I am compiling a playlist about lonesome losers. Help me populate it.
July 18, 2018 3:59 PM   Subscribe

I have become semi-obsessed with Danny O' Keefe's early 70s country folk mope "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues" and want to find more in its vein.

Howdy y'all! The hive has been very good to me in years past in compiling playlists and so I come to you again for help.
I have become semi-obsessed with Danny O' Keefe's early 70s country folk mope "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues" and want to find more in its vein.
Something about the nursin-one-down-at-the-end-of-the-bar somberness of the song really hits me square in the chest. It's Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb and Paul Westerberg and Jason Isbell all in one. But there's something more there than just "woe is me" emotionalism. Theres a tender heart of regret beating inside it and I wanna find more like it.
The closest cousin I can think of (and lyrically its not that similar) is Little Feat's "Willin".
Im a generally chipper fellow but what I want is the perfect bourbon soaked playlist for those rare nights when its you and the bottle and "what the hell have I done with all this less-than-modest potential?"

Cheers!
posted by Senor Cardgage to Media & Arts (55 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Guy Clark. Dublin Blues.
posted by pantarei70 at 4:11 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Willie Nelson, Are You Sure.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:17 PM on July 18, 2018


Caitlin Rose, Own Side. (I love this genre.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:18 PM on July 18, 2018


Does it have to be about wasting big potential or can it be about just sad outcomes? I'm thinking of John Prine or Angel From Montgomery
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:20 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Neil Young, Tired Eyes - key line: "He tried to do his best, but he could not."
posted by maupuia at 4:21 PM on July 18, 2018


I think this is in that vein and it absolutely murders me so here you go and hopefully it murders you, too.

Jackson C Frank Blues Run the Game
posted by Smearcase at 4:21 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris, "Love Hurts," isn't specifically about sitting in a bar feeling regretful, but it fits the mood.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:22 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


...or are you looking for bar songs? Ray Price The Night Life
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:23 PM on July 18, 2018


Maybe this is how the evening started: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, by Richard and Linda Thompson. ("If you've got the cab fare, mister, you'll do alright.")
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:23 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Mekons - Last Dance - "Looking at you in desperation, knowing nothing ever happens."
posted by maupuia at 4:29 PM on July 18, 2018


Wasted and wounded... Tom Waits, Tom Traubert’s Blues. And pretty much all of Heartattack and Vine.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:33 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Webb Pierce There Stands the Glass
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:35 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Verlaines - Joed Out
posted by maupuia at 4:36 PM on July 18, 2018


Steely Dan, Deacon Blues

They got a name for the winners in the world.
I want a name when I lose.
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide.
Call me Deacon Blues.
posted by FencingGal at 4:36 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Gerry Rafferty, Baker Street

This is one of the most beautiful songs in the world.
posted by FencingGal at 4:39 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


Elliott Smith, "St Ides Heaven." Everything is exactly right when I walk around here drunk every night...
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:41 PM on July 18, 2018


Songs: Ohia Just Be Simple

Or you could go with The Big Game is Every Night, which is beyond words.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:42 PM on July 18, 2018


Response by poster: Guy Clark. Dublin Blues.

First time hearing it annnnnnnnnnnd ouch.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:42 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Possibly Second Effort by Stan Rogers:

It's harder to try again than it was to begin
A man can play a lone hand in a high stakes game, but it doesn't mean he's gonna win
And somehow I've got to keep from getting further down
Before I buy myself a bottle of cheap escape, and a ticket to another town

posted by darchildre at 4:44 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also Willie Nelson - The Party's Over
Ry Cooder - This is The Way We Make a Broken Heart
Merle Haggard - Swinging Doors
Emmylou Harris - Two More Bottles of Wine (maybe too chipper)
posted by brookeb at 4:47 PM on July 18, 2018


Also Warren Zevon covering Knocking On Heaven's Door
posted by brookeb at 4:55 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Elvis: A Mess of Blues
Tryin' To Get To You

Vocals, rhythms, Scotty Moore's guitar, the slapback, it's all sublime.
posted by effluvia at 4:56 PM on July 18, 2018


Alex Chilton — Nobody’s Fool. (Original version by Dan Penn)
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:58 PM on July 18, 2018


