Dec
8

Saving Country Music’s Essential Albums for 2011

December 8, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  46 Comments

So here it is, the list of albums Saving Country Music deems essential for 2011 listening. Please note this list only includes albums that have been reviewed so far. There are a few more good and important albums in 2011 that have yet to be reviewed, and there is a list of some of them at the bottom. Aside from the first few albums mentioned, which should be considered close runners up to the SCM Album of the Year (which includes albums not on this list), the albums are in no special order.

And as always, your feedback is encouraged. What are your essential albums? What did we miss? What was released in 2011 that deserves a review? Please leave your feedback below.

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Rachel BrookeDown In The Barnyard

Every year, there is going to be one album that gets screwed out of being a nominee for Album of the Year. Even if I double the amount of nominees, still the line is drawn somewhere, and that next album on the list is the odd one out. Last year it was Jayke Orvis’s It’s All Been Said. This year it is this amazing offering from Rachel Brooke. Call it 2011′s “Most Essential” album.

You can tell Rachel has studied many modes of classic country, not just some. I hear Charlie Louvin, not just Hank Williams. I hear The Carter Family, not just Johnny Cash. And the themes are not just from the 1950′s, but the 1850′s as well. There’s no big branches for you to grab on to and say, “Hell yeah, this is the kind of country I like!” but the originality embellishes the album to such a more magnanimous degree. (read full review)

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The Boomswagglers- Bootleg Beginnings

Another album I wouldn’t argue with you over if you wanted to call it the best of the year. One of the most authentic albums of 2011 for sure.

The music is wildly entertaining and deceptively deep. If you’re going to be a Boomswagglers song, someone’s got to die, and likely a woman. Some may find this silly, monotonous, or even offensive, but you have to listen beyond the lyrics, and unlock the carnal wisdom that is hidden in these songs. They were Boomswagglers, and that low form of living is ever present in every note on this album.(Read full review)

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Lone WolfLone Wolf OMB

Probably the album with the most original approach in all of 2011; something nobody else has done before. And at the same time, it is the most viscerally engaging. Excellent album you’d be foolish to overlook.

The first time I turned this album on, I was out of my chair, stomping my foot on the floor, banging my head, making a complete ass out of myself for the entertainment of the four walls of the Saving Country Music headquarters. It made a music virgin out of me again. (read full review)

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Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day TroubadoursDel Gaucho

One of the best of the year, and one of the best from Lucky Tubb. In Del Gaucho, you really feel like he has found his voice and sound.

So many other artists and bands, to take this same selection of covers and originals and record them, it would just come across as cheesball retro country with it’s anachronistic language and outmoded style. But Lucky Tubb has a swagger that makes him immune to such concerns. To him, this isn’t playing country like it used to be done, this is playing country like it is supposed to be done. (Read full review)

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Husky BurnetteFacedown in the Dirt

The best album of 2011 from the Deep Blues side of things in my opinion.

This is music to get you moving. I can’t listen to this album at home. I’ll get flying around and break things. I can only listen while driving, with a foot pumping on the gas pedal to the groove. If somebody was listening to this album and wasn’t at least bobbing their head or tapping their foot, the next thing I’d do is put a mirror in front if their mouth. (read full review)

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Nick 13Nick 13

This solo country project from psychobilly’s Tiger Army is certainly essential, and one of those albums that was not on your radar at the beginning of the year, but you’re still listening to at the end of it, especially the essential songs of “101,” “Gambler’s Life,” and an updated version of “In The Orchard”.

With Nick 13′s first self-titled release, he hasn’t just stuck his foot in the door of country music, he’s kicked the door down. This is a good one folks! The California native’s brand of country is hard, with a lot of Western influences mixed in to the instrumentation and lyrics, contrasted with his soft and delicate, but deliberate voice. (read full review)

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Ugly Valley BoysDouble Down

Another surprise album out of left field that has become one of the year’s best.

