Tag Archives: The Band

Mixed Tape Monday: Pass the Jar

Today’s Mixed Tape Monday is not so much a mixed tape as it is a live album with a varied assortment of artists and cover songs.  Zac Brown and his rowdy band of musical brothers did a benefit concert for the Georgia Theatre, a cultural haven of the Athens music scene that burned down in 2009, and released it as a live album entitled Pass the Jar.  The album is a two disc set that is accompanied by a DVD of the concert.  Zac’s music is typically fun in nature and drenched in the good time vibe.  The concert exemplifies that vibe and the diversity of the cover songs reflects his deep appreciation for music in general. 

The album is a good mix of some of Zac’s songs from his major label debut The Foundation such as:

  • Toes
  • Free
  • Chicken Fried
  • Highway 20 Ride
  • Whatever It Is
  • Where the Boat Leaves From

In addition to Zac and his band, Kid Rock, Shawn Mullins, Little Big Town, and Angie Aparo as well as several other artists lend their vocal prowess to the cause.  As diverse as the special guest are, the cover songs are the real gems. 

  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia (Charlie Daniels)
  • Into the Mystic (Van Morrison)
  • Blackbird (The Beatles)
  • Jolene (Ray LaMontagne)
  • Can’t You See (The Marshall Tucker Band)
  • The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (The Band)
  • I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan)
  • One Love (Bob Marley)

The album is warm, fun, and a tribute to the strength of the band’s live shows.  To take nothing away from the band’s studio album, to truly enjoy the Zac Brown Band, you need to see them live.  While this album and DVD is as close as I’ve gotten thus far, I have added him to the list of folks I am on the lookout for on the DFW concert calendar.

 Great music awaits!


50 Artists you should be listening to and own at least one album!

Ok, I thought yesterday’s blog was fun and elicited some reaction from you, the sweet , gentle reader  and a few David Cassidy fans( ITILY ladies and possibly gentlemen) and also caused a bit of a stir on facebook as well.  So, let’s go and reverse the whip.

I will attempt to continue to WOW you with my vast musical knowledge and then silently judge you if you are not impressed with my musical prowess.  Just kidding, I would never judge you or your poor musical taste. 

I do think that there are some artists that transcend genres and have universal appeal.  Others have a loyal following and then have that one album that regales the masses and they are beloved for generations.  Some of us grew up on music and we think it is greatness based solely on the nostalgia for the time and place in which we first heard it.  And then there are music purist who likes a band /artist because they respect the lineage and the impact that they had on music.

I tend to be a bit of all of the above.  There are some artists that I like because there is some form of connectivity that I really can’t explain, while others are truly a moment in time that has endeared me to an artist, and then there is the whole musical heritage piece.  I am intrigued by the evolution of music and the artists that find themselves compelled to play.  As mentioned previously in a blog, I have no musical talent.  I do not play and instrument, I do not sing close to well, and I’ve never had aspirations to do either.  I simply love to listen to music. 

As much as I have a propensity to scorn/judge, in my humble opinion, awful music, I really respect the fact that those dreadful musicians had the nerve to attempt to play, at some point get signed, and were able to release an album or at the very least a single.  When it comes down to it, I don’t judge the horrific musicians as mercilessly as I judge the faction who listens and procures the music.

So, below is a listing of artists/bands that you should be listening to and would be in any reputable music collection.  

  • Ryan Adams
  • The Band
  • The Beastie Boys
  • The Beatles
  • Beck
  • The Black Crowes
  • Jimmy Buffet (with love to Gwendolyn)
  • Johnny Cash
  • Eric Clapton
  • Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Eagles
  • Steve Earle
  • Foo Fighters
  • Pat Green
  • Merle Haggard
  • Ben Harper
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • John Mellencamp
  • Metallica
  • Willie Nelson
  • Nirvana
  • Pearl Jam
  • Tom Petty
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Pixies
  • Joe Purdy
  • Radiohead
  • R.E.M
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Rush
  • Paul Simon
  • Sonic Youth
  • Sound Garden
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • James Taylor
  • Traveling Wilburys
  • U2
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Wilco
  • Whiskeytown
  • The Who
  • Neil Young
  • ZZ Top

I just listed the artist and not the album or albums that you should be listening to and really own by said artist.  Also, I stopped at 50 and that took a considerable amount of restraint.

This is fundamentally meant to light the candle of thought and get you to think about your 50 artists.  If you only had 50 artists that you could listen to, who would they be?  Think of yourself as Tom Hanks in Cast Away and instead of Wilson the volleyball, you have an iPod with 50 artists and their entire catalog. 

