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Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 2, 2009
Scott Foley

I'm beginning to feel that itch again. That itch that only a theme show can sufficiently scratch. Which is odd, since I tend to be unequivocally opposed to them. My only allowance is Christmas themed shows, which thrill me to put together. And year-end favorites, too.

Which isn't to say I haven't fallen prey to the call of the theme show. Years past have seen me assembling an alphabet-themed show: An artist for each letter from A to Z. I was very proud of my Townes Van Zandt tribute, with about three-quarters of the songs covered by others and the remainder TVZ originals. I remember as well a program where every song featured an americana artist performing an unexpected pop cover: Two Tons Of Steel applying a baritone Texas twang to "I Wanna Be Sedated," or Clem Snide's curious take on Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful."

I've typically run a theme show during a time when new releases are scarce, when I wouldn't need to delay the debut of something worthy of immediate airplay. Late Fall into Winter, maybe. I've been toying with the urge to put together another covers show (see this Episode, and Robbie Fulks' wonderful take on Beyonce's "Irreplaceable"). I could also see a return to Townes, or maybe a tribute show to the songs of Johnny Cash. For a time, I was flirting with "your grampa's americana," playing solely songs from pre-1990 (I've got some great LPs from the likes of John Stewart and Mike Nesmith).

For today, I'm content to hang with the new stuff; digging further into offerings from the Avetts, Deer Tick, Magnolia Electric Co, and more. Don't be surprised, though, if one morning I scratch that itch to do "Patron Saints Of Americana, Alt.Country and Roots Music: the 'Roots' of Routes and Branches" ...

* Avett Bros, "I and Love and You" I and Love and You (American, 09)
* Patterson Hood, "Granddaddy" Murdering Oscar (and Other Love Songs) (Ruth St, 09)
* Hoots & Hellmouth, "What Good Are Plowshares ..." Holy Open Secret (Ryko, 09)
* Two Cow Garage, "Swingset Assassin" Speaking In Cursive (Suburban Home, 08)
* Among the Oak & Ash, "Hiram Hubbard" Among the Oak & Ash (Verve, 09)
* Patty Griffin, "One Big Love" Flaming Red (A&M, 98)
* Dexateens, "Spark" Singlewide (Skybucket, 09)
* Chris Gaffney, "Six Nights a Week" Mi Vida Loca (Hightone, 92)
* Felice Bros, "Run Chicken Run" Yonder Is the Clock (Team Love, 09)
* Devil Makes Three, "Cheap Reward" Do Wrong Right (Milan, 09)
* Tish Hinojosa, "What You Don't Know" Our Little Planet (Varese, 09)
* Robbie Fulks, "Irreplaceable" 50-vc. Doberman (Boondoggle, 09)
* Lyle Lovett, "Flyin' Shoes" Step Inside This House (Curb, 98)
* Levon Helm, "Move Along Train" Electric Dirt (Vanguard, 09)
* Elvis Costello, "My All Time Doll" Secret Profane & Sugarcane (Hear, 09)
* Southern Culture On the Skids, "Just How Lonely (live)" Doublewide and Live (Yep Roc, 06)
* Those Darlins, "Whole Damn Thing" Those Darlins (Oh Wow Dang, 09)
* Deer Tick, "Little White Lies" Born On Flag Day (Partisan, 09)
* Tift Merritt, "Another Country (live)" Buckingham Solo (Fantasy, 09)
* Daddy, "I Went To Heaven In a Dream Last Night" For a Second Time (Cedar Creek, 09)
* Bottle Rockets, "Gravity Fails (live)" Live In Heilbronn Germany (self, 06)
* Graham Parker, "I Discovered America" Don't Tell Columbus (Bloodshot, 07)
* Gregory Alan Isakov, "Evelyn" This Empty Northern Hemisphere (self, 09)
* Low Anthem, "Horizon Is a Beltway" Oh My God Charlie Darwin (Nonesuch, 09)
* Jennie DeVoe, "Butterfly" Strange Sunshine (self, 09)
* Magnolia Electric Co, "O! Grace" Josephine (Secretly Canadian, 09)
* Eva Cassidy, "Blue Eyes Crying In the Rain" Somewhere (Blix St, 08)


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