Category Archives: Songwriters

Top 20 Most Played Songs on Jim and Sherry’s ITunes, IPods, IPhones, etc. 2014

1 The Starry Eyed The Belle Sounds
2 Rockingham Lane The Belle Sounds
3 Until You Were Gone John Fullbright
4 Company of Friends Carrie Elkin & Danny Schmidt
5 Never Cry Again John Fullbright
6 When We Were Young The Belle Sounds
7 100 Different Ways of Being Alone BettySoo
8 Early Days Paul McCartney
9 Just In Case K.C. Clifford
10 Get In Line Ron Sexsmith
11 Sleeping Dogs C. Daniel Boling
12 Little Aches and Pains Paul Kelly
13 Not Dark Yet Jimmy LaFave
14 White Light Gene Clark
15 Im On Your Side Paul Kelly
16 Highway to Hell Bruce Springsteen
17 Pacing the Cage Bruce Cockburn
18 If I Was a River Willie Nile
19 Sweet Marie Hangdog
20 Odds and Ends alt take 1 Bob Dylan & The Band

Your questions preemptively answered:

1. Why 20 songs?  Fits on one CD.

2. Are these the best 20 songs of 2014? Some of them aren’t even from 2014.  No, these are the 20 songs we played the most, which means they’re mostly our favorites. But “Sleeping Dogs” was on this list in 2012, though with a live version, and “Just in Case” is a repeat from 2012 just because we like it a lot, especially in this year we lost so many Austin friends. “Get in Line” is on for the second year in a row.

3. Where’s Christine Albert’s fine new album?  Didn’t get it until too late in the year to make an impact on this year’s rankings. Look for 2015.

4. How much music do you listen to in a year?  This year, over 7,000 individual songs. We listen less to CDs these days than IPod/ITunes where we dump everything and then edit out what we don’t like or want to hear anymore.

If you don’t have any of these incredible songs or CDs, we’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. Obviously we can listen them over and over.

*one caveat: We don’t count CDs played (because there’s no easy way to do it) and we don’t listen to CDs themselves that much anyway). But if we had, Bettysoo’s Little Tiny Secrets, from several albums ago would have been at the top, all of the songs, because for about six months that’s all Sherry listened to in her car.


Top 10 CDs on Jim & Sherry’s IMachines 2013

1 Willie Nile  – American Ride he’s been making great music since the 80s, and this pledgemusic funded one finds him at the top of his game

2 The Kinks –  Kinda Kinks In one of my favorite songs from last year, Dr. Pants’ “The Cassette Song”, David Broyles claims the first five Kinks albums are their best, and as a fan of singer-songwriter  Ray Davies, and someone who only owned a “best of ” their early days, I had to check it out. Played a lot of Kinks this year.

3 Jon Emery Sings the Songs of Gene Clark– Gene Clark is one of my favorite singers and songwriters, and Jon Emery does him complete justice on this beautiful album.

4 Kacey Musgraves –  Same Trailer Different ParkYes, she’s popular in the Country world, but her songs are among the best. Texas woman from just up the road from us.

5 Craig Marshall –  Hiding In The Doorway former popmeister Marshall makes a move toward singer-songwriter with terrific, well defined results. He’s still Pop, his country is like Elvis Costello singing country, but he’s found a sound that suits him well. 

6 Ron Sexsmith –  Long Player Late Bloomer underrated pop songwriter with a couple songs on this CD that continually break my heart. Lovely music.

7 John Fogerty – Wrote a Song for Everyone– I didn’t really expect to like this album. Those songs are so ingrained in my head and heart that I wasn’t sure I needed to hear duets of them 40 years later. But Fogerty hasn’t sounded so alive in years, at least five or six of the songs are redefined and reenergized, Miranda Lambert does the best “Wrote A Song For Everyone” ever, Fogerty has two new songs that are also his best in years, and nobody seems to have phoned anything in. And the songs are as great as ever.

8 Grateful Dead – Live Rarities– Most of what I like on here is a lot from 71-73, my favorite Dead period. Also released was Europe ’72, part two, including a beautiful “Looks Like Rain”.

