Voted Albums of 2006



'Top 10 Albums' is the traditional format but NetRhythms is happy to include your DVDs, Gigs and Books too
Email your Top 10 list to sue@netrhythms.com

David Blue - NetRhythms Blues Reviewer

Blues Top 10

1. Colin Linden - Easin' Back To Tennessee (Crosscut Records)
2. The JW Jones Blues Band - Kissing In 29 Days (Crosscut Records)
3. William Lee Ellis - God's Tattoos (Yellow Dog Records)
4. BB & The Blues Shacks - Live At Vier Linden (Crosscut Records)
5. Eric Bibb - Diamond Days (Telarc)
6. Watermelon Slim & The Workers (Northernblues Music)
7. Joe Bonamassa - You & Me (Provogue)
8. Euphoria - Precious Time (Zoe Records)
9. RJ Mischo - He Came To Play (Crosscut Records)
10. Svensson & Dafgard - Rootation (Dusty Records)

Non Blues Top 5

1. Frog Holler - Haywire (Zo Bird Records)
2. Derrin Nauendorf - The Rattling Wheel (Risning Records)
3. Tim Hain & Sunnyside Up - One Man Went To Mojo (Note Records)
4. Wrinkle Neck Mules - Pull The Brake (Shut Eye Records)
5. Steve Ashley - Live In Concert (Dusk Fire Records)

It's been a great year for music and blues in particular. Let's hope that 2007 is even better. Have a great one everybody!

Gail Comfort - The Comfort Zone, CMR Nashville

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR (in no particular order, except for Dave who has to stay on top)

Dave Alvin - West of the West (YepRoc)
Dave Alvin's tribute to California songwriters is much more than a covers album. The songs were obviously chosen with great care and the passion of Dave's singing and playing is outstanding. We all know Merle Haggard, Tom Waits, Jackson Brown and Brian Wilson but what about David Hidalgo & Louis Perez (got me pulling out my Los Lobos albums and actually listening to the words), Kate Wolf (I don't have a Kate album yet, but I got Treasures Left Behind: Remembering Kate Wolf, every song a gem), and Richard Berry (I found a Best Of... album and danced around my kitchen all summer long) - and that's not all the artists represented, I'm still listening to and learning from and loving this album.

Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac (Capital)
Rosanne Cash wrote and recorded this album during a period of intense grief over the loss of June, Johnny and then her own Mom, Vivian Liberto. The songwriting is some of the best of her career - honest, understated and beautiful. You can hear the tears.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings - Let's Frolic (True North)
Bark is my favourite Canadian supergroup - Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden. These guys have known each other forever and their compatibility and respect for each other shows in the music. All three write and all three sing lead vocals on the album - different styles and different strengths melding together into a sad/happy/thoughtful/beautiful sound. AND, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings will be touring the UK in March - I can hardly wait!

Wes McGhee - Blue Blue Night (Terrapin)
Wes's homage to old friends and old times is a masterpiece. The music, as always, is gorgeous, with Wes playing acoustic, hi-strung, baritone, slide, Spanish and electric guitars and his long term bandmates playing their hearts out with all the rest. But for me, as always, it's the words - Wes conjures up vivid images, wonderful stories and passionate feelings - it seems so effortless but I'm sure it's not. Last year it was Tom Russell's Hotwalker that caught my imagination. This year, it's Blue Blue Night - listen to Texas #2 - it's theatre for the ears.

Cyndi Boste - Foothill Dandy (self-released)
I've been a fan of Cyndi's since the very first album, Home Truths (1999), then Push Comes to Shove (2002), Scrambled Eggs (2004) and now Foothill Dandy. Cyndi is Australian but her themes are universal. Her smokey, sexy voice will draw you in but it's her emotionally intimate lyrics that keep me coming back for more. I'm always pulling her albums out to show her off to my friends - the albums don't date - Cyndi always gives you something to think about.

Boo Hewerdine - Harmonograph (Mvine)
On this album Boo has chosen to take back his songs that have been successfully covered by other artists. The results are absolutely beautiful. My favourite is "I Felt Her Soul Move Through Me" a song he wrote for his friend Eddi Reader when his Mom and her Dad passed away within weeks of each other. There's a lot of sadness in Boo's songs but there's a romantic and hopeful heart beating underneath it all.

Jim Lauderdale - Bluegrass (YepRoc)
Jim is such a prolific songwriter that he released two albums in 2006. Country Super Hits, Volume 1 is an excellent album but Bluegrass became my favourite, mostly because of its fresh, new lyrics and arrangements. Jim himself says that the most important thing is a good song, once you have that it can translate to any genre. Makes sense doesn't it. Bluegrass has also been nominated for a Grammy.

Kris Delmhorst - Strange Conversation (Signature Sounds)
This is the most joyful album of the year - beautiful, intelligent and thoughtful - but it so easily might not have worked. It's about poetry - Browning, Byron, Whitman, Rumi and others. It's a stunning artistic achievement. Once you listen, you just want to run out and buy all the poetry books you can carry.

Tandy - Did You Think I Was Gone (Yellowslipper)
I cannot understand why Mike Ferrio and Tandy are not household names. I've got all the albums and each one has something special and a little bit different about it. I love Tandy's usual lush orchestration but this time Mike has stripped everything back. It's still a rock/blues/country hybrid but what raises the music above all these is Mike Ferrio's poetry. Words this good need nothing but the passion of his delivery.

