Character Songwriting Playlist


CharacterSongwriting This week I was privileged to receive new music from legendary songwriters Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. It’s not usual for us to get music from two guys who were making music my grandparents listened to. It got me to thinking about how 60 plus years of music fits into a modern context, irregardless of history and a couple pairs of dusty boots from a long journey.
The heart of their collection and solo work comes down to great character storytelling. Within those stories are characters that relate to you and I, regardless of our age, background, or history. There’s the link, it’s in the characters.
That got me to thinking about what other songwriters have crafted music around storylines that could be compared to audio novels. I couldn’t cover every deserving artist in just 2 hours, but this is a good start. Carbon Leaf is back in the mix, and I’ll introduce a few new songwriters to the mix like Wren and Leaders In The Clubhouse. More new music from the rarities release from Iron and Wine, plus more new music from William Fitzsimmons, pairing well with the recent podcast episode from last week. Classics from Fleetwood Mac and Taj Mahal round us out to cover the generations of great character songwriting. Enjoy!

Hour 1
(Show theme) Lindsay Katt. “Heart Place (Instrumental)” Picking Out Boxes. Lindsay Katt, 2008. 01:00
Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard. “It’s Only Money” Django & Jimmie. Sony Music, 2015. 03:57
Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard. “Django and Jimmie” Django & Jimmie. Sony Music, 2015. 02:54

Wren. “Lark” Bone Nest. Laura Adrienne Brady, 2013. 04:58
Wren. “Whirlpool” Bone Nest. Laura Adrienne Brady, 2013. 02:45
Emily Kate Boyd. “Back Into Stone” In The Woods. Emily Kate Boyd, 2014. 04:58

Emily Kate Boyd. “Baby Bird” In The Woods. Emily Kate Boyd, 2014. 03:58
Ruthie Foster. “If I Had A Hammer” Let It Burn. Ble Corn Music, 2012. 03:58
Ruthie Foster. “The Titanic” Let It Burn. Blue Corn Music, 2012. 02:51

Susan Enan. “Bird” Plainsong. Feast Music, 2009. 03:49
Susan Enan. “Skin, Bone and Silicone” Plainsong. Feast Music, 2009. 03:49
Elliott Park. “The Soldier and the Oak” Fly Boy. Elliott Park, 2010. 03:46
Elliott Park. “Old Man And The Clock” Fly Boy. Elliott Park, 2010. 02:56

Leaders In The Clubhouse. “Lawnchairs” Won. Leaders in The Clubhouse, 2015. 05:27
Leaders In The Clubhouse. “Awkward Town” Won. Leaders in The Clubhouse, 2015. 03:47
Carbon Leaf. “A Girl And Her Horse” Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat. Vanguard Records, 2006. 03:55

Hour 2
(Show Theme) Lindsay Katt. “Heart Place (Instrumental)” Picking Out Boxes. Lindsay Katt, 2008. 01:00
Carbon Leaf. “Under The Wire” Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat. Vanguard Records, 2006. 03:55
Ivan & Alyosha. “The Fold” All The Times We Had. Dualtone, 2012. 04:13
Ivan & Alyosha. “God Or Man” All The Times We Had. Dualtone, 2012. 04:55

Iron and Wine. “Beyond The Fence” Archive Series Volume No. 1. Black Cricket Recording, 2015. 06:40
Iron and Wine. “Your Sly Smile” Archive Series Volume No. 1. Black Cricket Recording, 2015. 03:22
Fleetwood Mac. “Why” Mystery To Me. Blue Horizon, 1973. 04:56
Fleetwood Mac. “Hynotized” Mystery To Me. Blue Horizon, 1973. 04:49

William Fitzsimmons. “Pittsburgh” Pittsburgh. Nettwerk Productions, 2015. 03:48
William Fitzsimmons. “I had To Carry Her (Virginia’s Song)” Pittsburgh. Nettwerk Productions, 2015. 03:44
Bruce Springsteen. “Across The Border” The Ghost Of Tom Joad. Bruce Springsteen, 1995. 05:30
Bruce Springsteen. “Youngstown” All The Ghosts Are Gone. Bruce Springsteen, 1995. 03:58

Taj Mahal. “I Pity THe Poor Immigrant” Hidden Treasures Of Taj Mahal. Columbia Records, 2012. 08:11
Taj Mahal. “Chainey Do” Hidden Treasures Of Taj Mahal. Columbia Records, 2012. 01:05

DGrantSmith

Host of the syndicated radio program The Appetizer heard on public radio across Texas and online from our Listen Now link; enjoys conversations, music, food, art, storytelling, and people. Connect with me. Would love to hear from you.

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