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Mothball Monday: A Post From the Vault

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I WAS planning a Free & Legal Music Monday post for today…but just couldn’t get my act together. Let’s say that ‘family stuff’ precluded me from focusing on much yesterday. (Eh – it happens…)

So, it’s a good thing that I have blogging A.D.D., because that means I have plenty of fodder for emergency posts! Like the one below…”The Good ol’ Virginia Boys (and Ella) Shuffle”…which originally ran on one of my other blogs, Vacuity , on November 29, 2008. (Right between posts entitled “A Day Late and a Turkey Short” and “Helen Hunt Annoys the Shit Out of Me”…)

For future reference, when I drop the ball like this again – because you KNOW I will – we’ll call it “Mothball Monday: A Post From the Vault.” (Sounds good, and of course is a total ripoff of Scary Mommy’s Flashback Friday…but you loyal readers will know what it REALLY means…*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*…)

Enjoy, and we’ll be right back to the Guest DJ Shuffles tomorrow, I promise!


I am a Southerner by birth, and a Virginian by the Grace of God.

Granted, I was born to transplanted Yankees, but thankfully the sins of THEIR parents weren’t visited on me. I grew up in Hampton Roads, lounging on the beach and eating fresh caught Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs. Went to college in beautiful Central Virginia near horse farms with rolling green patures bordered by miles of white wooden fence. *sigh* Sound idyllic? It is.

The Mother of Presidents…the Old Dominion…THE Commonwealth. My home state kicks all kinds of ass. Turns out some mighty fine musicians, too. Like for instance:

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Scott Miller and the Commonwealth: Amtrak Crescent
(new edit: playlist.com didn’t have the kick ass live version of this anymore, with HELLA fiddle…this one is tame, but still great.)
Now, don’t just skip this because it “sounds country”. Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains were the cradle of bluegrass, and it’s in our bones. But, we rock it, too. I LOVE this guy – he’s from Swoope, VA and went to William and Mary. Believe it or not, I was introduced to him by my Texan Sister in Law! (She’s so smart. Go, Megan!) Anyway, I love this guy, and really love this song. Especially lyrics like:

Better say Manassas if you say Bull Run
Or in Virginia you won’t get along with anyone
But just across the river you can change your tune
Like all the politicians there in DC do
When life goes wrong they just go on…

(And, if you don’t know your Civil War battle history, you totally didn’t get that…lol)

Pat McGee Band: Rebecca
Longwood College. My old school. (Yeah, it’s gone “University” now, but I’m old.) Pat McGee went there, too – he’s a Richmond boy. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen him live at bars in Va. Beach. This song is from his major-label debut. Nice. Good music for a drive from Farmville to Lynchburg and the TI for a cheesy western and a bo’ wif…

Jason Mraz: Curbside Prophet
Y’all know him, right? From Mechanicsville, VA – also a fellow Longwood Lancer. Yeah, he’s currently on my shit list for never accepting my My Space friend request, but I digress. If you listen for it, you’ll hear a lil’ Appalachian influence in there, too…banjo, anyone?

Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs: Superfreak
I adore Bruce Hornsby. I’ve adopted Skaggs, too, even though he’s from Kentucky. But, Bruce is from Williamsburg, so we’re practically family! He’s not normally so bluegrass, but I do love this side of him. A couple songs down I threw in Mandolin Rain, which is more representative of his style. Boy can play a piano. And, really…I love Rick James, too, but this is the BEST version of Superfreak. EVER.

Carbon Leaf: The Boxer
More Richmond Boys – went to Randy Mac. (Randolph Macon College in Ashland.) Were big in the Richmond bar scene and this was there first breakthrough hit – they sang it at the AMA’s in 2002 even! They got to number 5 on the AAA charts in 2004 with Life Less Ordinary…which you get as a bonus, below.

Ralph Stanley: Oh, Death
Yep, this is the version from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?. But, if that’s all you know about Dr. Ralph Stanley and His Clinch Mountain Boys, you need to be looking them up. Go now – I’ll wait. That’s history right there, folks. He is an American legend, and a Virginia treasure. From “a little town called McClure at a place called Big Spraddle, just up the holler” from Dickenson County…

Ella Fitzgerald with Louis Armstrong: Summertime
Oh, Ella. God, that voice. Born in Newport News, just over the bridge and through the tunnel from me. There will never be another Ella. Matter of fact, I’m listening now and she renders me typeless. (typeless…speechless…you get my drift.)

And, there’s MORE! The Neptunes, Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patsy Cline, The Carter Family, Elliot Yamin…but, this is MY shuffle, and these are the ones that came up.

Yeah, Virginia for the win. And now I suddenly have a strong craving for salted peanuts and Smithfield ham…

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