Dennis & Barb Heart. 50 years.

For this #SolarMusicMonday, I wanted to pause and honor my parents, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together this weekend. We were fortunate to have a very small, outdoor celebration at their home. It is hard to grasp the magnitude of this milestone; but telling stories, laughing and singing in their backyard seemed like a perfect way to celebrate everything they have given to our family. They are such a core part of who I am today. Daily, they demonstrate how to love. How to love each other, how to love the planet and every living thing, and how to hope for our future. And how to slow down, listen, and enjoy the wonders around us.

This year has been a tough one. My mom is immunocompromised, and has not been anywhere since late January of this year, other than a few car rides with my dad to see the changing seasons and migration of the animals through Wisconsin. It has been a challenge, but one of things that has gotten her through is the hopeful and fun music of the Okee Dokee Brothers. So I’d like to share that with you today.

This folk duo from Minnesota has brought so much fun and hope to our entire family. While putting his canoe on top of the car, my dad first heard “Can You Canoe” on WPR’s Simply Folk. From that moment on, their music has lifted their spirits, and our family has been able to enjoy concerts together like at Big Top Chautauqua.

The Okee Dokee Brothers were gracious enough to send a virtual message to my parents this weekend, recording of one of their lovely songs that can bring hope in this current moment. We are so thankful they took time to share their music and well wishes with my parents, so I wanted to share that song, Good Old Times, with you.

Two final notes on the Okee Dokee Brothers that you should know:

1. They are gracious in giving back to the community, including supporting this fundraiser for YMCA Camp Northern Lights to create a week of intercultural connected-ness in the woods, creating a family camp with 50% BIPOC families to help disrupt the traditional power dynamics that is too often present at camps. To make spaces more inclusive by thoughtfully and intentionally representing and supporting indigenous families and people of color.

2. If you have kids, this is a win for you. Check out their full movie video specials, and soon enough you’ll be floating down the Mississippi, or riding horseback out west; and your family will have new songs to sing. And, honestly, anything new helps during this pandemic!  My mom says she knows your family will enjoy! <3

Good Old Times
The Okee Dokee Brothers

We used to sit around the fire
Tellin’ tales about the days of old
We’d reminisce about the times we missed
I reminisce about the stories we told
And as the fire got to dying down
And the night would start to turn back to day
We’d laugh once more for fun
And then someone would say

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times

When we’re old and our memories are grey
If we have any left at all
In the spring, we’ll watch leaves being born
And then we’ll watch them change in the fall
We’ll wish that we were young again
Tell that story about your wedding day
Life is short, but we’ve had each other
And then one of us will say…

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times

If there was a time to sing this old tune
I figured that would be now
Cuz today will be yesterday tomorrow
Ain’t it crazy how time works out
There ain’t nothin’ like a good old friend
And there ain’t many friends like you and me
We’ve got a lot of great stories
But I think we can all agree…

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times


Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

Jane Pulaski. Solar Pillar, Texas Promoter.

Jane is such a positive force in the solar community. Many of you know Jane from her work at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, telling the story of IREC’s amazing work with programs to advance strong clean energy regulatory, code and standards, and workforce development solutions. Over her 20+ years in the industry, Jane repeatedly lifts others up, and helps make connections between individuals and organizations doing good work. And so many of us are thankful for that!

Now, this week is already teed up to be a tough one, with more unnecessary violence, more fires and storms, and podiums filled with fear-mongering and hate. So, thank goodness for light and love. Thankful to Jane for providing a FULL LIST of songs to add to the #SolarMusicMonday playlist. We will need them all this week!

Jane is one of the biggest promoters of Austin, TX and live music. And, boy howdy, do I miss Texas, and Austin! So it makes me so happy to feature her addition this week. For those of you who are also missing some of your favorite places and people this summer, as travel plans have been put on hold, I hope some of these sunny songs can brighten your week.

Jane’s Playlist Additions:

“Get yer #SolarMusicMonday on!
With love from your pals from Austin, aka Live Music Capital of the World!”

