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Maura Friedman

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Your Thanksgiving dinner isn't complete without this playlist

Ah, Thanksgiving. A day stuffed with all of our favorite things: Family and football. Stretchy pants and second helpings. Homecomings and homemade pie. To set the scene, here are some multi-generational grooves for getting your gravy on this year. Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom for an easy-to-play list of each of the songs below.

1. Leon Bridges: “Coming Home”
Kick off the celebration with this smooth, soulful track from Ft. Worth’s favorite son.

2. Charles Bradley: “Good to be Back Home”
It’s hard to believe this self-described "screaming eagle of soul,” who once made his living as a James Brown impersonator, didn’t release his first studio record until he was in his 60s.

3. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: “Home”
Ubiquitous? Yes. Catchy? Yes. Are we sick of it yet? Not quite.

4. Drake: “Keep the Family Close”
Even the rich and famous get let down by friends and need their families to pick them back up.

5. The Apache Relay: “Home is Not Places”
“Home is not places, it is love.” Hard to argue with the Nashville-based folk rock band’s sentiments, especially if you’re far from home during the holidays.

6. Kayne West: “Family Business”
Ah, old photo albums, embarrassing childhood stories and family squabbles — Thanksgiving at its realest.

7. Miranda Lambert: “The House That Built Me”
The country queen shows a softer side in this tearjerker about the old family home.

8. 2Pac: “Dear Mama”
Make sure to turn up the volume on the hip hop great’s tribute to to his mother, who “made miracles every Thanksgiving.”

9. Dolly Parton: “Coat of Many Colors”
Proving that certain thematic material crosses genre, here's another homage to a family matriarch, this time from the one and only Dolly.

10. The Shins: “Young Pilgrims”
Leave it to the Australian indie darlings to pen a perfect song about a very American holiday.

11. Vince Guaraldi Trio: “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”
Who doesn’t get all the feels just hearing the opening bars of this holiday classic?

12. Hank Williams: “Hey Good Lookin’”
Yeah, it’s a little dated and more than a little bit sexist, but dang, if this song isn’t utterly charming and perfect for a food-focused celebration.

13. Louis Armstrong: “All That Meat and No Potatoes”
This sly Satchmo song will have you dancing off your meat and potatoes to make room for some pie.

14. The Kinks: “Maximum Consumption”
Clam chowder. Beefsteak on rye. Pumpkin pie. We’re stuffed after listening to just the first line of this British rockers’ ode to gluttony.

15. John Legend: “Save Room”
Okay, technically, the song’s about love, not food, but you can’t go wrong with a little John Legend on your playlist.

16. Kesha: “Praying”
This powerful, soul-baring anthem will surely please the youngsters at your table.

17. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: “Thank You”
This song goes down as easy as that second helping of mashed potatoes.

18. Bob Marley: “Give Thanks and Praises”
The Jamaican artist sums up the spirit of the holiday.


To listen to the playlist now, click the playlist image below.


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Laura Scholz is a freelance writer with a passion for spirits and wellness who believes life, like a good cocktail, is best lived in balance. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Eater Atlanta, Liquor.com, SevenFifty Daily, Simply Buckhead and Tales of the Cocktail. Laura is also a certified Pilates and TRX instructor who loves running, yoga, live music, traveling, hiking with her dog, and playing the piano and ukulele. She lives on Atlanta's Westside with her husband Tim and freely admits she does more singing, dancing and drinking than cooking in her Southern kitchen.

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