As Long As You Don’t Come Back, Justin Currie (from the Rykodisc Records release The Great War)
Set aside a lyric that we all wish we had, or perhaps actually did, say at one point or another. What I most appreciate about this song is the unassuming, even playful, melody that accompanies the lyrical punch.
Falling Apart, Stonehoney (from Music Road Records release The Cedar Creek Sessions)
They say that there is a positive side to all of life’s experiences, even when it doesn’t seem to be the case at the time. Stonehoney reminds me of that with every listen. This song finds the band’s Shawn Davis reflecting on the end of a 20-year relationship. Though the lyrics focus on the struggle and sense of loss, the music leaves little doubt that there is a better days ahead.
Audio Download: Stonehoney, “Falling Apart”
I Don’t Wanna Know, Peter Wolf (from the Verve Music Group release Midnight Souvenirs)
This track is everything one expects from Wolf. It brims with enthusiasm, reflective of the Maestro’s effervescent personality. Equally compelling is the outstanding musicianship, perfectly nuanced to give the song an extra burst of energy.
Audio Download: Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil, “Seven Points”
Your Museum, Matthew Ryan (from the Dear Future Collective release Dear Lover (The Acoustic Version))
Ryan’s acoustic takes on last year’s Dear Lover release showcase the true power and depth of an already impressive song.
Audio Download: Matthew Ryan, “Your Museum”
I Don’t Wanna Hear It, J Roddy Walston and the Business (from the Vagrant Records release J Roddy Walston and the Business)
You’ll be daydreaming about PBRs and roadhouse bars from the moment this song begins.
Audio Download: J Roddy Walston and the Business, “I Don’t Wanna Hear It”
Slow Blossom, Bow Thayer (from the self-released Bottom of the Sky)
Simply put, this song is the perfect accompaniment for a daydream. “There’s a slow blossom blooming in the full moon tonight , sacred as sleep as she turns out the light, remember your dreams, surrender your needs, slow blossom blooming and she starts to sing.”
Audio Download: Bow Thayer, “Slow Blossom”
Audio Stream: Luke Doucet, “Dirty, Dirty Blonde”
Numbers Don’t Lie, The Mynabirds (from the Saddle Creek Records release What We Lose In the Fire We Gain In the Flood)
This is one of those songs with a timeless quality. Imagine the best qualities of late 1960’s pop (think Dusty Springfield) with a modern production feel and you’ve got the Mynabirds.
Audio Download: The Mynabirds, “Numbers Don’t Lie”
Where Only the Graves Are Real, Otis Gibbs (from the Wanamaker Recording Company release Joe Hill’s Ashes)
Where are my true friends, where did they go, where are my true friends, where did they go, god damn all of my fake friends the ones who cling to me like I’m a star, everyone’s your best friends when you’re closing down the bars, god bless the ones who really are.
Little Lion Man, Mumford & Sons (from the Glassnote Records release Sigh No More)
The power of this song is in the potent mix of anger and regret, packaged with stellar harmonies and a chorus that commands audience participation.
Last Page of the Book, The Tim Lee 3
Although it caught my ear late in the year, this song has been in heavy rotation ever since. As I said in the November playlist, “It’s straight-forward rock and roll at its finest – electric guitar, bass and drums in all their glory.” Sounds about right.
Audio Download: Tim Lee 3, “Last Page of the Book”
Heaven’s Wherever You Are, Ellis Paul (from the self-released The Day After Everything Changed)
A rinky-tink piano sets a playful tone for Paul’s fanciful whimsical melody and uplifting lyrics. I know this ’bout the Blues, it only prints the bad news while ignoring the miracles. So I stand and applaud with Buddha, Krishna, and God, cause all this beauty’s hysterical…”
Audio Download: Ellis Paul, “Heaven’s Wherever You Are”
View Part 1 of Mayer’s Picks: Best Songs of 2010 here.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.