It's year-end list/reader poll time - What's your Top 10 of 2011?

Well, we are, approaching the end of another year full of so many good albums it's hard to even count. In other words, it's time for year-end lists.

There's a long tradition here at No Depression of compiling a community poll - a grand list of albums you, the community, most loved and adored this year. The rules are pretty simple. Respond to this blog post (in the comments section) with your personal Top 10 Albums of 2011. While you're more than welcome to expand upon your list with video clips, explanations, etc., in a separate blog post, you'll have to post your basic Top 10 in the comments here in order to be counted. Likewise, lists posted on Facebook, Twitter, or any other site around the web won't be counted unless they're also included in the comments here.  

To comment on this post, scroll to the bottom of this page and leave your list in the comments section. 

In the interest of my sanity (your fearless Community Manager Kim) We will not be accepting Top 20 (or longer) lists this year but feel free to add honorable mentions in addition to your top 10. 

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 16 to submit your top ten list via this blog post. I (along with a small team of volunteers) will then disappear into a meditative state, where I will employ a complicated mathematical formula to combine all your lists into one master list. This master list will be published on this site on Monday Dec. 26, 2011, as the final official No Depression Community Poll. (Also published that day will be a masterlist of the favorites from our most frequently featured bloggers - the closest we'll get on this site to your standard critics' poll). 

Reissues don't count, nor do box sets. We're looking for the ten best new recordings this year. Some allowances can be made for albums released in 2010 in Europe and 2011 in the States, and vice versa. No other scientific rules apply.  

Now, give it some thought, then cast your votes. 

Views: 15598

Comment by declan culliton on November 30, 2011 at 5:27am

What is particularly pleasing about the vast majority of these lists, in my opinion,  is the fact that they exclude both Bon Ivor and The Fleet Foxes. Time for some serious revision over the next week or two to try and select my favourite ten

Comment by Jeff Newport on November 30, 2011 at 7:31am

Carrie Newcomer - Everything Is Everywhere

Nguyen Le - Songs Of Freedom

Steve Cropper - Dedicated

Jason Isbell - Here We Rest

Buddy Miller - The Majestic Silver Strings

Steve Earle - I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive

Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven

Wilco - The Whole Love

Robert Earl Keen - Ready For Confetti

Paul Simon - So Beautiful Or So What

Comment by Amos Perrine on November 30, 2011 at 9:08am

Post Script:


While I have not listened to quite a few of the year's releases, and am glad to see my most listened to album of the year is on so many lists, Gil & Dave's "The Harrow & the Harvest."


I forgot to add to my "list" what is perhaps the least understood and most ambitious album of the year: Feist's "Metal." I have not seen it on anyone's list, and I have the sinking feeling that those who made the excellent "The Reminder" such a hit were expecting "1-2-3-4" volume 2. "Metal" is a dark, dense and complex work that takes a bit of effort to appreciate. But if you watch her recent performance on Letterman of "How Come You Never Go There" you will be rewarded with one of the most moving & tight performances I have ever seen on late night TV.

Comment by Dusty Fortyfives on November 30, 2011 at 9:09am


  1. Chuck Ragan: Covering Ground (The former punk frontman fully realizes his folk ambitions on his best album to date)
  2. Trampled By Turtles: Palamino (While it came out in the US last year, this was released in Canada in 2011)
  3. Steve Earle: I’ll Never Get out of This World Alive (He gets better with each release)
  4. Frank Turner: England Keep My Bones (The sound is less folk/more Springsteen, but it is still catchy as heck)
  5. Joss Stone: LP1 (Joss tones down the pop  a little on this release, focusing on a grittier blues sound that works well with her soulful voice)
  6. Blackie & the Rodeo Kings: Kings & Queens (The Canadian supergroup teams up with some of the finest females in music today to create a brilliant album.)
  7. Hank 3: Ghost to A Ghost/Guttertown (His best since Straight to Hell, 3 takes his new found record label freedom to heart & releases a diverse mixed bag of an album.)
  8. Imelda May: Mayhem (Much like the legendary Brian Setzer, Imelda's sound appeals to rockabilly fans as well as jazz purists.)
  9. Lindi Ortega: Little Red Boots (Less polished than Imelda, this Canadian chanteuse blends the spirit of early Johnny Cash with a strong voice that sits somewhere between Kasey Chambers & Dolly Parton)
  10. Amos Lee: Mission Bell (It came out almost a year ago, but I still enjoy listening to this laid back album on relaxing days)

Honorable Mentions:

The Deep Dark Woods:   The Place I left Behind  (The Sheepdogs may have graced the cover of Rolling Stone, but the DDW are Saskatchewan's true musical heroes)

William Elliot Whitmore: Field Songs (I have a feeling that if Id had this album longer it would have moved up my list fast)

Cuff the Duke: Morning Comes (Along with DDW, Cuff the Duke are releasing the best Canadiana out there today)

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band: Peyton on Patton (Covers albums always have some issues & this is no exception. The Rev is known for his amazing guitar work & humorous lyrics, but this album tones down his wit & focuses on his licks... to mixed success)

Kris Roe: Hang Your Head in Hope (released as a free download, the Ataris' singer does bare bones acoustic covers of his full band's songs. Well worth the price!)

