Top Ten CDs of ’09
Greetings folks, well looking back over the last year I will try to share my top ten favorites. Personally lst year was a bit disappointing to me as compared to years before. I was looking for good music last year because it was a difficult year in many ways, financially, for our country, many people out of work, Usually hard times bring out great music. Last year, I did not find particularly great, inspiring music. But, I could find 10 CDs that I would call inspiring and very good musically. I picked from Bluegrass, Country and country rock. Well, with no furthur ado, here they are.
1. “Here With Me” – Holly Williams ,this is a very hi quality CD that finds Holly at the top of her game. There are many singles here That I would find as hits if country music was not such an inclusive club. Grandaughter of Hank and daughter of Hank jr, she has a great country voice, plus is a good songwriter herself.
2. “Beautiful Day”- Charlie Robison , a hot country rock Album with well done, some great electric guitar by Charlie Sexton. Ten great songs, love the style of it, a great listen.
3. “Mountain Soul 2” – Patty Loveless – Maybe this should be #1, I don’t know, any of these top 3 are interchangeable. This starts up where Mountain Soul 1 ,left off starting off with “Busted” by Harlan Howard, and goes on to present a wonderful Mountain music record with bluegrass and lots of truly great acoustic/country music, put together with the help of her hubby Emory Gordon Jr.
4. “One More For The Road” – Adam Steffey , another great CD which is true bluegrass with a modern presentation, recorded by Gary Pacsoza , my favorite acoustic recording engineer, producer etc. He is now doing A and R for Sugar Hill Records, one of the oldest and biggest roster of bluegrass record labels in the country , where we find Adam Steffey and loads of other bluegrass Artists.
5. “Play” – Brad Paisley, I find this one of Brad’s best, simply because he took some time to share with us what he does best, play guitar, plus he has many guest artists here too. I have found Paisley’s music to be formatted the same way every CD, since his first one, not the case here, He plays mostly instrumentals on this record. He shares his awesome skills as a guitarist, which is one of the finest today , up there with Brent Mason, Vince Gill and Steve Wariner. He goes beyond country into blues, rock, British sounding rock. He finds time to add humor with playing some Eric Johnson type music on the CD to add a song called “Cliffs Of Rock City” , Johnson has a song called “Cliffs Of Dover”. You might need to live in Tennessee to fully get that.
6. “Cowboy Crush” self titled – These 3 gals are dynamite. Why they are not on a major label eludes me, they have that major label sound. They are a bit more pop than the original Dixie Chicks, but they play with incredible enthusiasm and have some great material. Well, no one said that life was fair. But, give these gals a listen, they is good, to put it mildly.
7. “Heartbreakers’ Hall of Fame” – Sunny Sweeney , ok, now this is Texas country, honky tonk, and the very attractive Sweeney makes some music that is “Hall Of Fame” country music.
8. “To Terrapin” -Grateful Dead (rerelease, 5/77) -One of the smartest things the Grateful Dead ever did was record every show that they ever played. The remaining members of the Dead went out on tour this year with the help of Warren Haynes on lead guitar and Jeff Chimenti on keyboards. In the background, Rhino Records releases about 5 different things from the vault, a couple of Garcia projects, plus some Dead shows including this one which is a stellar show and on top of that, a stellar recording.
9. Russell Moore and Third Time Out – self titled , This band is a very together group of bluegrass players that write and play some really good stuff, One of my favorite new labels, Rural Rhytmns, which is quickly catching up to Sugar Hill and Rounder for being the hottest Bluegrass label has this band on their label. Third Time Out is a more modern sounding recording with real Bluegrass music, the best of both worlds.
10. “My Sisters and Me” – Gold Heart, this trio of young bluegrass/country singers and players are bound for greatness, why, because they are a delight to listen to and they sound great. Another product of Rural Rhytmns Records, This is a great sounding record, with some delightful singing and playing.
– Well, that’s my look at ’09, and looking for a better 10, God Bless you all and “kindly, Keep It Country”