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 our monthly teleconferences and events.
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 September 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!
When I was a kid, you heard grousing about how the late ‘70s and early ‘80s country just wasn’t “real country” music. That refrain repeated all the way through the “hat acts” of the early ‘90s and continues to this day. Some of this is pure nostalgia, and some of it is just the reality of music programming. The fact is that nobody plays crappy 20-year-old music. Terrible music from the particular era you love most definitely existed (Apologies to those of you with “The Chicken in Black” by Johnny Cash, Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart,” and Jason Aldean’s “1994” on repeat), but it has long since faded into the deepest of deep track shows and the recesses of hard-core fan websites, leaving you with just the good stuff. The “new” music you hear on your favorite streaming service or radio station is chock full of everything from hits that will prove durable to schlock you (and radio programmers and AI algorithms) will quickly forget. However, there is a nugget of truth in that exaggeration. Much of popular country music today has swung to an updated, slightly-twangified combination of ‘80s arena rock and country’s “Nashville Sound” era from the 1960s (itself heavily influenced by July’s pick from Ray Charles). That might not be everyone’s cup of tea, which is o.k.!
However, lest you think that (1) my playlist is stuck in the past; (2) “good” country music that puts a modern twist on the sound of yesteryear doesn’t exist; or (3) you have to go full Americana, let me offer you this more accessible, recent pick. Dee White recorded this month’s pick “Southern Gentleman” in 2019 at the age of 20, but his expressive tenor belies his relative youth. In the smooth delivery, you will hear a little bit of Don Gibson or Don Williams, and even a smoother Rodney Crowell. Artists like White are great finds: fitting between the slick Nashville production on country radio and the measured “old” country sounds that bring you all the nostalgic feels.
My favorites here are “Way Down” and the blues guitar and banjo of the opening track, “Wherever You Go.” You will enjoy “Crazy Man” and “Bucket of Bolts,” too. The former shows off White’s impressive range and falsetto, echoing Roy Orbison in more ways than one. I think you will enjoy the traditionalist sound that veers in a different direction than some of the harder edged picks I’ve featured in the past.
Can’t get enough? Further Listening:
There’s no rhyme or reason to the Further Listening picks this month. Just a couple of current bands whose music I think merits your attention! Jamestown Revival tends to the rock side of things. Check out track #4, “American Dream.” Tyler Lyle falls more into the folk side of Americana, ala Tyler Childers and Joe Purdy. “California” is my favorite here.
Jamestown Revival, The Education of a Wandering Man (2016) (via Amazon)
Tyler Lyle, The Golden Age and the Silver Girl (2012) (via Spotify)