So take some time, peruse the list and let me know who you would have added or deleted from the list or send me you complete list.

Great music awaits!


25 more albums you should own!

Greetings music lovers,

Today’s blog is about 25 albums you should own and has the following parameters:

  •  Album must have been recorded/released prior to 1990
  • No duplication of artist
  • No live albums or greatest hits (kind of an all encompassing copout to include either)
  • Listing of my favorite track from said album (This is not so much a parameter but a mere bonus for your reading pleasure)

Twenty Five albums you should own! (In no particular order):

Artist Album Song
U2 The Joshua Tree (1987) With or Without You
Bob Dylan Oh Mercy (1989) Most of the Time
Bruce Springsteen Nebraska (1982) Nebraska
Paul Simon Graceland (1986) You Can Call Me Al
James McMurtry Too Long in the Wasteland (1989) Angeline
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Hard Promises (1981) The Waiting
Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987) Mr. Brownstone
The Eagles Hotel California (1976) The Last Resort
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975) Have a Cigar
Robert Earl Keen No Kinda Dancer (1984) Rolling By
Eric Clapton Journeyman (1989) Running On Faith
The Who Quadrophenia (1973) Love Reign O’er Me
Elton John Madman Across the Water (1971) Tiny Dancer
Metallica And Justice For All (1988) Dyers Eve
R.E.M Document (1987) It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)
The Pixies Surfer Rosa (1988) Where Is My Mind
John Mellencamp Scarecrow (1985) Minutes To Memories
The Band Music from the Big Pink (1968) The Weight
Van Morrison Moondance (1970) And It Stoned Me
Lynyrd Skynyrd Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin- Nerd (1973) Simple Man
Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique (1989) Shake Your Rump
The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988) Congratulations
Warren Zevon Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School (1980) Play It All Night Long
Townes Van Zandt Townes Van Zandt (1969) Lungs
The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed (1969) Gimme Shelter
Jackson Brown The Pretender (1976) The Pretender

 So, there you have it, another list of musical bliss.  Take your time, check them out and let me know what you think.

 Great music awaits!


The High School Years:A Shout Out to the Class of 89 (75115)

We all have a favorite song or songs, one that we will sit in the car and listen to completion even when we are running late, one that we hear and can’t help but smile.  Songs are snapshots along our continuum that allow us to recall special times, people, and places.

This list is a remembrance of my high school years (85-89) and a shout out to the 75115.   Not all of these songs were released during those years, but were the soundtrack to my life at that time.  And no, Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” despite being the class theme and I’m told prom song, did not make the list.  Sorry to both Rod and the class of 89 from 75115.

Twenty years later, when I hear any of these songs, I fondly remember the times and the friends I shared the moments with.  I contend that these artists and their songs stand the test of time and are just as relevant today as they were many years ago.

I realize that 25 songs is a relatively short list to sum up the high school years and while there are no duplicate artists on the list, these artist and songs shaded and formed a critical time in my life and it is a safe bet the album from which the song came, was and is currently in heavy rotation in my car, home, IPod, and office.

Below are the top 25 songs that harken back the halcyon days of my youth:

Simple Man                       Lynyrd Skynyrd

It’s The End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)     R.E.M.

Louisiana Rain                  Tom Petty

Seven Bridges Road         The Eagles

Tiny Dancer                        Elton John

Dream On                             Aerosmith

 Shooting Star                    Bad Company

Jungle Love                        Steve Miller Band

 The Weight                         The Band

Fire Lake                              Bob Seger

My Hometown                  Bruce Springsteen

Drive                                    The Cars

I Believe In You              Don Williams

It’s In the Way That You Use It                  Eric Clapton

Sweet Child O’ Mine          Guns ‘N’ Roses

The Pretender                    Jackson Brown

Jackie Brown                       John Mellencamp

Dyers Eve                             Metallica

Rockin’ In the Free World                Neil Young

With Or Without You         U2

Gimme Shelter                     The Rolling Stones

Mystic Rhythms                  Rush

Don’t You Forget About Me            Simple Minds

Copperhead Road                Steve Earle

Congratulations                    Traveling Wilburys

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Great Music Awaits!


Live albums you should be listening to!

The live album is always a risky proposition.  In years past, it was the other give up album (hello Greatest Hits) that was done to fulfill the contract with the record company.  Not to say that there have not been great live albums but there have been some less than stellar albums that have not quite stood the test of time (“Frampton Comes Alive” anyone?). 

