Rock is the New Roll: The Top 100 Albums of 2019 (50-41)

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.

Five Cool Ones: Five Cool Albums Released This Week (June 14, 2019)

No need to adjust your sets. Just because you woke up to a new release from Bruce Springsteen, an album from Madonna, a retrospective set from Cheryl “Got To Be Real” Lynn, and a live recording from Stan Getz, doesn’t mean you have entered into some sort of Frank Zappa zodiac 80’s mind-warp. No, It just another week in what is shaping up to be a great year in music.

Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars

Addressing the elephant in the room first, the new Bruce Springsteen record is out today. And it is good, very good, maybe his best in a decade. The Laurel Canyon vibe is all over this one and some say that the album is sort of an homage to the old Glen Campbell Jimmy Webb pairings from the days of yore. After a couple of listens I can see it. Oh yeah, and did I say this album was good, actually I meant great.

‘Keb ‘Mo – Oklahoma

Kevin Morris, ‘Keb ‘Mo, goes down smooth like a glass of fine scotch or a cigarette after sex. Any record of his should be savored, and Oklahoma, his latest offering, is just that sort of listen.

Jamestown Revival – San Isabel

Every 18 months or so Jamestown Revival will release an album and remind me that I really love this band. Their latest, San Isabel, takes them back to their roots and their Simon and Garfunkel by way of CSN vibe. Their loving tribute to California Dreamin’ is worth the price of admission alone.

Los Coast – Samsura

This Austin based combo is a bit genre defying, and in ‘this case that is a very good thing. Part Soul, part Surf-Rock, a lot Psychedelic, and all Cool. If Jellyfish merged with The Dap Kings the resulting hybrid might sound like these guys.

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.