Free On This Mountain: Top Tracks I Played in 2013

A song is poetry in motion. A good album choreographs that poetry, it tells a story, it tells a tale.  It’s not just the “concept” albums, those are the easy stories to tell when we can come straight out and beat it into people’s skulls.  A good album is carefully crafted from an artist’s material at hand.  Some songs stay, some songs go, some songs go before or after other songs, but the selection and order always matter.

A good album is more than the sum of its parts.  In the early days of the music “business” the single ruled the day. Then we say the rise (and fall) of Album Oriented Rock, etc.  In many ways, the current .mp3 iTunes buffet is simply Back to the Future of Music.  It’s a bit of this and a bit of that, we can all pull our favorite country fried rice track and mix it with a blues chicken mushroom track and add a side of folk wonton tracks.  Mix and match satisfies the musical appetite… but there’s something to be said for the 3-course prix fixe dinner selected and prepared by a master chef.

My iPods been set on Americana buffet this last couple years, and we’ve been eating out at Spotify a lot this year.  A lot.  I miss the prix fixe of physical albums I can hold in my hands, and the experience of browsing in a real live record shop where I may or mostly may not find something I actually like.  I miss the joy of discovery.  I do go now and then down to places like that when I’m on the road, but living 100 miles from nowhere they’re few and far between.  So it’s Americana buffet for me.

Moving back Out West and revisiting some favorite live music haunts, I’ve tended to favor tracks evocative of wide-open spaces and playlists of old favorites from radio days.  If I’m not out on the Mountain, I want to hear stories from out on the Mountain.  So I pull up a track here, and a track there; revisit old favorite lists and now and then an old CD from the boxes in the basement.  Old Favorites and New Friends, living free on this mountain in 2013.

Top Tracks played/scrobbled in 2013 (on Spotify)

  1. Sand Sheff – Free On This Mountain
  2. Gram Parsons – Love Hurts
  3. Emmylou Harris – If I Needed You
  4. Rodney Crowell – I Know Love Is All I Need
  5. Gretchen Peters – Five Minutes
  6. Drive-By Truckers – Never Gonna Change
  7. Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
  8. Graham Lindsey – The Bird That Lived in a Burning Tree
  9. Bleu Edmondson – Finger On the Trigger
  10. Corb Lund – Gettin’ Down On The Mountain
  11. Graham Lindsey – No Way Out but Down
  12. Drive-By Truckers – Used To Be A Cop

Top Albums played in 2013

  1. Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots
  2. Johnny Cash – Love, God, Murder
  3. Sand Sheff – Free On This Mountain
  4. Johnny Cash – Personal File
  5. George Hamilton IV – A Tribute to Luke the Drifter
  6. Audrey Auld – Tonk
  7. Loretta Lynn – Loretta Lynn Gospel
  8. Corb Lund – Cabin Fever
  9. Jason Isbell – Southeastern
  10. Iris DeMent – Lifeline
  11. Johnny Cash – Bootleg IV: The Soul of Truth
  12. Johnny Cash – Unearthed

Top Artists played in 2014

  1. Johnny Cash
  2. Drive-By Truckers
  3. Lyle Lovett
  4. Led Zeppelin
  5. Audrey Auld
  6. Graham Lindsey
  7. Corb Lund
  8. Emmylou Harris
  9. Tom Russell
  10. Bearfoot
  11. Sand Sheff
  12. The HillBenders




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