My fall choices are mostly pretty standard, almost to the point of being cliche...probably a lot of stuff you're already familiar with. I get pretty heavy into the singer-songwriter groove that time of year myself, for whatever reason. Something about the cooler temps, the colors, the shorter days, just puts me into a yacht-rock mood.
My favorites are:
1. WALKING MAN-James Taylor (probably his least popular album, from 1974, but still my favorite.)
2. Jackson Browne-LATE FOR THE SKY, THE PRETENDER, RUNNING ON EMPTY
3. HARVEST-Neil Young
4. Warren Zevon-EXCITABLE BOY or his self-titled album--Mrs. Sohio is a Zevon fanatic...in high school, she was the only girl I knew who had Zevon posters in her bedroom. That was when I knew she was the one. So, we never go anywhere without a solid roster of Warren Zevon CDs; I'm pretty sure she owns every one. These two are my favorites for fall driving.
5. COLORS OF THE DAY-Judy Collins
6. Joni Mitchell-COURT AND SPARK or HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS--come winter, I'll likely switch over to BLUE, but these two fit the fall mood for me a little better.
7. Fleetwood Mac-PENGUIN, BARE TREES, HEROES ARE HARD TO FIND...three albums from the period right before Buckingham & Nicks joined. Similar in style to their popular late-70s hits, but not as played out. Many nice songs with Christine McVie vocals on these three albums.
8. WRITER-Carole King...her often-overlooked debut album, perfect for an unseasonably warm October day.
9. Grateful Dead-AMERICAN BEAUTY or WORKINGMAN'S DEAD
10. Kris Kristofferson-SONGS OF KRISTOFFERSON
Okay...those are all pretty standard, things you are likely already familiar with. Some lesser-known selections I like for fall driving:
1. Judee Sill: Tragic singer-songwriter who put out two fine albums in the 70s, available on CD as a two-fer (JUDEE SILL and HEART FOOD). Similar in style to the other more popular female singer-songwriters of the era, and a friend and protégé of Graham Nash and the Turtles. A heroin addict and former prostitute (and step-daughter of TOM & JERRY animator Ken Muse) who peppered her songs with bizarre mystic-Christian lyrics. With a backstory like that, it's got to be good, right?
2. Vashti Bunyan: I usually save her for later fall; November and early December, because her stoic delivery fits a colder, more barren landscape. Sort of an acquired taste. British acoustic folk-pop with ethereal vocals. One CD compilation is drawn entirely from old vinyl records and acetates (those being the only copies of the recordings that still exist) complete with vinyl surface noise...this adds nicely to the tone of the music.
3. CHELSEA GIRL-Nico: Definitely an acquired taste, and another one for later in the fall. Her heavy accent tends to alienate some people, but I rather enjoy the folk-influenced acoustic covers on this album ("These Days", "I'll Keep it With Mine"). I find the accent endearing, some may find it annoying. To each his own.
4. I WANT TO SEE THE BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT-Richard & Linda Thompson: "When I Get to The Border" is a perfect song for a journey, the title track is the perfect song about what to do when you get there.
5. Sandy Denny: Anything by Sandy Denny, or any of the groups she fronted: the Strawbs, Fairport Convention, Fotheringay. She experimented with a wide range of styles, but her body of work is large enough to sift through and pick out the selections that fit your mood best (still ending up with a long enough list to make it worthwhile); yet small enough to do this all in one sitting.
6. YOU MUST ASK THE HEART-Jonathan Richman: Another one of Mrs. Sohio's "boyfriends." His delivery might be a little too silly for some, but both of us celebrate the man's entire catalog...Mrs. Sohio gave her two cents as this being the best one of his albums for fall driving.
7. WAITING FOR A MIRACLE-Bruce Cockburn: That's pronounced "Coburn," by the way. This is a 2-CD best-of compilation. Something of a Canadian Warren Zevon, "Going Down Slow", "Peggy's Kitchen Wall", and "Wondering Where The Lions Are" show up in our fall playlist year after year.
I checked, and samples of all of this music can be heard on youtube.
Let me know what you think. This is just the list I came up with off the top of my head. I have some time off later in the week, maybe I'll pour through the records and see if I'm forgetting anything...I feel like I might be.
This is fun! I'd like to hear what others are listening to...