Here in Oregon, August means it’s time for the state fair.
When I think of music at the fair I think of a couple of very different things—the hair metal and classic rock that the carnival workers always blared from the rides when I was growing up and the country music concerts that happened in the rodeo arena at the small, regional fair where I grew up.
This week I’m going to focus on the latter (there probably won’t ever be a week where I focus on hair metal.)
Here are 10 great country songs from past and present artists that would sound great at any fairgrounds.
1. Lucille – Dale Watson
2. Lookout Heart – The Country Side of Harmonica Sam
3. Big City – Merle Haggard
4. Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight – The Oak Ridge Boys
5. Double or Nothing – Western Centuries
6. I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) – Willie Nelson and Ray Price
7. We’re Gonna Dance – Cody Jinks
8. Maybe A Moment – Justin Townes Earle
9. The Cowboy and the Poet (Faster Horses) – Bobby Bare
10. Amarillo By Morning – George Strait
This week we lost Glen Campbell, one of the true legends of American music.
Glen was 81, and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease several years ago. So his passing wasn’t a surprise. But it hurts all the same.
What’s most amazing to me is the quality of that work over the years, first as a session man and later as a solo artist and host of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and the Glen Campbell Music Show.
Glen’s final album, Adios, was released in June and you can hold it up to pretty much anything else he did in his career. It’s that good.
A Glen Campbell playlist should probably include something from each of his 64 albums (think about that number for a moment). But here on this blog we limit ourselves to 10 songs. Here they are.
Happy listening. And rest in peace, Glen.
1. Wichita Lineman
2. Southern Nights
3. A Better Place
4. Rhinestone Cowboy
5. Country Boy (You’ve Got Your Feet in LA)
6. By the Time I Get to Phoenix
7. When All of God’s Singers Get Home
8. Gentle On My Mind
9. Still Within the Sound of My Voice
Hey all. I’m back after a week of family fun in Canada. We’re in the midst of a run of record-setting temperatures here in Portland, so this week’s playlist is a soundtrack for oppressively hot days.
I hope it’s cooler where you are. Happy listening!
1. Heaven – Ebo Taylor
2. Fever – Susan Cadogan
3. Lost on the Desert – Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
4. High on Tulsa Heat – John Moreland
5. Country Air – The Beach Boys
6. Summer Wine – Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra
7. Summer Friends – Chance the Rapper
8. Night in the City – Electric Light Orchestra
9. La Murga De Panama – Papa Brandao y Su Conjunto Aires Tablenos
10. I Walk On Gilded Splinters – Dr. John
The road trip playlist is one of my favorite things. Since I’m about to head north of the border for a few days I thought it would be appropriate for this week’s playlist to pay tribute to some of my favorite Canadian artists.
1. Night Train – Oscar Peterson
2. Wheat Kings – The Tragically Hip
3. Unknown Legend – Neil Young
4. God Bless The Infidels – The Sadies
5. (AntiChrist Television Blues) – The Arcade Fire
6. Strange Faces – Daniel Romano
7. Devil’s Got a Gun – Whitehorse</strong
8. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot
9. Closing Time – Leonard Cohen
10. I’m Moving On – Hank Snow
A couple of months ago we featured Tuscon songwriting legend Howe Gelb. As promised, we’re returning now with a playlist focused on Howe’s work in Giant Sand, which is the band name he’s probably most associated with.
Howe retired the Giant Sand name in 2016. Time will tell whether that retirement is temporary or permanent. Regardless, there are many great Giant Sand albums out there to explore.
One of the most impressive things about Giant Sand is how well the music holds up. The oldest of these songs are 25+ years old. The newest are from 2015. And they all sound amazing.
1. We Don’t Play Tonight
4. Hurtin Habit
5. Robes of Bible Black
6. Yer Ropes
7. Loving Cup
8. Sisters and Brothers
9. Chunk of Coal
Every summer has a soundtrack. For me, that soundtrack isn’t necessarily limited to new music. In this playlist, you’ll find some new summer tunes mixed with older songs that just feel right to me for the summer of 2017.
1. Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer – Nat King Cole
2. Southern Nights – Alan Toussaint
3. Champagne Corolla – Justin Townes Earle
4. Mr. Apples – Madness
5. Whole Lotta Highway (With A Million Miles To Go) – Marty Stuart
6. Theme From Life & Livin’ It – Sinkane
7. Cosmic Cowboy – Susto</strong
8. Loco Amor – Grupo Sonador
9. This Highway – Zephaniah Ohora and the 18 Wheelers
10. Love Hurts – Grandaddy
Happy birthday America!
Here’s a playlist for you.
1. America – Simon and Garfunkel
2. Young Americans – David Bowie
3. I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash
4. Louisiana Two-Step – Clifton Chenier
5. Calling America – Electric Light Orchestra
6. Freedom of Choice – Devo
7. Freedom Train – James Carr</strong
8. Okie From Muskogee – Merle Haggard
9. American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
10. The Promised Land – Bruce Springsteen