I'm trying to figure out why this CD was so overlooked. Maybe its just that I'm the only person in Americana that thinks this album worthy of such praise. Where I warned you anti-twangers to avoid Hayes this CD should appeal to everyone. This duo's music is so hard to describe that I won't attempt it. It's beautifully under-produced, so much so that seeing them live will make you think you're sitting in on a studio session.
#5 Old 97's - Blame it on Gravity
Do you like the Old 97's? If you do I promise you'll love this CD. Personally I think this is the best album they've ever done. They've done better individual songs but as a compilation this one, for me, is tops. If you don't know the Old 97's: well, this is what you get when punk and country meet.
This disc has some stand out songs; "Oklahoma Gypsy Shuffler" and "Porter Wagner." But its the sleepers that make me love this CD. It is stuffed full of Carroll's unique songwriting. He has the ability to make you cry and laugh with just about every song.
Proving that great songwriters never take it easy, Lucinda has another phenomenal album. You can sense that she had a good time making this one. Lots of tracks with individual styles and an AC/DC cover? You got to love it.
#13 Bruce Robison - The New World
This is an easy CD to like. While Robison is considered a true songwriter with many of his penned tunes turning into mega hits for country superstars, this CD is clean and polished and his singing, for me, is better then any superstar will ever match. While some tunes might be a tad cream puffed there's also some real beauties. Check out "Larosse" if you want to cry for a week.
I describe this band as a cross between folk and punk. They've always been one of my favorites bands, and while earlier discs had individual songs that are better than any on this CD, they didn't have the quantity of great tunes that Stickeen has. If you want to explify what this band and for that matter this CD is about; listen to the track "Feltpicker."
#15 Bourgeois Gypsies - Faulty Fairytales
I wish I didn't know about this band's origins. Knowing that these folks are from a tiny mountain town and met at an open mic night has forever biased my opinion about their music. PS my bias is that they're awesome. The singer has got that boozy lounge sound and the band is spot on, they write catchy tunes and perform them like a group of world-renowned studio musicians.
You can sense that this CD was put together by a seasoned musician who really, really, really loves what he does. This New Mexico troubadour made a CD that I bet he's damn proud of. Not because he thinks that others will like it but because he likes it, and I for one friggin' love it.
Another New Mexico product, this CD is my definition of what a great singer/songwriter album should be. The songs are well crafted, light on the twang, poignant and heart tugging. This is one of those CD's that I love more and more everytime I listen to.