Thanks for listening to the playlist guys!
One of the best things about discovering new music or hearing a song for the first time is it feels like a treat for your mind. You will run the song back a couple times and try to hear what the artist is doing on guitar or their voice just strikes you in a way that "You just have to hear that again."
Music is so good in that way. With this playlist I'm trying to give people songs that they can really listen to. Listen to the layers, some of the songs may not contain as many, but that’s ok.
This week we'll get into some real good ones (I know a lot of you have probably been getting tired of hearing the same 30 songs)
Blues / Alt Rock / Soul / Rock / Indie
#36. Junior Kimbrough - I Gotta Try You Girl
This man is one of the masters of The American Blues. The North Mississippi legend sounds so raw and if you like people like R.L. Burnside, T-Model Ford, Gary Clark Jr. and guys with that phat/crunchy/full/blues sound with excellent progressions you can’t look past Junior Kimbrough.
Listen to this song on a day you don't have to rush around through traffic. You could pump it through your headphones while you're doing yard work/garage work or just doing some long task involving concentration. Listening to his stuff I feel like I have brain fuel and more of that "grind it out" energy. I love Blues music for that reason. If you don't find yourself bobbing your head like a chicken some point because of the guitar and bass... you're listening to it wrong.
#37. Budos Band - Long in The Tooth
I haven't featured this band on here just yet on purpose. This has to be one of my wife and I's favorite bands when it comes to instrumental music. This huge band (8-11 guys sometimes) has been making music for over 15 years together. They are from Staten Island, NY.
This song like many others sounds like you should be driving a cigarette boat smuggling guns out of the port of Miami with an MP-5 and a Hawaiian shirt on... or creeping around at night in a James Bond Movie... I love the way it almost sounds like the band Chicago at times. Big bands with horn sections and great progressions.... man, they get me every-time. Great music for slow motion, surf films, grainy film... you know all the cool stuff.
#38. Lake Street Drive - Good Kisser
This woman Rachael Price up front has an incredible tone and voice. She's a mighty fine woman as well. I heard this song a couple years ago and was very stoked to have found it. It tells a cool story and something we all go through but don't really ever allow ourselves to feel because for some reason break ups are usually followed up with a comment like
"oh, I'm so sorry..." or "you'll get through it..."
She's got a cool outlook on it. A very honest approach to a crappy situation but she's still pretty humorous.... it still has a happy feel-good sound. I thought that was cool. Life isn't over when bad things happen, you got to get up and get back to being you. If it didn't work out it wasn't meant to be and sometimes "Good Riddance!"
The band is very talented and has a plethora of musical talent... a couple of the members are classically trained. Give them a listen you won't be mad you did!
#39. Pink Floyd - Fearless
One of the coolest songs I’ve ever heard in open-G (full-benny with the beautiful harmonic pluck sound and all). We all know David Gilmour is a guitar lord of the late-60's and 70's. You've heard all the good ones from Pink Floyd (if you haven't you are wrong...) but have you heard this one...?
The progressions on guitar are awesome, then you get to those badass cowboy power chords but it all still sounds clean, pretty mellow, and psychedelic which is why it's Pink Floyd... The lyrics are super simple & cool too. Just give it a listen.
#40. Greenleaf - Trails & Passes
This band I found this year when I made a radio off of "The Sword" (who I mentioned in Good Music #2 post). They have that metal sound I personally love. It’s not screamo and it’s not Cannibal Corpse type of death metal. I’d almost classify these guys as Alt Rock with no disrespect at all. They kind of sound like Queens of the Stone Age. The rhythm guitar is good keeps your train steaming down the tracks.
You could throw this on for the last mile in a 5-mile run and probably go into the kick to finish out strong. It’s got a good feel in that way, the guitar solo is killer too. Some may consider it “Stoner Rock” as they kind of sound like that genre as well at any rate, cool song… Lace up your running shoes and try it out.
#41. Zach Bryan - Old Man
I think this guy is super cool he plays simple guitar progressions for his country sound. His tone and voice are high quality. If you like music like Tyler Childress I think you’d enjoy this guy. He’s in the Navy still despite having millions of Spotify plays but the man still has some time on his contract to serve. He’s got a promising music future.
The lyrics to this song remind me of my dad. All the Christmas, birthdays, huge life milestones missed to put food on our table. When he was home, he’d try as hard as he could to be there, every single sporting event, project, hard life event in childhood… when my dad was home, he’d be there. When he was, he showed me that integrity is all you have and tried his best to teach me how to become a good man.
The result of parent who leaves to provide can usually go one of two ways. A child who grows up like that can resent their parent for all the time lost (because it doesn’t seem fair to them) or they could approach it like Zach Bryan does and hold them in high regard because they have a firm understanding what sacrifice for a better life is.
This one hit me pretty good in the heart. I remember being a kid and missing my dad tremendously and not understanding why other kids could eat lunch with their Dads on “Bring your dad to school day.” When I sat down and listened to this song for the first time, I remembered all the times I would rip the rings off the countdown chains we used to make and every day I would wake up and religiously cross off days on the calendar till “dad comes home!” All the hard goodbyes at the airport… they all sucked. As a man, now I know he just was fighting for us, so we didn’t have to fight in this crazy world. I love my father for that.
