For a guy who spent nearly 11.5 years working in radio, you would think I would have written more columns about something I really enjoy: music! It is incredible how technology has evolved and allows us to consume music from across the globe at our fingertips. I currently use Apple Music and have their monthly subscription that basically gives me access to millions of pieces of music.
Recently, as we have prepared to move (as you’re reading this we should be almost done unpacking is my hope) I have been adjusting my personal playlist of tunes. I can go from classic rock to rap and hip hop and back around to perhaps my favorite “genre” of music; singer/songwriter. What can I say? I’m a sucker for great lyrics that are able to tell a story.
The late John Prine comes to mind who (as I have shared in this space before) was in my (humble) opinion the greatest songwriter of all time. John had a way with words and he left a treasure trove of songs to enjoy. I’m also a fan of Ray Lamontagne, Amos Lee, David Gray, Jack Johnson, and of course, Chicago’s own Jeff Tweedy (lead singer of the band Wilco, who also does solo releases).
Music has been and will continue to be therapy for me. Once our house settles down for the evening (which can be rare these days) I often will pop in an earbud (another very cool advancement in technology) and relax to some good tunes.
I have to thank my parents, Sheila and John, for exposing me to great music at an early age. I have vivid memories of listening to radio stations in Chicago and trying my best to learn the words to songs by The Doors, the Guess Who, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Valli, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and so many more. I was the kid that would call into a radio station and request “Space Oddity” by David Bowie and wait to record myself making the request when the station would play it. Spoiler alert, most radio stations (if they even have a live person working there) pre-record phone calls/requests to ensure nobody says a “bad” word.
As much as I love and have a lot of nostalgic feelings for older music, I’m trying to pay attention to current trends and artists that are on the rise. Admittedly, I really enjoy Chance The Rapper, who has been around for a couple of years and continues to produce good music. There really isn’t a genre of music that I dislike.
Music has been there for me over the past 12-18 months. One of my favorite things to do is close out of all social media and sit back and unwind with music.
When was the last time you let yourself unplug from the world and plug into your favorite vinyl record, CD, or digital download or stream? My advice is to do that after you’re done reading this. Oh, and be sure to send me your playlist; [email protected] I’d love to give it a listen!