Bruce Springsteen “Jungleland” from Hammersmith Odeon London '75 (Columbia 2006) —If Clarence Clemons had done nothing else but craft this astounding solo (reproduced pretty much every time he played it, and this live show from '75 captures it fresh), he'd have been one of the greatest of all time.Buy it!
Bruce Springsteen “Spirit in the Night” from The Essential Bruce Springsteen (Columbia 2003) —But he did so much more. His loss is a terrible blow.Buy it!
Bruce Springsteen “Rosalita” from The Essential Bruce Springsteen (Columbia 2003) —This is the sound of being young, and embracing life's possibility.Buy it!
Warren Zevon “Keep Me In Your Heart” from The Wind (Artemis Records 2003) —For all who have lost someone recently.Buy it!
Patti Smith “Frederick” from Wave (Arista 1979) —As beautiful a love song as I know.Buy it!
Paul Simon “Rewrite” from So Beautiful or So What (Universal 2011) N —This album is easily the one to beat for my fave of 2011. Just wow.Buy it!
Sarah Jarosz “Gypsy” from Follow Me Down (SUGAR HILL www.sugarhillrecords.com 2011) N —I'm thinking there's a possibility we'll see Ms. Jarosz in town some time this Fall.Buy it!
Eddie Vedder “Sleepless Nights” from Ukulele Songs (Universal Republic 2011) N —You can laugh if you want, but this Everly Brothers cover is astonishingly beautiful.Buy it!
Alison Krauss & Union Station “Dimming of the Day” from Paper Airplane (Rounder www.rounderrecords.com 2011) N —Exquisite cover of the Richard & Linda Thompson masterpiece.Buy it!
Emitt Rhodes “Really Wanted You” from The Emitt Rhodes Recordings (1969 - 1973) (Universal 2009) —This guy made four solo albums, then just stopped. But they were terrific.Buy it!
Bob Dylan “The Levee's Gonna Break” from Modern Times (Columbia 2006) —This record sounds better and better as the years go on - I'd call it his best album in his now 15-year "comeback."Buy it!
Wilson Pickett “Fire and Water” from Don't Knock My Love SINGLE (Motown 1971) —Covering Free!Buy it!
Funkadelic “I Call My Baby Pussycat” from America Eats Its Young (westbound 1972) —I can always count on my friend Said to give me great song ideas through the magic of Facebook.Buy it!
M.I.A. “Paper Planes” from Kala (XL Interscope 2007) —Riding a Clash sample to pop perfection.Buy it!
Raphael Saadiq “Stone Rollin'” (Columbia 2011) N —Now that's rock'n'soul!Buy it!
The Painkillers “Pleasant Dreams” from Painkillers (Euclid Records Records 2011) N L —A quirky little rhythmic excursion that of course needed cowbell to be complete. Great St. Louis band of the 80s.Buy it!
The Painkillers “Life In a Day” from Painkillers (Euclid Records Records 2011) N L —Another cowbell-fueled gem from the fertile mind of the late great Jeff Barbush.Buy it!
The Feelies “When You Know” from Here Before (bar none 2011) N —A delightful explosion of driving energy.Buy it!
The Blind Eyes “Satisfactory” from With A Bang (self 2011) N —St. Louis band that is chock full of terrific songs.Buy it!
The Watersons “The Good Old Way” from For Pence and Spicy Ale (Topic 1975) —Mike Waterson passed away the other day; nobody ever sang like him and his family. This was the first song, I think, they did the first time I saw them back in the mid 80s.Buy it!
The Watersons “John Barleycorn” from Frost and Fire (Topic 1965) —You think Traffic came up with this all by themselves? Mike Waterson's solo version set their template.Buy it!
The Watersons “Stormy Winds” from Green Fields (Topic 1998) —There really was nothing like the way these four sang together - four parts coming together and falling away at key moments and then coming back. Four individual voices and a whole making a fifth.Buy it!
The Watersons “Country Life” from For Pence and Spicy Ale (Topic 1975) —If it wasn't for one of my all-time favorite KDHX dj's, Judy Stein, I would never have known of this genius.Buy it!
Jim Lauderdale “Janis Jones” from Reason and Rhyme (SUGAR HILL www.sugarhillrecords.com 2011) N —Robert Hunter just keeps handing him lyrics, and Lauderdale keeps coming up with catchy tunes. Two workaholics have found each other.Buy it!
Bobby Bare “The Streets of Baltimore” from The Essential Bobby Bare (BMG 1997) —One of them country classics.Buy it!
Blackie and The Rodeo Kings “My Town Has Moved Away” from Kings and Queens (FU:M 2011) N —Thanks to Ed Becker for pointing me in the direction of this Canadian roots group's new record of duets with great female singers. Pam Tillis actually co-wrote this one.Buy it!
Randy Newman “Suzanne” from The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2 (Nonesuch 2011) N —Nice version of one of Randy's early songs you never hear.Buy it!
Eilen Jewell “I Remember You” from Queen of the Minor Key (Signature Sounds Recording Company 2011) N —Brand new, just out this week, and plain good.Buy it!
John Henry and the Engine “Sad Face of Yours” (John Henry & The Engine 2011) N L —You're much too young to have a heart that's black with hate.Buy it!
Dana Fuchs “Nothing's What I Cry For” from Love to Beg (Ruf www.rufrecords.de 2011) N —Raucous and lively.Buy it!
Macy Gray “Kissed It” from The Sellout CD ALBUM (Universal/Concord 2010) —I have no love for Velvet Revolver, but they backed Gray up on one of my fave songs of last year.Buy it!
Small Faces “All or Nothing” from The Anthology 1965-1967 (Polygram 1996) —I know there were a lot of great records back in 1965 and they couldn't all break through, but how did these guys not get huge in the States?Buy it!
Fleetwood Mac “The Ghost” from Bare Trees (Warner 1972) —This came up on my itunes shuffle the other day, and it just struck me as a nifty little song.Buy it!
Gomez “Whatever's On Your Mind” (ATO / MapleMusic Recordings / Fontana North 2011) N —These guys can always be counted on for a lovely melody or two per record.Buy it!
Les Copeland “That Needing Time” from Don't Let the Devil In (Earwig 2010) —A great guitarist who also writes great songs.Buy it!
k.d. lang & The Siss Boom Bang “A Sleep With No Dreaming” from Sing It Loud (Nonesuch 2011) N —Second on my list of fave albums so far this year - she just continually knocks me out.Buy it!
Brian Wilson “Melt Away” from Brian Wilson (sire 1988) —Brian Wilson turned 69 the other day. Wow.Buy it!
Marianne Faithfull “No Reason” from Horses And High Heels (Naive 2010) N —A Jackie Lomax rocker - yes, Marianne can rock, too.Buy it!
Sam and Dave “Hold On, I'm Comin'” from Sweat 'N' Soul: An Anthology (1965-1971) (Rhino 1993) —Sometimes the standards are standards because they're frakkin' magnificent.Buy it!
Bettye Lavette “I'm In Love” from Take Another Little Piece of My Heart (Varese Sarabande 2006) —One great soul singer.Buy it!
Al Green “Take Me to the River” from Al Green Explores Your Mind (THE RIGHT STUFF 1974) —A song quickly covered by Syl Johnson, Foghat, and the Talking Heads.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.