The Hodgepodge: If You Were Stranded on an Island & Had to Pick One Country Record…

ATOZ_JKT

After a long holiday weekend here in the United States and the unofficial end of summer, there hasn’t been too much happening in the world of country music. This comes a week after all the hoopla surrounding the 50th CMA Awards and who was in and out in terms of nominations. In addition the much-talked about Sturgill Simpson Facebook rant took place and was a topic that was beaten to death. Needless to say I didn’t feel like rehashing this again. With nothing else to really talk about, I decided to try out something I’ve been wanting to give a shot with The Hodgepodge for a while. That is an Ask The Readers Hodgepodge. It’s quite simple: I pose a question to you the readers and in the comments below we will discuss what our answers would be to the question. Sometimes it will be a yes or no question, but most times it’ll be something a little more detailed like today. The first Ask The Readers Hodgepodge will start with an age-old question involving numerous subjects, but this time country music.

If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and you had to pick one country album to bring with you, what would it be?

Some guidelines:

  • It can also be Americana/Folk/Roots Rock because we cover those in addition to country music and I know some only follow the blog for these sub-genres.
  • The album cannot be a greatest hits album, box set, compilation, covers album, live album or soundtrack. Double albums are fair game though, but it must be released at the same time and not separately.
  • You can have the album in any format you please (you get one outlet on the island to plug in your CD player, record player 0r MP3 player, although good luck getting your record not to warp with all of the sunlight)
  • The album you pick doesn’t necessarily have to be what you consider the greatest country album of all-time, although it can be. It’s more your favorite album.
  • There are no wrong answers here! (Except if you pick a Sam Hunt album because I would think being stranded on an island would be a hard enough life without his music)
  • Feel free to throw in your picks for other genres too. This is a topic to have fun with!

 

Now with all of the guidelines out of the way, I will give my answer. I haven’t decided as of this writing what one album I would pick, but rather a list I would highly consider from for my one pick. Those albums would be:

  • Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
  • Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (of course my first two on the list are Country Perspective’s album of the year winners)
  • Chris Stapleton – Traveller
  • George Strait – Strait From The Heart
  • George Strait – Ocean Front Property 
  • Alan Jackson – Don’t Rock The Jukebox
  • Waylon Jennings – Dreaming My Dreams
  • Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. 

It’s your turn now! Be sure to weigh in below.

Upcoming/Recent Country & Americana Releases

  • Whiskey Myers will be releasing their new album MUD tomorrow. My review of it will also be out soon
  • St. Paul & The Broken Bones will be releasing their sophomore album tomorrow, titled Sea of Noise.
  • Next week Amanda Shires’ new album My Piece of Land will be released.
  • Australian country artist Kasey Chambers just released a new EP Ain’t No Little Girl and her new album Dragonfly will be released on January 20, 2017 (shout out to reader Melanie for giving me a heads up!)
  • It was just announced this week Jim Lauderdale will be releasing a new album titled This Changes Everything on September 30
  • A promising up and coming artist named Paul Cauthen will be releasing his debut solo record My Gospel on October 14. He’s the former frontman of Americana band Sons of Fathers.

Throwback Thursday Song

Willie Nelson – “I’d Have To Be Crazy” – This is one of my all-time favorite Willie Nelson songs and one of my favorite country love songs. For the eagle-eyed, yes Sturgill Simpson covered the very same song on his debut album High Top Mountain. It is also great and does Willie justice.

Non-Country Suggestion of the Week

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Cry” – Yes, it’s the same artist that sang “Call Me Maybe.” But she’s moved on to much better music! Her last album Emotion was pop music at it’s best and recently she released the B-Sides EP for it. I recommend both if you listen to pop music, but this song in particular is fantastic off the EP. It reminds me of the best of 80s pop and would undoubtedly be a hit in that decade of music (think Heart or Pat Benatar).

Tweet of the Week

Laughing at Blake Shelton’s current terrible single is always appropriate, but especially when it’s struggling on the chart.

Some Thoughts on Kelsea Ballerini’s Album

kelsea-ballerini-is-meh

I’m not sure why you bought the album either, Danyelle. And it does sound pop, Victoria.

