Wildfires, hurricanes, mass shootings, threats of nuclear war, constant unpleasantness in our government: It’s an understatement to say that sometimes it feels like times are pretty tough.
I was thinking about all this the other day and remembered a song my grandpa used to sing: “Yesterday’s gone Dear Jesus. Tomorrow may never be mine. Teach me today, show me the way, one day at a time.”
Taking things one day at a time feels like a pretty good approach right now. Here’s that same song and some other great gospel numbers to help kick off what I hope is a relaxing weekend for you.
(If you need even more gospel, check out our Easter weekend playlist.)
1. Thank God He Came – Arthur Alelxlander
2. Hallelujah Anyhow – Sonny Treadway
3. Walking In Jerusalem (Just Like John) – Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
4. Jesus, Don’t Give Up On Me – Charlie Pride
5. I Saw The Light – Hank Willilams
6. There Is A Fountain – Willie Nelson
7. Just A Closer Walk With Thee – Grant Green
8. Satan’s Gotta Get Along Without Me – Buck Owens
9. It Won’t Be Long – Flatt and Scruggs
10. One Day At A Time – Wanda Jackson
One of the very first stadium rock shows I went to was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I still remember the adrenaline rush I felt when the lights went down and the first chords of Love Is A Long Road started. I had the privilege of seeing the band a couple more times over the years. Each show was different and amazing. What a band. What a songwriter.
I think a friend of mine put it best the other day. He said “whenever you saw Tom Petty, everything in your life was good for the couple of hours that you were there.”
Rest in peace Tom. You made a lot of people’s lives better with your music. Thank you.
1. Love Is A Long Road
2. Even The Losers
3. Time To Move On
4. The Apartment Song
5. Learning To Fly
6. Southern Accents
8. The Waiting
9. End Of The Line – The Traveling Wilburys
10. Alright For Now
This week was my wedding anniversary, so I’ve got love songs on my mind.
There’s nothing quite like a good love song. When the right combination of lyrics, music and performance come together it can be incredibly moving.
For me, a good love song can be many things: sincere, schmaltzy, funny, up tempo, even instrumental. If it speaks to you, it speaks to you, right?
This week’s songs aren’t necessarily all pieces that would make someone’s ultimate romance Valentine’s Day playlist, but they’re songs that I think evoke a feeling of love in the listener—romantic or otherwise.
1. The Book Of Love – The Magnetic Fields
2. I Say A Little Prayer For You – Aretha Franklin
3. I Only Have Eyes For You – Kevin Morby
4. Baby, You’re My Kind – Blossom Dearie
5. This I Dig Of You – Hank Mobley
6. Make You Feel My Love – Bob Dylan
7. The Weather – Built To Spill
8. La-La Means I Love You – The Delfonics
9. Come Along With Me – Arthur Alexander
10. As Long As The Grass Shall Grow – Johnny Cash
I don’t know about where you live, but summer ended quickly here in the Pacific Northwest. One day it was hot enough that I was running the air conditioner. The next day, it was pouring rain and I had a sweater on.
The change in the weather got me thinking about all the great songs about rain. Literal rain and, of course, rain as a metaphor.
Here are some of my favorites.
1. The Rains Came – Freddy Fender
2. 1,000 Umbrellas – XTC
3. Come Rain Or Come Shine – Sonny Clark
4. Dirty From The Rain – Giant Sand
5. It’s Rainin’ Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
6. Four Days Of Rain – The Flying Burrito Brothers
7. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain – Willie Nelson
8. Buckets Of Rain – Bob Dylan
9. Rain (Falling From The Skies) – Frank Sinatra
10. When It Rains It Really Pours – Freddy Fender
Last week we lost another country music legend, Don Williams. I won’t try to express how much this loss hurts. Trigger at Saving Country Music has already expressed that perfectly.
All I want to say is that Don’s music meant a lot to me throughout my life. His later albums may not have produced the radio hits that his earlier work did, but many of those songs are just as good as his hits.
I encourage you to spend some time with the entire Don Williams catalog. It’s worth it.
Here’s a starting point.
1. Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good
2. Playing Around – Don Williams with the Pozo Seco Singers
3. Goodbye Isn’t Really Good At All
4. Better Than Today
5. (Turn Out The Light And) Love Me Tonight
6. I Believe In You
7. It Must Be Love
8. Tulsa Time
9. Love Is On A Roll
10. Why Lord Goodbye
I started listening to jazz in my 20s. I was in my first job out of college and two of my colleagues who were also obsessed with music started sharing jazz with me. This was long enough ago that the first things they shared were mix tapes.
The style of jazz that I first fell in love with was hard bop. It’s still my favorite style of jazz today.
Here are 10 of my personal favorite hard bop tunes by some of the most important artists of the genre.
1. St. Thomas – Sonny Rollins
2. Killer Joe – Art Farmer and Benny Golson
3. Dat Dere – Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
4. This I Dig of You – Hank Mobley
5. Cool Struttin’ – Sonny Clark
6. Song for My Father – Horace Silver Quintet
7. Solar – Miles Davis Quintet</strong
8. Work Song – Nat Adderley Quintet
9. Autumn Leaves – Cannonball Adderley
10. Blue Train – John Coltrane
Here are a five reasons that September is the best month of the year:
1. The weather. Still nice enough for barbecues and campouts, but not so hot you have to run the AC all the time.
2. Sports. Pennant races and the start of football.
3. Back to school. I always loved those first few weeks of school the most.
4. The Pendleton Round-Up.
5. Oktoberfest. Despite the name, it’s held in September.
There are also a lot of great songs about September. Here are 10 of them.
1. September – Earth, Wind and Fire
2. September Song – Jeff Lynne
3. September – Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
4. September Cones – Robyn Hitchcock
5. September Gurls – Big Star
6. September in the Rain – Dinah Washington
7. September the Ninth – Robert Wyatt
8. September Morn – Neil Diamon
9. September – The Shins
10. September of My Years – Frank Sinatra