What Local Musicians Are Listening To

Have you ever wondered what songs local musicians blast in their cars on the way to a show, play in their headphones while they’re on tour or take as inspiration for their own songwriting? 

Wonder no longer. Here are the tunes a few of Door County’s music-makers have on repeat – and a Spotify playlist of their picks if you want to listen along with them. Tune in by scanning the QR code in the Spotify app or visiting

Hans Christian: “Paradise” by Sade, “we can’t be friends (wait for your love)” by Ariana Grande and “La Buddha” by Thomas Barquee, a friend and collaborator of Christian’s.

Photo by Rachel Lukas.

Zephyr Ciesar: “Good Luck, Babe!” by Chappell Roan. It’s a breakup song with a fun, fantastical twist, Ciesar said. 

Photo by Rachal Lukas.

David Cavanaugh: “Silver Wings” by Merle Haggard and the Strangers and “Southern Railroad Blues” by Norman Blake. Cavanaugh has been enjoying the oldies as he works on his bluegrass chops for a summer of shows (he plays solo and with The Cherry Tones.)

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Katie Dahl: “Buffalo” by Hurray For The Riff Raff.

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Cathy Grier: “Say A Little Prayer (Live)” by Lianne La Havas, “Not Strong Enough” by boygenius and “I Walk A Little Faster” by Blossom Dearie. Grier describes her day-to-day listening choices as all over the place, but recently she’s been listening to lots of jazz and live recordings off YouTube, especially NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. 

Photo by Brian Waranauskas.

Eric Hagen: “Amos Moses” by Jerry Reed. Hagen just finished a tour, during which he used this song to pump himself up.

Photo by Ty Helbach.

Ruby James: “Fruits of my Labor” and “Everything Has Changed,” both from the album Honeysuckle Switches: The Songs of Lucinda Williams by Amos Lee. James has loved Lucinda Williams’ music for years and covered her music herself, and finds Amos Lee’s versions of her songs soulful and affecting.

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Dennis Keith Johnson: “Worth It” by RAYE and “What’s The T? (Delfionic Edit)” by Roy Ayers. Some of the artists he has on repeat are Muse and Lake Street Dive – and his son, Absolute Phase.

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Mike Judy: “Candy” by Morphine. It’s danceable with a solid beat, Judy said.

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Ben Larsen: Coming Into Shore, an album by Burning Lake, and “Sense of Wonder” by Mark Erelli – a relatable song for anyone who has or knows a child, Larsen said.

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Paul Taylor: “Virile” by Moses Sumney. “My Hands” by Loupe, mastered by the same person who masters Taylor’s music, is another favorite, as is “I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep On Dancin” by Mike Doughty, who Taylor just finished a tour with as a drummer. 

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