Friday, October 30, 2015

Featured Friday Music Shuffle - Where the Blues Began Mix

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Well it's Friday and it is All Hallows Eve Eve and it is sunny today and did I mention it is Friday!

Last night I completed my punch card and made it to all five of the Campfire Propaganda residency shows. This week Megan Palmer  and Brian Wright were back, and Darrin Bradbury was out of town on tour. Great sets of music by Tim Easton, Brian Wright (who covered Darrin's "Blue Highways"), Megan Palmer, and then Nellie Clay played with a full (and awesome) band for her CD Release show.  She even brought up a horn section for the last two songs.

After that I decided to enjoy the crisp Autumn evening and made my way to Drifter's BBQ to watch Tim Carroll and Luella before heading home to do some preparation for a meeting this afternoon which should help me set a course to make 2016 the best year ever for #E2TG.

We have a featured Friday shuffle that is sure to provide a multitude of treats with a minimum of trickery.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Close Your Eyes, Breathe Slow and We'll Begin Mix

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"Close your eyes, breathe slow, and we'll begin..."  - from "The Pan Within" written by Mike Scott and recorded by his band, The Waterboys from their album This is the Sea.

Last night I took the Blackstone Bus to Music City Roots at the Factory in Franklin.  I think the bus is one of this town's best kept secrets.  Every Wednesday, the bus departs from The 5 Spot in East Nashville makes a stop at Soulshine Pizza in Midtown and then makes its way down I65 to Franklin. 

Reasons it is such a cool, awesome deal:  1. The ride is free.  You pay your (usually $10) Roots ticket, select the Blackstone Bus option. 2. They serve samples of different varieties of Blackstone Beer (the longest currently operating local brewery). 3 You get some free hors d'oeuvres courtesy of Monnells.  4. There is usually awesome live music on the bus and 5. You don't have to drive.

About #4 - the scheduled music performer was under the weather, but because Nashville - it turned out that The Worry Dolls were on board.  The Worry Dolls are recent transplants from London. I had seen them at a showcase during Americana, and they graced us with some songs on the bus.  I nice treat to be sure.

This weeks Music City Roots was pretty eclectic.  Host Jim Lauderdale opened the show with a song from his new album - which I now really want to check out.  A bluegrass band from Italy played one song.  I really dug them a bunch - they are called La Terza Classe.  The Orphan Brigade played next, they are a really interesting group of experienced players with a pretty fascinating story. They completed their current album in Kentucky at what is called the Most Haunted House in America. I really liked their music which is kind of moody roots music - I guess.  LynnMarie was next with her polka band.  They won me over by opening their set with a cover of The Who's "Squeezebox" and a song written about LynnMarie's son who has Down's Syndrome. The latter song really spoke to me.

Amy Black was up next - backed by some of the players who joined her when I saw her CD Release show at The Bluebird Café and supplemented by a horn section and noted Nashville bassist Hags Haggerty.  They sounded fantastic.

Ted Drozdowski's Scissormen played the final set of the night and did what they do best - bringing the authentically original take on psychedelic North Mississippi blues music. And for those who read yesterday's post - no, the MCR stage could not contain Ted Drozdowski.  Drozdowski is a phenomenal guitar player and his band provide some amazing support. 

The closing Music City Jam featured a pretty awesome version of a song Muddy Waters recorded called "Rollin' and Tumblin'".  It was amazing to hear the different takes from everyone on stage.

On to the shuffle:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle - Zombies of Death Mix

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E2TG moves into the mid-week.  The rain has stopped for now, and I actually think I saw a patch of blue sky for a second, but it's gone now...

We have a nifty shuffle that features some friends, a cover, a variety of styles of music, and a classic track from 1979.  Boom!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle - The Show Must Go On and On and On and On Mix

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Rain is falling steadily over Nashville.  It's a cool, dreary kind of day.  I'm already dreading the long dark winter season. 

We have some cool tunes for you this morning to help cope with the dreariness...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Morning Music Shuffle - Just Like My Mama Said Mix

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To be sure, I see a bunch of great live music here in Nashville, and I probably miss at least as many if not more than I get to see.

Last night was one of those great shows that I did get to see, and it was a show that made me really happy that I live in Nashville. It was the Aaron Lee Tasjan Release Show for In the Blazes at The Basement (the original one) last night.  Zach Schmidt opened the show back by Adam Kurtz on pedal steel.  Zach Schmidt looks like a Country music star should look, and he has the songs and voice to back up the look. He is the real deal, and he easily kick the ass of any one of those "bro-country" posers, but he is probably too nice a guy to do that.

