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Adding Some (More) Texas Tunes to the President's Summer Playlist

President Obama dancing backstage at the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in June.
Pete Souza/Instagram
President Obama dancing backstage at the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in June.

From Texas Standard:

It's been smooth sailing for Leon Bridges this summer. The 27-year-old neo-soul singer from Fort Worth has gotten lots of critical acclaim as well as a mighty big hat tip from President Obama, who included Bridges on his second-annual summer Spotify playlist.

The playlist runs the gamut from indie rockers like Courtney Barnett and Edward Sharpe to Brazil's Caetano Veloso. Dan Solomon, who writes for Texas Monthly, thinks the president may have overlooked some Texas flavor. 

Solomon says the president's list was "surprisingly hip." "A lot of stuff that wouldn't necessarily expect from the President of the United States," he says. "His staff assures me he did (pick the songs). That was his Chance the Rapper deep cut – all these are his."

Solomon recommends the president add a few (more) Texan artists to his rotation.

Robert Glasper, a Houston pianist

"He loves Miles Davis and Charles Mingus. He also likes the airy side of R & B, which is something Glasper plays with a lot."

The Suffers, a Houston soul band

"They're pretty soulful, large band that have a lot of the throwback thing going on, which feels very authentic from them."

St. Vincent, an eclectic singer-songwriter from Dallas

"He's got a pretty diverse set of interests... He's listening to Fiona Apple. I think he probably enjoys St. Vincent too. I think they've got some similar things going on."

White Denim, an Austin rock band

"Their new album is a littleZZTop... there's a lot of blue-eyed soul going on there too."


Listen to the full interview (and the rest of Solomon's playlist additions) in the audio player above. Post by Hannah McBride.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Leah Scarpelli joined Texas Standard in September 2015 from NPR’s Morning Edition, where she spent seven years as a producer, director and occasional reporter of music and arts pieces. As Texas Standard director, Leah is responsible for the overall practical and creative interpretation of each day’s program: choosing segue music, managing the prep of show content, and providing explicit directions for the host and technical director during the live broadcast. She graduated from Ithaca College in New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Radio. She enjoys riding her Triumph motorcycle and getting out for hikes in the Texas countryside. Her late grandfather was from Yoakum.