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. Each week, I add a little commentary about some of the artists, songs, albums, etc.
That’s the Day – Dale Watson (Cheatin’ Heart Attack) (1)
Union Square – Tom Waits (Rain Dogs) (2)
Cowboy Romance – Natalie Merchant (Tigerlily) (3)
One Good Year – Said Cleaves (Broke Down) (4)
Makin’ It Natural – Dr. Hook (Doctor Hook) (5)
What You Want – The Mertons (Girandole) (6)
End of the Party – The English Beat (Special Beat Service) (7)
Night Riders Lament – Jerry Jeff Walker (Ridin’ High) (8)
Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ – Allman Brothers (Idlewild South) (9)
Girl About a Song – Jonathan Gregg (Blue on Blonde) (10)
(1) Dale makes good, real country music that sounds like the stuff I heard on the radio as a kid. There’s nothing particularly notable about this song, but I’m real happy there are people who still make this kind of music.
(2) My buddy G-Man and I went through a phase back in the late 80s during which we listened to Tom Waits almost exclusively. I love his great songwriting and his ragged howl. This is a fine example of both off of a great album. Sadly, that howl became more and more unintelligible over the years until it turned into just noise sometime in the 90s. I don’t buy his new records, but I love his old ones.
(3) I run sort of hot and cold on Natalie. Just when I decide her songs are too generic, I hear one like this one that’s so wonderfully wistful. This is a fine song that is going onto my current MP3 CD so I can listen to it in my truck.
(4) Slaid makes good, melodic Americana music. This is a mighty fine song about trying to get your stuff together. In one way or another, that’s what we’re all doing.
(5) I have always liked Dr. Hook. After the famous Cover of the Rolling Stone, this is probably my favorite Dr. Hook song. Because of the drug-related content, I won’t play this one for my kids. But it’s a clever and funny song.
(6) The Mertons are exactly the kind of band that makes alternative country (which is a little more ragged and rock influenced that Americana) my favorite musical genre. This is absolutely one of my favorite records and will certainly end up on my Top 50 list. Highly recommended.
(7) I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard this song- the one that really turned me on to new wave music. This is one beautiful song that I will always associate with my discovery of a lot of fantastic new wave bands back in the 80s.
(8) A fine song off of one of JJW’s two great records from 1976. He was a little rougher back then- more of an outlaw than an Americana statesman. My favorite JJW record is the much overlooked A Good Night for Singin’ from that same year.
(9) A funky guitar driven romp off of one of the best albums by the greatest rock and roll band of all time. This song rocks in a way that simply didn’t exist pre-Allmans. If you can listen to this song and sit still, you better check your pulse.
(10) I can’t recall how I found out about Jonathan Gregg, but this is the best song on a fine album.