1. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
My go to song when I need a distraction, a little pick me up, or to celebrate. This song has it all. From the blues rock intro, it keeps this feel all the way until the end, without stopping. It is hard to write about this song because it probably the best ever written. Merry Clayton’s gave the most powerful performance of any vocalist I have ever. I can listen to the parts where her voice cracks over and over again. That part Never gets old. I don’t really like the Rolling Stones, especially post 1970, but this song always warrants complete silence from everyone in the room.
2. Tuesday’s Gone – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Probably the second saddest song I can think of (the other being Tears in Heaven). I don’t know why we people are drawn to such sad songs. Or why the saddest songs are often the best. In fact, I think my next one will be another sad song. When I hear this, I can just lie back and listen to every note, every vocal intonation, and take it all in. Few songs do that these days. Maybe sometimes we choose to remember the bad more than the good. This does remind me of all the good and bad times I have had, and reminds me that there will be many more. But why I love this song, I have no idea.
3. Life by the Drop – Stevie Ray Vaughn
Not enough can be said about Stevie Ray Vaughn. His live performances are blowing, and sadly, we can only get them on YouTube now. He is most know for doing covers Jimi Hendrix’s songs, and in my mind better than Jimi. The few of his songs that get radio play are nothing like Life by Drop. Life by the Drop is pure simplicity. Singing about the profound loss, that at times feels inevitable for us all. This song features only Stevie Ray Vaughn and twelve string acoustic guitar. Nothing more. No drummer, bass player, or any other back up musicians. It is not even the most complicated song in existence. It is just Stevie Ray Vaughn playing a simple riff, spilling his guts out.