According to my watch, it’s now 11:03 pm, which means there’s less than one hour left on this Wednesday and it’s high time to post this week’s episode of Now That’s What I Call Boogie!, PTB’s weekly music playlist. This week’s theme: all things alt-country.
… or roots music, Americana, progressive country, whatever you like to call it (I’ll just use alt-country). To me, the greatest thing about alt-country is that it’s a wide genre, with all kinds of different sounds.
It had been quite a while since I’d listened to some alt-country, but recently I had a great conversation with someone who got me back into it. Here are a few of my favorites I came back across.
Lucky Now – Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire (PAX AM, Capitol)
People like to hate on Ryan Adams for having mushy lyrics, and that’s fine, but between his solo career and his work with The Cardinals, he’s become practically synonymous with alt-country music. This song is from his latest album (his 13th studio album!) which marked his comeback after suffering for two years with complications with Ménière’s disease (he talks candidly about this experience here). Yes, it’s sappy, but you know it’s good.
Jesus, Etc. – Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)
Of all the alt-country bands out there, Wilco is probably one of the most creative. Check out their much-beloved song Jesus, Etc. below. And if you’re interested in seeing more of their inventiveness, check out this performance of Art of Almost from their latest album The Whole Love.
Baby Missiles – The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian)
Now let’s switch gears a bit. The War on Drugs is a great band from Philadelphia who have been doing some terrific work combining rock and roll with elements of shoegaze and pop. Check out one of the best songs from their critically-acclaimed album Slave Ambient.
Time Spent in Los Angeles – Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong (ATO)
Dawes reminds me of The Wallflowers, another great alt-country band, and particularly on this song.
Main Street – Deer Tick – Divine Providence (Partisan)
Deer Tick is a fun band out of Rhode Island with a distinctive bluesy, somewhat older sound. Take a listen to one of their best songs, Main Street. The video is great too.
Girl in the War – Josh Ritter – The Animal Years (V2)
If you’re the singer-songwriter type, definitely check out Josh Ritter if you haven’t already. Besides being a fantastic guitar player, he’s also an incredible lyricist. If you want to see more, take a look at this Tiny Desk concert from last year.
That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back regularly with the blog for more fabulous PTB content. As always, feel free to send us any song or theme suggestions for future Now episodes by tweeting @PTBat9 or by emailing us on our Contact page.