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50 thoughts on “The Hodgepodge: If You Were Stranded on an Island & Had to Pick One Country Record…

  1. My desert island album would probably have to be ‘Real Fine Place’ by Sara Evans, specifically the Target version with four bonus tracks. She’s my favorite artist and that’s what I consider to be her best album. It has a little bit of everything – traditional country, pop country, a little bluegrass and a little rock. Also a Lori McKenna song, which is always a good choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mine would either be “Alright Guy” by Gary Allan, “Like a Rose” by Ashley Monroe, “Pageant Material” by Kacey Musgraves, “Start Here” by Maddie and Tae, “Smoke Rings in the Dark” by Gary Allan, “Drive” by Alan Jackson, or Lee Ann Womack’s Greatest Hits album. In the end I would either go with “Alright Guy” or “Like a Rose”. It’s a really tough choice when there is so much great music to choose from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • However, if I absolutely had to pick between the two, it would be Gary Allan’s “Alright Guy”. I’d have to say it’s my favorite album. πŸ™‚

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  3. I would pick my desert island Country/Americana album from this list:

    Will Hoge’s ‘Draw the Curtains’
    Zac Brown Band’s ‘Uncaged’
    Willie Nelson’s ‘Red Headed Stranger’
    Wade Bowen’s ‘Lost Hotel’
    Cross Canadian Ragweed’s ‘Soul Gravity’

    In other genres, AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ or Led Zeppelin IV would probably be my short list for Rock music.

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  4. I’m not cheating and giving a list, my easy choice is Steve Earle’s “I Feel Alright”. It has a nice mix of styles and I never get tired listening to it.

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  5. I’d have to decide which one of “Diamonds & Gasoline” and Turnpike Troubadours self titled album I’m more fond of. As another mentioned, Soul Gravity is pretty high on the list as well as Red Headed Stranger.

    As far as other genres, give me “Born to Run” or “Darkness On The Edge of Town”
    .

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    • So unless you have a time machine, I take it you have heard this album? And it’s that great? Because I’m really looking forward to hearing this one and I think it could be the dark horse album of the year candidate.

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  6. My top two would be:

    George Jones – Mr. Country and Western Music (1965)
    Ricky Van Shelton – Loving Proof (1988)

    I’m rather picky when it comes to my country music, and it’s hard for me to find albums that have high concentrations of material that I deem worth listening to. These albums are rare exceptions.

    In terms of the sheer ratio of enjoyable songs to total songs on the album, Mr. Country and Western Music takes the cake; of the 12 songs on the album, I enjoy listening to a whopping 11 of them. Meanwhile, of the 10 songs on Loving Proof, I only enjoy 7 of them, but those seven are really really good (i.e. I’ve marked them as 5-star songs in my iTunes library).

    I highly recommend either of them to those who enjoy neotraditional and classic country!

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  7. My one & only island-album: Baillie & The Boys – Baillie & The Boys.
    Nine great tracks. Fantastic harmony vocals. Produced by Kyle Lehning (Randy Travis, Dan Seals) & Paul Davis. Songs co-written by Don Schlitz, Craig Bickhardt, Pam Rose, Mary Ann Kennedy & Wendy Waldman.

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  8. Time Well Wasted – Brad Paisley
    Walking Among the Living – Jon Randall
    Up on the Ridge – Dierks Bentley
    Down the Road I Go – Travis Tritt
    Troubadour – George Strait
    Long Trip Alone – Dierks Bentley
    Smoke Rings in the Dark – Gary Allan
    Tough all Over – Gary Allan
    This is Country Music – Brad Paisley
    The Way I’m Livin’ – Lee Ann Womack
    I’m a Fire – David Nail
    When Somebody Loves You – Alan Jackson

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  9. Since I have to pick one, it would probably be Dolly Parton’s “Coat Of Many Colors”.

    It wasn’t the album that got me enthralled with country music, but it was definitely one of several albums that kept me staying. It’s a rather concise album, but it’s the one I find I have the deepest emotional connection with (“Red Headed Stranger” a close second) because in spite of its brevity, it has it all. It has ballads for more reflective days being shipwrecked, ones that lean toward rock for my more determinative moments, and then moments with more pop accessibility. Loretta Lynn inspired me equally as much when it comes to women in country music, but though it’s hard to pin down a definitive Lynn album, it’s easy with Parton. It’s just life in all its beauty and fragility in a nutshell! =)

    *

    Carly Rae Jepsen is criminally underrated (and I say that as someone who genuinely liked “Call Me Maybe”, as overplayed as it was.)

