Tag Archives: Breakdown

Tom Petty & His Musical Greatness

Ok, I realize it has been a few days since I have posted a blog.  This is due to a number of factors that all involve time or lack thereof.  But, it is Monday and I am ready to wax musically for another day.

During my brief hiatus, I’ve given some consideration to the blog and the overall format.  I’ve decided to shake it up a bit and only post two times per week about a particular artist’s relevance and history and the other days will be a more interactive process of ranking artist’s best albums and top songs.  Over the past few months I’ve noticed that my incendiary lists seem to illicit more of a response from you, the sweet, gentle reader. 

Today’s blog will spotlight the complete and best work of one Mr. Thomas Earl Petty and his amazing band The Heartbreakers. 

Tom Petty (Solo & The Heartbreakers) Discography & Best Song From Each Album:

Note: No song selection will be made from live albums or anthologies.

  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976)
    • Breakdown
  • Official Live Leg  (1977)
  • You’re Gonna Get It (1978)
    • Listen To Her Heart
  • Damn the Torpedoes (1979)
    • Louisiana Rain
  • Hard Promises (1981)
    • The Waiting
  • Long After Dark (1982)
    • Straight Into Darkness
  • Southern Accents (1985)
    • Rebels
  • Pack Up the Plantation (1985 Live)
  • Let Me Up (I’ve had Enough) (1987)
    • It’ll All Work Out
  • Full Moon Fever (1989 Solo)
    • Runnin’ Down a Dream
  • Into The Great Wide Open (1991)
    • Learning To Fly
  • Greatest Hits (1993)
    • Mary Jane’s Last Dance
  • Wildflowers (1994 Solo)
    • It’s Good To Be King
  • Playback (1995)
  • Songs and Music from “She’s the One” (1996)
    • Angel Dream No. 2
  • Echo (1999)
    • Free Girl Now
  • Anthology: Through the Years (2000)
  • The Last DJ (2002)
    • Money Becomes King
  • Highway Companion (2006 Solo)
    • Square One
  • The Live Anthology (2009)
  • Mojo (Set to release in Spring 2010)

Top 5 Tom Petty Albums:

  1. Damn the Torpedoes
  2. Hard Promises
  3. Southern Accents
  4. Full Moon Fever
  5. Highway Companion

Top 10 Tom Petty Songs:

  1. Angel Dream No. 2
  2. It’ll All Work Out
  3. Breakdown
  4. Louisiana Rain
  5. Straight Into Darkness
  6. Rebels
  7. Southern Accents
  8. The Waiting
  9. Even The Losers
  10. American Girl

So, there you have it, my list of Tom Petty greatness.  Given his extensive catalog and thirty plus years in the business, I allowed five albums and ten songs.  Future artists might warrant less.

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Jack Johnson!

Jack Johnson is the easy, breezy, heir apparent to the acoustic strumming of today’s folksy surf/beach music.  In addition to being a singer/songwriter/musician, Johnson is also a film maker and former professional surfer.

Johnson splashed (notice the subtle water reference) on to the musical scene by way of surfing when he and G. Love became acquainted.  G. Love recorded Johnson’s song “Rodeo Clowns” on his 1999 release Philadelphonic.  Johnson sang and played on the track and it was the first single from the album. In 2000, he co-directed and composed the soundtrack for the surf film Thicker Than Water.  The soundtrack, coincidentally, contains four of Johnson’s songs.

With the release of his 2001 debut album Brushfire Fairytales Johnson was able to get Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Ben Harper (with his beautiful lap guitar skills) to appear on the album.  In 2002 Johnson starred in and directed the surf film The September Session.  Johnson has two songs on the soundtrack, one of which is a cover of Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at 40”.

His sophomore release, On and On, continues the mellow vibe of his previous album and does not deviate much on his third album In Between Dreams. His third album brings Zach Gill (Animal Liberation Orchestra) in to the musical mix and is the beginning of a series of fruitful collaborations with the multi talented Mr. Gill. 

