Mac Leaphart blends the Southern Rock of his raising with oaky, 100 proof shots of Americana and alt-country, balancing out the flavors with wit, charm, and hard-earned wisdom. The Charleston, SC native’s recently released Music City Joke takes an honest laugh-or-you-just-might-cry approach to a decade-long odyssey that’s seen Leaphart mature into a savvy observer more than comfortable with allowing real life into his music and a songwriter who’s possibly only just now realizing his full powers. For fun, we invited Mac to share some of his favorite tunes and what might be on his road trip playlist as he and the Pink Stones roll into Macon for an anticipated show on Friday, August 6th at the newly renovated Grant’s Lounge in Downtown Macon!
READ: Music City Joke: Mac Leaphart on New Album, Terrible Guitars, and Becoming a Better Songwriter
1. “Bayou Song”, Tina Turner (from Tina Turns the Country On)
Doesn’t get much better than Tina singing a country song. This one just knocks me out!
2. “Real Live Hurtin’ Man”, Johnny Adams (from Heart & Soul)
Johnny Adams is a painfully underrated artist. From New Orleans, all the Crescent City Cats referred to him as the ‘Tan Canary. His range is incredible, and whoever plays guitar on these recordings has really cool licks.
3. “When I Get To The Border”, Richard and Linda Thompson (from I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight)
I was in a record store one time and heard the clerks talking about Richard Thompson. He must be great, so I picked up an anthology, and it hooked me. A really cool & underrated guitar player.
4. “Wild West End”, Dire Straits (from Dire Straits)
One of my all-time favorite songs plain & simple.
5. “Roll On Babe”, Ronnie Lane (from Anymore for Anymore)
Got turned onto Ronnie Lane after wearing out all my Faces albums, and he became a beacon of influence on me.
6. “Flat Foot Flewzy”, NRBQ (from High Noon)
Just a cool band, man.
7. “Blue Red and Grey”, The Who (from The Who By Numbers)
I’ve always dug this one.
8. “The Ella B”, Amazing Rhythm Aces (from Stacked Deck)
What a jam, man! I really dig this era of music– southern rock, country, a little bit of all of it.
9. “Blue Canoe”, Blue Mountain (from Dog Days)
Always dug this one! Great song that sometimes finds its way into my live set.
10. “Hill Country Rain”, Jerry Jeff Walker (from Jerry Jeff Walker)
Jerry Jeff just makes the best records. This song just eases its way into your senses like that first cup of coffee. So cool.
11. “The Winner”, Bobby Bare (from Lullabys, Legends, and Lies)
Shel Silverstein is a big hero of mine and has influenced my songwriting greatly. One of my all-time favorite songs!
12. “Ballad of Bob Yamaha or A Simple Plea in C Major”, Mac Leaphart (from Music City Joke)
I talked to Brad Jones, who produced it, I was like, “You gotta have a terrible guitar, right?” The guitar that we used was so bad that I almost changed the title!
13. “Honey, Shake!”, Mac Leaphart (from Music City Joke)
I’m glad we recorded “Honey Shake” because southern rock and original rock n’ roll, Chuck Berry-type stuff is a big influence on me. And that influence wasn’t on this record until “Honey Shake”.