Mid-day Music Blast: Mary-Elaine Jenkins “Fools Don’t Stay”

“Storm is rolling, my house is shaking 
My man’s not coming home tonight 
He drinks whiskey in his water 
Likes to gamble with his life 

Hard lovin’ woman and a hard luck man 
Playing house in the promised land 
Cracked foundations and real bad habits 
And nobody tells me nothing”

The story is familiar, but the storyteller is new. Mary-Elaine Jenkins takes the trope of the deserter leaving home and makes it feel fresh. We see a story unfold like so many others with this lover who isn’t exactly a catch. The first thing that caught my ear though was the line, “And nobody tells me nothing.” While this could be a call to the fact that Jenkins comes from a long line of strong and independent women who can’t be bossed around, I think it is a callout to the friends who knew of this man’s “cracked foundation and real bad habits,” but failed to mention anything to Jenkins, choosing to instead watch her, or the protagonist of the song, fall down a deep well of second chances and cheap thrills.

This line is probably the most important line in the song because there is such a real life message that is applicable to so many people. If you have a friend or family member who is getting into a relationship that isn’t advisable and all of the information isn’t on the table, you have an obligation to that person to have a hard conversation. They may choose to ignore whatever you tell them, but at least the pieces are laid out for everyone to see.

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Luckily, thanks to the matriarchs in Jenkins family who have brought her up to be a free-thinking woman who won’t take shit from anyone, she (or once again, the protagonist) is able to separate herself from him, barricading her heart, and alluding to changing the locks to make sure he doesn’t try to come back.

Jenkins, a Brooklyn resident, has a pure Southern sound that can’t be imitated. As a South Carolinian who can hear a fake accent from a mile away (and because I read Jenkins’ bio), I can tell a fellow South Carolinian’s voice when I hear it. She honed her craft for years in the deep south, learning from and playing with the old-timers at her local guitar shop every Saturday afternoon, but quickly longed for a setting that could help her pursue music as a career. She moved from South Carolina to Washington D.C. and then to Spain before finding her new home in Brooklyn in 2013. With true Southern charm, and a bit of an edge to her lyrics and voice, Jenkins is the perfect artist for people looking to flirt with country music while keeping their feet firmly planted in Americana roots.

Check out Mary-Elaine and all of our other tracks from June on our Spotify playlist

Mid Day Music Blast: Caroline Lazar “Georgia”

 

Don’t forget to support the artist on bandcamp too!

I love how analog this song sounds. It really sounds like your favorite vinyl that you’ve played so many times that there are a few clicks and distortions, but that really adds to the flavor of the song. One of my favorite elements of the song, as someone from the small town south, is the crickets playing the background. It makes me so nostalgic for summer nights where their sounds are the orchestra to playing tag, hide and seek, catching fireflies, etc.

“Why am I looking for you looking for someone else

Bending over backwards to see if you are kissing to tell,

chapped lips soaked in red wine,

maybe it’s the last time.”

 

What a strong start to the song lyrically. It has all of those elements that I mentioned before of the nostalgia of young love, and it’s so relatable. Who hasn’t been caught up with someone and wondered about the intentions, wondered if it was actually going to go anywhere? I really can’t say enough good things about this song. Do yourself a favor and add it to all your playlists. We already added it to ours.

-Caleb

 

Don’t forget to check out the thing that started this whole media empire (or small village): The B-Side Guys Podcast 

TOTD: Jesse Daniel “Gracie Henrietta”

 

It’s Friday night! Are you guys partying? The second you hit a lull and need a pick me up, throw this song on the house playlist to part like it’s 1955 (but now you have MDMA and Tinder). I really can’t get enough of this song. Whoever is playing the piano is absolutely ripping!

 

“Jesse Daniel’s self-titled debut album sounds both fresh and familiar from beginning to end. Pairing classic country styling with honest and compelling lyrics, Jesse’s album plays like an old favorite with a twist that is both edgy and uniquely his own.”

