October 2010 GR8MUSICROX NEW Autumn CD Picks

I love Fall. Yes! It’s great to live in NC  and watch the landscape to autumn’s sexy red head.  It’s also a great season new musical releases.  The ones I recently purchased, downloaded, and are enjoying so far are:

The Old Ceremony  – A Tender Age $9.99 Download http://theoldceremony.com/store.html

Matt Hill: On the Floor $8.99 Download http://www.amazon.com/Floor-Matt-Hill/dp/B003X0XWGS

Americana Music Association Sampler: FREE!!!


Nightsound Studios Musical Chairs: FREE!


Keep posted.

Peace y’all.


My Top 10 Fave Songwriters

When I think of the songs that I have cherished most of my life, or that I listen to over and over, or whose songs I would save in a fire, I credit these songwriters.  

  1. Dolly Parton
  2. Jackson Browne
  3. Keith Green
  4. Jennifer Knapp
  5. David Gray
  6. Bob Dylan
  7. Bebo Norman
  8. Steven Curtis Chapman
  9. Jonathon Byrd
  10. Chris Tomlin & David Crowder

I find it interesting that most of these artists come from the Contemporary Christian genre.  I guess the songs that really matter to me are the ones that encourage and inspire me.

I know that there is a whole genre of singer songwriters from the 70’s that I don’t even mention such as Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, CSNY, Neil Young and the rest of them. I didn’t have much exposure to them growing up. When I listen to those songs now I draw no real connection to my personal life experience, so I won’t pander to them here.

As a kid I would listen to Dolly’s songs and paint pictures in my mind. I could feel Annie’s courage grow when the kids made fun of her “coat of many colors.” I can trace my love for storytelling and folklore right to this very song. For it made me want to dig up more songs that told stories, which landed me into the wonderful world of Zora Neale Hurston and my love for folklore.

Shortly after we moved from NYC To Orlando, I was babysitting my brother while Zeta 7 played full albums. I recorded those albums on my dad’s reel to reel hi-fi stereo.  They played Jackson Browne’s, The Pretender.  I was no different different than most teenagers. I was disillusioned with adults and teachers. My parents fought all the time. I got into fights at school. Boys confused me. I struggled to stay true to my family’s values and our Puerto Rican traditions while living in rural central Florida.  Every song in that album, every word in those songs, seemed to be lifted from my own mind and journals.  When I had the house to myself, I blasted Daddy’s Tune, The Only Child, and then the Pretender, my life song. If everyone was home, I sang along wearing my dad’s headphones.

I exchanged my Tiger Beat magazine for CREEM and Hit Parade. My Leif Garrett wall was replaced with  Jackson Browne, Lindsay Buckingham, Mark Knopfler, Roger Daltrey, Loggins and Messina, Bob Dylan, and James Taylor. I didn’t find their subjects too mature. I may have been 14 at the time, but I got it. 

During all that, the Jesus Movement was passing through. Bob Dylan and I found Jesus. It was big news to the music world as it was to my high school. I made quite a mark as a bad girl and most of the kids and teachers didn’t let me forget that. The music magazines blasted Dylan for his Saved album. He said stuff about sin and all. I really didn’t care about the Movement, the church, or conforming to the youth group. I had my own stuff going on. I was hanging onto my faith for dear life and the Christians only made my spiritual rebirth harder.

Then I discovered artist, Keith Green, who had the same church issues I did.  Green was quite the Jesus zealot – but in a pure way. He had an urgency for lost souls, hated hypocrites, and intolerance. His songs were confessionals. Green died in a plane crash in the summer of 1982. Together Dylan and I backslid, but our simultaneous journeys through spirit and song is part of my story, so he gets a spot in my top 10.

Jennifer Knapp, salve to my angsty soul, was driven away from the conservative Christian community, as I was in 2002. She walked away from the music industry at the height of her career. Although she moved to Australia and was formally out of the business, her fans continued to buy her records and support her forum community sites. Knapp’s music was always honest about her flaws and reached out to a god that accepted her as she was.  During that time, I also sought solace away from the world. She returned with a clear understanding of that and inspired me to also “come out” and speak against the use of religious submission to control and abuse others. We now both have to be who we are. The rest of our “brethren” will just have to get over it!  http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/music/interviews/2010/jenniferknapp-apr10.html

During my own hiatus, I discovered Jonathon Byrd, who’s prose, storytelling (River Girl), and humor (95 South and This is the New That) inspired me to write many stories along the very same Haw River he sang about. Like many things that are precious to me, Byrd is undiscovered gem of talent who’s standard of writing and musical arrangements exceed that of pop country folkish music machines. 

