As we head into the Labor Day weekend, I thought it would be a good time for the community to assess this year’s album releases to-date. With just one quarter left in 2012, what are your favorite Americana albums? And what have been some of your disappointments? Finally, what have been some of your favorite albums that don’t fit into the Americana/Alt Country genre?
I’ll go first.
My top 25 Americana albums of the year so far (in order of preference):
Disappointing 2012 albums:
- Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
- Beachwood Sparks – The Tarnished Gold
- Bowerbirds – The Clearing
- Shooter Jennings – Family Man
Year’s best in other music genres:
- Sinead O’Connor – How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?
- Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth
- Lost in the Trees – A Church that Fits our Needs
- Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game
- Mark Lanegan – Blues Funeral
- The Jezebels – Prisoner
Best record so far - Chuck Prophet - Temple Beautiful
Biggest Letdown - Neil Young Americana
Best reissue Los Lobos - Kiko
Don't let me down record - Neil Young & Crazy Horse Psychedelic Pill
Best Live Show by a country mile Dave Alvin & The Guilty Ones
I doubt that I can come up w/ 25 that have been in high rotation in my truck - about the only place I have anymore where I can really listen to music. Here are the discs that get played the most - I think they were all released in 2012...
The Grifter's Hymnal - Ray Wylie Hubbard
From the Ground Up - John Fullbright
Big Station - Alejandro Escovedo
Down The Hatch - The Damn Quails
Let It Burn - Ruthie Foster
Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street
Biggest Letdown (tie):
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Americana
Lyle Lovett - Release Me
Both could have been brilliant and had good moments but missed the mark most of the time.
I am enjoying Chip Taylor and New Ukrainians, "Fuck All the Perfect People".
Definitely one of favorites of the year so far. Kinda grows on you.
Off the top of my head, no particular order:
Tony Joe White - Collected
Kevin Gordon - Gloryland
The Blasters - Fun On Saturday Night (bluesier than in the past, very worthy of their past)
Chuck Prophet - Temple Beautiful
Alejandro Escovedo - Big Station (liked it far better than last few)
Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven (deluxe version is well worth $30, includes the studio record, the first live recording of the Guilty Ones, a bonus disc of 3 of the hardest rocking tunes he's recorded, and a DVD of a live show)
Ry Cooder _ Election Special
Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Big Moon Ritual
Lee Baines III - Theres a bomb in Gilead
Dexys - One day I'm Gonna Soar
Beechwood Sparks - the Tarnished Gold
Most looking forward to - Band Of Horses. Album AND live !
Oh and Bill Fay , great album. Cory Brannan. Ray Wylie Hubbard.
Biggest let down - Corb Lund. Had great reviews but all seems too studied and a bit boring to me, sorry Corb fans.
Here's some that I've been enjoying a lot:
Ray Wylie Hubbard – Grifter’s Hymnal
Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Going to Change the Way You Feel About Me Now
Chuck Prophet – Temple Beautiful
Turnpike Troubadours – Goodbye Normal Street
Carolina Chocolate Drops – Leaving Eden
Alejandro Escovedo – Big Station
Marty Stuart – Nashville, Volume 1: Tear the Woodpile Down
Corb Lund - Cabin Fever
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires - There's a Bomb in Gilead
Chelle Rose - The Ghost of Browder Holler
The Bloody Jug Band - Coffin Up Blood
Alabama Shakes - Boys and Girls
Chuck Prophet - Temple Beautiful
John Fullbright-From The Ground Up
Alejandro Escovedo-Big Station
and one you probably haven't heard :
Michael Rank and Stag-Kin
(available as a "name your price" download here)
1st post on here.
These have been stuck on playlist, although I've also been listening to a lot of older releases (many of which are new to me) from various artists, I'll keep this list to 2012 stuff.
-Langhorne Slim--The Way We Move
-Carolina Chocolate Drops--Leaving Eden
-Punch Brothers--Who's Feeling Young Now
-Todd Snider--Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables
Don't know if these all fit the right "genre"
Langhorne and Snider are both new to me and I've been digging through quite a bit of their older stuff as well.
Twelve Gauge Persuaders: Crumble. Really really great debut by a small but brilliant band. Just great rockers, moving ballads, and lots of fun. Refreshingly happy, too, in a disfunctional kinda way.
The Grifter's Hymnal by Ray Wylie Hubbard is great, too. Sounds similar to other recent offerings, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
It's only September, still a lotta 2012 releases to look forward to, but so far....
1. J.T. Earle
2. New Multitudes
4. Bob Dylan
5. Father John Misty
6. Langhorne Slim
7. Felice Brothers
I'd also put Rodriguez, Searching for Sugar Man on this list but that's more of a remake. And I've only heard it a couple of times but I'm pretty sure My Darling Clementine is going to make the year end list too.
My favorite CD so far is "New Day Dawning", by the Roys.
Turnpike Troubadours Old Crow Medicine Show Shovels and Rope