When I was in college, and for a good many years after, I was a serious coffee house dweller. I studied, ate, listened to music, and made life-long friendships at a number of caffeine-pushing establishments.
There is just something about a coffee house that is close to heaven for me. Intelligent crowds, great conversation and of course, the wonderful smells don't hurt either.
Coffee houses have a reputation for supporting the arts, music included, and many songwriters got their start here. Cafés tend to be small, so a songwriter can sit on a stool with an acoustic guitar, or behind a piano and perform with very little, or no amplification. Add this to the fact that the coffee house demographic tends to love music, and you have a fine performance option for the songwriter.
I'll take a coffee house over a bar any day of the week.
This playlist was inspired by all the time I've spent in cafés. I've selected each song based on a few criteria.They had to be acoustic-based, sparsely produced and wonderful.
The end result is an extra-long playlist that's goes perfectly with a cup of Joe and some good friends.
1. Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
2. Naked As We Came - Iron & Wine
3. Eli, The Barrowboy - The Decemberists
4. Girl In The War - Josh Ritter
5. New Slang - The Shins
6. I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie
7. Winter - Joshua Radin
8. Ain't No Reason - Brett Dennen
9. Shelter - Ray Lamontagne
10. Sail Away - David Gray
11. Nothing's Lost - Patrick Park
12. Two Different Things - Caitlin Cary
13. The Wind That Blew My Heart Away - Fruit Bats
14. Sky Blue Sky - Wilco
15. Sunday Noises - Califone
16. Dancing Virginia - Jump, Little Children
17. John Wayne Gacy, Jr. - Sufjan Stevens
18. I Fought In A War - Belle & Sebastian
19. Toxic Girl - Kings Of Convenience
20. Whisper - Imaad Wasif
21. Orange Sky - Alexi Murdoch
22. Eskimo - Damien Rice
23. Hi-Fi - M. Ward
24. Christmas Sweater - Brenda Weiler
25. This Is That New Song - Badly Drawn Boy
26. 2:45 AM - Elliott Smith
27. All Mixed Up - Red House Painters
28. Death's Black Train Is Coming - Gob Iron
29. Home - Engineers
30. Your Rocky Spine - Great Lake Swimmers
31. Star Witness - Neko Case
32. The Greatest - Cat Power
33. Up To My Neck In You - Mark Kozelek
34. Somewhere A Star Shines For Everyone - The Innocence Mission
35. Silja Line - The Rosebuds
36. Born - Over The Rhine