Colder November, Coldest December, & The Warmest January on Record

Colder November, Coldest December, & The Warmest January on Record

“I feel sorrow for the man you kept alone with no love to call his own.”

At one time given the tentative title, The Leather Binder Clip, this is a mix for an at once cold and brand new year. And until this weekend, it’d been a cold winter in Chicago. The cartilage of my ears — particularly on my pre-dawn runs — has been unendingly brittle since ringing in the new year.

These are songs to reflect the cold, these are songs that appear in the breathy clouds of a dewy morning, these are songs to reflect the sluggish nature of a winter spent largely in sub-zero temperatures. And suddenly without warning, these are songs of warmth (Joe Cocker’s cover of “Woman to Woman” and “Heartbreaker” by The Rolling Stones). These hot spots peek out unexpectedly amidst languorous, sad, and altogether tepid ones like those found in Dylan’s Desire covers by The Be Good Tanya’s Frazey Ford and Mr. Andrew Bird.

John Prine sings a song for a new year, a song of hope for the future, as only he can.

It ends with one of my favorite songs, “My Sugar is So Refined,” a classier “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and as Sinatra says, “This is the part of the program where we sing a Drunk Song….”


1) Joni Mitchell – Coyote
2) Levon Helm – Even a Fool Would Let Go
3) Charles Bradley – Heart of Gold
4) Frazey Ford – One More Cup Of Coffee
5) Andrew Bird – Oh Sister
6) The Eagles – Tryin’ to Get to You
7) Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys – Footprints in the Snow
8) Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band – The Mountain
9) Joe Cocker – Woman to Woman
10) The Rolling Stones – Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)
11) James Brown – The Boss
12) Shirley Brown – Signed, Sealed, Delivered
13) Etta James – Take It To The Limit
14) Carla Thomas – B-A-B-Y
14) Bobby Bland – I Can’t Put You Down, Baby
15) Johnnie Johnson – Tanqueray
16) Roland Alphonso – A Whiter Shade of Pale
17) The Lumineers – Ho Hey
18) Local Natives – Breakers
19) Yo La Tengo – Oh! Sweet Nuthin’
20) Merle Haggard – If We Make It Through December
21) Charles Allen – Winterman
22) Ry Cooder – Leaving Missouri
23) John Prine – Living In the Future

Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers – My Sugar Is So Refined
Frank Sinatra – One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (Sinatra at the Sands, 1966, with Count Basie & His Orchestra)