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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Americana music 2008

As usual, I must outsource my music "best of" list. Once again, my friend Michael Young, host of the local "Roots 'n Boots" public radio program, recently posted his top 20 American albums of 2008. Note that I've deleted Mike's comments about the CDs, so you'll want to visit his post for his justifications:
1. Hayes Carll - Trouble In Mind (Lost Highway)
2. Chris Knight - Heart Of Stone (Drifter’s Church)
3. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)
4. James Intveld - Have Faith (Molenaart)
5. Malcolm Holcombe - Gamblin’ House (Echo Mountain)
6. James McMurtry - Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod)
7. Watson Twins - Fire Songs (Vanguard)
8. Chatham County Line - IV (Yep Roc)
9. Avett Brothers - The Second Gleam (Ramseur)
10. Miss Lana Rebel - All I Need (Wantage)
11. BoDeans - Still (He & He)
12. Tift Merritt - Another Country (Fantasy)
13. John Mann - Evening News (self-released)
14. Lucinda Williams - Little Honey (Lost Highway)
15. John Mellencamp - Life Death Love And Freedom (Hear Music)
16. Dave Insley - West Texas Wine (self-released)
17. Todd Snider - Peace Queer (Aimless)
18. Peter Cooper - Mission Door (Red Beet)
19. Alejandro Escovedo - Real Animal (Back Porch/Manhattan)
20. Grayson Capps & The Stumpknockers - Rott-n-Roll (Hyena)
It's difficult for me to evaluate this list since the only CD I own from the list is the one by Hayes Carll. Of course, I've heard singles by virtually all these artists on Mike's show or on XM radio.

My owning the Carll CD registers my assent because I bought it in the summer and have been playing it all year. No Depression's review includes a video of his "She Left Me For Jesus."

I did see James McMurtry, Tift Merritt and Alejandro Escovedo (#1 on the No Depression year-end list) perform live this year. Stupidly, I skipped Carll on a cold and wet night in Louisville this December.

Previously, I've seen the Drive-By Truckers, the BoDeans (nearly 20 years ago in Evanston, IL), Lucinda Williams, John Mellencamp and Grayson Capps perform live. I can vouch for some of their prior albums.

You can hear Michael's show on WFPK every Sunday night at 5 pm ET (live stream). That's right, this year, his show expanded by an hour.

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