Fab Five Friday–Jan. 15, 2020

Here are this week’s five songs worth listening to, even if they are a day late.

Brandi Carlile–Black Hole Sun

Last year, there was a Chris Cornell tribute show. Brandi Carlile came out and did Black Hole Sun with the Soundgarden band. And she nailed it, because she is, in fact, Brandi Carlile. Well, now there is a studio version of her covering the song. Guess what? It’s good. Again. Although I also still stand by my take that the Avetts live version of this song just crushes.

Amanda Shires–That’s All

Hey, why not have two women from the Highwomen doing covers this week? From Soundgarden to…Genesis. Yeah. Genesis. Shires was one years old when this song was released. She calls this her Covid anthem. With a kick drum and piano syncopation, this is pop without being, you know, “pop”.


Dessa is part of Minneapolis collective Doomtree, who puts out some of my favorite hip hop of the last decade or so. Rome is a socially-aware construct about modern life in the city. My favorite part of the building of this song is she got the drums sample from buskers playing on buckets in a New York subway and got their permission to record.

Church of Roswell–Rocketeer

Here is the feel good song of the day. Seriously, I listen to a lot of sad songs. I get it. This is not one of them. This is about as optimistic as it feels, even if it is bittersweet, about failed relationships and getting stuck. It just doesn’t “feeeel” that way when you listen to it. Okay yeah, maybe I do optimism a little different than most. Church of Roswell is Candi Carpenter and Josh Doyle. This song also features a few of Jason Isbell’s bandmates: Derry deBorja, Chad Gamble, Jim Hart and Sadler Vaden.

Steve Earle–Last Words

Speaking of sad songs, I hate to do this to you, but I have to. Steve Earle’s tribute album to his some came out last week, on JT’s birthday. It features Steve covering several of his departed son’s songs. And this one. The only original Steve wrote in tribute to his oldest, who died from an overdose over the summer. As Steve said, “this is the truest song I ever wrote.”

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


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