With the Great Lakes Region now in the Dog Days of Summer and boating enthusiasts hitting the water for a last hurray before winterizing their craft, my DJ-driven mind began to click one recent evening while watching the sun set over Cedar Lake.
What songs, I pondered as boats motored by, might make for the perfect soundtrack to the final big weekend of “lake escape” as I like to call it?
After considerable thought and after limiting myself to only two Jimmy Buffett tunes, my Top 15 suggested selections for a perfect “mix tape” for a weekend on the waves are in no particular order:
“Soul of a Sailor” by Kenny Chesney,
“Son of a Son of a Sailor” and “A Pirate Looks at Forty” by Jimmy Buffett,
“Sailing” by Christopher Cross, “Pontoon” by Little Big Town,
“Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash,
“Come Sail Away” by Styx,
“Knee Deep” by Zac Brown Band,
“Shakedown Cruise” by Jay Ferguson,
“If I Had A Boat” by Lyle Lovett,
“Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys,
“Sail Away” by David Fray,
“Sailin’ Shoes” by Little Feat,
“I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home” by Grand Funk Railroad,
And no water-logged weekend with family and friends would be complete without a few rousing choruses of “What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor” by The Irish Rovers.
So with those suggestions to start with, surf over to your favorite online music source for some fast downloads and let music power your good times on the regional waters this holiday weekend.
And by the way, the correct answer to “what to do with a drunken sailor” is clear. Keep them out of the wheel house and away from the controls, so all come home safe to home port. Boat responsibly and enjoy the holiday!
• Following live appearances earlier this week on Chicago radio stations WBEZ and WGN to promote their latest original music album, “Stereostatic Funicular,” regional pop-rock trio The Locals celebrate its release tonight (8/30) at The Double Door (1572 N. Milwaukee) in Chicago. “Come out and be in our new video,” urges guitarist Yvonne Doll. “We’re shooting still frames of people in ‘running poses’ to use in our new music video for the song ‘Running Toward the Sound’. We’ll have a photographer and a green screen set up.”
The Locals headline the evening’s entertainment roster and take the stage at 11 p.m., following support sets by three other original Chicagoland bands – Lights Alive (8:30 p.m.), Hemmingbirds (9:15 p.m.) and The Sweeps (10 p.m.). Songs and more info found at: www.localsrock.com
• Although he hails from Detroit, Motor City Josh has built a strong fan base in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland sure to be excited to hear the singer/songwriter/guitarist has teamed up with Australia bluesman Peter D. Harper to write and record a new acoustic blues album, “Bare Bones,” expected to be completed this fall, followed by a multi-state winter tour. More: www.motorcityjosh.com
• Nashville singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters – composer of songs recorded by Pam Tillis, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Neil Diamond and others -- is the musical guest Tuesday on “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges,” airing at 6 p.m. on Merrillville’s 89.1FM-The Lakeshore (stream live at: www.lakeshorepublicmedia.org/radio). Peters is performing at Valparaiso’s Chicago Street Theatre on Sunday, Sep. 8. Listeners will have opportunities to call in to win tickets and talk to Peters.