Jack Johnson Discography:

  • Brushfire Fairytales
  • On And On
  • In Between Dreams
  • Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
  • Sleep Through the Static
  • En Concert

The 2006 soundtrack Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George is a menagerie of musical talent that includes Ben Harper, G. Love, Matt Costa, and Zach Gill.    Johnson riskily yet skillfully covers The White Stripes “We Are Going To Be Friends”.  The soundtrack made #1 on the billboard chart and has sold over three million copies. 

Top 5 Jack Johnson Songs:

  1. Breakdown (In Between Dreams)
  2. Gone (On And On)
  3. Cookie Jar (On And On)
  4. Upside Down (Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George)
  5. Flake (Brushfire Fairytales)

In 2008 Johnson released his fourth album Sleep Through the Static which has electric guitars and keyboards playing a more prominent musical role than on previous albums. Lyrically, Johnson seems more mature and at times, a bit dark.  Not in a Nine Inch Nails kind of dark, mind you, but a slight departure from the relatively sunny nature of his previous efforts.

A world tour followed the release of Sleep Through the Static and from that tour, came the live album En Concert.  This album captures various performances throughout the tour and has a duet with Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and a performance with Ben Harper.

Johnson’s music is easy to digest and does not require a lot of attention.  You can get lost in the vibe of each album or song.  He has a capable voice, good musical sense and surrounds himself with great talent. 

I’ve seen him several times in concert and his live shows are just as laid back as his albums.  He is typically in bare feet or flip flops, jeans, and t shirt.  His guitar slung over his shoulder while he strums.  Jack tends to be a stationary performer and allows his music to fill the room instead of his personality or presence. 

Check out Jack Johnson at www.jackjohnsonmusic.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UbT3U-fQt4

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZRvtr2g3z0&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jIca_LpXSM&feature=related

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed!

Cross Canadian Ragweed is the red dirt alt/country musical quartet that hales from Yukon, Oklahoma.  The name is derived from a mixture of three of the four member’s names Grady Cross, Cody Canada, and Randy Ragsdale.  Shortly after forming in Yukon, the band moved to the hopping college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

The band released its first album, Carney, in 1998 while already receiving considerable airplay on college radio.  This was due to their relentless touring of Oklahoma and Texas.  Their second release was their live album from the Wormy Dog Saloon, which is in Oklahoma and is a bar that I was kicked out of one fateful trip to Oklahoma.  Their second studio album Highway 377 was released in 2001.  All of the above mentioned albums were released on the bands independent label Underground Sound.

Cross Canadian Ragweed, also known as the Purple album, cleverly assigned, due to the purple cover, was the bands major label debut.  The album cover’s color was attribute to Randy Ragsdale’s little sister who died prior to the album’s release.

In 2004, their sixth release Soul Gravy debuted on the county charts at #4.  Their next studio album, Garage, yielded their first top 40 hit on the country charts with “Fighin For”.  It also contains a tribute song “Dimebag” for the late, great Dimebag Darrell from the cowboys from hell, Pantera!

Mission California is the bands ninth album and has two great cover songs.  “Cry Lonely” is a Chris Knight cover of and they also cover Todd Snider’s “I Believe You”.  Their tenth album Happiness and All Other Things was released in 2009 and was dedicated to Willie Nelson’s late, longtime stage manager Randall “Poodie” Locke.

Cross Canadian Ragweed Discography:

  • Carney
  • Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon
  • Highway 377
  • Live and Loud at Billy Bob’s
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed
  • Soul Gravy
  • Garage
  • Back to Tulsa – Live an Loud at Cain’s Ballroom
  • Mission California
  • Happiness and All Other Things

Top 5 Cross Canadian Ragweed Songs:

  1. Proud Souls (Caney)
  2. Breakdown (Garage)
  3. Broken (Cross Canadian Ragweed)
  4. Flowers (Soul Gravy)
  5. Jenny (Mission California)

Their sound is a nice blend of country swagger and southern rock that is evocative of band such as the Marshall Tucker Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  They tend to tour and travel with like minded folks such as Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, and Wade Bowen (who is married to Cody Canada’s sister).   

This year, Cross Canadian Ragweed will grace the hallowed grounds of Bonnaroo Music Festival!

Check out Cross Canadian Ragweed at www.crosscanadianragweed.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkFtl50kqYE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFVCMIyE9gw

Great music awaits!