9 The Byrds – The Byrds [BOX SET] [Disc 1] – I have no idea how this CD got this much play, except that I still love the Byrds and play them a lot. More than I thought, apparently.

10 Ian Hunter – When I’m President – 70+ year old Ian Hunter continues to make great, rocking albums

Almost in the top 10 and worth mentioning:

Chris Wall – El Western Motel,  Willie Nelson – Country Music,  Amanda Shires – Down Fell the Doves,  Jason Isbell – Southeastern

Top 21 Most Played Songs on Jim & Sherry’s ITunes, IPods, IPhones, etc 2013

1 When I’m President Ian Hunter When I’m President
2 Follow Your Arrow Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park
3 This is Our Time Willie Nile American Ride
4 Get In Line Ron Sexsmith Long Player Late Bloomer
5 Faith and Gasoline Hilary Claire Adamson
6 Silver Lining Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park
7 Tried So Hard Jon Emery Sings the Songs of Gene Clark
8 Long Emotional Ride Graham Parker Three Chords Good
9 Late Bloomer Ron Sexsmith Long Player Late Bloomer
10 Wasted and Rollin Amanda Shires Down Fell the Doves
11 One Guitar V2.0 Willie Nile American Ride
12 Changing Heart Jon Emery Sings the Songs of Gene Clark
13 Paint It, Black The Coal Porters Find The One
14 Wrote a Song For Everyone John Fogerty; Miranda Lambert Wrote a Song for Everyone
15 As The Story Goes Craig Marshall Hiding In The Doorway
16 A Long Way From Home The Kinks Lola vs Powerman
17 Its Gonna Be Alright Gerry and the Pacemakers
18 Tell Me What’s Wrong Ron Flynt Tell Me What’s Wrong – Single
19 Hold On The Biters All Chewed Up
20 Poor Man John Wort Hannam Toronto Bound
21 Company of Friends Danny Schmidt Little Grey Sheep

Your questions preemptively answered:

1. Why 21 songs? Fits on one CD

2. Gerry and the Pacemakers? I’ll bet you didn’t know they could rock this hard. Or maybe even rock. We sure didn’t.

3. Since you use shuffle play so much, why does this list matter? These are the songs that we went to again and again, maybe to play for each other, maybe to play for friends, maybe to put in our current “top 40 or so” playlist to listen. The list of bands played reflects our shuffle listening, but the songs and albums almost always reflect what’s new (to us).

4. Who are the Biters?  We have no idea. Found both them and the Gerry & the Pacemaker’s tune through Tom Petty’s radio show on satellite radio.

5. Why is that great Ron Flynt single at the bottom of the charts? Give us a break, it didn’t come out until November.

6. Isn’t Kacey  Musgraves, like, popular? Yes, she is, giving hope to popular song. Here at WJIM (or WSBP, depending on the time of day), we don’t play a song because it’s popular or not popular (how would we even know?) but because we think it’s a good song.


Third Coast Songwriter Showcase at Folk Alliance lineup

Friday   10:30
Patterson Barrett
The Flyin A’s
Owen Temple

Melissa Greener
Joel Rafael
Jeff Talmadge

Wyatt Easterling
Rebecca Loebe
Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus

Saturday Afternoon
Kevin Elliott
Butch Morgan
Grant Peeples

Bronwynne Brent
Megan Burtt
Beth Wood

Saturday Night Shows
Mary Battiata
John Lilly
Amanda Pearcy

Michael Fracasso
Dan Navarro
Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus

Rj Cowdery
Wyatt Easterling

Berkalin Recored Artists
Matt Harlan
Brian Kalinec
Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus
Libby Koch
(Jeff Talmadge)

Our schedule
Thursday 11 Soona Songs RM 704
Thursday 11:50 Anderson Fair RM 647

Great Unknown makes Geoffrey Himes’ Top 100, at 100

Geoffrey Himes, the noted music critic, recently named Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus’ The Great Unknown CD one of the Top 100 CDs of 2013 in Paste Magazine. AT #100 itself, but we don’t mind, it’s a great list and we’re happy to be on it. His article and Top 100 list follows:

The Curmudgeon: Questioning the Assumptions of Popular Music

Year-End Polls, Lists and the Lazy Critic

By Geoffrey Himes

Tuesday, January 21, 2013

By Geoffrey Himes

Last week the Village Voice published its annual Pazz & Jop Poll of more than 400 pop-music critics; the week before Jazz Times published its own poll of jazz critics, and this week the Nashville Scene unveils its annual Country Music Critics Poll. As someone who voted in the first two polls and conducted the third, I look forward to these annual exercises.

