I am the last person you would want to ask about music. Seriously.
I have no clue what band is the latest thing to hit the scene.
In fact, if you looked in my music library on my computer, you would see lots and lots of 80’s bands and songs.
I’m stuck in the 80’s and I can’t get up!!
But, recently, I have come across a few bands that seem to make it to my playlist over and over.
And, guess what!
They are from the 2000s!! (Yes, I understand 13 years is a long span of time considering how much music is produced monthly….cut me some slack, will ya?)
As I was preparing for this blog post, I realized that if I were going to give reviews on music, I would most definitely need a larger, more descriptive vocabulary. Saying things like, “I like it a lot!” and “It’s just plain good, y’all!” doesn’t cut the mustard.
I knew I would have to dig deep in my soul to find phrases like, “latticework of concordant chords,” and “where labyrinthine layers of effects-laden guitar build to cathartic crescendos,” etc. to describe the music.
That took it out of me.
I can’t do it.
I’m just not that creative. Nor is my vocabulary expansive enough.
So, I decided I would tell you how I use each album. In other words, I’ll attach an appropriate activity to each artist or band–what I might do while listening.
The Civil Wars.
Just about everyone has heard of them, but on the off-chance that there’s someone crawling out from under their own personal 80’s rock, I offer this great duo as my first suggestion.
They just released their new album (See? I still call them albums; that should tell you something…), called The Civil Wars (fitting, no?). I like it almost as much as their hit album of 2011, Barton Hollow.
I am sad to read that the duo is no longer speaking to one another. So, even though we got this latest album out of them, I’m not convinced they will continue to record together. Which is a shame, since they write and sing so well together. I sure hope they work out whatever conflicts they are having and eventually produce another album.
Just think of all the songs they can write about their “break up” and “make up” season! Taylor Swift would have NOTHING on them!
When I’m listening to The Civil Wars, I can usually be found:
1) driving long distances
2) sipping wine or coffee
3) company is over and we are eating dinner and, again, sipping wine
4) working on photos on my computer, alone, in my office, sipping wine
Okay. So, if you like The Civil Wars, then you most likely will love Johnnyswim.
I recently learned of them via another blog.
Boy, am I glad I read that post!
Johnnyswim’s album has 6 whole songs.
But, you get a bang for your buck with those 6 songs!
They aren’t exactly like The Civil Wars–they have a little pep in a few of their songs with very creative nuances (i.e. the bass drum making a subtle heartbeat while they sing…you guessed it… “Heart Beats”).
Activities while listening:
See list above.
Add sipping wine.
Last year I somehow stumbled upon Brandi Carlile (not to be confused with Belinda Carlisle of the wonderfully fun 80’s group, The Go-Gos).
Brandi Carlile falls into the same category as The Civil Wars and Johnnyswim…sort of, but not really.
(See? I told you I’m no good at this!)
Brandi has a folky feel, yet, she leans heavily into some classic country. I told my husband she’s kind of a female Johnny Cash. But, folkier.
She’s described as, “American alternative country and folk rock singer.” (All they missed was gospel in that list!)
Her songs are fun, and thoughtful, with an occasional nod to the past. Check her out.
Okay, so this is what I’d do while listening to Brandi:
1) mow the lawn (No, really! I do a lot of listening to music while on the riding lawn mower! …we have a lot of yard to mow these days…)
2) ride a horse
3) shell peas on the porch, sipping iced tea (Fooled you! You thought I’d say wine, didn’t you?!)
4) take a long road trip …to a dude ranch
My college-aged son, much to his chagrin, has influenced my music tastes as of late.
One of the bands he told me about, about a year ago, is John Butler Trio. I absolutely love this band! I can listen to them almost daily, they’re that good.
(This is where I struggle getting beyond, “I like them a lot, okay?!”)
They are so creative and fresh, in my opinion. A little rock…well, a lot of rock…but with unusual beats and rhythms, and crazy guitar sounds. Please check them out!
(Other bands I can listen to on a daily basis include Coldplay, U2–of course!–Switchfoot, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, and even Mutemath–another older recommendation by my oldest son.)
I can listen to John Butler Trio while:
2) driving–long and short distances
3) working on my computer
5) sitting out by the pool
6) sipping iced tea AND wine
(Please be aware, this band is for adults, as there are a few dirty words on a couple songs.)
At the time I read about Johnnyswim, I was also made aware of Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Oh my. What a GREAT band! Their Live album is like a long, well-constructed jam session!
Susan Tedeschi’s voice. No words.
Yes, amazing would be a good word.
She is a mix between Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, and oh-so-good. Lots of bluesy soul and depth.
Her husband and lead guitarist is Derek Trucks. His music history is pretty amazing, itself. Do a little Google on the guy.
I am determined to see this band in concert, at some point in my life. I have a feeling they would be sooo much fun to see perform live.
(By the way, is it Te-DESK-ee or Te-DESH-ee??)
I listen to this band while:
1) driving long distances–their Live album is long and full–it’ll fill your car with a great groove
2) sipping wine, while hanging out by the pool, with friends
3) cleaning the house
4) folding laundry
5) mowing (Yes! I DO mow a lot, thankyouverymuch!)
8) well, just about anything, honestly
Ben Rector needs an honorable mention, as well. I really like his fun style–he’s kind of peppy, light, has catchy tunes. You’ve probably heard his work without even realizing it. I believe he has a couple songs on commercials??
And, don’t forget Mumford and Sons!
Oh! And, as someone who prides herself on not purchasing tons of music from American Idol, and the likes, I must admit, I broke down and downloaded Phil Phillips album.
Love it. Honestly.
It’s just plain good, y’all!
P.S. Tell me what your favorite band/singer is!