In honor of Mother’s day, I put together this little mix of songs written about Mothers. From the Beatles to Pink Floyd, everyone has got something to say about their mama. Sometimes it’s weird and wacky. In John Lennon’s case, it’s not always nice. but at least it’s from the heart. I’m lucky to have a top notch Mom. Happy Mothers Day.
Out from behind a cloud and onto the green green grass, spring has sprung and with it comes the Sun. Soak it up with this set of forgotten gems. It’s a weird collection of pysch-pop and British/LA folk from the 60’s featuring Jim Sullivan, Bobby Jameson, Duncan Brown, Saggitarius, Tim Buckley, and Van Dyke Parks. I really enjoyed digging these up as it’s the first time in a while I’ve had to really go beyond my own music collection. All of these artists are worth checking out beyond this mix. I hope it serves to expand your library as much as it did mine.
February, with it’s barren trees lining snow-piled sidewalks and it’s icy winds chilling walkers to the bone, is a time of introspection. The unspoken melancholy that permeates the crowded subways weighs heavy on the soul as thousands trod to and from jobs, without seeing the light of day. February is the turning point. So beaten down by winter, we rise up, defiantly and set our sites on spring. For me, few artists capture the bleakness better than Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Jackson C. Frank. There is no one better to welcome the spring than Nick Drake and Donovan. Moonshiner is a mix made to carry you through. Download Here.
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I like country music. Not gonna lie. Maybe it’s because I grew up so close to Kentucky or maybe I’m just a hillbilly at heart (really, I give credit to my grandparents who used to send us beautiful mixtapes of 50’s country music for every road trip we took). I’m not talking about trash like Kenny Chesney or Toby Keith (even Willie Nelson can be a little too much for me). I’m talking about the roots of rock and roll. People like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson and Johnny Cash. The working-class men and women who wrote songs of pain and suffering on beat up old guitars and shared them with the folks who needed them most. I can’t think of many songs sadder than Townes Van Zandts “Waitin around to Die.” There’s something to all of it. Not that I’m itchin’ to make everyone go have a good cry, but let’s face it, the saddest songs are the most beautiful.
Now, country music of today makes me want to stick my head in a bucket and puke, but every so often, a new face emerges that does the genre justice. In the 90’s, Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams breathed a little fresh air into the scene. These days, there’s only one person I can think of that does it right (other than when Phosphorescent did the Willie Nelson Covers Album, which, ironically, I enjoyed immensely) and he just so happens to have it in his blood. Justin Townes Earle. Son of Steve Earle and named after (you guessed it!) Mr. TVZ.
I’ve been enjoying his most recent album “Harlem River Blues”. It’s nice to hear some country come out of New York. The guy sure can play and sing. Every now and then he falls into predictable cheeseball subject matter, but I have to hand it to him for sounding so authentic. Check out a couple of these live performances. Anyway, If you can’t get behind his music, at least give the guy some respect for his style. GQ sure does.
What? Could it be? Another Mix? So Soon? Yes, I’ve been holding out on you. But here it is. The more lively companion to Diamond Day, originally created for early October. It features George Harrison’s Apple Scruffs. I assumed Apple Scruffs were a drug. Actually, they are not. Have a good weekend. AND GO OUTSIDE!
Just as the last leaves fall from their trees, and the cold begins to sweep into the north, I’ve finally gotten around to posting a mix I made for the fall. Comprised of a selection of introspective folk songs, this mix is for the solemn, rich, beauty of the season. Listen to it in the morning, in the evenings when everything is quiet, or better yet, on a blanket, under crystal blue skies. I wish you a Diamond Day.