Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – A Rusted Fork in the Road Mix

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A modest proposal to deal with the problem of people talking during music performances: Just let John Moreland play.  I saw John Moreland play twice last night. The first was at Music City Roots where he wowed an audience mostly unfamiliar with his music.  Later, he played a full headlining set at The 5 Spot in East Nashville in front of a packed house.  The minute John Moreland began to play, the crowd (a bar crowd after 11:00pm) fell silent almost immediately.  A friend of mine asked what it was about his music that had that effect.  In the moment, the only words that came to me were the emotional vulnerability of his songs.  I don’t know if that is the answer.  But, it got me thinking about vulnerability, and how our society sees it as a weakness, but how in the hands of someone like John Moreland – it can be such a powerful thing.

“Heima” by Hildur Gudnadottir

Hildur Gudnadottir is a cellist and composer currently based out of Berlin.  This stunning composition comes from a Noisetrade Sampler from the recent Big Ears Festival which took place in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Quite an impressive line-up at that festival.

“Buddy” by The Western Shore

One of my favorite songs from the Thunderstorm album.  I saw The Western Shore Monday night, and they are preparing to hit the road for a short tour which includes a couple of West Coast dates with Nikki Lane.

“Breathe” by Maria McKee

Another track from Maria McKee’s self-titled debut solo album.  McKee was named among the “Top 10 Female Artists You Really Should Know” in a recent article – she was included with other great artists like Kate Bush, Alison Moyet, and Nina Hagen among others. Well deserved.

“Revelation (The Final Book)” by Jeremiah Tall

In a short time, I’ve come to really dig this guy’s music.  It’s available on Noisetrade, you should really check it out.  (Free – but donate if you can, and definitely share to spread the word).

“Tying Ten Knots in the Devil’s Tail” by Townes Van Zandt

A classic western poem/song performed by the legendary Townes Van Zandt from a 1973 live recording.

“The Difference” by Dan Coyle

From Perfect Word, Perfect Beat comes this song with a great doo-wop sound. 

“Sharp Feathers” by Telepathic Teddy Bear

From the album Forgiveness…  Telepathic Teddy Bear writes great songs and produces great sounding records. 

“Don’t Make Nothin’ in the USA” by Tim Carroll

The lead track and one of my favorite songs on the new Tim Carroll album, Pure As Coal.  A ton of my East Nashville friends are featured in the video including Kalee Smyth from The Western Shore who we heard from earlier in the shuffle.  I was at The 5 Spot when the live performance portions of the video were recorded. 

“Napoleon” by Scott Miller

Scott Miller was one of the performers at Music City Roots last night, and he was fantastic.  He was previously a member of the seminal Knoxville band The V-Roys.  This song comes from a compilation album called Bubbapalooza Vol. 1: Chronicle of the Redneck Underground – which also included Southern Culture on the Skids and others. 

“Plight of Imemine” by Broken Guru

Broken Guru are an Alternative Rock band from New York City. Their debut album, Bent Up Halo is scheduled to be released on April 28.  You can currently stream five of the songs from that album on their Bandcamp page.

“I Want the One I Can’t Have” by The Smiths

We close out today’s shuffle with a track from The Smiths’ second album, Meat is Murder.  Any shuffle that includes The Smiths and Townes Van Zandt can’t be bad…

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Fairytales and Other Legends Mix

I’m short on time and don’t really have much preliminary banter… so let’s just get to the shuffle – we have a good one today!

“Rain” by Ron Muga

New York songwriter Ron Muga is up first with another lovely track from his Wonderful Doom album. Muga is the driving force behind the No Country Project which is dedicated to deconstructing about every genre of music which is descended from American Roots music. 

“Leaves” by The Western Shore

Fresh off their killer appearance at Monday night’s E2TG Presents event, comes one of East Nashville’s best… This song appeals to me because my (currently unpublished) novel, The Drift uses leaves floating down a stream as an metaphor at an important moment in the book.  This song is on the excellent album, Thunderstorm.

