The start of summer for more years than I care to count I have made a mix titled "Up North" and the year that correlates to it. It started with cassettes, then CD's and now a folder in my Mp3 player.
It's all the songs I want to hear when I'm miles north of this town, smelling the pine, wood smoke, bar-be-que and the lake (being it one of the Great ones or one of the over 11,000 inland ones we have here in Michigan. Over 11,000 of them! HAH! Take THAT Minnesota) with not one chemical factory around for 100's of miles. Music for listening to the late night crickets and bullfrogs and the birds at sunrise.
Tunes for hitting the highway, rolling the car windows down and looking at the lush green land and big sky vistas. The kind of songs you can both fish to and fire up a dirtbike and hit some hills, have ice cream with the kids in the afternoon and beer with the grown ups after dark.
The Goodnight Loving first weighed in heavy on those mixes in 2005 (when all they had were some demo tapes that were circulating around...one of the songs on it was "Up North Girl" which seems so appropos for such things. A couple of years later a recorded by Greg Cartwright version of was released as the a-side to the Goodnight Loving single my label, Bancroft, released. And before you ask, YES! I do have a scant few copies of it left if you are looking to score one) and have ever since.
Though there's only 5 songs on this (all on one side-the other side being a beautifully etched earth, sun and flowers motif) I'm having a hard time paring down what track of two I should include into this years mix.
"4&3" starts off the record with surfing & spying feel. It's followed by "You'll Own My Heart" where a listening to CCR on the back porch mood finds it way into a hazy late night Nashville jam session.
Both "Sweet Clover" and "Pinalope" nod in the directions of 60's pop-The former with a Shangri La's if they were scuffy boys from Wisconsin kinda of thing; the latter something like bloodshot eyed Mersybeat and the ferry crossed the Great Lakes. "Orphans" closes the record like a rustic and happy go-lucky sing along that includes a whirly organ bit in the middle.
Finding a band where one member writes consistently solid songs over a period of a few albums seems to be becoming a rarer and rarer treat in these times. Goodnight Loving has the advantage of each member coming up with good ones over and over again. I think instead of trying to nail down to just a song or two from this on this summer's mix I may just have to take everything they done with me on my up north trips.