Hi Mom, there’s one song that has always reminded me of you and thrown me into a time I have no memory of, but really take joy in imagining.

A long time ago, you played “To Zion” by Lauryn Hill, and you told me that you used to dance to the song while you were pregnant with me. (For the record, I have a lot of weird childhood memories that may or may not have been dreams and imaginary scenarios, so if this didn’t happen, we might need to start having conversations about my memory problems).

Anyway, the good news is that I have never danced to this song while pregnant, because I have never been (thank god), but even better news is that I have danced to this song hundreds of times and thought of you every one of them. It’s my go-to place when I’m feeling a little homesick, or uncomfortable, or having a melancholy day that could use some hugs. This song is like a hug, and I’m not sure that I ever told you you’re the reason why.

Happy Birthday to the most incredible woman I will ever know. Thank you for everything you’ve done!

Happy Birthday Donnell!!!

To start off your birthday extravaganza, I thought I would share one of your favorite songs from one of your favorite bands.

We have seen this band together in St. Louis, Chicago, Aurora, and Denver. Every time, we have an amazing time, and they put on an amazing show. Of course, I’m talking about Tedeschi Trucks Band!

Every time I hear one of their songs, I cannot help but think of you, and specifically you singing and grooving to the song. I suppose that comes from seeing a band live together many, many times.

For your Song of the Day, I am picking “Midnight in Harlem.” It is one of the first songs we heard from the band, and it is one of the songs I can clearly see you singing when I hear the song.

I hope you have an amazing birthday and cannot wait until we can get out and see a show together again!

Without having to drive all around St. Louis for high school pickup, soccer practices and games, and baseball practices and games, I have found myself with a little time on my hands. Other than writing more on the ol’ blog, I have also picked up the bass and poked around on the piano more often than I have in years.

There is one song I have always wanted to play on bass, and if I could master that one song, I would feel like I finally figured out how to play that thing. That song is the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ version of “Higher Ground.” Flea is a monster on that song (and every song he plays) and pretty much offers a master class on how to play funk and rock bass. Amazing!

So, for today’s Song of the Day, imagine Flea and the rest of the boys jumping around the stage back in the 80’s and 90’s in nothing but a sock!

I have been enjoying watching James Taylor on this season of The Voice. He is a rock and roll hall of famer through and through, and I have appreciated his comments to the relatively young musicians on the show.

When I hear a James Taylor song, I always think back to the good times we had in our first townhouse with our neighbors and good friends James and Lisa. We both had young daughters at that time, loved music, and enjoyed grilled meats and drinks so we had a lot in common and spent quality time together. James Taylor was one of James and Lisa’s favorite musicians so we listened often.

In memory of all of those great times with great friends, today’s Song of the Day is “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the first Saturday Night Live ever filmed at home from last Saturday, check it out on your DVR, on demand, on YouTube, on whatever. It was really excellent and showed some pretty amazing creativity from some of the best in the business stuck at home like the rest of us.

Chris Martin was the musical guest and played a great rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm” from 1975’s “Blood on the Tracks.” It was the perfect choice of song for the times we are all experiencing alone together.

For today’s Song of the Day, we’re going to go back to that original Bob Dylan version of “Shelter from the Storm.” It is one of my favorite songs on one of my favorite albums. We all could use a little shelter right now.

Happy Easter!

For those of you who celebrate Easter, I know this is a weird one. Back in high school and college, I would have played at a couple masses by now, but today, churches around the world are empty. That Easter Eve midnight mass at Holy Angels was always a fascinating, head-turning experience.

For today’s Song of the Day, I wanted to share one of the most spiritual albums I know. John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” is an absolute masterpiece. It is impossible to not feel something when listening to the album. Coltrane and the band created music that you can see if you close your eyes. The album is really quite something.

For today’s Song of the Day, let’s all take a moment to enjoy one of the greatest jazz albums and songs of all time: “A Love Supreme, Pt. 1: Acknowledgement” by John Coltrane.

Yes, I know it’s April 12th, and I’m a day late on this one, but I did have a song in mind yesterday so I wanted to make sure to share it.

I try to keep my ears open to new music regardless of the genre. We let the kids control the radio from time to time when they’re in the car so we can hear their current favorite songs. It’s not always easy, and I might not always like what I hear, but that’s the whole point of the exercise.

From time to time, an artist comes around that stretches the boundaries of genres. In the mid-2010’s, I started hearing and reading about a country artist who was stretching the definition of the country music genre, and then I listened to Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” all the way through. It blew me away! The story behind the album is equally amazing. Sturgill wrote the album to welcome his son into the world. How cool is that?

My favorite song on the album is “Keep It Between the Lines.” Horns, funk, and groove on a “country” album – what is there not to like? Enjoy!

It was way back in 1997 when a group of us took the train into the city for 93XRT’s Free 4th of July concert which was our tradition for many years. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear some great free music surrounded by all of the restaurant vendors at Taste of Chicago? And, the actual 4th of July was the best day to go back then because the crowds were smaller.

Well, our main reason for going that day was to see Big Head Todd & The Monsters (and Collective Soul to some extent), but by the time the show was over, I had a new favorite Chicago-based band. An up-and-coming acid jazz group named Liquid Soul opened the show that day and blew the crowd away. The crowd was up and moving and going nuts! I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Liquid Soul’s music seamlessly combined jazz, funk, soul, rock, R&B, rap, and everything in between. From that point forward, I would see as many shows as I could and managed to convince many friends and coworkers to go along for the ride. If you missed the Chicago acid jazz scene back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, check out Liquid Soul! They even played at Bill Clinton’s 1996 inaugural parade so you know they’re cool.

So, to start your Friday off right, here is a little soul for you – a little Liquid to the Soul, that is! Today’s Song of the Day is “Worlds’ on a Leash” by Liquid Soul.