Things are starting to really pick up in the music world now, as all the musicians and their bands stumble out into the world again from whatever studios and local house-band gigs they’ve been wintering in. All of a sudden artists’ pages on facebook are getting fresh photos and offering all sorts of promos to lure in new ears as the weather warms and towns everywhere start gearing up for outdoor festival season. Not all my favorite local bands are on spotify, unfortunately, so these lists can’t ever quite encompass the music I enjoy live every week as my concert schedule grows ever-busier, but there will always be more music than fits on these lists anyway.
1. Pale Blue Jak – “My Parade” – While Celtic Thunder is on break, Neil Byrne has been recording new music for the next Pale Blue Jak album. He has not yet given us any samples of what he’s been working on, but he’s made sure we all know he’s recording. Since his first Pale Ble Jak album is by far my favorite of the Celtic Thunder musicians’ non-CT releases, I am really looking forward to hearing what he is working on now. In the meantime, here’s one of the tracks off his first Pale Blue Jak album, Faces.
2. Kenny Chesney, with Uncle Kracker – “When the Sun Goes Down” – Kenny Chesney’s songs do a great job of capturing the feeling of summer. While it is still only May, and we only just watched the last bits of snow melt from the shady side of my apartment building this weekend, summer is on its way, and soon we’ll be wishing to have that snow back.
3. Simon & Garfunkel – “Kathy’s Song” – This is the sort of love song I’d love to have written to me, I think. I never really ‘got it’ until I started music blogging and spending most of my evenings hanging out around musicians, but by now a lot of my friends and people I care about are touring musicians, and suddenly this song makes perfect sense.
4. The High Kings – “Ar Eireann Ni Neosainn Ce hI” – My Irish hasn’t improved much since I first heard this song, and I really love the way the Irish sounds in this song. The imagery in the English portion is lovely too, of course.
5. SHEL – “Stained” – This is one of those pretty, lusciously harmonized SHEL songs with a decidedly angry, bitter edge to it. I know these ladies have been busy recording new music over the past few months, so hopefully we’ll have new songs from these 4 lovely ladies soon, too.
6. Better Than Bacon – “Letter” – My favorite Better Than Bacon song, which somehow has not made it onto a list yet, at least as far as I can tell.
7. Brother – “2 Chairs and One Tree” – Since I can’t add any Tyler T. songs to my playlists (he doesn’t have any music on spotify currently) and the song I’d really want to add would be a song he performed with his new band (Tyler T. and the Common Clay) which has only just recently performed together on stage for the first time, I went with another song from Brother. They have didgeridoos, at least, which are one of the distinctive features of Tyler’s music as well.
8. Nickle Creek – “Out of the Woods” – Oh, if only my daydreams would come true! Actually, if they all came true it would be a mess, so maybe just one daydream and the rest can be left to gather cobwebs. 🙂
9. Brad Paisley, with Dolly Parton – “When I Get Where I’m Going” – I keep getting this song stuck in my head, but as happens fairly often with songs we learn by singing along, I can always remember each verse separately, and I always remember which one is the first verse, but beyond that the lines start to get jumbled and pretty soon I know I’m completely off-track, and then I have to start all over. Maybe if it is on a list, I’ll listen to it enough times to cement the line-order in my head more permanently.
10. REO Speedwagon – “Can’t Fight This Feeling” – This song is just begging to be covered by Keith Harkin for a Celtic Thunder album.
11. Poe – “Spanish Doll” – In this song, Poe reminds me a lot of SHEL, at least the angry bitter SHEL from earlier in this playlist.
12. Celtic Thunder, Ryan Kelly – “Hunter’s Moon” – It is no longer the season for the Hunter’s moon, which occurs in October, but as this song takes place after the Hunter’s moon has passed, it still works for a May songlist. None of the names for the May full moon have caught my imagination yet, but next month’s full moon (June) is the Thunder moon, among other names.
13. Hayley Westenra – “The Water is Wide” – This is another song I always almost know, but not quite, when I try to sing it through from memory, so it got a place on this week’s list too.
14. Sarah Slean – “Your Wish Is My Wish” – This is one of the artists I’ve added to my radar only recently. Of course, just because I’d not heard of her before, this doesn’t mean she is a new artist. Sarah Slean is a very successful Canadian artist who has released lots of albums.
15. Down Like Silver – “Lazy Snow” – If I include a song about snow in this playlist, maybe it will stave off any further snow-storms that might otherwise wish to hang out in Colorado this spring.
16. Adriana Calcanhotto – “A Fabrica Do Poema” – Adriana has been a successful musician in Brasil for decades, and has released 10 albums, according to wikipedia. This song is the title track from her 3rd album, from 1994.
17. Elephant Revival – “Drop” – I had the pleasure of hearing this song live, twice, this weekend, since this was one of the songs Elephant Revival played for sound-check before their concert on the CSU campus Saturday. So, now, this song recalls for me that thrill of seeing and hearing one of my favorite bands, no longer just as images on a screen and flattened music on my computer speakers, but as a live band. This thrill of seeing favorite bands live for the first time is one I’ve enjoyed often enough this year, but this one was especially cool because aside from the band’s crew I was the only person in the theater besides the band during sound-check. That was a very cool experience.
18. Miley Cyrus – “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” – Yep, a song sung by Miley Cyrus made my list. Trust me, though, it’s good. This one is from a Bob Dylan tribute album, one of the ones I checked out after enjoying a Bob Dylan tribute concert here in Fort Collins.
19. Karina Polwart – “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” – This Scottish singer makes me feel a bit better about starting music blogging at the ripe old age of 33. Karina is one of those singers who started as a musician relatively late, at almost 30.
20. Josh Groban – “I Believe [When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever]” – I haven’t included many songs yet on these lists from Josh Groban’s new album, so here to close out this week’s list is the most recent song for which Josh has released a music video. I’m afraid I’m too cynical in my old age to wish to believe such a thing myself- I know from experience that it is far more likely not to be forever, since even if I loved my fellow-of-choice forever, chances are he’d not be sure if he was ever even in love in the first place. Still, it’s a nice sentiment for a fairy tale or a daydream.
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