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Well - I had the realization that we have just two weeks of shuffles left and then the first half of 2017 will be over. It's been a busy year so far. I know New Years is the traditional time to make life changes (or at least to talk about it), but I like to think of June 30 as kind of halftime for the year. In my limited knowledge of football, it seems like teams that are good at making halftime adjustments tend to do better (overall). Okay sports analogy over. Anyway, as I sit here on the verge of the 2nd half of 2017, I noticed I have over 300 songs in my "New Music" playlist. All (with one or two exceptions) represent music that was submitted to me in one form or another in relatively recent months. I also noticed that some recent additions have been underplayed - the nature of the random shuffle, and there are also some stragglers (one or two songs from albums nearly or over one year old). It seems like a good time to tidy up the playlist, but before I do, I thought I would dedicate the next two weeks to just playing songs from the "New Music" playlist to clean it out a little naturally.
This would normally be Music City Monday - but as I suspected over half of the songs in this shuffle would have fit that playlist, too.
"Blackberry Winter" by Carol and Dale
I think I have mentioned that Carol and Dale own a Blackberry Farm down near Franklin, and they host an annual Blackberry Jam. One can imagine that this instrumental was inspired by frosty early spring morning on the farm...
"Is it Love?" by Sean Quinn and the Tremblers
Another "Music City" entry... I may or may not have admitted my long-time crush on Sean Quinn from the stage of The 5 Spot during the E2TG Residency last month... Anyway, Never Meant to Last is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. It fulfills your recommended daily allowance of delicious power pop chords and Beatlesque harmonies. And Sean, the answer is "yes".
"Colorado Camping Catastrophe" by This Frontier Needs Heroes
Another (albeit relatively recent) Nashville entry in today's shuffle. The new album by This Frontier Needs Heroes is called Real Job. Great lyrics and music here. Really digging this album. Check it out.
"Death of Me" by Jared Tyler
Jared Tyler is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is perhaps best known as the long-time sideman for the incredible Malcolm Holcombe. He just released his third solo album called Dirt on Your Hands. And there is a Nashville connection - as the album features Nashville Superplayers Kenny Vaughn and Dave Roe among others. I was honored to get this album to preview. The album is out now, and I highly recommend it. And once again, I see that Tyler was in Nashville last week, and I totally spaced on it.... really too much going on around here.
"Too Much is Never Enough" by AJ Hobbs
Another of my favorite albums of 2017 so far is the debut Los Angeles based COUNTRY music artist AJ Hobbs. This is the title track from that album. The Nashville connection for me is that when Hobbs played in Nashville a few months back - his backing band included all three members of Buck N Stuff.
"Lady Bug Love Bump" by Microwave Mountain
Speaking of Buck N Stuff, it was at a Buck N Stuff show back in January that finally got to see Microwave Mountain live, and that was also when I picked up a copy of their album Shades Up. This ends up being the last track to feature from that release. I have to mark them down as my favorite local "discovery" of 2017 so far."Heart Stopped" by Helen Culver
As far as I know there is no local connection to British alt-pop act Helen Culver, but who cares, it really cool music. I am so grateful for the variety of music that comes my way from all over the world.
"Ten Rivers" by The Suitcase Junket
We close the shuffle with two different one-person bands each with a very unique take on this format. I featured a track from The Suitcase Junket - as his new album Pile Driver. Really digging this album. The Suitcase Junket is based in Massachusetts.
"Athena" by Kristen Ford
And we close out this non-Music City Monday shuffle with our fifth directly Music City connected entry. This from Rend and Render. It is not the most recent release for (often) one-person band Kristen Ford. She recently released Travel Songs Deluxe. She is based in Nashville now, and I wonder if this song has anything to do with the 41 foot statue of the Greek goddess of wisdom, craft, and war that stands inside the replica of the Parthenon in Nashville... I wonder...