Monday sure seems to arrive faster each week, doesn’t it? At least Monday means music! For the month of August, our Spotlight Dancer is our bloggy friend and regular Monday’s Music Moves Me participant, John from The Sound of One Hand Typing! He has chosen the theme for this week, which is “Musical Acrostics! In honor of the birthday of Charles E. Hires (1851-1937), the first commercial brewer of root beer, build a playlist in which the first letters of the songs spell out ROOT BEER”. We’d best get busy!
Starting things off representing “R“, this artist sings about a guy from a small town who is lamenting his former lover who left him due to an insatiable case of wanderlust. She wanted to experience a big city buzz, but the guy believes he can get the same buzz living the small town life.
Lit up like that one stop light / Across from that welcome sign / Ever since you caught that out-there bug / I catch me a ’round here buzz
According to the artist, the song has a nostalgic, heartbreaking feel. He was quoted as saying:
“I’ve done a few of these songs in my career; this nostalgic kind of song about the guy that kind of wishes things were different than they are. I know a lot of people like that and like this from where I’m from. I’m from a small town, and I’ve just seen this. I think part of the reason, I feel like we’re pretty good at this kind of song, and I think part of it is because I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. It’s a motive to me.”
Here’s Eric Church with “‘Round Here Buzz”:
Representing the first “O” is a partly autobiographical song this artist wrote after asking himself the question, ‘When does one truly start living?’ He realized one experiences life most in the midst of personal challenge. He was quoted as saying:
“You’re alive when that girl you thought you’d marry is driving away in the limousine with someone else. And you’re alive when you’re standing in Paris looking at the Eiffel Tower, and you know when you go back to Nashville, you’ll never be the same. And you’re alive when you stand up for something you believe in and aren’t afraid to do that. And you’re alive when your first child is born, and that love you feel is so much larger than you ever imagined possible. That’s why I wrote that. That song was meant to be the exclamation point.”
Give a listen to Brad Paisley with “Officially Alive”:
Representing the second “O” is the second single from this artist’s eighth studio album. The song features the group Alabama and samples their 1982 Country #1 “Mountain Music.” The artist, in regards to getting Alabama involved on this cut, was quoted as saying:
“We were writing a song that mentions a few things and realized that the perfect bridge for the song is the bridge from ‘Mountain Music.’ And so I contacted [Alabama member] Randy Owen and asked if he wanted to write it with us, and then got those guys back together. Instead of sampling a piece of ‘Mountain Music,’ I had those guys come in the studio and record it. It was one of the most mind-blowing experiences of my life.”
The artist performed the song at the 2011 ACM Awards with three newly reunited members of Alabama. He explained afterwards the story of the song:
“I told Randy, ‘I’ve got this idea. The song is all about your music, and about a girl that’s in love with that old sound, and I want to use the bridge from ‘Mountain Music’ in it and some other lines here and there, if you’d co-write it with me. It’s our way of sampling, here in the country world. He said, ‘That sounds great, and I had no idea that anybody cared anymore’—sort of with a chuckle. I told him, ‘Well, you’re about to see how much they care, I think.’ More than anything, I hope this makes their iTunes songs spike a little. They’re just the coolest band we ever had, so I’m proud to get to be an unofficial member for a while.”
“I was proud to have them. It’s unique, a combination of a lot of things – blending what they do and what I do. I was a fanatic growing up. Guys like me and Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton. We played ‘Tennessee River,’ ‘My Home’s in Alabama,’ ‘Lady Down on Love’ and ‘I’m in a Hurry’ – those were the songs you couldn’t leave out of your set if you’re from my generation. When you think about which bands influenced country music in a modern sense, it would be the Eagles and Alabama. You had Restless Heart, Exile and Highway 101 and stuff like that, but Alabama was the deal.”
After tornadoes ravaged the state of Alabama in 2011, the artist announced he would be donating all his artist royalties from downloads of this song to the American Red Cross to help the recovery efforts.
Fun Fact: The video also features the artist being super-imposed as a member of Alabama in some of the group’s classic ’80s videos.
For your enjoyment, here’s Brad Paisley (again) with “Old Alabama”:
Representing the “T” is a song that was originally recorded by American country music artist David Allan Coe. His version peaked at #77 on the country chart in 1981. The track was covered two years later by George Jones, whose version reached #2 on the country chart in November 1983 and became a mainstay in his live set.
