Top CDs of 2009 (so far)

Why wait until the end of the year to do "Best of" lists? Seems to me there's already been some great albums released this year, so how about a Best of 2009 (so far) discussion. What are your top five CDs of the year (so far). Here are mine. Note: I'm not including Wilco (The Album) yet -- too little Nels Cline for my taste. Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women -- Self Titled. True, this CD is light on Alvin's signature laid-back blues and there are tracks in which Cindy Cashdollar et al take the lead and Alvin fades to the background. But it's extremely engaging and, to my ears, the most enjoyably listenable album of the year (so far). Gurf Morlix -- Last Exit to Happyland. Heartfelt, thoughtful and doesn't have a single throw-away. And "Hard Road" is a force of nature -- an eight minute roots-rocker that tells a story without a repeat-chorus. Buddy and Julie Miller -- Written in Chalk. Hand and glove describes how Buddy and Julie make music together. A varied but unremittingly lovely album. Gary Louris and Mark Olson -- Ready for the Flood. They over-trade on their signature harmonies and the production, perhaps aiming to give the album a more live feel, is a bit lax. But this is nonetheless a delicately beautiful album that deepened for me as I listened repeatedly. Andrew Bird -- Noble Beast. Bird rounds off the sharp edges that made Armchair Apocrypha so addictive. But while it's not as catchy as his previous effort, it is far more refined. Closer listens brought me deeper joys.
I've not listened to a CD more this year than Elvis' "Blah blah Sugarcane" I live in Tasmania, Australia and can't believe he's showing up on the island this month. Dylan's "Together for Life" is a close second to Sugarcane. Looking forward to Robert Earl Keen's new one , as well as Charlie Robison's "Beautiful Day." I'm ALWAYS waitin' for a new Tom Waits!
In no particular order: Son Volt - American Central Dust Wilco ( The Album) Flatlanders - Hills And Valleys Buddy and Julie Miller - Written In Chalk Gary Louris and Mark Olson - Ready For The Flood John Doe/The Sadies - Country Club Lucinda Williams - Little Honey
Here are some of my favorites so far. Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles -- The Stars Are Out JJ Cale -- Roll On Patterson Hood -- Murdering Oscar Gurf Morlix -- Last Exit To Happyland Son Volt -- American Central Dust The Jayhawks -- Music From The North Country. I know it's an anthology but I bought the deluxe edition which includes a good number of previously unreleased tracks and a DVD. A must for Jayhawks fans. Steve Earle -- Townes Buddy and Julie Miller -- Written in Chalk Flatlanders -- Hills and Valleys Haven"t had a chance to listen to the new Todd Snider. I'm sure it's great.
I just went back to listen to Andrew Bird's Noble Beast after seeing him on Conan. I had initially been non-plussed on the album in comparison to its predecessor, but I was liking it quite a bit today. Otherwise, I am really slacking in 2009 purchases. Got the new Wilco - Jury is still out.
David, I Agree about "Bright Mississippi." Here is a good feature interview with Mr Toussaint from Offbeat, my now-uncontested favorite music magazine. Article Link I also have been recommending the Booker T. & Drive By Truckers' "Potato Hole" to anyone that will listen. Cheers
Justin Townes Earle- Midnight at the Movies Leeroy Stagger- Everything Is Real Patterson Hood- Murdering Oscar (and other Love Songs) Wilco- Wilco (the album) Sometymes Why- Your Heart Is A Glorious Machine with new discs by Grace Potter, Lucero, and American Gun forthcoming, 2009 looks pretty badass
Cut and paste from SoCalBert's topic: South Of Heaven - Matraca Berg The Truth According To Ruthie Foster Middle Cyclone - Neko Case Troubadour - K'Naan One To The Heart, One To The Head - Gretchen Peters with Tom Russell Buckingham Solo - Tift Merritt Written In Chalk - Buddy & Julie Miller Live From The Union Of Soul - The Waifs 50vc Doberman - Robbie Fulks Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit And just under the wire (Arr: yesterday) the archive release - the Grateful Dead's Road Trips Vol 2 # 3 - the Wall Of Sound (6/74)
Some more suggestions: John Doe and the Sadies - Country Club Son Volt - American Central Dust The Handsome Family - Honey Moon
Just a quick list, probably duplicative... Todd Snider-- The Excitement Plan JTE--Midnight at The Movies Neko Case --Middle Cyclone M Ward--Hold Time Elvis--Blah, Blah, Sugarcane Wilco--Wilco(The Album) Rhett Miller-Rhett Miller
My 2009 faves so far : The Gourds - Haymaker Ben Bedford - Land of the Shadows Eric Brace / Peter Cooper - You Don't Have To Like Them Both Gretchen Peters/ Tom Russell - One To The Heart, One To The Head Jeffrey Foucault - Shoot The Moon Right Between The Eyes Jonathan Byrd - The Law And The Lonesome Guy Davis - Sweetheart Like You Various - Keep Your Soul/Doug Sahm Sara Watkins - Sara Watkins The Flatlanders - Hills and Valleys Allen Toussaint - The Bright Mississippi Slaid Cleaves - Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away Jesse Winchester - Love Filling Station Christy Moore - Listen Ramblin Jack Elliott - A Stranger Here Diana Jones - Better Times Will Come Keith Sykes - Country Morning Music Levon Helm - Electric Dirt Ryan Bingham - Roadhouse Sun Phil Lee - So Long It's Been Good To Know You Larry Jon Wilson - Larry Jon Wilson
Very timely post. In no particular order... * Lee Harvey Osmond - Quiet Evil * Gougers - A Long Day For the Weathervane * Wilco - The Album * Tift Merritt - Buckingham Solo * Eileen Jewell - Sea Of Tears * John Doe & The Sadies - Country Club * Buddy and Julie - Written In Chalk Also Steve Earle and Justin too, Son Volt, M. Ward, Slaid Cleeves, Deer Tick, Levon Helm, Brigitte Demeyer, and although they're 2008 releases, I gotta give it to my boys DeVotchKa, and Ani's Red Letter Year because they're new to me in 2009. Hey, here it is July and no releases from Ryan Adams?? What's up with that? I thought he was going to release Suicide Handbook this year?! Damn slacker...
