The staff of the College Football America Yearbook is on the road every weekend of the college football season, shooting games and gathering information for the following year’s book. That means a lot of driving and listening to a lot of music.
Earlier this year our College Football America Yearbook publisher Kendall Webb and our director of editorial content Chuck Cox put together ‘The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music.’ Each of them sat down and compiled a list of 100 great albums. Their goal was not to select the ‘100 greatest albums of all time.’ It was simply to select 100 great albums to write about as they passed the time during quarantine and shelter-at-home orders.
This 2020 college football season will be unprecedented in so many ways. It’s very likely none of us will be on the road for games because, like most people, we’re trying to stay healthy. And we hope you are too.
So, for the next 100 days, we’re going to publish their countdown here at CollegeFootballAmericaPR.com (the list was originally published on Webb’s personal site, kendallwebb.net). Consider it the ultimate playlist for the ultimate college road trip — music for every taste, from every genre and from every decade of the modern era of music. When the staff of the College Football America Yearbook is back on the road, you can bet these will be some of the tunes we’re listening to.
And, if you missed the previous installments of our series, just click here to head to the Coronavirus Countdown — 100 Days of Great Music home page.
Here’s Day 60
After yesterday’s lineup of classics that all seemed to fit together, today is one of those days where our lists are at odds.
So it’s a good day to introduce you to an artist you might not have heard. Earlier in the countdown, Chuck gave you an album by Kacey Musgraves, and Kendall is back today with another, different album by the brilliant young artist.
But you may be less familiar with the music of her husband, an Americana artist and a fine songwriter in his own right (note: Musgraves and her husband filed for divorce in 2020). Musgraves released her Grammy-winning Golden Hour in 2018 which took the music world by storm. On another level, her husband Ruston Kelly also released his debut album that year titled Dying Star. It’s well worth your time, and it’s your bonus pick of the day.
— Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb
CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY
Why I Love It
As you have probably figured out by now, I am a hair band aficionado. The look, the music and the fun the bands of that era had drew me in like a groupie to a lead singer. The funny thing is that for all of the sexual innuendo and general bombast of these bands, they always seemed to throw down a power ballad or two on their albums. Some of the lyrics and musicianship on a lot of these slower, more emotional songs was fantastic. Honestly, they are some of the best songs of the era. It was a power ballad on this album, “House of Pain,” that hit home with me more than any other. The song is about a kid whose relationship with his dad is strained by divorce. At the time, I was going through a similar situation with my father. This song spoke to me like few ever had before or since. The album closes with another great power ballad, “Please Dear,” but it is otherwise everything I expected from a fun hair metal band who later recorded a song called “Big Dictionary. Wake Me When It’s Over is a damn good album that I dearly love.
“Poison Ivy,” “House of Pain” and “Tattoo”
Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day
Well, alrighty then. This is why Chuck is here because I knew he’d take this countdown in directions that I wouldn’t go — to give it variety and introduce you to things you wouldn’t get from me. This is one of those moments. Now, that isn’t to say I’m not familiar with the album. I actually know it very well, and the high points are worth your time. “House Of Pain” is a personal favorite, in fact, and worth the price of admission alone on this album.
KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY
Why I Love It
This is one of those modern-day classics that will someday be hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time.
I realize that’s quite a statement, but at a time when country music (at least the modern radio version) has no traditional country aesthetic, Musgraves has created something that is almost completely unclassifiable by any country standard from a production standpoint. And, yet, it is more of a country album than anything on country radio thanks to the fact it is firmly anchored to the genre’s historical and topical traditions with songs like “Butterflies,” “Mother,” “Space Cowboy,” “High Horse” and “Rainbow.” It’s a moody, dreamy, sometimes sultry affair that seeps into your synapses, but this time around, Musgraves eschews her tendency to wrap lyrics up with clever twists of phrase. Instead, she uses the music itself as almost a hypnotic cover to prepare you for a level of directness in the lyrics that is missing from her previous albums. It feels belletristic at first thanks to the production, but a close listen to the words once again reveals that Musgraves is a writer with exceptional gifts and a remarkably deep and clear understanding of the human condition
“Slow Burn,” “Lonely Weekend” and “Space Cowboy”
Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day
Earlier on the countdown, I had Kacey’s debut album, Same Trailer Different Park. This record shows how much she has grown as an artist in the last six-plus years. The clever lyrics and beautiful voice are still there, but the lyrics are those of an older, wiser artist. That added life experience makes for some truly beautiful moments, like “Oh, What a World” and “Butterflies.” For my money, Kacey is one of the best in the business. I expect her to continue making great music for years to come.