Willie Nile “God Laughs” from American Ride (River House www.willienile.com 2013) N —Possibly the best song this year. God don't use fax or telephones.Buy it!
Richard Barone “Sweet Blue Cage” from Cool Blue Halo 25th Anniversary Concert (RBM 2012) —A very rare case of the "reunion" being even better than the original. Mostly it's because Barone's voice has smoothed out and stretched in range with age, but there's also even better arrangements.Buy it!
Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey “I Want to Break Your Heart” from Mavericks (Rhino 1991) —One of my all-time fave Chris Stamey songs, which means one of my all-time fave songs, period.Buy it!
Steve Dawson “Obsidian” from I Will Miss the Trumpets & the Drums (Undertow 2009) —You have to appreciate the ability to make a beautiful song with such a word as the title.Buy it!
Denny Brown “Got the Whole Night” from The San Francisco / Austin / Hollywood Sessions (Unknown 2013) N —You can hear the great David Grissom on guitar here.Buy it!
Matraca Berg “Yesterday” from Let Us In Americana: The Music of Paul McCartney for Linda (Reviver 2013) N —Well, yeah, it ain't easy to cover this song any more and make it really fab.Buy it!
Richie Havens “Tombstone Blues” from I'm Not There (Columbia 2007) —Sometimes, Havens could just about do a song better than anybody.Buy it!
Gogol Bordello “Amen” from Pura Vida Conspiracy (ATO www.atorecords.com 2013) N —Sometimes, in this radio game, segues work even better than you dreamed they would.Buy it!
Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost “Already Used Me Up” from Born There (Big Muddy www.bigmuddyrecords.com 2012) L —I still can't believe he's gone.Buy it!
Tom Jones “Bad As Me” from Spirit In the Room (Rounder www.rounder.com 2013) N —Tom Jones sings Tom Waits - and owns it!Buy it!
The James Hunter Six “Nothin' I Wouldn't Do” from Minute By Minute (Go Records, under license to Concord Music Group 2013) N —Dig that boss beat!Buy it!
LaVern Baker “Saved” (Rhino 1960) —I used to smoke and drink and dance the hoochy-koo!Buy it!
Bobby Purify “You Make Me Dig” from Better to Have It (Proper 2005) —If Purify would have waited five years to put out this record, he might have been able to cash in on the whole retro-soul thing of the past few years.Buy it!
Sun Ra “Plutonian Nights” from The Nubians of Plutonia (Evidence 1959) —That's one weird bossa nova.Buy it!
Ohio Players “Fire” from Funk on Fire: The Mercury Anthology (Mercury 1995) —Every time I hear this song, I remember the woman who once praised my show because I might play anything, even the Ohio Players.Buy it!
N*E*R*D “Run to the Sun” from In Search of ... (Virgin 2002) —You know, Pharell Williams didn't just wake up this year and start making great records.Buy it!
Digital Underground “Kiss You Back (single version)” from The Best of Digital Underground: Playwutchyalike (Rhino 2003) —These guys were so darn great! One of my fave concert memories from Mississippi Nights.Buy it!
Aerosmith “Walk This Way” from Toys In the Attic (Columbia 1975) —I'd almost forgotten the original version of this, pre-Run DMC.Buy it!
Lurrie Bell “Hey Hey Baby” from Blues In My Soul (Delmark 2013) N —Lurrie punches out the T-Bone Walker cut.Buy it!
Delbert McClinton “Heartbreak Radio” from Ultimate Collection (Hip-O 1999) —My 85-year-old mother-in-law always used to love Delbert. I hope she's listening up in Oregon.Buy it!
Justin Townes Earle “Harlem River Blues” (Bloodshot www.bloodshotrecords.com 2010) N —Goin' uptown to the Harlem River to drown.Buy it!
Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, and Sheryl Crow “So Goddam Smart” from Ghost Brothers of Darkland County COMP (Hear Music 2013) —As Phil Alvin's voice gets a little rougher with age, and Dave Alvin's gets a little smoother, the brothers are really effective foils singing together now.Buy it!
Paul Simon “Everything About It is a Love Song” from Surprise (Warner Brothers 2006) —The album Simon did with Brian Eno producing holds up very well.Buy it!
Patty Griffin “Wherever You Wanna Go” from American Kid SINGLE (New West www.newwestrecords.com 2013) N —She's coming to the Pageant in October. I'm very excited!Buy it!
Sherry Rich “41 Going on 17” from Dakota Avenue (Vitamin 2012) —This Australian singer/songwriter is ridiculously good. We've got her CD at Euclid Records, and you really should buy it because you won't find it anywhere else.Buy it!
Chuck Prophet “Willie Mays Is Up at Bat” from Temple Beautiful (Yep Roc 2012) —Chuck Prophet is at Off Broadway tomorrow, Aug. 17, with the Jans Project opening. I'll see you there.Buy it!
Richard Thompson “Where's Home?” from Electric (New West www.newwestrecords.com 2013) N —I wish this life of twists and turns would end and I could find my way back home again.Buy it!
Big Star “Nature Boy” from Third / Sister Lovers (Ryko 1978) —Alex Chilton out-depresses Frank Sinatra on this one.Buy it!
Van Der Graaf Generator “Lost” from H To He, Who Am the Only One (Virgin 1970) —Because eleven minute prog-rock songs can be terrific!Buy it!
The Beatles “In My Life” from Rubber Soul (CAPITOL 1966) —And, of course, so can two minute, twenty-six second songs.Buy it!
Marshall Crenshaw “Someday, Someway” from Marshall Crenshaw (Warner Brothers 1982) —This song continues to blow me away after more than 30 years of loving it!Buy it!
Slaid Cleaves “Texas Love Song” from Still Fighting the War (Music Road Records 2013) N —It's nice to have something new from this talented songwriter. "I love you even more than I love Texas."Buy it!
Donna The Buffalo “No Reason Why” from Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday (SUGAR HILL 2013) —Maybe there's no reason why and maybe birds just have to fly.Buy it!
Petula Clark “Every Word You Say” from Lost In You (Sony 2013) N —I don't recognize the source of this song, but it's very compelling.Buy it!
June Tabor “Roses of Picardy” from Rosa Mundi (Topic 2001) —One of the greatest vocalists to come from the British folk tradition, though she's not one to stick to one kind of song.Buy it!
Shane Nicholson “Poor Boy” from Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake (Story Sound 2013) N —I know nothing about Shane Nicholson, but I love, love, love this version of Nick Drake's "Poor Boy." (Just checked, he's Kasey Chambers' husband.)Buy it!
The Band “All La Glory” from Stage Fright CD ALBUM (Capitol Records 1970) —One of the best of the lesser known Band songs.Buy it!
The Beach Boys “From There to Back Again” from That's Why God Made The Radio SINGLE (CAPITOL 2012) —Gorgeous ballad for Al Jardine to sing from the reunion record last year.Buy it!
Southside Johnny & the Poor Fools “Mexicali Waltz” from Songs from the Barn (Leroy Records 2013) N —Wish I could find a place where night never turns to day / Sit down with a bottle and drink you away. In waltz time.Buy it!
Sturgill Simpson “Life Ain't Fair and the World is Mean” from High Top Mountain (High Top Mountain 2013) N —A clever testimony about why Sturgill writes the kinds of songs he does.Buy it!
Doc Watson “Sitting on Top of the World” from The Definitive Doc Watson (Vanguard 2013) N —Man, that guy can pick!Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.