I saw Jack White not once, but twice. Holy smokes! Amazing, unforgettable shows. Both with his all lady band The Peacocks.
And last night I saw Punch Brothers at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH. Oh my sweet goodness! Incredible show. From the venue to the opening act to the Punch Brothers themselves. Truly fantastic.
But more on that later.
Each song in this week's list connects back to these live shows in one way or another. Be it a song that I heard live, or a song that I listened to in the car driving to one these shows. There's a definite atmosphere to this group of songs. Sort of bluegrass, dark country, and melancholy.
And so, here you have it! 7 songs from me to you.
1. Hell's Bells. Cary Ann Hearst: This lady is my new favorite. I adore her. She and her husband Michael Trent make up a two person band called Shovels & Rope. I saw these two in Boston opening for Jack White and they slayed me. Absolutely blew me away. This song "Hell's Bells" is a foot stomper of a song.
2. Nostalgia. Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo: It's not secret how much I love the BBC Wallander series starring Kenneth Branagh. Well, this is the song used in the beautiful blue and yellow opening credits. Gorgeous! Emily Barker is so talented and soulful. I hope to see her play live some day. I think she'd be amazing.
3. Flippen. Punch Brothers: What can I say about this song and/or about Punch Brothers? I loved their music long before seeing them live, and now that I've had that experience, I'm completely in awe of them. Literal awe. I'm not being hyperbolic here. They're all so crazy skilled with their instruments, and they way that they play off one another and with one another is mind boggling to me.
4. How to Grow a Woman From the Ground. Tom Brosseau: This man writes the most beautiful songs. Opening for Punch Brothers, he came out on stage with his guitar and a harmonica. He told stories (which I loved). And he played this (and many other) bittersweet, beautiful songs.
5. Behind That Locked Door. Yim Yames: From Yim Yames' (Jim James') Tribute To EP. The song was written by George Harrison. Gorgeous song. Lots of air and space in this song. It's also very warm and sweet to me. Jim James' voice melts my heart.
6. Where Did You Sleep Last Night?. Leadbelly: This song is one of the darkest songs I know. From the actual song to the recording of it, to his voice. Haunting, I'd say.
7. Carolina Drama. The Raconteurs: This song rivals "Broken Boy Soldiers" as my favorite Raconteurs song. I have so much love for this song. I'd love to hear this song live. It's a real story song. Amazing atmosphere. And Jack White's voice sounds incredible.
Photo: Punch Brothers