Stomp stomp-stomp clap

It's a rhythm that will get me fired up damn near any time. You probably know it. It's very rural, very working class. Were I a music historian, I'd probably know it as some form of time-keeping artifact of a cruder era. Maybe something with workers in the fields, or even slave labor.

All I know is that when I hear a good, bluesy, no-farther-north-than-Appalachia song with that backbone, I crank it up.

Thanks to a little discussion on Twitter, I've come up with three--perhaps my top three--stompy clappy tunes.

3) Marc Broussard's "Home"

It's a thumper of a song, surging and propelling the listener forward like the junky old bus featured in the video above. It's a song about the power of song, and the breakdown at about 2:20 had better get you tapping your foot at the very least, or you'd better call a nurse.

Plus, the kid's only 28 and he's got that voice. Check in at 3:10 or so if you don't know what I'm talking about.

2) Feist, "When I Was a Young Girl"

I've posted a live version of this song because that's how I encountered it at its most powerful. Feist's visit to the Orpheum Theater in Madison was a nice show, a little artsy for the crowd (who, I think, mostly just wanted to hear "1234")--but it was this song that nailed it for me. Her guitar is so raw and scratchy, and the Youtube clips just don't capture it. It's guitar that scorches through your shirt and into your ribcage. That's saying something for a song that dates back to Depression Era America.

You can hear the studio version here, but live is where it's at.

1) John Butler Trio, "Gov Did Nothing"

The link above is from one of the JBT shows I saw in Madison, but in this case, the studio version is the most stompy-clappiest. It's a Katrina song, and rather seething with bitterness over the federal response to the hurricane. The album cut features a full NOLA-style band, and as with the other two songs mentioned herein, there are great moments of drop-out and come-back. I recommend just getting your hands on this song because it's great.

My favorite aspects of these songs, indeed, are those moments when everything stops and then it gets all emo and the music comes back with a vengeance. I imagine that's cheap pop by music critic standards, but I just don't care. It's the weekend, dammit. Have a listen, and get up off your ass for 15 minutes or so to just rock out.