    There’s just a lot of heart and scope behind her whole “E-MO-TION” sessions and songs like this one, “Let’s Get Lost”, “Your Type” and “Run Away With Me” are simply pop music at its best and most affecting. It is unforgivable that such infectious and honest earworms are being grossly overlooked while Britney Spears quixotically continues to be shoved down our throats in her comparatively indifferent, highly-processed banality (seriously: WHY is her new album getting mostly critical acclaim? I gave it a fair listen and save a song and a half, it is heavily uninspired and shallow). At least we appreciate Carly!

    *

    I thought Warner Nashville would refuse to go down without a fight in payola-ing “She’s Got A Way With Words” to #1 in the coming weeks just to see to it his singles streak is artificially secured.

    But last night, I noticed that The Highway has now added “Straight Outta Cold Beer” and has started playing it. That’s a convincing sign it’s pretty much curtains on this gawd-awful song. Thank goodness! And sorry Blake, but you’re not getting my streak-snapping sympathy here! Jake Owen had the conscience to pass up this song because he knew it came across as mean-spirited and puerile to his ex. You should have came to your senses too, but didn’t. Good riddance, “She’s Got A Way With Words”, bwaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha! πŸ˜‰

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    • Historically speaking it seems when these runs end it’s with a song that comes nowhere near #1. Alabama’s 21 in a row ended with a song that peaked at #7 and Earl Thomas Conley saw his long streak end with a #26 peaking song.

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  10. I’d have to put in more thought to narrow it down to one, but here’s the seven I would probably choose from:
    Geronimo by Shane Smith & the Saints
    Diamonds and Gasoline by Turnpike Troubadours
    Midnight and Lonesome by Buddy Miller
    Carolina Ghost by Caleb Caudle
    I’m Not the Devil by Cody Jinks
    Undercurrent by Sarah Jarosz (I know it’s not country but it’s definitely Folk/Americana)
    The River and the Thread by Rosanne Cash

    Also, if there was an option for instrumental albums, I’d choose Not All Who Wander Are Lost by Chris Thile.

    If bluegrass could be a separate category I’d choose either:
    Things That Fly by The Infamous Stringdusters
    Paper Airplane by Alison Krauss & Union Station (the limited Target release)
    Sounds Of Home by Blue Highway

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  11. Country album it would come down to either Wade Bowen “Lost Hotel, ” Turnpike Troubadours “Goodbye Normal Street,” or Jason Isbell “Southeastern.”

    Now, as for other genres, for rock, I’d go with Matchbox Twenty “Yourself or Someone Like You” or Counting Crows “Recovering the Satellites.”

    Folk/Americana it is either “Sermon on the Rocks” or “The Animal Years,” by Josh Ritter.

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    • I grew up on both those 90’s other-genre bands too, Cobra! =)

      I don’t listen to matchbox twenty quite like I used to (I still very much like their earlier material, but “North” and Rob Thomas’ most recent solo album are just too banal and polished) but my love for the Counting Crows is as deep as ever. I thought “Possibility Days” from their most recent album is one of the best songs they’ve ever recorded, and “Palisades Park” is very heartfelt too.

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      • North had a lot of good moments: “Parade,” “English Town,” “Sleeping at the Wheel,” and “The Way,” but songs like “Like Sugar,” and “Put Your Hands Up” we’re awful.

        “Possibility Days” and “Palisades Park” were amazing songs, as was “God of Ocean Tides.”

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  12. ‘There’s More Where That Came From’ Lee Ann Womack. The best album by a female in mainstream country in the last twenty years.

    Other genres would be ‘Ray Of Light’ by Madonna, ‘Full Moon Fever’ by Tom Petty and what is maybe my favorite album of any kind ever ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ by Oasis.

    For me anyways country has always been a song genre and not an album genre like the best of rock and pop music so this would lead away from the country genre.