So many bands try to imbibe their music with a vintage feel and Western space by using copious amounts of chorus or reverb. Guitar player, singer, and songwriter Ryan Eastlyn takes the road less traveled with the use of moaning, melodic chorus lines that are so excellent, they vault this band from a relative unknown to one responsible for one of the better albums put out so far in 2011. (read full review)

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Cody Canada & The DepartedThis Is Indian Land

I was surprised to find out a few months after reviewing this album that not many Cross Canadian Ragweed fans, or critics for that matter have much use for this album. I have to respectfully disagree. Quit wanting what you’re used to expecting from Cody Canada, and start listening to what he is offering. There is a little fat here, but This Is Indian Land also has some of the best songs put out all year.

This is one of the funnest, freshest, well-written, well-produced albums to come out this year. There’s good songs, good performances, and it’s bold. While still sounding relevant and un-obscure, Cody and The Departed were able to stay out of the well-worn grooves that run like tired veins through so much of mainstream music. (read full review)

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The Dirt DaubersWake Up, Sinners!

Along with Larry & His Flask’s All That We Know, I’m afraid these are the two albums being grossly overlooked this year.

I love this album. You may look at the track listing and ask yourself why we need yet another version of “Wayfaring Stranger”. The answer is because the great Col. JD Wilkes has never done one before. A perfect mix of classics and originals, don’t just pigeon hole this project as just another rag tag bluegrass bit, there a lot of hot jazz, rockabilly and blues mixed in with the old time string band approach. (Read full review)

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Larry & His FlaskAll That We Know

Larry & His Flask from the ultra hippie nouveau town of Bend, OR have been making the rounds on the live circuit for years now, leaving legions of disciples and gallons of sweat behind at every stop. Putting out as much energy as any band has in the history of ever, and a lineup that necessitates shoving multiple tables together at every restaurant the tour van stops at, LAHF’s live show is impressionable to say the least.

Along with all the other elements, LAHF build their music using dark cords and unusual, unintuitive changes and progressions that give them a unique sound beyond any traditional string or punk music. (Read full review)

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Willy Tea Taylor- 4 Strings

If you’re a tragic, tragic audiophile like myself, then you understand just what a blessing it is when out of the blue you discover an artist that really speaks to you, and it opens a brand new vein of music for you to enjoy for years to come. This is the experience most people come away with when hearing Willy Tea Taylor for the first time.

Like so many albums that take the stripped down approach, there is just less to criticize, allowing the pureness of the music to flow. I cannot give you one reason not to like Willy Tea Taylor or 4 Strings, only reasons you’d be a fool for not loving it. (Read full review)

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Slim Cessna’s Auto ClubUnentitled

When this album came out early in the year, it was the frontrunner for Album of the Year. At the end of the year, it still holds up. Slim Cessna is not for everyone, and his take on pop music may make this album even more obscure, but it is nonetheless genius and engaging.

At first I didn’t know what to make of this album. In places, this is the most accessible, most non-dark music they have ever done. There are many bands that if they had put out an album like this, grumbles of “going mainstream” or “selling out” would be heard. But The Auto Club is so weird, so fey to begin with, being more normal actually makes them even more weird than they were before, adding to the mystique and mythos behind the band. (read full review)

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Hank3Guttertown

Still can’t get into Ghost To A Ghost, the first album of this double album set, but the second album is solid from beginning to end.

The first record in the 4 record salvo from Hank3 Ghost to a Ghost felt very much like business as usual in the post-Straight to Hell era. But Guttertown is where Hank3 gets it right by doing the same thing he did in the early and mid oughts, following his heart, defying any expectations for sound and genre, and letting his creative passion flow. Simply put, this is the best album Hank3′s put out since his 2006 opus. (Read full review)

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Jason Boland & The StragglersRancho Alto

One of the standouts in both Red Dirt and real country for 2011.

