If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This week’s Desert Island Discs list comes courtesy of singer/songwriter Kat Maslich-Bode, currently promoting her latest release, The Road of Six . Take it away, Kat!
Rickie Lee Jones, Girl at Her Volcano
My ears were hooked to Rickie Lee Jones as a little girl, and of course she’s truly an idol to me. I remember sneaking into my eldest sister Andrea’s room and putting on the vinyl of Rickie’s debut record with “Chuck E’s in Love,” but my favorite record is Girl at Her Volcano. A hybrid of studio and live tracks where she is so raw and vulnerable, with songs like “Lush Life,” “Something Cool,” “Hey Bub” (which breaks me apart) and the beautiful “Rainbow Sleeves”… that song kept me going after my dream because it’s all about holding on and knowing what you have. The lyric “Don’t let the blues stop your singing, darlin’ you only got a broken wing if you just hang on to my Rainbow Sleeves.” Literally, I’m writing this and choking up at the same time — that’s how much that song means to me.
The Blue Nile, Hats
Well, you guys already have some idea how much I love this band, because I finally covered one of their songs after about 20 years of thinking about it. The whole band itself is something that I don’t think anyone can emulate; they’re in class by themselves, and the incomparable Paul Buchanan, well — his voice is like no one I’ve ever heard. You really know that he LIVES his music and not only tells you a story with his amazing lyrics, but simply hearing his gift, the emotion in it…if this says anything at all, I had chance to see them live in 1991 in Atlanta, GA at the Variety Playhouse, and I was beside a whole entire row of men who were sobbing when they played their last song. As for me? I’m still not over it. Sob, sob…
Vince Gill, These Days
This is so hard, because I love everything he’s ever done. His 2006 release is an unbelievable collection of ballads, pure high mountain sound bluegrass, R&B, straight ahead traditional country and honky-tonk, and more. Honestly, what can I say, he can do no wrong when it comes to songwriting, his voice, or his musicality. Simply the best, and anyone who really knows me knows I adore Vince!
Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Not only am I proud to say what a great influence she was to me in my young teens, but I met her while living in L.A. when Eastmountainsouth got signed and started hanging out with her quite a bit. She turned out to be one of my very good friends, and I actually toured with her as well. One night in January of ’03, we decided to go have a girl night and went to our friend Asia’s art exhibit in Burbank. We both caught the eye of this boy with big blue eyes and curly hair. Later, she coaxed me into flirting with him at the restaurant where we had no idea he would be. He turned out to be my hubby one year later. Lucinda was responsible for Darryl and I meeting that night.
The Innocence Mission, The Innocence Mission
Okay, so there I was in my car, about to graduate from high school, when a friend of mine left their cassette tape in my player (yes, I am aging myself). I took one listen to Karin Peris’s voice and almost wrecked. I continued listening to these songs — “Black Sheep Wall,” “Clear to You” — they held my attention so much at that time. It’s about insecurity and trying to believe in yourself. I love the line “I look for the good in everything, it hurts when I cannot find it / I don’t want to wear suit of armor / Do I have to come out fighting?” And the last song, “Medjugorje,” is breathtaking and will always be special to me because of my Yugoslavian heritage.
After a long hiatus from recording, former Eastmountainsouth member Kat Maslich-Bode has returned with her new solo EP, The Road of Six. After all this time away, we were sort of hoping for a Kat box set, but when you’re talking about songs this gracefully understated and beautifully performed, it seems uncharitable to quibble, doesn’t it? For fans of her former band — or fans of any of the artists she mentions in this post — The Road of Six offers comfort in trying times, even as it stands unafraid to ask challenging questions. Watch Kat’s video for “J.P.M.F.Y.F” and find out more at her official site — or just buy the album now.