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Wednesday! Well, thanks to about 500 of you, The Ear to the Ground Facebook page reached the 500 "Like" milestone late yesterday. It really means a ton to me. I promise bigger and better things for 2016.
I am running a bit short on time, but The "Earies" 2015 do continue on... I decided to call this one the "Dirty Rice" Award - aka - the "Land of my People" Award.
The premise: Although, I was born in Tennessee and have lived all but about one year in this state, my roots are in the bayous of Louisiana, and I still feel a deep connection to that very unique and colorful state. This year, I have been fortunate enough to write about two artists and albums with connections to Louisiana. This seemed like as good a reason as any to link them for this award.
Kevin Gordon - is one of the most respected songwriters around. He has released a number of excellent albums, and his album Gloryland definitely raised the bar. In 2015, he released Long Gone Time, and with it, he managed to raise the bar even further. Kevin Gordon is an incredible live act, and his music really captures the complicated realities of the post-Civil Rights era deep south.
D.L. Duncan - A well respected blues musician and songwriter, D.L. "Dave" Duncan, released a self-titled album in 2015 that really captured the essence of the what the blues are all about. The album was partially produced in Lafayette, Louisiana which happens to be where my parents lived when they were first married. Featuring an all-star cast of musical talent, the album has some of the most infectious blues grooves I've heard in a long time.
On to the shuffle: I have not downloaded a ton of Christmas/Holiday/Winter music this year, and so I had intended to wait until next week to break into that list, however, I did download a few more song last night, so I decided to kick things off today. As I mentioned before, I struggled with what to call this playlist. As creative as I can try to be, my playlist names are pretty unimaginative. The main playlist from which most shuffles are drawn, is just called "E2TG". The Featured Friday playlist is called "Featured Friday". When it came to this one though... I just was not sure. I have not problem with Christmas, however, for the sake of accuracy, I knew that the list might included some songs some of the other holidays celebrated at this time of year. I could have called it "Holiday Playlist" but I know the term, "Holiday" bothers some people. Some songs are not about a holiday, but rather are just about the season of Winter. Again, Winter playlist didn't seem to work, because while the winter songs might be appropriate for a couple more months, I really don't want to hear about mangers and Santa and elves in February. In the end, I decided to call this playlist the Red Cup playlist, because, who in the world could be offended by red cup? Am I right?
"Garland", "Christmas Creation", and "Home" by Batkhi Dahn
New England just seems like the place for a good old fashioned Christmas. Even though I am a lifelong resident of the South, when I think traditional American Christmas, the images that form in my mind all correspond to what I think Christmas in New England is all about. "Winter Wonderland" is not about Christmas in the South... that song in particular brings to my mind images straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. This year, there is a brand new EP of Christmas songs from Connecticut - the one of the southern most New England States. Christmas EP features the talents of Hayden and Evan Nork and songs about various aspects of the Christmas holiday. One listen, and you can expect to have this one playing while you decorate your tree and house with maybe, say... Garland.
"Intro" (1st Interlude) from Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
From the Jim Henson classic Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas was a 1977 Television special based upon a 1971 Children's Novel. Yesterday, I grabbed the soundtrack from Aquarium Drunkard. Included a few Intro's including this first snippet with the joke about Snake Oil Salesmen. "Not many people want to oil up a snake."
"Jingle Bell Jezebel" by Kevin Gordon
Next up, a holiday tune from "Earie" award winner, Kevin Gordon!
"Take Me Home for Christmas" by Karen Mav
Karen Mav is an incredible singer from Liverpool. She recently put out this tune which really showcases her incredible vocal pyrotechnics.
"When the Mountains" from Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
A lovely song from Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas.
"Light Shines Through" (feat. The Hoboken Holiday All Star Band) by Deena and Jon (from The Cucumbers)
Next up, a lovely holiday treat from Deena and John Fried who were both part of the New Jersey. Joined by an All Star band - this is a great new holiday song.
"Intro" (2nd Interlude) from Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
Next up, a second interlude from Emmet Otter and the gang.
"Too Early for Christmas" by Tom House
Another day, and another Tom House song. This is a sort of Christmas song from Songs Like Dreams... More Like Blood.
"Snoopy's Christmas" by American Scarecrows
American Scarecrows are continuing a long line of folk/country inspired Rock and Roll from Minneapolis. Here they close out this shuffle with a song dedicated to the World War One Flying Aces, Snoopy.
VIDEO PLAYLISTNote: Since I could not find videos for many of the songs featured in this playlist, I decided to post many of my favorite Christmas/Holiday songs of all time. Enjoy!