So while I may not follow the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame formula and include the greats in my list. The above are in my personal hall of fame. I will post a separate GR8MUSICROX Fave Songwriters. Some will make it that list as well.

Peace y’all.

New to Roots? Try Back Porch Music

I was first introduced to the vast offerings of roots music through the Back Porch Radio program. It’s every weekend, Fri – Sunday 8:00 – 11:00 pm.  I love the acoustic eclectic format. The show is hosted by Freddy Jenkins and Keith Weston. Their music includes acoustic blues, singersongwriter, bluegrass, acapella, gospel, and even traditional jug band.

Check it out and sign up for their newsletter: http://wunc.org/programs/backporchmusic

My Top 10 Fave Guitarists

My top 10 are no brainers for me. These are the guitarists I have followed most of my music loving life. 

As a teen the first guitar players I saw live were Peter Frampton, Lindsey Buckingham, and Eddie Van Halen. They blew me away and I became obsessed with guitars and guitar musicianship.  Although I am impressed by technical proficiency,  I love the player that moves me. If a guitar player moves me to dance, holler, or to tears, they have made a special connection with me. Their imprint is permanently tattooed in my memory so that I may relive that song or moment over again.  

  1. Les Paul
  2. Doc Watson
  3. Chet Atkins
  4. Stevie Ray Vaughn
  5. Glen Campbell
  6. Mark Knopfler
  7. Nancy Wilson & Michelle Malone (tied)
  8. Eric Clapton
  9. Jose Feliciano
  10. Carlos Santana


It’s here, finally!

Whether I’m in the front row bobbing my head or under a tree at a music festival, I am blessed to have access to great music and even greater music loving friends. 

The day job keeps me busy writing for academics, technologists, and public policy experts who need help translating  their complicated technojargon to the common folk or investors.

When I put their document to bed, I grab my journal, pencil, and camera and seek excellent “new to me” music. 

My passion is sharing music with an emphasis on excellent musicianship and great original songs. 

It’s good to be me!

Your superfan,


GR8MUSICROX Desert Island Jukebox – Singles

My Desert Island Jukebox contains the music that are significant to me.  This isn’t a list of songs to impress music snobs. They are songs that bring me comfort when I am melancholy or ignite long forgotten good times.  They are in no particular order.

So if I was stuck on a desert island, these songs would bring me comfort and keep me occupied, while I await the rescue ship. 

Songs from my fave artists:

  • Let’s Get to Love – The Old Ceremony
  • Groove Baby – Hobex
  • Broken – Antigone Rising
  • Thief – Third Day
  • Tin Pan Alley – Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • River of Tears – Eric Clapton
  • Hellbound Train – Delta Moon
  • Sultans of Swing – Dires Strait
  • The Pretender – Jackson Browne
  • The River Girl – Jonathon Byrd
  • Imagine – John Lennon
  • Thin Blue Flame – Josh Ritter
  • Reason to Believe – Rod Stewart

Songs that remind me of home and the family and friends I miss:

  • Here Comes My Girl – Tom  Petty
  • I Need to Know – Tom Petty
  • Old Flames – Dolly Parton
  • To Daddy – Dolly Parton
  • Somewhere – Barbara Streisand
  • Macho Man – Village People

Songs that I would work out to:

  • Hella Good – No Doubt
  • Hey Baby – No Doubt

Songs that I would listen during during my meditation and spiritual time : 

  • Where the Angels Sleep – Bebo Norman
  • Old Girl – Fernando Ortega
  • Perhaps She’ll Wait – Bebo Norman
  • Silver Lining – David Gray
  • Amazing Grace – Chris Tomlin

Songs that I would finally have the time to learn to play:

  • January Rain – David Gray
  • Little Martha – Duane Allman
  • Uncreated One – Chris Tomlin
  • Kathy’s Song – Eva Cassidy’s (Written by Paul Simon)
  • Mandolin Wind – Rod Stewart
  • Medication – Son Volt
  • Adrenaline and Heresy – Son Volt
  • Sweet Tooth – Dave Rawlings Machine
  • Mississippi John Hurt Songbook
Molly McGinn

song | writer

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