These are some of my all-time favorite songs, not all my favorite songs, but a lot of my recent favorites with a few good oldies sprinkled in here and there. You will find an odd assortment of folk, folk rock, rock, pop, and folk pop, and that indescribable orchestral amazingness that is Future of Forestry’s latest album. This past year has been a year of discovering a lot of new artists and music and I have to thank many of my friends, mainly my barista-coffee-wizard friends, because we all know they know where it’s at when it comes to the best vibes and the best music.
In order to listen to the playlist, you need to download Spotify onto your computer. If you do not have Spotify on your computer you can listen on the web player. I promise this is not a sponsored blog post (if only I had sponsors!)
Last winter my parents took a post-Christmas vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. My sister’s in-laws happen to live in the area so we got to spend some time with my sister and her husband as well as their extended family. Their family has deep roots in Alabama to the land itself. I often think this is something we miss in the rapid-paced and ever-transient lifestyles of our world today. We miss that connection to the land itself. I remember an Irish pastor telling me this very thing years ago during a youth conference in Pittsburgh, PA but I had little idea what he was talking about until I saw my brother-in-law’s grandfather and realized what it means to love the land you were born in, to own the land and belong to it at the same time. My brother-in-law’s grandfather, who we all know affectionately as Papaw, showed us around his old farm house and property. I could sense the history there but could only imagine all of the memories stored up in those hundred acres. He also gave us a tour of the airport where he has worked for many years now, which also happens to be the airport where he says his grandson “caught the fever just like his father” and by fever he meant “the impulse and desire to fly airplanes”.
The majority of our vacation was spent with just the five of us, me, my parents, and my two youngest siblings. It was refreshing because while I see my entire family on a weekly basis, it has been a while since I was able to go travel with them and have these particular family members exclusively to myself. These days my two youngest siblings are growing up extremely fast. We had a lot of conversations and adventures during this week and it seemed every other moment I was remarking to myself—wow, they are so grown up. We explored the old Fort Morgan at Fort Morgan Beach and absorbed a lot of Civil War history. My father has been a Civil War buff since his high school days. It is a miserable point in our history, to be sure, but there is also something very romantic and beautiful about the era that was lost.
We took a day trip to Mobile, AL during our stay in Gulf Shores and explored the USS Alabama Memorial. World War II is another war set against the backdrop of a romanticized era. The music. The fashion. The movies. The hairstyles. My brother Calvin and I set about to reach the highest point of the ship and the lowest. We explored the ship for more than four hours and we made it to the top or as far as they would let us go but we still were not able to see every corner of it. Ultimately we did not make it down to the engine rooms. All the while I was thinking of 2500 men aboard this ship and how much it had to stink when they were out at sea.
While driving the sixteen-some hours to Alabama and back to Oklahoma we listened to David McCollough’s Truman with music interludes provided by my Spotify playlists. The crowd favorite was my Disney playlist and I have to say Disney music was made for long car rides. Show tunes are the best kinds of tunes to sing along with and everybody always loves them. We also played this playlist quite a bit, the one I shared up above. Now this music will forever be associated with winding roads, tall pine forests, the Mississippi river, golden misty mornings, and the anticipation of adventure!