Friday, January 09, 2009

11 Albums

Here are 11 albums I picked up this year that I really think you should hear. Especially the 5 that I put in bold:

1. Juno Soundtrack: Fun movie and equally fun soundtrack highlighted by Kimya Dawson.

2. Melissa Maclellan - Thumbelina's One-Night Stand: This Toronto singer-songwriter opened for Blue Rodeo (after Cuff the Duke got caught in a snowstorm) and stole the show with an incredible sultry-strong voice and great songwriting chops. And she's married to Luke Doucet.

3. Danny Michel - Feather, Fur & Fin: Danny Michell, the little known songster from Kitchener-Waterloo, delivers again and again and again. This is one of his best.

4. Justin Rutledge - Man Descending: This kid continues to impress with his poetic sensibilities and pretty pretty voice.

5. David Myles - Things Have Changed: Originally from New Brunswick, now a Haligonian, his music has a folky jazzy bluesy old-school vibe. Another great songwriter telling stories about how he learned to live.

6. Martin Sexton - Seeds: He is best experienced live (he paid is dues selling tens of thousands of self-made cd's as a Boston busker), but Sexton's incredible vocal range, gorgeous energy, and his ability to exhale complex music like carbon dioxide, make his recorded work well worth the investment.

7. Country & Western: This is a 10-disc compilation of old-time American country circa 1929-1951, talking Jimmie Rodgers, Gene Autry, Jack Guthrie, the Carters, that kinda thing. It was a time and an era and a feel. It's nostalgia on disc and I love it.

8. Kathleen Edwards - Asking for Flowers: There's a strong streak of punk in Canada's new queen of alt-country (make room Neko Case). Her songs are gritty and real, her voice is powerful and true.

9. Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs (Bootleg Series Volume 8): These songs are so good it's hard to believe they were the ones that didn't make the cut on the original discs. Some of these songs I like a lot more than what was originally released. The man's talent just falls off him.

10. Buffy St. Marie - Running for the Drum: Amazing that you can go decades without releasing an album and then come out with something this good. It's really got it all: political songs, love songs, songs of the reservation and home, Canada and America; blues, old time rock-and-roll, hip-hop sampling. When I saw her live this summer she talked about how she got labelled as a folk singer back in the 60s and started writing 'traditional' Irish-style folk diddies to please the masses. You can see with this album just how much she was holding back.

11. Old Man Luekecke - Notes From the Banjo Underground: Somehow I forgot to include this in my original list, even though this is an absolutely fabulous album! It's a few years old now and I don't have his new one yet, but his songwriting is this strange Mark Twainish folk philosophy that is pure genius, all accompanied by gorgeous banjo pickin. Now one of my very favourite albums.


Kathleen Edwards is one of my favourites. Her voice is so genuine and beautiful, as if she's not holding anything back. I saw her live last year, and she can rock out on the guitar live, too!
(and oddly, I think we were commenting on each other's blogs simultaneously)
not only does she not hold back..i dunno how to describe it, her singing isn't forced, yet it's like she has some flood-vein she cuts and just let's it all the fuck out and it hits you in the gut with a 50-fingered fist. lucinda williams is like that too.

hey, simultaneous commenting, fun!
oh shoot .. i missed out on the simultaneous commenting thing .. :/ ..

and i am so gonna check this music out. especially the artist's i'm not familiar with. i love being introduced to new artists.
I agree with foam-I am going to have to check out some of this music-I have found the greatest blogs through Xdell-also a great blog! Fantasic blog here benji and I wish you the best of luck with your writing. Have a wonderful weekend!
It's interesting how some of the best music promotion has come from word of mouth right here in the cybersphere. It's a throwback of sorts, kind of a high-tech Fifties' business model.
Everybody says I'm declasse in loving early C&W, especially Hank Williams, about whom a friend says, "he makes me laugh."

But that really was country music then,before the genius Chet Atkins--for some reason--turned it all into rock and roll.

I figre a song has class when Ray Charles does, it, or, for the matter the Calgary Philharmonic.

Four Strong Winds?

The hippies of jazz tell me I have no taste, but the bleep and farts of old-style band music turns me right off.
Doesn't Glen Miller sound like crap today?
I don't know any of these. Damn. Time to go shopping..
Foam: me too. I used to read music blogs just for that purpose (that's how I discovered Justin Rutledge), but as time accelorates I seem to fall behind on such projects.

Devin: thanks for coming by and welcome!

XD: agreed. i guess technologies really can allow for the creation new kinds of community.

Ivan: I largely agree with you there. I think you and I have some similar music bents. Hank was a genuine poet. Four Strong Winds, hate that garbage. Folk music is supposed to be for the folks, no?

Toast: Then I failed as your host. Next time we meet we must go through our respective musical collections and swap uploads.
An impressive list. But I know none of them. Time to check it out I guess.

How's our baby? And you and yours of course. Tired?
baby's perpetual astoundment is a sight to behold. me and mine are discovering what some torture victims know, the dangers of sleep deprivation. scary part is I'm getting used to it. it's a hard thing to do. it heightens all insecurities and fears. it also heightens simple joys and pleasures, especially cracking him up by pretending to eat him up.
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