Summertime – and the livin’ is easy – at least it would be if the sun ever came out. Here in Raincouver, I am sitting watching the raindrops bursting against the windows and wondering if Evey will ever get a chance to wear her new swimsuit on the beach this year.

For me, those lazy days on the beach, in the garden or out in the woods always invoke a mental playlist. Laying on a hillside, watching the clouds and the airplanes after a fun family picnic – Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here. Splashing in the ocean after an afternoon bbq – the Beach Boys & Wouldn’t it be Nice. Playing in the garden with the little ones – Bob Marley – Three Little Birds and running home through the rain with your coat over your head – The Stones & Gimme Shelter (but it has to be the live version with Lisa Fischer’s backing vocals).

If you are looking for suggestions for great summer music – look no further. Here are ten albums that you should try this summer & rewrite your summer playlist.

Dave Koz and Friends: Summer Horns

Summer Horns

Dave Koz is joined by a front line of top-notch horn players (Mindi Abair, Richard Elliot & Gerald Albright) to re-interpret an array of powerhouse horn-heavy songs made famous by Tower of Power, Chicago, EW&F, James Brown, Sly & The Family Stone, Ronnie Laws, Blood Sweat & Tears and others. Three of the world’s best horn arrangers are contributing their talents: Greg Adams (Tower of Power) and Tom Scott. Topping it off is a sax-only rendition of “Take Five” with Gordon Goodwin offering his arrangement to the quartet.

Life On A Rock

Life On a Rock

The biggest ticket seller in country music and among the elite touring artists in the world, Kenny Chesney will have performed 101 stadium concerts after this summer’s tour. He is a CMT and AMA Artist of the Year, a four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, and a four-time ACM Entertainer of the Year. Chesney has 24 # 1 Singles and has sold more than 30 million albums. Chesney’s ‘No Shoes Nation’ Tour kicks off in Tampa on March 16th and will celebrate a summer of music, friends and good times when his 14th studio album, Life on a Rock, hits stores on April 30th. Co-produced with longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon, Life on a Rock captures the thematic core of the ten-song set that’s been recorded and mixed in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Jamaica, Key West, London and Nashville, Tennessee. Life on a Rock boasts eight tracks co-written by Chesney and promises to be an extremely personal album. The lead single, Pirate Flag, was USA Today’s Song of the week before it hit radio on January 31st. It’s Chesney’s record-extending eighth song to open in the Top 25 in the Nielsen era and shows no signs of slowing down.

Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation)

Underwater

Underwater Sunshine is a testament of a band geek-obsessed with music. ‘There are a million great songs written every day that you discover, and wish your friends could appreciate as much as you do,’ says singer/songwriter Adam Duritz. ‘These songs come from bands young and old, stretching from the early 60s to last year. They’re all great and will hopefully be heard by a few more people now.’

Produced by Counting Crows and Shawn Dealey, Underwater Sunshine features tracks written by artists such as Big Star, Gram Parsons, Tender Mercies, Kasey Anderson and The Faces. Each rendition offers an entire spectrum of human emotion, delivered with the conviction and intense honesty for which the band is known.

As their first independent release, it was the right time for the Crows to make this album. ‘If you wonder why we didn’t t just write our own record, it’s simply because we wanted to do THIS one,’ says Duritz, We now have the creative freedom to release albums like this and offer our fans more music than ever.’

Now That’s What I Call Summer (2014)

NOW

This three disk set is available for pre-order until its release on July 1, 2014. No other information is currently available.

Wheelhouse (Deluxe Version) (Limited Edition)

Wheelhouse

With three GRAMMYs®, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards including Entertainer of the Year, Brad Paisley is one of the most recognized artists in the history of country music. On April 9, Brad continues his evolution of country music with the release of his highly-anticipated new studio album, Wheelhouse.

It’s all about leaving your comfort zone,” explains Paisley about the album’s title. “It’s like, what is my wheelhouse? You know, the baseball expression, sort of what is in your strike zone, your wheelhouse, where you’re comfortable. We really have tried to go out on a limb with this record and see how far we can stretch certain things.”