 I think, as music has progressed, the live album was a great way for bands to better connect with their audience.  Some bands have earned the reputation as a great “Live” band and the live album was just an obvious avenue for them.  Artists like Phish and The Dave Matthews Band have more live albums in their discography than studio albums.  In 2000 Pearl Jam, in an attempt provide their fans with a better quality and affordable live recording, recorded all of their concerts. 

 So, here is a list of great live albums.  This is by no means a list of the greatest live albums, but merely an installment of great live albums.

Metallica S&M 

This album features Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony.  Such a brilliant merging of two seemingly polar opposites sounds and styles.  The set list takes a bit from each of the early works as well as their late 90’s work.  Definitely worth adding to your collection.

Tom Petty Live Anthology

This album is a compilation of thirty years of live concerts.  Petty is timeless and the music is amazing.  Radio staples such as “Refugee”, “American Girl”, and “Free Falling” are comfortably arranged around deeper cuts like “Louisiana Rain”, “Angel Dream (No.2)”, and “”Straight Into Darkness”.  The covers on this four disc set are a real treat including The Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” and Fleetwood Mac’s ”Oh Well”. 

The Dave Matthews Band The Central Park Concert

This is a three disc set that is a typical Dave Matthews jam session with the usual song suspects in the lineup and has a great cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” with Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers & Govt. Mule) and Dave sharing the vocals.  It is not overly produced or reworked so you get more of the raw concert sound and vibe. 

 Ben Harper Live from Mars

If you are going to own one Ben Harper album, this is the one.  This two disc set is a great cross section of his work as well as covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and The Verve “The Drugs Don’t Work”.

Counting Crows Across A Wire Live in New York

This two disc set is actually two separate concerts.  Disc one is an acoustic set while disc two cranks up a bit electrically.  The set list is comprised of songs from their first two albums “August and Everything After” and “Recovering the Satellites”. 

Undone: A Musical Tribute to Robert Earl Keen

This two disc live album has great covers of Keen’s music by the likes of:  Walt Wilkins, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Reckless Kelly, Chris Knight, Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed), and Max Stallings.  Robert also appears on the last few song son disc two. 

Alice in Chains Unplugged

This album captured the essence and greatness of the late, great Layne Staley.  All acoustic (hence the unplugged) set that include “Would”, “Angry Chair”, and ‘The Killer is Me”.  This was one of the final performances of the original band. 

Chris & Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes) Brothers of a Feather

This two man acoustic set is the brothers and their guitars at their greatest.  The album is a variety of cuts from their shows at the Roxy Theater.  It features songs from The Black Crowes and a few cover tunes.  My favorite tracks are “Thorn in My Pride” and “My Heart is Killing Me”. 

Rage Against the Machine Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

Great album recorded during their last two shows in September 2000.  The intensity of the album lasts al sixteen tracks.  Standout tracks on the album are “No Shelter”, “Bulls On Parade”, “Bomb Track”, and “Killing In the Name of”. 

Pearl Jam Live (any of the band produced live albums)

In an effort to better connect with the fans and provide quality and affordable live recordings Pearl Jam recorded a series of concerts in the early 00’s.  Sets often included “Crazy Mary”, “State of Love and Trust”, covers of Neil Young’s “Rockin in the Free World”, Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”, The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”.  So, take your pick as any of the live series is a treasure.

Dispatch All Points Bulletin

This two disc set is the final farewell concert that was held in Boston that had over 100,000 fans in attendance.  It is the subject of the DVD “Last Dispatch.  This album has an early version of the State Radio song “Riddle In Londontown” and a fan sing along to the Dispatch tune “The General”.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live in New York City

Amazing two disc set that at the time of release has two new and unreleased songs “Land of Hopes and Dreams” and “American Skin (41 Shots)”.  Both stellar songs but in my opinion, “Youngstown” is the gem of this album. 

Paul Simon’s Concert In the Park

This live recording was done in New York’s famous Central Park on August 15th 1991. The album opens with one of my all time favorite Simon songs “The Obvious Child”.  He also covers the Simon and Garfunkel period with “The Boxer”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and closes the set with “The Sounds of Silence”.  This concert also featured many of the South American and African musicians that played on “Rhythm of the Saints” and “Graceland” respectively.

Rush Different Stages

It is a three disc set that covers several of their concerts in 1994 and 1997.  Disc three is a concert in London from 1978.  They cover quite a bit of their catalog but the one glaring omission is “Mystic Rhythms

 Bob Dylan The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

This tribute concert was a star studded event with performances from: John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Eddie Vedder, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, George Harrison, The Band, and Roger McGuinn to name just a few!  While all of the performances were amazing, Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready’s cover of “Masters of War” was the highlight of the show. 