These are a bit over the map, but hopefully some of them are orbiting that same sort of emotional black hole:
Elliott Smith - Between the Bars
Rilo Kiley - Xmas Cake
Little Scream - The Heron and the Fox
Tom Waits - Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis (or the Neko Case cover)
Bob Dylan - Not Dark Yet
Leonard Cohen - Leaving The Table
posted by eponym at 5:23 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Has anyone already listed My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Willie Nelson? "You could die from the cold in the arms of a nightman, Knowin' well that your best days are gone."
posted by salvia at 5:42 PM on July 18, 2018


the eponymous 'lonesome loser' by little river band.
posted by koroshiya at 6:08 PM on July 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


Perhaps "Why Not Me" by Fred Knoblock?
posted by wittgenstein at 6:44 PM on July 18, 2018


Terry Allen - I Just Left Myself
posted by gyusan at 6:47 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'd say Little Feat's "I've Been The One" is a better match
posted by thelonius at 7:14 PM on July 18, 2018


The Golden Palominos' cover is more melancholy perhaps
posted by thelonius at 7:15 PM on July 18, 2018


Buy Now Pay Later (Charlie No. 2) by The Whitlams is not so much a 70's country folk dirge as a 90's indy dirge, but I do love it so.
posted by h00py at 9:05 PM on July 18, 2018


Keith - Mind If I Hang Around
Jimmy Donley - Born To Be A Loser
Dion - I Was Born To Cry
posted by rhizome at 9:13 PM on July 18, 2018


Also Danny O'Keefe, from his next record -- Mad Ruth/The Babe
posted by Rash at 9:46 PM on July 18, 2018


Swallowed By The Cracks by David snd David.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:53 PM on July 18, 2018


Sick, Sober and Sorry
posted by Rash at 10:07 PM on July 18, 2018


Mose Allison’s
I’m Smashed
posted by artdrectr at 10:19 PM on July 18, 2018


"Last night I dressed in tails, pretended I was on the town". Statler Brothers, Flowers on the Wall.
posted by namret at 10:50 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Lee Hazlewood - "If It's Monday Morning" (but in your mix be sure to skip the dippy spoken-word intro, as I have done with my link..)
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:32 AM on July 19, 2018


The Swans - God Damn the Sun

It's been my favorite when I've been depressed and isolated. It might fit.
posted by bendy at 12:37 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also, just for the sheer brilliance of the lyrics..
The Magnetic Fields - "Love is Like a Bottle of Gin"
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:49 AM on July 19, 2018


Mary Gauthier - I drink
I'd also say Bruce Springsteen's The River fits on the "lost future" side, but less so on the drinking side.
posted by crocomancer at 12:59 AM on July 19, 2018


"Hello Walls", the Willie Nelson-penned 1961 hit for Faron Young, is an elegant version of this fine genre.
posted by Glomar response at 4:10 AM on July 19, 2018


Townes Van Zandt, Rex's Blues
posted by maurice at 6:15 AM on July 19, 2018


Deceptively upbeat, not C&W, but reliably devastating - "Up The Junction"
posted by Glomar response at 6:50 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Loudon Wainwright - one man guy
posted by Nilehorse at 7:04 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Possibly bleaker than you're looking for:

Magnolia Electric Co. - Almost Was Good Enough
posted by box at 8:12 AM on July 19, 2018


Gillian Welch - Wayside
posted by BeHereNow at 8:41 AM on July 19, 2018


Sit and Listen to the Rain is the first Whiskeytown song to come to mind, though there might be more that hit the spot.
posted by clavicle at 9:41 AM on July 19, 2018


Neil Young, The Loner
posted by j810c at 10:03 AM on July 19, 2018


George Jones - One is a Lonely Number
posted by rhizome at 10:56 AM on July 19, 2018


Lucero is pretty good for this if you're into raspy alt country. Drink Til We're Gone and Kiss the Bottle are older but thematically relevant. You'll find a lot of similar subject matter across pretty much all their songs, though.
posted by a.steele at 10:58 AM on July 19, 2018


JD Crowe cover Ian Tyson's Summer Wages.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Back To The Barrooms Again by Merle Haggard
posted by Rash at 9:56 PM on July 19, 2018


After Saturday night, there's always Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
posted by Bron at 8:17 AM on July 21, 2018


Nick Lowe Lately I've Let Things Slide
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:18 AM on July 22, 2018


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