Daytrotter- The Best 24 Bucks You’ll Spend on Music This Year! (Or Any Other)

by Lee Gonnella on September 9, 2012

Daytrotter….. if you’re a music fiend, you’re either a subscriber or you’ve never heard of it. There’s really no in between, it’s that great.

It goes like this,  bands and musicians, as they’re travelling,  stop by the Daytrotter homebase of Rock Island, Illinois,  as well as satellite studios in places like Austin, Callfornia, and London.  There, in an old-school recording studio full of instruments,  they have a recording session.  Once the engineers put together the finished sessions, they release 5 new ones every day, Monday through Friday.  All sessions they’ve ever done are banked and available for listening at anytime.  Daytrotter has been around for about 6 years, there are thousands of sessions. The live sessions from Rock Island are also available for listening,  live as they happen.  To listen,  you need a subscription.  It’s 24 dollars a year and I havn’t even got to the best part yet…

You get to download the sessions, if you’re so inclined. It’s easy and you can then put them on any music program or device. The sessions are totaly professional, they sound like records for the most part,  with a “live from the studio” feel.  Most of them are about 20 minutes,  4 or 5 songs,  although sometimes someone will squeeze a bunch of shorties in,  or do 1 long medley. And still,  that’s not the best part….

The best part,  as you’ve deduced by now,  is the music!  I defy anyone to not be able to find music they love on Daytrotter.  The list of bands and musicians is stunning,  and runs the entire scope from grammy winners to bands that most people have never heard of.  Every genre you can think of,  other than maybe opera,  is represented on Daytrotter.

Each session  has an illustration of the performer,  links to websites and to download the session,  and a particularly interesting essay by Daytrotter founder Sean Moeller.  Sean’s intros are like no liner notes or music-speak you’ve ever read.  I have to admit,  I found them odd at first, but they’ve grown on me to the point where I want to publish the man.  If you want a band bio,  follow the link,  if you want something more literate,  keep reading Sean.

Some of my personal favorites, in no particular order, have been: Blue Skies For Black Hearts, Chuck Prophet, JEFF the Brotherhood, SIMS, Bad Weather California, Bhi Bhiman, Kris Kristofferson, Chilly Gonzales the Musical Genious, The Shivering Timbers, Centro-Matic, Blitzen Trapper (they’ve done 5 sessions), Chuck Ragan, Social Distortion, Jimmy Cliff…..and just so many more that I could go on for pages and pages…..and I’d still feel I was leaving somebody out.

And believe me,  these sessions are special because you’re getting something quite different…..the performers know they only have about 20 minutes and they generally make it pretty special.  Daniel Johnston‘s guitar player said he’d been asking for “True Love Will Find You In The End”, unsuccessfully for the whole tour,  and Daniel finally okays it for the Daytrotter session.  Carly Simon,  yes that Carly Simon, doesn’t just play “You’re So Vain”,  she plays it with her son Ben Taylor (who has 2 DT sessions), the two of them on guitar, with an updated arrangement.  Priceless stuff.

There’s more,  like little freebies they throw in,  but you’ll figure all that out when you subscribe.  You can also sign up for a free 2-week trial if you want a test drive.  You’ll find it’s a very well-done site,  easy to navigate and create playlists.  I’ll just say this last thing,  and I’m addressing anyone who’s passion is music –  if I only had 24 bucks a year to spend on music,  I’d join Daytrotter.  That’s the true gen, and I’m not getting anything from the very nice folks at Daytrotter for saying it  (believe me I asked).

Here’s Blitzen-Trapper doing “Furr” at their September 2008 Daytrotter session,  with some home made video done by an Italian fan.

as you were…

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