Central Rain” by R.E.M.

This is the final track we have to present from R.E.M.’s second album, Reckoning. Some sources add a subtitle to this song (“I’m Sorry”) which coincidently references back to the first song in the shuffle.. 

“I Have to Leave” by Warren Zevon

Given David Letterman’s fondest for Warren Zevon, I kind of see this song as Ear to the Ground’s way of saying “goodbye”.

“War 150” by Tom Schreck

From his album Save Your Glory… another excellent song from the Nashville Outsider himself…

“Home in the Heart of the Beat” by Beat Rodeo

The title track to the second album by Steve Almaas and company.  “Johnny 1, Johnny 2, Johnny 3…”

“Fake Roses” by The Lone Bellow

Modern country music from Brooklyn New York.. off their latest album, Then Came the Morning…

“Currency of Love” by Joseph Arthur

I got to see Joseph Arthur performing and painting early in April at the Safety Harbor song festival.  This song is from his album, The Ballad of Boogie Christ.

“Flew a Falcon” by Richard Barone

Our second track of the day from Cool Blue Halo!  A gorgeous song. 

“Flaring Up” by Ricky Mirage

The lead track from Pop Goes the Sun…


“Haywire” by Aztec Camera

One of three bonus tracks added to the 1991 CD release of High Land, Hard Rain – the 1983 debut by Roddy Frame and company.

“Drop Your Bucket” by Brock Zeman

I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Brock Zeman last week at the Bluebird Café.  This is a song from his latest album, Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back.  Check out his music, and if you get the chance to see him live – don’t miss it.


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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Pretty as a Prayer Book Mix

In the midst of a busy week of music.  Had the opportunity to hang out with some friends, watch some talented friends make music, and be introduced to some music I haven’t heard before. Tonight, it is Darrin Bradbury playing at the Stone Fox on the west side of Nashville.

“What Wanting Means” by Sean Watkins

I am really enjoying Sean Watkins’ All I Do is Lie album.  By the way, when I typed What Wanting Means by Sean Watkins into You Tube’s search box, I was asked if I meant, “What Wanking Means…”. Uh, no…

“The Stolen Child” by The Waterboys

Mike Scott and Yeats… what more do you want?  From Fisherman’s Blues.

“Standing in the Sun” by Jessica Lea Mayfield

Revelation of the day: I don’t listen to damn near enough Jessica Lea Mayfield.  This is from her 2014 album Make My Head Sing…

“Parasites” by San Fermin

San Fermin are an Indie Rock band from Brooklyn. Their second album, Jackrabbits is coming out this spring, and they are playing the Forecastle Festival up in Kentucky. This single was released back in December. It’s a good one.

“That Was Your Mother” by Paul Simon

I have always had a tender spot in my heart for this song. Maybe it is the Cajun feel that speaks to my Cajun ancestry, maybe it is the fact that my parents lived in Lafayette, Louisiana a long time ago, yeah, before I was born, dude…, or maybe it is just because it is a great song. From the classic Graceland.

“Happy Chemicals” by Batkhi Dahn

We all could use some more Happy Chemicals… Seriously, there is something pretty weird, wild, and awesome happening here… check out Batkhi Dahn!

“Prologue” by Ben Arthur

Who says we can’t have a brief instrumental Prologue in the middle of the last half of a shuffle!  Who says we can’t take the opportunity of posting this brief instrumental prologue to tell you that you seriously need to check out Ben Arthur’s Album/Novel If You Look for My Heart?  Do it! Who says? I say!

“Meredith” by Sean Watkins

Another instrumental, less brief and not a prologue. Also, the second Sean Watkins song in the shuffle.  In the video playlist in place of this song which I could not find, I posted a video of Sean and his sister Sara Watkins. 

“Broken Whiskey Glass” by Jason and the Scorchers

I have to my list of favorite musical moments involve standing amongst an energetic and enthusiastic crowd singing loudly to the introduction to this song all the while anticipating the moment when the song explodes into an incredible ball of pure rock and roll heaven. 

