Rock is the New Roll: The Top 100 Albums of 2019 (80-71)

Here it is, the long-awaited list of the best albums of 2019. It has been a really great year for music. We heard from a couple of deceased legends in Harry Nilsson and Leonard Cohen, were treated with new records from Texas Honky Tonk legends Jack Ingram, Corb Lund, and Dale Watson, and bright lights shone for the first time with a bevy of new artists to discover including the one name wonders Lizzo and Yola.

Rock is not dead with White Reaper, Drugdealer and Balck Country Communion all inviting us to a party like it’s 1979. And of course, the singer-songwriter is back. The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, is back and better than ever and Rock is the New Roll favorite Tom Russell gave us a history lesson in 11 songs with October in the Railroad Earth.

This year we will be releasing our top 100 list 10 tasty gems at a time, so sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy the ear-pleasing top 100 records of the year.

80. The Black Keys – Let’s Rock

After spending time apart from each other going back to 2014 Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are reunited and it feels so good. Blues, Garage, and Old Soul are still at the core of their sound, but this time around there is a Joie-de-vie amplification that seems to have the band re-energized.

79. The Magpie Salute – High Water II

High Water II, the appropriately titled sequel to High Water I, comes so close to sounding like vintage Black Crowes it might as well be a reunion record. And no, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Heavy on rockers and blues-boogie with an occasional acoustic interlude thrown in for good measure with Rich Robinson providing the guitar riffage. In the battle of the brothers Robinson for world domination, Chris definitely has some catching up to do.

78. Flying Colors – Love Letter

A Progressive Rock supergroup channeling their inner Beatles and ELO, Mike Portnoy, Steve Morse, and Neal Morse join singer Carey McPherson in a harmony drizzled dose of Sunshine Pop. The song “Love Letter” is definitely worth the price of admission alone.

77. Quaker City Nighthawks – Quaker City Nighthawks

Formed in Forth Worth in 2012, the Quaker City Night Hawks are constantly and consistently refining their sound. On their latest self-titled record, they mix funky rockers with piano-led ballads. On “Suit In The Back” they look back to when they were pulled over and arrested for the possession of marijuana concentrate.

76. Allison Moorer – Blood

You will be hard-pressed to listen to a more poignant record this year as Mrs. Hayes Carll presents a biographical record in conjunction with a book release later in the year. Having been raised by her sister Shelby Lynne after her father killed her mother and turned the gun on himself, the album, as well as the book, will take you on an emotional journey that will make you feel alive.

75. Goodbye June – Community Inn

Nashville’s favorite sons Goodbye June finally deliver what should be their breakout album. Full of anthemic Southern Blues Rock with more hooks than a season of Dangerous Catch, this just might be the Rock and Roll record of the year.

74. Miranda Lambert – Wildcard

With her latest album, Wildcard, Miranda Lambert seems to be walking on the wild side after a much-publicized public divorce. Ditching her old producer in favor of Jay Joyce who twirled the knobs for Brothers Osbourne, Brandy Clark, and Ashley McBryde, there seems to be a bounce in her step that wasn’t there before. There is a bit of Swamp Funk on “Holy Water,” and 80’s Rock on “Mess With My Head.” This is a diverse and textured record that will reward multiple listens.

73. Lucille Furs – Another Land

With a Magical Mystery Tour as your tour guide, Lucille Furs and Another Land will time warp you back to superspy Austin Powers groovy bachelor pad at the blink of a mellotron.

72. Jade Bird – Jade Bird

One of the British shining stars on the Americana Folk scene, on her debut record there are soaring pop epics the likes of “Side Effects,” introspective slow burners with “My Beauty” where she sounds like Melissa Etheridge in her prime, and on the low and slow “Does Anybody Know” her songwriting talents really shine. This one will be on heavy rotation for quite a long time.

71. Black Star Riders – Another State of Grace

With a more than solid follow up to 2017’s album Heavy Fire, this band born from the ashes of Thin Lizzy continues to place themselves on the mount Rushmore of bands that are saving Rock and Roll. The song “Don’t Let Me Down” is a distant cousin to Lizzy’s “Dancing In The Moonlight and is worth the price of admission alone.” The title track is Thin Lizzy meets Dropkick Murphy’s.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (October 25, 2019)

One of the best weeks of the year on the new record front. Ringo Starr, Allison Moorer, Harry Connick Jr. and a lot more. Here are five new records that demand some of your ear time.

