Songs of the Month Club: May

Sorry for the delay. Susanne and I have been crazy busy lately running dances, traveling a bit, and enjoying some down time together. This past month, I’ve been listening to more blues and building that part of my collection a little more. I’ve also been looking for songs for Collegiate Shag since our friends Joe and Tabitha Robinson have been teaching beginner shag for us in Annapolis.

“You Can Leave Your Hat On” – Michael Grimm. Michael Grimm won America’s Got Talent, which I wouldn’t consider a ringing endorsement, but the modern soul man has some good chops. Looking through his catalog, his song selection isn’t always the greatest or lend itself well to dancing, but there are a few gems in there for the blues/soul DJ.

“Momma, Where’s My Daddy” – Keb’ Mo’. Susanne and I have tickets to see Keb’ Mo’ in September. He’s one of the artists on my list of “People to see in concert before I die,” so I thought I’d look through his collection again for some more great tunes to listen to before the concert rolls around.

“It’s Only a Paper Moon” – Benny Goodman. We held a USO themed dance in May, and I found this on a compilation of most requested songs from the 1940’s.

“Barton Hollow” – The Civil Wars. The Civil Wars opened for Adele here in DC, and got some radio play at the time. This song is fantastic for a raucous blues that feels both vintage and modern simultaneously.

“I Got 3 Problems” – Bobby Rush. Great blues song and brilliant comedy as well. It reminds me of “Oreo Cookie Blues” by Lonnie Mack.

“Blues 2.0” – Fruteland Jackson. This song does a great job making the blues relevant to our modern times. Its in a similar vein to a chain gang song, but rather than working in the fields, Fruteland has his nose to the grindstone in a modern office.

“Kiss” – Tony DeSare. I heard this on Prairie Home Companion, and really enjoyed it. Its a surprising cover, but I think its pretty successful. I like the intimacy of the arrangement.

“Bugle Call Rag” – Buddy Rich Big Band. There’s a massive drum solo in the beginning that can be cut, and another in the middle that limits the usefulness of the song, but it has such an amazing energy to it. I may see if I can work some magic to cut the drum solo in the middle and make my own edit of the song.

“Leapin At the Lincoln” – Charlie Barnet. I found this as a recommended song for collegiate shag somewhere online.

“Man from Mars” – Artie Shaw. I’m sure this is a standard in many DJs repertoire, but I’m still slowly building up my Artie Shaw collection because I hate sifting through all of the concert-esque songs he recorded to find dance tunes, or downloading a song I think is a dance-tune to find it changes tempos and does all kinds of other crazy stuff that makes it a poor choice for DJing (though often still great for listening).

“Movin’ Down the Line” – Raphael Saadiq. This tune comes off Raphael’s new album which is a little disappointing to me. This was the only song that was even remotely danceable. But I’m still a fan, and will drop his name any chance I get.

“It Rocks! It Rolls! It Swings!” – The Treniers. The DJ for the Croquet Match at St. Johns played this, and it caught my attention. Its a really great high energy song while still being a mellow, beginner friendly tempo.

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Filed under Big Band, Blues, C-Jam, Music

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