The Sunday Funday Playlist – August 14, 2011

Quiet week for the JrzyGyrl.  Lots of work.  Makes for loads of listening time.

1.  Home – The Wealthy West

A side project of Brandon Kinder from The Rocketboys, another Austin, TX band, The Wealthy West is right up my singer-songwriter power alley.  Where The Rocketboys are full-band rock n’ roll with a little reminiscent of Coldplay, The Wealthy West is more toned down – really sparse arrangements (although not all acoustic – check out the organ on “Another Bad Idea”), contemplative lyrics and perfect little melodies.  Brandon’s voice is a bit chameleonesque – reminds me of Greg Laswell every once in awhile.  This little self-titled 5-song EP won my heart this week and got some serious action.  “Home” is my favorite track; seriously, how can you not love acoustic guitar, harmonica and banjo?

2.  Demons – Marcus Foster

Props for this one go to Music for Those Who Listen.  In the same post that gave me Ben Howard last week, he also turned me onto Marcus Foster, a soul-filled folky singer from the UK….think Brit version of Ray LaMontagne, minus the angsty depression.  Really loving his Tumble Down EP (despite the fact that I can’t buy it in the U.S. and am forced to listen to it on SoundCloud) especially this track, which has been the perfect accompaniment to my mood this week.

3. Anybody – The Soldier Thread

I was turned onto Austin, TX’s The Soldier Thread a few years ago by Stephen, who was a member of Alpha Rev’s management and promotions team at the time.  Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with them, especially after seeing their acoustic act live a few months ago.  Patricia Lynn’s voice is pure freaking gold.  They put this song up for free download a few weeks back, and it has been getting lots of play – I love that this song, and their song “Matador” are serious empowerment songs. This week, “Anybody” shot to the top of my playlists. Not only did they put up a video of Patricia and Justin doing an acoustic version which is absolutely beautiful, but it also became my new favorite song to run to as it closed out my new running mix.  Download the song for free by clicking on the download arrow above or visiting their Facebook page.

4. When I Get My Wings – Will Hoge

With work ruling my life this week, I find myself desperately looking forward to my long beach weekend escape with seven of my closest friends in nineteen very long days.  Of course, the impetus behind the trip is a two-night stand at The Windjammer by none other than Mr. Will Hoge.  If you know me, my anticipation for his new record, Number Seven, is not at all surprising.  If you don’t know me…well, suffice it to say that Will is one of my Top Five artists of all time, and my absolute favorite artist to see live.  This will be the first single off the new album, and although you can only get it streaming right now, it has still gotten significant play from me.   Check out snippets off the new record at, listen to an interview that Alternative Addiction did with Will about the new record here, and read the story behind this song over at American Songwriter.

5. Take in the Sunlight – The Kin
My favorite Australian duo is back!  I feel so lucky to have seen these guys perform live on several occasions on The Rock Boat; there’s definitely a magic that siblings who perform together have that no one else can match, and these brothers are simply profound. Harmonically, they are sheer perfection together. The guys did a song for a documentary called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” about a man’s quest to lose weight and create a healthier lifestyle; “Take in the Sunlight” is the “theme” for the documentary, and I gotta tell you, it is an inspiring song.  So much so that it made it to my running mix, even though it’s not really an uptempo song.  They released it as part of EP with a few older songs (“Diamonds,” “Waking Up Shining,” “One Thing”) Unfortunately, the track can’t be found anywhere on SoundCloud, so I can’t put in a clip.  However, someone was nice enough to record them singing it at the opening of the film…and it’s almost better because you can really get a feel for the incredible intensity The Kin has live.  Thanks to BigCityVegan for sharing the clip on YouTube.

The Rock Boat Recap

Every year, I come back from my annual rock n’ roll adventure on the sea with great intentions of writing about the experience…and every year, I fail. Epically. I think I have decided that it is relatively impossible to explain it to someone who has not experienced it. Take 30 artists/bands – most of them amazing – add many of my closest friends, a dash of margarita (and other beverages), the sunshine, and Caribbean air and you’ve got a recipe for something magical.

