BEST OF THE SOUTH: The Playlist
In this space, we present handpicked songs from artists, albums, features, and scenes mentioned in our current Best of the South issue. Enjoy!
1) “Do Your Thing” by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
In his piece on Kelly Hogan—or is it on Tom Franklin?—our friend Jack Pendarvis mentions how James Gadson appears on Kelly Hogan’s new album. Such a prolific musician has loads of quality songs under his belt.
We still haven’t gotten over our Mississippi Music issue!
2) “Use Me” by Bill Withers
Gadson and other Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band members teamed up with Bill Withers after his 1971 album Just as I Am became a smash hit.
3) “We Can’t Have Nice Things” by Kelly Hogan.
We can’t have a playlist without the featured artist from Pendarvis’s piece! This comes off Hogan’s new album, I Like To Keep Myself In Pain, in stores June 5th.
4) “Sponge” by Vic Chesnutt
Vic was one of the many artists eager to contribute to Hogan’s new album, but we lost him before that became a reality. For John Jeremiah Sullivan’s tribute to the artist, click here.
5) “Poor Wayfaring Stranger” by Neko Case.
This is an older tune of Neko’s, but we’d be remiss not to include it. After all, she took the stunning photo of Kelly Hogan that appears in the magazine.
6) “John Henry” by Glen Stoneman
We imagine this playing in the background as Big Ellis barrels past his bride-to-be in the first Wendell Berry story.
7) “That’s the Bag I’m In” by Gram Parsons
Rebecca Bengal mentions Parsons in this year’s Odes section. Parsons is one of the many musicians that Jacksonville, Florida claims as its own.
8) “Loretta” by Townes Van Zandt
We know you’re familiar with this one, but it’s always nice to revisit. This track kicks off a country-heavy lineup to compliment James Pogue’s piece on Hayes Carll, songwriting, and country music.
9) “Loretta” by Steve Earle
Steve Earle’s quoted in the Pogue piece, and this song from his album of TVZ covers, Townes, is just as moving as the original.
10) “Georgia on a Fast Train” by Billy Joe Shaver
Straight from our 1999 Southern Music Sampler, featuring Billy Joe’s late son on lead guitar.
11) "KMAG YOYO" by Hayes Carll
A live performance from Carll himself. He’s certainly a breath of fresh air in today’s country music landscape, and we’re jealous that Pogue went under his tutelage.
12) “L.A. Freeway” by Guy Clark
Also mentioned in the Pogue piece, Guy Clark was one of the most renowned Texas songwriters of all time. Check out a William Gay review of his latest live album here.
13) “Hot Rod Lincoln” by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Anne Jones penned a moving piece about the power of music in the magazine, particularly from Bill Kirchen before and after his Commander Cody days.
14) “Proud Mary” by Ike & Tina Turner
Jones describes in the piece how she and her father debated whose “Proud Mary” was better—Ike & Tina’s or Creedence’s. It’s a tough call, but in the spirit of our recent Mississippi Music issue, we’ll side with this one.
15) “In Spite of Ourselves” by John Prine and Iris DeMent
Another favorite that Jones describes sharing with her mother.
16) “My Back Yard” by House of Freaks
The Richmond rockers that pioneered the guitar-drum, blues-rocker duo sound that’s gained such notoriety are also featured in the issue. This song comes off their debut album, Monkey on a Chain Gang.
17) “Rocking Chair” by House of Freaks
18) “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” by AC/DC
William was a big fan of AC/DC, who aren’t exactly Southern, but William certainly was.
19) “Rode Hard And Put Up Wet” by Marshall Chapman
Chapman penned one of the stirring tributes to William Gay that appears in the issue.
20) “Call Me The Breeze” by J.J. Cale
In the aforementioned piece, Chapman recalls playing this tune for William on a long drive back to his home in Hohenwald, Tennessee.