WARMER MIXTAPES #624 | by Joshua S. [Mason Black]

Music is often referred to as the universal language. That one thing that transcends Country, Nationality, and Speech and gives the listener a sense of the mood the creator was trying to convey. A simple song can take us back to where we once were and give us drive to get to where we want to be. Songs can bring tears and smiles in an instant and cause memories to seep back into our minds out of their long buried hiding places. I grew up listening to the music my parents love; Old Country. It wasn’t unusual for Patsy Cline or Hank Williams records to play in our house. I grew up on those sounds, those stories. Later in life I would release my first record, a Pop album. I love that first record I did and I do believe it is an accurate portrayal of where my life was then when I wrote it. Now, I’m older and I have found myself coming full circle and writing a record reminiscent of the music my Momma and Daddy played while I was growing up. Country Music has the unique ability, for myself at least, to grab hold of the heart, and in the same moment that it warms you, can bring you to tears. I’d hesitate to call my music pure Country, as it’s more or less inspired by those sounds, but I think the heart is there. These are the songs that have inspired my life.

1. Lefty FrizzellLong Black Veil
This song while being so dark, is so beautiful to me. The story of a man who had been wrongly accused of murder, but who had in reality been somewhere else… In the arms of his best friend’s wife, and rather than say where he’d been and break up a marriage, said not a word. Something powerful in his resolve to rather die than ruin his friendship and the life of the woman he’d been with. She walks these hills in a long black veil.

2. Hank Williams | Your Cheatin' Heart
Any Country fan worth his salt knows and loves this song. Hank Williams is the king of Country Music for many reasons, this song just being one of them. As a teenager I remember singing this song around the house every time I had my teenage heart broken, and for a teenager who wrote songs in margins of his Math homework, that was often. This song is such a classic, because it endures and remains relevant to anyone who has ever had their heart carelessly handled. It’s also just a really awesome song!

3. Patsy Cline | Lovesick Blues
While originally a Hank Williams song, I feel no one made it quite their own like Patsy did. Patsy put so much Emotion into this song and you can hear it in every breath she takes. This is pure Magic. It’s a great song to drink whiskey and cry to, well, if you’re into that sort of thing! I’m reformed.

4. Gene Autry | Don’t Fence Me In
This is just another of my all-time favorite songs. I live in New York City, and sometimes all this concrete gets to me and I then I play this song, and I go back to Montana, where I spent a good part of my childhood, in my mind.

5. Bob Wills | San Antonio Rose
This song makes me think of my mother. My momma and Daddy grew up in San Antonio, Texas and they married there. My mother is a true rose of San Antonio.

6. Emmylou Harris | Michelangelo
This has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It’s the kind of song best listened to without distraction and a warm place to lay down and just soak in the lyrics and the beautiful voice of EmmyLou Harris.

7. Barbara Lewis | Baby I’m Yours
Best song to slow dance to with someone exceptionally special. I recently did.

8. The Drifters | Save The Last Dance For Me
This song was on repeat in my bedroom when I was a teenager. I was a bit of a romantic back then. Now, I’m a hopeless romantic. I probably won’t recover! Haha!

9. Willie Nelson | Always On My Mind (Brenda Lee Cover)
While I love the Elvis version, Willie’s original really does it for me. His voice is so simple and pure and the song will always be one of my favorites.

10. Merle Haggard | Silver Wings
This song to me is what Music is all about; giving the listener a soundtrack to their life. God, this is just such an all-around fantastic song. If you don’t feel something listening to this, you need to check your pulse.