Get Your Summer On, Y'all!
To help you celebrate the official start of summer, The Inky Jukebox presents ten songs that make us feel like kicking back and enjoying a cold beer with the smell of sweat and sunblock on our skin.
Which songs would you put on a Top Ten Summertime list? Add your list in the comments section below.
- Sounds So Good – Ashton Shepherd
Why? Well, there is this line from Shepherd’s breakout hit: “There ain’t nothing like the sound of a cooler slushing on the bed of your truck.” You don’t need any other reasons than that. (Lawdy, The Inky Jukebox LOVES this gal – listen to her sing!) The song cranks up hard and fast and just keeps going.
- Jersey Girl – Bruce Springsteen
Not actually a Springsteen song: it’s beautiful writing by Tom Waits. The accordion lends it a seaside Jersey Shore sound before the Jersey Shore was besmirched by yobbos on TV. It’s olde-timey and slow and romantic. Absolutely joyous.
See you on the street and you look so tired
I know that job you got leaves you so uninspired
When I come back and take you out to eat
You’re lying all dressed up with the baby fast asleep
Go in the bathroom, put your make-up on
We’ll take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your Mom’s
I know a place where the dancing’s free
Hey Baby won’t you come with me?
Cause down the Shore everything’s all right
Me and my baby on a Saturday night
Nothing matters in this whole wide world, oh no,
When you’re in love with a Jersey Girl
- Late In The Evening - Simon and Garfunkel
This song just oozes hot summer night vibes, helped along by the funky Latin drums and bass, with the most perfect horns you can imagine. Oh man, we want to get down. I dare you not to dance to this one.
This video from the definitive summer concert in central park. Seems like yesterday but it was a different era altogether. (Don’t they look so young?!) The Inky Jukebox likes this clip because you get to hear who’s in the band. Steve Gadd on drums: The Inky Jukebox knows every tiny nuance of that performance by heart.
- Always The Love Songs – Eli Young Band
We used to pull off highway 249
Had a cool little place where we'd go hide on a Friday night
And get away from the city lights
We'd find a little wood and build a fire
Sonebody'd always bring a couple guitars
And we'd take turns singin' songs and watching it burn
We'd do "Ramblin' Man," "Proud Mary" and "American Band"
We'd be singin' at the top of our lungs
One of the most evocative and instantly recognizable opening lines of the last few years followed by some brilliant songwriting. We can actually smell that woodsmoke and see the sparks rise into the air.
- Master Blaster – Stevie Wonder
Is it the horn section? The steel drums? The Hammond organ? The slow reggae beat? The lyric “hotter than July?” Yes. All of it.
- Hillbilly Deluxe – Brooks & Dunn
Isn’t this how country boys roll? “Cruisin’ back and forth to the Tastee Freeze / Everywhere you look all you see is / Hillbilly Deluxe, slick pick up trucks.” One of the best choruses around: roll down your windows and tap the car door, y’all. Features awesome back-up singers (reminiscent of early Rolling Stones, no?) and a banjo lick. This video is ridonkulous, but hey. This is the song The Inky Jukebox plays loud with the windows rolled down while waiting in a steamy field waiting to exit the parking after a show.
- Follow Me – Uncle Kracker
This was a monster summer hit and proves that all you need is a guitar and a voice and a good song (and excellent rhythm and timing) to sneak into America’s heart. It follows the classic lines of a bee-bop tune, yet is distinctive for it’s oddly happy sound to tell a rather naughty story. Yet it is exactly this quality that makes it an ace summer song: it is a delicious puff of cotton candy.
- Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts
“Let that Igloo cooler mark your piece of paradise.” Together with the ubiquitous red Dixie cup, nothing spells tailgate more than this iconic bit of Americana. Also, the phrase “y'all keep doing y’all’s thang” goes down well with the ladies in the concert crowd sporting Daisy Dukes and string bikini tops.
- Ain’t Back Yet – Kenny Chesney
What do you do in the summer? Go to concerts. Chances are you’ve been to see King of Summer Kenny Chesney, and this song sums the experience up nicely. It also features a hot horn section. (Hmmm…we detect a pattern here…) and hand clapping for percussion. He rocks the straw hat.
- Big Green Tractor – Jason Aldean
The opening riff of this song gives The Inky Jukebox chills and takes us straight back to last summer. The sexiest song about a John Deere product ever written. (Spoiler: he’s not singing about a piece of farm machinery.) “Just let me dust off the seat / Put your pretty little arms around me.” OK then.
- Something Like That – Tim McGraw
According to the song, the object of McGraw’s affection had a suntan line and wore a miniskirt and red lipstick, but he had a barbeque stain on his white t-shirt. Bloody typical. An homage to summer love and a succinct definition of the difference between the sexes. In case anyone who first saw him on American Idol the other week and still didn’t quite understand how big this guy is: here you go. Exhibit A. If he didn’t haul this one out at a concert, there would be a riot. I swear. (Best sweat and nipples in country music.)
Have a good Memorial Day y'all.