Chances are, you already know Daytrotter. But in a series about excellent music websites, it’s almost criminal not to mention Sean Moeller’s extraordinary website. Since 2007, the site has been serving up excellent, intimate music sessions for the masses. Their motto: “One band a day, every day, 28 Daytrotter Session songs each week.” Here’s how it works: Bands take a couple of hours out of their travels to visit The Horseshack in Rock Island, IL., where they then record a variety of tracks. Daytrotter puts together some art, and an oft-amusing description of the session, and gives the music away on their site. It’s an amazingly expansive collection, too, and a true marvel that it’s all done in a not-for-profit enterprise. And while picking out highlights in this collection is like trying to pick out a favorite piece of sand on a pristine beach, I’ll do my best.
To really appreciate how these sessions come together, I think it’s best to hear how Daytrotter describes the process:
They use borrowed instruments, play with their touring mates, utilize an often unkempt toilet, eat some food and then cram back into their vans for the last half of the drive. What they leave behind is a pile of ashes, sometimes a forgotten stocking hat and four absolutely collectible songs that often impart on whomever listens to them the true intensity that these musicians put into their art, sometimes with more clarity than they do when they have months to tinker with overdubs and experiments. These songs are them as they are on that particular day, on that particular tour – dirty and alive. We want you to make this your new home as it is ours. We promise that you will love it here.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Daytrotter, and I can personally attest to many, many lost hours spent exploring the archive. Speaking of which, while you can visit Daytrotter to hear the songs, you can also get them on your iPhone or Android. But rather than tell you how awesome Daytrotter is, why don’t I show you? Here are some of my favorite sessions from the site:
In addition to all of this awesomeness, there’s a video archive (of which you can find a taste below)! All in all, Daytrotter is the best run, most comprehensive site for fans of great musical performances. It’s free, and it happens every day. So, why wait? Head on over and visit Daytrotter, now!
And here’s that video… it’s Iron & Wine’s Daytrotter Session.