Aaron Lee Tasjan is a one of a kind artist, and he seems destined to as hugely famous as he deserves to be.  Seeing him live under any circumstances and in any configuration (band or solo) is always a must-see event.  When he assembles the kind of band he did last night, the show is one for the ages.  Backed by drummer Aaron Shafer-Haiss, legendary bassist Keith Christopher, the always amazing Brian Wright and Jon Latham on guitars, and on two songs backed by vocal powerhouses Sally Jaye and Sarah Potenza - Tasjan's incredible songs were delivered with precision and power.

In short, the night was a demonstration of what I love about this city.  Great songwriters, talented players, mutual admiration, and incredible music.  The Basement was packed out and everywhere I looked were awesome songwriters and players taking it in.

In the Blazes is hands down one of the best records of the year, and you should definitely check it out.

We have a shuffle to put out....

Friday, October 23, 2015

Featured Friday Music Shuffle - Laser Moonbeams Mix

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So, last night was week 4 out of 5 of the Campfire Propaganda residency at The 5 Spot.  Megan Palmer and Brian Wright were away, but great performances by guests Russell Thompson and Emma Berkey plus  Darrin Bradbury, Nellie Clay, and Tim Easton.  Love this town.  Next week, Nellie Clay will be having her album release show - same time and place. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Skeleton Frames Mix

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Here we are....

Last night, I went to 3rd and Lindsley to see Bebe Buell and her band.  Bebe Buell has been an iconic figure in Rock and Roll for many years.  She relocated to Nashville a little over a year ago. She has a relatively new band and her show was a lot of fun.  Crystal Gayle joined her and The Blackfoot Gypsies closed the show with some of their high-energy shenanigans.   Read more: My review for No Depression.

Another swell shuffle this morning... a mix of songs I am pretty sure you will not see duplicated at one of those run-of-the-mill music sites....

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle - Loudest of All Mix

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So... we move on into the mid-week...  We have another typically atypical morning shuffle....  hang out for a while, won't you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle - Muscle and Blood Mix

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The unique and wonderful space known as The Building will be closing soon.  Over the years, it has provided a home for many of East Nashville's finest songwriters and creative people. Right now, a series of "farewell" shows are happening there.  To judge by last night's Open Road Monday, this is not a wake but a celebration of all that has happened in the years that The Building has been opened.

A large crowd gathered for featured acts Darrin Bradbury (with Megan Palmer) and Daniel Lawrence Walker and his band.  I stuck around for the open mic and saw a couple of guys whose names I did not catch, Yosi Mesbah, Dave Pahanish, and Tom Schreck.  It was a great night of some of the best of what Nashville does. 

The Building will be missed, and I hope other places open up to fill the void that will be left when it closes.

On to the shuffle:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Morning Music Shuffle - Cold Front Mix

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Here we go... another week!

Kind of a low-key weekend.  Got to hang out with some of the folks from Nashville's newest radio station: WXNA-LPFM on Saturday, and I picked up my t-shirt and tote bag.  Things seem to be rolling along. The studio will be in the former location of Thirty Tigers above Grimey's and The Basement. 

Last night, I went to the Basement East where East Nashville Songwriters Club made their debut in the new location with sets by Allen Thompson, Jay Rutherford (of Los Colognes) and Elise Davis.  Cool night of music!

Speaking of cool... the temperatures were in the 30s this morning.  Which makes the first song of the shuffle appropriate even is weather isn't exactly what the song is about.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Saturday Morningish Music Shuffle - Spring Cleaning Mix

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A rare Saturday shuffle to make up for not posting yesterday... life happens - you know....

It's been a very interesting week in many ways.  Musically, since we last connected, Thursday night, I went to week 3 of 5 of Campfire Propaganda.  It was a blast with the usual suspects - who are some pretty awesome songwriters: Brian Wright, Tim Easton, Megan Palmer, Darrin Bradbury, and Nellie Clay plus this week joined by Matt Haeck.  Then, I headed to The Family Wash to see Bark (Tim and Susan of Tim Lee 3) play an awesome set and then back up Jim Mize along with Laurie Stirratt.

Last night, it was the Jon Latham CD Release Show at Belcourt Taps.  Darrin Bradbury opened.  A really fun time.  Jon was joined by Haley Dreis, Josh Morris, Shawn Conerton, and Sean Quinn. And he even asked me to emcee the show.  There was tons going on musically around Nashville last night, and I though I don't like that I missed some of the things that I missed, I know I was at the right place.

