Summer (Music) Lovin': My Top Albums of the Summer!

Happy Summer, TBA Readers!

Kickin' off the summer means sharing with you fine folks my Top 5 Albums of the Summer. Some of these records were not technically released this Summer, but they were pretty darned close and I am certainly enjoying them during these hot, humid months. So, call it musical poetic license (if you will) and read on. Hopefully you'll give these artists a listen and support their music.

Oh, and catch them on tour all over this fine planet.

Genuine Negro Jig - Carolina Chocolate Drops

This jug band/bluegrass trio does not disappoint. We went to their show at the Sellersville Theatre at the end of May and were blown away. Despite playing a stripped down set featuring fiddle, banjo, dobro, jug and wooden spoons, the Carolina Chocolate Drops mesmerized us with their stories, jig dancing and musical arrangements that featured authentic music and lyrics paired with a hint of contemporary flair.

For a taste of one of the more authentic songs, listen to "Snowden's Jig".

For their take on a contemporary song, listen to their cover of "Hit Em Up Style".

Shout It Out - Hanson (Don't judge!)

Watch this video of "Thinking 'Bout Somethin" and tell me you don't find yourself snapping your fingers or clapping along. I can't help but feel better after watching it. I have always loved the Hanson harmonies. If you are in the mood for a lightweight, "feel good", summertime album, this might be the one for you.

 

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

Take a few minutes and listen to this album streaming live at Grace Potter's website. I really dig the song "Tiny Light". I first saw Grace Potter & The Nocturnals perform at The XPoNential Music Festival in Summer 2006. They blew us away with their energy and non-stop jamming. Their previous album, This is Somewhere, is also among my favorites - particularly "Ah Mary" and "Apologies". They are touring in support of the release of their most recent album. To truly appreciate this band, go see them live...and that is an order!

To the Sea - Jack Johnson

I've always been drawn to Jack Johnson's songs - catchy lyrics make me happy and tap my toes. "Banana Pancakes" (from his album, In Between Dreams) is among my favorites. To the Sea is a great summer soundtrack - ripe with catchy guitar riffs and fun lyrics. Check out "You and Your Heart", his first single from this album.

 

Letting Go - Jennifer Knapp

The first album of new music in NINE years from Jennifer Knapp has blown me away. Having followed her music since I discovered her in 1998 at Cornerstone Music Festival in Illinois, I was disappointed when she left the business, moved to Australia and virtually disappeared. Her first album, Kansas, took hold of me and wouldn't let go. With Letting Go, Knapp opens herself up musically, sharing honest and bittersweet moments, many of which reflect her coming out as a lesbian. The response to this album and her coming out has been truly inspiring, but not without backlash from the many Christians who followed her music before she came out publicly this Spring. Highlights of this album include "Inside", "Mr. Gray", "On Love" and "Fallen". Watch an acoustic version of her song, "Dive In" here.

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