What are some camping essentials?

Whether you plan on glamping in a pod, or camping in a pop-up tent, bubble tent, Coleman tent, yurt, or RV, there are some things that you just must absolutely pack. Essential camping gear includes some obvious stuff like sleeping bags, sleeping pads, folding chairs, a cooler, and sunscreen, but also don’t forget the less obvious things, like a headlamp, flashlight or lantern and extra batteries. No one wants to be wandering in the dark in the dead of night looking for the bathroom! Also, what about a hammock, clothesline, and a tarp to block your tent from the sun and rain? 

In addition to all these essentials, make sure to bring firewood, newspaper and a lighter because nothing beats telling stories and singing songs around the campfire. Oh, and that reminds me, music is also essential! Charge up that portable, water-resistant speaker because you’ll definitely want to be blasting these tunes while you’re roasting marshmallows, drinking beer and counting stars in the summer sky! 

Tim McGraw – Where The Green Grass Grows

Just like Tim McGraw sings in his 1998 hit, living in the city can be draining—there’s concrete growin’ in the city park, six lanes, taillights and you don’t know who your neighbors are. It’s nice to get a break from the hustle and bustle and go camping—take a deep breath, point your rockin’ chairs towards the West and plant your dreams where the peaceful river flows. 

Nancy Sinatra – Sugar Town

An icon of the Swinging Sixties, Nancy Sinatra became popular for her punchy rock songs like “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” So, with its cute, easy sunshine feel, this 1967 release was a bit of a surprise. But little do many listeners know that “Sugar Town” is a double entendre about LSD. Young people in the sixties used to drop liquid LSD onto sugar cubes, so the simplistic lyrics, like, I just lay back and laugh at the sun pack more of a punch than you would’ve thought!

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Down On The Corner

You’ve probably heard this classic rock and roll song at bars, barbecues, and outdoor parties, but have you ever really listened to the lyrics? The 1969 hit tells the story of a fictional band called Willy and the Poor Boys, who play on street corners in hopes of cheering people up. They may be called the Poor Boys, but this group was rich in music—according to the tune they played the harp, Kalamazoo, washboard, and bass!

Janis Siegel, John Di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – He Stopped Loving Her Today

At the end of the night, it’s nice to slow down and listen to something more melancholy while you gaze at the moon and contemplate life or a lost love. And this brand-new rendition of the famous 1979 George Jones song has a smooth, jazzy feel to it that’ll be a pleasant change from all the country tunes you’ve probably been listening to while camping. 

If you’re looking for more jazzy versions of classic country songs, check out our newest release, Cryin’ In My Whiskey, which is available in our store and on all major music platforms. And if you’d like to book one of our lovely musicians for your camping trip, contact us today! 

What songs should you play at your wedding reception?

Your Facebook feed is probably brimming with photos of brides glowing in white gowns, bridesmaids in pastels and grooms grinning in their tuxes at the end of the aisle. Yes, you know what that means—wedding season is in full swing! 

With all the “I dos,” bridal showers, wedding cakes, glittery jewelry, decorations, and receptions, you may find yourself thinking about your own wedding plans. Whether you’re engaged, awaiting or planning a proposal, in a committed relationship, or you just simply enjoy daydreaming about your own special day, it’s never too early to start thinking about what songs you might want to play at your wedding! Or maybe you’re serving as a maid-of-honor or best man sometime soon and you need to help the lucky couple make their playlist. Either way, we put together some classic wedding songs that are sure to put hearts in everyone’s eyes.  

Earth, Wind & Fire – September

This song is great for the bridal party to make their grand entrance or to help open the dance floor because everyone instantly recognizes it. Once they hear those first notes on the keyboard and that famous line—Do you remember, 21st night of September?—your guests will be pulling each other onto the dancefloor as fast as they can! Who knows, maybe your crabby, old uncle will even surprise you all with some groovy, disco moves! 

Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling in Love

It’s always difficult choosing a song for the newlyweds first dance. Maybe you have that one, specific tune that played on the radio during your first date, or that one song that you both love belting at the top of your lungs in the car. Or maybe, you’re not a very musically inclined couple and you’re drawing a blank. Well, you can’t go wrong with this 1961 Elvis ballad, the melody of which is actually based on a popular French song composed in 1784—who knew? 

Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight

This 1964 classic is perfect to play for the mother-son or father-daughter dance, which usually happens sometime after the first dance. You know that the parents are cherishing and soaking up every single moment of their children’s big day and that some day when they’re awfully low, when the world is cold, they’ll be thinking of the way that their child looked on their wedding night.  

Ray LaMontagne – You Are the Best Thing

This upbeat folk single, released in 2008, is honestly one of my favorites and it’s very versatile—could be nice for a slow dance or a group bridal party dance. Ray LaMontagne’s gravelly voice, the sweet lyrics and guitar create such a beautiful love song. The way you move me, it’s crazy…

WJ3 All Stars – First Time I Saw Your Face

This lovely instrumental jazz song is excellent for a swaying slow dance, or even to have as a backdrop during the cake cutting festivities. The heartwarming melody will bring you and your guests on a romantic journey through the ages!

If you’re looking for more love songs, I’d check out the new album from the WJ3 All Stars, Lovers and Love Songs! It’s available in our store and on all major music platforms. And if you’d like to book one of our musicians for your wedding reception, please contact us today!  