This artist recorded a bluesy cover for his debut solo album in 2015 at the suggestion of his producer.
The artist and Justin Timberlake sang a medley of this track and Timberlake’s “Drink You Away” at the 2015 CMAs. It proved to be a breakthrough night for this artist as he won the CMA trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year (for Traveller). The interest generated from his performance resulted in “Tennessee Whiskey” ranking as the second-largest selling digital song the following week, with 131,000 downloads sold.
Here’s one of my favorite performances that always gives me goosebumps – Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake with “Tennessee Whiskey”:
Representing “B” is one of my favorite Imagine Dragons songs – the frontman, Dan Reynolds, married Aja Volkman, lead singer of the band Nico Vega, on March 5, 2011. On April 26, 2018, Reynolds announced that he and Volkman would be getting a divorce, but the couple decided to hold off from signing the divorce papers and got back together again. Dan and Aja wrote this vulnerable rock ballad about their frayed relationship before their separation.
Oh, hush, my dear, it’s been a difficult year / And terrors don’t prey on innocent victims / Trust me, darlin’, trust me darlin’ / It’s been a loveless year
This song was released on November 6, 2018, the same day that Reynolds and Volkman announced they were dating once again.
Fun Fact: Dan first met Aja when Imagine Dragons were invited to perform as an opening set for Nico Vega in 2010. The pair began collaborating and formed a duo, known as Egyptian, which released a self-titled EP in 2011. Though this is their first written collaboration made available to the public since then, Aja has been the muse on several songs Dan has written for Imagine Dragons, including “It Comes Back to You” and “Next To Me.”
Without further ado, here’s Imagine Dragons with “Bad Liar”:
Representing the first “E” is a song that was featured in the Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, where it plays over the credits. It was written to order for the movie. Initially the song didn’t meet with Hollywood approval, as the film company wanted the song to have instrumentation in line with the films’ era – lutes, mandolins, and the like. The film company relented, but still buried the song midway through the credits, apparently unaware of the huge hit they had on their hands.
This is one of the most successful singles of all time, selling over 3 million copies. It was #1 for 16 weeks in the UK (from 13th July to 26th October 1991) and 7 weeks in the US. While it brought the artist a huge Adult Contemporary audience, it alienated many fans of his rock music. He continued to record dramatic ballads for romantic movies: In 1993, he sang “All For Love” with Rod Stewart and Sting for The 3 Musketeers, and in 1995 he recorded “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” for Don Juan DeMarco.
Here’s Bryan Adams with “(Everything I Do) I Do For You”:
Representing the second “E” is one of two of this artist’s contributions to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack. The sultry song links into the Fifty Shades of Grey story-line. The artist was quoted as saying:
“The film and my music is a match made in heaven. If you listen to my album or any of the past work I’ve done, it’s very ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.'”
“It’s kind of ironic, because I’m a guy who fundamentally just composes beautiful songs and beautiful music. I’m really a classical writer.”
This song picked up the award for Best R&B Performance and the artist also won Best Urban Contemporary Album for Beauty Behind The Madness.
And finally, representing “R” is a song where the beat is brooding, but the lyric is cheerful, as this artist sings about the man who has her heart:
In the middle of the night in my dreams / I know I’m gonna be with you
The epic, futuristic video was filmed at the Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Center in Hawthorne, California. It sees the songstress appear as two versions of herself. Donned in a black hooded cloak, she battles against an identical cyborg, who shoots lightning from her fingertips. The clip features homage references to various sci-fi films, particularly Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell and is full of metaphoric imagery about the artist challenging her own identity. She was quoted as saying:
“The way that’s presented in [this song] is basically, finding your partner in crime, and it’s like ‘Oh my god we’re the same, we’re the same, oh my god! Let’s rob banks together, this is great!’ And we’ll hear that theme carried on throughout the rest of the record, but not exactly in the same way as you heard it in [this song].”
Wrapping things up with Taylor Swift‘s “…Ready For It?”:
Have a great Monday – see you on the dance floor!
Now on to the particulars of Monday’s Music Move’s Me: I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, and while our beloved Callie of JAmerican Spice is taking a break, our friend Michelle from Musings and Merriments with Michelle is helping out with hostess duties!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!
John From The Sound of One Hand Typing