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Great Music Awaits!


Music you should have been listening to in 2009

Greetings music fans,

 As we eagerly anticipate ringing in the New Year and 2009 comes to a close, I thought it would be entertaining to do a little musical year in review.  Here is smattering of albums that were released in 2009 that you should be listening to.  The list is compiled alphabetically by artist.  This, of course, is for my own personal benefit and helps calm my little OCD head.

 Arctic Monkeys “Humbug” 

Third album for the band with several tracks produced by Joshua Homme of (Queens of the Stone Age), (Eagles of Death Metal) and (Them Crooked Vultures)

Dan Auerbach “Keep it Hid”

Dan is half of the genius behind (The Black Keys)

The Avett Brothers “I and Love and You”

Major label debut produced by Rick Rubin

The Black Crowes “Before the Frost and Until the Freeze”

Two disc set (“Until the Freeze” only available as download) that was recorded in Levon Helm’s (The Band)Woodstock Studio.

The Dead Weather “Horehound”

Yet another reason Jack White is musical greatness

Drive-By Truckers “The Fine Print”

A collection of oddities and rarities that includes a cover of Tom Petty’s “Rebels”

Steve Earl “Townes”

In homage to the late, great Townes Van Zandt, it is an amazing collection of songs, with “Lungs” being my favorite track.

Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard “One Fast Move Or I’m Gone”

Music from Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur”. These songs were recorded over a five day span with minimal revisions.

Grizzly Bear “Vectatimest”

A diverse collection of songs that will take a few times to appreciate.

Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 “White Lies for Dark Times”

Ben ventures beyond his Innocent Criminals and adds some Texas folks to the band.  Another solid Ben Harper venture.

Patterson Hood “Murdering Oscar (and other love songs)”

Hood, of (Drive-By Truckers), releases his 2nd solo disc.  Check out “Pride of the Yankees”

Iron and Wine “Around the Well

Two disc set of previously unreleased materials and cool covers.

Jay-Z “The Blueprint 3”

Come on, it is Jay-Z.  What is not great about this?  If you are into Jay-Z, check out his unplugged album with (The Roots) as his backing band.  Pure greatness.

Dave Matthews Band “Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King”

First album since the death of founding member Leroi Moore.  I’m a huge DMB fan and make no apologies for it. 

M Ward “Hold Time

2009 was a busy and fruitful musical year for Mr. Ward. 

Monsters of Folk (Self titled)

Well, you have Jim James (My Morning Jacket) Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) and M. Ward.  How could you go wrong?  They brought back the multi part harmony that is reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, & Nash and The Eagles.

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band “Outer South”

This dude has been recording since he was 13.  Dropped the “Bright Eyes” moniker but still exploring and expanding the boundaries of music.

Pearl Jam “Back Spacer”

Great follow up album to their 2006 self titled album.  I saw them live at the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival.  Two plus hours of amazing music played with such fervor and with guest appearance by Ben Harper and Perry Farrell. 

Tom Petty “The Live Anthology”

This four disc set is a must have for any Petty fan.  This set spans 30 years of concerts and is absolutely amazing.

Phish “Joy”

Great to see the boys back together and playing nice.

Silversun Pickups “Swoon”

Second full length release that is a gradual departure from “Canvas”

Son Volt “American Central Dust”

From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar created Son Volt.  Not a disappointing album in the collection.

Sonic Youth “The Eternal”

After all these years, still making relevant music and inspiring others to do so as well.

Bruce Springsteen “Working on a Dream”

The Boss has been rather prolific in the 00’s.  This was a great way to round out the year and decade.  Saw him in Charlotte NC in 2008.  Amazing!

State Radio “Let It Go”

This is the third full length disc from Chad Stokes formerly of (Dispatch) and company.  A great live band if you ever have the opportunity.

Street Sweeper Social Club (Self titled)

Tom Morello  (Rage Against the Machine), (Audioslave) and (The Nightwatchman) and Boots Riley (The Coup) come together and create revolutionary party jams.

Them Crooked Vultures (Self titled)

Dave Grohl (Nirvana) and (Foo Fighters), Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and (Eagles of Death Metal), and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).  Need I say more?

U2 “No Line On the Horizon

Getting back to the greatness of The Joshua Tree.  Bono and Co. show why they continue to be in the running for world’s greatest rock band.

Wilco (Self titled)

From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy created Wilco.  Not a disappointing album in the collection.  Funny how that worked out for both he & Jay.

Pete Yorn “Back & Fourth

I’ve always been a Pete fan but have found a new appreciation for him in the last few years.

Great music awaits!