I was one happy camper when I got home last Wednesday and had a package waiting on me from Lonestar music. My autographed Departed vinyl (which matches my autographed Indian Land vinyl) and the new Sean McConnell CD, Midland. I just opened that one today and started listening to it and let me just tell it, it is amazing.
I saw Sean for the first time last past weekend at the Blue Light. It was a special Sunday show and I nearly didn't go because nobody wanted to go to the bar with me on a Sunday, but I ended up meeting friends there and it was packed. I can't believe I've gone this long without seeing him live and I do regret that because he doesn't come around here very often anymore. I'll make sure to never miss a chance to see him again. Even though it was just him with his guitar and another guy on keys, there was so much energy on stage. Each song was delivered perfectly and whether I'd heard them a million times, they still sounded fresh.
I got there a little after he'd started but I think I still heard all the songs I was looking forward to. I am obsessed with his version of MJ's "Dirty Diana" and have been known to play the YouTube video of it on a loop for hours at work, so finally getting to see it live was incredible and everything I'd hoped for. Speaking of covers, he also did "Somebody That I Used To Know" and it was the least-annoying version I've heard yet.
He also played a bunch of new music from Midland, including the title track, "Novocaine," and "Kiss," two of my new favorites. Of course he played his classics like "Reckless Love," which I have a weird emotional attachment to and "Lie Baby Lie" and a ton more. I heard some songs that I had never heard before that aren't on the new CD either which I immediately had to go watch online. So now I'm obsessed with "You're Not Cool Enough to be an Asshole," (seriously, go listen to that!!) and "Praise The Lord."
Now, onto his new record, Midland. I popped it in on my way to work on Friday morning and couldn't stop listening. I made my best friend listen the whole way to and from Ruidoso this past weekend and I have hardly listened to the radio in my car since. I think I listened to every song more than once before I could skip to the next because I wanted to hear them over and over every time. My favorites right off the bat are "Kiss" (which was played on the TV show Nashville last week!) and "Different Kind of Blue." The latter is right up there on my list of happy dance songs with "Carry On" from Pat Green and "Good Times" from Charlie Robison. I have listened to both of those basically non-stop but when I can break away from them, I find the rest of the CD just as entertaining. "Midland," the title and opening track with harmonies from Wade Bowen is gorgeous. The whole album ranges from fun to sad and lonely to sexy and smooth and everything in-between. And it's every bit the classic Sean McConnell I fell in love with years ago.
You can download Midland here or buy the real-life thing (the case is gorgeous, by the way) here.