WARMER MIXTAPES #1252 | by Spencer Mackenzie Brown

1. Otis Redding | Open The Door
The harmonies on this song will knock you flat on the ground before you ever see them coming. Otis was a god among men and this was just another piece he graced us with. This track had me picking up the needle to listen again and again and again.

2. Little Walter | My Babe
Little Walter made the harmonica relevant and powerful and no one has been able to beat him at his own game since. My Babe combines his amplified harp playing with phenomenal songwriting to give you a simple yet alluring track.

3. Andrew Bird's Bowl Of Fire | Why?
Every song Andrew Bird composes is an absolute masterpiece, but when I saw him perform this live I felt every part of me lift off in the whirlwind of the emotions he released. While completely untraditional and different in each performance, it is an honest, haunting and captivating song. If ever the opportunity arises, this one is best served live.

4. James Vincent McMorrow | Cavalier 
This song is, plain and simple, incredibly sexy. I was expecting more Folk on his latest album, but he turned a whole new direction. I played this song over the loudspeakers once at work and two people immediately came up wondering who the seductive voice was. They ended up exchanging hours of talk and phone numbers, so be mindful of its powers.

5. Michael Kiwanuka | Home Again
I was outside gardening in the morning of a beautiful Summer day when Home Again played over the radio and perked my ears. You couldn’t have asked for a better soundtrack. Gardening is my time for reflection, thought and learning through labor, but this song turned it into a remembrance of a feeling of being home. Whether that feeling be from a physical place or a person is up to you.

6. Ben Howard | The Wolves 
I once tried to move to Austin, Texas. After four days of failure and Texas heat, I left. With nowhere to go, I sat at an Oklahoma rest stop deciding where my life would go next. Money was low and my car was near Death. I got on my phone and called everyone I knew to get advice. Every single one of them told me to play it safe and return home. I wasn’t ready for safe. I wanted the adventure and uncertainty every soul seeks to feel alive. So, I got in my car, put on this song and headed West for California without telling one person where I was headed. The rambling drum beat of this song was powering my engine forward and I felt alive. Once I arrived, I sent out a photo of the beach to all I had called.

7. A Flock Of Seagulls | I Ran
I effing love this song. I mean, I really, really love this song! I once played in a Punk Rock cover band that played The Stooges, Ramones, The Clash, etc. We eventually branched out and I begged them to add this to our repertoire. I came into band practice that night with every single note memorized, blasting out of my amp. I closed my eyes and went to guitar heaven. I’ll enjoy playing this song on guitar until I’m 100 years old. My future grandchildren aren’t going to know what to do with me. Neither will the old folks home.

8. Neko Case | Lion’s Jaw
I don’t actually know any other Neko Case songs, but someone once sat and played her own version of this for me. Her voice gave me chills and made my heart race. I’d never felt that way from hearing someone cover a song. Honestly, I’d never quite felt that way from any song. It was a moment I can never recreate and it stands out as one of my favorite memories. While you’ll never hear the version I heard, Neko Case does a pretty good job with her own song.

9. Justin Klaas | Wait Here
I never sing along to this song, I only sit and absorb. When the masterfully placed percussion comes in I close my eyes and drift off to the stage he has set, captivated and anxious. The lead guitar calls and pulls you to follow like a Siren to a lost Sailor at Sea. Every second of the song is elegant and beautiful. I always hit repeat hoping someday it will continue and give me more. It never does, but I never stop listening.

10. Billy Fox | Mystery
I have no idea how people don’t know who this guy is. I have a feeling they will very soon. This track is so damn phenomenal. I don’t even need to explain this one; just go listen and enjoy.