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This is Robb (me) with Henry Winkler (yep, "The Fonz.") He visited Mankato a year or two ago and I jumped at the chance to meet him. Why did I use this photo? Because it's the coolest one I own.

Kickin' it by the River ...

 

So they just released the list of acts that will be appearing at Riverfront Park this summer. And being that this is my little playlist feature, I'm taking the liberty to put together one of my own. I thought it'd be a good idea to make a list featuring these upcoming musical acts, and maybe give people a taste from some of the amazing music coming. Don't worry; my playlist will only be up until the people who are feverishly compiling playlists for me actually get them to me.

 

So, without further adieu ...

 

1. JEREMY MESSERSMITH, "It's Only Dancing"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first track on Jeremy's newest album, and if you go to his show Sept. 5, you'll be sure to hear it. My daughter and I attended one of his recent First Avenue concerts and, let me tell you, Mr. Messersmith puts on a hell of a show. This is one of my favorite songs on his latest album, Heart Murmurs. It's sort of a friend-zone lament, with a narrator who is clearly in love with a woman he simply never gets. He finds solace in being her friend and the fact that he's perhaps closer to her than anyone else.

 

2. MASON JENNINGS, "The Field"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I first heard this song I was blown away. I've been a Mason Jennings fan for a while now, but it wasn't until I heard this song that I really fell in love with something he wrote. It's heart-breaking, and tells the story of a family who loses a son to some kind of military conflict. The desperate calls for peace are the kind of thing any parent who has ever feared for their child can relate to. 

 

3. JASON ISBELL, "Cover Me Up"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Isbell used to run with a surly group of southern rockers known as the drive-by truckers. I don't know if they kicked him out or whether it was a mutual parting of ways, but it's no secret that the man has struggled with alcohol abuse. And as is often the case, that struggle has resulted in some powerful song writing. This track kicks off his latest solo album. I chose it because it's the one that hooked me on Jason Isbell. And the version of this song show here is absolutely haunting. Isbell's voice has a rare authenticity. Prepare to become a fan.

 

4. COMMUNIST DAUGHTER, "Not the Kid"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd never heard of this group until my copy of "Live Current Volume whatever" came in the mail. I'm a loyal Current listener, but they'd slipped through the cracks. This song is a gem, and there's a line in the last verse that sort of sums of getting old: "And now that I'm older I look back on those days. I wish I had them back cuz the shadows are gone, or at least they're not that strong as the shadows in my head." They're coming to Riverfront Park on July X.

 

5. GEORGE THOROGOOD, "Gear Jammer"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This probably isn't the Thorogood song you were expecting to see. And I'm not even sure it's in my top 5. But I like it because it reminds of spending time at the cabin when I was teenager. My dad loved this song, an it sort of served as a bond between us. I don't know if I'll be at the Thorogood show July X, but I'd sure like to hear him play this song live.

 

6. CLOUD CULT, "You Were Born"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm guessing most of you have never heard of Cloud Cult. And don't worry. I don't know much about this big band either. But I do know this: the song "You Were Born" is about as crushingly precious a song as you'll get that talks about the birth of a child.

 

7. THEORY OF A DEADMAN, "Hate My Life"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All you need to know about these guys is that they penned this verse: "I hate my job, My boss is a dick, I don't get paid nearly enough to put up with all your shit."

 

8. LOW, "Do You Know How to Waltz"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So last year at The Current's annual Rock the Garden concert, Low was one of the performers. They played a 30-minute, droneful version of this song, after which singer Alan Sparhawk addressed the crowd with three words: "Drone, not drones." 

This thing here is a Spotify player widget thingy. It's got all the music from this playlist in case you'd rather just hear the music and not bother with videos.

Sept. 5

Sept. 5

July 30

July 30

July 20

June 21 or 22

July 30

June 21 or 22

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