I don’t know about you, but I blare music when I write. Usually stuff relating to what I’m writing, in the same mood, etc. I’ve talked about how Nicole Atkins has helped with Cura. There are a number of bands that are consistently revolving around what I do.

For Hal Taylor, my detective/PI series character, the best number one super rocking band is Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. I’ve been listening to them for fifteen years now, since they were The Refreshments, and they never fail to help me get through a tough patch or writing or life.

The love affair started with a six dollar CD in Tower Records in 1995, and it came from staying up late on a Sunday night (12-2, 120 Minutes) and seeing this video:

Go ahead and hit play… and don’t keep reading. Listen to the lyrics. They’re fucking rad.

It wasn’t so much the music (which was slightly country for my tastes at the time) so much as it was the lyrics. And then I listened to the whole album, which similarly rocked, and it and the subsequent album, The Bottle and Fresh Horses, became a bit of a soundtrack for me for the ages of 17 and 18. This song helped me through a bad breakup:

You probably know the band from the theme song for King of the Hill.

They broke up (I don’t know the reason), and became Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. Since then, it’s been up and up. They helped me through a lot of the Bush administration. Their songs are blue collar, hopeful, romantic, and they speak to a very personal experience. The lyrics and the music combine. Many times an artist is just the music, or just the lyrics, even, and when they marry well, you get a Roger Clyne style experience.

I would start with the album “Honky Tonk Union,” but it’s really a case where you can’t go wrong no matter where you go. Here’s a few of my fave Roger Clyne/Refreshment songs:

Green and Dumb

Leaky Little Boat

Love, Come Lighten My Load

Best of all? They’re indie artists making it without having to rely on corporate types, like me. I hope I can keep that up.