5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening to is a collection of our newest favorite songs. And Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole thing in the player below.
1. Dan Auerbach picks “Country Bumpkin” by Cal Smith
For the first song every week we ask one artist that we love to tell us about a song that they love.
Dan Auerbach started off as the guitarist for The Black Keys. He’s gone on to make several solo albums, he has his own studio in Nashville and is a producer in his own right. He has a new album coming out June 2nd, called “Waiting For a Song.” Our guest this week is Dan Auerbach.
Justin Barney: Dan Auerbach, what is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Dan Auerbach: This song called “Country Bumpkin” by Cal Smith. You should listen to that one really loud. It’s super bizarre.
Justin Barney: What is it about?
Dan Auerbach: I mean, I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out what it’s about.
I know it was a top 10 country hit when it came out. And I’d never heard of it and it’s so surreal. I don’t know what it is.
It’s one of the strangest Nashville recordings I’ve ever heard.
There is fuzz, bass, and clavinet. It’s peculiar, and it was a top 10 record.
- “Country Bumpkin” was released in 1974 on the album of the same name and was indeed a #1 record on the country chart.
- Listen if you like: story songs, oddball Nashville recordings, George Jones
2. Tank and the Bangas – “Quick”
When I was in school, I took the only radio class that Madison offered. The teacher was Professor Larry Meiller. You can hear him every day on WPR’s The Idea’s Network for The Larry Meiller Show. Professor Meiller was a fantastic teacher and a great guy.
On one of the first days of class we were going through recording and somebody said something into the microphone that sounded totally okay. And then Professor Meiller said, “Now, say that again, but this time, say it with a smile.” And I remember listening back to it and it was crazy. You could hear the smile.
Singer Tariona Ball sings with a smile. You can hear it. It’s infectious. Let it put a smile on your face as you listen to “Quick” by Tank and the Bangas.
- Listen if you like: smiling, New Orleans, a totally unique sound
3. Bedouine – “Dusty Eyes”
This song. It’s like Patsy Cline waltzed into the back room of a church and found Nico, singing with an orchestra’s string section and they decided that they should collaborate with a Nashville producer in the mid 70’s. And the whole time Jenny Lewis was standing in the background in her Graham Parson’s white leather suit, smiling at the thought of it all.
- Beduine’s self-titled debut will be available on June 23rd via Spacebomb Records.
- Listen if you like: Patsy Cline, Jenny Lewis, Nico
4. Chico Mann & Captain Planet – “Oye Bien”
Justin Barney: I’m here with your host of the midday, Marcus Doucette. What is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Marcus Doucette: Oh gosh, there are so many, but one of the things that keeps coming back around and around is this new release from Chico Mann & Captain Planet, it’s called “Night Visions.” And it is one of the more perfect global releases.
I’ve been following these cats individually for a while. Chico Mann has been putting out all this wonderful electro afro beat and Latin influenced stuff for years. Got his records.
Captain Planet, he’s been putting stuff out stuff all over the place for the past few years, from Brazilian to Middle Eastern to Ethiopian, everything that he touches he brings his own sensibility to his productions and all of his stuff has been great.
So when I heard that the two were working together on an album I knew that it was either going to be amazing, or I was going to be kind of disappointed. But guess what? It’s amazing.
Justin Barney: Can we tune in on one song?
Marcus Doucette: “Oye Bien” is an excellent, danceable cut that has this light, kind of tropical kind of tropical vibrancy to it. It bumps along at a nice tempo that you could definitely dance to or take a drive with.
Justin Barney: What would be the ultimate listening experience with this song? What are you doing? Or where are you?
Marcus Doucette: I would be jamming to this in my flip flops, in my tank top and shorts maybe on a beach in Costa Rica just blasting on a little boom box or something as I jump in and out of the waves and have fun with friends.
- “Oye Bien” was released on Chico Mann & Captain Planet’s album, “Night Visions.”
- Listen if you like: Sound Travels, dancing on a beach somewhere, Nomad World Pub
5. Jacob Banks – “Chainsmoking”
This song connects the music of the past to the music of the present. It doesn’t rest on history’s laurel, but rather uses them to lift the sound of the present. You can feel that old heart and soul. Balance that with some of the best techniques in music right now. Add a monstrous hook that you can’t help but rock to, and you have Chainsmoking by Jacob Banks.
- Jacob Banks new EP, “The Boy Who Cried Freedom” will be out on April 20th on Interscope Records.
- Listen if you like: our musical history, big ole hooks, the blues