Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Best Of 2013: Readers Choices Part 3


For me this was a great year for albums by singer/songwriters. My list is eight records I went back to again and again this year and all have a single name attached. Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe bands are in decline (though I have no idea why this might be so). I don't feel that I hear enough albums to declare anything a "best," so I'll just say these are my favorites and highly recommended to anyone with country/rootsy/NoDepression-y leanings:

A list:
Steve Earle - The Low Highway
Brandy Clark - 12 Stories (kudos to you Sal for being way ahead on this one)
Robbie Fulks - Gone Away Backward
Josh Ritter - The Beast in Its Tracks
Sam Phillips - Push Any Button

A+ list:
Jason Isbell - Southeastern (and his show—opening for Nick Lowe—at Lincoln Center was a 2013 highlight)

Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park (for some I guess CMA nominations would be the kiss of death, but this album is miles above the typical country radio fare)

and the last is a plug for a guy I know—an ex-New Yorker, now living in Wisconsin—who made a superb album on his own (Indiegogo funded) with a bad title, worse cover art, and great, great music:
Matthew Grimm - Songs in the Key of Your Face
I highly encourage you to check him out:


buzzbabyjesus said...

News Flash!

Latest favorite of 2013:

Keith Jarrett "No End" on which he plays all the instruments. Recorded at his home studio in 1986.

Anonymous said...

top 10 of 2013:
1. The Grapes of Wrath--High Road
2. Brendan Benson--You Were Right
3. Vegas With Randolph--Rings Around the Sun
4. Sam Phillips--Push Any Button
5. Chris Stamey--Lovesick Blues
6. Electric Soft Parade--Idiots
7. Mark Mulcahy--Dear Mark, I Love You
8. The Nines--s/t
9. Corin Ashley--New Lion Terraces
10. Orange Peels--Sun Moon

Special Mention: I Was a King "You Love It Here" released in 2012 but I first heard it in 2013. This album would have been at or near the top of my list if I ranked it this year.

Cheers, Matt C.

A walk in the woods said...

I'm not a big country fan, but dang, that Brandy Clark song is awesome. I will check that one out for sure.

And I hope to chip in soon with some best of 2013 comments - don't have it together yet. But my fave LP of 2013 has to be Elvis Costello & The Roots, Wise Up Ghost.

Shriner said...

Matt C -- thanks for the list! Sounds like many of those would be things I should check out...

Gene Oberto said...

People are listing to Jason Isbell, so I tried him out. After four + listenings I've come away with a real fondness for "Stockholm" because this city is like what Jason sings.

Call me wrong but the more I listen to the songs, the more I think I'm listening to this year's David Gray "White Ladders".

billy budapest said...

Ken D:

Very canny of you to single out Matthew Grimm. That guy has been an unsung national treasure for years! Check out his "Dawn's Early Apocalypse" album if you haven't already...

Anonymous said...

I didn't know about this record when I posted my top 10, but a late addition would definitely be in my top 5 is "Our Postmortem" by And the Professors.