Wheelhouse also allowed Brad to produce the album on his own for the first time in his career. Wheelhouse’s first single “Southern Comfort Zone” is Paisley’s fastest rising song of his career and will allow for two hit singles at radio before the album’s launch. Likewise, the video for “Southern Comfort Zone,” a fan favorite, rapidly climbed the charts to the #4 position at CMT in a matter of a few weeks.

Sunshine Reggae Hits

reggae

20 great summer reggae classics. Includes UB40, Bob & Earl, Shaggy, Peter Tosh, Maxi Priest, Ziggy Marley and great versions of Dirty Old Town by The Specials, U-Roys Rivers of Babylon and Sly Dunbars Sesame Street.

5 Seconds Of Summer

5 Seconds of Summer

This album is available on pre-order. No additional information is available at this time.

Sweet Summer Sun – Hyde Park Live

Stones

The Rolling Stones historic and triumphant return to Hyde Park was, without doubt, the event of the summer. Over 100,000 delirious fans of all ages packed into the park for two spectacular outdoor concerts to watch Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood do what they do best. The Stones delivered a five-star performance that had both fans and critics singing their praises. The set packed in hit after hit and saw the band joined by former guitarist Mick Taylor for a special guest appearance on two songs. This stunning concert film is the perfect way to celebrate the return of The Rolling Stones back where they truly belong: live on stage in their hometown.

Bonus Features
Additional tracks from the two performances: 1) Emotional Rescue 2) Paint It Black 3) Before They Make Me Run

Track Listing
1) Start Me Up 2) It’s Only Rock n Roll 3) Street Fighting Man 4) Ruby Tuesday 5) Doom And Gloom 6) Honky Tonk Women 7) You Got The Silver 8) Happy 9) Miss You 10) Midnight Rambler 11) Gimme Shelter 12) Jumpin Jack Flash 13) Sympathy For The Devil 14) Brown Sugar 15) You Can’t Always Get What You Want 16) (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D

Summer3D

Beyond the unparalleled performances filmed over six nights, captured from onstage, the front row, the wings and even the Goodyear blimp, this film includes extensive archival footage, behind-the-scenes moments and photographs held together by Chesney’s own narrative. It takes people inside the life, the love, and the reasons for his unprecedented success. This spectacular release contains four bonus songs not seen in theaters.

*Please note this is not a 3D DVD, the 3D version is only available on the 3D Blu-ray.

Songs: Live Those Songs, Summertime, Beer in Mexico, Keg in The Closet, Out Last Night, Big Star, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems, I Go Back, Anything But Mine, Down the Road, Back Where I Come From, There Goes My Life, Old Blue Chair, Living In Fast Forward, Young, Boston, Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, When the Sun Goes Down, Don’t Happen Twice, She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy, Better As A Memory, Ain’t Back Yet (Credit Theme), Be As You Are (Credit Theme)

Bonus Songs: Me and You, Don’t Blink, Guitars and Tiki Bars, Never Wanted Nothing More

*product descriptions provided by Amazon

Sounds of Summer: Very Best of The Beach Boys

Beach Boys

Nothing fancy about it, just a great deal-30 hits on a single CD! And here they are: California Girls; I Get Around; Surfin’ Safari; Surfin’ U.S.A.; Fun, Fun, Fun; Surfer Girl; Don’t Worry Baby; Little Deuce Coupe; Shut Down; Help Me, Rhonda; Be True to Your School; When I Grow Up (to Be a Man); In My Room; God Only Knows; Sloop John B; Wouldn’t It Be Nice; Getcha Back; Come Go with Me; Rock and Roll Music; Dance, Dance, Dance; Barbara Ann; Do You Wanna Dance?; Heroes and Villains; Good Timin’; Kokomo; Do It Again; Wild Honey; Darlin’; I Can Hear Music, and, of course, Good Vibrations

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