War “Lonely Feelin'” from War (Rhino 1971) —As long as it feels like summer, we might as well start with the world's most perfect band for the season.Buy it!
Mose Allison “That's All Right” from Greatest Hits (Fantasy 1980) —A sleek Allison-ized version of the Jimmy Rogers blues number.Buy it!
Allen Toussaint “Long, Long Journey” from The Bright Mississippi (Nonesuch 2009) —Toussaint is such a brilliant songwriter and pianist, it's sometimes forgotten just how well he can deliver on the vocal front. This is perfect blues singing.Buy it!
Dion “Two Train” from Tank Full of Blues (Blue Horizon 2012) N —There are only a handful of musicians who can make records 53 years into their career that stand with the best of their work. Dion is one of them.Buy it!
The Clash “The Guns of Brixton” from London Calling CD ALBUM (Epic 1979) —Paul Simonon was not a great vocalist, but I can't imagine this cut being delivered by anybody with a prettier voice.Buy it!
The Gaylads “Africa” from studio one roots (Soul Jazz 2001) —At the nexus between ska and reggae.Buy it!
Dirty Dozen Brass Band “Best of All” from Twenty Dozen (Savoy Jazz 2012) N —That right there is the sound of a party.Buy it!
Stevie Wonder “You Haven't Done Nothin'” from Fulfillingness First Finale (Motown 1974) —From the days when Stevie Wonder minted Grammy awards.Buy it!
The Animals “Baby Let Me Take You Home” from The Best of The Animals CD ALBUM (MGM 1965) —The Animals had such a distinctive take on the American r'n'b they loved.Buy it!
Andre Williams “Do the Popcorn” from Movin' On: Greasy and Explicit Soul Movers 1956-1970 (Vampi Soul vampisoul.com 2005) —I'm not a huge fan of Williams, who can get too smarmy for my taste, but man, this is one sexy invitation to a silly dance.Buy it!
Ebo Taylor “Ayesama” from Appia Kwa Bridge (Strut 2012) N —A great fresh take on the Afrobeat sound. And this isn't even the only kind of thing the guy does on this record.Buy it!
The Pogues “The Parting Glass” from Rum Sodomy & the Lash [Expanded] (Rhino 1985) —A bonus cut from one of their two masterpieces, and it's worthy of inclusion.Buy it!
Magnetic Fields “Your Girlfriend's Face” from Love at the Bottom of the Sea (Merge www.mergerecords.com 2012) N —Stephin Merritt continues to sneak up on me with crazy little ditties like this one.Buy it!
Lindsey Buckingham “Countdown” from Out of the Cradle (Reprise 1992) —I hadn't pulled out this record in ages; my goodness, he gave this one every bit of his massive skills.Buy it!
The dB's “I Didn't Mean to Say That” from Falling Off the Sky (Bar/None Records 2012) N —We are just about three weeks away from the world getting to hear this masterful new release from one of the greatest bands ever, 30 years after the original line-up last recorded.Buy it!
Emmit Rhodes “Fresh As a Daisy” from Emmit Rhodes (One Way 1970) —That's how you write a pop song!Buy it!
Karate Bikini “Medic” from Sauce of the Apple Horse (self 2012) N L —St. Louis band that has plenty of songwriting chops and more than enough skill to present them.Buy it!
Bruce Springsteen “Outside Looking In” from The Promise (Columbia 2010) —Mighty Max Weinberg rocks out on the "Peggy Sue" beat.Buy it!
Alejandro Escovedo “Headstrong Crazy Fools” from Big Station (Fantasy 2012) N —Alejandro rocks out on a song where he recites the words. The new album comes out soon, and we're loving everything we sample from it here.Buy it!
Donna Summer “Hot Stuff” from Gold (Universal 1977) —For a few years there, she and Giorgio Moroder had an astounding symbiotic musical relationship. RIP Donna Summer. You made us dance.Buy it!
Ollabelle “Soul of a Man” from Before This Time (Yep Roc 2008) —Time to stop dancing for a few minutes, and just absorb the power of this arrangement.Buy it!
