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Well, it's July 3. Tomorrow is American Independence Day. I imagine many of us are not feeling much like celebrating. After all, our government has been hijacked by people who seem intent on destroying the basic principals on which this nation was founded... or at least that is how I feel about it. But, maybe it is important to celebrate...I've always had an uneasy relationship with the Fourth of July. There is a fine line between patriotism and jingoism. Right now, it is unclear if the American experiment is failing or just in the middle of a very difficult test. This year, I choose to celebrate the people who have and who are fighting for our freedom. All of our freedom. In the face of corruption and greed and fear and hatred and violence and boorish behavior and misogyny and homophobia - I celebrate those who practice and demonstrate love and compassion and acceptance.
We are officially into the second half of 2017. As I promised last week, I am continuing this week to shuffle from the "New Music" playlist. Next week, we will go back to our regularly scheduled programming. But, as a compromise, I have added a bunch of new music to the playlist...
"Bring the Car Round" by Applewood Road
Applewood Road is a trio of amazing songwriters and singers (Amy Speace, Emily Barker, and Amber Rubarth. Their self-titled album is set for release later this month. It was recorded here in Nashville on a single microphone analogue recording at Welcome to 1979. You will be hearing much more about this album and this group soon on E2TG. For now, I can say that the harmonies are exquisite!
"Calculus" by The 81s with Luella
Next up - another from the album Big Man. The 81s is a collaboration between Tim Carroll and Tom Siering and featuring Luella. This song has always struck me because my Dad taught Calculus for many years, and even thought I never really understood it, I grew up surrounded by the formulas and symbols.
"If Not For You" by Sean Quinn and the Tremblers
How about another from Never Meant to Last? Sure! For pure power pop heaven, I cannot recommend this album enough!
"Paper and Envelopes" by Lobelia
A first listen... Lobelia is a singer-songwriter from the UK. The latest album is called Love or Something Like It. The album is a portrayal of life after infidelity. It is filled with healing and hope. I am really liking this so far. Expect to hear more.
"Six Feet Underground" by Alyssia Dominguez
Next up, another track from Dance with Me by this singer and songwriter based in Wisconsin. I met her here in Nashville where she has played a few recent shows. The album is filled with great melodies.
"My Heart Tells Me Yes" by This Frontier Needs Heroes
Next another track from Real Job. This Frontier Needs Heroes are fairly recent Nashville transplants. Great to have them here. This is one of my favorite albums so far this year. Or at least that I heard for the first time this year.
"Beta Star" by The Suitcase Junket
Next up, another track from Pile Driver. Matt Lorenz is The Suitcase Junket. He is an innovative one-man band from the Northeast. It takes not only musical acumen but also mechanical skills to do what The Suitcase Junket does so well.
"Frankenstein" by Fangs and Twang
And we close this pre-Independence Day shuffle with a song about Mary Shelley's creation. And yes, I know Frankenstein was the scientist not the monster, but in pop culture of the last century - the two have been used interchangeably. Fangs and Twang are from Wisconsin. They purport to make the heretofore underexplored connection between country music and scary creatures. "Frankenstein, though, is a rousing and raucous soul-tinged rocker sure to have all of creatures of the night dancing.