Monday Thursday, everyone! Sorry about this week’s list being late. Stuff happened. Feel free to follow me on Patreon, though! This week’s list is courtesy of Don Henley of the Eagles, where he lists his eleven favorite country songs. Here they are:
- Buck Owens, “Act Naturally”: The Beatles covered this one. It was a Ringo song! This version, the original, is quite a bit different, and far more twangy, than the Beatles’ version.
- Merle Haggard, “Silver Wings”: I mostly know Merle from songs like “Living With The Shades Pulled Down” and “Okie From Muskogee,” so this softer, more tender side of his is interesting to hear.
- Matraca Berg, “If I Had Wings”: Beautiful and haunting. Love this one.
- Trisha Yearwood, “Dreaming Fields”: I didn’t expect such a light touch from Trisha Yearwood. I was pleasantly surprised.
- Ray Charles, “I Can’t Stop Loving You”: I loved when this was used in the anime movie Metropolis, as the city is destroyed and everything comes crashing down.
- Patsy Cline, “Crazy”: Man, how amazing and wonderful is Patsy Cline’s voice? That woman had such control over her instrument.
- Willie Nelson, “Always On My Mind”: I always dig Willie Nelson’s stuff, and this is one of his best.
- Jamey Johnson, “Good Times Ain’t What They Used To Be”: The chicken pickin’ in this one is just phenomenal.
- Emmylou Harris, “Together Again”: Love her voice. It’s always amazing.
- Linda Ronstadt, “Silver Thread And Golden Needles”: This woman can shred, and while she doesn’t necessarily cut loose on this particular song, she still plays the hell out of it.
- Glen Campbell, “By The Time I Got To Phoenix”: Lovely and referenced by the Old 97s in “The Other Shoe.”
Happy Monday! I’m currently in Oklahoma, preparing to leave tomorrow for Utah with my mother to visit a number of national parks. So this is being written before I head out west, since I’m not sure I’ll have the time to write one the week of. Make sure to follow me on Patreon! I would appreciate the love, and you’ll appreciate the music!
- Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere”: I’ve done a lot of traveling over the years. I haven’t been everywhere, mind you, but I’ve been to lots of places around the US. The last time I was in Utah was 1996, the year I won the coveted Cottrell Hiker of the Year award.
- John Mellencamp, “Rumble Seat”: Cars don’t have rumble seats anymore. We should bring them back, because I’m sure they’re super practical and not at all dangerous or anything.
- John Fullbright, “Jericho (Live)”: An Okie with a damn good ear for a good tune.
- David Gray, “Fugitive”: I happen to love David Gray’s Draw the Line album. It’s my favorite of his post-White Ladder work.
- Dawes, “A Little Bit Of Everything”: This song talks about making potatoes at one point. It’s weird and cute and I kinda love it.
- Deer Tick, “Easy”: I really enjoy this song and the harmonies in it, though you wouldn’t think the lead singer was capable of harmonizing with anyone.
- Uncle Tupelo, “No Depression”: After the school year I’ve had, I could use a vacation, especially one in a land that’s free from care.
- The Who, “Going Mobile”: It’s one of the most ridiculous Who songs out there (trumped only by “Eminence Front”). I love it anyway.
- Young Dubliners, “Last House On The Street”: My uncle’s band used to cover this song all the time. I like it.
- Willie Nelson, “Highwayman”: Who doesn’t love a song that goes from swashbuckling highway robber to starship captain in, like, four verses?
Last week was a rough week, if I’m being honest. I was mostly over my case of covid, but still couldn’t return to work, and my wife…well, we had to take her to the hospital on Thursday because her O2 sats dropped dangerously low frighteningly quick. It’s only been in the past day or two that we’ve come to find out just how bad off she was. If we hadn’t taken her to the hospital when we did, she would not have survived the night.
So, she’s still at the hospital (in a covid isolation room where I cannot visit her), but thankfully on the mend. On Saturday, my old college advisor passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm, which…yeah, still haven’t processed it. All of that probably explains the slower tempo and more downbeat list of songs on this week’s playlist.
- The Horrible Crowes, “Sugar”: I always thought it was more than a little daring to open the album with this song, which is by far more downbeat and subtle than what follows.
- Iron & Wine, “Hard Times Come Again No More”: I don’t know how I found this particular recording. I think it’s from the TV show Copper, if anyone remembers that (I never actually saw it, but still somehow heard this version of the song).
- Jars of Clay, “Faith Enough”: A song filled with contradictions and paradoxes.
- Jason Isbell, “Cover Me Up”: Beautiful and heartfelt and far more subtle than most of the songs I prefer by him, but no less glorious for it.
- The Wallflowers, “Up From Under”: If Breach isn’t the best Wallflowers album, it’s definitely top two. And while this isn’t my usual go-to song from that record, it’s still simple (for a song with a string arrangement) and beautiful.
- Willie Nelson, “The Rainbow Connection”: A voice and a song that I’m surprised it took so long to put together, though I have to ask – aside from this one and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” just how many songs are there out there about rainbows?
- The Beach Boys, “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times”: “Sometimes I feel very sad.” Sometimes Brian Wilson just cuts right to the damn chase.
- The National, “I Need My Girl”: I would like my wife home from the hospital now, please.
- The Flaming Lips, “Do You Realize??”: The happiest song about death that I know.
- Glen Phillips, “Train Wreck”: This one just sorta…feels right at the moment? That’s probably not good, is it?