And they are exercise. They force critics out of old habits of throwing around fuzzy adjectives and into the hard work of splitting hairs between the year’s eighth best album and ninth best. It forces them to go back and reconsider all the viable alternatives; it pricks their consciences to get out of their narrow-genre comfort zone and consider all the viable contenders. It’s like pulling them off the couch, away from the TV remote and sending them to the Nordic Track at the gym.

At the heart of every record review is a judgment that the music is good, bad or somewhere in between. But reviewers are never asked (or never given room) to explain what they mean by “good” or “bad,” and so those terms become so mushy that they’re almost meaningless. When a reviewer says an album is “good,” does that mean the same thing as when he said an album last month was “good?” It’s as if music critics were postal workers who tossed letters and packages into giant bins labeled “New York,” “Illinois” and “California” and were never expected to further subdivide their sorting to the street level.

The great thing about critics’ polls and year-end best lists is that they force music critics to define “good” and “bad” in terms of “better than” and “worse than.” I can already hear my lazier colleagues whining, “Oh, you can’t say that one album is the eighth best rather than seventh or ninth; each record is a personal, artistic statement that has to be considered on its own terms. You can’t compare them.” Bullshit.

If you can make a distinction between a really good record and a really bad one, between the year’s best album and the year’s 700th best, you can make the same distinction between the eighth and ninth. You just have to work a little harder. And if you’re not willing to make those distinctions, why are you a critic?

Or the lazy critic might complain, “Oh, you can’t compare a rock record to a jazz record, or a country record to a hip-hop record, or Congolese soukous to Celtic balladry. It’s apples and oranges. You can’t even compare ambient techno to ambient house; they’re completely different.”

This excuse makes the mistake of confusing the singular goal of all art with the countless ways of achieving that goal. Whether it’s a Picasso painting, a Kanye West remix, a Faulkner short story or a Disney cartoon, the aim is always the same: to establish an emotional/sensual connection with the audience to allow them to glimpse something new about human nature. The strength of that connection and the illumination of that glimpse—the aesthetic voltage if you will—is the measure of the artwork’s success. Is it easy to gauge that voltage so precisely that you can distinguish the year’s eighth best album from the ninth? No, but that’s why critics get the big bucks.

Wait. Scratch that. Critics may not be paid very well, but at least they get the satisfaction of enjoying music that much more because they’ve been willing to think about it that much harder. Analysis and pleasure are not the opposites that lazy critics claim; in fact, one reinforces the other.

Moreover, the rewards of thinking hard about music are available to any listener who takes the time and makes the effort. Poke around Facebook, Amazon or your own email inbox, and you’ll find year-end lists from people you know. Many of them have been motivated by the same analysis/pleasure nexus and have spent as much time as my colleagues and I have. So what’s the difference between an amateur listener and a published critic? The ability to translate one’s insights into clear, stimulating prose. Or at least that should be the difference.

“Art is not a competition,” the lazy critic will whimper. “Why should we pit one piece of music against another? Shouldn’t every sincere expression be valued for what it is?”

If humans were immortal beings with an eternity to spend listening to records, that might be plausible. But we’re all going to die sooner than we want to, and so we constantly have to make decisions about how to spend our time. A critic’s year-end list can be read as a triage guide for how to prioritize your uncommitted hours.

Moreover, “sincere” artists have committed as many sins as “sincere” politicians—though with less damaging consequences. Are artists who ask money for their shows and recordings to be treated like nine-year-old soccer players who get self-esteem ribbons for just trying? Those artists demand the right to be uncensored in their ruthless honesty. Shouldn’t we listeners have the exact same right?