“heavy sleepers” by Dead and Lovely

Brand new Nashville residents, Jayda Hampton and John Levan are Dead and Lovely.  Naming your band after a Tom Waits’ song sets up some high expectations, and as I can attest after seeing them perform at an Eastside Invasion round at Bobby’s Idle Hour, they meet or exceed those expectations.  A pair of unique voices singing excellent songs.  It is great to have their music in the shuffle. This is from their album Heavy which is on their bandcamp page. 

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3199444926/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/artwork=small/transparent=true/

“God Only Knows” by She and Him

As heard on the hit Fox TV series, The New Girl – because Zooey is adorkable, and because it’s a freaking Beach Boys song… jeez!

“Meridian” by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade

Although more and more Nashville music is making its way into the shuffles, I remain grateful and loyal to the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut bands that helped Ear to the Ground to be named “The Best Nashville-Based Music Blog that focuses primarily on music from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut – 2012 and 2013)*  The Lucky Jukebox Brigade on one of the most original and one of my favorite bands. If you haven’t gotten you copy of Familiar Fevers (the album which includes this song), I advise you to do so immediately.

*As voted on by a panel of absolutely no one since it’s a self-proclaimed title, but basically undisputed… 

“Fairytale of New York” (Pogues cover) by Paleface!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

An excellent cover of the Holiday classic made famous by The Pogues and the late, great Kirsty MacColl by enigmatic American singer/songwriter Paleface.  I posted this song last year as a Bonus Track, but this is the official shuffle debut. In my hasty research, I could not find out who sings with Paleface on this song, so if you know, please let me know.  I also could not find a video of the Paleface version, and I posted the Official Video of the original song – because The Pogues and Kirsty Maccoll!

“so what?” by Dead and Lovely

How about another from Pennsylvania transplants, The Dead and Lovely with another from Heavy.  They also have some songs up on Soundcloud, so if you like what you hear, head over there as well.

“Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)” by Tom Waits

It seems appropriate to follow up a song by Dead and Lovely with a Tom Waits song, so it’s a good thing my shuffle function did just that.  This one goes way, way back over 40 years to Tom Waits’ first album Closing Time.

“Just Me and These Ponies (For Christmas)” by Corb Lund

A new Christmas song from a brand new compilation called An Americana Christmas put out by New West Records.  The album features new and classic tracks from artists like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Nikki Lane, The Old 97s, The Band, John Prine, and Valerie June.  Corb Lund’s contribution adds to the long line of sad Holiday songs which validates the experiences of many around this time of year.

VIDEO PLAYLIST


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Full Grown Man Mix

In the middle of posting this, I heard about the passing of Rock and Roll legend Bobby Keys. The long-time Rolling Stones saxophonist was a resident of Nashville at the time of his passing, and I had the great pleasure of seeing him and his band play a free lunch time show at the downtown Public Library in the summer of 2013.  RIP Bobby Keys…



Today’s shuffle follows no set pattern, obeys no written (or unwritten) rules, and was a heck of a lot of fun to listen to on a rainy morning commute.

“Thunderstorm” by The Western Shore from Thunderstorm

The rain this morning hardly qualified as a Thunderstorm – nevertheless, I am always glad to hear songs by one of my favorite East Nashville duos.

“Three Little Angels” by The Dirty Guv’nahs from Hearts on Fire

From Knoxville, The Dirty Guv’nahs have a great band name, and an awesome groovy sound.

“North Side Gal” by JD McPherson from The Rounder Records Collection/Signs and Signifiers

Happiness is finding some JD McPherson music on NoiseTrade…  This song is from his 2012 album.

