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.

jenkins

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

TOTD: Grizzly Buddha – “Chalis”

 

We have an excellent track for you for today’s Track of the Day. The harmonies in this song immediately blew me away. And it has some great southern style guitar riffs that work relentlessly throughout it. They self describe their sound as “unique with a familiar feel,” and I couldn’t agree more. It has elements of some old greats like Patsy Cline or Janis Joplin, mixed with some modern influence (I hear some First Aid Kit and some Black Keys or Portugal. The Man).

You can find their newest release It’ll Be Too Late When You’re Dead wherever you enjoy music. I think that album title is very appropriate to their artistic expression. Go make things now, ’cause it’ll be too late when you’re dead. And I’m so glad Grizzly Buddha didn’t wait.

 

Check out this song and all of our June TOTD’s on our Spotify Playlist right here. 

-Caleb

 

Mid Day Music Blast: Breshnyda “Coastin'”

Happy Hump Day, and happy hump hour of Hump Day. We are officially over half the work week hump! To celebrate, check out this fresh track from Breshnyda. Once you do, two things are going to become apparent.

  1. The music is so trippy and awesome. It really reminds me somewhat of Dntel with the drones and dissonant beats. Really cool production on this.
  2. The lyrics are so wonderfully playful:

I got an accent made of fire
The constables inquire to decipher the scattered pattern
By which my lingual sniper shots take flight through the night
I’m lightin up all mics until the temperature spikes to nigh extreme Fahrenheit

Firestarter like a Charlie, Writer King like a Stephen
I spark the kindling on sleepy folks every weekend
Dragon’s breath must bequest bars to the rest
I protect the chest to keep the treasure unpossessed

Want more from this song? I’m glad you asked. There’s a music video!

If that doesn’t make you nostalgic for early video games while also tripping you out a bit, I don’t know what will. It has to be the premiere NES/Hip-hop/Acid trip video on the market.

 

-Caleb

Don’t forget to check out Breshnyda and all of our June artists on this Spotify playlist. 

And don’t forget to check out the best part of our (small) empire, The B-Side Guys Podcast.