To rev up August, Local Spins writer Matt Marn went heavy on Mitten artists in between tracks from Trombone Shorty, Sturgill Simpson and James Vincent Morrow. Check out the videos and Spotify playlist.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of the celebration of Local Spins’ fourth anniversary this year, we’ve asked some of our writers and contributors to create Top 10 playlists of favorite tunes for summer — right in the midst of the hectic music festival season. The only caveat: At least one of the picks must be a local or regional artist.
Well, Local Spins writer Matt Marn had no trouble with that requirement: Not only are six of his choices Michigan-based artists, but he included a bonus pick with The Accidentals’ ode to the Mitten State, “Michigan and Again.”
As he puts it, the song is “the perfect tribute to the fact that, after all the summer adventures we may go on, after all the exotic places we may go visit, there truly is no place like home.”
LOCAL SPINS SUMMER PLAYLIST: MATT MARN
1. “Hey Lil’ Mama,” Hannah Rose Graves and Justin Wierenga – With my blues background, I was sold right away on this track from “Everything We Already Knew.” This song has a fantastic beat, with plenty of funk mixed in to help you groove through all the hot summer nights ahead.
2. “Lost You,” Scott Pellegrom Trio – I had the privilege of watching this Grand Haven group play this song from “Supernaturalbang” live at the 2016 Jammies, and the solos had the entire venue cheering. The same fun, upbeat energy is out for all to enjoy on this studio disc, which also won the Jammie that night for best Jazz album.
3. “Fire and Brimstone,” Trombone Shorty – With a rock-and-roll guitar flair mixed with his trademark jazz-funk trombone solo, Trombone Shorty represents New Orleans in this track from “Say That to Say This” with a style all his own.
4. “Trouble in Mind,” Larkin Poe – These sisters from Atlanta grab you with their up tempo blues-rock from the opening drum beats. Seems like a perfect anthem (from the album, ““Reskinned”) for getting into some trouble, from one summer adventure to the next.
5. “Keep It Between The Lines,” Sturgill Simpson – A fun angle on a recording, Simpson dedicated his second album to his son, who turns 2 this summer. This twangy track from “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” lends advice to his son, warning him to learn from the lessons he himself learned the hard way. A great song – complete with a surprise saxophone solo – and particularly special to me, since I love the idea of passing advice to our little ones this way, especially since my own daughter turns 2 this Christmas.
6. “Caught in a Muse,” Jeremiah Craig – A singer-songwriter who recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest, Craig called the Phoenix music scene home for the same years I did. I was always impressed by the creative storytelling in his songs. This fun, upbeat acoustic blues tune from “Gardener Hands” features the self-proclaimed “balladeer” on both guitar and harmonica.
7. We Don’t Eat,” James Vincent McMorrow – A quiet drum beat and single repeating piano key serve as the quiet beginning to this beautiful title track from McMorrow’s EP. The hauntingly poetic lyrics flow perfectly with the instrumentals, building the song as it moves along.
8. “It’s Alright,” Channing & Quinn – I have featured local duo Channing Lee and Quinn Mathews in a Local Spins artist spotlight, but this track from “Up North” means a lot to me personally. With quiet acoustic guitar and vocals, Lee’s words carry a powerful message: She has been in dark places, waging the unending war we all face to smile for others when sometimes, all we want to do is give up. “But it’s alright, when you hold my hand so tight that it turns numb, and I realize that all along I’ve been the lucky one.” It helped put a truly rough day in perspective for me when I first heard it, and I looked at those I care about and remembered what matters most.
9. “True North,” Matt Gabriel – West Michigan native Matt Gabriel dedicates this fast-paced, twangy track to his father, who always encouraged him to follow his own path, rather than what others say he should do. And when you do that – he says through this song from “Fiction” – when you “lay your compass down, you will find ‘True North.’ ”
10. “Waiting on You,” Loren Johnson – A tribute to her friends and the summer adventures they have shared together, this upbeat acoustic track from “Sleepsick EP” also features audio snippets from home videos they had shot along the way. This track is full of fun summer memories, which can serve as background music to making more fun summer memories.
11. “Michigan and Again,” The Accidentals – A viral sensation which barely needs introduction, this track from “Parking Lot EP” ends my summer adventure playlist because it is the perfect tribute to the fact that, after all the summer adventures we may go on, after all the exotic places we may go visit, there truly is no place like home.
MATT MARN: The Local Spins Playlist on Spotify
Note: The Hannah Rose Graves and Justin Wierenga track is not available on Spotify.
Copyright 2016, Spins on Music LLC