The heavy thematic focus on Texas and Oklahoma in Red Dirt music is what has made the movement strong throughout that region. It’s also what keeps it from progressing beyond. I’ve always believed that good songwriting allows you to look past proper names, and delve into the meaning of what a songwriter is attempting to convey. Jason Boland does this in Rancho Alto. (Read full review)

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Scott H. BiramBad Ingredients

When it comes to one man bands, Scott H. Biram is the franchise. He is the top of the heap, the one that inspired so many others. He’s tussled with semi trucks and spilled his guts out on the highway just like he’s spilled his guts out on countless stages all across the Western world until he earned that glorious ‘H’ in the middle of his name.

Biram may deliver his best album yet, and possibly one of the best albums in this calendar year, buoyed by one of the year’s best songs in the aforementioned “Victory Song”. With Bad Ingredients, Scott H. Biram simply delivers. (read full review)

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Tom WaitsBad As Me

One of the most pressing questions I’ve seen about his music in the context of his new album Bad As Me is if it should be considered “roots” or “Americana.” 7 years ago, when Waits put out his last real original album, I would have probably said no, but loaded with qualifiers. Today my answer would be “absolutely.”

What can I say, it’s Tom Waits, and he’s better than everyone else. It’s pretty much unfair and bullshit, but that’s just the way it is. All other artists, back to the drawing board with you. There has never been another artist worthy of the title of “transcendent” than Tom Waits. (Read full review)

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Olds Sleeper – I Will Follow You To Jail

Olds has a few other albums out in 2011 including Plainspoken which SCM has yet to review, but I Will Follow You To Jail may be the best primer to get you in touch with this genuine and prolific songwriter.

Unless you frequent a few small music circles in the underground world, you may have never heard of the artist Olds Sleeper, but that doesn’t diminish the argument one can make for him being one of the best songwriters of our generation. Of course, saying anyone is the “best” of anything is always disputable, but numbers are not, and by the numbers, Olds is indisputably one of the most prolific songwriters out there. (Read full review)

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Gillian WelchThe Harrow & The Harvest

I firmly believe that one of the problems with modern music is that there’s too much of it. So to see Gillian Welch wait 7 years to put out an album, is refreshing, and wise. But time and patience don’t guarantee a good album. What does is excellent songwriting, and that is exactly what Gillian delivers in The Harrow & The Harvest.

This album is one of those that needs multiple listens before you can fully appreciate it, but once it sticks to your bones, not listening to it enough will not be an issue, because you might need a pry bar to get it out of your player. (Read full review)

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Little Lisa DixieLittle Lisa Dixie

One of the few that made the Essential List that was not rated “Two guns up,” but belongs here from the strength of the songs.

With her first self-titled album, Little Lisa Dixie is helping make the case that in independent/underground country, 2011 might be the year of the woman. With surprisingly good, classic songwriting, excellent use of texture, and solid instrumentation, she has made the album that her fans have waited years for be one that is well worth the wait. (read full review)

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Bob WayneOutlaw Carnie

The first thing you need to appreciate about Outlaw Carnie is that it is country. Forget that it’s on a metal label, and that Hank III’s name is being put out there for context. There’s no fusing of metal and country here. There’s no sludgy BC Rich or Flying V guitars, no screamo, cookie monster lyrics. There’s banjo, fiddle, dobro, upright bass, brushes on snare, if there’s any drums at all.

I would assert that Outlaw Carnie is better than good. It is great, and worthy of affording Bob Wayne the much wider audience that his music deserves. (Read full review)

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Jimbo MathusConfederate Buddha

There’s no pretentiousness in Confederate Buddha, no premeditated attempt to appeal to demographics. Just like Gram once explained to Emmylou about country music, the beauty of Jimbo’s songwriting is in the simplicity.

