41. The Littlest Birds – “The Parting Glass” – I thought of including one of this folk duo’s luscious originals on this list, but I really really like this version of this traditional song. The Littlest Birds toured through here a few months ago, playing on a particularly dead night during an exam week, at a venue just a block from campus, so they didn’t have the massive crowd they deserve, but maybe next time they can throw a show together with someone like Justin Roth, Patrick Dethlefs, or Whippoorwill to bring in a few new ears. Once more people have had a chance to see this duo, they’ll be quite a hit here, I’m sure.
42. Johnny Cash – “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” – I was feeling fidgety, depressed and not at all in the mood to find music for a playlist, and someone put this song on in the bar’s jukebox. Having heard this very cool-sounding song, I felt much better about going home and finding 19 more songs for my playlist.
43. He’s My Brother She’s My Sister – “Can’t See the Stars” – This song was in the set this band played for our Tour de Fat show this year. That was my first Tour de Fat, so it was quite memorable, and finding this cool California band was a great bonus on an already great day of music and craziness.
44. The Corries – “La Di Dum” – It’s really just his nose they are talking about, really.
45. Celtic Thunder – “She Moved Through the Fair” – Another of my favorite music moments of the year was seeing Celtic Thunder do this song live. Much of their live show is very similar, as similar as possible, to the recorded CD and DVD versions of the songs they perform, so there are few surprises, and most of the excitement and interest comes from mistakes and banter between songs. But, this song in particular came out much better live than in the official recordings, a luscious sequence of harmonies that could really be felt in the air during the song.
46. Young Dubliners – “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” – Seeing this band live, and meeting part of the band, was one of the earlier highlights of this year. Keith was very drunk, so no, I didn’t meet him, but I hadn’t imagined I’d get to see them at all when I all of a sudden got the chance to take photos at their Aggie show in March.
47. Rachel Brooke – “Only For You” – I got this song stuck in my head a few weeks ago and was sure it had to be an oldie from someone like Crystal Gale, because it sounds so solid and classic. But, no, it is a recent song from Michigan country singer Rachel Brooke. This woman has such stage presence that even people who aren’t really into country find themselves mesmerized if they stick around when she starts performing.
48. Rachel & the Kings – “Soldier Boy” – My list of favorite Denver bands has grown quite a bit longer than I’d realized; I hadn’t thought I know so many folks in the Denver scene yet. This is one of my favorites. I actually really like their Alanis Morissette covers, though I usually go for originals over covers. Rachel has the perfect image and energy to do justice to songs most people can’t quite manage.
49. Phish- “Possum” – Here’s another song that is a favorite around here at bluegrass jams and even the occasional Dead jam.
50. Petals of Spain – “I Gotta Know” – They sound like Queen! I’m sure they are going to get tired of hearing me say that, but on this song I can’t really help it. This is easily my favorite Denver band right now. And, when I last saw one of the fellows from this band a couple weeks ago he said they were most definitely hoping to book some more Fort Collins shows, maybe even at Avogadro’s Number (which would be conveniently close to my apartment).
51. John Prine – “The Moon Is Down” – Everyone is covering John Prine songs right now, a trend that has grown on me a little after a while. I have yet to hear anyone cover this song, though.
52. Goran Ivanovic and Andreas Kapsalis – “Migration of the Solstice” – Few instrumentals made the cut, but this duo was so amazing when I saw them live at the beginning of the year that they had to be included here.
53. Eastmountainsouth – “So Are You To Me” – I really don’t think I’ve heard a local band that sounds quite like this yet, though I know a few musicians who could sound like this if they played together. Eastmountainsouth no longer exists, so if I want to hear stuff like this live, we’ll need a new band or ensemble. I’m alright with this idea.
54. Crosby Stills & Nash – “Hopelessly Helping” – I always have liked this song, but this year I had the experience of meeting someone for whom this song may easily have been written, and he and his band actually performed a gorgeous cover of this song. I am sure that the significance of the lyrics has not escaped the fellow in question, even if I were not taking photos and watching the band’s faces while they were singing it. So, now, it is still a pretty song, but I can no longer hear it without actually thinking about the lyrics.
55. The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow” – It’s a cool song, it is actually somewhat well-known, and we have people here who can cover it very well. This song may be the “Wagon Wheel” of 2014 at this rate.
56. Chris Pureka – “California” – This one and the next song are more recent finds that I am still digesting, but if I had to guess I would expect that Chris Pureka and Cheryl Wheeler will turn up plenty on next year’s lists.
57. Cheryl Wheeler – “Grey and Green”
58. The Airbourne Toxic Event – “Boots of Spanish Leather” – The band name references my favorite scene from Don DeLillo’s book White Noise, a book I otherwise wasn’t too thrilled with. The airborne toxic event, though, was a hilarious episode, highlighting the absurdities inherent in bureaucracy.
59. Billy Joel – “The Longest Time” – I suppose this song made the cut in part because as much as I am relieved that I didn’t lose any friends over my crushes this year, I also am well aware that I am in my mid-30’s and not getting any younger. Falling for someone can be really annoying and embarrassing, but I also hope that I haven’t already enjoyed all the romance I’ll get to have in my life. I can’t call it a goal- that’s not how love works- but it would be cool if I could meet someone in 2014 with whom my being in love would be welcome and not just inconvenient.
60. Blind Melon – “For My Friends” – I have tried to get into Blind Melon after chatting with my friend Laniece about this band and their music. She sings with a Blind Melon cover band here in town, and when they played a whole set of Blind Melon songs, I liked all of them. They just don’t appeal to me the same way though on recordings from Blind Melon, with the exception so far of this song. I really like this one. So, I am probably not gonna be a huge Blind Melon fan, but at least I found this great song.
Well, that’s my ‘top 60’ for the year, just about, though I will probably add another 40 songs by December 31st for the end-of-the-year list. Have I missed your favorites from my lists? Which songs have you enjoyed on these playlists? What new music have you discovered through these weekly posts? Which songs from my lists do you think deserve to be added to my list for the top 100 at the end of the year (which is in ~10 days from today)? What new music should I be checking out for next year’s lists?