If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Lucky Diaz, whose latest LP with the Family Jam Band, A Potluck, arrives May 8. You can preview the entire album right here at this link — after reading Lucky’s Desert Island picks, of course!
While this question is totally unfair…here is my feeble attempt at my desert island top five records:
The Beatles, Revolver
Let’s be honest, there’s no way to encapsulate the entire complexity of the Beatles in one album. But if one had to, I believe it would be this one. My daughter sings to “Yellow Submarine” the way I sang to “Good Day Sunshine” in the back seat of our family car. It’s been said “Here, There, Everywhere” is Paul’s favorite song he ever wrote. It’s certainly mine.
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
Before I ever visited New York City, it came to me via this album. I was a sophomore in high school when my band teacher (a trumpet player) lent me this album to take home. I never returned it. I finally understood the concept of an instrumentalist “singing” through their instrument. I felt New York. I felt Miles. Kind of Blue makes sadness beautiful.
The B-52’s, Cosmic Thing
Admittedly, I came to the B-52’s via my brother, who blasted “Rock Lobster” from his bedroom. He was obsessed with Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson. I believe we were 12 or so when Cosmic Thing was released. I had never heard a party before. Not only that, they looked like they came from mid-century outer space! “Love Shack” is still one of my all time favorite songs. I mean, you CAN’T help but move when you listen to it. Tin Roof Rusted!!!
Nirvana, Nirvana Unplugged
I suppose it’s my age, but Nirvana was my coming of age band. They heralded the Seattle sound that shaped my first bands, my first written songs, and my voice. We all wanted to be Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder. Here was a guy that couldn’t really sing or play a guitar that well — and he sounded amazing. I didn’t really know Bob Dylan yet, so Kurt was my first experience with a message and emotion really delivering a song. But not until this album did I really see how beautiful Kurt’s songs are. I believe this is the best Nirvana record ever recorded. “Dumb” WITH a string section! Brilliant.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced
People are often surprised to discover I’m a pretty serious guitar player. I spent a great deal of my youth cutting heads in blues jams where I grew up. Our records don’t have a lot of guitars on them. I always think the song comes first and rarely, if ever, do my songs ask for some epic guitar solo. I can honestly say when I first heard this album I couldn’t believe it was real. To this day, I’m mesmerized by Jimi. He’s what Miles is to the trumpet. I hear his voice in his playing. I want to play like Jimi. I want to perform like Jimi. Beautiful madness captured on tape played backwards.
Not a bad list of influences, right? See how they all came together to form A Potluck — coming May 8 to a store near you — in the album teaser clip below. And don’t forget to preview the whole record at this link. Enjoy!