It’s almost eerie. The last music blog I did was called, “Adios, 2019. Hello, 2020!”
The excitement for a new year and, arguably, a new decade was real. I’m always excited about tomorrow. “Don’t stop … thinkin’ about tomorrow.” If you want to feel really old for a minute, consider that Fleetwood Mac’s anthem was used by then presidential candidate Bill Clinton 15 years after the song was a hit.
And now it’s been 28 years since he was elected president.
So, a quick reset for folks who have never consumed my playlist blogs. I Shazam a lot of music — if it catches my ear or it’s in a show or on a commercial that catches my eye. And then, when I have some time to unwind at my desk, I go through it all in hopes of putting together a blog that introduces you to one or two songs you hadn’t heard before.
The first is from the always smooth Michael Franks, “Now That The Summer’s Here.” (2011)
In slow motion, I’m reborn
I need a week to mow the lawn
I eat dinner with my flip-flops on
Now that the summer’s hereWith my chores, I only flirt
Hung in my hammock reading Kurt
Struggling to remain inert
Now that the summer’s here
Hard to believe that Franks is 75. Sigh.
Second tune is from Mary Chapin Carpenter’s newest album. It’s called “The Dirt and The Stars,” and it immediately struck me that Mary’s voice is aging — not in a way that is diminishing her talent, but in a way that gives her some serious gravity. MCC is a national treasure.
Years will pass before we turn
To face the place where we come from
Years will pass before we learn
What time denies to everyone
If we’re lucky ghosts and prayers
Are company, not enemies
I time travel straight back there
You were singing back to me
Selection No. 3 is from the legendary Bob Dylan. His new album is called, “Rough And Rowdy Ways,” and the tune is called, “I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You.” As soon as I heard the opening riff, the sensation of emotion balls up in my chest, which is always a signal that I’m listening to a masterpiece.
I know that it wouldn’t be a popular move for the GRAMMY voters to select “Rough And Rowdy Ways” for Album Of The Year, given that Dylan is a 79-year-old white dude, but damn is this a fantastic album.
Song 4: Jess Glynne’s “Hold My Hand”
Song 5: Old Dominion’s “Midnight Mess Around”
Song 6: Hailey Whitters “Janice At The Hotel Bar”
She says all men are babies and that’s just how they roll
They’ll drive you crazy like a run in your hose
One day you might want one
Make sure he’s your best friend
‘Cause if he can make you laugh
You might just make it ’til the end
You might not ever hear better lyrics than this song. This was co-written by Whitters and Lori McKenna.
Song 7: Calum Scott “Rhythm Inside”
Give it to the chorus. Trust.
Song 8: Ben Rector “It Would Be You”
Oklahoma boy. So good.
Song 9: Robbie Nevil “Set The World”
Believe it or not, this 80s-sounding track is from 2017. Heard it on an episode of Gabby Duran & The Unsittables. There are few people who write better 80s-sounding tunes than this guy. “C’est La Vie” is still fantastic.
Last but not least, a song that I didn’t expect to like so much. Isaiah Faber is better known as Powfu, and he’s got a hit this year with a song called “Death Bed.” It’s the sad tale of a young man dying and his sadness about having to leave the love of his life. It’s super blunt and surprisingly moving.
In case you’re wondering, Powfu is sampling “Coffee” by Beabadoobee. Here’s a listen to that:
Bonus track. Be good to each other, and wear a mask until the data says otherwise.