Sunday Music: Learning To Fly (But I Ain’t Got Wings)

tom petty learning to fly single cover

I had it on cassette and played it to death in my Walkman. I'd play it on the swings, daydreaming about performing songs like these on a stage to cheering, adoring, and equally passionate fans. And here, all these years later, it sneaks up on me because a friend quotes it in an email. The … Continue reading Sunday Music: Learning To Fly (But I Ain’t Got Wings)

Sunday Music: The Marfa Tapes Are (Camp)Fire(y)

This is the ultimate around the campfire recording. Seriously. It sounds like they recorded it on an iPhone around a campfire (or outside at least on some creaky chairs, sipping something strong, bleeding their hearts all over a dusty floor). It sounds that way because it’s what they did. Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, and Jon … Continue reading Sunday Music: The Marfa Tapes Are (Camp)Fire(y)

Sunday Music: Playlist for April 2021

I’ve had this one cooking for months and I am (finally) ready to call it done. As usual, we’re all over the place stylistically, but the connections are there if you look for them. From the poppy start to the folksy balladeer finish, I think these songs are as ready for springtime as I am. … Continue reading Sunday Music: Playlist for April 2021

Sunday Music: “Call Me A Fool” By Valerie June

There’s a sensitivity in the drawl of Valerie June’s voice that’s mesmerizing to me. Lots of people have unique voices, but few of them have the mastery over their instrument that she does. June’s got an ability to pull tones, sounds, and emotions out of songs that are unique to her. She’s got a new … Continue reading Sunday Music: “Call Me A Fool” By Valerie June

Sunday Music: Yes Miranda, We Can Be Friends

So an old friend texts me asking how much time I’ve spent with a certain Miranda Lambert record. I let him know, “I mean, I know who she is and kind of know some of her stuff, but I never really paid that close attention to her. Why?” He says, “Trust me, this record is … Continue reading Sunday Music: Yes Miranda, We Can Be Friends

Sunday Music: Lord I’m Going Uptown To The Harlem River To Drown

Steve Earle lost his son and fellow musician Justin Townes Earle last year. As if that’s not tough enough, Steve just released a tribute album of him performing his son’s music. The whole record is as emotional in concept as it is in performance. J.T.’s songwriting always had a way of hitting a nerve with … Continue reading Sunday Music: Lord I’m Going Uptown To The Harlem River To Drown

Sunday Music: But It’s Still Alright

Nathaniel Rateliff’s “And It’s Still Alright” is a tough, tough song packaged in an airy, acoustic, softly-lined shell. There’s a whole lot of brilliant writing and intense emotion going on here. I’ll put the lyrics below, but when you listen, note the pacing and grouping of his phrases. There are parts where it feels like … Continue reading Sunday Music: But It’s Still Alright

Sunday Music: New Playlist For December 2020

Well, here is a broad collection of moods for you. Join me in what is apparently my early winter vibe. You’ll notice a lot of Sunday music features here, so scroll back through for more notes. We’ve got an eclectic mix of old and new, from Sturgill’s bluegrass to Flo Milli’s bratty sassiness. Here it … Continue reading Sunday Music: New Playlist For December 2020

Street Fighters And Street Writers

Legendary Nashville songwriter Sharon Vaughn calls herself “a street writer.” Not a street fighter, but a street writer, and they’re related. It’s all about practical and applied skills. This is so badass and broadly applicable, here’s what she means. Vaughn says a street writer knows how to walk the line between a personal poem and … Continue reading Street Fighters And Street Writers