Here's a quick recap of some of the tunes in heavy rotation at Casa Scampwalker, in no particular order. Please give them a listen, and support the artists if their songs move you. And better yet, go out and get you some live music!
Jason Boland And The Stragglers - High In The Rockies. Just a great, straightforward live country CD. It's a bit suspect that they released aptly-named disc on 4/20 and got busted for herb possession just a couple days prior, but these (other) boys from Oklahoma know how to work a crowd through a damn fun live set.
Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever. These guys are the 21st century reincarnation of Husker Du. Minneapolis genes, brilliant and complicated lyrical storytelling, and the amalgamated snarl of Bob Mould and Grant Hart -- (sorta) grown up, (kinda) grasping spirituality, and (a little) less pissed off than they used to be. Just like me!
Backyard Tire Fire - Good To Be. These cats oughta be bigger than they are. I discovered them a few years ago on emusic, during their (sorta) breakout album Bar Room Semantics. On this effort, they rip it on the first couple of tracks -- it frankly sounds different than the rest of the disc. The rest slips into a Chuck Prophet/Wilco on Zoloft springtime groove. Which is just about perfect, because it's, um, spring.
Willie Nelson - Country Music. It's a bit ironic that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of country music has to label his latest disc as he does, but with all the crazy shit that Willie's involved in, you can kind of sympathize. They're old country standards, done in an old-timey manner. Not brilliant, but classic, wholesome Willie. I've been whistling Drinking Champagne for four days now.
Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street. I never said these had to be new offerings, did I? The. Best. Stones. Album. Ever. In fact, this effort by Mick & Co. is as good as rock and roll gets. And it's being re-released, with an undoubted bunch of filler and fluff, on May 18. This is a must-have for self-respecting music fan.