I moved to Chicago eight summers ago, and it wasn’t long before I was regularly going to Country Night at the Houndstooth Saloon, an Alabama bar in Wrigleyville. The novelty of this evening manifested in a half-dozen or so other bars in the neighborhood becoming country-themed, or at least hosting a country night. Pitchers and 40 oz’s were obscenely cheap. It was always a phenomenal time (and presumably still is, but I lamentably haven’t been in awhile).
The most significant reason the evening was always so great was the DJ, Brian Berman. He essentially played the bar patrons like a marionette with his playlist, which had to have been carefully considered to strategically alternate the crowd between dancing and drinking. The unofficial price to get a request played was a shot of Jameson. If I recall correctly, he didn’t even accept cash tips. I mean this in the most endearing way possible: He was like furniture there. You expected him to be doing the same job, and loving it, in 2050. In a rapidly changing neighborhood, he was to be a constant.
While I don’t think I ever had a conversation with him beyond exchanging pleasantries, it made me very sad to learn in February that Berman had passed. Many of the songs on this summer playlist (and I also made a Spotify playlist of what was available) are ones I first enjoyed at the Houndstooth. This post is dedicated to Berman’s memory.
1. Zac Brown Band – No Hurry
2. Easton Corbin – All Over the Road
3. Luke Bryan – Move
4. Randy Houser – How Country Feels
5. Patsy Cline – Crazy
6. Tim McGraw – Something Like That
7. Toby Keith – Whiskey Girl
8. Alabama – Dixieland Delight
9. Blake Shelton – Honey Bee
10. Taylor Swift – Sparks Fly
11. Brantley Gilbert – Bottoms Up
12. Thomas Rhett – Die a Happy Man
13. Garth Brooks – Callin’ Baton Rouge
14. Kenny Chesney – Summertime
15. Brad Paisley – Mud on the Tires
16. David Lee Murphy – Dust on the Bottle
17. Patsy Cline – Back in Baby’s Arms
18. Luke Bryan – I Don’t Want this Night to End
19. Chris Young – Aw Naw
20. Sam Hunt – Body Like a Back Road