– Zach Taylor, Raised Rowdy

I really couldn’t agree more with this quote from Jesse’s website. When I read a bit about Jesse on his website, it seems that he has a deeply American story to tell, full of broken families, picking yourself up by the bootstraps, homesteading, heart break, and so much more. If you are tired of pop-country that you hear on the radio, but want some intellectual twang in your life, you can’t go wrong with Jesse Daniel.

 

-Caleb

 

Mid Day Music Blast: Johnny Gates “Wish I Knew You”

Spotify Link

This seems like a perfect Friday song to me. I worked a half day today, and now I’m jamming out to this song and cracking my first beer. It really doesn’t get any better. Some of you who watch The Voice (I don’t) may recognize Johnny from last season. He also is from tiny Rhode Island, so there’s a fun connection there.

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If you’d like to know a little more about Johnny, check out his website here.  

Here is a short snippet:

Since relocating to LA, Johnny has toured the US multiple times with RUNAWAY SAINTS, has become a fixture at Hollywood’s prestigious Hotel Cafe, and also hit the road opening for Rod Stewart.

Now turning his attention to his first ever solo project, Johnny is back in the studio writing and recording with plans to launch the project in 2018. Be on the look out for that, and more RUNAWAY SAINTS music and tour dates.

As always, we will be adding this song to our end of the monthly playlist for June. If you missed anything from May, you can find that playlist here.

-Caleb

Morning Commute Double Feature: Jim Audet

Get ready for a music filled day from B-Side Guys! New music Friday means tons and tons of new music just for you guys!

“Mojave Rain” is about the procrastination of the government to do anything about mass shootings, and how it becomes too late for those who are unfortunate enough to be involved in these events.

“Sex & Money” is track 1 off “The Lookout EP” set to release June 1st on Spotify. “The Lookout EP” is an “off the wall” concept record dealing with a spectrum of socio-political problems, mainly issues surrounding our culture’s obsession with sex, money, and violence in the media.

 

Alright. Now that you’ve listened to both, let’s explore them:

 

“Mojave Rain

First of all, how great is this guy’s voice? I told him he sounds like a slightly higher pitched Jim Morrison, especially on the “Sex and Money” track. The song itself is very topical, unfortunately it’s topical about every two weeks or so, because it’s about mass shootings and the governmental response to them.

The song starts with really strong, jarring lyrics:

“They no need no control
Gonna bet a dime, little Suzie, gonna bet your soul”

Referring to the seeming willingness for our government to sacrifice children for a quick buck, or more specifically the willingness of those who lobby the government to do so. Obviously gun control is a hot button layered issue, but I think it’s art’s job to help us think about these things that effect us, and the song really makes it clear what’s at stake in this debate.

“Good God, it’s too late,
Got caught up in a downpour, in the Mojave Rain

Say son, did you make the grade?
Save a brother down with a barricade, when there was rain in the Mojave?
Was it oh, so D.F.A, with a window wide on 32? ”

 

I love the dissonance between making the grade and saving someone. These two things shouldn’t be happening side by side, and you could argue if they are happening side by side, the learning environment is going to be effected. My biggest question in the song is why the title and repetition of Mojave rain? I know the Mojave is a desert, so it doesn’t get much rain. In fact it is the driest desert in all of North America. Maybe he’s using that as a metaphor for how unlikely it is to see any change on this issue soon? What do you guys think?

 

 

“Sex and Money”

I’m not going to talk about this one too at length because (hint hint) you’re going to be seeing this one again on the podcast. But like I mentioned before, how much does this song sound like a modernized The Doors song? I also love the throwback visuals of the video. There is a lot to explore here regarding our societies relationship to sex, money, and violence, and we will be following up that discussion on our podcast in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, check out all of Jim Audet’s new EP right here, and support this dude so we can see what else he comes up with.

 

-Caleb