Confederate Buddha is yet another exercise in what Jimbo Mathus does best: Delving auspiciously into various styles of classic American music, while blurring the lines between them and injecting his deep-rooted Mississippi blood. It continues and perpetuates the music mythos of Mathus as a genuine student and steward of American roots music, and a Mississippi and National treasure. (Read full review)

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Sunday ValleyTo The Wind And On To Heaven

First and foremost Sunday Valley is a live band, and that is how they approached this recording. The guitar is unapologetically loud and heavy–kind of the Stevie Ray approach of simply not worrying about what people say, just continue to do it until that is what you’re known for. This is about the loudest and heaviest you will hear guitar that still has the identifiable country “twang.”

Sunday Valley is definitely worth your consideration and raising a blip on your radar, because mark my words, I have a feeling that this will not be the last time you will hear about this band, from me or others. (Read full review)

Other albums yet to be reviewed:

The Goddamn Gallows7 Devils

Lonesome Wyatt & The Holy SpooksHeartsick

The Damn QuailsDown The Hatch

Other albums many folks recommend & received positive SCM reviews:

Dale Watson – The Sun Sessions

Lydia LovelessIndestructible Machine

William Elliot WhitmoreField Songs

Eilen JewellQueen of the Minor Key

46 Comments to “Saving Country Music’s Essential Albums for 2011”

  • you have to check out Charley Horse’s “Profesional Sinners” and Dad Horse’s “Dead Dog On A Highway”

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  • I really need to get into the red dirt stuff. I liked what I heard of that Jason Boland album and I would probably like more of it. Also, you have Seasick Steve in the tags but not listed, not sure if that was an error or not. That was a good album.

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    • Just appreciate if you roll up your sleeves and start delving into Red Dirt, Jason Boland is probably the most hard country you will find.

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      • Turnpike Troubadors is another great red dirt band to checkout. Not as traditional as Boland but still really good stuff.

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  • I had to read through the article 4 times just to make sure. Hellbound Glory’s “Damaged Goods” isn’t on the list? Or even in the “Other albums many folks recommend & received positive SCM reviews” section? I’m at a loss Triggerman…

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  • jason boland is interesting. thanks for the heads up. for my money, hank 3. hands down.

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  • You forgot Sunday Valley again!

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    • Again?

      I did forget them here. For some reason was thinking their album came out in late 2010, but you’re right, and I got it added on. It’s a good one!

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  • Good list man. I’ve got to say though I think I’m giving Rachel Brooke country album of the year. The presentation, songs, packaging, just overall it was a standout. What brought it down out of the album of the year running for you?

    I think I almost like it more than Slackeye Slim or Austin Lucas personally (and I really like the Austin Lucas album a lot). Hellbound Glory’s Damaged Goods though is definitely running a close second to Down In The Barnyard.

    I liked Lukas Nelson’s new album a lot this year. It kind of came out really late in the year last year and over the first few months of the year I had some time to set with it.

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    • Honestly, I don’t like to go down the road of why I think one excellent project is better than another excellent project, because it will come across as criticism of something that is good. I think what you have here is one project in Slackeye Slim that just completely shot the moon this year, and that elevated the bar for everyone else. Then you had two albums that have an accessibility element that I’m not sure “Down In The Barnyard” has. Accessibility used to be a bad word around here, but when you can be cool and honest, yet also be accessible, then that is a big asset for the music. Slackeye has very little accessibility, but it is made up for by it being a masterpiece. I think Rachel is more accessible than Slackeye, but not as accessible as Hellbound or Austin Lucas. Rachel has a very accessible voice, and some of her songs are accessible. But as an example, playing a 500-word murder bllad may not be the best way to sell someone on the idea that there’s something better than what they play on pop radio. Hellbound and Austin Lucas are, and once they have their world opened up to them, then they will be ready for Rachel, and eventually, Slackeye.

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      • I agree with the gateway music sentiment. Being some artists are good introductions to other artists. Accessibility is a really big part of selling an album to a large audience or fan base. I agree we need some big names from this group of artist to help lead the way and help introduce people.

        On the other hand wide range accessibility plays no part in how I view an album or what I ultimately like when I judge one thing over the other. Where you trying to say you like those albums because they are more accessible and that’s what you wanted to hear? Or did you like them for the general accessibility to a more mainstream audience? Like you said all of these are great albums. I’m just trying to better understand what you meant.

