Home > Mix CD-Rs > Have Song, Will Sing Vol. 1

Have Song, Will Sing Vol. 1

Last year I did a series of Songbirds which seems to have been quite popular, showcasing female artists who fall within the singer-songwriter genre which unaccountably has acquired something of a bad name among the critics. In my view, the genre has not been in a more fertile state since the 1970s. Indeed, it is probably more varied now than it was then.

I”ve thought of doing a similar series on male singer-songwriters (which I might call “Singers with names like schoolteachers”, borrowing a great dig from the Welsh music writer Simon Price). In the meantime, here is a collection of some of the male singer-songwriters I hold in high esteem. What they have in common is that they write the songs they sing, and are broadly, if not invariably, acoustic performers. But the mix transcends such narrow characterisations. Their sensibilities range from folk (such as Mason Jennings) to pop (Bob Evans, Benji Cossa) to indie (Jens Lekman, Josh Ritter) to soul (Amos Lee) to country (Joe Purdy) to rock (Charlie Sexton, Scott Matthews). Most are American, but other nations are also represented, such as Australia (Evans), England (David Ford), Sweden (Lekman) and South Africa (the excellent Farryl Purkiss).

Some are well-known (such as Damien Jurado or, again, Ritter and Lekman), others are without a record contract. Josh Woodward, whose previous album I enjoyed very much, has made his new, very good double set titled The Simple Life available for free download on his website. If you like the sample track on this mix, download it and share it widely. TV viewers will recognise the Steve Poltz song from the Jeep ad, while Landon Pigg”s voice is used to advertise diamonds (albeit with a different, very beautiful, song).

My shortlist is not exhausted. If this mix proves popular, I intend to compile a volume of Songbirds and then a co-ed one. Let me know what you think.

As always, the mix should fit on a standard CD-R.

1. Steve Poltz – You Remind Me (from Chinese Vacation, 2003)
Bob Evans – Friend (from Suburban Songbook, 2006)
Farryl Purkiss – Ducking And Diving (from Farryl Purkiss, 2006)
Mason Jennings – Which Way Your Heart Will Go (from Boneclouds, 2006)
Landon Pigg – Can’t Let Go (from Coffee Shop EP, 2008)
Joshua Radin – The Fear You Won’t Fall (from Unclear Sky EP, 2008)
Jay Brannan – Can’t Have It All (from Chinese Vacation, 2003)
David Ford – Cheer Up (You Miserable Fuck) (from I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I’ve Caused, 2005)
Josh Ritter – Wait For Love (You Know You Will) (from The Historical Conquests Of, 2007)
Damien Jurado – Simple Hello (from On My Way To Absence, 2005)
Charlie Sexton – Cruel And Gentle Things (from Cruel And Gentle Things, 2005)
Griffin House – Just A Dream (from Lost And Found, 2004)
Josh Woodward – History Repeats (from The Simple Life, 2008)
Jens Lekman – I Saw Her in the Anti War Demonstration (from Oh You’re So Silent Jens, 2005)
Kevin Devine – Probably (from … travelling the EU EP, 2003)
Joe Purdy – Why You (from Only Four Seasons, 2006)
Amos Lee – Long Line Of Pain (live) (from Supply And Demand, 2006)
Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday (from Ash Wednesday, 2007)
Scott Matthews – Passing Stranger (from Passing Stranger, 2007)
Benji Cossa – The Show Is Over Everywhere (from Between The Blue And The Green, 2007)


  1. Sample Vinyl
    July 28th, 2008 at 23:50 | #1

    We love your blog! We have started a private, members only MP3 blog. Email us at samplevinyl@gmail.com for an invitation code

  2. Anonymous
    July 29th, 2008 at 02:03 | #2

    Oooooh, where is the Songbirds series to be found? I really love female singer/songwriters – AND I love your blog, so I’d be very happy finding the link to that series!

  3. Anonymous
    July 29th, 2008 at 02:06 | #3

    Oops, sorry, please forget my previous post. Found the link already. Thanks a lot for this series and for your great blog!

  4. Anonymous
    August 1st, 2008 at 07:35 | #4

    Just wanted to leave a quick thanks for all the work you do on this blog, brilliant writing & music.Came across it from the WSC/OTF Website.Your Solo Beatles Mixes and Songbirds CD's have been my Summer Soundtrack this year.Ever heard of Cat Power, please put up a couple of her tracks when you do Volume 6! – her album The Greatest really does live up to its name.Thanks again, excellent blog.

  5. Anonymous
    August 6th, 2008 at 22:49 | #5

    Thank you major dude for the heads up on Josh Woodward. Great stuff, and I’m spreading the word. “Q”

  6. tina
    August 7th, 2008 at 21:10 | #6

    STEVE POLTZ!!! Now there is a man who does not get enough attention.Fantastic job with your blog. Great writing and great music. Keep it up.

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