Tag Archives: jeff talmadge

Top Played Songs, CDs, and Artists 2015

The Top 19 Most Played Songs on Jim & Sherry’s ITunes, IPods, Iphones, etc. 2015

12341574_10153295201073589_1453186312392572319_n1 End Of The World Jean Synodinos love & blood
2 These Things I’ve Come To Know James McMurtry Complicated Games
3 Wildflowers [Live] Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers The Live Anthology
4 Keep Me In Your Heart Christine Albert Everythings Beautiful Now
5 Picture Jean Synodinos love & blood
6 Among the Believers Darlene Love Introducing Darlene Love
7 You Got To Me James McMurtry Complicated Games
8 This Morning Jean Synodinos love & blood
9 The Damage Youve Done Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Let Me Up Ive Had Enough
10 Real Renegade Jean Synodinos love & blood
11 Aint Got A Place James McMurtry Complicated Games
12 Runaway Trains Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Let Me Up Ive Had Enough
13 Out Of My Mind Buffalo Springfield; Neil Young Buffalo Springfield Box Set [Disc 1]
14 A Wasted Life Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Long After Dark
15 How Many More Days Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Let Me Up I’ve Had Enough
16 The Starry Eyed The Belle Sounds The Belle Sounds
17 Stories We Can Tell Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Pack Up The Plantation: Live!
18 She Doesnt Love Him Anymore (demo) Jeff Talmadge 2015 6 Song Ideas
19 It’s Too Late To Live In Austin Grant Peeples & The Peeples Republik Punishing The Myth

Your questions premptively answered:

  1. Why 19 songs?  Fits on one CD.
  2. Are these the best songs of 2015? No, they’re the songs we listened to the most. Most aren’t even from 2015.
  3. How much music do you listen to during a year?  According to ITunes, over 6500 individual songs.
  4. I’m an artist on your list. How will this help me?  It will give you exposure to at least a dozen people.

It was a weird year listening to music for me. I liked a lot of new CDs, but only two got played consistently at our house and in our cars: Jean Synodinos’ Love and Blood and James McMurtry’s Complicated Games. 

Other things affected our listening: Lee (Daktari) Cadorette told me he thought the Buffalo Springfield Box Set was overrated, which led me to spend a lot of time with the Springfield, to see if he was right. (I played my edited 37 song version of the box set over and over and I felt no pain.)

I spent the first half the 2015 writing a novel, and I spent a lot of time listening to the music of the late 60s, early 70s, where much of the story takes place.

And there’s no special reason for Tom Petty to get so much play, except we must be Petty fans. I especially liked the Live Anthology, the disc of outtakes on the box set, and Let Me Up I’ve Had Enough, which I underrated when it came out.

Also Jean Synodinos’ album didn’t come out until September or she would have been higher up on the CD list.

Top 10 most played CDs

1 Buffalo Springfield Buffalo Springfield Box Set, vol 1
2 The Who Thirty Years of Maximum R&B, vol 1
3 James McMurtry Complicated Games
4 Buffalo Springfield Buffalo Springfield Box Set, vol 2
5 Tom Petty Live Anthology
6 The Long Ryders Best of the Long Ryders
7 Jean Synodinos Love & Blood
8 The Rascals The Ultimate Rascals
9 Tom Petty Playback, disc 6
10 Donovan Donovan’s Greatest Hits

Top Ten Most Played Artists

1 Tom Petty
2 Buffalo Springfield
3 The Who
4 Bob Dylan
5 The Rolling Stones
6 The Byrds
7 The Beatles
8 Bonnie Raitt
9 James McMurtry
10 The Long Ryders
top 25 included Jean Synodinos, Jeff Talmadge, and Jimmy LaFave

Neither of us realized we had played the Long Ryders as much as we did, but we’ve been Sid Griffin fans for a long time.

If you don’t know who the Belle Sounds are, check out last year’s post. The Starry Eyed is that rare song that makes our top list 2 years in a row. Great song, great band.

