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.
50. Renée Wahl – Cut To The Bone
With a spaghetti western Quentin Tarantino vibe courtesy of her Cracker Jack band The Sworn Secrets, this one sounds like a cross between Melissa Etheridge and Nicki Bluhm.
49. Dale Watson – Call Me Lucky
Truly an original, step back 50 years into Dale Watson’s Honky Tonk World.
48. Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse – Love & Murder
Lead singer Greta Valenti is the straw that stirs this drink, but it doesn’t stop there. This is a lot of Country Blues swagger to love about this album.
47. Molly Tuttle – When You’re Ready
This one is for this of us who think they don’t like bluegrass. With stellar playing and vocals that would make Mary Chapin Carpenter blush, Molly Tuttle should be on your own personal best new artist list.
46. Kingfish – Kingfish
20-year old Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is nothing short of the next great blues prodigy. Growing up in the Mississippi delta just a few miles from the actual “crossroads” just listen to the tone coming from this guy.
45. The Teskey Brothers – Run Home Slow
The Teskey Brothers, and yes, they are real brothers, channel Motown, Blues, Funk, and Blue-Eyed Australian Soul. With a shuffling rhythm that hooks you on every note, their sound bears similarities to Michael Kiwanuka. Listener beware though, the hipsters are starting to catch on to this band.
44. GospelbeacH – Let It Burn
Much like he did with his former band Beachwood Sparks, with GospelbeacH, lead singer Brent Rademcker, channels Tom Petty and the Laurel Canyon sound with a Country Rock vibe that is timeless. Adding even more to the Pop credentials laid down on the highly excellent 2017 release Another Summer of Love, “Dark Angel” could have been a long lost Heartbreakers song, and even when the band goes low and slow like they do on “Get It Back” there is a cool nostalgia that can be traced back to The Long Run era Eagles. The late Neil Casal, who was a member of Beachwood Sparks, contributes searing solos throughout the record and is a bittersweet presence on an uplifting record.
43. Jade Jackson – Wilderness
No real new ground is broken here, just a solid set of highly listenable Pop tinged Americana tunes. And, that is very special.
42. The Pearlfishers – Love & Other Hopeless Things
This fine Scottish Pop group delivers an often time glorious Brian Wilson inspired set of songs.
41. Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real – Turn Off The News (Build a Garden)
As the son of Willie Nelson and the bandleader for Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born, Lukas Nelson is as hot as a firecracker right now. Lukas and his boys have even found the time to release a new record in between concerts as the backing band for Neil Young. With a Traveling Wilburys vibe in places and a widescreen pop dusting in others along with a scent of herbal hippie sensation wafting across the entire proceedings, the experience of listening to this album will be mind-altering.