Staff Picks: August 2021

Our Sheet Music Direct team plays, strums and sings just as much as you do! We're a team of musicians who love music of various styles and, when we're not busy with all things Sheet Music Direct, play at home, church, and gigs. Each month, we're sharing some of the favorite songs we're currently playing and why we think you'll love them too. Check out our staff picks for August below or head over to our Staff Picks page which we update regularly with the latest picks.

Find something you love? Let us know in the comments, or share it with the rest of the Sheet Music Direct community over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sam's Pick
Gravity, John Mayer

This year, John Mayer's third album Continuum – a personal favorite of mine – turns 15, and one of the undisputed highlights is the gorgeous "Gravity." With bluesy licks throughout it is definitely best-played on guitar. Fun fact: Alicia Keys can be heard providing backing vocals at the end of the song.

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Annie's Pick
Calambre, Astor Piazzolla (arr. Phillip Keveren)

I was looking for something different to play and ended up looking through Phillip Keveren's arrangements of Astor Piazzolla's Tangos. One of my favorites is "Calambre." It's not too difficult, and the syncopation and harmonies make it really enjoyable to play.

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Laura's Pick
Think, Aretha Franklin

The release of the biopic RESPECT, honoring the Queen of Soul, has had me thinking about Aretha Franklin's actual acting debut in The Blues Brothers. The way she commanded the screen singing a perfect throwback performance of "Think" began my love for her music as a kid, and introduced me to her pure music magic.

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Heath's Pick
Year of the Cat, Al Stewart

When I first heard this song, I was hooked. Solo piano opening, romantic and mystical lyrics, and a bridge drawing the listener closer with solos going from string to acoustic guitar to electric guitar – increasing the intensity – to a soft landing via saxophone. The song also contains one ne of my favorite opening lyrics: "On a morning from a Bogart movie, in a country where they turn back time, you go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre, contemplating a crime. She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running, like a watercolor in the rain…"

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Dan's Pick
Blinding Lights, The Weeknd

3x Grammy Award-winning artist, The Weeknd, just broke the record for number of weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Previously held by Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" his smash hit "Blinding Lights" has been in the top 100 now for 88 straight weeks! Not only is it a great song for listening, it's fun to play as well. There are 16 different arrangements on Sheet Music Direct, so finding the right one for you should be no problem at all. I'm personally a fan of Matt Conaway's Marching Band version.

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Bill's Pick
September Song, Agnes Obel

This beautiful solo piano piece from Danish singer and songwriter, Agnes Obel, sets the mood perfectly for the upcoming month and seasonal change.

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