1. Paul & Linda McCartney | Monkberry Moon Delight
This song is fantastic. Paul's Raw Vocals and Chaos in the midst of beautiful Piano lets you hear his soul. Linda's haunting Vocals in the Chorus always gave me chills. For being a Beatles fan, this was different and satisfying. It brings be back to being in Jr. High School and listening to my parents' records on Sunday mornings at home and the smell of breakfast being cooked.
2. Sigur Rós | untitled #4 (aka Njósnavélin aka The Spy Machine aka The Nothing Song)
This song off of their album ( ), was a Life Changer. The whole album was actually. But talk about hearing Post Rock for the first time and making it the Background Music for drives up North, Camping, and times alone with my self in good and bad. I am a sucker for Reverb and Haunting Falsettos.
3. Sufjan Stevens | The Upper Peninsula
Sufjan's always personal Lyrics, beautiful Composition, and catchy Banjo licks were a huge inspiration on my Writing and Life. Especially his songs about my home state, Michigan. Reminds me of sitting in my friend's room listening to his albums, Winter Adventures in College, Family and Freedom. Beautiful Vocal Harmonies.
4. Anathallo | Don't Kid Yourself, You Need A Physician
Soulful and brilliant. I Love how you can hear their Youth crying through Guitar and Horns with some of the most powerful Drums you can ask for. It always reminds me of Summers as a teenager up North with my cousin, drinking and canoes, trying to come up with short stories and Melodies. It reminds me of meeting great friends and making great memories.
5. Nick Drake | Pink Moon
I'll never forget the first time I saw a Pink Moon set on Lake Michigan. Under the influence of things I shouldn't have had and the turning point of a Spiritual Time of my Life in College. Beauty and Confusion. The reflection of the Moon in the knee deep water on the shore. Nick Drake's Lyrics becoming more meaningful in a chapter of my Life. Timeless.
6. The Beatles | Sun King
I was on a drive in my mom's 1960 Bellaire and Abbey Road was in the Cassette Deck. I was probably 6 years old. Unsure of the language they were speaking, I was hypnotized. Every year I'd revisit that song on a beautiful Summer day. Talk about Good Vibrations.
7. Paul Simon | Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall
This is a powerful song. Delicately beautiful Finger Picking. Paul's Vocal Melodies and his Simplicity. Telling Stories and bringing me back to Campfires and Hikes with Friends. Love and Loss. I remember learning Guitar and trying to figure out his Picking Paterns. Challenging me to become better. Inspiring me with Poetry.
8. Neil Young | Heart Of Gold
Sure it's one of his most Popular, but it was the first song I learned on Harmonica and Guitar at the same time. I was so proud of myself. Neil's Music has always been a huge part of my life. Reminds me of myself and good friends playing Guitars and having singalongs together.
9. Johnny Cash | Cocaine Blues (Traditional Folk Song 'Little Sadie' Cover)
Fun, Twangy, and Bouncy. Brings me back to bartending at Cedar Grove Tavern and having fun long nights up North. Everyone yelling the Lyrics at the tops of their lungs. Dancing and debauchery. Johnny was one hell of a Writer and will always have a place in my heart.
10. Devendra Banhart | The Body Breaks
A definite Inspiration to take the Psychedelic rout in Folk Writing. Always catchy tunes and exciting words. Music that allowed me to let my freak flag fly. Brings me back to times of Adventure and Immaculate Highs. Jamming with friends in the country and Road Trips with No Destination. Much Love to you, sir!