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On My Turntable 

J. Dewveall's Must-Listen Albums (Spotify Playlist)

Today, instead of a single record, I’d like to share something a little more accessible to people who may not have a record player.

Several months ago, a friend of mine threw out a challenge to create a list of 100 “Must-Listen” albums. Of course, I over-thought and over-analyzed what makes something a “must-listen,” but it was the middle of a pandemic and it seemed like a fun thing to do. 

I tried to set a few rules like only including one album per artist or leaving off some of the well-known stuff that tends to always be on lists from music publications. Of course, some of those records are here anyway, because I wanted to make sure the list was representative of albums that truly influenced and inspired me. 

The key takeaway is that these are albums that I currently listen to over and over again. It probably would’ve been a different list twenty years ago. 

To make it easy for you, I made a Spotify playlist that has a song from each of the albums. I encourage you to follow the playlist and, as you’re listening, take note of stuff that interests you. Then go back and listen to full albums of the ones that caught your ear.

Click Here to Listen 


Things of Note: 

  • Dewveall - Songs from our "Word" album are on the list too. Why wouldn't they be?
  • Los Lobos - There are three albums by Los Lobos. Don’t make me choose. 
  • Ian Moore - I included a song from his album “Modern Day Folklore.” Technically, my album choice is “And All the Colors,” but it’s not on Spotify. Listen if you can find it. 
  • Dana Cooper - “Harry Truman Built a Road” is my real pick, but it’s also not on Spotify. 
  • Frank Ocean - “Novacaine” is a single on the list, but it’s from “nostalgia, ULTRA.” 

Notable Exclusions: 

  • Metal - There are several Metal albums that I would probably include in a “best of” list, but I just don’t listen to them anymore. Maybe one day. 
  • Creed, Staind, Etc. - I have a soft spot in my heart. Let’s be honest though, they didn’t age well. 
  • Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream - Anyone who knows me well, knows that Katy Perry is a guilty pleasure. I almost put “Teenage Dream” on the list, because I listen to it a lot. I just can’t think of anything in particular that makes the album special, except that it’s really fun. 
  • George Strait - “Strait Out of the Box” is probably the only box set I’ve ever purchased in my entire life. That said, it’s not an album and it’s pretty much the only way I listen to George Strait. 

I hope you enjoy the playlist. Comment below with some of your album recommendations. Maybe they’ll make my list one day.

Spinning On My Turntable 

Scott Garred - Scott Songs Vol. II


Scott has been a long-time favorite songwriter of mine. In so many of his songs, he expertly captures the emotions of his subject matter and then passes them on to the listener. I can’t help but catch a case of the feels anytime I start listening to his music. 

For the past few years, he has been releasing one song every month on his website and I have followed it religiously. In fact, following Scott’s monthly music blog was a major influence on me deciding to give away some free songs of my own and I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from his method. (Scott, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry for stealing your thing. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…” Right?) I can only hope that one day, I can execute it as well as he does. 

That brings us to Scott Songs Vol. II, which includes several of those monthly songs. A copy of the record showed up on my doorstep recently, giving me a chance to revisit them in my favorite format. 

One of the things I love about this record, in particular, is that Scott doesn’t shy away from some really difficult subjects. 

High and Lonesome was written from the perspective of Charles Whitman, the mass shooter who climbed the tower on the University of Texas campus in 1966. The song gives us a glimpse into the hypothetical mind of Whitman, reminding us that even the most monstrous of those walking among us are still human. 

Perhaps my favorite song on the record is Make You Whole Again. It’s an exploration of hope in the midst of disaster. I loved it when he first released it on his blog in January 2020. Listening again, with the Nashville tornado and worldwide pandemic now in my mind, makes the song resonate so much more. 

The thing I love most about the record, as a whole, is that there is so much mystery living within. I find myself trying to piece together the story for each song’s protagonist, hidden details that, in the end, matter so much less than the emotions conveyed by their words. Songwriting like this helps to remind me that sometimes the truth is not only found in factual events, but also in the ways those events impact our lives and the emotions we feel in the aftermath.  

I highly encourage you to check out the album for yourself and, of course, sign up for Scott’s mailing list and follow his monthly music blog. 

After you’ve listened, comment below or send me a message letting me know what your favorite songs were.

Scott Links Vol. I

Bandcamp (to buy the vinyl)