Another tremendous year of music is just about in the books with a lot of notable releases to consider. Rock and Roll is definitely not dead and Great Van Fleet didn’t even make this years list while De Wolff, The Dirty Nil, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever definitely did. Hybrid groups were denitely front and center this year with Bennett Wison Poole making the list along with the Sleater-Kinny spinoff band Bat Fangs both making appearances on the list.
Country of the Classic (Charley Crockett and Joshua Hedley), and Outlaw varities (Cody Jinks and Whitey Morgan) were very well represented as were the girls with Kacey Musgraves, Amy Helm, and Nicki Bluhm all releasing great albums.
The sounds of the rockin’ 70’s were well represented with the band Black Coffee coming in high, and the 80’s hair metal sounding Thunderpussy carreened onto the scene as well.
Now, as we turn the page in anticipation of 2019 The editorial staff of The Falcon’s Nest and Rock is the new Roll wish you all………..Good Rockin’ Tonight!
100. Sunflower Bean – Twentytwo in Blue
The band’s second record shows a group maturing right before your very ears. With Pop undertones displaying a real Fleetwood Mac meets The Go Go’s sensibility.
099. Thunderpussy – Thunderpussy
Get past the silly band name and treat yourself to some real Rock and Roll. These chicks are one of the best real Rock bands going gender be damned.
098. Buffalo Tom – Quiet and Peace
The quieter and gentler Buffalo Tom proves they can still rock out a bit while still maintaining their semi shoegazing appeal. The cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Only Living Boy in New York” is worth the price of admission alone.
097. Rick Parfitt – Over and Out
The Status Quo guitarist leaves a posthumous release that is highly crafted with an ear to classic Queen Brian May style melodies. Parfitt’s first and only solo record is a Pop marvel. There is a bit of a Travelling Wilbury’s vibe going on here as well, and that’s never a bad thing.
096. Brian Fallon – Sleepwalkers
The Gaslight Anthem frontman continues to shine on his own with this fine set of scaled-down story anthems that would make Springsteen proud.
095. Erin Costelo – Sweet Marie
With a voice that floats somewhere between Britney Howard of Alabama Shakes with hints of Nina Simone, Canadian songstress Erin Costelo should be on your musical radar in 2018 and beyond.
094. Bat Fangs – Bat Fangs
Bat Fangs is a spin-off band rising from the ashes of Ex Hex while Ex Hex sprung from the loins of Wild Flag and Wild Flag was a Sleater-Kinney spin-off band. If you can absorb all that, now just sit back and enjoy this female empowered hair metal throw-back band that takes influences from Bon Jovi, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and The Bangles into one heck of a fun listen.
093. Supersonic Blues Machine – Californisoul
Just don’t call them a supergroup. Kris Barras, Fabrizio Grossi, Kenny Aronoff, and Billy F. Gibbons share their love of the Blues and good old Rock and Roll with the rest of us mere Mortals. Throw in Walter Trout, Steve Lukather, and Eric Gales and you go from good to great.
092. The Marcus King Band – Carolina Confessions
This more than strong set of soul-influenced psychedelic Southern Rock features a guitar prodigy coming of age right before our ears.
091. The Magpie Salute – High Water I
Former Black Crowe Rich Robinson has assembled a gypsy crew of wandering countrified minstrels for their first all-originals album. This one is pure no-frills Rock and Roll.
090. Bettye Lavette – Things Have Changed
When one of the best interpreters of song covers the works of one of the best songwriters as she does here on this Bob Dylan tribute, it is time to just sit back and listen to the magic.
089. DeWolff – Thrust
With 70’s vocals as the main course and a greasy Hammond organ as an appetizer, this one from the Dutch trio DeWolff is a gamechanger. This is prime-era Classic Rock at it’s riffing and over the top best. Every note of this record sounds like it could have not been recorded any later than 1978. When you have an over the top lead singer in Pablo van de Poel, a kick-ass guitar player in brother Luka, and a Hammond organ is thrown in for good measure the result is Rock and Roll at its finest.
088. Elle King – Shake The Spirit
With Shake the Spirit, the latest record from Elle King, she takes pretty much of a scorched earth policy to her life struggles and her marital woes. Jumping genre trains, following up her monster single “Exe’s and Oh’s” with a country duet with Dierks Bently, there is no sophomore slump for this daughter of Rob Schneider.
087. Oh Pep! – I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You
A reward awaits with multiple listens of this Pop-Folk Album. When Billy Bragg met this Aussie duo at a music festival he said, “I’m not your hero, I’m your peer.” If ABBA decided to become serious songwriters they might sound like these guys.
086. Phosphorescent – C’est La Vie
Matthew Houck behind his monicker Phosphorescent has created a musical landscape that at once Americana and pastoral. The move to Nashville has not scourged the creative juices with “New Birth in New England” standing tall as one of the songs of the year. Stunning is the only word to describe the non-Christmas song “Christmas Down Under.”
085. Kurt Vile – Bottle It In
Kurt Vile is perfectly capable of embarking on a minute’s long psychedelic mind warp like he does on “Bassackwards” with lyrics that contain phrases like “buried deep in the sake of my soul,” but he is at his best when he just lays back and chills with the rest of us circa song number 6, “Rollin’ With The Flow.”
084. Sister Sparrow – Gold
Big, Bold, and sometimes over the top bombastic, this is contemporary Soul-Pop at it’s finest.
083. Dana Fuchs – Love Lives On
Come for the bluesy stripped down version of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” but stay for the stellar scorching blues of “Backstreet Baby” and the Bonnie Raitt stylings of “Sittin’ On”. Dana Fuchs is the best female blues singer you may never have heard of.
082. Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa – Black Coffee
The pairing that is Blues Rock heaven take the chemistry to the studio once again for a guitar and vocal tour de force. The title track cover version of the Humble Pie song is worth the price of admission alone.
081. Janiva Magness – Love Is An Army
12 really cool songs that delve deep into both Americana and Soul. Janiva is filling the gap Sharon Jones left behind.
080. Luke Winslow King – Blue Mesa
Eric Clapton meets Chris Isaak on this fine Blues Rock set of songs. Opener “You Got Mine” could have been on the Slowhand record and the title track is a beautifully understated stunner.
079. Israel Nash – Lifted
Shades of “Helpless” era Neil Young and “Holland” vintage Beach Boys this is a soaring Pop symphony of the highest order.
078. Charley Crockett – Lonesome as a Shadow
Allow yourself to settle into his voice a bit and you will be rewarded. Charley has an old school Country vibe to him that will take you back. Smooth and soulful, this record sounds like it was recorded at Muscle Shoals. Once the saxophone solo kicks in on “Aint Gotta Worry Child” you will be in for the long haul.
076. Traveller – Western Movies
Calling these guys a singer-songwriter supergroup would be highly dismissive of the group Traveller, a band that features Cory Chisel, Robert Ellis, and Jonny Fritz. The resulting collaboration works to sweet harmony perfection.
075. Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain
This is an album of characters. Mostly written from her experiences behind the bar working as a bartender between albums, the tales she weaves are common man troubled woman vignettes that are worth multiple listens. With a voice that brings to mind Linda Ronstadt from the early days, she lets you enter her world of cheap motels, diners, and dives. “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo” should be at least on of the top five songs of the year.