Here’s a Vote Against Ranking Releases
I hate ranking albums against each other. Each year, I generally list my favorite releases for the year in no particular order — just a group of recordings that moved me deeply, both as a listener and an amateur songwriter who delights in experiencing the craft of others.
This year, I’ll make a slight exception. Nathan Bell’s BLOOD LIKE A RIVER is without a doubt one of the most powerful, well-written albums I’ve ever heard. If I had to pick my album on the year, that would be it, without question.
The remainder I’ll simply list. Sorry if that grates against the ‘top 10’ format, but there it is. For me, the song is always the thing. Each of these releases — and I’m listing them in alphabetical order by artist — is a showcase of fine writing and performing. The songs touch my heart and soul, and what more can I ask of music, anyway? I admire each and every one of the performers individually, and I refuse to rank one above the other. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to myself.
So…the other 9…
Richard Berman – You’re home now
Jeff Black – Folklore
Nathan Bowles – Nasemond
Matt Harlan – Raven Hotel
Larry Kaplan – Songs for an August moon
Cahalen Morrison & Eli West – I’ll swing my hammer with both my hands
The Stray Birds – Best medicine
Mark Viator & Susan Maxey – Bottom of the blues
Jesse Winchester – A reasonable amount of trouble