Voted Albums of 2002
NetRhythms' friends have compiled their Top 5, 6, 10 or more albums of 2002
A Round up of 2002
Best show of the year - UK
A magical night and a great cause: Emmylou Harris, Nancy Griffith, Steve Earle, Elvis Costello, John Prine
Best show of the year - World
This was the first of what is to be an annual event amazing festival, 100 degree heat recommended drink Jalapeno Margarita: Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris with Buddy & Julie Miller, Caitlin Cary, Gillian Welch, Caroline Herring, The South Austin Jug Band, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Nickle Creek,Los Lobos, Ramsay Midwood, Jon Dee Graham, Ruthie Foster, Vallejo, The Gourds, Wilco, Ryan Adams, and many more
Best Show at The Borderline
what a year so so many, Tony Joe White and John Hammond have to mentioned but joint top of the pile goes to
CD's of the year
2002...... What a year! Many highs and the inevitable lows. All in all a great year I think. 2003 is looking to be even better, with my three radio shows and all the tours I am setting up.
The Mean Fiddler owned Mean Country 1035 AM hopes to go onto the Sky Digital platform in January which means that my two shows there (Tuesday nights 9pm to midnight and Saturday 7pm to 9pm) will be accessible to more people. Visit http://www.meancountry.com for more information.
NetRhythms on SpydaRadio will become a once a fortnight show. Expect two new shows over the Christmas/New Year period containing my retrospective look over 2002. Talking of which, here are my Top 5 albums of the year. I'd be interested to hear yours:
5. Jesse Sykes and The Sweet Hereafter - Reckless Burning
4. Dan Bern - New American Language
3. Sheryl Crow - C'mon C'mon
2. Moby - 18
1. Chuck Prophet - No Other Love
(in alphabetical order - not in order of the best first - simply because there is no "best")
1. Going Driftless - An Artists Tribute to Greg Brown - Red House
I do not think you can get better than this, Greg Brown's beautiful, thoughtful and often quirky words combined with some of the best female vocal talent around today. I think I have played this album every day since I got it and still find something new and wonderful.
2. Cyndi Boste - Push Comes to Shove - Warrior Music
I received the first album from Mike Chapman two years ago and fell in love with it. This new one is every bit as good, better in parts, you can hear the growth. Cyndi is Australian and does not get much attention here but the comparisons to Lucinda Williams are apt although she is completely and absolutely her own person and talent.
3. Caitlin Cary - While You Weren't Looking - Yep Roc
This is a debut album and one of the best I've ever heard - the song writing and attention to detail are impeccable. Caitlin's history is "Whiskeytown" and although Ryan Adams is getting all the attention, hers is a more considered, intelligent approach to heartache and life. She is just very, very good.
4. Guy Clark - The Dark - Sugar Hill
All Guy Clark's albums are excellent. He is a true craftsman. I just think that we don't acknowledge it often enough.
5. Jerry Douglas - Lookout for Hope - Sugar Hill
Jerry Douglas is a great player, but this time he has outdone himself. Every single track has something special to recommend it, his writing is pure and beautiful and he has lots of guest musicians and singers. He pushes the boundaries while kissing all his influences.
6. Patty Griffin - 1000 Kisses - ATO Records
The writing is wonderful, the emotions feel true and the voice is glorious. I feel that this is the woman who will inherit Emmylou's crown (although, make no mistake, Emmylou is still the queen and will be for many years to come).
7. James McMurtry - Saint Mary of the Woods - Sugar Hill
An absolutely wonderful story teller. I can't get enough of this album. Alan O'Leary gave me the album and I was caught right from the first track. This might be the one I've played the most over the past months. I need to get all his albums.
8. Tift Merritt - Bramble Rose - Lost Highway
Another debut album. Stunning! I have been waiting for this album ever since I saw Tift in the gentle atmosphere of a singer/songwriter circle at Merlefest in North Carolina two years ago. Being nurtured in such wonderful musical surroundings I knew the album would be wonderful and it is - although it makes me cry.
9. Chris Mills - The Silver Line - Loose
I saw Chris Mills at the Borderline and liked him fine. I bought the album to be polite and to support him. When I actually played it I nearly fell off my chair. The writing is excellent! Even the songs I don't understand, fascinate me. He is a young artist but genuine in all respects. (My sister heard the album last night for the first time and almost fell off her chair as well.) It's a real find!
