Monday Mixtape – Off to a Good Start

And just like that we’re in September. Even though I haven’t done all too much in that time, I feel the summer has been a whirlwind and that I’ve had hardly enough time to catch my breath.

All silly, minced cliches aside, it’s been a busy August. I took in some baseball, some great outdoors, and, of course, some good music. In particular, I saw one of my favorite artists, Josh Ritter. It was a fantastic show, and I’ll be sharing more about it later on, but for now I wanted to check in with a simple mix tape of melodies that have been taking repetitive paseos through my brain lately and popping up on heavy rotation on my Spotify and iTunes playlists.

I think I’ll call it my “Fall Good Vibes Kick-off Mix.”


1. Josh Ritter – Great Big Mind

One of the many lesser-known tracks from Josh Ritter that tickles me terribly. Even when he pairs simple chord progressions with simple story lines he’s able to cover deep and yet intimate emotional spaces.


2. The Avett Brothers – The Once And Future Carpenter
Gosh darn it am I looking forward to their upcoming fall release— and just a year removed from their previous album (on which this song is the first track). It’s nothing new to these guys, having proven themselves prolific songwriters and performers, and this track is proof of both this history and promise of more that is sure to come.


3. Amos Lee – Flower
This man has many songs that could sing for hours in my heart. What a sound. What a voice. His cool blend of r&b, soul, and rock & roll is the tonic for the hustling bustle of life. And he too happens to have a new record due out in early October.  It’s going to be a heckuva fall.


4. Jake Bugg – Country Song
I’ll save (most of) the comparisons of him to folk rock’s all-time greats to others, because his stuff can definitely speak for itself. This being one of the softer tracks on his self-titled debut, it gives us a chance to get to know the man behind the music a bit more. When all is said and done, he’s just a guy looking to string some nice words together, put it to music, and send it to your door.


5. Kingsley Flood – The Fire Inside
The maverick selection in this decidedly more laid-back mix. These guys opened for Mr. Ritter at the show I saw earlier last month, and they made quite the impression. The sound might hit a little rough around the other pieces in the list, but the message beneath it strikes a similar tune: feeling like your stuck, wondering where you are, and looking for a way to change for the better.


6. Jason Mraz – Be Honest (feat. Inara George)
One of the most adroit wordsmiths working in music today– and a talented musician to boot– this song really takes the edge of a busy day. I’d love a little slice of his optimism (and his songwriting skill) with me on a daily basis.


7. Dawes – From The Right Angle
My jam. My anthem. My just-crossed-the-finish-line-kind-of sigh of relief. And so damn good. These guys have crept their way into my memory banks– memory jukebox is probably more like it– and this one has stuck to me good. Listen to this one with the windows rolled down– bass and kick drum pulsing– the whole nine yards.


8. The Tallest Man On Earth – Little River
I hope we hear again soon from this talented troubadour from the North Sea. It’s relief. It’s epiphany. It’s joy and insight woven into pieces of memory with a careful hand.


9. Zach Singer – The Adult
After all the restful introspection, a little extra pick-me-up to get us where we’re going. I love the playful instrumentation and delivery of it. Sure we’re all adults, but why take the joy out of growing up?

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