“St. James Infirmary” by Jon Batiste and Stay Human from Social Music

Jon Batiste is an innovative jazz pianist from New Orleans.  I recently got turned on to his music when a new project he is involved in came to light. That project – The Process – features Batiste along with avant garde bassist Bill Laswell, and RHCP drummer Chad Smith. Here we have Batiste and his band doing an standard made famous by Louis Armstrong.

“Blue in Green” by Miles Davis from The Classic Album Collection/Kind of Blue

Keeping things in a jazz groove (and the first of three instrumentals in a row).  How about Miles Davis…

“La Mort” by Martial Solal from A Bout De Souffle (Breathless)

From the soundtrack of the French New Wave classic (and Jon Luc Godard’s first feature film), comes this track from the jazz pianist and composer Martial Solal.

“Great Blue C” by The 442s from The 442s

The 442s are from St. Louis. The band features two jazz musicians and two classical musicians.  They have an innovative sound and approach that I really dig. This was my first listen, and I want to hear more.

“Big Love” by Little Village from Little Village !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

And we close out the shuffle with another great song from this amazing collection of talent. 

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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Gratitude Mix

Short and Sweet. In spite of Because of all of the difficulties of this year, I am more aware than ever of the reasons I have to be grateful.   In a randomly shuffled way – that will be my focus today….

“Cry Over You” by Tami Neilson from Dynamite!

I am grateful for the Feel Bad for You monthly mixtape for expanding and enhancing my musical palate. I am also grateful for new music that sounds like it comes from another era – like some lost classic recording.

“Don’t Walk Away” by Aaron Lee Tasjan from Crooked River Burning

I am grateful for circumstances which have allowed to see and meet incredibly talented musicians/singers/songwriters like Aaron Lee Tasjan.  “This is a song about not walking away when someone’s talking to you, it’s called ‘Don’t Walk Away I’m Talking to You'”

“Two of Me” by Haesemeyer from Three Mirrors

I am grateful for discovering new music from near and far from a variety of sources and through the (sometimes) mixed blessing of social media getting to know the people behind the music.

“Fort Wayne” by Heath McNease from Fort Wayne

I am grateful for Noisetrade for introducing to music I might not otherwise hear. And for heartfelt people making the music they want to make regardless of labels or genre restrictions.

“Rambo” by The Features from Old Familiar Melodies – 2008-2013/Wilderness

I am grateful for people who come from near the place that I come from who go on to do great things who remind me that nothing about me holds me back except for me.

“God I Miss You” by Dan Coyle from Perfect World, Perfect Beat

I am grateful for people who notice when I write about them. As corny as it may sound, it is good to have reminders that I am not writing into a void. I am also grateful for people who remember and allow me to follow their journey through their music.

“Leaves” by The Western Shore from Thunderstorm

I am grateful for the insanely talented group of people I have been fortunate enough to become a part of over these last few months.  People pursuing their own version of the elusive but ever-present dream.  Nashville/East Nashville is filled with people like this, and I think I have found a pretty special (and ever expanding) group of folks with which to continue this journey.

“Can’t Say No” by The Fleeting Ends from Can’t Say No EP

Noisetrade again…. I am grateful for new music that manages to capture a bit of the music I grew up with without being derivative. I am grateful for a well-crafted Pop song, and I am grateful for continuing to discover new music almost every day.

“My Friend (Times Aren’t Too Bad)” by D. Joseph Mooradian via Soundcloud

I am grateful for young people continuing to express themselves through the art form of music. In this town, in this age… it is easy to get caught up in the music “business” and the charts and articles and opinions and pageviews and the bloody $$$$s. Music is or at least can be art – not in an elitist kind of way, but in a spiritual kind of way.  We trade a bit of ourselves with one another through the various ways be express ourselves.  I am grateful to hear and see the children of friends following this path of expression no matter how far or where it leads.

This turned out to be a pretty cool exercise in gratitude. Of course, I left out so many.  That’s why I use the random shuffle – if I was trying to create some “perfect” gratitude playlist – I would worry and obsess and it wouldn’t be done until next Thanksgiving.  

