30 day song challenge, roots edition-Day 15

Browsing around Facebook, one often finds “challenges” that ask the user to post one thing (book title, song, picture) a day. I stumbled on this one and though it would be fun turn it into a little playlist. I’ll be posting a new song everyday, keep your eyes peeled.

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Day 15: a song you like that’s a cover by another artist.

Much too much choice: everyone and their dogs have covered everyone and their cats in the world of Americana. But I like that it allows me to post a non-Americana song in a roots version. So thanks to whoever made this challenge, and thanks to Iron & Wine for this cover of one the best songs to have ever grace the pop charts.

 

Previously:

Day 1: a song you like with a color in the title.

Day 2: a song you like with a number in the title.

Day 3: a song that reminds you of summertime.

Day 4: a song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.

Day 5: a song that needs to be played loud.

Day 6: a song that makes you want to dance.

Day 7: a song to drive to.

Day 8: a song about drugs or alcohol.

Day 9: a song that makes you happy.

Day 10: a song that makes you sad.

Day 11: a song you never get tired of.

Day 12: a song from your preteen years.

Day 13: a song you like from the 70s.

Day 14: a song you’d like to be played at your wedding.

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30 day song challenge, roots edition-Day 14

Browsing around Facebook, one often finds “challenges” that ask the user to post one thing (book title, song, picture) a day. I stumbled on this one and though it would be fun turn it into a little playlist. I’ll be posting a new song everyday, keep your eyes peeled.

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Day 14: a song you’d love to be played at your wedding.

Really a no-brainer. I heard this for the first time on the Transamerica soundtrack without knowing anything about the artist. It came at such a poignant moment of the movie and it fits the story so well I didn’t even notice it was a love song. I don’t know what else I could say besides quoting its simple and yet perfect lyrics and gently sob.

If its love you want
Hold out your arms
It’s all right here its safe and warm
It’s OK to feel good
That’s the way it should be
Everything we have is fresh and new
I will open myself up to you like a rose, like a rose

 

Previously:

Day 1: a song you like with a color in the title.

Day 2: a song you like with a number in the title.

Day 3: a song that reminds you of summertime.

Day 4: a song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.

Day 5: a song that needs to be played loud.

Day 6: a song that makes you want to dance.

Day 7: a song to drive to.

Day 8: a song about drugs or alcohol.

Day 9: a song that makes you happy.

Day 10: a song that makes you sad.

Day 11: a song you never get tired of.

Day 12: a song from your preteen years.

Day 13: a song you like from the 70s.

30 day song challenge, roots edition-Day 13

Browsing around Facebook, one often finds “challenges” that ask the user to post one thing (book title, song, picture) a day. I stumbled on this one and though it would be fun turn it into a little playlist. I’ll be posting a new song everyday, keep your eyes peeled.

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Day 13: a song you like from the 70s.

Now this on is almost too easy for a folkhead like me. Yet, I refuse to choose the easy way and post some Baez/Mitchell/Van Ronk/etc…  although I love them all very much. Reading a biography of Joni Mitchell last year, I discovered the works of Judee Sill, who only had time to record two albums before her premature death at 35. Subtle fingerstyle playing and lyrics imbued with mysticism sung in a velvety voice makes The Pearl a standout song in a sea of American folk.

 

 

Previously:

Day 1: a song you like with a color in the title.

Day 2: a song you like with a number in the title.

Day 3: a song that reminds you of summertime.

Day 4: a song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.

Day 5: a song that needs to be played loud.

Day 6: a song that makes you want to dance.

Day 7: a song to drive to.

Day 8: a song about drugs or alcohol.

Day 9: a song that makes you happy.

Day 10: a song that makes you sad.

Day 11: a song you never get tired of.

Day 12: a song from your preteen years.

30 day song challenge, roots edition-Day 12

Browsing around Facebook, one often finds “challenges” that ask the user to post one thing (book title, song, picture) a day. I stumbled on this one and though it would be fun turn it into a little playlist. I’ll be posting a new song everyday, keep your eyes peeled.

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Day 12: a song from your preteen years.

OK, so I wanted to do a purely “roots oriented” music challenge, but I didn’t listen to that much roots music when I was a pre-teen…. which doesn’t mean I wasn’t into folk music. Like many European kids in the late 90s, my first introduction to any kind of traditional music was through a now world famous musical quartet of brothers and sisters that fused Irish music and rock standards (covering Fleetwood Mac or Jimmy Hendrix) into a radio-friendly pop format, without losing its musical quality in the mix: traditional instruments, modern arrangement, interweaving harmonies… surely, my attachment to the Corrs was only the beginning of my slow drift towards roots and traditional music of any shape and style.

