Hanukkah has come and gone. There are so many great thing about this family celebration — the food, the songs (including the not-quite traditional “Mule Train” (see below for 2007’s version), and the great Hanukkah CD swap that my sister Wendy organizes. To me, the key to a good CD swap is coming up with a theme each year. One year it was the Voice Crush, performer’s voices who just kill me. This year though I went with a banjo theme — songs that have a banjo in it.
Here is my list: “Ain’t No Grave,” Crooked Still “My First Lover,” Gillian Welch “Cluck Old Hen,” Kris Delmhorst “Old King,” Neil Young “Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us,” Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Are You Walking & A’ Talking With the Lord,” The Sacred Shakers Casimir Pulaski,” Sufjan Stevens “Swimming Pools,” Thao “1234,” Feist” “A Year From Now,” Blanche “Jezebel,” Iron & Wine “Squeeze Box,” The Who “Born to Hum,” Erin McKeown “Cumberland Blues,” the Grateful Dead “O Mary Don’t You Weep,” Bruce Springsteen