Coming Back to Life: The 2016 Spring Mix

unnamedIt’s closing in on the best night of the year…Daylight Saving Time begins in an hour. Tomorrow, it won’t be dark outside until 7 PM, and my internal clock will once again be back on track. While most of my friends are out getting an early start on St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to stay in and tackle finishing up the Spring Mix.

Spring is definitely in the air here in the Queen City. After a pretty emotionally tough few months – winter is always rough for me – I feel myself finally starting to perk up. The 2016 Spring Krissie Mix is definitely a reflection of what’s been going on in my life as I was building it…it is ALL OVER the place. Some new artists, some old loves. Some happy tunes, some sad. Anyway, there’s a little something for everyone to love.

If you want to read about why I was listening to these songs, or how I found out about the artists, or just get a sort of creepy look inside the way my brain works, download the liner notes here. I didn’t do a label this time around…if anyone really wants one, send me a note and I’ll make one for you. But I figure no one is really burning CDs anymore, right?

Happy almost Spring, everyone!

 

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The 2015 Spring Mix (Otherwise Known As I’m Ashamed of Myself)

Has it seriously been more than four months since I made a blog post? A third of a year? Yes. I’m ashamed of myself… I’m busy as hell with the new job (did I mention I got a promotion?), but that’s no excuse for going MONTHS without posting.

Ugh. I’m tired. you guys. I need some down time.

The good news is, I have a new Mix for you. It’s longer than usual…since I have gone all digital, I decided to hell with length, and just did whatever felt right. This feels right. 27 songs – 3 of which are not available on Spotify (but you can probably find a bonus if you look hard enough). You can get the liner notes here. The best notes I’ve written in awhile, I think – because I didn’t have to limit myself to two pages!

So have a listen. Do me a favor and follow the playlist on Spotify. Trying to figure out how many listeners I’ve lost since going to Spotify. And as always, let me know what you think – what your favorites are, what you don’t like, etc. That’s my favorite part.

As always, please support these artists. I’ve included links to their web pages in my notes. Buy their music. Go see a live show. Buy some merch. Invest in vinyl. You know the drill.

Smooches. Love you all.

Looking for the Light with David McMillin on Daytrotter

Quote

“I can still hear your voice echo beneath the Alabama night, like a firecracker whistle on the Fourth of July / You said, ‘Don’t fear the distance dear, don’t fear the dark, you don’t need to set the world on fire, you just need to catch a spark.'”
– David McMillin, “Looking for the Light”

David McMillin

A new Daytrotter session from the musician who loves the craft of songwriting more than any artist I know, David McMillin. Artwork by Johnnie Cluney, copyright Daytrotter

A long time ago, I went to see a show of a local musician I tried to support. It was at The Evening Muse, my absolute favorite place to see music in Charlotte, a tiny, intimate venue that might hold 125 people when it’s busting at the seams. The opener clambered onto the stage, a kid of maybe 21 or 22 that might have weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. He had just an acoustic guitar and he looked so small, even on the miniscule Muse stage. Then he opened his mouth and started singing. Huge voice came out of that little body. He was probably about a song in when I turned to look at Annie and we both had the same expression on our face… WOW.  And that is how my friendship with David McMillin began.

If I could say one thing about David, just one, it would be that among the musicians I know, he is the one who loves songwriting the most.  I mean he absolutely LOVES it.  And he excels at it. He’s prolific, but I’ve never heard him put out a mediocre song. He and his band, Fort Frances, make amazing music together, and in the down times in between, when his band mates are tending to their personal lives, David writes more and pursues his solo work. It’s pretty inspiring to watch as a fan.

In the eight or nine years since that first show at The Muse, I’ve gotten to know David well…and he remains the only rock star ever to hail me a cab. I’ve watched him grow tremendously as a songwriter (and grow a tremendous beard) and been heartened by the fact that no matter what successes come his way, he remains humble and genuine. And so today, when Daytrotter released a solo David McMillin session, my heart skipped a beat. Even better?  NEW SONGS. Gorgeous, lovely new songs like “Looking for the Light.”

I’d recommend going to take a listen (if you are a Daytrotter member, you can download it…and if you aren’t a Daytrotter member, you should be). Let yourself be won over. Because if you love music, you can’t help but appreciate an artist who loves it even more than you do.

LISTEN TO THE DAVID MCMILLIN DAYTROTTER SESSION

More David McMillin:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Buy Heartsteady on iTunes

Free Download: Now here’s a groove slightly transformed…

A bit of a break from the norm… Folk rockers Fort Frances give their rendition of a classic Fresh Prince tune … and it is phenomenal!

Fort Frances is a great little Midwest indie-folk-rock act.  The band’s lead singer, David McMillin, is one of my favorite songwriters of all time – as well as one of the most prolific.  So color me intrigued a few months ago when the boys started doing a series of cover songs.  They show off their musical influence range with these songs, doing versions of Beck, Paul Simon and Daniel Johnston tunes so far. They’re cleverly marketing them and I look forward to each new edition.

But today’s Fort Frances cover took the cake.  It is, quite simply, BAD ASS. “Summertime.”  Yes.  The DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince classic.  Turned on its head and folk-ified and so deliriously delicious that it will make your head spin.  And you can have it for free.

So, go grab it up, crank the volume, put your car on cruise and lay back … ’cause after all, it’s the summertime.

(P.S.  If you dig what the boys are doing, you can get their original song “Hard Earned Heart” for free, too.)

More Fort Frances:  Web | Facebook | Twitter | Download the Fort Frances Album The Atlas on iTunes