Each month, I highlight an album as part of the ACC’s Employment and Labor Law Network’s outreach and engagement, and just to give you something non-legal related to enjoy every month. I hope you join us on our Forums and at today’s monthly teleconference where Jackson Lewis Principal Eric Felsberg will present a Legal Quick hit entitled AI in Hiring. If you’re an in-house counsel and not part of the ACC or the ELLN, you can join ACC and ELLN today and see what we’re all about! I hope to (virtually) see you soon.
ELLN June Music Quick Pick
Former ELLN Chair Doug Hass has long been a music buff (he founded country music site Roughstock.com in 1993) and had plenty of windshield time for work over the years. That’s given him lots of time to indulge and explore his music interests! To help entertain you on your commutes or at the gym, office, home, or on the go, Doug is offering another year-long series of picks that will showcase some of the best albums you may have never heard, or that deserve another listen. We hope that each monthly choice piques your interest in these albums and artists. These may be titles that you have never heard of, but our hope is that your interest will be piqued and your musical world enriched!
In past ELLN Music Quick Picks, we have highlighted the subgenre of “Red Dirt” country artists from Oklahoma and Texas. This month’s pick, the Turnpike Troubadours, come right from that Red Dirt mold, fitting alongside everyone from Woodie Guthrie to The Great Divide to Jason Boland and the Stragglers, and influencing artists from Emmylou Harris to Garth Brooks and more. The band has found success in recent years, including when its 2017 album A Long Way From Your Heart reached #3 on the Billboard Top County Albums chart. But this month, we’ll reach back to their 2010 record Diamonds & Gasoline.
This “debut” album (the band recorded a release shortly after forming so it had something to sell at its concerts) shows the heart and soul of frontman and cofounder Evan Felker. The band is built around Felker’s songwriting as much as it is his voice. Pretty much every Turnpike Troubadours song has a story running through it, and the sound tends more to the “country” side of “alt-country”—in other words, in the tradition of Waylon, Merle, or early George Strait, but with a progressive bent.
The record starts strong with “Every Girl,” a fiddle-tinged country rocker of a love song. “Every Girl” was the first single from Diamonds & Gasoline and was a hit on Texas country radio stations and charts. “7 & 7” is an atypically self-reflective song about a past relationship, not the kitschy stuff that you hear packaged for country radio. Other standouts include my personal favorite, the acoustic “Diamonds & Gasoline” and “Whole Damn Town,” whose steel guitar licks show that the band can combine lyrical depth and outstanding musicianship. If you haven’t discovered Turnpike Troubadours before, you will be glad you did this month!
Can’t get enough? Further Listening:
This month’s Further Listening picks give you two more Red Dirt/Texas country choices. Jason Boland and Cross Canadian Ragweed are arguably the other two most successful Red Dirt artists of the past 20+ years. I have picked two of my favorites from their catalogs below.
Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Comal County Blue (2008) (via Pandora)
Cross Canadian Ragweed, Soul Gravy (2004) (via Amazon)