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! 

4 Country Jazz Tunes to Celebrate National Beer Day

We all know about Oktoberfest in Germany, but did you know that the U.S. celebrates National Beer Day on April 7th? It commemorates the day in 1933 that the prohibition on selling beer was lifted. “I think this would be a good time for a beer,” President Roosevelt famously said upon signing the legislation.

A man in Virginia named Justin Smith first unofficially celebrated Beer Day in 2009 and since then it has gained official recognition by the state of Virginia and is toasted to by brew aficionados all over the country. 

Who wants to miss out on an excuse to drink and be merry? This Wednesday, go to the brewery or beer store nearest to you and pick up a growler of your favorite beer—whether that be an IPA, ale, lager or pilsner—and kick back with some friends in the backyard while listening to these folksy jazz tunes! 

Ray Charles – Oh, Lonesome Me

Partly inspired by his small southern hometown, Charles came out with the album Modern Sounds in Country Music in 1962, which was a groundbreaking fusion of genres. It was so successful that Charles came out with a second volume of country jazz music, from which comes this song, “Oh, Lonesome Me.” 

First written and recorded in 1957, this song is a fun, lighthearted lament of unrequited love that’ll pair well with a fruity, full-bodied amber ale! 

Willie Nelson – Georgia On My Mind

From his 1978 album, Stardust, comes this brilliant reinvention of the popular Ray Charles song, “Georgia On My Mind.” Nelson’s rendition features harmonica solos, which really adds that country flavor. Grab a piney IPA and enjoy that hop flavor while you get lost in Nelson’s weather-beaten voice. 

Chet Atkins & Mark Knopfler – There’ll Be Some Changes Made

In 1990, Chet Atkins, also known as “Mr. Guitar” and “The Country Gentleman,” joined forces with Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler to create the Grammy-award-winning album Neck and Neck. From this album comes the song “There’ll Be Some Changes Made,” which is a country version of the jazz standard originally published in 1921. Listen to this friendly tune while drinking a classic long neck lager!

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

Named in several surveys as the greatest country song of all time, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” was released in 1980 by George Jones. When vocalist Janis Siegel first heard the song, she was struck—the story simply grabbed her and inspired her to collaborate with John Di Martino and Lonnie Plaxico on this new jazzy rendition, featured in their 2021 album, “Cryin’ In My Whiskey.” The ambiguous lyrics and Siegel’s lovely voice make it a perfect song to pair with a smooth, golden pilsner!

If you’re looking for some more country jazz tunes to create the best beer-drinking ambience, look no further. “Cryin’ In My Whiskey,” the newest release from Night Is Alive, features many country classics, like “Always On My Mind,” “Break it to Me Gently” and “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” all with a funky jazz twist. “There’s nothing out there like this,” said Kathy Salem, the Producer and Managing Director. “I wanted this music to be accessible by all.”

“Cryin’ In My Whiskey” is available in our store right now and on all major music platforms!