Robin Gibb “The Worst Girl In This Town” from Robin's Reign (Spectrum 1970) —I love so much Bee Gees music, right through their disco smashes, but I thought this virtually unheard gem from his solo album would make a good tribute to Robin Gibb, who passed away last week.Buy it!
Crowded House “Throw Your Arms Around Me” from Other Enz: Split Enz & Beyond (Raven 1999) —The national anthem of New Zealand. Well, it should be. Anyway, this is a beautiful rendition of this Hunters & Collectors song.Buy it!
Sara Watkins “Lock & Key” from Sun Midnight Sun (Nonesuch 2012) N —I've only heard this album once, but damn! My real question is why did I virtually ignore Nickel Creek when they were around? What was wrong with me? Because Sara Watkins and Chris Thile are astounding musicians.Buy it!
Laura Nyro “Captain For Dark Mornings” from New York Tendaberry (Columbia 1969) —Nobody before or after her sounded like this. She was musically fearless.Buy it!
The Cinderellas “Please Don't Wake Me” from One Kiss Leads to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found (Rhino 2005) —Not Phil Spector, but a pretty darn good imitation.Buy it!
The Youngbloods “Grizzely Bear” from The Youngbloods (RCA Victor 1967) —Spelling isn't as good as the song is.Buy it!
Marty Stuart “A Matter of Time” from Nashville, Volume 1: Tear The Woodpile Down (Sugar Hill. ww.sugarhillrecords.com 2012) N —Projecting past experience onto the future, a classic country music trope.Buy it!
Lila Downs “La Bamba” from Una Sangra (One Blood) (Narada 2004) —A gorgeous take on the traditional tune which acknowledges that it's also a rock classic without losing its roots in Mexican folk.Buy it!
The Soul Rebels “Let Your Mind Be Free” from Unlock Your Mind (Rounder www.rounder.com 2012) N —I just dig the heck out of these guys - that tuba player roars!Buy it!
Sweet Honey In The Rock “They Are All Falling Around Me” from Selections 1976-1988 (Flying Fish 1988) —I believe this ensemble, which has gone through many members over the years, is one of the greatest musical experiences of my life.Buy it!
Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me” from What's Going On (Motown 1971) —This was the song that made me fall in love with Marvin Gaye's voice back when I was 12.Buy it!
Kevin Gordon “Nine Bells” from Gloryland (Crowville Collective 2010) N —Don't forget he's at Twangfest on Saturday, June 9 at the Duck Room.Buy it!
Bottle Rockets “I.D. Blues” from Blue Sky (Sanctuary 2003) —I'd almost forgotten this gem.Buy it!
Brothers Lazaroff “35 Summers” from Science Won (self-released 2012) N L —Nice whistling hook.Buy it!
Chris Isaak “Lonely With a Broken Heart” from San Francisco Days (Reprise 1993) —You can almost dip in at random on Chris Isaak records and come up with something great. Oh, yeah, I just did that.Buy it!
Loudon Wainwright III “The Here & the Now” from Older Than My Old Man Now (2nd Story Sound 2012) N —Loudon's life-story in under four minutes, with a good beat that you could dance to.Buy it!
Eden Brent “Beyond My Broken Dreams” from Ain't Got No Troubles (Yellow Dog 2010) —Great blues piano player who sings with a Gospel-drenched style.Buy it!
Janiva Magness “I Don't Want to Do Wrong” from Stronger For It (Alligator 2012) N —Stunning take on the Gladys Knight & the Pips classic.Buy it!
Bettye Lavette “Easier to Say (Than Do)” from Do Your Duty (Sundazed 2006) —Testify!Buy it!
Creedence Clearwater Revival “My Baby Left Me” from Creedence Covers The Classics (Fantasy Records 2009) —I love the happy-go-lucky take on this Elvis Sun classic.Buy it!
The Beatles “If I Fell” from a hard day's night CD ALBUM (CAPITOL 1964) —Yeah, this is a pretty nice one.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.