Summer afternoons always take me back to the when we could just pick up and go… road trips to rock shows in my friend's tiny Toyota Corolla, lazy days at the beach on Santa Rosa before it was all condos (and because we couldn't afford Destin) and those days working at the pool wishing it would rain and playing at the pool wishing the rain would stop. Every moment of heat and humidity has a song to go along with it. Summer truly has its own soundtrack. From 'Born to Run' by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to 'Morning Train' by Sheena Easton' and 'Get Over it' by the Eagles, I can still feel the magic of summer when I hear certain songs. What will the sound track of 2011 include? Here are some of my picks from in and outside the chart-toppers:

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    Up Up Up


    First heard this one a couple of years ago, but Givers are breaking big nationally this summer after great performances at SXSW, Bonaroo and The Jimmy Fallon Show. You may have seen them at Downtown Alive or Festival International because they are from right here in Lafayette, Louisiana! Plus it has a ukelele.

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    Lelia Broussard

    Yes, you know the last name. Lelia Broussard is the girl from Lafayette who is one of two finalists to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. I lost track of her after she sang on our show when she was six years old, then, what do you know, here she is about to become a huge star! This song is just one of those happy songs that you'll be singing along with while you gaze at the stars on a moonlit night at the beach with your sweetie. The studio version is awesome, but I like this offbeat live version. More ukelele!

  • 3

    Honey Bee

    Blake Shelton

    This one sound familiar and new at the same time. Love the rhythm guitar and he's charmed me with his constructive critiques and kindness on 'The Voice. Plus he mentions Louisiana and sweet iced tea. How can you not love that?

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    I Smile

    Kirk Franklin

    Gladys Knight and Kirk Franklin joined Jacob Lusk for a performance of this song on the American Idol Finale last season. Every time I hear this song, it makes me smile and count my blessings. I really his take on believing something good is right around the corner if you don't give up.

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    Knee Deep

    Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmy Buffett

    Even if you're sitting in a cubicle at the office, this song will transport you to your favorite beach spot for three minutes and twenty seconds. "When you lose yourself you find the key to paradise." What a great line!