We’re unveiling our 2012 Summer Mix today. It’s been at least four months in the making. I start thinking about Memorial Day Weekend when there’s snow outside. The Summer Mix has become a part of the holiday ever since the first one in 2006.
The path to this year’s mix took a couple of roads. In the late winter while the Republican Presidential candidates threw punches at one another I started what turned out to be my most ambitious mix project ever: Summer Mix Politico. That mix attempted to blend summer tunes with political currents.
As the year began to take shape my approach to the mix found new inspiration. In one night I quickly assembled the core of this year’s list. It’s groove became contagious. Thirteen core songs comprised the mix. I added the final four songs the week leading to Memorial Day.
Hale says it’s “nice. It’s soothing”. I might have hit my target for a fifteen year old teenage girl to have that observation.
The Summer For the Blues
I’ve been listening to a great deal of Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band over the last eight months. This mix not only contains a healthy dose of those artists but the uplifting and moderate blues groove you find in their music.
There’s no doubting the current events in my own life influenced some of the song selections. For those that know me however don’t necessarily assume every song applies to today. The mix as a whole is about loves lost and learned, and moving forward all while framing the summer season. I think you’ll pick up on that vibe.
Unlike the previous two Summer Mixes, this year’s mix was designed to be listened to in order, not because the songs tell a story but because the DJ in me felt the order worked best. See if you pick up on a storyline though. There is a turning point in the mix with the tone of the lyrics signaling a change.
The 2012 Summer Mix:
- Dirty Low Down and Bad, Keb Mo. I couldn’t pick a better track to start this year’s mix. The pace and tone of the song scream summer BBQ to me. I’ve tried to keep the entire mix based around the pace and groove of this first track.
- Meet Me in New Mexico, Anders Osborne. My boss actually turned me on to Anders Osborne. From the moment I heard this song I knew it would make the mix – laid back yet fluid. It totally transports me to a warm and breezy destination where I can only imagine who will meet me.
- Kansas City, Willie Nelson featuring Susan Tedeschi. Yes, Willie can sing the blues. I never thought of Mid-Western women as being “pretty” but they do love ’em some BBQ. Susan Tedeschi really makes this track cook.
- Smoking Gun, Robert Cray. Cray’s infamous tune was too irresistible for this year’s mix. By now you may be figuring out I’m not going to let you get rolling to hard – another tight groove with lots of room for imagination.
- Melissa, The Allman Brothers Band. Slowing down the mix with Melissa made sense to me. The references to “cross roads” coming and going always cause reflection. This song often finds me thinking of a college girlfriend who loved the Allman Brothers. Wonder if…
- Dirty Bird, Eric Lindell. The blues groove starts to rebuild with New Orleans native Eric Lindell. I can not stop moving when this song gets rolling. Lindell always seems to be on point in matters of the heart from a guy’s view too.
- Orange Blossoms, JJ Grey & Mofro. This is a quintessential old girlfriend reflection song! I have no idea what orange blossoms smell like but I can relate to “can’t remember her name.” Funny how feelings and sensual memories remain.
- Lie to Me, Johnny Lang. Our culture has plenty of songs about playing the fool from a female perspective. Thank you Johnny Lang for providing another perspective! Yes, sometimes the guy wants to look the other way too. Good thing we always come to our senses.
- On A Real Lonely Night, Warren Haynes. I felt compelled to include Warren Haynes in this year’s mix. We’ve seen him three times in concert in less than a year. I love the horns in this tune!
- Mustang Sally, Buddy Guy. It”s a blues themed mix. How can I not have Buddy Guy? And a classic too!
- Right Down the Line, Bonnie Raitt. Bonnie Raitt is back with a new album in case you haven’t heard. This cover of Gary Rafferty’s tune bleeds sun, cold beverages, and hot breezes.
- The Thanks I Get, Wilco. Wilco isn’t necessarily a band I think of for anything to be honest. However I didn’t think a little new and varied genre would hurt the mix overall. This track seems to fit the mood and I like the tone of the lyrics.
- All I Do, The Derek Trucks Band. Every time I hear this song I think pre show or intermission mix tune at a summer concert; you’re at your favorite amphitheater cold beer in hand awaiting your favorite band while this tune plays in the background. Love how this song builds!
- Everybody’s Talkin’ (Live), Tedeschi Trucks Band. I waited to finish the mix for this album. This is the best band I’ve ever seen live (most recently last month). The shows are a religious experience. It’s amazing to see 11 musicians all in sync and knowing each others moves.
- People Get Ready (Live), North Mississippi Allstars. Luther Dickinson is a great guitarist and the primary reason why the North Mississippi Allstars make this years mix. This track made the mix to slightly reset the mood before a big finish.
- Roll Like a Big Wheel, Joan Osborne. When I was a kid living in Richmond (yep even before I was a kindergart’ner) I rode my Big Wheel everywhere. I never stopped. Thank you Joan Osborne and keep shaking those hips!
- Wiser Time, The Black Crowes. The mix finishes with Wiser Time, a good looking forward while reflecting kind of tune. This is the iTunes Original version but there are many live versions available online for download. I encourage you to find the version from the Richmond show in 2010. It’s an amazing 15+ minute jam with Luther Dickinson.
And there you have it. The 2012 Summer Mix: The Summer For the Blues. I hope you enjoy the mix at an upcoming BBQ, road trip, vacation, or lounging hour in the sun.