Spencer Jo & Joseph Barley: Kitchen Chorus Songbook  (A side project made up of one member of Canadian Irish punk band Rum Runner and one member of Canadian folk punk collective Audio/Rocketry, this album is similar in scope to Uncle Tupelo's seminal third album. In addition to a couple of original songs, the duo tackle a wealth of classic folk songs.)

Joe Vickers: Valley Home (released as a centennial project for his hometown, this hidden gem blends classic mining folk tunes and neo folk sounds for an interesting lo-fi recording. History has never been this fun)

Comment by Jack Kidd on November 30, 2011 at 9:27am

1. Vintage Trouble - The bomb shelter sessions

2. Hayes Carll - KMAG YOYO

3. Amos Lee - Mission bell

4. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator

5. Reckless Kelly - Good luck & True lies

6. Alison Krauss & Union Station - Paper Airplane

7. Gary Nicholson - Texas Songbook

8. Buddy Miller - The Majestic Silver Strings

9. Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven

10. Eric Lindell - Cazadero


Best Live album = Slade Cleaves - Sorrow & Smoke


Various Artists 1.  I love: Tom T. Hall's songs of Fox Hollow

2. The lost notebooks of Hank Williams

Comment by denton fabrics on November 30, 2011 at 9:46am

December seems to come earlier every year;


1) Gillian Welch - Harrow & Harvest

2) Wilco - The Whole Love

3) Decemberists - The King Is Dead

4) Middle Brother

5) Richard Bruckner - Our Blood

6) Lucinda - Blessed

7) Eilen Jewell - Queen of the Minor Key

8) Nick Lowe - That Old Magic

9) Slaid Cleeves - Sorrow and Smoke

10) Paul Simon - So Beautiful

Comment by rosencrantz on November 30, 2011 at 7:34pm

My top 10, in alphabetical order

Damon Fowler, Devil Got His Way

JJ Grey & Mofro, Brighter Days

Hazmat Modine, Cicada

David Jacobs-Strain, Live From The Left Coast

Jeff Lang, Carried In Mind

Eric Lindell, West County Drifter

Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, The Holy Coming of the Storm

Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Revelator

Chris Thile & Michael Daves, Sleep With One Eye Open

Gillian Welch, The Harrow and the Harvest


Honorable mentions:

Tab Benoit, Medicine

Chris Bergson, Imitate The Sun

John Butler, Live at Red Rocks

Steve Dawson, Nightshade

Johnny Hiland, All Fired Up

Malcolm Holcombe, To Drink The Rain

Sarah Jarosz, Follow Me Down

Romi Mayes, Lucky Tonight

Eric McFadden, Bluebird on Fire

Comment by Rudyjeep on December 1, 2011 at 5:48am

I haven't thought about ranking them......

Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Hays Carll - KMAG YOYO

Slim Cessna - Unentitled

Tim Easton - Beat the Band/Since 1966 Vol. 1 (listed as one album since they are sort of companion pieces)

Honeyhoney - Billy Jack

Willy Nile - The Innocent Ones

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings - Kings and Queens

Smoke Fairies - Through Low Light and Trees

Nick Lowe - The Old Magic

Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven


Comment by Ralph Collinson on December 1, 2011 at 7:22am

My top ten of 2011 in no particular order, it a pretty eclectic mix matching my musical tastes:


Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton - Play the Blues

Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues

Stefon Harris, David Sanchez and Christian Scott - Ninety Miles

Levon Helm - Ramble at the Ryman

Grayson Capps - The Lost Cause Minstrels

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator

John Hiatt - Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns

Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven

Patti Smith - Outside Society

Buddy Miller Majestic Silver Strings


Honorable Mention:

Lucinda Williams - Blessed

Colman DeKay and Paul Sanchez - Nine lives

Mardi Gras Parade Music from New Orleans Vol 2

Carolyn Wonderland - Peace Meal

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Peyton on Patton

Madeleine Peyroux - Standing on the Rooftop

Ellen Jewell - Queen of the Minor Key

Shelby Lynn - Revelation Road

Trampled Under Foot - Wrong Side of the Blues

Pieta Brown - Mercury

Catie Curtis - Stretch Limousine on Fire

T Bone Burnett Presents - The Speaking Clock Revue

The Lost Notebooks Hank Williams - various

Nicole Mitchell - Awakening

Comment by Rick J Bowen on December 1, 2011 at 11:10am

1. Tedeschi Trucks Band -Revelator*

2. Greg Allman- Low Country Blues*

3. James Vincent McMorrow - Early In the Morning 

4. Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs- Alone in this together

5. John Alex mason-Jook Joint  Thunder Clap

6. Ry Cooder- Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down  

7. The Head and the Heart

8. The Bottle Rockets-Not So Loud

9. Imelda May - Mayhem

10. Stacy Jones Band- No Need To Spell It Out

(*grammy nomminated) 


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.