In the time I have spent hanging out in The Bar (aka the place with better wifi and better drinks than Starbucks, not to mention all the friendly people, aka my favorite local place to hang out), I have heard a lot of different music from the jukebox, except for country. That is, other than the time I played “Ode to Billie Joe” for a friend on day the grounds that everyone need to have heard this song.
I am thinking the next time I go in I will play country. I am currently on a country kick, after having been away from it since 9/11. Then it seemed everything was red, white, and blue, my country (i.e., the Bush administration) love it or leave it. (I’m looking at you, Toby Keith.) Although I did buy some country records, I was not really into it. (For example, I dislike Blake Shelton’s country records. That said, I was surprised when I heard the duet of “Fly Me To the Moon” that he and Adam Levine performed on The Voice. The man has a smooth baritone, and perfect phrasing.) There were some good women artists, such as Miranda Lambert, but it seemed to me that country radio played a lot of “bro country” songs. (It wasn’t just my imagination, either: a study recently showed that women were severely under-represented in country music.)
The Ken Burns series has rekindled my interest in country, partly since they stopped pretty much at about 2000.
So, my playlist:
I think I can play five songs without people getting too upset, so…
- “Folsom Prison Blues,” Johnny Cash (the live from San Quentin version)
- “Pancho and Lefty,” Emmylou Harris (if the jukebox does not have Emmylou Harris, I’ll settle for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard)
- “Streets Of Bakersfield,” Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens
- “Travelin’ Thru,” Dolly Parton (this song has become a personal anthem for me)
- “Hurt,” Johnny Cash (Johnny Cash was a genius)
If I thought I could get away with another five…
- “Ode to Billie Joe,” Bobby Gentry (as I said, everyone needs to hear this song at least once)
- “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt
- “Wagon Wheel,” Old Crow Medicine Show (although I would settle for Darius Rucker)
- “I Still Miss Someone (live),” Rosanne Cash
- “Friends in Low Places,” Garth Brooks (of course)
And just another five to round out the list:
- “Crazy,” Patsy Cline
- “Jolene,” Dolly Parton
- “Deeper than the Holler,” Randy Travis
- “Down at Twist and Shout,” Mary Chapin Carpenter
- “Clown in Your Rodeo” (or “Asking Us to Dance” — aka, the most romantic song ever), Kathy Mattea
This does not even begin to scratch the surface, and I have a puny number of songs. I only have about 170 songs, ranging chronologically from “Mule Skinner Blues” by Jimmie Rodgers to “Space Cowboy” by Kacey Musgraves. My country playlist clocks in at only a bit over 8 hours.
So, maybe I could just keep making lists, and playing them five at a time… “Amarillo By Morning,” George Strait, “My Church,” Marren Morris, “Me and Bobbie McGee,” Kris Kristofferson (although I am sure no one would object if I played the Janis Joplin cover), “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” the Brandi Carlisle and Emmylou Harris version…
Watch out, people.