You want to show your dad you really love him? Well, stop being a cheap ass and buying those lame hallmark cards. Get your dad a gift that makes up--at least a little--for all the shit you gave the old guy.
Here are some music-related gift ideas that are guaranteed to have pops thinking he raised you right.
Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm
Woefully under-appreciated, the late, great Doug Sahm is a seminal figure in Americana/roots music. His career featured as many musical styles as sidemen he played with--so much so that it would seem impossible to do a single-disc tribute that would do the guy justice. Well, Vanguard Records has gone and done Sahm proud with a fantastic matching of artist and song. There's not a clunker amongst the 14 cuts on Keep Your Soul. Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo, Dave Alvin, Terry Allen, Charlie Sexton, The Gourds, Joe "King" Carrasco and others show respect for Sahm's originals while still bringing each artist's individual mojo to the songs. There's the recognizable (Little Willie G's romp through "She's About a Mover) and the unexpected and unfamiliar (Greg Dulli's whiskey soaked take on "You Was For Real"). Simply put: It's an amazing tribute to a remarkable guy. Every dad needs a copy of this.
Music of The Alamo
William Chemerka and Allen Wiener have written a classic, coffee-table book that comes complete with a bonus CD of period music from 1836--y'know, the year when that thing called the Alamo got defended. But more than just putting out a book about 19th century music, Chemerka and Wiener delve into how the act of defending the Alamo has been rendered in song since that fateful day. Including a great forward by Fess Parker, the guy who played Davy Crockett on TV in the '50s, Music of The Alamo is a fascinating read, a must have for any proud Texas papa.
Peter Berwick -- Just Another Day in Hell
Hailing from Chicago, Pete Berwick has been around for a couple of decades, scraping by and playing guitar for just about any band that needed him. Since 1996, Berwick's been sort of a roots rocker in the vein of Steve Earle, but (if you can believe it) a lot less polished. Just Another Day in Hell is the kind of record former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg should be making--rough and drunken. Songs like "Pissing in the Wind" amd "I Fought with Angels" should hit the spot with any dad between the ages of 35 and 50.
Pete Seeger -- American Favorite Ballads, Vols. 1-5
Recently released on the Smithsonian label, this five-disc set is the ultimate Father's Day gift. And at $40, it's not too big of a hit on the old wallet, either. Checking in at 130 songs alongside great liner notes and cool photos from back in the day when Americans actually protested instead of just writing letters to the editor, this set documents American music in a way that is both complete and inspiring. Get this for your dad and he might even let you borrow his car.
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