Week of 12/5/2011:

“An Audience with the Devil” by Hilltop Hoods

Make sure you also listen to the “Restrung” version, which features the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and this other version, which for lack of a better term might be called the “unplugged” version.  But first listen to the original album version:

Week of 12/12/2011:

“Searching with My Good Eye Closed” by Soundgarden

An old favorite from “Badmotorfinger,” and a good example of why Soundgarden was a cut above most other bands of their era in the songwriting department.

Week of 12/19/2011:

“Take Your Whiskey Home” by Van Halen

AllMusic describes this song as an example of David Lee Roth’s “country-blues jive fixation,” which, come to think of it, is also in evidence in a few other songs on their other Roth-era albums (e.g. “Ice Cream Man” on their first album).  But when the electric guitar kicks in here, it’s clear that Eddie is in fine form as well.  “Women and Children First” is my favorite VH album.

Week of 12/26/2011:

“Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me” by Mississippi John Hurt

From “Last Sessions,” the third of the three albums of material Hurt recorded in the 1960s, having been re-discovered at the age of seventy-something.  This is one of my favorite songs of his; the melody is beautiful, the finger-picked guitar is mesmerizing, and Hurt’s voice is as warm as ever.  Hurt also has one of the more interesting life stories of the bluesmen I’ve read about; I highly recommend both reading about him and listening to his music.