        I just bring this up because Jamey Johnson’s album might be a more accessible album for mainstream and a great way for someone to discover Whitey Morgan…but that ultimately doesn’t make his album better than a Whitey Morgan album. I just don’t think an album should get a higher ranking because it sounds like it would be a bigger hit with a wider audience over something that doesn’t.

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        • Oh yeah on a side-note I agree about the Cody Canada album as well terrible under-appreciated. Really cool album. I really liked the vocals on the album a lot.

          Also I don’t want to post as coming off confrontational or anything of the sort when I comment on your list (and I hope I don’t come off that way). Just being a music fan I really like talking music and always love talking EOTY list with people.

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        • Accessibility doesn’t have to mean accessibility to the “Mainstream” or the “Wide Masses”. That is where the word became bad in underground/independent circles. Mainstream music is usually not accessible to independent fans. There’s a common problem amongst fans of obscure music that want their music to stay obscure, or listen to it because it’s obscure to give themselves a sense of identity. The same thing can be said about catchiness. Catchiness in a song is a good thing. It’s just not good if it’s the only thing.

          If you can write a song, and that song appeals to more people than less without sacrificing soul, authenticity, and creativity, then yes I do think this makes the music better, taking your Jamey Johnson / Whitey Morgan analogy. However, I don’t think Jamey Johnson is very accessible, I think he is just more easily available. If folks got hold of Whitey Morgan, they may never want to listen to Jamey Johnson again. That is why there is so much safe music and parody in mainstream music.

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  • Strange how many great albums there were this year. Also crazy how only 4 songs show up on both our lists. That shows just how many great and unique albums were reviewed. Nice list.

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    • Albums, not songs!

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  • Triggerman is feelin that Seasick Steve huh?
    …I recommend either Charlie Parr’s record store day double A side record with the Virgina bluegrass band Black Twig Pickers and primitive american guitarist Glenn Jones (Even To Win Is To Fail/Eastmont Syrup) or his recently released (12/6/11) gospel themed Keep Your Hands On The Plow. It was givin the Low (Alan Sparhawk & Mimi Parker) treatment and is probably his most sonically ambitious record yet.
    Doc Boggs would be a Charlie Parr fan…

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    • american primitive..my bad,i always get that backwards.

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    • God is a Charlie Parr fan……

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      • ..and the house band for hell’s hootenannies is Devil’s Flying Machine,lol.

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  • I got to say most of your list I haven’t heard of or didn’t care for. The only 2 I realy liked were Willy Tea Taylor & Bob Wayne. I know it’s too main stream for this site but my Album of the year would be Robert Earl Keen’s Ready For Confettie.

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    • Well, for the ones you didn’t care for, we’ll have to respectfully disagree, and for the one’s you didn’t know about, then that means I did my job.

      Not necessarily meant for you or this comment, but I’ve always been boggled of why so many people come here wanting to read about the music they already know about, to validate their opinions I guess, instead of the music they don’t know about. I’m always digging, trying to find the great stuff nobody has heard. This is behind the fact that not only are people not reading my album reviews any more, they are purposely avoiding them for the other content. People scream at me for not reviewing this or that album that is their favorite, yet nobody complains I haven’t turned them on to something new lately. It’s frustrating.

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      • The first time I came to your freehank3.org and SavingCountryMusic website I found new exciting music. Stuff I had never heard of. I appreciate the new stuff. To be honest I get tired of reading about the same Hank and Hellbound Glory articles. I also enjoy these album of the year articles. It gives me a nice Christmas list.

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      • You have turned me on to so many great artist & I prefer the album reviews on this site to the other stories. But I do ocastionaly miss a review. The two albums I liked on your list I first heard of those artist through you this year. If I sugest an album for review here it’s because I think it may have been missed by the people here. I through out the REK album because I think it is the best I’ve heard this year. I don’t expect you to review it because I figure most people here Know about him & the album.