Speaking of Jon Latham.  In case you missed it, I wrote some words about Real Bad News - his brand new album.  You can check it out HERE.

Just some tunes I listened to while I did some spring cleaning this morning. And, the answer is yes, I do know that it is mid-October.  What can I say, it has been a crazy, busy summer...

I am not going to comment on the songs - many I found the actual song for the Video Playlist.  If something interests you, and you need help finding out more - shoot me a line and I will tell you all I know.  Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy and maybe if you need to do some spring cleaning you can listen while you clean - like I did.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Personality Crisis Mix

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Time is very short, but today was a good shuffle so, I will just post quickly.

"Gimme More" by Broken Guru

Another cool tune from Broke Down Halo.  

"Junior's Blues" by Ted Drozdowski's Scissormen

An older Scissormen song that is currently available on a Noisetrade release called Stink Eye.  It's a song about Junior Kimbrough.

"Personality Crisis" (1973 Demo) by New York Dolls

A demo of one of my favorite songs by the proto-punk icons.

"Safe Corridor" by Cruising

Some really cool new surf punk. From an EP also called Cruising.  I don't know much else. 

"A Chicken With It's Head Cut Off" by The Magnetic Fields

Sometimes I feel this way... from 69 Love Songs by Edward Sharpe and the Magnet...  wait no, wrong band... ;-)

"The Garden" by Elephant Revival

Randomness produces some interesting patterns.  We have our second Elephant Revival song in as many days.  I do like this band a bunch.

"I'm So Good That I Don't Have to Brag" by Shel Silverstein

And we close with a really funny song from the guy who wrote "The Giving Tree."  This time around, he is talking about how he is so good that he doesn't have to brag.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wedneday Morning Music Shuffle - Mountains, Rivers, and The Sea Mix

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Been busy this week with writing and getting ready to write. There is a pretty good chance that I won't have time to post a shuffle tomorrow or Friday, but if I can I will.  In any event, expect some other kinds of posts to even things out. I am finally going to be getting out and about a bit tonight - at least that is the plan.  And by the way, that "Nashville dilemma" that I have written about is still very much a thing.  I'm already double booked on some live shows almost two months out. What a great problem to have.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle - White Light Had It Mix

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Exciting day yesterday as the #E2TG Facebook Page barreled over 400 Likes on our way to 500!  Welcome all the new "likers".  To get in on the party, click the clink above and give us a "Like".

Let's get  to today's shuffle....

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Morning Music Shuffle - Put the Blame on VTR Mix

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Songs of the Road is a pretty awesome concept - take a songwriter on a relatively short road trip, have them write a song along the way, and then record the song and play it live that same day.  SongCraft Presents and Acoustic Café have teamed up with Ford Motor Company to make this happen.  I had the great pleasure of premiering the latest session on No Depression this morning.  I really hope you will check it out.  HERE.  Ear to the Ground readers may recognize SongCraft Present's Ben Arthur - who works with the featured songwriters.  Ben's own music has been featured here several times.  Matthew Hendershot of our very good friends, The End Men also works on the video side of the project. 

Today's shuffle is a real mixed bag...  so let's get to it....

Friday, October 9, 2015

Featured Friday Music Shuffle - Sweethearts Gone Mix

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Okay... this has to be a fast one.  I walked over to the Southern Festival of Books during my lunch break (when I usually write and post the blog) to see Julie Christensen and part of Stone Cupid (Chris Tench and Sergio Webb). They killed it as usual.

Last night - quickly - some highlights: Week 2 Campfire Propaganda Residency... guests Ariel Buie and Actual Wolf.  Megan Palmer - on keyboard playing a new song and a John Moreland song. Nellie Clay with Actual Wolf, Tim Easton as usual, Brian Wright - fighting jet lag and killing it (with Aaron Lee Tasjan for a couple of songs), Darrin Bradbury and Megan Palmer - Darrin leading his own more of meditation...

Coverfest at Basement East!!!  Major props to Terry Rickards for putting this together.  Everyone was great, and I don't have time for a full report, but I will just say Los Colognes doing Bob Dylan's Infidels album in its entirety and nailing it and Allen Thompson Band as The Eagles were my absolute favorites (it was all good). The Eagles segment was so much fun!

Also, ICYMI - #E2TG posted the new single from Zachariah Red this morning. 
Check it out here.


Building a Dream - E2TG Song Premiere: "40 Miles" by Zachariah Red

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The classic Nashville story - I mean the real one not the fantasy - is this: talented musician moves to Nashville to pursue his or her dream - only to be chewed up by the big machine, disillusioned, and sent packing.  That is the "old Nashville" and maybe it is all too often the "new Nashville", but there are new stories being written and word is getting out.

