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Bluebird Quarantunes: Erika's Playlist

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Looking to discover some new tunes while you're stuck at home? The Bluebird staff has you covered! Each weekend, we'll be putting out a new quarantunes playlist curated by one of our staff members. Today's playlist is brought to you by The Bluebird Cafe General Manager, Erika Wollam-Nichols.

So as I look at this COVID-19 playlist, I see a lot of nostalgia and a search for meaning.  Music gives us power, release and connection.  These songs are helping me with all three.

John Prine:

"Fish & A Whistle"

The song we used to sing in our darkrooms when I was in photography school.  Nothing like a resounding chorus of, “Then I got fired for being scared of bees, and they only give me fifty cents an hour.”  The whine of “OWWW – er” became stronger depending if it was 10PM and we were just starting the night or we were still printing at 3AM with a few beers.  This one is always for my best pal from school, Cindy, who passed away last Mother’s Day.  Farewell Cindy and John, I know you’re both whistling and fishing in heaven.

Bruce Springsteen:

"Land of Hope and Dreams"

Live version. “This train---faith will be rewarded.” That’s all I need to hear to get on board.

Andra Day:

"Rise Up"

I’ve heard this song is an anthem for the health care workers – and truly all of us, since, to raise a cliché that I do actually believe, we are all in this together.       

Jay Buchanan:

"Feel Better"

I love Jay’s voice and the power he puts behind the song.  It feels like both a raised fist of external strength and a quiet deep breath of resolve to say, “Together our lives are just one passing minute”.

Louis Armstrong:

"What A Wonderful World"

Always reminds me there's an amazing world all around us, small whispers of the magical and beautiful. I can't argue with Louis Armstrong!

David Ramierez:

"A Rock and A Hard Place"

A song that describes making your way against some of life’s odds.  There is strength and humanity in the trials we experience - how we make our way through those and come out on the other side.

Warren Zevon:

"Don’t Let Us Get Sick"

I mean, is there another song that encapsulates this time better?

Vince Gill:

"I Will Always Love You"

Of course, Vince is always amazing, as is this song, but if you want to stop in your tracks and forget every song you’ve heard for the past three months, listen to Vince’s live version on the concert at the Ryman celebrating Ken Burns‘ documentary “Country Music”.  I was there and the entire show was breathtaking but every other epic performance was washed away for me, softly but surely, as I heard this.  You may need to watch the entire concert to hear this song and if you do, congrats.  You just saw the show of a lifetime.

Patty Griffin:

"Mary"

For me, this song talks about the intersection of the mundane and the holy.  We get to live in both worlds.

Don Henry:
"Road To Paradise"

Love, love, love this song.  Reminds me that, in the words of Dan Elgin, The Journey is the Destination.” And how we can forget to appreciate the moment we’re in…even this moment.

Matt The Electrician:

"The Bear"

To me, the Bear is the innocent and wild part of ourselves that is searching to understand this complicated world we have created.

Beth Nielsen Chapman:

"Sand & Water"

I love rocks. They're old. I have them all over my house. Bring them home when I travel. Get rocks from friends when they travel. I love how Beth uses such common elements to talk about time; not just human liftemines but eternal time.

Queen:

Live Aid Concert

Right, its not a song…but a life-changing experience.  If I feel like I can’t face the day, all I need to do is channel my inner Freddy Mercury and watch this set.  I get goosebumps, everytime.  So, should you see me in my white tank top, you’ll know that I’m taking on the day as a badass!

- Erika Wollam-Nichols