Notes (Quotes from song lyrics):
"When I was a young man, standing on this road, my empty belly, an aching hole, an old man said to me, "Kid don't you know? That it's the same wherever you go"
I remember reading an article somewhere years ago whose author made the statement that The Pogues debut record (from which this song comes) was the last great rock and roll album ever made. I can understand the point. Not that great music hasn't been made since, but the stuff that makes rock and roll real and genuine and important have rarely been on display since then, not like this anyway, bad teeth and all.
"I know we can shake it, 'cause we are proud people, I know we can take it"
When he was preaching and not making music, Chicago Pastor T.L. Barrett's congregation included Donny Hathaway, and Earth, Wind and Fire's Maurice White and Philip Bailey.
"Weep not for me for my mind wasn't holdin' no peace, Rita carried so much weight"
Marcus King was 20 when this video was posted. How do you make music like that? How is this possible?
"You can be the sun, well shining' all over me, shining all over"
Frazey Ford just keeps killin' it. The soulful moods. She's gotten even better since her Be Good Tanyas days. Even when 1974 called. They want their visual effects back.
"And I'll drive my chariot down your streets and cry "Hey, it's me! I'm dynamite and I don't know why" And you will take me warm in your arms again, and I will not remember that I ever felt the pain"
The Waterboys have been around since 1983. By most estimates they've had over 70 members over the decades. Maybe not quite that many genres, but they've rarely stayed in one place musically.
"Sun going down on the USA, sun coming up a hundred years away, on another world and another time"
Roebuck "Pops" Staples is an American institution. As a kid in Mississippi, he heard and played with the likes of Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, and Son House. As the patriarch of The Staples Singers, he combined gospel, blues, R&B, rock, and any other kind of music he was interested in. He produced Mavis. Always one to mix and cross genres, we hear him here backed by Bonnie Raitt and (the song's writer) Jackson Browne.
"Is that river wide, is that river deep? Let me sanctify, let me sanctify you, baby"
St. Paul and The Broken Bones are from Birmingham, Alabama. As someone who has spent a little bit of time in that wonderful city, this makes me happy. They are absurdly soulful, and absurdly tight, All at the same time. This is a winning combination.
"You put up a wall, keep the bad ones out, keep the good ones in, fight the battle on your knees, while the sea swallows everyone"
The Barr Brothers (Andrew and Brad) were born in Rhode Island, but live in Montreal. Not long after moving to to their new city, Brad Barr heard the sound of a harp coming through the wall of his apartment, and, well, that changed everything.
"Time before was wasted, but with you, life is not long enough"
Blake Mills went to high school with Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith. They were once in a band together. I went to high school with a dude who, after ascending to a high ranking position in the county sheriff's office, was arrested for having sex with underage boys. We once sat next to each other in band. This fact has no apparent meaning. At any rate, here's an even-better-than the studio version of this song.
"It's not desperation that we're breeding, just a need we're feeding, coming to say goodbye"
For me, every playlist we've done has one standout song that I want to carry close to me for the rest of my life. One song that speaks a truth I need to remember. The original Andrew Bird version of this song is great. Jimbo Mathus (former frontman of the Squirrel Nut Zippers) brings it back to a place we can all relate to.
"Maybe heaven, maybe heaven, maybe heaven exists, for the way you look at me at moments like this"
Maybe Brittany Howard exists just for the way she sings to me in moments like this.
For your listening pleasure, there's also a giant list with all the songs from all 19 months. Check out the ItD,O All Time Playlist.