“One Mississippi” – Brett Eldredge – “Bring You Back” (2013)

Apr 6
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

I’m not sure what Mr. Eldredge’s neighborhood rules were but in every game I ever got in, we got three Mississippis. Dude’s got one left in his back pocket by my count. The game ain’t over bro, you better get up field and make a play.

– DAVE

“No Hurry” – Zac Brown Band – “You Get What You Give” (2010)

Mar 25
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

Aww man, just another day of paradise on Earth. This isn’t about locales, time zones, or zip codes. This is about seeing and being, life coming and going. Full on through the windscreen, “wow that was special” out the side view, and another dozen seconds to capture and savor it in the rearview mirror. Isn’t it just the best, this blank canvas begging us to turn it into an E Ticket, thing called life? Isn’t it though? Square me up, look me in the eyes and convince me that you disagree.

I’m full o’ shit you say, full of rum and colas and away from the daily chores; you want me to prove it. In my waking hours this day, I rolled pass some cool and never seen before things in a land that I’ve never stepped foot on before. True, I’ll give you that. On the way to dinner, we stepped into a kitschy little knick knack emporium. Candle holders made out of ocean themed salvage, Terracotta turtles, local cook books, stained hardwood pieces to adorn your casa with a couple of nice bottles of wine, you get it, lots of stuff trying to make forty bucks fall out of my pocket. And, over the door to the back room a colorfully dyed piece of cloth that simply said “Kindness Matters.”

Yeah man, I looked at it three times, first impression, side view, and head swivel (rear view). That’s what I’m thinking about right now, tuning in (to something to blog) and tuning out and turning in for the night. I think up some stupid shit to entertain and perplex myself with. “Hey, when I take the dogs for a walk today, let’s do a highly scientific survey of the citizens in my urban village. Let’s see how many of them I can get to make eye contact and share a smile and a “g’morning?” What will happen? How many will meet my every friendly gesture? Will I get a wink? A parade of shoe gazers? Pepper spray (if y’all pepper my pooches I’m gonna have to whoop your ass right after I tell you good morning)? Bewilderment at genuine friendliness?

I really did this, I walked around the ‘hood one day and tallied up responses to me smiling and saying “howdy partner.” It was a mixed bag and I’m sad to say that there was way more peanuts and M and M’s that I don’t care for than the chunks of dried pineapple that I was really hoping for. But I did it because I think that people are nice to each other in paradise and try to connect with each other. It’s paradise: right here where I sit at this second 8,000 miles from home, in my nice little neighborhood that I love back home, and in all of the other little nooks and crannies that I slide into in between. Maybe that guy who looked falsely preoccupied and wouldn’t look at me just really needed his boss to get laid so that he could lighten up and stop being a dick to him. Or, maybe the dude that spun around to intensely watch his dog sniff random bushes got thugged by some bearded guy last year and still flinches when he should be relaxing. I don’t know. I wish I would have batted a thousand and gotten smiles and “what’s up brother” from everybody but I didn’t. Ain’t a big thang strangers. I forgive you. You didn’t deter me. I’ll be kind to the next random person that I cross paths with.

– DAVE

“Knee Deep” – Zac Brown Band (feat. Jimmy Buffett) – “You Get What You Give” (2010)

Feb 11
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

I feel like when I come back in a future life, full of musical talent, I’ll be Zac Brown for future generations. Dude rocks a beanie almost as good as me. He’s got me on the beard but I keep trying. The fact that I’m saying that I basically want to be a country music star the next time around is a miracle of such an incredible magnitude that I feel like I’ve already used up most of the miracles that I had cached away. I hated everything about country for at least the first 40 years of my life. I couldn’t stand the cheesy narratives detailing empty whiskey bottles, cheatin’ hearts, truck stops, and fishin’ holes. Now? I’ve gotta have it.

I should back track a tad for accuracy. I’ve been a fan of the classics like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and the like for a long time. It was the “new” stuff that I couldn’t stomach. It’s formulaic animal to a fairly large extent but I’ve really come to appreciate a lot of it. I guess if that’s all that I’ve got to say about it is that some of it sounds like it got hemmed together in a musical sweat shop than that isn’t a very good reason to hate. Kind of like how I’m going to choose a Lagunitas or Diamond Knot IPA a lot of nights but I’ve still got love for an ice cold bottle of Bud.

– DAVE

Shuffle: “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” – Blake Shelton – “All About Tonight” (2010)

Jan 23
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

Wednesdays are fun – just randomly pulling something out of the hat. This Blake Shelton song showed itself this day.

American Idol’s back. The new, sort of, recycled judges are kind of meh. Kind of funny that my wife seems to enjoy Harry Connick Jr. the most of the three judges. Funny because she hates Conan O’Brien’s self deprecating humor and yet Harry (who I kind of think has a lot of that same Blackness that got associated with Bill Clinton) pulls the woe, is me gag about five times per hour and it doesn’t get old. Hmmm? I’ve got to admit of the three judges, I enjoy Harry the most too and just so ya’ know, I enjoy Conan as well.

