Notes (Quotes from song lyrics or artists themselves):
"Maybe you could teach me something, maybe I could teach you too, even just to reach is a triumph, and now I've really got a hold on you"
Mountain Man is back to bring us this Fiona Apple song (also check out the original!) from one of the greatest album titles ever, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.
"All the bees come down from heaven, make honey out of me"
Samantha Parton of the Be Good Tanyas was in not one but two debilitating car accidents that left her unable to perform. When her old bandmate and friend Jolie Holland got in touch about making music together again, the timing was right. "When Jolie called me up, I was so sick of lying on my back staring at the ceiling in a doctor's office, that I was ready to say yes to anything, whether I could do it or not. I knew I could trust her to be supportive and understanding, even if I wasn't at full capacity. She was an outstretched hand to me at a moment when I really needed that." The eventual result of that phonecall was the album Wildflower Blues.
"I sold my shadow for the little things that I have saved"
Mali's Vieux Farka Touré has been called "the Hendrix of the Sahara", while Julia Easterlin was born in Georgia and lives in Brooklyn. "Little Things" has a very sweet video.
"Kneel down to the buzzard and bow to the crow, the earth is black as a bird's wing and braided in corn rows"
A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, professional clogger, and educator, Kristin Andreassen has also been a member of Uncle Earl, and the trio Sometymes Why (which also features the talented Aoife O'Donovan).
"Don't have what it takes to stay in one place, but I might have what it takes to make myself home"
Willard Grant Conspiracy was a collective sort of endeavor, centered around the late Robert Fisher, but included 30+ different musicians over their 20+ years. I had never heard of them before I found them for this month's playlist. Now I'm listening to them a lot.
"But whichever way I go, I come back to the place you are"
Sons of Bill are from Charlottesville, Virginia, and I used to live next door to Sons Of Bill's bass player (he not being among William's three male offspring present in said band). Here they cover the Peter Gabriel classic. I was never a huge fan of them frankly, but there's a very nice sweet simplicity here.
"Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving, ah, but then you know it's time for them to go, but I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving"
Probably her most famous song, Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where The Times Goes?" has been recorder by dozens of artists. I've never heard a version I like more than this one.
"Turn the light out, say goodnight, no thinking for a little while, let's not try to figure out everything at once, it's hard to keep track of you falling through the sky"
Molly Tuttle is from a musical family, and has serious instrumental chops in addition to her singing and writing skills. Here she covers The National.
"The place we belong is quietly gone, while we were making plans, it drifted away"
This is the first playlist appearance by First Aid Kit, one of our very favorite bands. We saw them in DC in September 2019, and they were even better live than we anticipated. We were right in front, and Johanna had really nice boots (see above).
In looking up info for this playlist, I found a live-from-home streaming performance from the early days of the pandemic. I can't tell you how much I love this sweet little video. If you have 42 minutes, I think it will brighten your day. Post-pandemic, I really hope to get to see the Soederberg sisters again. See also their official video.
"You can say it won't happen to me, I'm too honest and obsessed with being free, but the other morning, the walls were shaking, I didn't take cover, I just lay there thinking, go on and take me"
Anna Ash is from Michigan, but her country roots are showing. Lots of wise old feelings in her voice. And these lyrics are smart and true.
"Grow up girl, it's good for your health, to go to bed sometimes, simply holding yourself"
We saw Julia Jacklin pre-pandemic as First Aid Kit's opening act. She's smart and talented, as this song will attest. And a Merry Christmas to you too!
Let's get visual! Here are eleven favorite videos from past issues of the playlist.
After our first eleven playlists of eleven songs, we made a special ItD,O Greatest Hits Playlist.
Need more? How about one giant list with all the songs from previous months? Check out the ItD,O All Time Playlist.
If you're interested, email updates with new content (including a link to a new music playlist) are sent out once a month. Info is never shared.