You’ve got your grill, your friends and your bottles ready to go for the 4th of July. Now it’s time to get your music playlist set. I’ve taken the liberty to compile some of my favorites for your listening pleasure. Links to a Spotify and Apple Music playlist are available at the end of this post.
“Let It Ride” – Ryan Adams
You can’t go wrong leading off with a track from a guy whose first band was called “Whiskeytown.”
“This Life (Live)” – The Devil Makes Three
If you haven’t seen ‘The Devil Makes Three’ live, add it to your to-do list. I could have picked just about anything from the California trio, who even released an ode to Jack Daniel’s (“Old Number Seven”), but the live version of “This Life” about their travels on the road works well while you’re relaxing at home.
“Against the Days” – Greensky Bluegrass
When all else fails, any album by Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Greensky Bluegrass would work just fine as a soundtrack. This song is about time passing by and how “these bourbon bottles mark the moments that we lose.”
‘Drinkin’ In the Morning’ – Trampled By Turtles
You can almost smell the rickhouse in every song by Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles. ‘Drinkin In the Morning’ is perfect for those summer weekend days flipping burgers.
“Bowling Green” – Neko Case
There simply isn’t a better or more versatile voice in music than Neko Case. When joining her bandmates in the supergroup ‘The New Pornographers’, there isn’t a better pop/rock band around today. Her solo catalogue (especially the older albums) is tailor-made for the barroom jukebox. Her rollicking cover of the Everly Brothers’ “Bowling Green” is country, catchy and Kentucky.
‘When I Drink’ – The Avett Brothers
North Carolina’s ‘The Avett Brothers’ remind us “we only get so many days.” Open that allocated bottle and share it with someone equally special.
“Beggars Will Ride” – Larry and His Flask
‘Larry and His Flask’ is a terrific punk-bluegrass band from Oregon that was one of the surprise shows of the past few years for me (just don’t stand too close to the stage if you have an aversion to flying saliva). The fun and energy shine through here on one of their staple studio tracks.
“Blue Moon of Kentucky” – Elvis Presley
The official bluegrass song of Kentucky, Elvis Presley recorded this sped-up version in 1954 to accompany his single “That’s All Right.”
“Jim 3:16” – Jim White vs. The Packway Handle Band
Any song with the line “a bar is just a church where they serve beer” deserves to be on every drinking mix.
“Brown-Eyed Woman” – Hiss Golden Messenger (Grateful Dead Cover)
“The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean.”
“Tell It To Me” – Old Crow Medicine Show
“Drink the corn liquor, let the cocaine be.” Enough said.
“Whiskey Bottle” – Uncle Tupelo
Jeff Tweedy became famous with Wilco and Jay Farrar slid into near-obscurity with Son Volt; Before all that, the pair pioneered an entirely new music category with Uncle Tupelo.