        As for the albums on your list I Haven’t listend to Rachel Brooke – I love the you tube videos she’s posted but when I listend to the samples of the album on amazon it just didn’t sound good to me, The Boomswagglers – I believe this was for a short time a free down load. I downloaded it & didn’t like it, Lone Wolf – This is the first I’ve heard of this album,Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours – Lucky’s music has been hit or miss with me. He has a couple of songs I like & a couple I don’t. I still haven’t made up my mind about him, Husky Burnette – I’ve seen a couple of you tube videos & he’s just not my cup of tea, Nick 13 – The name through me off. It don’t sound like a country artist so I realy haven’t given him a chance. I may soon though, Ugly Valley Boys – Never heard of them, Cody Canada & The Departed – This album has been recomended to me by amazon for awhile now but I haven’t checked it out yet, The Dirt Daubers – Not my cup of tea, Larry & His Flask – Not my cup of tea, Willy Tea Taylor – Love it thank you for reviewing this, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Not my cup of tea, Hank3 – Loved everything up to Straight To Hell. Everything after that I haven’t liked, Jason Boland & The Stragglers – I have a couple of there songs but haven’t heard of this album, Scott H. Biram – He’s one of the few artist I wan’t to listen to but just haven’t yet, Tom Waits – Not a big fan, Olds Sleeper – Another album I downloaded for free & just didn’t like it, Gillian Welch – Just starting to get into her music & haven’t had a chance to check out this album yet, Little Lisa Dixie – Never heard of her, Bob Wayne – Good album but as I said when you first reviewed it too much talk of drugs & deamons for my tast. Love the song Blood to Dust though, Jimbo Mathus – Never heard of him, Sunday Valley – Never heard of them.

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        • Hey I read what you wrote about Rachel Brooke’s new album. As I’ve said to Trigger above in these comments I’m viewing this as my top country album this year.

          To the albums credit it is the kind of album you have to listen to as a whole to get it (in my opinion) so sampling it may not be the best way to judge it. There are a lot of little things about the album spread out through the songs that make it a cool listen.

          I haven’t listened to the new Robert Earl Keen but I’m going to check it out tonight.

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  • Totally agree on the Boomswagglers, Little Lisa Dixie (“Devil’s Gate” is one of the year’s best tunes) and especially Sunday Valley for pumping out some massively heavy but still completely country electric guitar. And thanks for acknowledging Lydia Loveless, who in my opinion is tied with Sunday Valley for the best electric guitar country album of the year.

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  • Really love Willy Tea, and Olds Sleeper. The rest of the list is real good too. You might want to check out Fred Eaglesmith’s new lo-fi album- “6 Volts”. Great new album recently released.

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  • Would like to have seen Chuck Ragan’s Covering Ground on the list. Maybe more of an “accesible” album, but definitely worthy of being included.

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  • I had forgotten all about Lone Wolf OMB, and just bought it off itunes. I play clawhammer as well and have respect for this guy big time, the speed and complexity of his songs (some while playing harp) makes for some fun banjo tunes. Definitely worth a listen for musicians, one-man band fans, and bluesy fans.

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  • A couple albums that I think should be on this list but release dates have left them out… and kind of left them out of the 2010 running:

    Lukas Nelson and The Promise Of The Real- Released 12/21/10

    Adam Lee and The Dead Horse Sound Co.- When The Spirits Move Me- Released Nov. 2010

    Jackson Taylor and The Sinners- Let The Bad Times Roll- Released Feb. 2011. Hasn’t been reviewed yet, but should before you announce album of the year.

    Those all could be Albums of the Year and certainly essential listening. But hard to keep track throughout the year.

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  • Stoney LaRue’s Velvet is amazing. That needs to get a review and hopefully this article will be amended?

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    • I have probably given that album more time and more listens than any other album this year without writing a review. And I can’t guarantee it will get one. Not that it’s bad, I just don’t hear a review . . . yet.