10. Old Reliable - Pulse of Light/Dark Landscape - www.oldreliableband.com
This is a perfect album! The writing, the production, the singing, the emotion. This is what I believe "alternative" country should sound like - it's got twang, but in a completely different way. It must be listened to.
I had one heck of a time choosing as you can probably tell - wanted to point out that there is no Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Dixie Chicks or Steve Earle - all excellent albums this year and should be on everyone's 'best of' list. As well, it killed me not to include Chuck Prophet, Todd Snider, Wilco, Alan Tyler, Wes McGhee, Dolly Varden, Mary Gauthier, The Walkabouts...
Not to mention all those wonderful artists who just didn't have an album out this year. Oh Dear - just too much good music!!!
BECK - SEA CHANGE
BROTHER RESISTANCE - WHEN DE RIDDIM EXPLODE
KATE CAMPBELL - MONUMENTS
THAD COCKRELL - STACK OF DREAMS
CAROLINE HERRING - TWILIGHT
ISSA BAGAYOGO - TIMBUKTU
KIRSTY McGEE - HONEYSUCKLE
PETER MULVEY - THE TROUBLE WITH POETS
CHUCK PROPHET - NO OTHER LOVE
SPEK - DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
CHRIS SIMMONDS - promoter in Aberdeen
1. Jerry Douglas - Lookout For Hope (well, I was at the album launch gig!)
2. Chuck Prophet - No Other Love
3. Gomez - In Our Gun
4. Widespread Panic - Live In The Classic City
5. Govt Mule - The Deep End Vol 2
Sheryl Crow (14), Jesse Sykes (23). Loads of great CDs this year
Gig of the Year - Bela Fleck & The Flecktones @ Whelans in Dublin last month (£24 return flights from Aberdeen, 17 Euros for a ticket), closely followed by Jerry Douglas at the Old Town School in Chicago in June.
Off to Texas for January
1. Bruce Springsteen - The Rising (Columbia)
2. Patty Griffin -1000 Kisses (Sanctuary)
3.Josh Rouse -Under Cold Blue Stars (Slow River)
4.Jesse Malin -The Fine Art of Self Destruction (One Little Indian)
5.Dan Bern - New American Language (Cooking Vinyl)
6. Beth Gibbons & Rustin' Man - Out Of Season (Go Beat)
7. Dave Sutherland - American Refrigerator (Shaye Music)
8. The Reel & Soul Association - Warm And Tender Love (Flying Sparks single)
9. Mary Gauthier - Filth & Fire (Munich)
10. Monica Queen - Ten Sorrowful Mysteries (Creeping Bent)
1. Chuck Prophet No Other Love
2. Corey Harris Downhome Sophisticate
3. Patty Griffin 1000 Kisses
4. James McMurtry Saint Mary of the North Woods
5. Hot Rize So Long a Journey
I don't usually bother with this sort of thing - ask me tomorrow and it'll be a different line-up. In no particular order:
The Rising - Bruce Springsteen (and The E Street Band)
Cropredy 2002 Another Gig: Another Palindrome - Fairport Convention(s)
Dirt - Mark Selby
Semi-detached Mock Tudor - Richard Thompson
Rise Up - Oysterband
Dancing Down the Stony Road - Chris Rea
Heart of England - Various Artists
Live - Vikki Clayton
England, Half English - Billy Bragg and The Blokes
Honesty Box - Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies
MICHEL PAMPELUNE - Fargo Records www.fargorecords.com
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter Reckless Burning
Jesse Malin The Fine Art Of Self Destruction
Richard Buckner Impasse
Hederos & Hellberg Together in the Darkness
Ron Sexsmith Cobblestone Runway
KHALED - Catfish Records www.catfishrecords.co.uk
1. Michael Messer's Second Mind - I know it is a bit biased but I really think it is.
2. Chris Rea's Down The Stony Road
3. Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around
4. The Libertines album
5. Rolling Stones 'Exile On Main Street' (because it should always be there!!!)
what a difficult choice, as there's been a lot of great stuff this year - but if pushed I'd plump for:
1. Eliza Carthy - Anglicana
2. Robin Williamson - Skirting the river road
3. Chumbawamba - Readymades
4. Gillian Welch - Time the revelator
and 5. Tom Pacheco - There was a time
in no particular order of course. There have been other albums where I've enjoyed parts more than the wholes, but these are probably the most consistently satisfying - some from the end of 2001 came very close though...
Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year to all in Net Rhythms land. My top CDs absolutely in no particular order.
The Sorentinos - The End Of The Day (the ever-brilliant Sorentinos brilliant again)
Stewboss - Sweet Lullabye (Difficult second album? Not a bit of it)
Bill Mallonee - Fetal Position ( Not much you can say about probably the best songwriter on the go)
Dolly Varden - Forgiven Now (Steve, Diane and the guys at their best)
Steve Earle - Jerusalem (Want to know what music that says something sounds like? Buy this).
Well, for me it was two classic English acts, two American folk-rockers, and one sadly obscure but unique American singer/songwriter group:
Linda Thompson: Fashionably Late
Fairport Convention: Unconventionally Fairport
Lehto & Wright: The Further Adventures of Darling Corey
Clandestine: Music From Home*
Sons of the Never Wrong: 4 Ever On
*actually a late 2001 release, but we're not being picky, are we? :-)
Unfortunately nothing I am working on has beaten Bruce Springsteen's new album but you will see my other Top 4 albums that I have been listening to are mostly from the New West Records label and the Allen Dobb album which I think is superb.
Bruce Springsteen "The Rising"
Delbert McClinton "Room To Breath"
Slobberbone "Slippage" - Chuck Prophet "No Other Love" (joint 3rd)
Allen Dobb "Bottomland"
Stephen Bruton "Spirit World"
DAVID BLUE - from Glasgow, reviewer for NetRhythms and wannabee author
I think that this has been a great year for music that is just a little to the right, or left, of the mainstream. My albums of the year are as follows, (sorry I couldn't reduce the list to five, the standard has been so good and the styles so diverse).
1. Joe Fournier - Raw Sugar Shed
2. Derrin Nauendorf - Live At The Boardwalk
3. Dan Bern - New American Language
4. Stephen Bruton - Spirit World
5. Larry Garner - Embarrassment To The Blues. Live In Europe
6. The Orange Humble Band - Humblin' (Across America)
7. David Johansen and the Harry Smiths - Shaker
8. Michael Messer - Second Mind
Most of these guys are new to me but I will certainly be looking forward to new material and tours, hopefully. My gigs of the year were Derrin Nauendorf at Studio 1, Glasgow and Dan Bern at The Arches, Glasgow.
I hope that next year will be just as varied and keep rocking everyone.
JON HALL - from Yorkshire
Omitting remasters and compilations, these have been my favourites this year:
John Tams Band - Home
Lindisfarne - Promenade
Fairport - Before the Moon
Acoustic Strawbs - Baroque and Roll
Bill Jones Band - Live at the Live
Bill Caddick - Unicorns
Eliza Carthy - Anglicana
Van Morrison - Down the Road
Eels - Souljacker
The Hush - Dark to the Sky
cant leave Patty Griffin out :-( so now it is 14 :-)
Guy Clark - the Dark
Rosie Thomas – When we were small
Tom Waits – Alice & Blood Money
Kim Richey – Rise
Steve Earle – Jerusalem
Richard Buckner – Impasse
Jeffrey Foucault – Miles From The Lightning
Rod Picott – Stray Dogs
Chris Mills – The Silver Line
R.D.Roth – From the Ears Down
Jim Roll - Inhabiting the Ball
Neko Case - Blacklisted
Patty Griffin - 1000 kisses
James McSweeney - On the Border
1. Cornershop - Handcream For A Generation
2. Peter Bruntnell - Ends Of The Earth
3. Soft Boys - Nextdoorland
4. The Bees - Sunshine Hit Me
5. Aimee Mann - Lost In Space
6. John Parish - How Animals Move
7. Tracy Chapman - Let It Rain
8. Doves - The Last Broadcast
9. The Vines - Highly Evolved
10. Amor - Even After That
There's been some of the very best blues and slidey stuff released this year:
Every collection should include a copy of these glorious and important albums - in words and music these have captured the spirit of the age:
Real gems - only available from websites at the moment. Future 'must haves'
Maybe too late, but here's my very arbitrary top 5+, which would maybe change from week to week, or then again not. I never usually do these things, but other people do it all the time, so this is for the sake of the larger sample. The Veda Hille album is a 2001 album in Canada, but I don't know that anyone heard it in this country until 2002, and it is so much the best thing as far as I'm concerned. As for the rest, the MMMUSA, Truax and Myshkin albums could certainly change ranking according to mood, but until I remember another album which I overlooked, I could stand by these six in some sort of order.
