Each winter, I make an "anti-doldrums" playlist to get me through the bleakest months in New York. Inevitably, John Vanderslice makes it into the mix. His songs are generally upbeat, with varied arrangements and lyrics that have substance without being devastating (usually).
My all-time favorite is "Keep the Dream Alive," a staple that helps me get out of bed beginning November 3rd. For whatever reason, it's the one kum-ba-ya song that I can totally get behind. I think its because like the singer himself, it's endearlingly dorky without being too precious. Another reason to love Vanderslice: he usually closes his shows by playing this song a-capella in the center of the crowd. Then he shakes everyone's hand as they walk out.
P.S. His latest album is a free download on his website. What a dreamboat ... just what the doldrums ordered!
On iTunes: John Vanderslice / "Keep the Dream Alive"