Many of these new stories are being played out on the east side of the Cumberland River.  The East Nashville mystique is far from a new thing, and to hear some tell it, it may be in its dying days.  But the new stories are still being written and new songs are being sung, and people are listening.

Zachariah Red is one of those new Nashville stories.  Zach came to East Nashville a little of a year ago with not a little talent and some pretty solid music credentials from his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin.

East Nashville is not a place that is short on talent.  Take a walk to the corner bar, and you more than likely will see someone who played on a record you love. Go to a coffee shop - pretty much any coffee shop - and chances are pretty good that 90% of the people in the place are musicians and that includes the baristas.

The old Nashville story was about competition, but it seems like this new Nashville story is more about cooperation and collaboration, and in the midst of those two things it is more importantly about creative people pushing each other to be better.

Zachariah Red is a carpenter by trade - from a long line of carpenters. Building things is in his blood. Music is in his heart. So how does a carpenter from Racine, Wisconsin go about building a dream in music in East Nashville, TN?

Now, this writer does not know much about building things, but what I do know is that to build something of quality you begin with quality parts and you build brick by brick, board by board. I also know that it takes well crafted skills and it usually takes more than one person.

Zachariah Red is releasing a brand new single today called, "40 Miles".  Having followed Zach for a bit over a year, when I first heard this song, the word that came to my mind is growth. I have been impressed by Zach's songs and voice since I first heard him, but listening to "40 Miles" it became clear that he has been hard at work and he has been building something remarkable adding parts and working with skilled people.

Ah yeah, that East Nashville story... over the last year or so, I have met some incredibly talented people who have been doing some amazing things. But, I have seen something else, I have seen these talented people get even better at what they do. I've seen it happen for everyone from veteran musicians with long, distinguished careers to young people just beginning their musical journeys. And, I have seen it happen for Zachariah Red.  "40 Miles" is pure Mid West, Blue Collar American Music. It drips with the blood sweat and tears of its characters and of its creator. This is not manufactured Country/Rock music - it is as real as it gets and it has been built brick by brick, and to that point, it is a brick in and of itself, and I for one cannot wait to see what Zachariah Red will build next.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Time Heals, Time Forgets Mix

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Time rolls on, and suddenly it is Thursday - that means tonight is Week 2 of the Campfire Propaganda residency at The 5 Spot, followed by Coverfest at The Basement East.

Shuffle time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle - Dark Empty Places Mix

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Back after a day off... Feeling a bit overwhelmed by a lot of things... let's listen to music!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Monday Morning Music Shuffle - Set the Dial to Black and White Mix

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Still reeling from Saturday night's Raging Fire reunion at Exit/In.  So many memories stirred, the band sounded so good, and the songs were still as awesome as always.  My (perhaps) unique perspective.  I was a huge fan of the Nashville music scene in the mid to late 1980s, but just a fan and mostly at a distance.  I only made it to Nashville on the rare occasion I could round up people to go with me. I was lucky enough to see some of the great bands of  that era, but I didn't know anybody.

That being said, the music was important to me, and WRVU and The Metro and later Fireplace Whiskey Journal were my lifelines.  So, it was a pretty cool experience to be at this show and to actually know some of the people involved.  And speaking of WRVU, when Adam Dread fist bumped me during the Raging Fire set... my eighteen/nineteen year old self suddenly felt very cool.

And to be redundant, Raging Fire absolutely killed it. Melora Zaner is still one of the best and sexiest rock vocalist around, Mark Medley kept the whole thing in perfect time, bassists John Reed, Les Shields (and the other one I didn't know) were awesome.  The very large shoes of the late Michael Godsey were filled by not one but two of the scenes very best - Joe Blanton (The Enemy, Royal Court of China, The Bluefields) and Jeff Cease (Rumble Circus, Black Crowes). They were perfect for the role, having known Michael and having been present...

We jump into a Monday Morning shuffle....

Friday, October 2, 2015

Featured Friday Morning Music Shuffle - Palindromatic Mix

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Pardon my English, but screw 1,000 posts.  1001 is where it is at... plus it is a palindrome.

