In the year that is set up to be over in a couple weeks, 2019, music saw a lot of great albums come out. So I will preface this by saying that I’m sure there are a few that I missed but really liked as well. The list below isn’t a top ten, I am not a fan of those, I think they are boring and overplayed. The list below is simply a compilation, if you will, of albums that I enjoyed from this year that has seemingly flown by. I mean it feels like a week ago I was coaching my nieces in softball, but that was more like months ago. So here it is folks, I highly encourage you to open your ears up for any of the following albums. These folks did some amazing work with them.
Mike Oberst: Six Feet of Earth - I must’ve listened to this for weeks. I loved how Mike was able to find these old folk songs and keep the traditions alive. I had the pleasure of reviewing this album for him, and he’s like a modern-day Alan Lomax finding these obscure songs and then figuring them out. Or, writing his own and keeping with who he is. Sometimes I feel like some of his songs could even be punk tunes, and I could keep writing and talking about Mike and his band The Tillers, but there are other records to get too.
Sturgill Simpson: Sound and Fury - This record I enjoyed because Sturgill just wants to make music however and whatever that sounds like. And I think that’s what I like most about this, not too mention he did and does some really great work.
Frontier Folk Nebraska: FREAKS - I had the opportunity of reviewing this album for them, and I could not have been happier. I refer you to that review, but in short it is an album in every sense of the word dedicated to the folks that just don’t fit in. Put your ears on this because it is quite awesome.
Josh Eagle & the Harvest City: Clockwork Radio - Josh and the band have been absent for a while, musically, but with this record they made a strong return. When he released it I gave it a listen through some headphones and it really made my soul happy. Musically and lyrically I just loved it. Stay tuned for my actual review.
Maria Carrelli: Strings on My Guitar - Maria may be small in stature but when she grabs her guitar and sings a song, she’s like a giant. And, a badass giant at that. She can shred the guitar and make you listen. She commands the stage, and she took that and put it on a record. If she passes through your town or comes close just go and see her and pick up the album as well.
Tyler Childers: Country Squire - There have been a lot of words written about Tyler, and as there should be. I remember seeing him here in Cincinnati at The Crow’s Nest what seems like a lifetime ago, and now he’s garnered all these successes. Which is pretty awesome. What Country Squire brings is honesty with a little bit of soul. He is simply standing on the corner and waving at everyone to make sure they know he is here, and that he has arrived. This is simply a great album that again when it came out, I like many others, wore it out.
Ian Noe: Between the Country - I heard of him over the summer through my brother. Then listened to this album and was like “yeah, this is good.” A simple head nod while I was driving.
Wilco: Ode to Joy - While the record seems slow, it is still Wilco, and I am still a fan. They are simply a band that I always listen to because of the writing and the sonics. And, no matter what I will always listen. This particular record through a few listens grew on me. I could wax-poetic about Wilco, but I'll let this album do that for me.
That’s it for the list however there are some honorable mentions that came at me late like within the past week or even within the past month. Michigander (a band) are great. Something about the lead singer’s voice makes the lyrics sound haunting, then back those up with some eclectic electric happenings, yeah, I’m in. Sierra Ferrell a singer songwriter. She is something awesome. I’ve only seen her through YouTube videos and Instagram posts. She does have a few albums out on Bandcamp, but from everything I have heard she’s just awesome. She’s doing country / folk her way and her voice is unique to herself. Go see her if she is passing through your town. Morgan Wade, another country singer like Sierra is also great in her own right, and in much of the same way as Sierra. I haven’t had the chance to really dive in and listen to Morgan, but from the little I have heard I just really dig her style. Leonard Cohen just released album as well. Being dead and all it is not surprising. Because if there is anyone that could transcend life and death, I think we could agree that it would be Leonard. Thanks for the Dance was just released late November early December. I gave it a listen, and Leonard might not be for everyone, but his music and this album just have a way of emptying my brain and I only hear his music. It happens rarely, but when it does, I really listen. Lastly, Come On UP to the House: Women Play Tom Waits. A compilation album of different women playing Tom Waits songs. It is pretty awesome to hear all of these great women playing Tom Waits tunes, plain and simple. Sure, nothing beats the originals, but some of these versions are quite good.
As we peace out of 2019 I would just like to thank all the artists who let me review their albums, and Josh Eagle and Erin Coburn you are next up I haven’t forgotten about you, thank you. It is truly an honor to be able to write about some people I consider friends, and their music. We have quite a vibrant music scene here and being able to write about that I am truly honored and grateful. Thank you to CincyMusic as well for the opportunity of doing this. Thank you all who have read. I hope you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy what I have written. Thank you and have a great holiday and cheers to an almost new decade.