Showing posts from December, 2020

In My Ear 2020: A Playlist

It's time again for my favorite self-indulgent holiday tradition: the year end mixtape, which in the streaming age, has become the year-end playlist . There's some new stuff here, but a good bit of it older, so this isn't meant as some kind of Best Of 2020 list, just a record of what was in my ear over the course of the year and my shifting musical obsessions.  Alt-country and Americana stuff has been in my wheelhouse for decades, so it's no surprise that 2020 began on a rootsy kick.  Ian Noe's "Letter to Madeline," which my wife turned me onto, is as gritty a crime ballad as you'll find anywhere, and Aaron Lee Tasjan's "The Trouble With Drinking" is, with apologies to Steve Goodman, perhaps the perfect country-and-western song. Around the time I was digging into a lot of country-leaning stuff, I discovered Danielle Howle's Swamp Sessions. Back in the early '90s, her old band Lay Quiet Awhile was the first rock show this teenaged