I think being away from your family yourself, you come to realize all of these things when you have time to sit and think about all the things you could’ve done or how you could've reacted differently. Solitude is good for a person with an introspective soul. Thank you for your service Zach Bryan, keep making a quality Country Music sound in a world of Pop-Country.
#42. Mark Farina, Sean Hayes - Dream Machine (Down Tempo Remix)
This song used to come on all the time at night when I was in college in the Art building in my noise cancelling headphones. As a standard protocol I’d be toasted wandering the hallways to see all the sights in those buildings. It was like I was walking into a small think tank at google or something. I remember I used to throw on this song as a “warm-up” (one of many) as I was just starting to make marks on the canvas.
At East Carolina University my freshman year, I learned what Art meant to me and how a community is formed around Art. That Jenkins building (shout out! Purple…! Gold…!) was packed at night. It was a regular occurrence to have a 8pm-4am studio night. People would skateboard around in the hallway, paint studios blasting music, print shop ripping screen prints (The Avett Brothers were still hand pulling their album art limited edition prints when I was there) the fibers girls on their looms, the ceramics kids crushing pottery, the wood guys machines running (the planer was always so cool to walk by and hear), the sculptors sparks flying everywhere in aprons welding up their next piece.
As a night owl, that was the place for me. Finally, people who would stay up with me to burn the midnight oil we stored up… regardless there was never judgement, always so much sharing and love. It was always a party in Jenkins. It would shape the way I did work for the rest of my life.
This song Dream Machine, if you listen to the lyrics, they don’t really make sense but when you are in that mind echelon with no parameters or reservations on what people think of you and you’re just you with no insecurities… this song slaps.
If you put on sunglasses and headphones and have to walk through a crowd of people to get somewhere and want to deflect negative, insecure energy and low vibrations that come off of a lot of people who are unhappy and constantly judging. Throw this on and you have a shield for at least 5 mins. Find more like this for you. You’ll feel better.
#43. Phantogram - Black Out Days
Geeze, I don’t know what to say besides this group is so good. They have been so good for a long time. Their samples and engineering are so sick! They are epic live. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter put on an incredible show. True entertainment. With that much electronic noise it’s hard to make it sound like the record, but they sound incredible live. I like their process and how they make their brand of noise is so badass. Their process is just how I imagined music should be made. They are from Greenwich, NY. Friends since they were really young (like single-digits young) they formed their band in 2007.
They use their synth correctly (I say that as a subjective opinion and slight jab at EDM) to give you a strong bass-line that kind of leads the entire song into different realms. There is so many layers to their music instrument-wise. I love the fact they use so many different sounding drum kits (not just 808 kits).
This song in particular you can hear the drum kit that echoes in the background it’s kind of an African sounding kit just giving a rebounding sound (that’s a weird way to put it… but that’s how I heard it.) The airy vocals give it some mystery. The progressions to the chorus and bridge are nice transitions too. You just let this one go wide open in the speakers… at least I do… All the way up! This is good music to listen to with somebody who enjoys getting wild. If play Phantogram for somebody who has never heard them it’s just a courtesy to them and a tasteful thing to do in a world of bad pop music.
#44. Phantogram - Fall in Love
I had to feature them yet again but there is so many good songs you can go down the Phantogram hole into. This one is featured for the samples it uses. It’s a pretty rad sample of a violin, and how they chose to chop that up is even cooler. The 1960’s female voice sample. The dreamy loop in the beginning. The synth again giving us a kind of a hip-hop bassline. Then her voice comes in and serenades you. How could you not fall in love! A lot of their music seems kind of low/blue lyrically but there is so much thought and feeling put into these songs.
There are no weird reactions when you listen to this music as a man (vs. telling other dudes your favorite band is Lana Del Ray or something… nothing wrong with that but there are a lot of insecure people in the world who will troll you for that.) It’s just good music. Give them a couple listens.
#45. Isley Brothers - Voyage to Atlantis
I heard this song when Spice Adams was making a bunch of funny Pimp Videos on his Instagram. However, there is no doubt the Isley brothers (5 brothers) are legends of soul music (2 Grammy’s, Grammy Lifetime Achievement, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the list goes on…) but not everybody has heard this banger from them. Their guitar playing on this song is unreal. Imagine going to somebody’s house and saying you “dabble” at guitar and rip that opening solo. I was introduced to this type of music when I was growing up (along with many other genres, totally mixed bag), but this is not one that will auto populate if you go to Marvin Gaye Radio on Spotify. I had to search for this one and listen to a couple of their classics first. This is a good end of the night, post dinner date, glass of wine with your beautiful lady type of song. If you are cool enough to pull that off. If you’re my best friend he’ll probably listen to this welding motor cycles, besides his beautiful girlfriend that’s probably a close second. Put this one on for the bike!
#46. Gabo Brown, T.P. Orchestrea Poly Rythmo - It's a Vanity
I don’t know too much about this group except they put this song out on a record from the 70’s called African Scream Contest. I can hear where the Caribbean Islands got their influence and sound from. I think if you liked the Budos Band and appreciate early Bob Marley and the Wailers sound you’d issue a hat tip to this group. The 70’s was such a cool time for music. I wish it would come back.
Thank you again for tuning in and listening to the playlist. I really hope you can relate or to the explanations and at the very least find some cool music you otherwise wouldn’t have found.
With so much Love and Gratitude,