The Jeff Talmadge song is a co-write with Jim that we played over and over for friends. (One said: “That’s the saddest song ever written!”) Our version, with Sherry singing lead, is on our new, as yet unreleased CD.  You can pre-order The Hard Part of Flying here.

The picture of Jean Synodinos above was taken by Ron Baker at the fundraising/birthday party we had at NeWorlDeli to master our new CD, where 9 great songwriters joined us.





Recently at a show on the road, an old friend came up to tell me he was sorry about my brother. I didn’t know what he was talking about until he said: “You know, the drugs, ‘Son of My Father’,” which is a song of mine in which “my” brother ends up in the housing projects because of his addiction to drugs. Never happened; not to my brother. In that same song, “my” father goes to jail, something else that never happened.

I once sent my mom a clipping from Bar Harbor ME, thinking she’d be pleased to see us getting articles that far away. But the article ended by saying that the songs, especially “Son of My Father”, were clearly drawn from my own life. After that Mom wanted to follow me around the country, jumping up each time I played that song, shouting: “His father did not go to jail! His brother is not a junkie!”

Once we opened with “Son of My Father” here in Austin and afterwards one of my favorite songwriters said to me: “Is that first song about you? Because it would explain so much.” It might, if it was about me. It’s someone’s story, but not mine.

That doesn’t mean I’m not in it somewhere. Who, growing up, hasn’t sworn they’d never be like their parents? And the bridge, where the character asks what’s the difference between him and his addicted family, well I’m in there too, I guess, though talking to my friends, not my family.

But the point is that even in my most personal songs, everything is a story. I don’t think you can get much more personal than “Ballad of the Oxbow Inn” but even in that mostly true story, I take liberties with events, combine characters, and put in some things that just never happened because they make a better story. A song like “Another Pretty Deep Hole” combines several friends and events into one character.

I’m cautious about explaining too much here because it’s like a magician showing his tricks. In the best songs you do believe the singer and I don’t want to take that away from any of our audience. And it’s what the song means to you as a listener that matters.

Jeff Talmadge and I have a new song that illustrates one way we write and one way we push a song into new dimensions. It’s called “My Hometown’s Not My Hometown Anymore”, and it combines our different hometown experiences into one. Jeff’s small town is literally gone. He showed me pictures of closed and shuttered doors and windows, and tumbleweeds blowing down Main Street. My town, which I usually refer to as Swan Point in my songs, was a small town when I moved there that has been overrun by the suburbs, to where you can’t tell the difference between the suburban landscapes as you drive down Ritchie Highway.

But the experience the character has going back is neither of ours. In one line I sing: “No one knows my name” which is nowhere close to the truth for us. We’ve been playing to sold out crowds in Annapolis (Harbortowne in my songs) mostly to people who went to the same high school around the same time I did and it’s been wonderful.  We love them all. When I sing “Everybody here has gotten out or gotten old” , it doesn’t apply to my life at all. But the song is more complicated than that. The place names are from “Swan Point”, but those places have been gone 40 years. The character feels to me like he’s in 1994 or so (the year we moved from Maryland), bemoaning the loss of a world he professed not to care about anyway, wondering if the kids he’s watching will figure it out earlier than he did. And that’s how you get to something new, or one way, anyway.

There are other dangers in taking what songwriters say too literally. I write from memory a lot; those experiences will never die inside me. When I was 22, my closest friend was killed in a car wreck and my first love broke up with me, all within a few months. I don’t need to have more tragedy to write about tragedy. I know what it feels like to be brokenhearted and lonely. In the paraphrased words of Chuck Berry, “I may be old, man, but I can remember!”

And as a songwriter I feel no compunction to be fair. I see each incident as a circle that I move around, writing songs from a different angle, moving on to the next one. Maybe I’ll get to ‘fair’ in the next song, but my latest is called “My Heart’s Turned To Stone” and I didn’t worry about being fair at all.