As fall begins, here's another random "baker's dozen" playlist to plug into your music device of choice:
1. Call Me Rose by Bruce Cockburn. A quirky, satirical tune from the Canadian folk rocker, about Richard Nixon being reincarnated as.....a girl from the projects?! Great lyrics and nice guitar work from Cockburn on this excellent song, which is featured on his 2011 release, Small Source of Comfort.
2. She Walks In So Many Ways by The Jayhawks from Mockingbird Time. The original lineup of the band returns for their first album since 1995, and they haven't lost their knack for making tuneful country-flavored rock.
3. What You Don't Know About The Girl by Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. from Solid State Warrior. Manning was a member of the late, lamented band Jellyfish. On this cut from Manning's 2006 solo album, it sounds like the Partridge Family sent Laurie on a double date with Roger, fellow rocker Matthew Sweet & Karen Carpenter, and they came up with this cool, retro style song.
4. Near Wild Heaven by R.E.M. After 31 years, the seminal Georgia based alterna-rockers recently announced they're calling it quits. Here's a fantastic song from their classic 1991 album, Out of Time. Thanks for all the music, guys. You'll be missed.
5. Crazy Water by Was (Not Was) from Boo! The soul/funk/rap/rockers groove out on this old fashioned r&b shouter, with vocals by "Sweet Pea" Atkinson. Check out some of their other fine albums, including Born To Laugh At Tornadoes (1983) or What Up, Dog? (1988).
6. Sittin' Pretty by Brendan Benson. Perhaps best known as a member of Jack White's side project The Raconteurs, Benson rocks on this offbeat number from his 1996 debut, One Mississippi.
7. Crimson & Clover by Prince from LOtUS FLOW3R. Prince covers Tommy James & The Shondells, and puts his own stamp on this classic song.
8. It Doesn't Matter by The Orange Humble Band from Assorted Creams. A power pop gem from this group, featuring Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, Daryl Mather of The Someloves and famed indie rock producer Mitch Easter. The whole album is excellent and worth a listen, especially if you're a fan of the power pop genre.
9. You & Your Sister by Chris Bell from I Am The Cosmos. From the late Big Star member's posthumous solo release: a beautiful, emotional, gentle love song. Sadly, we lost Chris in 1978, and this album wasn't released until 1992.
10. Knowing Me, Knowing You by The Wondermints from The Wonderful World of The Wondermints. This group, best known for backing Brian Wilson on a couple of albums and tours, gives the Abba classic a rock edge on this cool cover.
11. That's The Way God Planned It by Billy Preston from That's The Way God Planned It. A gospel influenced tune from Preston, who played with everyone from The Beatles & The Rolling Stones to Ray Charles, and had a successful solo career of his own, with hits like "Will It Go Round in Circles."
12. I Can't Be Without You by Lenny Kravitz. A lover's plea that builds in intensity & emotion as the song goes on; from Lenny's latest album, Black & White In America.
13. Something To Fall Back On by Todd Rundgren. From the 1985 album A Cappella; a unique release from Todd, as every sound on the album was the product of the artist's voice, via some overdubs and sampling. A great song from a talented artist who doesn't always get the respect he deserves.