You know the drill. Open up your jukebox of choice, point the shuffle feature to your entire library of songs and list, without exception, the first 10 or so songs that play.
Starting this week, I am going to add a little commentary about some of the artist, songs, albums, etc.
With Every Wish – Bruce Springsteen (Human Touch) (1)
Walk in the Sunshine – Bob Weir (Ace) (2)
Three Days Straight – Ray Wylie Hubbard (Eternal & Lowdown) (3)
Blue – Lucinda Williams (Essence) (4)
Tonight’s the Night – Neil Young (Tonight’s the Night) (5)
We Won’t Dance – Vince Gill (When I Call Your Name) (6)
Angelita – The Backsliders (Southern Lines) (7)
Already Broken – Hadacol (All in Your Head) (8)
The Hurting Business – Chuch Prophet (The Hurting Business) (9)
Bad Night at the Whiskey – The Byrds (Box Set) (10)
(1) I more or less agree with the horde of reviewers that found this album lacking by Bruce’s standards. The album Lucky Town, released at the same time, is a better bet.
(2) Really a Grateful Dead record released as a solo record as part of the Dead’s Warner Brothers record deal. A fine record with some great songs, including the best studio version of Playing in the Band, Looks Like Rain and the song Cassidy is named after.
(3) Probably my favorite song on one of my favorite Ray Wylie records. I hung out with Ray Wylie many years ago between sets at a long gone in favor of more yuppie townhouses Houston bar. He is a good guy and impressed me as a deep thinker, even though we were totally liquored up by the beginning of the third set (during which I prevailed upon him to play his awesome version of Driving Wheel 3 times in a row). It is both pleasing and not surprising that he has become one of the main voices in the Americana philosophy-in-songwriting movement.
(4) Lucinda recently completed her Nanci Griffith cycle: immense love upon discovery; loyalty through questionable changes in musical direction; frustration; abandonment. I loved her first 4 records. Car Wheels was a much anticipated disappointment. I didn’t like Essence at all. World Without Tears was better, giving me hope that she can avoid a Nanci-like fall into the abyss of artsy-fartsy self-importance.
(5) An almost perfect record by one of the greatest songwriters of our time. If I ever do a Top 25 Albums list, this one would be near the top.
(6) I’m sort of over him now, but Vince and Travis Tritt led the much needed country music resurgence of the late 1980s.
(7) Throwin’ Rocks at the Moon was better, and the live EP From Raleigh, NC (which contains Lexington Avenue, one of my favorite songs) is best. But this is a good record by the last standing member of a NC band that was once compared to Gram Parsons.
(8) Hadacol plays a good, hard-edged version of alternative country. The band is a regular on Rancho Radio.
(9) I was somewhat of a fan of Green on Red, sometimes credited as a forefather of the No Depression movement that spawned Uncle Tupelo and most of my other favorite bands. His solo work is much more mellow and introspective, but it works. This record is perhaps the least accessible of his solo records (start with Homemade Blood), but it’s still a good listen.
(10) Every band I like, every band I ever played in and every song I write is influenced in some way by The Byrds (I Know Better Now, being one example where I strived for their sound). Roger McGuinn has a blog.