Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up the media player of your choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Scolding Wife” by Great Big Sea (from Sea of No Cares, 2002)

“And if the devil’d take her I’d thank him for his pain
I swear to God I’ll hang me self If I get married again”

As is the case with the majority of Great Big Sea’s take on traditional tunes, this is exponentially more fun in the live setting.

“Song to the Pharoah Kings” by Return to Forever (from The Anthology, 2008)

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and Al Di Meola are all legendary players; Return to Forever is just one of the reasons why. “Song to the Pharoah Kings” starts as a meditation on Corea’s swirling keyboard riff and quickly ascends to focus on Clarke’s bass pyrotechnics. Al Di Meola—possibly one of my all-time favorite guitarists—displays the utmost restraint here, which is not entirely surprising as Where Have I Known You Before was his first record.

“The Little House I Used to Live In” by The Mothers of Invention (from Burnt Weeny Sandwich, 1970)

From RTF to Zappa, seems iTunes is in a mood today. Where “Song to the Pharoah Kings” clocks in at fourteen minutes and change, “The Little House I Used to Live In” rambles on for nearly nineteen. Frank was a master of taking seemingly disparate parts and melding them into one succinct performance, which he does to astounding effect here.

“One World” by Dire Straits (from Brothers in Arms, 1985)

Mark Knopfler is another on the list—alongside Zappa, and Di Meola—of all-time favorite guitarists. He’s pretty muted here, with the oh-so-’80s keys taking up a good portion of the sonic landscape. Not my favorite tune from Brothers in Arms, but it’ll do. Also, it’s not longer than ten minutes, so there’s that.

“Philadelphia Lawyer” by The Maddox Brothers & Rose (from Respect: A Century of Women in Music (disc 2: Torch, Twang & Swing), 1999)

Country Swing never gets old, you know? This is a nice little coda to this week’s instrumental-heavy shuffle.

What’s on your shuffle today?