Playlist: Arkansas

Three fresh tunes from the Natural State. While we cruise through the eastern edge of the state, we have these three tunes to crank on the old radiobox.

Home: I just about melted the CD of Up From Below by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes listening to it on repeat while commuting 80 minutes both ways, four days a week. Of course Home was the standout track (though far from the best track on the album). And what’s the second word in the song? Yeah: Arkansas. P.S. Frontman Alex Ebert is a helluva talent, but Jade’s absence is definitely felt on the group’s last album. Home is a collaboration that just works because it works. 

Arkansas State Prison: Bobby Wommack. Not only does this song have a killer funk beat to it, but it tells a story that slays. The narrator tells of his time in the State Prison. What comes across is how the prison system is just a replication of slavery. Then the narrator kills the guard and runs away. 

Harpoon Man: All over Arkansas, man. This little ripper off the Nashville Cats album is a rough cut gem of a song with some amazing harmonica.

Gypsy Lou: You know, Dylan has often been at the forefront of issues dealing with racism and social divide. He penned (whether intentional or not) the anthem for the Civil Rights movement. Despite saying he’s not a protest songwriter (and I agree, he’s not; it’s just a thing he sometimes does), he wrote the protest song, Hurricane. So it beguiles me somewhat that he uses the phrase gypsy so much (including in the last few years. Granted—it was a cover, but still…). At any rate, there’s not many songs to choose from, so this is the Dylan song for the Natural State.

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