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  • Has Del Gaucho gotten any easier to get a hold of since you wrote the review for it?

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    • Unfortunately I don’t think so.

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    • http://www.lonestarmusic.com/LuckyTubb

      that link seems to be the best place to get it.. I have asked him a couple of times about iTunes but he seems to be reluctant.

      I really do think it will help his exposure if he would utilize that resource.

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  • Good stuff. I dig most of these albums, and there are still a couple up there I need to listen to. I think Dale Watson & The Texas Two – The Sun Sessions definitely needs to be added to the “Other albums many folks recommend & received positive SCM reviews:” section though.

    And what the hell, might as well post up my top ten albums of the year (at least as it sits right now) –
    1)Israel Nash Gripka – Barn Doors and Concrete Floors
    2)Scott H. Biram – Bad Ingredients
    3)Cahalen Morrison & Eli West – The Holy Coming of the Storm
    4)Hellbound Glory – Damaged Goods
    5)Dale Watson & The Texas Two – The Sun Sessions
    6)Jackson Taylor & the Sinners – Let the Bad Times Roll
    7)Grayson Capps – The Lost Cause Minstrels
    8)Chuck Ragan – Covering Ground
    9)Left Lane Cruiser – Junkyard Speed Ball
    10)Jason Boland & the Stragglers – Rancho Alto

    I almost feel bad doing that, since there’s a ton of albums that could also be easily on my top ten… Still quite a few albums I still need to listen to as well. Been a great year!

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    • It’s not as easy as it looks, is it?

      Added Dale to the list. That was a glaring omission.

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  • The new Sons of Perdition is good.

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  • A late addition for me, which may be too folk to be on the radar around here, is John Prine’s new album. Well, sort of new. He found some early tapes he did at a local radio station, before he had a record deal, and put them out as an album. Just him, a guitar, and a lot of amazing songs. I think he deserves more attention from country purists, even though he has usually been classified as folk. “Paradise” sounds plenty country to me.

    I know this site is geared more toward showcasing newer talent, which is all for the good, but I encourage folks to check out Prine’s album, especially if you don’t know his work.

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  • Theres a lot of artists here that I’ve never even heard of and that’s what brought me to SCM and will keep me coming back.

    Jason Boland, Willy Tea, Scott H. Biram, and The Boomswagglers are 4 of the albums that I own and Highly recommend to anybody.

    An album that is not on this list that I would recommend is Powder Mill’s Money, Marbles and Chalk. Not sure when it came out but it’s a great project from some very talented guys.

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  • I remember you giving Dex Romweber Duo’s latest a very good review. I just ordered it from Bloodshot’s website, where they have a nice Christmas CD/LP sale going on, with many SCM favorites featured,. There’s even one from the SCM decade’s best list (The Shack Shaker’s Cockadoodledont). I loaded up. Been meaning to start that Wayne Hancock primer and this was the kick in the ass I needed!

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  • Well, my top5 is in this list, and I certainly didn’t overlook the Dirt Daubers, being a Shackshaker-fan since their first cd. Most groundbreaking for me was Larry & his Flask, and it still is one of my favorites to hear. Slim Cessna, Scott H. Biram, Tom Waits, a lot of my favorites this year are not country at all, but Hank III, Bob Wayne and Dale Watson filled that gap.
    Which brings me to the one you missed. Buddy Miller and the Majestic Silver Strings. This is a cd that is for me essential, 4 brilliant guitar-players in one room, everything played live, and for me it’s classic american music. This is for me why country music needs to be saved.
    It’s still my top 3 country album titles: (in random order) Cheatin’heart attack (Dale Watson), Thunderstorms and neonsigns (Wayne Hancock), Your love and other lies (Buddy Miller). That was 1994, and in 2011 they are still around, and delivering the goods as well.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, Triggerman, but weren’t you quite pessimistic when you made the halfyear score?

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  • I don’t see Damaged Goods!?!

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