While some of you are relishing the sweet solace of another summer Sunday, reality reminds us that yellow school buses will be back on the roads a week from Monday and summer for some is coming to an abrupt halt.
As my esteemed fellow I-J columnist Chris Trainor so eloquently reminded us this week, football season is also upon us. Your defending national champion Clemson Tigers will be on the gridiron taking on Georgia Tech in a mere 18 days. Your beloved South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Tarheels from UNC in 20 days. Football will return and all will be in order as it should be.
With all this in mind, I want to give you a few suggestions as you prepare your end of summer playlist.
The Marcus King Band — “Where I’m Headed”
This opening track off King’s 2018 album “Carolina Confessions” is a feel-good end of summer song. This Greenville native has been immersed in Southern soul and rock and roll most of his life (the son of longtime blues man Marvin King). You can feel passion and a deep love of music on this track and as the band bio states, “Marcus King doesn’t strive for authenticity, he never had to — it’s busting out of his DNA in every note he plays and every word he sings.”
The Neville Brothers — “Steer Me Right”
This track is off the 1990 album “Brother’s Keeper.” There is a comforting cross rhythm in this song where you find glimpses of The Neville Brothers’ New Orleans and Caribbean heritage. There’s something special about a family band and the distinctive Neville cadence and call on this track always lift my spirits.
Shawn Mendes — “If I Can’t Have You”
A pure pop earworm from the very first note. The Canadian singer recently told a London interviewer that of all the songs he has written, “If I Can’t Have You” is a song that consistently makes people smile. Give it a spin and see if it works for you.
Peter Sandberg — “My Simple Thing’
After the kids are out the door and you have drawn your first bubble bath of the school year, I highly recommend lighting a few candles and putting on this beautiful piano piece from Peter Sandberg described as “a Swedish neo-classical-multi-instrumentalist.” It’s a perfect first cup of coffee in the morning song as well. Chill to the max.
Chilliwack — “Watcha Gonna Do”
This deep cut from a mostly obscure band is a guilty pleasure. Plus, it’s fun to say “Chilliwack” and you simply can’t deny the catchy chorus.
The Wailin’ Jennys — “Wildflowers”
If you are a fan of multi-layered harmonies, this song is for you.“The Wailin’ Jennys” formed in 2002 in a Winnipeg guitar store of all places. I think more bands should form like this. Ruth Moody, Nicky Mehta and Heather Masse blend with angelic grace taking on this Tom Petty classic. Check out the track “One Voice” for more incredible harmony.
Bob Marley & The Wailers — “Waiting in Vain”
I feel like we can’t go wrong ending this list with a deep cut off of Marley’s legendary 1977 “Exodus” album. It should be noted that Marley was recovering from an assassination attempt which occurred in December of 1976 (the bullet barely missed his chest striking him in the arm) so he left Jamaica and was in London for the recording sessions. In 1999, Time magazine rated “Exodus” as the best album of the 20th century.