Here are this week’s five songs worth listening to.
Mike McClure–Little Bit Of Love
I haven’t always been a sucker for the “woman’s redemption” songs. You know the “I was lost until she loved me” stuff. For some reason, they started to resonate a little more six years or so ago.
Mike has a new, reflective album that also includes an ode to a lost friend, Tom Skinner. I bring this up so I can tell my Mike McClure/Tom Skinner story. The Mike McClure Band opened for the Damn Quails in Riverton. I spent most of their opening act drinking with the fiddle player from the Damn Quails. It may have been John Calvin Abney, who is out on his own now. Memory is fuzzy on that one, but he is pretty sure it was him. I think a few whiskeys in I told him he was dressed like a douche. Anyone, I didn’t catch much of the McClure Band.
But, he had Skinner on bass. Tom was one of the original Red Dirt guys and a huge influence on a lot of my favorite bands. I walk up and go “You are Tom F****ing Skinner!”. He replies “I am Tom F****ing Skinner!”. He laughs. I laugh. We become best friends for about an hour or so. We wound up at back of the bar in the smoking area and we starting writing lyrics to a song with a girl we also met that night. We called it Mama Was A Truck Driving Man. I don’t remember how it went. Remember, this was Whiskey Weez.
Anyone, Tom passed away before I got to see him again and this is not Mama Was A Truck Driving Man.
Brent Cobb–Dust Under The Rug
Brent, otherwise known as Dave’s cousin, is quickly becoming an accomplished wordsmith. Dust Under The Rug is a little ditty that is basically a subtle “step off, asshole.”
I don’t raid your beer fridge when I’m thirsty
I don’t ring your door bell after nine
I don’t call your lover when I’m lonely
So don’t you even let your big toe cross that line.
Bon Jovi–American Reckoning
So, am I the only one that missed Bon Jovi becoming a folky. His new album, 2020 is almost entirely social justice and protest songs, many of which would seemingly on a Dylan or Cohen album. American Reckoning is one of the more subdued but less subtle ones that doesn’t hold back at all. I might have to break out my Stone Pony shirt today in honor of this album.
Maren Morris–Better Than We Found It
Speaking of the moment and the movement. Maren Morris has been a rising star within country. Better Than We Found It is a song she probably could not have done just a decade or two ago, not unless her name was Loretta Lynn. Just ask the Dixie Chicks, now The Chicks. This one explores what history will look upon this time as, and us specifically. When Maren first hit the scene, I didn’t know what to think, mostly because that one got overplayed so much. But Steve Earle stuck up for her, and that was good enough in my book. Every since, I have seen why, from the Highwomen stuff to this.
When the lines of tomorrow are drawn, can I live with the side I chose to be on?
Tom Petty–Leave Virginia Alone
New stuff from Tom Petty? Well, sort of. Petty wrote and recorded Leave Virginia Alone nearly 30 years ago. But he thought it sounded too similar to another track on the album which became Wildflowers, so he left it off. So he gave the song to Rod Stewart, who charted a top 10 song with it. Well, circle back around to 2020 and we have a posthumous release of Wildflowers and All The Rest box set. It includes the Petty version. Also cool: Petty’s daughter Adria directed the video.
We’ll be back with five more next week. Until then, remember the immortal words…
“Songs are really just interesting things to be doing with the air.” Tom Waits