The plus side of being sick and not doing a damn thing for 3 days is that you get to catch up on a lot of stuff that you have missed or looked over. That may be a TV show, book, movie, music, whatever. The past few days I have moved only from my couch to my bed and bathroom, but in the meantime I had the time to really dig into my music library and rediscovered some great songs.
Imagine if the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took a journey to space and discovered a cool new sound and decided to record it. If so, they would probably call themselves The War on Drugs, and make a song that sounds a lot like "Taking the Farm".
The War on Drugs - Taking the Farm from Wagonwheel Blues (2008)
Shakey Graves is a folk singer that hails from the live music capital of the world, Austin, TX. I don't know too much about this artist, other than that he writes some good songs, so enjoy.
You can download Roll the Bones at your own price @ http://shakeygraves.bandcamp.com/
Shakey Graves - Word of Mouth from his album Roll the Bones
Tom Petty has never really been a favorite of mine. He has some damn good albums, and some downright awful ones. However, I noticed when going through his catalog that if you listen to 10 Tom Petty songs, you will find at least one absolute gem. "Walls (No. 3)" is one of those gems, and probably my favorite Petty track. Interestingly enough, the song is found on a soundtrack for the movie "She's the One". The song has also been covered by such greats as Josh Ritter and Bright Eyes with the Felice Brothers.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Walls (No. 3) from the soundtrack She's the One (1996)
In 1963, Sam Cooke wrote one of the most "A Change Is Gonna Come". The song went on to be one of the most meaningful songs of the 1960s civil rights movements. Here, Ben Sollee, a white boy from Kentucky gives his best shot at Cooke's gem. Obviously, growing up in the white Kentucky suburbs, Sollee couldn't put himself in Cooke's shoes, which is what I love about this version of the song. With his slight lyric changes and faster time, Ben Sollee makes "A Change Is Gonna Come" his own.
Ben Sollee - A Change Is Gonna Come from his album Learning to Bend (2008)
Sage Francis has always been an artist that I have respected greatly. He has progressed through his career with an incredible DIY approach, starting his own label in the 90's which eventually became Strange Famous Records, a staple in the indie hip-hop scene. Francis is a man who has an old man's wisdom and a punk rock attitude. Never afraid of evolving his sound, he has worked with musicians such as Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy), Califone, and in this case, French multi-instrumentalist and composer Yann Tiersen. In "The Best of Times", Sage Francis covers the trials and tribulations of his whole childhood in just over five and a half minutes.
Sage Francis - The Best of Times from his album Li(f)e (2010)