Have a good Holiday if you are celebrating.  To my Canadian friends – I send that greeting back through time to last month.  For others…. well, there is quite a bit about this American holiday that you may think is weird and excessive… but when it comes to taking time to be grateful – well, I think we got that part about right.

VIDEO APPROXIMATION

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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 – This is the Blues Mix

Nashville – come out tonight to The Five Spot in East Nashville at 9:00pm for an awesome show. The Harmed Brothers, Charlie and the Foxtrots, and #E2TG favorite Darrin Bradbury who will be backed by the star-studded (and stud-starred) Fran’s Eastside Super-High Band!

Apologies to Tim Carroll (who by the way is part of the aforementioned Super-High Band) for appropriating the title of one of his songs for the subtitle of today’s shuffle.  The song isn’t in the shuffle, but it came to my find, when I heard the high concentration of Blues numbers in the first part of this morning’s shuffle. 

Shuffle Up!

“She’s Gone” by Pork Chop Willie from Love is the Devil

For the second straight day, we have an awesome track from one of my favorite albums of 2014.  This is a Pork Chop Willie original with a snappy, rocking sound.

“Yoyo Daddy” by Sidestreet Reny and Lil’ Bell from Holler

Also reappearing for the second day in a row… with his 1934 National Resonator guitar!  Here is Sidestreet Reny.

“Battle vs The War” by Butch Walker from Noisetrade Sampler/b-side single

Butch Walker has a long and diverse music career.  This is one of his newer releases (he has a new album due out next year).  On the video, this song is a duet with the awesome Nikki Lane.  I think she sings on the recorded version, but in my limited research time, I could not absolutely confirm that.  Butch Walker fact checkers assemble!    I really, really dig this song!

“Boogie Bar and BBQ” by Stacy Mitchhart from Live My Life

A nice stroke of genuine Blues music from Music City USA.  This is from his brand new album which I just got my hands on thanks to Ms. Sue Havlish.  My first listen, and I’m digging it.  It’s funny how I never considered myself a fan of the Blues, and yet the more I hear, the more I realize I really was a fan all along.  The video is an awesome cover of a Hall and Oates song recorded live at the Bourbon Street Blues Bar in Printer’s Alley in Downtown Nashville.

“My .32-20” by Sidestreet Reny and Lil’ Bell from Holler

Number two of the day from the awesome Holler album which I also just got my hands on – h/t to the incomparable David J. “Popatunes” Horton.  Did you know that Sidestreet Reny’s background is in hip-hop music.  For kicks and continuing an unintended theme, we have Brian McKnight’s version of another Hall and Oates song featuring a rap by Sidestreet Reny himself. 

“Evil World” by The Radicals from Halloween  Rhymes and Children’s Crimes

Man! It so good to have some sharp old school style PUNK in the shuffle.  Who cares that this was a Halloween album and that it is now mid-November? Really who cares?  Clear the furniture and be prepared to slam dance!

“17th Last Cigarette (thinkin’ bout drinkin’)” by Swearing at Motorists from While Laughing, The Joker Tells the Truth

Swearing at Motorists are a Dayton, Ohio two piece band lead by dave doughman who have a twenty year history.  This song is from their latest album, and it’s really strong!

“Peggy Sang the Blues” by Frank Turner from England Keep My Bones

I don’t know if this is considered Blues, but it is about singing the blues, and it has the word Blues in the title.  Frank Turner is a British folk/punk artist, and this really awesome song is on his 2011 record.

“I Love, I Love (Traveling II)” by Dar Williams from The Honesty Room

The first of two tracks from Dar Williams’ 1995 album.  We featured Traveling I a few weeks back.

“Little City” by The Western Shore from Thunderstorm

Hard to believe it has been a week since I attended the CD Release show by The Western Shore.  They sounded great live, and they sound equally great on the album (which you should buy!)

