Listen to John Moreland

Add another artist to the "I can't believe I've never written anything about them on the site before" category. This time it's Oklahoma songwriter, John Moreland.

I know I get hyperbolic too often here but Moreland really might be the best songwriter around not named Isbell. Hell, after seeing him for the second time last weekend, Moreland might be the best. With the storytelling chops of Springsteen and a voice that sounds like home, Moreland has made two of my favorite albums of the past few years with 2013's In The Throes and 2015's High On Tulsa Heat. No other artist I can think of (other than the aforementioned Jason Isbell) writes as many heartbreaking songs & lyrics that can completely gut you. I could quote his lyrics all damn day, but here are some favorites:

"Well i'm the kind of love it hurts to look at / maybe we should take it as a sign / when im strung out on leaving / exhaulting all my demons / and you don't care enough for me to cry"

"We read all the right books, we sang songs we misunderstood / and with or without any reason, we did rebellion what justice we could"

"And I apologize if I seem a little overwhelmed / I’m thirsty, but the holy keep on pissing in my well / I had a purpose and a song that was true / But I ain’t ever had a lick of sense when it comes to you"

I could keep going but you get the point. Seriously, go get In The Throes and listen to it immediately. If you listen to it by yourself with a bottle of whiskey at 1am without bawling like a baby you're a stronger person than I am.

Here is Moreland playing 'Break My Heart Sweetly' on Colbert:

'Hang Me In The Tulsa County Stars' from SXSW:


Album: Day Of The Dead

Every time summer comes around I start pulling my Grateful Dead albums back out. No band gets as much undeserved hate as The Dead. Even if you hate jam bands, it's hard to deny the songwriting and the band put out at least 2-3 classic studio albums. That's why I was so excited to hear about the Day Of The Dead tribute album. Curated by members of The National, the albums participant list is insane: The National, The War On Drugs, Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis, Jim James, Grizzly Bear, Kurt Vile, J. Mascis, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten, Courtney Barnett, Angel Olsen, Wilco, Charles Bradley, The Tallest Man on Earth, Cass McCombs,  Lucinda Williams, Local Natives, The Walkmen, Real Estate, Hiss Golden Messenger, Stephen Malkmus, Fucked Up and many, many more.

Here are some highlights:

Jim James & Friends - 'Candyman'

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Friends - 'Ruben and Cherise'

Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear & The National - 'Terrapin Station (Suite)'