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No Depression Staff's Favorite Albums of 2016

Great list! So glad to see Hiss Golden Messenger noted and Mandolin Orange squeek in there with an honorable metion. One you missed that I highly recommend checking out is William Tyler's "Modern Country." 

All great choices but Michael McDermott's :"Willow Springs" & his other project The Westies : "Six on the Out" were at #1 & #4 respectively on my best of 2016. Drive By Truckers:"American Band was in at a solid #2 & Peter Wolf's : "A Cure For Lonliness at # 3.....

 

McDermott's record was the best (the Westies is right there with it), and for me it wasn't close...in a year that was the best I've seen in a long time...but as you noted, all of the staff choices are excellent...I have most of them...it's a great argument to have...I am going to pick up Peter Wolf based on your recommend...I loved the J Geils Band, but never thought a whole lot of the records they made...the live record "Full House" was the best record they ever made, and live, they were as good as it gets, and Wolf was the consummate front man ...I've been told this record is not what you would expect, so I will see...I'm going to get Hiss the Golden Messenger on their recommend...I've almost pulled the trigger on that several times...

I've been listening just the last day or two to Bob Delevante's "Valley of Days" (on Soundcloud), which is just excellent by the way...He and his brother Mike did a couple of records on Rounder as the Delevantes back in the day that were excellent...He's got 3 solo records and I just ordered them all...Drive By Truckers is very good too...one of their best...Brandy Clark is, IMO, Nashville's best songwriter right now...she has the gift of being able to capture small town humanity and reality in a way that doesn't demean the people she's writing about..."3 Kids and No Husband" sounds like a ridiculous song title, but in her hands, it takes a very human turn, you can identify with how it ended up that way and the reality of that life..."Homecoming Queen", "Love Can Go To Hell"...she works magic with the words in those songs and others...I preferred the understated production of Dave Brainard on "12 Stories", but "Big Day In a Small Town" is a wonderful record...

Dirk Hamilton, Robbie Fulks...so many great records this year...

Thank you for your list--and the commentary about your picks. I'm curious what you'd say about the "Other albums we loved."

Gary

Good list. Also glad to see Hiss Golden Messenger. Also Dori Freeman. And, of course, Drive-By Truckers, who I think, at this point, could be considered the Best American Band, Ever -- a case I make in my blog:

http://davidwwilliams.blogspot.com/2016/12/how-light-gets-in-soundcheck-...

 

  I usually can’t wait for these year-end lists, because they usually reveal some music that I somehow missed during the year. While I agree with many of the selections here, I wanted to mention three (3) albums I feel were overlooked on both the Readers’ and the Staff Poll. I thought that maybe others will check them out and become aware of some deserving musicians’ quality work. The albums I’m referring to are: Birds of Chicago- “Real Midnight,” Ryan Tanner- “Promised Land” and Stephen Kellogg- "South West, North, East.”

 The BoC album features Allison Russell using her beautiful soulful voice to sing well-crafted songs written mostly by her husband J. T. Abrams. Ryan Tanner’s album is one of stripped down ballads accompanied only by piano or guitar, sometimes featuring Kiki Jane Sieger (“who plays Emmylou Harris to Tanner’s Gram Parsons”- American Songwriter). Stephen Kellogg uses more of a full band, including drums, on his album, which is loaded with 20 songs of which few are filler. In fact, there are very few clunkers within any of these three albums, which is very rare. I had not heard any of these artists prior to this year, so they were all new very positive surprises. That is saying something, since I’ve been around for a long while (i.e. I’m old:) and make an effort to remain informed.  Check them out!