Some lazy critics will argue that best-of lists should be reserved for little-known recordings by artists untainted by commercial compromise, a purity that can be proven only by the artists’ small, ghettoized followings. Other lazy critics will argue that best-of lists should be reserved for artists who have fulfilled pop music’s raison d’etre by proving themselves popularin the marketplace.

If you actually do the hard work of engaging recordings as work of arts apart from their context, you soon learn that the popularity of a release tells you absolutely nothing about its aesthetic voltage. There is no correlation. Some best-sellers are terrific, and some are terrible. Some obscure cult items are wonderful, and some are awful.

I listened to more than 700 records in 2013—including, yes, the Phosphorescent and Kanye West records. These were my 100 favorites—all genres, new releases and reissues combined:

1. Kacey Musgraves: Same Trailer, Different Park (Mercury)
2. Janelle Monae: The Electric Lady (Wondaland/Atlantic)
3. Jason Isbell: Southeastern (Southeastern/Thirty Tigers)
4. Terence Blanchard: Magnetic (Blue Note)
5. The Bottle Rockets: Bottle Rockets/Brooklyn Side (Bloodshot)
6. The Swimming Pool Q’s: 1984-1986: The A&M Years (Cipher Bureau)
7. Laura Veirs: Warp and Weft (Raven Marching Band)
8. The 3 Cohens: Tightrope (Anzic)
9. Mika: The Origin of Love (Universal)
10. Charles Lloyd/Jason Moran: Hagar’s Song (ECM)
11. Sam Baker: Say Grace (Baker)
12. Kobo Town: Jumbie in the Jukebox (Cumbancha/Stonetree)
13. Elvis Costello & the Roots: Wise Up Ghost (Blue Note)
14. Steve Coleman and the Five Elements: Functional Arrhythmias (Pi)
15. Bob Dylan: Another Self Portrait (1969-1971)
16. Steve Earle: The Low Highway (New West)
17. The Wayne Shorter Quartet: Without a Net (Blue Note)
18. J. Roddy Walston & the Business: Essential Tremors (ATO)
19. Brandy Clark: 12 Stories (Slate Creek)
20. Bill Frisell: Big Sur (Okeh)
21. Frank Turner: Tape Deck Heart (Epitaph)
22. Dave Douglas: Time Travel (Greenleaf)
23. The Beach Boys: Made in California (Capitol)
24. The Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1969 (Columbia/Legacy)
25. Paul McCartney: NEW (Hear/Concord)
26. Pat Metheny/Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels/Vol. 20 (Nonesuch/Tzadik)
27. Woody Guthrie: Radical American Patriot (Rounder)
28. Sly & the Family Stone: Higher! (Epic/Legacy)
29. Illinois Jacquet/Leo Parker: Toronto 1947 (Uptown)
30. Randy Weston/Billy Harper: The Roots of the Blues (Sunnyside)
31. James Booker: Classified: Remixed and Expanded (Rounder)
32. Patty Griffin: American Kid (New West)
33. Carla Bley: Trios (ECM)
34. Drew Gress: The Sky Inside (Pirouet)
35. Neko Case: The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You (Anti-)
36. Walter Namuth’s Quintet with Mickey Fields: Left Bank ‘66 (Baltimore Jazz Alliance)
37. Joe Lovano Us Five: Cross Culture (Blue Note)
38. Rudresh Mahanthappa: Gamak (ACT)
39. David Egan: David Egan (Rhonda Sue)
40. San Fermin: San Fermin (Downtown)
41. North Mississippi Allstars: World Boogie Is Coming (Sons of the South)
42. Mike Stinson: Hell and Half of Georgia (Stag)
43. Dailey & Vincent: Brothers of the Highway (Rounder)
44. Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette: Somewhere (ECM)
45. Robbie Fulks: Gone Away Backward (Bloodshot)
46. Maria Schneider, Dawn Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra: Winter Morning Walks (ArtistShare)
47. Valerie June: Pushin’ Against a Stone (Concord)
48. Jaimeo Brown: Transcendence (Motema)
49. Warren Wolf: Wolfgang (Mack Avenue)
50. Minor Alps: Get There (Barsuk)
51. Lafayette Gilchrist: The View from Here (Creative Differences)
