Saturday Jams – A Vicarious Vacation Ed.

Back in the Golden Age of Rob’s Surf Report, Rob was bitten; not by a radioactive lobster, but by an idea to post a weekly article about a few songs that he really likes. There are so many possibilities that the series could go on forever, and so . . . Saturday Jams was born.

Well. I don’t know how it is where you are in the world, but around here it feels like the blizzard has subsided. The wind is lower, and as a consequence the snow is drifting far less. The snowplows came through this morning at about four a.m., and I could practically hear the hallelujah chorus as I noted the gates were down on the plows – i.e., someone has figured out how to plow without burying our vehicles! Of course I was going to bed at this time, after a night of working on the LEGO winter village (and Fortnite) and so I got up at 9:30 because I’m crazy and need to reset my sleep schedule. Went and picked up some groceries, donuts and coffee, and upon getting home I proceeded to unbury the wife’s car, which was a great snow hump in the driveway with drifts all around. Not to mention the approach on the driveway was about two feet deep. All the way down.

And I wasn’t going to do a Saturday Jams! I felt like I needed a plan going into this, and yet for some reason I recall some of my better Saturday Jams posts being more off the cuff. I was thinking about how nice it will be if we’re able to take our trip to the Southwest this Spring for a wedding on the wife’s side of the family — Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada, etc. — so in the interest of taking a breather from trying to plan out Satuday Jams, I’m going to play it fast and loose and just enjoy the scenery as I fall headlong down the rabbit-hole of prompts.

Today’s first selection is inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge, and the word of the day is “repair“. From the artist who I first heard singing about love on the Chattahoochee River — coincidentally, his first single to chart in the Billboard Hot 100, and which won CMA awards for single and song of the year in 1993. After passing up on recording this song on two previous albums, Alan Jackson finally released The Talkin’ Song Repair Blues on 2005’s What I Do, and it peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

You can fix a car and you can fix a song. Ultimately, which one is worth more? You can’t put a price on lyrics like these.

Our next song is inspired by the Ragtag Community’s Ragtag Daily Prompt, and today’s word is “sharp”. From the moment I read it, I knew where it was taking me . . . or so I thought. Instead of posting the vintage, low-def video of three ladies turning a parking valet into a star after pulling up in the Eliminator, I found a very cool cover from none other than Country’s Crown Prince of Chicken Pickin’, Brad Paisley.

Paisley recorded this version of the song for the 2002 compilation album Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute to ZZ Top, and the video does not disappoint. The three surviving members of ZZ Top make their appearance here, playing onstage with a barrage of Country musicians, and while Paisley’s work may not make Guitar World’s list of Greatest Guitar Solos as did Billy Gibbons’ in the original, it dazzles in its own right.

Though I chose not to run with the original video by ZZ Top here, it bears Jamming in a future post where its roles can be explored without actually being a repeat. Honestly, I can’t guarantee that someday I won’t repeat something.

Our final selection is the last single from Modest Mouse’s 2007 album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank — which debuted at No. 1 in the Billboard 200 in its first week — and is inspired by today’s WordPress daily prompt: what cities do you want to visit?

Indeed, right now more than ever I wouldn’t mind filling in my map of states that I’ve been to, but it would mean nothing if I didn’t take my people with me. Honestly, after fifteen years I’m still trying to figure this song out.

In a word: “sappy”. Pun intended.

So that’s a wrap for an inclement weather, vicarious vacation, just wishing there was more time for everything, everyday edition of Saturday Jams. I hope you’re all staying happy and warm, and that wherever you are, that your holidays are shaping up to be a celebration of life, love, and libations — even if it’s just black coffee or tea. Hopefully I’ll get another one of these out next Saturday; until then, keep on jamming.

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