 

 

Previously:

Day 1: a song you like with a color in the title.

Day 2: a song you like with a number in the title.

Day 3: a song that reminds you of summertime.

Day 4: a song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.

Day 5: a song that needs to be played loud.

Day 6: a song that makes you want to dance.

Day 7: a song to drive to.

Day 8: a song about drugs or alcohol.

Day 9: a song that makes you happy.

Day 10: a song that makes you sad.

Day 11: a song you never get tired of.

30 day song challenge, roots edition-Day 11

Browsing around Facebook, one often finds “challenges” that ask the user to post one thing (book title, song, picture) a day. I stumbled on this one and though it would be fun turn it into a little playlist. I’ll be posting a new song everyday, keep your eyes peeled.

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Day 11: a song you never get tired of.

I never get tired of any song, but this is one I immensely enjoy listening to, and also playing on the banjo. It just takes me somewhere… Sally In The Garden, first tune of the set played by Abigail Washburn and members of the Silk Road Ensemble. Clearly, this is what fusion music should sound like.

 

Previously:

Day 1: a song you like with a color in the title.

Day 2: a song you like with a number in the title.

Day 3: a song that reminds you of summertime.

Day 4: a song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.

Day 5: a song that needs to be played loud.

Day 6: a song that makes you want to dance.

Day 7: a song to drive to.

Day 8: a song about drugs or alcohol.

Day 9: a song that makes you happy.

Day 10: a song that makes you sad.

30 day song challenge, roots edition-Day 10

Browsing around Facebook, one often finds “challenges” that ask the user to post one thing (book title, song, picture) a day. I stumbled on this one and though it would be fun turn it into a little playlist. I’ll be posting a new song everyday, keep your eyes peeled.

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Day 10: a song that makes you sad.

Fact: I am a huge crybaby. Sad movie? I cry. Sad book? I cry. Sad song? I cry. And listen to it over and over again until I can pay attention to the song and not cry. So I hereby refuse to choose only one sad song, and will present two song that I see as companion pieces.

The first one I fell in love with through Nanci Griffith’s cover. I like both her version and the original: she and Townes have the same plaintive tone when singing about a girl named Caroline who came from Spencer to look for work as her father in the neighboring holler couldn’t take care of her during the winter on account of a lack of coal. Here’s Townes original, but if you don’t mind crappy sound, I’d highly suggest you listen to the Van Zandt/Griffith duet on this one.

 

The second one is another tale of a lost youth, and once again, the protagonist is female. Emmylou Harris here crafts a song that tells of a whole life wasted and dreams crushed by the entrapment of red dirt America. The downward trajectory of Lillian is recorded by a first-person narrator who notices all the pitfalls that come with being a young woman in a rural place: parental violence, early pregnancy, alcoholism…

We all come into this world with so much potential and so many dreams. Who knows why some people escape and other people don’t? The key idea is in the lyric, ‘There won’t be any mentions on The News of the World.'” -Emmylou Harris

The album earned Harris a Grammy in 2001, and the named “red dirt” girl stuck to describe Alabama-born Harris herself although she made clear she “had this incredibly blessed life” and created the character of Lillian from patches of stories and remembrances she had of the South.

 

 

Previously:

Day 1: a song you like with a color in the title.

Day 2: a song you like with a number in the title.

Day 3: a song that reminds you of summertime.

Day 4: a song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.

Day 5: a song that needs to be played loud.

Day 6: a song that makes you want to dance.

Day 7: a song to drive to.

Day 8: a song about drugs or alcohol.

Day 9: a song that makes you happy.

30 day song challenge, roots edition-Day 9

Browsing around Facebook, one often finds “challenges” that ask the user to post one thing (book title, song, picture) a day. I stumbled on this one and though it would be fun turn it into a little playlist. I’ll be posting a new song everyday, keep your eyes peeled.

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Day 9: a song that makes you happy.

I don’t know whether it’s the lyrics or the delivery, or maybe the lively guitar strumming. Actually, everything in this song makes me happy, even her words after the performance.. Valerie June makes me happy. Listen to Valerie June. Be happy.

 

 

 

Previously:

Day 1: a song you like with a color in the title.

Day 2: a song you like with a number in the title.

Day 3: a song that reminds you of summertime.

Day 4: a song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget.

Day 5: a song that needs to be played loud.

Day 6: a song that makes you want to dance.

Day 7: a song to drive to.

Day 8: a song about drugs or alcohol.