Monthly Archives: January 2009

“On a Saturday night in a town like this I forget all my songs about trains”


Josh Ritter – “Me & Jiggs” from Golden Age of Radio (2002)

Josh Ritter – “To the Dogs or Whoever” from The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter (2007)

I discover a lot of music by watching David Letterman.  Josh Ritter was on the show about a year ago, and after seeing him perform “To The Dogs or Whoever” I was hooked.  Check the video out for yourself.  I had never heard of Mr. Ritter at that point and I figured he was a new artist promoting his first album.  But I soon found out that the album he was promoting on Letterman was his fifth studio album and was actually a departure from his first four folk-tinged, alt-country-ish albums.  The track “Me & Jiggs” is from Golden Age of Radio, his first major release.  His eponymous first album was self-released in 2000 (Golden Age was also recorded in 2000 and self-released in 2001.  It was re-released in 2002 on the Signature Sounds label).

“Me & Jiggs” reminds me of hot summer nights in a wistful, romantic version of the small town where I grew up.  The mention of Townes Van Zandt in this song prompted me to start listening to him; TVZ is now one of my favorites.

Just try to memorize all the words to “To the Dogs or Whoever.”  Go ahead, try it.

Buy Josh Ritter

Posted by Adam


Filed under 2000s, Acoustic, Americana, Singer-Songwriter

“You can’t afford to close your doors so soon no more.”

Bad Brains – “Banned In D.C.” from Bad Brains (1982)

I’m headed to our nation’s capital this afternoon, to visit my fellow SWR-ite, Jordy, and his wife. Hopefully I won’t be kicked out for destroying the Capitol with a bolt of lightning or anything.

Bad Brains Live

Buy Bad Brains

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 1980s, Punk, Rock

“My it’s been a long time”


Willie Nelson – “Funny How Time Slips Away” from Nite Life: Greatest Hits & Rare Tracks (1959 – 1971) (1989), originally released in 1962.

When I was on the National Mall yesterday and hundreds of thousands of people booed our old President and Vice-President, I was reminded of how wonderful it is that we are able and, indeed, obligated to change our leaders every 4 to 8 years.

We here at SWR wish you the best in the next four years, whatever your political beliefs.

Buy Willie

Posted by Jordy

1 Comment

Filed under 1960s, Rock

This is our music

Ornette Coleman – “Peace” from The Shape of Jazz To Come (1959)

Here’s hopin’.

He really should have had Ornette play at the inauguration.

He really should have had Ornette play at the inauguration.

Buy the big O

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 1950s, Instrumental, Jazz

“Ain’t my cup o’ meat”

Bob Dylan and the Band – “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) – take 2” from A Tree with Roots (1967/2001) and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)” from The Best of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (1996)

Rock went through some profound changes in the 1970s: genres like jazz and funk seeped into mainstream sounds, musicians became more proficient with rock instruments, and new technologies like the synthesizer changed the timbre of popular rock.

This shift is illustrated well by Bob Dylan’s “Quinn the Eskimo” recorded by Dylan with the Band in the basement of Big Pink in 1967 and a live version performed by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 1978.

Also see Manfred Mann (sans Earth Band) performing it on TotP in 1968.

Buyb Dylan

Buy Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

Posted by Jordy


Filed under 1960s, 1970s, Tree With Roots

“Bring your love to me, don’t send it”

...and more handsome than 3/4 of the Beatles

The Everly Brothers – “Walk Right Back” (1961) and “Cathy’s Clown” (1960) from The Very Best of the Everly Brothers (1995)

When I did that Nilsson post a few weeks ago, I thought “Cathy’s Clown” was the only Everly Brothers song referenced by Harry in the accompanying video clip.  It turns out that the main tune therein, “Walk Right Back,” written by Sonny Curtis of the Crickets, was also made famous by Phil and Don.

Any rock fan worth their salt ought to pick up an Everly Bros. comp.  They set the standard for vocal harmonies in rock music and had a tremendous influence on pop songwriting generally.  Let the enclosed gems run through your head for a few days and you’ll agree.

And don’t forget about Nilsson either.  That guy was a genius.

Revel in it

Posted by Jordy


Filed under 1960s, Pop, Rock