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    • “There’s More Where That Came From” is definitely a great album! Speaking of female traditionalists, I am also a gigantic fan of Patty Loveless’ album “Sleepless Nights” (2008); it’s all covers of classic country songs and Loveless does an astonishingly good job of bringing them to life. If you haven’t heard it but you enjoy the Lee Ann Womack album, you will really adore this one! πŸ™‚

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  13. Enough Rope – Chris Knight

    Honorable Mentions:
    Less Wise – Cody Jinks
    Turnpike – Self Titled
    Trailer Tapes – Chris Knight
    The Guitar Song – Jamey Johnson (bonus points for the double album)

    Other Genre- Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen

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  14. Great topic! Always fun to think of this. Of my whole album collection, i always have two i go back to. Thats Waylon Jennings “Dreaming My Dreams” and Willie Nelsons “Phases and Stages.” I would sure hate to have to choose between the two, Waylon has the superb instrumentation and vocals, Willie has the songwriting and concept. Either way, both are classics, and id be happy with either one. Also vinyl would be preferred format, these would sound better warped and distorted than half the crap today to choose from. Lol

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  15. No contest. “What Goes Around Comes Around”–Waylon Jennings. on vinyl. My favorite album Waymore ever released.

    Other genres, I’d probably go with Metallica’s “…And Justice for All” or Slipknot’s “All Hope is Gone”.

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  16. Enjoying see all of your choices everybody! Lot of variety and several eras covered. Love it!

    I decided once I posted this I would narrow it down to one from my list and even now I’m still having trouble. It would really come down to two when I really had to decide it: Waylon’s Dreaming My Dreams and Strait’s Strait From The Heart. Ultimately I think I would go with Dreaming My Dreams because it’s such an enjoyable album that can be played over and over and not get old. That would really be the key if you were stranded with only one album.

    As for other genres my choices would be…

    Rock: AC/DC – Back in Black, Led Zeppelin – IV, Queen – Night at the Opera
    Hip Hop: RTJ 2 or Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly
    Metal: Black Sabbath – Paranoid

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    • Couldnt agree with your choice! You had a tough way to go, what a list! I do believe with Dreaming my Dreams, Waylon truly did hit his artistic pinnacle as an artist with this one. He put everything he had into it, you can tell by his voice. I also like how it was left a little “rough” and authentic sounding and not all perfect and polished with overproduction. Just Waylon, his guitar, and band, with Cowboy Jack Clement overseeing things. This is one record that will blow you away everytime. Got a favorite track Josh? I personally love The Door is Always Open.

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  17. If I had to pick one, it would come from this list:
    Shotgun Willie- Willie Nelson
    Straight To Hell- Hank 3
    Guitars, Cadallics, Etc- Dwight Yoakam
    Mountain Soul- Patty Loveless
    Honky Tonk Heroes- Waylon Jennings

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  18. Honestly Dixie Chicks Home. No album has even comed close to what I consider to be a perfect album in all senses of the word!

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  19. The obvious choice here is Thomas Rhett’s Tangled Up. After all, who wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island listening to “Vacation”? πŸ˜‰

    Truthfully, though, this is a tough question. I think my pick would be Old 8×10 by Randy Travis – I feel like its sound would just blend well with a relaxed tropical setting, although one or two songs might be a little heavy for the mood.

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  20. Hmm, I’d have to say Gary Allan’s “Smoke Rings In The Dark” with Gretchen Peters’ “Blackbirds” getting an honorable mention.

    For other genres –

    Hard Rock:
    Guns & Roses – “Appetite For Destruction”

    Hip-Hop:
    Run The Jewels 2

    Metal:
    Rage Against The Machine – s/t

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  21. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a country music traditionalist or purist. But if you’re asking me today, it’s gonna be “Exodus of Venus” by Elizabeth Cook. Yeah, I know, it’s not really country, more Americana/roots rock. But, damn, is it good.

    I could throw in Whiskey Myers or Blackberry Smoke, but I really consider them Southern Rock and not country.

    Rock: I’d go with either GnR “Appetite For Destruction” or something new like Dorothy “ROCKISDEAD”.

    Hip Hop: Just let me die on the island in peace.