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In a moment of my shuffle having a good timing, we have a song from The Lone Bellow album that was released yesterday.  I dig this band a great deal, and I am looking forward to digging more into the whole Then Came the Morning album.  Trivia:  On Monday, the band appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and among the musicians joining them was Melissa Tong who is the fiddler for Pork Chop Willie who we featured last year.


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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Begin and End with Blues Mix

I’ve been thinking a lot about genres in music.  Overall, I think they are dumb.  That’s just my opinion, and I do understand that it can be important for a band trying to get into a venue or festival or to get played on this or that station to have a clearly defined genre label.   When I need to use a genre label, I try to defer to the band’s own description.

Don’t even get me started on sub genres and sub sub genres, and all the pseudo genres that some clever music journalist invented.  I hope that artists will just continue to make great music and only after the fact and only when necessary worry at all about picking a genre or genre to categorize their sound.  Because that is really all genre labels are really is a way to put everything in a neat little pile.

It always annoys me when people say I hate _____ (fill in the blank with a genre label).  When I hear that, I always think to myself, and what do you mean by ______.  And usually there is some specific type of music that they don’t like, and they are arbitrarily eliminating a whole bunch of really good music from ever entering their consciousness. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m kind of weird like that.

Here at Ear to the Ground, we don’t set any restrictions or limits on the music we feature, and really we go out of our way to add a variety of different genres and types of music to our playlists.

Today’s mix begins and ends with the Blues (or at least some variation of that clear yet still indistinct genre label.)


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“The Devil You Know” by Tommy Castro and the Painkillers from Alligator Records:21stCentury Blues and Roots/The Devil You Know
I like the term “Roots” when it comes to music. To me “Roots music” is not a genre, but rather it labels the music as pure and natural (or at least more so than most music).  The influences may be mixed and varied, but the pure essence is still present.  The Devil You Know is a Blues songs and it rocks.  Tommy Castro is a California based guitarist who has been active since the 80s, and who released his latest album this year on the Alligator Records label. This isn’t throw-back music, but it definitely has a solid foundation in the basics of all American music.


“Let the Records Play” by Pearl Jam from Lightning Bolt

There is a definite Blues influence in this Stone Gossard penned song from Pearl Jam’s 10th studio album.  With came my way via my friend Ronnie B’s annual mix CDs.

“Coast to Coast” by Waxahatchee from Cerulean Salt

Singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield records folk inspired indie music under the name Waxahatchee which comes from the name of a creek in Alabama. She is based in Brooklyn, and her 2013 album Cerulean Salt has garnered quite a bit of attention. Cerulean is a color which is rooted in the color blue.  So maybe  that makes Waxahatchee blues based music….


“Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold” by the Lone Bellow from The Lone Bellow
Another Brooklyn-based band that has been getting a lot of attention from people whose tastes in music I admire is The Lone Bellow. They make great music which spans several different musical genres.  They played the Americana Festival in Nashville in 2013, so maybe they are an Americana band, but you don’t even want me to start in on the idea that Americana is a “genre” of music.


“Back Door Man” by Tomas Doncker Band from Moanin’ at Midnight: The Howlin’ Wolf Project

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It is pretty unambiguous that Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon were Bluesmen. So this song penned by Dixon and originally performed by Howlin’ Wolf is pretty unambiguously a blues song. And believe me when I say, Tomas Doncker and his band do not make any attempt to dilute or disguise the blues. It would be a pretty fruitless and unappetizing exercise to try.  But what Tomas Doncker does on this song and indeed on the whole Moanin’ at Midnight album is to infuse this timeless and well established music with his own unique vision of Global Soul music – which is really not a genre either, but rather an attitude and a feeling swirling around not only his own music, but on all of the music put out by his label True Groove.


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