It was a terrific lineup this year and I feel like I saw more shows this year than I ever have before… And, oddly enough, spent more time with more friends than ever before. Rather than try to sketch out a day-by-day, I’m going to tackle my highlights (these are not in any special order):

1. Finally seeing Green River Ordinance live. After two years as a fan, the ultimate high point of TRBIX was getting to see this amazing quintet from Texas on stage. They were everything I knew they would be and more… It was such a treat to chat with them and get to know some of them, too. They are all such great kids, especially that J Whiskey fella. 🙂

2. Scott Feil’s Fan Club. Seriously, Scotty has got to be the most loveable…and loved…guy on earth. And his friends are all fantastic people. Erinn, Cory, Liz, Sujka…it was awesome spending time with you! And Scott, of course. Darlin’, is it possible for me to love you anymore? I’ll be eternally grateful to Will Hoge for bringing you into my world…

3. Aslyn. I’ve always managed to catch pieces of her sets on the Boat and last year, finally managed to work in a full set. This year, three of them. Aside from having a phenomenal set of pipes, there is no singer out there who I think captures the range of emotions women go through in a truer way. I can’t stop listening to The Dandelion Sessions.

4. Tonic. Back together. On The Rock Boat. Need I say more? “Mountain”…TWICE! Kevin’s shout outs to CW on his drum kit were a touching tribute to a musician who left us too soon.

5. Carbon Leaf…in particular, covering “Livin’ on a Prayer” and the whole entire Boat singing along at the top of their lungs. I got up the nerve to talk to Carter (3 double margaritas in) on the last night. Still can’t get near Barry without going dumb.

6. The rest of the Boat FINALLY getting how amazing Sam Thacker is. And Stephen Kellogg saying (about “The Last”) “I wish I’d written this song.” Yay… Sammy’s rock star is shining bright!

7. Lee and Peter. So glad I met these two fellas at The Heyday show back in October. Spent lots of time with them on the Boat… Happy they are my neighbors in Charlotte. Lee… breakfast at Panera soon!

8. Time with “my girls” & Mr. P. Michelle, Gail and Marc..I adore you all. Thanks for understanding me and being just as crazy in love with the music as I am.

9. Trevor Hall & Tyrone Wells. Both new for me, both wonderful. Can’t wait to get to know their music better!

10. Chocolate Melting Cake. Most likely better than sex.

11. Emerson Hart. This man’s live performances leave me speechless every time. There are very few musicians whose songs touch me in the way that Emerson’s do. And live…he is just so dynamic. Sujka called it…Part concert, part comedy show, part Dr. Phil session. All wonderful.

12. Gareth on board. The only person who can instantly make me smile just by walking into a room.

13. PAVE THE WORLD! I’d lost my voice by night two…Michael Tolcher was rocking it in the very crowded, very smoky casino bar. No way that he was going to hear me hollering. So I begged Lee to yell my “Pave the World” request. Tolcher: “You know what, I’m gonna do that for you!” The only thing that would have made it better would have been Christy singing along next to me. “The aliens are coming! What? The aliens are coming….Pave the world!”

14. Hanson sing along. On the last night, at Aslyn’s show, a Hanson and his wife ended up standing next to us. Aslyn asked the girls to sing one part, while the boys were to sing another. And that little Hanson sang along, smiling the whole time. Was nice to see one having a great time without being hounded by fans.

15. Wideawake and The Kin singing together. Scott Leger with Aussie brother harmony? Quite possibly perfection in music.

16. Katey and Scott airport time. I only get to see my friends from Birmingham once a year, and we’ve made hanging out on flights to and from TRB a tradition. I can only hope that when and if I meet my Mr. Right, we have as great a relationship as Katey and Scott do.

17. Inauguration. Watching Barack Obama become the 44th President of the U.S. was going to be emotional for me no matter where I watched it. But watching it in a room full of people who shared my pride in the moment was nothing short of beautiful. Applause every time they showed Obama or Biden. I actually teared up. There’s no place and no other people with whom I’d rather share the day…

There’s so much more, but nothing that I write can do it justice. It’s truly the most amazing experience every year. And despite losing my voice, getting an average of 3-4 hours of sleep a night, and spending ENTIRELY too much money…it’s SO worth it. BEST.VACATION.EVER.

Bring on Rock Boat X.