1. VEDA HILLE "Field Study"
2. JACK HAYTER "Practical Wireless"
3. MAJOR MATT MASON USA "Honey Are You Ready For The Ballet"
4. THOMAS TRUAX "Full Moon Over Wowtown"
5. MYSHKIN'S RUBY WARBLERS "Rosebud Bullets"
6. GRANT WAKEFIELD (and so many others) "The Fire This Time"
Chris Bowden - Slightly Askew - Ninja Tune
Superb CD demonstrating all that is good on the crest of a new wave of UK contemporary jazz. Evolving his sound from his early days working on Talking Loud and Mo Wax releases then on to heavy involvement (playing sax, writing the music, arranging the strings) with 4Hero as well as live blowing with Basement Jaxx and Herbaliser this is music as good as it gets, deep, adventurous, wild, mellow and unpredicatable.
The Arlenes - Stuck On Love - Loose
This is just brilliant and another essential purchase. Big Steve and Stephanie Arlene have produced a great collection of songs, delivered with a style, harmony and feel that has already drawn comparisons with Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris- they are that good!
Los De Abajo - Cybertropic Chilango Power - Luaka Bop
Urban Mexican music colliding with folkoric and stopping off on the way to the shops for a quick salsa with ska, funk , rap & rock. Yes it's the second Luaka Bop release for the great Los De Abajo who sum it all up perfectly by saying 'We do not know where we are going, but we have never got lost.' Brilliant live band too as anyone who caught their UK dates this year will know.
World Lounge - Various - Putumayo
Another superb Putumayo compilation that goes for chilling us out via some cool global beat chemists. Featured artists include the wonderous Gotan Project and their tripped out tango, bossa nova from Montefiori Cocktail and Algerian Hamid Baroudi remixed by DJ Krush. Laid back but adventurous.
1 Giant Leap Palm Pictures
This is a CD that should be in everyone's collection (and it won't embarass you in years to come!) I Giant Leap is 'a unique snapshot of our planet at the turn of the 21st Century' to provide that snapshot Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman have set off on a global journey recording along the way, but of course it's the nature of those recordings that make this so special. I've seen this written about as a 'world music' album, for pity's sake will the mindless ones who continue to devalue music by the use of such archaic terms not realise that if ever an album demonstrated how defunct that term is then this is it. Absolutely brilliant,
Da Lata - Remixes - Palm Pictures
Chris Franck & Patrick Forge bring together 7 years worth of Da Lata remixes, putting the tracks back to back illustrates the way the duo never let the technology overpower the music they are working with. The way they work the original track always shines through as it puts on its gladrags and dancing shoes and heads off to the dance floor. Included here are tracks from Femi Kuti, Sly & Robbie, Carlinhos Brown and Virgina Rodrigues. Smokin'
1 Josh Ritter - Golden Age of Radio
2 Mark Erelli - The Memorial Hall Recordings
3 Dan Bern - New American Language
4 Ellis Paul - The Speed of Trees
5 Patty Griffin - 1000 Kisses
6 Richard Shindell - Courier
7 Equation - First Name Terms
8 Mary Gauthier - Filth and Fire
9 Rod Picott - Stray Dogs
10 Rosie Thomas - When We Were Small
Here are my favourite albums of 2002 in no particular order:
2002 was a wonderful year for new music, and it's nigh on impossible to choose just 10 CDs...
Best live event was the New West Party at SXSW last March - Stephen Bruton, Jon Dee Graham, Chuck Prophet and The Flatlanders.
