Friday, 1/4- Georgia Theatre, Athens: The Sundogs Present The Tom Petty Show
Merry Christmas to y’all and hope our Jewish pals had a Happy Hanukkah. We closed out 2018 with a party at Terminal West and are starting 2019 with a BANG- bringing our Tom Petty Show to the historic Georgia Theatre in Athens on Friday, 1/4.
Our new friend N1KI, a.k.a. Niki Neiconi opens the show at 8:30 PM and we bring the Petty at 10.
THURSDAY, 1/10- EDDIE’s ATTIC, DEcATUr: The haraway Brothers w/ chris stalcup
Less than a week later The Haraway Brothers will play a very special show with one of our very favorite songwriters, Chris Stalcup, at one of our very favorite places, Eddie’s Attic.
We’ll be trading songs and telling stories and having a goood ol’ time. You will too.
30A songwriters festival, jan. 17-10, 30A, florida
One week after that we’ll return to the scene of the most fun music festival we’ve ever been a part of- 30A Songwriter’s Fest down in Seaside/Rosemary/Alys Beach/etc., Florida.
The Sundogs and The Haraway Brothers will be doing shows the whole weekend, and we’ll let you know when and where as soon as they tell us. What we can tell you is who else is on the bill: Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Steve Earle, Hayes Carll, Drivin n’ Cryin, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Lucy Dacus, Gregory Alan Isakov, Amanda Shires, and our friends Michael McDermott, Charlie Mars and Bradley Cole Smith and my goodness so many more great artists. Yeah!
Tickets are sold out, but you’re a resourceful group– hope to see you down there.
The Best Records of 2018
Longtime readers of the Ray of Light know that it’s a tradition for me, Will, to list my favorite records over the calendar year. It’s a completely subjective list! If you disagree, feel free to make your own damn list. I’m sure I missed some but these are all great. Enjoy!
Wild Pink- Yolk in the Fur: I’ve been obsessed with this record for months due to its unique pedal steel with synthesizers sound and dramatic songs. Especially the gorgeous Lake Eerie, which I’ve been singing for 6 months nonstop.
Jeff Tweedy- Warm: A common complaint of Wilco is that no matter how good the songs are, Tweedy’s lyrics don’t let you in to his heart and mind. That ends with Warm, where he bares his soul in every song, love letters to his wife and sons, life, death and recovery. It’s beautiful in every way– check out Having Been is No Way to Be
- Kurt Vile- Bottle it In: We saw Kurt at Variety a couple of weeks ago and have never seen/heard anyone shred leads on an acoustic the way he does. Shreds. I like Check Baby.
- Ruston Kelly- Dying Star: That’s right, we’re putting Mr. Musgraves’ record ahead of his wife’s also great record. It popped up as one of those listening suggestions and I’ve loved it ever since because of its clever drunken and druggy tunes bouyed by his father’s pedal steel and Kacey’s harmonies. Faceplant cracks me up every single time.
- Courtney Barnett- Tell Me How You Really Feel: She’s the only artist that’s come along since that legitimately reminds you of Kurt Cobain, right down to the lefthanded Fender Jaguar. City Looks Pretty is Live from Piedmont Park right here.
- Father John Misty- God’s Favorite Customer: Glad he’s back writing fast tunes. There’s a lot of darkness and light here, as well as his usual funny on songs like Mr. Tillman.
- Phil Cook/Scott Hirsch/Dead Tongues: Hiss Golden Messenger didn’t put out a record this year, but three of its members took the reins just fine. Phil Cook’s “People are My Drug” is like a recorded Gospel Brunch. Scott Hirsch’s “Lost Time Behind the Moon” continues his beautiful JJ Cale exploration and The Dead Tongues, a.k.a. Ryan Gustafson’s “Unsung Passage” is one of the prettiest folk records you’ll ever hear. Yet another reason why Hiss is my favorite band.
- Lucero- Among the Ghosts: Speaking of favorite bands– somehow, Lucero gets better with every release. Ben’s acoustic show for our buddy Adam Smith’s photography show was one of my favorites all year. We’re partial to To My Dearest Wife.
Leon Bridges- Good Thing: Just when people started getting into his retro sound, he changed it for the better. I love that. Beyond is a great example, but if you really want to see how good this guy is, listen to his cover of Unknown Legend from the Tonight Show’s Cover Room (hat tip to Kelly Campbell.)
Soccer Mommy- Clean: Fat Possum strikes again. Sophie Allen shows that it’s not all country coming out of Nashville these days. Big fan of Your Dog.
- Anderson Paak- Oxnard: Did y’all see this dude rocking the drums and singing Tints on SNL? Holy Shit. Thanks to my nephews Connor and Colin for their young ears.
John Prine- Tree of Forgiveness: I have purchased this record twice for others this year and was rewarded by getting it as a gift myself last week. Our Dad’s favorite songwriter. God Only Knows and When I Get to Heaven close this record down with a tear and a smile.
Pony League- Picture of Your Family: Those that saw them open our Terminal West show saw how wonderful and talented these guys are. We’d connected through our shared love of Rick Ankiel, and it was such a treat to hear these songs live. They closed with, and killed, the Run of Your Life.
- Blackberry Smoke- Find a Light: An Atlanta success story, and our own Benji Shanks had a major hand in the sound of this record, my favorite they’ve done. I’ve Got This Song is Charlie Starr at his best.
- Charlie Mars- Beach Town: We reconnected with our old Mississippi pal Charlie down at 30A last year and marveled at the way he commanded a room of 200+, mostly with these brand new (at the time) songs. He’s come so far- nobody sounds like Charlie, and that’s a hard thing to achieve. The title track is a great example of that.
Phosphorescent- C’est La Vie: Matthew Houck’s NINTH album, the first from his new home studio in Nashville. Hard to beat the single, New Birth in New England.
- Kacey Musgraves- Golden Hour: Kacey dials down the country and lets her freak flag fly on this one and is poised to win a boatload of Grammys for her trouble. A triumph for women in country and the benefits of staying true to yourself. Slow Burn proves once again that a simple song with a great melody should be the goal.
- Pinegrove- Skylight: We wore out Cardinal when these guys debuted, and this one might be better. Rings leads it off perfectly.
- Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus- Boygenius: A folky supergoup? Always on board for that. Their voices are perfect, particularly on Phoebe Bridgers’ Me and My Dog.
- Michael McDermott- Out From Under: speaking of 30A, we played a show right before Michael and his wife Heather Horton and we all kinda bonded afterwards. We listened to all his stuff on the way home and then this came out a couple months later, which seems among his very best. Cal-Sag Road takes a dark turn that you won’t expect.
- Death Cab for Cutie- Thank You For Today: OF COURSE they’ve still got it. Blink and they’ll be in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame (such as it is) for songs as striking as 60 & Punk
We had a lot to cover in this issue but we certainly want to say thanks for coming to the shows, buying tickets, buying the records (we reinvest everything back into the band just sos you know) and even just reading these emails. Thank You from the bottom of our hearts. Sincerely, Will, Lee, Jon, Kevin, Kevin, Benji, Will, Avery and Martha.