A local yokel columnist opined a while back there was no good music being made anymore. In an arena full of misinformation, that was somehow one of the more fatuous claims made in some time. There is plenty of great music still getting pumped out regularly. And with the plethora of mediums available these days, one could argue that more than ever. But like many times in the past, the best new music rarely makes it to the airwaves of whatever local station is in your area. Luckily, there is an entire world beyond those restrictions these days. The key is finding the will to find it. Not everyone is going to take the time to do the necessary exploration. And I get that. Music is different things to different people. My wife and I have very different listening habits. But for me, songs have always been my favorite form of poetry. I am a lyricist at heart. A wannabe, but, a want-to-be nevertheless.
As a kid, I had hand-written lyrics of my favorite songs saved in a three-ring binder. As an adult(ish), for several years I would try to listen to and rate every song on at least 100 new albums a year. I have spreadsheets. Yeah, I know–nerds. That number dropped to around 50 the last couple of years. I fell behind. I’m trying to catch back up, because they never stopped making good music, despite what some curmudgeons may want you to believe.
With that in mind, I’m firing up this column, Fab Five Friday, to try to highlight five new, or relatively new, songs a week. What genre will these selections come from? I have no clue. I say there are only two genres of music–1. shit I like. 2. shit I don’t. Any more restrictions than that is kind of like adding context to most of my jokes, it just doesn’t work. My music tastes are about as eclectic as this little blog appears to be, with an acknowledgement that my wheelhouse seems to be roots/americana/outlaw tinged with a bit of regret and a lot of whiskey. Hey, I’ve lived a life, well, lived.
I doubt this column name is original enough to not exist somewhere previously. I’m going with it for now, because, well Fab Five Freddie told me everybody’s high.
Zac Brown Band— Leaving Love Behind.
The ZBB is one of the bands where their biggest hit was quite possibly the worse song on the album it was on. Chicken Fried saw a ton of played. Most of their stuff is better. This one is no exception. It oozes of an ode to Jackson Browne. Piano ballad, sorrow, soaring strings in the end. And this stanza:
The sun fades on me now
And I miss you like words can't know
And I missed my shot at dying young a long time ago
It's just a lesson learned in love
It's not angry, it's not sad
Sometimes you got to lose something
To know what you have
Like I said, I have a wheelhouse: sorrow, regret, longing for the lost. Pour me a glass, turn out the lights and leave me alone.
What? You didn’t think I would get through the inaugural FFF without Tyler Childers, on the day his new album came, did ya? Since I already posted several from the new album earlier in the week, went with another one for this one. Songs of the small town life are a normal thing ’round this part. This is one of the small town kid that got out, and guess what, there is regret. I swear I am fine. Don’t check on me.
Now they knew not his name and he knew not their faces
And he knew not the how nor the reason for why
You could ever wake up and wanna keep on a-livin'
In a place where a friend is such a hard thing to find
The Highwomen–Crowded Table
Outside of Country squire, the other album I have been looking forward to the most is from the supergroup The Highwomen–Brandi Carlisle, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris. It is set to come out in September. The first single off the upcoming album had a fun video featuring a ton of some of the best singers in country music. I prefer this song, however. They also have a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain floating around now.
This one is finally an upbeat one in this week’s selection. I mean, look at this:
If we want a garden
We're gonna have to sow the seed
Plant a little happiness
Let the roots run deep
If it's love that we give
Then it's love that we reap
Quaker City Night Hawks–Suit In The Back
Time to blues it up a bit. Think slightly dirtier, funkier ZZ Top. This one walks. If you prefer a more typical southern rock, check out Fox In the Henhouse. Suit in the Back is about a run-in with a trooper while on tour with Chris Stapleton. Other road mates under their belt: Lucero and J. Roddy Walston. This is the company they keep.
Ryan Bingham–Jingle & Go
This one actually came out in February, but this week seemed like a good week to feature Bingham, as it looks like his character in Yellowstone was just written out of the show, for now at least. Yellowstone is Sons of Anarchy Western Edition. Bingham’s Walker has been my favorite part of the show, followed closely by the musical selections used in the show. Lots of Whiskey Myers, some Isbell, some Stapleton, and yes, some Childers.
Have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments. Also, check out the Spotify list.