“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.” -A.A. Milne
There is a great joy in discovery. New books, new music, new places speak to your soul. Some folks find their joy in the familiar, in the tried and true. Other’s seek the journey for the journey’s sake. I tend to seek the destination, with the journey the price to pay. To each their own.
My musical journey this past year, as several years past, has been equal parts familiar and new. I continue to seek roots music, new and old, that tells our story with authenticity, feeling and skill. What has changed, I suppose, is the journey’s path. Over time I have come to rely more on streaming media—Spotify and last.fm, in particular, as well as my old radio friends at KRFC-FM, closer to home at Four Corners Public Radio, on Twitter and at No Depression community. Friends help a lot. In the month of December I also indulged in the gift of promotional satellite radio from SiriusXM in the Jeep commuting to and from work. Yeah, Willie’s Roadhouse.
Like many Americans, I’m buying less music. In part I find less music I like, although I’m finding much more music I like. It’s an inherent contradiction, yes. I get tired of buying albums for one or two promoted tracks and then being disappointed in the balance. Yet I find so much joy on the one or two or twelve truly excellent albums I might find in a year which are lovingly curated by an Artist.
Top 40 Artists I played via last.fm in 2014
I like Johnny Cash. I always have. I played Johnny Cash more than any other artist, on devices I’ve connected thru last.fm. I expect I’ve also played Johnny Cash the most on other devices and media as well. I really enjoyed the Sweetback Sisters’ show last fall, and Corb Lund and Graham Lindsey are old favorites, but Johnny Cash will live forever.
Top Albums I played in 2014
I had a lot of fun with Corb Lund’s Counterfeit Blues special New West release for CMT-Canada, and Lucinda Williams’ Where the Spirit Meets the Bone demanded twice as many plays to get thru the entire release, being a double album. The year-long fav would have been Jason Isbell’s previous release, Southeastern.
Top Tracks I played in 2014
This was a good year in roots music. 2013 releases from Gretchen Peters, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and more played well, well into 2014. New releases from Sturgill Simpson, Old Crow Medicine Show, Karen Jonas & Willie Nelson fit right into the mix. I expect 2015 to be even better. Stay tuned!