10. EQUATION: "First Name Terms". Led by Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman who visited the club last December this is their best group album by far... wonderfully melodic fusion of folk and rock. (Killer song "Jack and Suzanne")
9. JOHNNY CASH: "American IV". Late contender this one. Mostly covers and some definitely work better than others but at his best this voice draws you into a song better than almost anyone. (Killer songs "The Man Comes Around" and Sting's "I Hung My Head")
8. BETH NEILSEN CHAPMAN: "Deeper Still". Proving once again great art can come out of great tragedy, this is a very moving and melodic collection of songs. (Two boxes of hankies needed for "Every December Sky" and "There's A Light")
7. ROD PICOTT: "Stray Dogs". Self financed but rock solid second album which should bring further comparisons with his friend and co-conspirator, Slaid Cleaves. (Killer song "Circus Girl")
6. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN "The Rising". Reunited with the E Street Band but Bruce took a pretty big gamble here with such a naked confessional album in the wake of 9/11. It paid off though. (Killer Song "Nothing Man")
5. RYAN ADAMS "Demolition". Ryan's out-takes can still beat the pants off most folks' best efforts and this collection stands alongside the first two despite the worst album cover I've ever seen. (Killer song "Hallelujah")
4. CAITLIN CARY "While You Weren't Looking". When I saw her in Austin last March I was convinced this could be a contender. Imaginative and melodic, on this evidence she can comfortably stand alongside Ryan Adams. (Killer song "Sorry")
3. STEVE EARLE "Jerusalem" Another great great album from the king of blue collar rock, this one was so contentious that he even got to be interviewed at length on The Today Programme. The impact of the first four songs (including "John Walker's Blues") is truly colossal. (Joint Killer song of the year "Jerusalem")
2. PATTI GRIFFIN " 1,000 Kisses". Brilliant way to stick two fingers up to the label that dropped her, this is a major album. (Joint Killer song of the year "Rain")
1. LINDA THOMPSON " Fashionably Late". Linda's voice continues to move me like no other and this is a triumphant album in every way. She's overcome all sorts of adversity to get here and proves she can write songs that genuinely don't pale by comparison with her ex. (Killer songs "No Telling", "The Banks Of The Clyde", "Dear Old Man OF Mine"). Triumphant return to live performance at the Lyric in November too.
1. The Streets: Original Pirate Material (by a mile)
2. Jez Lowe & Bad Pennies: Honesty Box
3. Christy Moore: So Do I
3. Eilis Kennedy: Time to Sail
4. Danu: All Things Considered
5. Chuck Prophet: No Other Love
6. Terry Clarke: Green Voodoo
7. Kate Purcell: Shadows of You
8. Paul Brady: The Missing Liberty Tapes
9. Ronnie Elliott: Magneto
10. Michael Messer: Second Mind
11. James McMurtry: St Mary of the Woods
12. Delbert McClinton: Room to Breathe
13. Alan Tyler: Faithful
14. Tom Waits: Alice & Blood Money
15. Steve Ripley: Ripley
16. The Gourds: Cow Fish Fowl or Pig
17. Alan Dobb: Bottomland
18. Russell Smith: The End is not in Sight
19. The John Doe Thing: Freedom Is
20. Spoon: Jonathan Fisk
21. Brian Wilson: Pet Sounds Live
Gig: Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Declan Sinnott @ Union Chapel.
Same old story, so much good music, too little time.
Here are my votes for albums of the year:
Reissues of the year:
I am a blues/roots promoter and freelance music writer. Please check out my web site for regular play list and for link to Soundcheck magazine a live music mag. There will be an updated play list uploaded shortly - but for the current one, please click on the playlist icon. My list tends to tie in with the live shows I am promoting, but not exclusively. So off the top of my head, here is a yearly list
1) Roger Chapman & the Shortlist "Family & Friends" Mystic records
2) Double Trouble "Been A Long Time" Cooking Vinyl
3) Chuck Prophet No Other Love" New West records
4) Tim Rose "American Son" Mystic records
5) Eddie Martin " Pillowcase Blues" Blueblood records
6) Stephen Bruton"Spirit World" New West records
7) Mick Clarke Band "Live In Luxembourg 2002" private issue through web site
8) Motel Kings "Red Light fever" Hotshot records
9) Albert Lee & Hogans Heroes "Tear It Up" Heroic records
10) Beth Gibbons/Rustin Man "Out of Season" GoBeat