Sometimes a mix tape begins with just a song or two. Sometimes, it starts with the desire to bottle a memory and surround it with a bouquet of songs for a complete experience. And sometimes, I just want you to get the funk out ma face.
As you’ll see in the Spotify playlist compiled here, lately I have been crafting mixes for friends which incorporate funk and reggae, lamenting the loss of Levon Helm, and dredging up many of my favorite Southern Rock stand-bys from the ol’ tumblr.
Last week, I watched these videos of Glen Hansard, an Irish musician I admire as much for his devotion to craft as for his earnest live performances, alongside Lisa Hannigan and their bands performing some of The Band’s songs in tribute to Levon Helm. Then, I noticed he was performing just down the street from my house that night. A short bike ride later, I watched as Glen held court — at one point, he even invited two of his youngest audience members on stage to play with him — performing many of the fan favorites from Once, and some new songs. And like a train in the night with the help of the horns section from Levon’s Midnight Rambles, they launched into soul-rattling versions of The Band’s “Don’t Do It” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”
If you find yourself outside this Independence Day, here is my contribution. Like the sand in your beach blanket, the crust on your barbecue grill, the color in your sparklers, and the pride in your heart, may this mix fill you with love and joy, for summertime is in full swing, folks. Let’s enjoy it.
God Bless America. Happy Fourth, everyone.
1) Buddy Miles – Them Changes
2) The Brothers Johnson – Get the Funk Out Ma Face
3) Stevie Wonder – Did I Hear You Say You Love Me
4) The Walls – Some Kind of a Woman
5) The Band – The Shape I’m In
6) Al Kooper – I Forgot To Be Your Lover
7) Stephen Stills – Love the One You’re With (1970 Demo)
8) Ozark Mountain Daredevils – If You Wanna Get To Heaven
9) The Charlie Daniels Band – Long Haired Country Boy
10) The Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See
11) Pure Prairie League – Amie
12) Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – One Step Over the Line
13) Eric Clapton – Further On Up The Road (Live from E.C. Was Here)
14) Gregg Allman – Stand Back (Live from The Greg Allman Tour)
15) Django Reinhardt – I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me
16) Leonard Cohen – Lover Lover Lover (Live, Tour of 1979)
17) The Frames – Lay Me Down
18) Neil Young – Harvest Moon
19) Neil Young – Four Strong Winds
20) Emmylou Harris with The Band – Evangeline
21) The Band – Don’t Do It (Live)
22) Glen Hansard – Bird of Sorrow
23) Youth Lagoon – July
24) Beach House – Myth
25) Neil Young – America The Beautiful
26) Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (Live)
27) The Magnetic Fields – Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing
28) Willie Nelson – American Tune
*For 100 points and the game, what song appears on this mix as well as last month’s The May Man (Is Back)?