Ok. So I changed the name of this monthly playlist thingy from “What I’ve Been Listening To” to “What To Listen To” because I wanted to make it more about you instead of just about me. I’m still drawing on what I’ve been listening to, day to day, from the month before but this way I can include you folks more as you look for new music or old favorites.

So this month I’ve gathered eight songs from the load of stuff I’ve been listening to in March, including Blues, Rock and Folk music and I think you’ll like the mix! So hit the play button on the video playlist above, sit back and enjoy!

First up is Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds and their new single “Mama Knows.” This band is the perfect summer music festival group and you can tell for a fact in some of their videos online. What strikes me most about this band is the energy and power of lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe as well as the great harmonica playing. After that in the first segment is a track from the classic Fleetwood Mac album, The Dance. Specifically the song “Big Love” performed solo by Lindsey Buckingham. The way he can play such a difficult guitar part and still sing as well as he does is impressive.

The second segment of this month’s playlist features two contemporary Irish singer/songwriters. First is Glen Hansard who just released a new EP called It Was a Triumph We Once Proposed. This is a tribute to Jason Molina the singer/songwriter of the band Songs:Ohia who passed away a couple of years ago. The EP contains five Molina covers including “Being in Love” which I have included in the playlist. Damien Rice is the second Irish songwriter whose album My Favorite Faded Fantasy from last year was his first release of new music in 8 years. This playlist has “I Don’t Want to Change You” from that particular album.

Laura Marling has become one of my favorite young singer/songwriters and has been very prolific since first starting to release music. She has just released a new album called Short Movie which she produced herself. This album focuses more on the electric guitar than her previous albums and she continues to explore her sound and delivery of her lyrics within the songs. “False Hope” is one song from this album that I have queued up for the playlist. Then, just like I went back and listened to Fleetwood Mac, I went back and listened to another classic rock band, The Band. The song that I have in the playlist is one that Dylan wrote but nobody does it like the band does. “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” from the Cahoots album, will always be a song belonging to The Band.

Finally I finish out this month’s playlist with two folk songs. The first is from a new Smithsonian collection called Classic American Ballads. As many of you know, I love murder ballads and there are plenty in this collection including one sung by Doug Wallin called “Omie Wise” which tells the story of a man killing his love and then turing himself in at the end. This happens in many murder ballads so I think I’ll explore this idea in a post soon. To end out the playlist, I have Scottish folk singer Jean Redpath and her song “The Bank O’ The Red Roses.” The way Redpath can deliver the feeling of these old folk songs in mesmerizing. Listen to this song and maybe a whole album if you have a chance and you’ll see what I mean.

Thanks for checking out this month’s playlist. If you have some cool songs you’re listening to please feel free to make some recommendations in the comment section below. I’ll check them out and maybe include it in next month’s playlist!

what to listen to