"A superb, judiciously chosen overview of the excellent, diverse music emerging from Southwest Florida. Roll down the windows, crank this up and fly down your favorite freeway."
—Wade Tatangelo, syndicated music writer/McClatchy Newspapers
Feature Tracks: #1, #9, #10 (National add-date: April 5, 2011)
On the cover: Burk Uzzle, "Car on a Pole," 2001, gelatin silver print, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL, Gift of William Knight Zewadski, © Burk Uzzle
Inside: Nick Nicks, "Airstream Ranch Sunrise," 2009, © Nick Nicks
#1 Time Machine (3:40) Distinguished by aching viola, another instant favorite from Bradenton’s Have Gun, Will Travel. They’re beginning to show up on TV (PBS’ “Roadtrip Nation” theme song, a national Chevy commercial) but just remember: you heard it here first.
# 2 California Diamonds (4:35) Tampa Bay’s eating up all the sweet, heartfelt goodness the six Grecian Urns can dish out. With two pairs of siblings, they’re tight in song and by blood. The result is an “acoustic, folky version of Arcade Fire.” (Creative Loafing)
# 3 Twin Peaks (3:59) The ride’s been fast and furious for the Sleepy Vikings who were named one of the four best bands (out of 650) at NXNE 2011 by Paste magazine. They then scored a CMJ showcase, signed a deal with New Grenada Records and got an official SXSW showcase spot in 2011.
# 4 Baby Don’t Leave (3:02) The Vessenmeyers of Experimental Pilot might bicker like brothers and take forever with their creations, but this song is one of their best efforts ever, with its Beach Boy-esque break and perfect harmonies. unreleased
# 5 Drive On (4:12) Ricky Wilcox was still better known in Tampa Bay for Deloris Telescope when this song was first released. The driving beat hints of The Cars and its lyrics remind us of a time when waiting for a call meant sitting at home by the phone.
#6 The Walk (4:14) Alexander & The Grapes offer up “a sweet and juicy wallop of pop, psychedelic and country.” (tbt*)
#7 He Looked Up (3:00) With the addition of Lakeland’s Walking Catfish, BAAMO officially stakes claim on Polk County and hums along to the Catfish brand of quirky “old-fashioned indie rock.” (Lakeland Ledger)
#8 Godspeed (3:07) It's just a fact that this is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Here, Rebekah Pulley duets with Dean Johanesen of The Human Condition. The song is also featured in the movie, Beautiful Noise, filming now in Sarasota.
#9 Driving Back in Time (2:50) NEW Ronny Elliott narrates a classic cruise featuring his favorite themes & characters, with Rebekah Pulley along for the ride to lend an echoing hand. unreleased
#10 Hard Times (4:46) Perpetual favorites Rebekah Pulley & The Reluctant Prophets mix a sly sense of humor in this tender and otherwise sad tale. unreleased
#11 Cuyahoga River Blues (4:57) He’s played it live to raves for awhile. Now Will Quinlan has finally shared this silky story and we are glad. unreleased
#12 Driver (3:07) Wendy Rich went all the way to Nashville to find a band in Kevin McKendree’s DICK 50 able to keep up with her giant, happy voice. The result is an exuberant enticement to hit the road.
#13 Man or Moon (3:36) Sarasota’s Sons of Hippies should be the next big CMJ breakout and this song should top CMJ “Best of” lists. College towns are clamoring for more after 2010 tours because this indie rocks.
#14 White Line Fever (3:49) No Tampa Bay road song collection would be complete without this ultimate ode from the Mojo Gurus.
#15 Airstream 13 (4:12) Clever in construction and story, The Woeful Ones’ Brandon Ruck penned this catchy foot-tapping ditty long before our CD art was designed but they’re great lyrics for the photo. unreleased
#16 Three Months in the Sand (4:40) There really is a Sergeant in Sarge and The Aeromen, although Mike Daley has risen in rank. But even an officer can make rollicking fun of a daily grind spent miles in air.
#17 Home Again (4:54) The Hip Abduction’s big reggae-surf horns make sitting still impossible. Festival favorites for good reason.
#18 Frozen Shadows (4:18) Clear, warm sound provides the perfect scaffolding for Bud Buckley’s floating voice.
#19 Goin' Home Again (4:54) Briar Hill Band first recorded this song at the legendary Criteria in Miami. Reminds us of Florida’s original roots.
#20 Train Song (3:13) William Whiting, Jr of Unpainted Souls is a virtuoso of all things stringed and virtually unknown, but not for long.