    Pop: Hall & Oates. Don’t know which album right now, but they always had good songs.

    Metal: Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave”

    Hair Metal with a horn section: White Trash, self titled

    I could go on, but don’t want to bore anyone.

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  22. Pretty much when it comes to mainstream country, it’d be pretty much left up to Trisha Yearwood (with REAL LIVE WOMAN and THE SONG REMEMBERS WHEN). Then there’s also practically all the important pop and country-rock albums made by Trisha’s spiritual role model Linda Ronstadt, including HEART LIKE A WHEEL, the album that established Linda as maybe the first female artist of any genre whose career would be defined as much by her complete albums as by hit singles (if indeed not more so).

    Alt-country/Americana: Again, this is about the women–Caitlin Rose (THE STAND-IN); Tift Merritt (BRAMBLE ROSE; TAMBOURINE); Lindi Ortega (FADED GLORYVILLE); and, more recently, Margo Price (MIDWEST FARMER’S DAUGHTER).

    Also essential: The Eagles.

    I also happen to be big on movie soundtrack scores, and this would have to include a lot of the music of John Williams (especially his work with Steven Spielberg); Thomas Newman (his recent score for BRIDGE OF SPIES); James Horner (APOLLO 13; THE 33); and the (in my opinion) hugely underrated Jerry Fielding (who passed away in 1980), with THE WILD BUNCH, to name just one.

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  23. A lot of contenders but I’d probably go with “Gringo Honeymoon” by Robert Earl Keen. Every track but one is at least a 9/10 to me, and there is a good mix of catchy uptempo songs and deep story songs.

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  24. An old question but still just as difficult (and fun) to try to answer … πŸ™‚ Spontaneously, my first choice would probably be:

    For Country/Americana:

    Waylon Jennings: “Ol ‘Waylon”
    Emmylou Harris ‘Wrecking Ball’
    Emmylou Harris “Roses in the Snow”
    Loretta Lynn: “In Remember Patsy”
    Gram Parson “GP”.

    Now, if I had to choose just one of them it would probably go for “Wrecking Ball”

    POP:
    First Aid Kit: “The Lion’s Roar”…

    Rock:

    Bruce Sptingsteen “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

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  25. My list….

    Waylon- Dreaming my Dreams, Ramblin Man or Honky Tonk Heroes

    Jamey Johnson- Guitar Song (double album!)

    Queen- News of the World

    Elton John- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (double album!)

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  26. I love this topic, even though it’s extremely difficult to choose. When I was eighteen (almost 20 years ago), I was one of four people included in an article in my local paper that asked what we album and song we would choose if we were stranded on a desert island (it also extended to non-music items). At the time, I chose Clay Walker’s self-titled album and “I Am A Simple Man” by Ricky Van Shelton.

    Now, after much more experience listening to country music, I would have to pick from the following albums:

    – Corb Lund – Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer
    – Tim Hus – Bush Pilot Buckaroo
    – Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.
    – Dwight Yoakam – Population Me
    – Patty Loveless – Mountain Soul
    – Dolly Parton – The Grass is Blue
    – Marty Stuart – The Pilgrim
    – Sturgill Simpson – High Top Mountain
    – Alan Jackson – Drive
    – Steve Earle – Guitar Town
    – Steve Earle – The Mountain
    – Randy Travis – Old 8 x 10
    – Clint Black – Killin’ Time
    – Clint Black – No Time to Kill
    – John Anderson – self-titled

    And my final pick is Corb Lund (followed closely by Guitars, Cadillacs).

    If covers albums were fair game, I would pick Dwight Yoakam’s “Dwight’s Used Records” (followed closely by Alan Jackson’s “Under the Influence”).

    For other genres, my choices would be:

    – Rap/Hip Hop – Beastie Boys – Check Your Head or Paul’s Boutique
    – Rock – John Fogerty – Centerfield or Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
    – Pop – Depeche Mode – Speak & Spell or Madonna – Like a Prayer
    – Gospel/Spiritual – Randy Travis – Worship & Faith

    I find it interesting that many of the other responses include many fairly recent albums.

    I don’t know how well this would work for a topic, but I would find it interesting if there were posts soliciting comments regarding, say, favourite songs or albums by certain artists.

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