My “listening room” is the Little Miami River. I paddle downstream and listen to some new tunes on a $20 waterproof speaker that attaches to my kayak via a suction cup — with a carabiner clip as a backup.

The river is peaceful, and it’s a great place to really focus on the lyrics. This past weekend, I put my ears on a couple of albums that hit the high water mark (see what we did there?) for eloquence and poignance.

James McMurtry’s new release The Horses and the Hounds is brilliant from start to finish. James is the son of novelist Larry McMurtry, and clearly the apple didn’t fall too far from the storytelling tree. Check out “Canola Fields” or “Operation Never Mind” or “Ft. Walton Wake-Up Call” for fine examples of a good yarn.

Next up on my not-so-rockin’ river excursion was Home Video, the third album from 26-year-old singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus. She really knows how to capture a sense of time and place with her attention to detail and her emotionally moving lyrics. Listen to “VBS” or “Thumbs” or “Brando” and try not to get goose bumps.

Yes, sometimes I don’t play any music and enjoy the natural symphony. But when I want to spend some quality time with an album, the river is my favorite spot for streaming (see what we did there?).

Not my river!