Dad’s Playlist 2020: Volume One

That’s Rocky Johnson on the right. His son is Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, hence ‘Dad Rock’ – get it?

If I told you I am 56 years old and that I dig on an occasional Phish or Ben Folds Five song you’d probably say that makes a heckuva lot of sense. I’ve accepted that I’m a Dad Rock kind of guy and I feel no shame in saying so. Though I’ve lived my life trying to be on the cutting edge of indie music, even that has become antiquated. Let’s call it classic indie for lack of a better phrase. At least it’s relevant.

When I first joined Twitter some 10-12 years ago (shit, what an epic waste of time), it was specifically because of the hashtag #MusicMonday. It was my hope that I could use that filter (what, you didn’t know a hashtag was a filter?) to find new music, and it succeeded to a degree.

I’m going to stop using parentheticals now and get to the meat and potatoes of this post (or tofu, in case you’re a vegan, and shit, stupid parenthesis), and tell you what the Dad’s Playlist Project is.

My goal is to educate and introduce my readers to some of my favorite indie songs of the past three decades, and to make that a little more palatable, I’m going to include some great mainstream music to buffer my selections. Each Monday I’ll give you a playlist that is 80 minutes or less, and you can use it to build a streaming playlist on Spotify or Tidal, or you can do the cool thing and buy the songs and burn them to a CD. I’d like to just give them to you, but, of course I am not the rightful owner of any of these songs, having never composed a lick of music in my life.

I do have a great ear, though, and even better taste, and I think you’ll dig what I’ve put together here and what’s coming on future Mondays. I’m so excited about this I’ve already curated three playlists AND proposed marriage to an ex-girlfriend. The proposal didn’t go so well (crashed and burned, I may have used too many sidebars in asking for her hand), but the playlists are nonetheless spectacular, and will likewise be every week.

With that, I give you Dad’s Playlist Volume One. It is, after all, #MusicMonday, friends and countrymen (and women will find these songs appealing, too). Links to their albums on iTunes will be included and I will build a Spotify playlist if you just want to listen. You’ll find that at the end of this post if you want to skip all my snappy banter and start grooving. Please tell me what you think of this week’ selections in the comments section.


  1. Bathtub Gin by Phish. A great little jam band bebop ditty to get us started. It’s as delicious as the song title indicates.
  2. Round of Blues by Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. There are many iterations of this song but the one you want is from the Columbia Records Radio Hour archives. It sizzles.
  3. Home by Marc Broussard. You may not make it past this song on the playlist, it’s a real jam. I urge you to continue and come back, or just put the entire playlist on repeat. That’s what I do.
  4. Feel Like Funkin’ It Up (Live Street Version) by the Rebirth Brass Band. You’ll want to grab the version from the HBO Series Treme. Accept no substitutes or covers.
  5. Bootyfest by Dr. Pants. You don’t know Dr. Pants but you should, especially if you like performers like Ben Folds and Ween. Make sure you follow them on Twitter.
  6. Christmas Katie by Widespread Panic. This band is so good I broke my hard rule of not having two songs by the same artist on one playlist. Hey, I lied about the parentheticals, too. I’m deviant.
  7. Precious Hands by The Big Wu. The Spotify track is horrible quality. It sounds like they recorded it from a dusty LP. I’ve complained to the Spotify higher-ups numerous times on social media and via email, and have been ignored each time. Just get the iTunes version.
  8. Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups. I always though this band would be much bigger than they became. The music industry truly sucked the life out of itself starting in about, oh, 1956.
  9. Truck Stop by Anton Mink. The YouTube version of this song only has about 50 plays and that’s a real shame. I’d move to Kentucky just to see this band live on the weekends. Great garage rock. This song makes me feel a bit naughty in the cleanest of ways (wink, wink) if I am being fully forthright.
  10. Girls and Sunshine by Dirty On Purpose. I promise if you like Ben Folds or Ben Kweller (or Benjamin Gibbard, for that matter) you will LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. Just go listen. Now. Come back when you are finished and tell me how much you love me for introducing this song to you.
  11. Lullaby by Shawn Mullins. You are probably very familiar with this song but you won’t have that lightbulb moment until you start listening.
  12. One Step at a Time by Mike Zito and Anders Osborne. A great song about beating alcohol addiction for the sake of your wife and children. Osborne is a great folksy counterpart to Zito’s gritty vocals. By the way, the entire album is fantastic.
  13. Can’t Let Go by Lucinda Williams. We all need a little modern day bump-n-grind in our lives. Our levels of ‘sexy’ are determined by the way we carry ourselves. Let this song help you kick it up a notch.
  14. Make You Crazy by Brett Dennen featuring Femi Kuti. Another performer that I thought would have genuinely exploded. Alas, the breed commonly referred to as the singer-songwriter is something of a dinosaur in the annals of popular music these days.
  15. Poor, Poor Pitiful Me by Linda Ronstadt. Ronstadt covered a lot of recording artists, but this Warren Zevon single is one of her best.
  16. Blue Indian by Widespread Panic. Not only is this the second Widespread Panic song on this playlist, but it’s also from the very same album as the first. As I said, I’m just horrible. Keep your single female friends far from me, unless of course they’re into this kind of aberrant behavior. And if that’s the case, message me for my number.
  17. Anchor Drops by Umphrey’s McGee. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best song to end any playlist. If you’re one of those individuals that likes to save the best for last, you’ve got two in the hand here, which is way better than two in the…well, you get it.

As promised, for those of you who’d rather stream via Spotify, here’s your hookup. Make sure you copy and save it though, my Spotify membership has expired. See you next Monday.

I’ve got my lazy eye on you.

Published by Michael Canter

I love music, particularly indie music. It's a bittersweet affair that has been equally fun and soul-crushing, but I couldn't live without it. Personally, I'm a Deadhead, but my passion for all music styles is unparalleled. If I like you I will let you call me Mickey. If you look hard enough, you'll find me at SXSW every year.

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