Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Best Of 2012 List

I love end of year best of lists.  I still get a kick out of reading other people's opinions and I also end up finding a bunch of things that I missed this year.  I am going with a top 10 for 2012 with all but #1 listed in no particular order.  Was 2012 a great year for my opinion it was a weak year that had some rather good releases.  So here goes nothing...
One of two really good country records that I found over on Triggerman's site.  Just some really great, heartfelt honky tonk music.  Easily better than 99% of what comes out of Nashville in 2012.

This is the other killer from Saving Country Music.  Jason Eady has crafted a piece of classic country music with the title track and the Patty Loveless duet "Man on the Mountain" just two of many high points.
Ian Hunter has crafted some great records over the past decade or so since he started working with the Rant Band.  This is another one.  Ian has his Rock & Roll shoes on for this one.
This live album from Jason Isbell has been on heavy rotation since it came out.  I am liking this more than any of the DBT albums and his solo work.  Jason and the 400 unit belong on stage in front of a crowd.  A great live album.
Bonnie Raitt is one of those artists that doesn't make bad records, it's just that some are better than others.  Slipstream is my favorite record of hers since Nick of Time.  The Dylan covers are exceptional.
I first heard the Hillbenders a couple of years back at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival.  Bluegrass purists?  Nope?  Loads of great musicians and songwriters and a load of fun live?  You bet.  I play this one a lot.
I haven't really paid much attention to Graham Parker over the years since Squeezing Out Sparks.  Perhaps I should have.  This record has been on in my car almost as much as the Jason Isbell over the past month.  GP & the Rumour have made a good one.  Check them out live if you get the chance...great show with Ian Hunter last week.
I'm not advocating downloading but getting to hear a leaked copy a month or so back made grabbing this on vinyl a no brainer.  Two roots music legends combine to make a really, really good country record.
John Hiatt is another of those artists who never makes a bad record.  For two years in a row he has made a very good one.  It's seems almost effortless for him to write great songs.

Some Honorable Mentions:
Dwight Yoakam - Three Pairs
Melody Walker - Gold Dust Goddess
Tesdeshi Trucks Band - Everybody's Talking
Marty Stuart - Nashville Volume 1:  Tear the Wood Pile Down
Turnpike Troubadours - Goodbye Normal Street

And my choice for the Best Album of 2012...
Some folks hate it, some sort of like it.  I loved it.  After the disappointing Working On a Dream, Bruce returned angry and confrontational with some of the most pointed protest music of his career.  At times introspective, raging and others uplifting and renewing.  Probably my favorite Springsteen album since Tunnel of Love.  Looking forward to the Wrecking Ball Tour part 2 in 2013. 
 So that's my take on 2012.  Happy Holidays!

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