Our November/December Deathbed Winner Explains His Picks

November/December 2013 winner Tom Cusimano talks about his winning choices for last issue’s Deathbed Contest. Also, be sure to enter the January/February 2014 contest for your chance to win a Martin 000-15SM Acoustic Guitar.

Videos by American Songwriter

Darkness on Edge of Town

Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Bruce Springsteen

There’s angst, desperation, and a life saving energy in every single song on this album. From life’s lowest point to the most victorious, I think it can relate to anyone. It’s been there for me my whole life!


Sailing To Philadelphia, Mark Knopfler

It’s the combination of Knopfler’s phenomenal guitar work and incredible story telling that grabs you on this record. From the opening chords, riff and perfectly executed storytelling lyrics it’s an amazing American record! Changed the whole I approach the guitar too!


The Band, The Band

I can’t imagine it was easy to follow up to Music From The Big Pink … but they did, and what a masterpiece! The grit in these stories/songs capture characters from America’s history along with every genre imaginable from America’s musical history. Musicianship and songwriting from the ultimate band. I believe The Band are one of the best bands to have ever existed.


Heart Of Saturday Night, Tom Waits

A young barroom poet before his voice “changed.” The sweetest melodies and wittiest lyrics, a wiseass with a broken soul looking for love. It’s the ultimate rainy night record, perfectly accompanied by a glass of whiskey. Kills me every time.


Wildflowers, Tom Petty

Rick Rubin produced. Sparse when it needs to be, thick for the rockers. What a perfect range in songwriting, performance and production … A perfect album.


Purple Rain, Prince

James Brown meets Jimi Hendrix and a whole lotta sex! This album has everything. Rock, pop, soul, R&B, funk and one of the greatest rock ballads and guitar solos of all time!


Hotcakes & Outtakes, Little Feat

What a collection! Little Feat had some of the cleverest lyrics and arrangements in the history of rock and roll. To me Lowell knew how to tell a story and play the guitar in a way no one else has ever been able to do. Great thing about this collection is that it spans from the first demo to the post Lowell tracks!


Let It Bleed, The Rolling Stones

Rock and roll at its finest. Taking production, songwriting, swagger, cool and making just one of the most badass rock records ever. I still get chills every time I hear it.


Boomer’s Story, Ry Cooder

Ry is a guitar player’s guitar player. His slide guitar ability is second to none. And his ability to act as a treasure hunter of songs and also his ability to write amazing songs is unparalleled. In my opinion, he is one of the most underrated and unrecognized heroes in the history of not just rock and roll but music in general.


Madman Across The Water, Elton John

The combination of lyrical songcraft by Bernie Taupin and Elton John’s incredible piano playing mixed with orchestral strings as well as folk and country instruments like pedal steel and mandolin make this album one of the most amazing records of all time.


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