So, last night was the first of five weeks of  Campfire Propaganda's residency at The 5 Spot in East Nashville. It was a wonderful celebration of songs and songwriters.  Tim Easton, who is always wonderful, the awesome Megan Palmer, guests from Oklahoma - John Calvin Abney and Levi Parham), Nellie Clay, and Darrin Bradbury.  For the rest of the Thursday's in October 6p.m. to 8p.m. The 5 Spot is the place to be...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Why? 1K Mix

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I'm not sure what it is about round numbers... zero is a round number.  We all seem to like lots of zeros.  Why zero? Why not nine? or eight?  Ah well, who am I to blow against the wind?

So this is post number 1000* for Ear to the Ground.  Quite a milestone, I suppose, and I am really thankful for everyone who has read, shared, commented over the years. I am been introduced to a lot of great music and met a bunch of really awesome people as a result of this blog. I certainly did not expect that happen when I began.  I mean I hoped someone, somewhere would read theses rambling posts, but it has been a great ride so far.

*1000 posts on Blogger.  The first six or seven months of Ear to the Ground were on Posterous. A few entries were cross-posted but some were not.

Ear to the Ground is for one thing, a way for me to share my experiences with the music of my life.  From the beginning, I knew that I could not cover all of the music being made - that I would  not compete with the Brand-X music blogs with their top ten lists and clickbait headlines... In my daily shuffle, I strive to keep a good mix of old and new music from a variety of genres and movements. 

I cannot really say for sure why music has become such an important part of my life. I just remember the joy of discovery I experienced when music like Velvet Underground or The Jam or The Clash or Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen first came into my consciousness.   Music is filled with connections and if you follow those connections you often are lead down rabbit holes and find yourself in places you never could have expected. I think life can be like that, too. I hope I never lose that spirit of discovery - again. I lost it once, and I was lucky enough to have it revived.

Been in a nostalgic mood... last night I took the Music City Roots bus from The 5 Spot in East Nashville to The Factory in Franklin for a special Music City Roots show. It was a benefit from Tommy Womack who was seriously injured in an automobile accident earlier this year. The show was filled with iconic figures from the Nashville Rock music world that I first experienced (from the perimeter) back in the mid to late 1980s.  Dan Baird opened his set with "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" which became a massive hit single for Baird's old band, The Georgia Satellites. Beginning in February 1985 and ending sometime in early 1993, I kept a journal which basically would have probably been a blog or at least a Livejournal in a later time.  Just random thoughts, and I quoted song lyrics quite often.  From the moment I first heard, "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" - it made it's way into my brain and I quoted it often in my journal. It was almost surreal watching the song move from this (sort of) local college radio song to the top part of the nationwide singles charts.  Dan's set included material from his brand new record as well as a way too cover of Springsteen's "Johnny 99" from Nebraska - which by the way was the first album I ever bought on CD.

Webb Wilder - so many great shows over the years, and his set was filled with songs from his brand new album.  Will Kimbrough - I remember a sput-of -the-moment drive to Nashville with my friend Boyd to see Will's old band Will and the Bushmen. I remember Bill Lloyd joining them on stage that night.  Lloyd was there, too last night. 

Jason and the Scorchers tore up the stage and 30 something years later - Jason Ringenberg and Warner Hodges still defy gravity and still careen around the stage like an out of control whirling dervish. I first saw the Scorchers live almost exactly 30 years (give or take a few weeks) ago, and "Broken Whiskey Glass" still gets me every time.

So - let's get on with our shuffle for post number 1000.  It isn't a shuffle of a specially prepared playlist.. like almost all of my posts - the music player shuffle  picked the tunes and placed them in a certain order... and here we go.

"The Return of Jimi Hendrix" by The Waterboys

I love music that references other artists and their music.  I love songs that are about dreams. I love The Waterboys and I love Jimi Hendrix.  This song is from The Waterboys 1993 album Dream Harder and the version I heard was from the 2005 live album Karma to Burn.

"The Old and the Young" by Midlake

Midlake are a folk band from Denton Texas.  This song is from their fourth and most recent studio album Antiphon.

"All Along the Watchtower" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Speaking of Hendrix... the recording I heard was from the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970.  Bob Dylan has indicated that when he plays this song (which Dylan wrote) he performs it as a cover of the Hendrix version.

"Enjoy the Rise" by Saint Cole

We have a sneak peak of from forthcoming album Within the Skin from this electronic dance/indie pop band from the UK.  Great sounding, accessible electronic music.

"Waterfalls" by Crow and the Canyon

Crow and the Canyon are an acoustic folk band from Portland, Oregon.  I love this song.

"Hoka Hey" by Dan Martin

We close out this milestone post with the opening and title track off the current album by Oklahoma musician Dan Martin. Maybe my favorite song on the album, and I dig all the songs from Hoka Hey - the album.