I swore to myself I wouldn't do this. I hate making lists and even more than that, hate the feeling that somebody is being left out. And, don't take it personally, but I haven't read the top 10 list you posted. Sorry. But it's 2:55 a.m. on December 30th and I needed to write something. So here we go. Starting at number 10.
10. Roger Alan Wade- Too Fat to Fly
Surprisingly, or maybe not, Roger Alan Wade followed up Deguello Motel, the strongest singer-songwriter record to be released in decades, by going back to the raunchy, comedic material that made up his earlier albums such as All Likkered Up. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, this generation needs more songwriters who can sing about the harsh realities of life in this American wasteland, which Roger does brilliantly, but sometimes laughter is the best medicine.
9. The Imperial Rooster- Decent People
No sophomore slump here from New Mexico's best kept secret. These guys are a little bit country, a little punk, a little folk, and all good. Strong lyrics abound and the somewhat unorthodox subject matter puts these guys in the running to be the next Southern Culture on the Skids.
8. Jimbo Mathus- Confederate Buddha
A great record from the former Squirrel Nut Zippers frontman that covers the whole of roots music. Everything from blues to honky-tonk to Southern rock to cowboy songs is here in one Southern-fried package.
7. Lonesome Wyatt & the Holy Spooks- Heartsick
Imagine Roger Waters, Danny Elfman and Johnny Cash got together in a studio with T Bone Burnett. That's pretty much what you can expect from this album from the frontman of Those Poor Bastards.
6. Ted Russell Kamp- Get Back to the Land
Mixing country troubadour sensibilities with classic soul and the best of the California singer-songwriter tradition, Ted Russell Kamp continues to be the best songwriter you haven't heard of.
5. Bob Wayne- Outlaw Carnie
13 great country tunes. Nothing more and nothing less. And that's something there's not nearly enough of these days.
4. North Mississippi Allstars- Keys to the Kingdom
This one slipped under the radar this year, mainly because of it's early release. And that's a shame because this is the Allstars' best record to date.
3. Hellbound Glory- Damaged Goods
This is the record those folks who are looking in vein for great country in the tradition of Merle and Waylon should be seeking out. If it weren't for Nashville being more concerned with producing fake outlaws and pop stars, these guys would be huge right now.
2. Scott H. Biram- Bad Ingredients
Scott is the best bluesman of his generation and this album proves it. He has already found whatever it is the Black Keys are looking for. This is equal parts ZZ Top, Son House and Hank Williams.
1. Slackeye Slim- El Santo Grial: La Pistola Piadosa
This is easily the best album of the year. It's Red Headed Stranger filtered through a punk rock past and plenty of hours spent listening to Ennio Moriccone and Leonard Cohen.
Well, that's it folks. Hopefully you discovered something here that you may want to check out and here's to 2012.