Americana One Two Three… (er, Eleven)


And then way beyond… as Andy Davidson picks up the implied challenge and heads from eleven to twenty, making choices in a slightly different way, but these are all prime picks and the Count would approve, so over to Andy.

I enjoyed reading Jonathan Aird’s feature in July. Whiskeytown’s ‘Sixteen Days‘ got stuck in my head after reading the challenge set at the end of the feature. Sesame Street’s Count von Count is a legend but some say he displays some unusual characteristics. With a wave of his hand, the Count can manipulate other Muppets to do his bidding.

Could I complete 11 to 20 without Googling? Could I find the songs using just my own vinyl, discs and downloads? Not quite. I failed to find some numbers in the actual song titles but hope I can be allowed some leeway by quoting the lyrics and stuff. In ascending order here’s this Muppet’s playlist for Eleven to Twenty.

(11) Grand Central Station – Mary Chapin Carpenter (2004)

Forgive me this one. From ‘Between Here and Gone‘, Carpenter wrote the song after the first anniversary of 9/11. Inspired by an interview she heard with an iron worker who was among the first to pick through the rubble at the Twin Towers. At the end of his gruelling shift, he would go to New York’s Grand Central Station, believing the souls of those who had perished would follow and be set free. Alan Jackson’s ‘When the World Stopped‘ is way back down the track compared to this beautiful song.

12 Step Programme – Eric Ambel (1st May 2020)

At the beginning of the pandemic while locked out of the studio and sheltering at home, Ambel decided to release some tracks he had on hand through Bandcamp. Between March of 2020 and April of 2021, he released 11 different tracks that became the ‘Shut In Singles Series‘. This Nick Lowe cover is one of the best.

(13) Hank – Whiskey Myers (2016)

Mud‘ is my favourite Whiskey Myers album. It’s Hank Jr. and the song references his 1981 album ‘The Pressure is On’. The album includes the wonderful ‘Weatherman’. Cody Cannon sings, “I was high in the Rockies on a 13 hour flight Trying to get home to my country state of mind Now these blues they come and go just like the rain I need a Li’l more help to ease the pain Mister Weatherman wont you push these clouds away.”

(14) 7&7 -Turnpike Troubadours (2010)

One of their all time best songs. Never tire listening to this. “Well, I had no clue, I’d be the boy who Your mama warned you about.” Even Felker back in the fold and the band touring again. New album ‘A Cat in the Rain‘ out at the end of this month. The singles released so far are excellent. I’d skip school to go and see them.

15 Keys -Uncle Tupelo (1993)

From the album ‘Anodyne’. BJ Barham (American Aquarium) says, “And then he’s got ‘Fifteen Keys,’ which is one of my favourite Farrar songs, period.” One of mine too. I took the Son Volt fork.

16 Days – Whiskeytown (1997)

What started me thinking. Well worth a read is the book, ‘Waiting to Derail: Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Alt Country’s Brilliant Wreck‘. Written by Thomas O’Keefe who was tour manager from 1987 until their breakup in 2000. This great song is on ‘Stranger’s Almanac‘.

(17) Sorry for the Wait – Charles Wesley Godwin (2019)

In the shadow of some other songwriters. Into his third album and Godwin’s songwriting is so damn good it hurts. “I ran these hills since the day I could stand And I worked the mines since The year I turned ten We got married and danced to ‘Canon in D’ And I held our baby with Your eyes at seventeen” And what a voice.

18 Wheels of Love – Drive by Truckers (1998)

Just a bit of fun from Mr Hood. If you’ve got time to listen to this live version on ‘Live from Austin TX‘ Patterson sets the scene in a very Springsteen-esque way. “Mama ran off with a trucker… Peterbilt.”

Nineteen – Old 97s (1999)

These fellas still on the go. Been following them since hearing, ‘Crying Drunk’ in 93. From the album ‘Fight Songs’. ‘Jagged‘ on this album too. “I was only nineteen. All I ever wanted to do, Was lie around in bed with you.” Nothing changes. Going to see them at the Hug & Pint, Glasgow in November.

20 miles -Deer Tick (2010)

They got stuck in a rut and McCauley’s voice can only be taken in small, melancholic doses but this song is immense. The Frightened Rabbit of Providence, Rhode Island. Got this as a CD single… thankfully.

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