Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Five Artists Whose Music I Would Take with me to a Desert Island

This is a dumb article that I'm only writing because it's New Years Eve (12/31/2020) today and there's nothing else to be doing right now.

If I could only take one band or musician's music to a desert island that one band would be....


I don't know exactly what the rules are in this make-believe scenario - whether it's only official releases that can be taken, or a mix-tape "best of", or only a certain number of hours but whatever the parameters are Phish would be my number one pick. 

I  know it's cliché, but if I could bring along a 2nd catalog of music it would be The Grateful Dead. And by Grateful Dead I primarily mean Jerry Garcia. So if a loophole in the rules allowed me to select "Jerry Garcia" and that allowed me to bring both his solo work and the Grateful Dead's output that would be ideal.

Next I would choose the music of Sun Ra. The number of recordings that Sun Ra has had his name on probably numbers in the hundreds, so there's a lot to choose from when selecting Sun Ra. This choice also widely expands the range of sounds to be heard as Sun Ra delved into everything from big band to straight ahead jazz to exotica to funk to free form noise. 

I would also have to include John Prine among the five. John's music meant a lot to me and I can think of no one better to fill the singer-songwriter role than him. I don't know if there would be alcohol on this island, but many a night could be spent singing along with John Prine's well crafted songs, with or without booze.

There really isn't an order to this, it's just how they came to mind, but for the last pick I'd have to go with Gillian Welch. If there's something that Phish, The Grateful Dead, John Prine, and Sun Ra all have in common is they put out a lot of music. Until this year the same couldn't quite be said about Gillian Welch, but thanks to the recordings that have emerged this year she now has enough output for that to no longer cause any hesitancy.  

If it's five and done I'm missing Bill Frisell, Miles Davis, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Medeski Martin and Wood, and soooooooo much more. 

This was a dumb thing to write but now I'm done. Time to watch The Wolf of Snow Hollow.

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