– DAVE

“Come Back Song” – Darius Rucker – “Charleston, SC 1966” (2010)

Jan 4
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

I’m too cold and tired to add much commentary but I’ve wanted to post this guy for awhile. There’s nothing abundantly, phenomenal about this dude’s tunes. It’s big time, Nashville, rush hour traffic country but the dude can blow and there’s never been any doubt about that. It’s as comfortable as the homemade mac and cheese that I made a couple of days ago and fulfills a need.

– DAVE

“All Kinds of Kinds” – Miranda Lambert – “Four The Record” (2011)

Dec 3
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

Country girls two nights in a row? What kind of voodoo trickeration has the better half pulled on the owner of this blog?

– DAVE

“I Miss You” – Kacey Musgraves – “Same Trailer Different Park” (2013)

Dec 3
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

Time to start thinking about some “Best of” lists for 2013? I’ll throw my hat in for this album being one of the best country albums of the year and Thee Best New Country Artist of the Year. I have no idea how the CMA’s viewed this one but I would think that “Same Trailer Different Park” fared pretty well amongst its peer albums.

– DAVE

“Goodbye In Her Eyes” – Zac Brown Band – “Uncaged” (2012)

Apr 28
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

We spent a lot of time rocking out in the car on the four day Northern Cali.-Oregon Coast-Porlandia and back road trip. It was mostly scanning for the strongest radio signal as we passed from one middle sized burg to the next. KEXP and NPR quickly faded to Top 40 through the South Sound. The big country stations came in loud in clear from Clark County to Salem and beyond to Grants Pass. Then on the diagonal jaunt to the California state line we picked up some mighty fine classic rock and KISWesque audaciousness through Crescent City, CA. and on to Eureka. Kind of makes sense considering that my perusal of the Eureka Wikipedia entry showed that Mike Patton and at least one of his Faith No More mates is from Eureka.

Then the arena rockers of a couple of decades ago faded in and out, trading places with the country set on the drive back up the coast. Our eastward drive through the hills was covered by Zune playlists consisting of stuff such as Beach House, Stevie Ray, Miguel, and PJ Harvey. Not a bad way to spend 1,200 miles, looking at the countryside, chattin’ with my honey, and eating Hot Tamales, and Mint Oreos. Somewhere along the line, I said that I need to go home and take another look at the ZBB schedule. It ain’t going to work for me this year as I’ll be out of town when they are in or around town. Great band though and one day I’ll get to see them.

– DAVE

“Follow Your Arrow” – Kacey Musgraves – “Same Trailer Different Park” (2013)

Mar 23
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

Country Diva Ascension Alert! There are a couple of ’em, Nashville stars in the making on Idol. And then there’s Ms. Musgraves. Lacking the big ol’ show stopping voice of a Carrie Underwood but with more stories about the struggles of life in the lower middle socio-econ section of America, Musgraves has done a good job of acquiring a broad swath of fans with “Merry Go ‘Round.” Plug into the album and spend 45 minutes listening to it and you’ll probably find something to put on repeat… that is if you like that whole country thang.

Actually, I’m not sure if she’s diva material, mostly because she strikes me as one who would take that d-word as a four letter word. I can see how the heartfelt sentiments and gettin’ baked nature of life in the uncertain class could appeal to a wider audience but I see this gal more as one that will speak (loudly) to the demographic that she is part of while scooping up a few extra fans from the rush hour crowd who channel surf on their morning commute. Just keep on keepin’ it real girl and your original base will buy every song that you ever take to market.

– DAVE

“Wanted” – Hunter Hayes – “Hunter Hayes” (2011)

Jan 9
Posted by admin Filed in New Country

The research trip is going well. We’re collecting soil samples. We’re monitoring wind conditions. Traffic patterns to and from the places that will sell us our daily needs and wants are being documented. We are evaluating the best route back and forth across the rock to meet up with the kin folk. We add empirical data and integrate with personal data and try to formulate solutions. And when we get a crook in our neck from pouring over all of this painstaking work, we go outside, and contemplate a cold one. Research is a bitch.

You can be stuck out in the middle of Oceania in this day and age and still have a world of music of at your finger tips but when you get in the car and pretend for a second that it was ten years ago, and relegate yourself to the local stations, your love for music can really get put to the test. My year or two old realization that I really kind of like country was prescient to what will be the end result of our research project.

Everyday that the project goes on, I see more compelling reasons for results to happen sooner rather than later. The best Christmas present that I’ve received in quite possibly forever was from my nine year old niece who made me a coloring book. I don’t know what is more ridiculous: the meticulousness of the several page book that she made for us, the fact that I haven’t seen her for over a year and a half, or that she knew that her uncle (even if he didn’t know if beforehand) wanted nothing more for Christmas than a coloring book from his niece.

The monotonous toil of research will grind on tomorrow.

– DAVE