I'm short on time and don't really have much preliminary banter... so let's just get to the shuffle - we have a good one today!
"Rain" by Ron Muga
New York songwriter Ron Muga is up first with another lovely track from his Wonderful Doom album. Muga is the driving force behind the No Country Project which is dedicated to deconstructing about every genre of music which is descended from American Roots music.
"Leaves" by The Western Shore
Fresh off their killer appearance at Monday night's E2TG Presents event, comes one of East Nashville's best... This song appeals to me because my (currently unpublished) novel, The Drift uses leaves floating down a stream as an metaphor at an important moment in the book. This song is on the excellent album, Thunderstorm.
"heavy sleepers" by Dead and Lovely
Brand new Nashville residents, Jayda Hampton and John Levan are Dead and Lovely. Naming your band after a Tom Waits' song sets up some high expectations, and as I can attest after seeing them perform at an Eastside Invasion round at Bobby's Idle Hour, they meet or exceed those expectations. A pair of unique voices singing excellent songs. It is great to have their music in the shuffle. This is from their album Heavy which is on their bandcamp page.
"God Only Knows" by She and Him
As heard on the hit Fox TV series, The New Girl - because Zooey is adorkable, and because it's a freaking Beach Boys song... jeez!
"Meridian" by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade
Although more and more Nashville music is making its way into the shuffles, I remain grateful and loyal to the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut bands that helped Ear to the Ground to be named "The Best Nashville-Based Music Blog that focuses primarily on music from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut - 2012 and 2013)* The Lucky Jukebox Brigade on one of the most original and one of my favorite bands. If you haven't gotten you copy of Familiar Fevers (the album which includes this song), I advise you to do so immediately.
*As voted on by a panel of absolutely no one since it's a self-proclaimed title, but basically undisputed...
"Fairytale of New York" (Pogues cover) by Paleface
An excellent cover of the Holiday classic made famous by The Pogues and the late, great Kirsty MacColl by enigmatic American singer/songwriter Paleface. I posted this song last year as a Bonus Track, but this is the official shuffle debut. In my hasty research, I could not find out who sings with Paleface on this song, so if you know, please let me know. I also could not find a video of the Paleface version, and I posted the Official Video of the original song - because The Pogues and Kirsty Maccoll!
"so what?" by Dead and Lovely
How about another from Pennsylvania transplants, The Dead and Lovely with another from Heavy. They also have some songs up on Soundcloud, so if you like what you hear, head over there as well.
"Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)" by Tom Waits
It seems appropriate to follow up a song by Dead and Lovely with a Tom Waits song, so it's a good thing my shuffle function did just that. This one goes way, way back over 40 years to Tom Waits' first album Closing Time.
"Just Me and These Ponies (For Christmas)" by Corb Lund
A new Christmas song from a brand new compilation called An Americana Christmas put out by New West Records. The album features new and classic tracks from artists like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Nikki Lane, The Old 97s, The Band, John Prine, and Valerie June. Corb Lund's contribution adds to the long line of sad Holiday songs which validates the experiences of many around this time of year.