OK, decorations are coming down, it’s back to work time but before that here’s a short list of the albums that have stood out over the past year. If there’s a link it will take you a review of the album. Looking back it seems that 2017 wasn’t a bad year for music in terms of releases but a total bummer in terms of Tom Petty leaving us. Here’s hoping next year is as good so, all the best for 2018.
Chuck Prophet, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
In the year of Brexit and Trump, Chuck’s sheer love of rock’n’roll shone throughout this album. Coupled with seeing him play two blindingly great gigs this year the album’s been a regular on the stereo and in the car while Jesus Was A Social Drinker is my song of the year.
Jeremy Pinnell, Ties Of Blood And Affection
While Stapleton gets all the notice I think there are numerous others who are bringing out better albums and Jeremy’s second solo album is the best of the lot this year. I was privileged to host a house concert with Jeremy and Ags Connolly and it was a great occasion.
Courtney Marie Andrews, Honest Life
An album of glacial purity with glimpses of Joni Mitchell in its shadows.
GospelbeacH, Another Summer Of Love
Jangled sunny California music which stretches from Petty to The Jam in its inspiration.
Nathan Bell, Love > Fear (48 hours in Traitorland)
Old fashioned protest perhaps but Bell is a powerful writer and as good a champion of “blue collar” folk as Rod Picott. And, in concert, he’s funny with it (just like Rod Picott).
Blue Rose Code. The Water Of Leith
Ross Wilson continues his journey into the hinterlands of folk and jazz. A wonderful and evocative album.
Eric Ambel, At The Lakeside
It took 12 years for Ambel to come up with this one, a bunch of songs he imagined could have been on his pub’s jukebox. Guitar album of the year.
Don Antonio, Don Antonio
Aside from his band, Sacri Cuori, Antonio Gramantieri has worked with Howe Gelb, Dan Stewart and Alejandro Escovedo. This solo album is a magnificent retro stew of sixties soundtracks and Italian cool.
Jaime Wyatt, Felony Blues
A true jailbird, Wyatt’s album is part outlaw country, part Laurel Canyon country rock. For me she just beats Margo Price
Malojian, Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home.
Irishman Stevie Scullion conjures up a slight psychedelic trip with McCartney like melodies and Harrison’s Blue Jay Way vibes.
The Wynntown Marshals, After All These Years
A perfect introduction to the band if you haven’t heard them before. A perfect keepsake for those who are in the know.
Also of note…
Slaid Cleaves, Ghost On the Car Radio
Margo Price, All American Made
Danny & The Champions Of The World, Brilliant Light
Ags Connolly, Nothin’ Unexpected
Robyn Hitchcock, Robyn Hitchcock
Todd Day Wait, Folk-Country-Blues
Whitney Rose, South Texas Suite
Norrie McCulloch, Bare Along The Branches
Russ Tolman. Compass & Map
John Murry, A Short History of Decay
Jim Keaveny, Put It Together
Ian Felice, In The Kingdom Of Dreams
Gill Landry, Love Rides A Dark Horse
Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters
Daniel Meade Shooting Stars & Tiny Tears
The Sadies, Northern Passages
John Alexander, Of These Lands
There are many others which could/should be mentioned here, apologies to those I’ve either forgotten about or overlooked. In the meantime here’s the song of the year.