Airbourne – Boneshaker

If you thought that Bon Scott era AC/DC wasn’t going to walk through that door anytime soon, you would be wrong. Save your money, don’t buy that time machine, just light your ears on fire with this one.

Grace Potter – Daylight

We haven’t heard much from Grace Potter for a while as she has been taking a break, getting married, and having a baby. Now she is remaking her image a bit from Chick Rocker to chanteuse. Listen closely and you will hear a woman coming of age before your very ears.

Ringo Starr – What’s My Name

There is no wheel reinventing going on here. Ringo is happy as clam just being Ringo, and he does it in style on this one. Chock full of old friends and band mates that have been part of Ringo’s All Stars touring show over the years including Colin Hay, Dave Stewart and Joe Walsh, the vibe is loose, fun, and professional. Sure, some of the songs can be a bit corny, but hey, who can argue with peace and love.

Allison Moorer – Blood

You will be hard pressed to listen to a more poignant record this year as Mrs. Hayes Carll presents a biographical record in conjunction with a book release later in the year. Having been raised by her sister Shelby Lynne after her father killed her mother and turned the gun on himself, the album, as well as the book, will take you on an emotional journey that will make you feel alive.

Goodbye June – Community Inn

Nashville’s favorite sons Goodbye June finally deliver what should be their breakout album. Full of anthemic Southern Blues Rock with more hooks than a season of Dangerous Catch, this just might be the Rock and Roll record of the year.

Five Cool Ones: Five (More) Reasons That Rock is not Dead

Diesel Park West – Golden Mile

This Leicester band blazed on our radar way back in 1989 with their glorious debut album Shakespeare Alabama, and have never really left. On their latest record, Let It Melt, they continue to impress with their melodic riff-tastic anthems.

Quaker City Night Hawks – Suit In The Back

Formed in Forth Worth in 2012, the Quaker City Night Hawks are constantly and consistently refining their sound. On their latest self-title record they mix funky rockers with piano-led ballads. On “Suit In The Back” they look back to when they were pulled over and arrested for the possession of marijuana concentrate.

Goodbye June – Switchblade Heart

Owing a heavy debt ZZ Top and Creedence Clearwater, Breakout Nashville rockers Goodbye June, drawing on their religious upbringing, take the performance aspects of a Pentecostal revival to the Rock and Roll stage with their fiery live shows.

Flying Colors – Love Letter

A Progressive Rock supergroup channeling their inner Beatles and ELO, Mike Portnoy, Steve Morse and Neal Morse join singer Carey McPherson in a harmony drizzled dose of Sunshine Pop.

Black Stone Cherry – Me & The Devil Blues

Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry really drill down deep into the blues with this Robert Johnson cover from their second Blues tribute album Back to the Blues 2.

New Music Friday (August 2, 2019)

Yola – Shady Grove

The latest video from Yola’s debut record, Walk Through Fire.” A top 20 record for sure.

Starcrawler – Bet My Brains

Starcrawler, one of our favorite over the edge Rock Chick bands are back witba new single and video.

Trigger Hippy – Don’t Wanna Bring You Down

In 2014 Trigger Hippy, a supergroup consisting of Nashville session musicians released a self-titled album that was one of the best of the year. Here they pop up out of nowhere with a scorching new single.

Midland – Cheatin’ Songs

Normally, we would cry fowl on a band that travels the 80’s Country landscape, but for Midland all bets are off. We are all in. Here is their latest Garth Meets George gem.

The Allman Betts Band – Shinin’

Formed by the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts the Southern Rock torch has Ben duly passed. Close your eyes and you will think it is 1975 all over again.

Demob Happy – Autoportrait

This Psych Rock trio turns up the burners on this one to deliver the headbanger of the week.

Moon City Masters – The Price You Pay

A strong 70’s filter on this one picture Blind Faith jamming on stage with The Allman Brothers and you will pretty much get the idea.

Goodbye June – Universal Mega Love

These guys already have the chops to Greta Van Fleet and Rival Sons. A Rock band on the rise look for their new record Community Inn to come out in October.

Elles Bailey – Deeper

A vibrant Blues/Soul singer Elles Bailey could be the younger sister of Beth Hart.