Ray Charles “You Are My Sunshine”
The Beatles “Sun King”
The Carter Family “Keep on the Sunny Side”
The Rivieras  “California Sun”
The 5th Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”
The Jayhawks “Waiting for the Sun”
Katrina & the Waves “Walking on Sunshine”
The Velvet Underground “Who Loves the Sun”
The Pogues “The Sunny Side of the Street”
T Rex “Mambo Sun”
Gerry & the Pacemakers “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”

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Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

Denise Abdul-Rahman, Regional Field Organizer, NAACP.

As NAACP’s Midwest Environmental Climate Justice Program Field Organizer, Denise brings smiles and passion to her work, but importantly, she inspires others to do more and think bigger. She is a strong environmental justice leader in the Midwest, and not only advocates for strong policies but for working together for tangible actions. Over the years, I have been honored to work alongside Denise as she digs into policy battles in states like Indiana and Illinois, or creates opportunities for action with congregations and communities in Michigan and Texas.

She is an inspiration, with a constant open door for others to join in the movement.

Denise’s Playlist Additions:

It’s a New Day

I went asleep last night
Tired from the fight
I’ve been fighting for tomorrow
All my life
Yeah I woke up this morning
Feeling brand new
‘Cause the dreams that I’ve been dreaming
Has finally come true

Stevie Wonder
People hand in hand
Have I lived to see the milk and honey land?
Where hate’s a dream and love forever stands
Or is this a vision in my mind?



Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

Dan Misch. Founder & Co-Director, Veterans Advanced Energy Project.
Senior Manager, Asset Management, Invenergy.

Dan has vision. Over the past few years, he has turned his vision and passion into this amazing annual event designed to bring veterans into the advanced energy industry. Veterans Advanced Energy Summit is designed to drive US leadership in advanced energy by recruiting and empowering veterans, those who understand best the relationship between energy and our future security. I was fortunate enough to speak at the event a few years ago, and have seen the event grow and expand in scope and reach to bring together the strong leadership we need for a clean energy future.

#VetsEnergyWeek is this week! August 10-13, 2020.

This year the Veterans Advanced Energy Summit is going online for #VetsEnergyWeek, August 10-13, to show how careers in clean energy can help military veterans continue service to the country by improving our national security. Learn more and find out how to participate at:

Dan’s playlist addition:

Little Black Submarines
The Black Keys

“The Black Keys are an Ohio band where I grew up, but it wasn’t until their 2011 album El Camino that I became a big fan. At the time, I worked on a submarine for the US Navy which made the song “Little Black Submarine” all that much more compelling.

The song speaks to me about the loneliness of hard work and being stuck in your own head. But beyond lyrics about broken hearts and plans never made, I find strength in it to continue and succeed. This tune is often on full blast when I need motivation for a reminder of where I’ve been as proof of what I can achieve.” – Dan


Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

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Emmitt Muckles, Sr. Training Analyst, Operations Training. Sunrun.

Let me introduce you to a solar rock star from the Midwest that you may not have met yet, but you will soon. I have had the pleasure of knowing Emmitt for many years, before our time at Sunrun – sharing the joy of solar, music, and mixing it up. Emmitt began his solar industry journey as technical support and master trainer for Fronius. Now, Emmitt is Sunrun’s Sr Analyst Training based in Chicago, building installation teams and promoting safety and knowledge in solar.

Emmitt has been a champion not just of solar, but also of building and lifting up colleagues to ensure a strong, diverse and equitable industry. He doesn’t simply train installation teams, but he also mentors new employees, works with job seekers through the IL Solar for All program, and shares his enthusiasm for solar’s potential with elected officials, and honestly, anyone that will listen.

You can also catch him as host of the Podcast ‘Billionaire Lifestyle,’ and you can find him on Twitter: @Emuckles.

Emmitt’s Playlist Addition:

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Marvin Gaye

Whoa, ah, mercy mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Whoa mercy, mercy me,
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury
Ah, oh mercy, mercy me
Ah things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Radiation under ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
Oh mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?
Oh, no no, na, na na, na
My sweet Lord, na, na, na
My Lord, my sweet Lord



Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

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