Let’s Play DJ

So, readers, what music have you been listening to lately this curious writer wants to know?

I mean it.

Feel free to send me in your comments the title of one tune that recently hit the right chord. Who performed it? How did you listen to it? Vinyl? Spotify? CD? Alexa/Siri? Why did it touch you?

I’d love to compile a playlist of your selections.

So, please comment with something like this:

“Don’t Let Us Get Sick”

Warren Zevon

(YouTube link to the tune)

It reminds to be grateful for the friends in my life.


I’m looking forward to holding this tuneful tête-a-tête with you!


Meanwhile here’s the first of what I will be many playlists over the months to come.

This first list unfurled from the night before and through my five days at the Ashokan Center (https://ashokancenter.org/) in Olivebridge, NY, where I was attending their Northern Gathering, taking guitar lessons and enjoying the company of fellow guitarists, fiddlers, and players of recorders, mandolins, accordions, and banjos.

(Ashokan co-founder Molly Mason, seated, on her Martin guitar, with husband and co-founder Jay Unger on mandolin during a guitar lesson.)

The playlist below is really a dialogue in tunes I collected during those magic days and nights with a beloved I’ve known for fifty-six years.

Somehow my instincts told me to keep track of all these tunes for posterity.  From the get-go, by sharing each song on Facebook, I turned the social media site into a facet of the journal I was keeping during those cosmic days. Once home again, I compiled the list, scrolling through my Facebook feed to capture each recording. I was surprised and delighted how organically eclectic the selections were.

And I was reminded again: Music sustains joy.

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun


The Ramones – I Want to Be Sedated

“I kid you not.”

West Side Story – Tonight

New Christy Minstrels – Today

“A while ago”

Bob Marley and The Wailers – Jamming

“And just now…with dancin’ grooves.”

Meghan Trainor – All about the Bass

“A first on a night of firsts.”

Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli – Pearl Fishers Duet

“Let there be opera … in such delicious doses. The back story was equally delicious.”

Leonard Cohen – Tower of Song (Live in London)

“Ain’t it the truth?”

Memphis Millie – Me and My Chauffeur Blues

“And the magic keeps rolling on.”

Stan Rogers – Northwest Passage

“When with a singer, listen to a singer in exchange.”

Robbie O’Connell and Finbar Clancy,  Kilkelly Ireland Song

“Another long story about loss in song. We need these too.”

B-52s – Love Shack

“Happy-hour time, post day of guitar camping!”

Blue Brothers – Soul Man (SNL)

“Changing it up, good buddies.”

The Jive Aces – Bring Me Sunshine

“Oh, yes.”

Tom Waits – Downtown Train

“My turn…a fave…going out to Ann Tippett.”

Tuba Skinny – Going Back Home

“Get out that banjo, Roseanne Mascari.”

Stevie Ray Vaughn – Chittlins Con Carne


Haley Reinhart, Vintage Marilyn Monroe style Brittany Spears –  Oops! I Did It Again 

“Yep. Ooops.”

Jackson Browne – Yeah, Yeah

“Lyrics, people, and a good dance workout.”

Linizi Zaorski – Better Off Dead

“For the sake of you never know.”

Joni Mitchell – You Turn Me on Like a Radio

“For miles of smiles.”

Santana with Rob Thomas – Smooth

“Yes, yes, yes. Best ad for PRS Guitars ever.”

Herman’s Hermits  – Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter 

“56 years ago this was a tune from the soundtrack of my love.”

Ukulele Ukes  – Just a Gigolo

“For Lori Skoog … uke it up, girl. I’m hearing a live rendition.”

(Music’d out. Almost.)

Don White – I Know What Love Is

“The penultimate tune of my Ashokan adventure.”

Jay Ungar – Ashokan Farewell

“Last on the Playlist. Jay Unger, the fiddler, and his wife Molly Mason (on the Martin) were my teachers, especially Molly. Both are the dearest people. Unforgettable.”

21 thoughts on “Let’s Play DJ

  1. I love classic country . . . Willie Nelson, George Jones, Hank Williams, Sr., as well as contemporay singers such as Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, George Strait.


  2. Hi Karla, In response to your question I’ve been listening to Nancy Griffith ‘From a distance ‘  reminded to listen to it because she died this week.I used to sing this with choir. I prefer her version to that of Bette Middler.All for nowH Sent from my Galaxy


  3. I’m still in my late sixties phase (entered at age 12 and never left). Mostly people the critics mock–Tommy James, for example. Love the DC5. Love Marianne Faithfull (early and later). Pet Clark. Supremes. Well, the list is very long.


  4. Hi Karla what a great post that has really got me thinking!!! After untold sadness in March 2020 and the ensuing black months since I have steered clear of most music….fear of awakening painful memories. So I have really just stuck with my all-time go to artists that cannot evoke any such fear and have been my great music companions for decades, always bringing me joy….namely Andrea Bocelli and Elton John. (I know my view will not please Laury but I have to disagree with her.)
    So may I be greedy and put forward 3 suggestions to the DJ????
    No.1 Andrea Bocelli – Il Mare Calmo della Sera – a powerful song that demonstrates the range of his voice from the rawness of his teenage years with a rock band to the sophistication of the opera.
    No. 2 Andrea Bocelli again in duet with Laura Pasini – Dare To Live – at last I am beginning to do so 18+ months on.
    No. 3 Elton John – Tiny Dancer – almost impossible choice to make as there’s very few of his tracks that I dislike but I chose this one as it always makes me smile!!!!
    Now you really have got me itching to turn on the CD player!!!!!!!


  5. Additional inf. listened on the Alexa. And we learned From a distance for our concerts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war. Seems appropriate at all times to me. There is always someone who should ‘look like my friend’ H x

    Helen Macdonald



  6. What a lovely post (and playlist), Karla!!!!! Lately, I’ve been listening to indie covers playlist on Spotify. I couldn’t pick one so I went for an all time fav (that is t on the Spotify playlist… Father Hohn Misty’s rendition of “Everything is Free,” originally by Gillian Welch.


    1. This is Lisa Nichols by the way… and I’ve learned my lesson about typing on my phone before coffee *facepalm*


  7. Karla, it’s funny you should ask that. I have been listening to Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis lately. I like the real musicians with no producer adding in synthetic sounds. Love “Jailhouse Rock!”


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