This month’s running playlist is borne on the wings of steel guitars, banjos and fiddles. That’s right y’all – throw on your shit-kickers, grab your hound-dog and broken heart, then giddyap with this country & bluegrass playlist that’ll drive your pace like cattle to pasture!
We know this isn’t an exhaustive list of runnable country & bluegrass music: it deliberately excludes contemporary crap country where every song sounds like every other song,1 while sadly some of our fav country artists lack tracks fitting our 77-85/155-175 BPM parameters.2 However, we promise this will put some twang in your step and keep your boots movin’! For you impatient types, here’s the tl;dr right to the playlist.
Classic country contingent:
Conway Twitty, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Glen Campbell – the subject of 2014’s “I’ll Be Me” documenting Campbell’s descent into Alzheimer’s:
More recent classic country-ers:
Alabama, Emmylou Harris,3 and Kenny Rogers, whose “Planet Texas” made an appearance in March’s running play list. In that post’s reference to Mr. Rogers we may have called into question the wisdom of some manners of plastic surgery, but do not mess with us on the smooth gravel honey of Mr. Rogers’ voice or we will cut you.
Hey anyone but us remember the movie “Six Pack”?
No? Just us? Ok, moving on…
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (who some of us were lucky enough to see at Minneapolis’ Dakota Jazz Club last year), Earl Scruggs4, The Osborne Brothers, and the Soggy Bottom Boys:
Newer era country (not to be confused with dumb contempo country):
Dixie Chicks, Kelly Willis, Steve Earl, Ashley Monroe, and appropriately rounding out the list is a brand shiny new track from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash”:
Don’t believe us? Do not tell us you somehow missed out on this sweet mashup proving that every contempo country song is every other contempo country song? Well we’re nothing but here for you and filling in your missing cultural touchstones. ↩
with an occasional exception a tick above or below those BPMs ↩
who merits two slots in the list because we say so ↩
Scruggs, Skaggs? That’s an inordinate amount of s, k & g ↩