10 ain't near enough this year. I'll just list some of my faves that haven't been noted enough - Wussy Wussy Marianne Faithfull Easy Come Easy Go Bill Callahan Sometimes I Wish I Was An Eagle The Felice Brothers Yonder Is The Clock The Handsome Family Honey Moon Laura Gibson Beasts Of Seasons Jim Byrnes My Walking Stick Sarah Jarosz Song Up In Her Head Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Lonely Street Sonic Youth The Eternal Blackout Beach Skin Of Evil Lily Allen It's Not Me, It's You Chriss Sutherland Worried Love Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters One To The Heart The Beyman Brothers Memories Of Summer As A Child The Flatlanders Hills And Valleys .... and once it's released, the new Ian Hunter is a lock. Jerry
Justin Townes Earle - Midnight at the Movies Amanda Shires - West Cross Timbers Monahans - Dim the Aurora Wilco - Wilco (the album) J. Tillman - Vacilondo Territory Blues The Wooden Birds - Magnolia
i was just going through my 09 albums and contemplating where things were at. Here's my list.. alphabetically. Antony & The Johnsons - The Crying Light The Blackwater Fever - Sweet Misery Justin Townes Earle - Midnight at the Movies Steve Earle - Townes Eels - Hombre Lobo Ronnie Fauss - New Songs for the Old Frontier Ben Kweller - Changing Horses Austin Lucas - Somebody Loves You Charlie Robison - Beautiful Day Todd Snider - The Excitement Plan I've not got hold of the new Ryan Bingham or Paul Dempsey yet, and i suspect the new Magnolia Electric Co will just blow all o' these out o' the water.
Thanks for reminding me about Allen Toussaint's Bright Mississippi. It's a remarkable album.
Well I'm with you. I think 2009 has well surpassed 2008 already. But I guess everyone is not as into year-end top ten lists as we are. I actually did a similar post on the afternoon of June 30th. It is down the forum a ways and got a few replies before dropping off. Since I made the list below I've heard Levon Helm's "Electric Dirt" for the first time. A pleasant surprise and very good on the very first listen for me. Stronger than last year's "Dirt Farmer" in my opinion. I have not yet received the Red Stick Ramblers "My Suitcase is Always Packed" but I think it will be in my mailbox very soon. I keep typing my little comments about my picks and then deleting. I'm a timid critic I guess. 1. Steve Earle - Townes 2. Booker T. & Drive by Truckers - Potato Hole 3. The Gourds - Haymaker! 4. Willie Nelson with Asleep at the Wheel - Willie & the Wheel 5. Beausoleil - Alligator Purse 6. Allen Toussaint - Bright Mississippi 7. Eilen Jewell - Sea of Tears 8. Justin Townes Earle - Midnight at the Movies 9. Old Californio - Westering Again 10. Luke Winslow-King - Old New Baby Others that might yet play themselves into my Top Ten by the year's end: Neko Case Middle Cyclone JJ Cale - Roll On Son Volt - American Central Dust Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women John Boutte & Paul Sanchez - Stew Called New Orleans Slaid Cleaves - Everything You Love . . . Ramblin' Jack Elliot - A Stranger Here Gurf Morlix - Last Exit To Happyland
I would have to strongly agree with Gurf Morlix's "Last Exit To Happyland" (Doesn't hurt to have Patty Griffin sing on three songs!) and Buddy and Julie Miller's Written in Chalk. Still evaluating Steve Earle's "Townes". I like the solo acoustic disc in the deluxe set so far. I like Randy Weeks' "Going My Way" too. The year's only half over!