What music should you listen to while fishing?

Whether you like fly fishing or bait fishing, whether you’re an expert or an amateur, there’s nothing like grabbing your rod and tackle on a cool summer morning and casting your line out into the water. Who knows what you’ll catch? Well actually, according to the expert anglers, the best species to target in summertime are bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and northern pike. But now you’re probably wondering, what music are you going to listen to while you wait for that first bite, that first nibble, that first yank to pull at your line? Well, we got you covered with some classic tunes that might even get the fish to dance!  

Taj Mahal – Fishin’ Blues 

This 2004 rendition of the 1928 blues song is an absolute staple in your fishing tackle box! Taj Mahal, a widely influential blues musician, has a rich voice and 50-year career that infuses sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, India, Hawaii and the South Pacific. Plus, he has the experience to back up the lyrics of this tune—he lived in Kauai, Hawaii in the 1980s, where he formed the Hula Blues Band, which was a group of guys that originally got together to fish and have a good time. Caught a seven poun’ catfish on the bottom, yes he got him…

Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby – Gone Fishin’

When two legends like Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby got together to make a duet for Crosby’s radio show in 1951, the result was unsurprisingly marvelous, instantly popular and eventually, timeless. Gone Fishin’ was published the year prior and recorded by other musicians but did not chart the tops until these powerhouses took it up. And now, the tune is still frequently heard on the radio. 

Janis Siegel, John di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – Always on My Mind

Although this song is not technically about fishing, what is fishing if not a solitary activity? Many people go fishing in order to escape the craziness of life and enjoy the peace and quiet of the glassy pond or the soothing rush of the river rapids. So, why not slow down the pace of your music as well with this classic ballad? Maybe even take some time to reflect on a lost love with this modern jazz version of the iconic Willie Nelson song. It even features a lovely flute solo that will dance around in your clear, uncluttered mind.  

Louis Jordan – Saturday Night Fish Fry

This is a perfect tune to play when the fishing day is nearing its end and you’re getting ready to go home and celebrate all your catches! Arguably the very first rock ‘n roll record ever, this 1949 song features electric guitar, a brisk tempo and bass, all of which later became main components of the genre. Or if you’re not quite ready to go home yet, the pulsing beat of Saturday Night Fish Fry just might make the fish jump right onto your hook—hey, you never know, the bluegill might want to rock and roll too! 

If you’re looking for more country jazz tunes to jam while you fish and patiently wait for that prize-winning catch, Cryin’ In My Whiskey is available now in our store and on all major music platforms. 

What songs should you play at a pool party?

With heatwaves quite literally roasting the western U.S. and with temperatures rising
everywhere, it’s turning out to be one hot summer! So why not grab your pals and throw a pool
party? All you’ll need are some floaties, sunglasses, SPF and beer.

Oh wait, you’re also going to
need some rockin’ tunes to jam while you soak up those rays and dip into the cool water. But
don’t worry, we got you covered with this list of awesome summer songs!


Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues


Embodying the teenage frustration, desire and rebellious nature of the 1950s and 1960s, Eddi
Cochran’s hit song “Summertime Blues” is perfect to jam while playing hooky from work or
while waiting to get off work to go party with your friends! The song is about a teenager who
resents his job because he has no time to take his girlfriend out on a date. Well I’m gonna raise a
fuss, I’m gonna raise a holler about workin’ all summer just to try an’earn a dollar…

The Beach Boys – Surfin’ U.S.A


The Beach Boys, who first began as a garage band, have come to represent summertime
everywhere with their California sound and their lyrics about cars, romance and youth. “Surfin’
U.S.A.” was their first national hit in 1963, which set off a string of top-ten singles.


Dolly Parton – Sweet Summer Lovin’


This lesser-known Dolly song, released in 1979, has a dreamy quality to it that makes it great for
a lazy day lounging by the pool. Relax and sip on a cool beverage or lick up a yummy popsicle
while you let your mind wander into the lovely trance of this tune. By a stream in the country,
running barefoot and feeling free…


Janis Siegel, John Di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – Whenever You Come Around


Let’s face it—pool parties are also about flirting and splashing around with your summer fling.
That’s why every pool party needs at least one sweet, direct and unabashed love song.
Originally co-written and recorded by Vince Gill in 1994, this tune was covered by Willie
Nelson in 2014, and now, in 2021, we’re lucky enough to have a brand new, jazzy rendition
featured on the album, Cryin’ In My Whiskey. This soulful, funky version will be sure to put the
hearts in your eyes while you let yourself get swept away by the whirlwind of your summertime
romance.


Kenny Chesney – Summertime


There really is nothing like summertime. If you’re like me and you live in the north, you spend
all winter waiting around excitedly for that first warm evening when you can kick off your shoes
just like when you were a kid and listen for the sound of the ice cream truck. Kenny Chesney’s

2006 song captures this simple, yet precise sentiment. Temperature says ninety-three… but that
swimmin’ hole, it’s nice and cold…
If you’re looking for more summer songs to play at your pool party, check out the country jazz
album, Cryin’ In My Whiskey, which is available in our store and on all major music platforms.
And if you’d like one of our musicians to play at your event, please give us a call today.