52. Red Baraat: Shruggy Ji (Sinj)
53. The Dropkick Murphys: Signed and Sealed in Blood (Born & Bred)
54. Julie Roberts: Good Wine & Bad Decisions (Sun)
55. Latyrx: The Second Album (Latyramid)
56. Brian Wright: Rattle Their Chains (Sugar Hill)
57. Amanda Shires: Down Fell the Doves (Lightning Rod)
58. Gary Allan: Set You Free (MCA Nashville)
59. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: The Heist (Macklemore & Lewis)
60. William Onyeabor: Who Is William Onyeabor? (Luaka Bop)
61. Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell: Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch)
62. Beausoleil with Michael Doucet: From Bamako to Carencro (Compass)
63. Less Than Jake: See the Light (Fat Wreck Chords)
64. The Del McCoury Band: The Streets of Baltimore (McCoury)
65. Holly Williams: The Highway (Georgiana)
66. The Slide Brothers: Robert Randolph Presents The Slide Brothers (Concord)
67. Lorde: Pure Heroine (Lava/Republic)
68. The Wood Brothers: The Muse (Southern Ground)
69. The Pistol Annies: Annie Up (Columbia)
70. Richard Thompson: Electric (New West)
71. Linda Oh: Sun Picture (Greenleaf)
72. Rene Marie: I Wanna Be Evil (Motema)
73. Tommy Flanagan/Jaki Byard: The Magic of 2 (Resonance)
74. Goodie Mob: Age Against the Machine (Primary Wave)
75. Ben Allison: The Stars Look Very Different Today (Sonic Camera)
76. Joshua Redman: Walking Shadows (Nonesuch)
77. Carrie Rodriguez: Give Me All You Got (Ninth Street Opus)
78. The Carper Family: Old-Fashioned Gal (Carper Family)
79. Jane Ira Bloom: Sixteen Sunsets (Out-Line)
80. Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya : Madeira (Magenta)
81. Joe Grushecky: Somewhere East of Eden (Schoolhouse)
82. Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience (RCA)
83. Kenny Garrett: Pushing the World Away (Mack Avenue)
84. Gov’t Mule: Shout! (Blue Note)
85. Ashley Monroe: Like a Rose (Warner Bros. Nashville)
86. Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense: Moment & the Message (Pi)
87. Leyla McCalla: Vari-Colored Songs (Music Maker)
88. Of Montreal: Lousy with Sylvianbriar (Polyvinyl)
89. Michael Franti and Spearhead: All People (Capitol)
90. Lonnie Holley: Keeping a Record of It (Dust-to-Digital)
91. Hilary Hahn: In 27 Pieces (Deutsche Grammophon)
92. Avril Lavigne: Avril Lavigne (Epic)
93. Leo Welch: Sabougla Voice (Big Legal Mess)
94. Horace Trahan: All The Way (Trahan)
95. Mary J. Blige: A Mary Christmas (Verve/Interscope)
96. Si Kahn: Bristol Bay (Strictly Country)
97. Nick Lowe: Quality Street (Yep Roc)
98. Bobby Rush: Down in Louisiana (Deep Rush)
99. Otis Taylor: My World Is Gone (Telarc)
100. Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus: The Great Unknown (Berkalin)

Highlights from The Third Coast Songwriter Showcase room at Folk Alliance in Toronto

Highlights from The Third Coast Songwriter Showcase room in Toronto

Every year, thanks to the sponsorship of the Hemet Valley Recovery Center in California and the patronage of our dear friend Freddie Wilson, we host a Hotel Showcase Room at the International Folk Alliance where we feature some of the best (if lesser known) songwriters in the world. We host 55 min. rounds and we encourage interplay and we encourage outside players, so we have some magic happen. There’s a community that has developed around our room that feels like family and the songs get better and better.

This year’s FA was in Toronto, where it was 17 while back home in Austin it was 77.

Favorite Round(s) with Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus as participants:

Tie: Because the rounds were so totally different there was no way to compare them.

Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Michael Fracasso, The Coal Porters

If  Sid Griffin of the Coal Porters has a dozen albums, then we probably own a dozen Sid Griffin albums, from the Long Ryders to his present ‘alt-bluegrass’ band, the Coal Porters. So we’re fans, and to have him and his incredible band on stage with us, much less playing behind us on our songs, was stunning and the room totally rocked.

Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Michael Fracasso, Bettysoo & Doug Cox

With Bettysoo and Doug, this was a set of quieter beauty, but just as powerful. The players on the stage feel like family to each other and it resonates through the room. Doug Cox elevates all of our songs with his expressive, intuitive dobro playing.

Notice a common theme to both rounds? Think we’re Michael Fracasso fans? His songwriting and performing is as good as it gets. See this page to see what we think about Michael.

Clockwise from l: Michael Fracasso, Bettysoo, Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Doug Cox photo by Tom Weber

Favorite Round We Weren’t In:

R.J. Cowdery, Karyn Oliver, and Melissa Greener w/David Glaser sitting in

Favorite Cover:

“Like a Hurricane” – the Coal Porters

Favorite new (to us) songs:

Bettysoo’s “Dream”

Grant Peeples’ “It’s Too Late To Live In Austin”

Dan Navarro’s new one (played with David Glaser), slow, sad, and powerful, played late at night when apparently the part of my brain that remembers titles had gone to sleep for the night.


Any song can be enhanced by a Doug Cox (dobro) or Carly Frey (fiddle, the Coal Porters) solo.

Best First Timer to FA:

Anthony Toner from Belfast, Ireland

Top 32 Most Played Artists on Jim & Sherry’s Jukebox 2012


1 The Beatles
2 Bruce Springsteen
3 Bob Dylan
4 Neil Young
5 The Rolling Stones
6 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
7 John Lilly
8 The Byrds
9 Gene Clark
10 Paul Edward Sanchez
11 John Lennon
12 K.C. Clifford
13 Van Morrison
14 David Newbould
15 Graham Parker
16 John Fullbright
17 Chuck Berry
18 James McMurtry
19 Jeff Talmadge
20 Elvis Presley
21 Sam Baker
22 John Wort Hannam
23 Troy Campbell
24 Warren Zevon
25 Ian Hunter
26 Tommy Keene
27 Jon Dee Graham
28 RJ Cowdery
29 Matt Harlan
30 Mary Cutrufello
31 Jaime Michaels
32 Michael Fracasso



Top 21 Most Played Songs on Jim & Sherry’s Jukebox 2012

Top 21 Most Played Songs on Jim & Sherry’s Jukebox 2012

(includes our computers, Iphones, and IPod)

song artist album
1 Come And Go John Lilly Cold Comfort
2 I’ll Keep Trying RJ Cowdery In This Light
3 SLEEPING DOGS live track Daniel Boling Live from his laptop
4 Little Scar Rod Picott Welding Burns
5 Prettiest Girl In AA Kevin Elliott It’s A Circus Here, Dolores
6 Darker Side of Grey Matt Harlan Bow and Be Simple
7 The Cassette Song Dr. Pants The Trip, Side 2: Breaking The Feel
8 Two Miracles John Lilly Cold Comfort
9 Red Dirt Roads K.C. Clifford The Tag Hollow Sessions
10 After She Broke His Heart Paul Edward Sanchez Yesterday’s Clothes
11 Always Coming Home David Newbould Tennessee
12 Just In Case K.C. Clifford The Tag Hollow Sessions
13 Big Ol’ Moon Paul Edward Sanchez Yesterday’s Clothes
14 Hardlly Ever See ‘Em Bill Poss Hay
15 Daydreamer John Fullbright From The Ground Up
16 Tore Up From The Floor Up John Lilly Cold Comfort
17 Moving John Fullbright From The Ground Up
18 Long Haul Effron White Long Haul
19 Demons Falling Down Brian Kalinec The Fence
20 Across The Universe The Beatles Anthology 2 [Disc 2]
21 One More Day 8-21-10 Jon Patton