the social distancing playlist 21-30

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty One. The Crusaders with Bill Withers, “Soul Shadows” (1980) Posted 4/4/2020. An ignored tune featuring the great Bill Withers, who we lost yesterday. “Soul Shadows” was a collaborative single with the jazz/soul group The Crusaders that preceded Withers’ Grammy-winning hit “Just the Two of Us” with Grover Washington Jr. by six months. I prefer this tune.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Two. The Byrds, “My Back Pages” (1967) Posted 4/5/2020 — There was so much invention and joy packed onto any Byrds album that picking a single tune to spotlight is a chore. For now, we’ll go with Roger McGuinn fronting an affirmative and popular Bob Dylan cover.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Three. The Beatles, “You Can’t Do That” (1964) Posted 4/6/2020 — A tip of the hat, via a 1964 Beatles hit, to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and his often-quoted admonishment to those not adhering to social distancing policies. To paraphrase him and the song: “Andy’s told you before, ‘You can’t do that.’” Rock on, Andy.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Four. David Bowie, “TVC15” (1976) Posted 4/7/2020 — Something fun, just because the world could probably use a little David Bowie. A goofy tune from what his perhaps his finest album, 1976’s “Station to Station.” So much of the record is dark and wistful. Not this song.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Five. John Prine, “Lake Marie” (1995) Posted 4/8/2020 — A farewell of sadness and appreciation to John Prine. “Lake Marie.” A requiem. A romantic postscript that turns the chorus line of “Louie, Louie” into a reckoning. A 6-minute hurricane of a song from 1995’s “Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings”. “Ah, baby. We gotta go now.”

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Six. John Prine, “When I Get to Heaven” (2018) Posted 4/9/2020 —  With all the heartfelt and devout tributes to John Prine, it seems fitting to close out with one of his most whimsical works – the final song from his final album. Hope he is enjoying the cocktails, the cigs and “going to town.” Goodbye, John Prine. Thanks a million.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Seven. Earth, Wind & Fire, “That’s the Way of the World” (1975) Posted 4/10/2020— An affirmation at the end of a difficult week. Immediately, Earth, Wind & Fire came to mind. So did this song. Everyone has their favorite Maurice White EWF moment. This one, a massive 1975 hit, is mine.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Eight. Van Morrison, “Domino” (1970) Posted 4/11/2020. — A cheery blast of Van Morrison from 1970’s “His Band the Street Choir” album (released a mere 10 months after “Moondance”), “Domino” put Van on AM radio at a time when singles by George Harrison, Santana and Runt (Todd Rundgren) ruled the airwaves. So did the Partridge Family, but you can’t have everything.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Twenty Nine. Frank Zappa, “Watermelon on Easter Hay” (1979) Posted 4/12/2020. — A song for the day. “Watermelon in Easter Hay” was possibly Frank Zappa’s finest instrumental composition for guitar, a tune that unfolds with patient, elegiac beauty. Supposedly, the 1979 tune’s original title was “Playing a Guitar Solo with This Band is Like Trying to Grow a Watermelon in Easter Hay.” Happy Easter.

The Social Distancing Playlist, Day Thirty. Herbie Hancock, “Cantaloupe Island” (1964) Posted 4/13/2020. — A belated Happy Birthday to Herbie Hancock, who turned 80 yesterday. So how do you chose from nearly six decades of music? Do you go with vintage acoustic jazz or full-on electric funk? Answer: one today, the other tomorrow. Today, we head back to 1964 for the ultra-suave “Cantaloupe Island.”

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