There has been a truck load of great records out this year and before the new Bruce Springsteen comes out this Friday, everything else is just a placeholder, here are our top ten favorites.
10. J.S. Ondara – Tales of America
This Minnesota by way of Kenya Americana Folk singer is this years Leon Bridges. An inspiring new find , Ondara fully absorbs himself in any song he sings.
09. Austin Meade – Waves
This denizen of the Texas hill country lays down a template of 70’s outlaw inspired country influenced songwriting with more of than a touch of Rock as well as Roll.
08. Yola – Walk Through The Fire
You won’t need to to much past the first song on this record, “Faraway Look”, for this one to grab you. With pipes that would make Dusty Springfield blush along with the production fairy dust from Dan Auerbach and his Easy Eye team, this is one could have been released in 1968.
07. Guida E.V.A
An extremely rambunctious listen, E.V.A., the latest from Italian Glam Rock titans Guida combines Glam, 70’s Rock, and a tinge of disco that will mood-set your day at first listen.
06. Jack Ingram – Ridin’ High … Again
Ingram’s tribute in spirit to Jerry Jeff Walker and the rest of the hill country troubadours. Another record that could have been made in 70’s era Nashville. His take on “Desperados Waiting on a Train” is worth the price of admission alone.
05. Nightbeats – Myth of a Man
There is a real and pronounced outlaw-groove Tarantino-Noir vibe that permeates every pore of this album.
04. Kenny Wayne Sheppard – The Traveller
Kenny Wayne Sheppard with each release seems to be more and more comfortable with his place in the pantheon of guitar slingers. His latest, a Classic Rock concoction of Blues, Boogie, and Rock is a powerhouse. Singer Noah Hunt is in fine grizzled form still sounding like Warren Zevon’s less drug addled brother, and Stevie Ray’s old stick man Chris Layton pushes the band down the rails like a runaway train. Including eight originals and two covers, the best of the lot being a scorched earth version of Neil’s Mr. Soul, this one might be the bands best record to date.
03. Jenny Lewis – On the Line
Firmly entrenched in Laurel Canyon California Lounge-Rock of the 70’s. Any record that features Benmont Tench, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Beck, and Don Was has to be the coolest. And this one is.
02. Better Oblivion Community Center – Better Oblivion Community Center
This one came out of nowhere, also way back in January. A collaboration between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers, both site favorites, this one is a tight Folk- Rock record that brings out the best in both artists.
01. The Delines – The Imperial
Brooding and vulnerable Country Soul from the side-piece band for Richmond Fontaine head honcho. Every song is a Raymond Carver short story.