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Conspicuously absent thus far has been our usual end of year Earie awards and Golden Earie awards. I thought long and hard about this. 2020 has not been a normal year by any stretch of the imagination. Here at E2TG we have been able to feature more music than ever before including an amazing number of new-to-us artists and bands. In addition, it has been a busy year for music from some of our long-time favorites.
We started the Featured Friday Playlist at the beginning of this year, and I am very pleased by the reception so far. We are consistently adding followers. I am also proud of the diversity of mostly independent music we have featured this year.
Look, some people have definitely kicked ass this year. A unplanned break from touring has given a lot of people the opportunity to explore their heretofore unexplored creativity. Special shout out to Nashville friends like Carrus and Kurtz, Tayls, Year of October, Ghost Town Remedy and so many more who made frequent appearances in our Playlists.
It should be acknowledged that some people have struggled in 2020 financially, creatively, mentally, and in many other ways.
So - in that spirit - I am giving this years sole Earie Award to everyone. This is a music blog - so I will limit "everyone" in this context to everyone who has some connection to music. Artists, venue owners, bookers, managers, show-goers, door people, bartenders, promoters, publicists, my fellow music writers, photographers, sound people, touring musicians, studio musicians, and anyone I left out. This one is for you and it comes with a big wish for brighter days ahead. I can't wait to see you all in front of the stage, at the bar, on the back patio, in line (or on line if you will), discovering great new music, seeing old friends and favorites, sweating, hugging, drinking, and laughing.
Before we get into our final Featured Friday recap of 2020, I would like to acknowledge the unfathomable losses of this past year. It would take more time and more emotional energy than I have to name everyone and some I may not know - but you do. For us here at E2TG, 2020 began with the sudden passing our of friend and hero David Olney. I remain humbled and grateful for the opportunities I had to work with him and hear him make his magic on stage. I will never forget his appearance at the E2TG Anniversary Residency a couple of years back. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience -and yet I hoped there would be more.
We move cautiously into this new year knowing the pandemic is not behind us yet and knowing that some will not be joining us. But we move forward with hope, and we move forward carrying a piece of everyone and everything we said goodbye to in 2020.
Well - here we are. We started recapping this playlist back in December 18 and 61 songs and over four hours of music later, we have reached the end of our final Featured Friday Playlist for 2020. Here are the songs that will take us out - songs number 55-61:
55. "A Song to Special to Sing" by Blink
This is a previously unreleased track from the 1996-1999 era of the Irish band Blink. This our second song to featured. A full-length release of archival recordings in scheduled for the Spring.
56. "It's Alright (10 Times Better)" by Absolute Phase
Next up, we have the lead track from The Little Black Book - the new album from this Chicago based rock band that formed in 2019. Cool sound.
57. "How Can I" by Paola Proctor
Next up, we have the new single from a Nashville based pop artist. This emotionally powerful break-up song was recorded here in Nashville.
58. "Everything Has Changed" by Souly Us
Next up, we have the new single from Australian country music duo Souly Us. The song was recorded in their home studio while on lock down.
59. "No More Bets" by Shaking Chains
Next, we have a track from a new AA single from this Manchester art-pop band. A great sound.
60. "Dreams of a Middle-Aged Man" by Mauri Dark
We always like to save some of the most interesting music to close out our playlists. The penultimate track from this Playlist comes in the form of a nearly 8 minute title track to the new album by Finnish singer-songwriter Mauri Dark. The song has an epic quality and a deep emotional resonance. I love this song.
61. "Stranger" by KissDoomFate
And we close this long playlist out with the return of French electro-pop band KissDoomFate - and the lead track from their 3 song b-side collection called Dead of Winter Beats. A deliciously chilly song to bring us into the heart of winter and to get us ready for a brand new year of music.
See you on the otherside....
Featured Friday Playlist