Beware the music buying sprees that can happen when you’re bored… and a little drunk!

Over the weekend, I was watching TV and got bored. I don’t remember what I was watching that bored me, just that I got disgusted and turned off the TV. That’s not a bad thing, really, since there’s a reason people call TV “the boob tube”. When my husband is not home, I usually record music when I’m bored. I’ll either do karaoke on or I’ll make videos for YouTube. When my husband is home, I’ll usually turn on iTunes.

I currently have well over 12,000 songs on my iPod. Many songs were purchased on iTunes as part of whole albums or buy themselves. The rest come from my huge CD collection. I usually buy new music when I hear something I like. I’ll use Shazam if I’m in a public place and have WiFi or 4G to find out what the song is, if I don’t already know. Sometimes I’ll use it if I hear something on TV that I like. But the truth is, I am just as likely to buy stuff just randomly.

The other day, as I sat at my desk with a large glass of expensive, imported beer, I started listening to music on iTunes. I was just skipping through songs on my vast playlist, playing whatever struck my fancy. All was well until I ran into an album I partially purchased in 2007. At the time, my husband Bill was in Iraq and I was alone, drinking too much wine and listening to a lot of music to pass the hours. I ran across an album by Larry Sparks, a man I had never heard of. But he’d done a bunch of duets with a long list of bluegrass and country stars, one of whom was Alison Krauss. I am a BIG Alison Krauss fan. I downloaded the song Larry Sparks did with her and Dan Tyminski, which turned out to be a cover of The Judds’ “John Deere Tractor”.

Larry Sparks sings with Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski.

I was never a big fan of The Judds’ version of “John Deere Tractor”, but I like what Larry did with it. I ended up buying a couple more songs from the album from which it came, 40 (2005). Then I kind of forgot about it.

Fast forward seven years and I’m listening to “John Deere Tractor” and I got curious about the rest of the album. I started listening to clips on iTunes and recognizing other singers that I have since taken to liking after I first discovered 40 by Larry Sparks. One by one, I started paying for downloads and then just said, “Screw it!” and bought the rest of the album.

From there, I moved on a Michael Johnson album that featured a duet with Alison Krauss. I discovered it at about the same time I discovered Larry Sparks. I knew Michael Johnson from his 1978 hit, “Bluer Than Blue”. The song was played a lot when I was a little kid, but it wasn’t until my husband was deployed that I really connected with it.

This song has more meaning to me than it did in 1978.

Michael Johnson updated “Bluer Than Blue” on a 1997 album called Then and Now, which features updated acoustic versions of his better known songs. On that collection, there’s a really nice duet Johnson did with Alison Krauss that was made very famous by Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks. The song I write of is, of course, “Whenever I Call You Friend”.

Michael Johnson and Alison Krauss breathe updated life into “Whenever I Call You Friend”.

Well, fresh from my Larry Sparks download, I decided to complete Then and Now. And from there, I went on to download more partial albums… all while I sat there sipping expensive imported beer at my desk. By the time I was done, I had spent about $25! Who knew listening to music while drinking would end up being so expensive? While I love the convenience of buying music from my computer, I have to admit, iTunes and Amazon are making a small fortune off my habits. I need to curb this tendency, since my husband is about to be looking for work!