“Whistle in the Dark” by Matt King from Raw

Keeping it local with another great track from Matt King’s stripped down Raw album.

“In Love But Not at Peace” by Dar Williams from The Honesty Room

Closing things out with our second listen of the day from one of my personal favorite’s – Dar Williams.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Mystery Train Mix

I realize that I have a music problem, but there are far worse problems to have… I know because I’ve had those, too. Music, though, man! Music has this amazing ability to make you forget your problems or remind you that you are not alone with your problems or just to make you feel good for the 3 minutes or so that the song goes on. Music also has brought me together with some amazing people.

Today, we have a most excellent shuffle which has helped me through a not so excellent morning….  Now, I want to share it with you…

“Headlights” by Ellen Sundberg from Headlights

Some sweet, sweet Americana music from the heartland of Sweden.  I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t read that Ellen Sundberg was from Sweden, I never would have guessed.  Honest, heartfelt, and a damn fine song.

“Mystery Train” (live) by Link Wray/Robert Gordon from Cleveland ’78

Whoever had the bright idea to put Surf guitar legend Link Wray together with neo-Rockabilly/Punk legend Robert Gordon should be in some sort of Hall of Fame.  Actually, if Wikipedia is correct it was Gordon himself who had the idea.  Any, the results pretty much speak for themselves.

“Palomino” by The Western Shore from Thunderstorm

I’m so excited to see The Western Shore perform live at their CD release party Thursday.  The amazing Aaron Lee Tasjan is also on the bill for what promises to be a great night of music.  This is another fine track off the Thunderstorm album.

“Saturday Nights” by American Aquarium from Burn. Flicker. Die.

Another day, another American Aquarium song.  I am so impressed by what these guys are doing, and I look forward to their follow-up album.  I wish everyone who says they hate Country music would hear this… hell, I wish everyone who says they love Country music would hear this.

“Not the One” by *repeat repeat from Deer Head Music Presents: Indie Mixtape Nashville/ Bad Latitude

*repeat repeat  (you gotta love the name and the asterisk) are reason number (I lost count) of why I love Nashville music.  Infectious and highly original music – this song fit in so well in this rather diverse mix of music.

“Cali to Cairo” by Sidestreet Reny from Tonal Tonics and Musical Elixers

Blues from Venice Beach, California played on a National Resonator guitar. For the millionth time, I am thanking David Horton aka Popa Tunes for turning me onto some great music that otherwise might have slipped past me. 

“A Solid Bond in Your Heart” by The Style Council from The Singular Adventures of the Style Council/Single

Yet another amazing song – this is one of the early ones –  from Paul Weller’s follow-up band to The Jam. 

“King of The Bun-Ga-Loos” by The Splinters from 1964 Single

I know next to nothing about The Splinters.  This was one of Popa Tunes’ contributions to the latest Feel Bad for You mixtape.  A nice slice of jungle surf music complete with yelps, screeches, and assorted other vocal noises.  I was happy to find this song on YouTube – so check it out.

“Some Days” by Sturgill Simpson from 2014-05-13 – Grimey’s Records – Nashville/High Top Mountain

The shuffle is going well, and I wonder where it will go next… the shuffle function knows that you cannot go wrong with Sturgill Simpson.  A great song from his previous album High Top Mountain.

“My Love Was as Blind as!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”); window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js Blind as Ray Charles and Half as Cold as Heat” by Kye Alfred Hillig from The Buddhist

Possibly one of the longest song titles we’ve featured – trust me when I say that the song lives up to the title, and I have a new singer/songwriter to check out. I couldn’t find this song on video, but you definitely should check this song out and go from there (hint: the September Feel Bad for You mixtape might be a good place to start).  Kye Alfred Hillig is from Tacoma Washington, and the blurb on the Feel Bad for You site name drops Damien Jurado and Sun Kill Moon – if you are someone who needs a frame of reference. Really just a great song.

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