Kevin Montgomery - True (self released)
I only received this album a few days before Christmas but I have to add it to the list because it's been on my cd player non-stop since it fell through my letterbox. I'm a fan and I always go to see Kevin when he's in town. He has a quirky, playful charm that sometimes overshadows his sensitive side but when he sings one of his heartbreakers the whole room is hushed and it's a beautiful thing. And that is what this album is all about - we've been waiting a while but the wait has been worth it. I dare you to listen to "Nothing" and not shed a tear.

Lynne Hanson - Things I Miss (self-released)
Carrie Rodriguez - Seven Angels on a Bicycle (Train Wreck)
Jack Harris - Broken Yellow (self released)

AND PLEASE DON'T FORGET (again, in no particular order):
Jeffrey Foucault - Ghost Repeater (Signature Sounds)
Hellwood (Jim White/Johnny Dowd/Willie B) - Chainsaw of Life (Munich Records)
Stephen Fearing - Yellowjacket (True North) (won Best Songwriter award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards)
AJ Roach - Revelation (Fish Records)
Crooked Still - Shaken by a Low Sound (Signature Sounds)
Willard Grant Conspiracy - Let It Roll (Loose/Glitterhouse)
Solomon Burke - Nashville (Shout Factory)
Howe Gelb - 'Sno Angel Like You (self released) (this one was recorded in Ottawa Canada)
Josh Ritter - The Animal Years (V2 Ada)
JC and Angelina Grimshaw - Broken Hearted Blues (Village Bike Records)

Gail Comfort "Comfort Zone" - Americana, Canadiana and Alt.Country

Mike Davies - NetRhythms Reviewer and The Beat, Midlands music

1 Anna Krantz - Precious Time With You (Glad)
The debut album by the London based 22 year old beats to the pulse of New York’s Brill Building, with comparisons to Carole King, Chi Coltrane, Streisand and Aretha. Classy stuff.

2 Mudbone - Fresh Mud (Influx Music)
Bootsy Collins’s former sideman-collaborator teams up with Dave Stewart for an album of spiritually informed old school r&b, blues, and gospel songs that often recall the classic work of Gaye and Mayfield.

3 Ray - Daylight In The Darkroom (Pito)
Melodic melancholic 80s pop pinned to cinematic backdrops and fused with darkling folk on songs of broken hearts and broken lives that will bring a glow to anyone who loves the music of Blue Nile.

4 Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold (Echo )
The debut album from Pakistan-born, Brighton based Natasha Khan takes inspiration from fairy tales and nursery rhymes with gothic folk songs of dark desires and disturbing dreams weaving a cobwebbed and pagan mood with her swooping vocals and ethereal music. Likened to Kate Bush, it’s an intoxicating musical feast.

5 Paul Simon - Surprise (Warner)
His best since Rhythm of the Saints finds Simon addressing the post 9/11 world with pointed political commentary and hymns for a battered nation alongside his familiar songs of alienation and relationship complexities.

6 Idgy Vaughn - Origin Story (Self label)
Blending blues, folk and country into Austin Americana, Missouri born Vaughn’s debut album is much informed by her fight as a single mother to win custody of her daughter from her estranged family. Shattering and piercingly tender in equal measure, it lives inside your soul.

7 Krista Detor - Mudshow (CoraZong)
A dark voiced Judy Collins crossed with Cohen, early Billy Joel, Jim Croce, Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits, Detor pens perceptive small town portraits of little dreams and stained lives, celberations of the strength to endure the worst.

8 Josh Ritter - The Animal Years (V2)
His most mainstream album sees Ritter in politically charged mood on songs reflecting his anger and frustrations with the current administration, balanced by stripped down Springsteenesque hymns to home and heart.

9 Kirsty McGee- Two Birds (Park)
Gently melancholic third album from the Mancunian folkstress conjuring summer afternoons and winter mornings with her careworn voice, dappling her English folk roots with shades of Appalachian porches.

10. Reg Meuross - Still (Offspring)
The West Country's answer to Martyn Joseph marries English folk and roots rock country on deeply affecting songs of love, loss and, inspired by his own childhood experiences but seen through a prism of compassion, broken marriages. A real gem.

The Beat

Del Day - Ark PR

Its that time of year again when here at Ark headquaters we are left to reflect on another year gone. As the industry focuses more and more on Peter Doherty's personal hygene and less and less on bar bands from Austin (we know, we have hundreds on our books!) 2006 will go down as one of the toughest yet for us here in the (uncool end of) the roots sector. Still, down here in the trenches unbowed, undefeated, we battle on. In between trying to convince editors that, given the right haircuts, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice could be considered 'nu-folk' i have listened to some records and have come up with my definative album 'Best Of Year' lists...

1. Stephen Simmons Drink Ring Jesus
2. Richmond Fontaine Thirteen Cities (promo)
3. Josh Ritter Animal Years (V2)
4. Paul Wilkes They've Got Nothing On You EP
5. Centro-matic Fort Recovery
6. Jeffrey Foucault Ghost Repeater
7. Kelly Joe Phelps Tunesmith Retrofit
8. James Hand The Truth Will Set You Free
9. Clay George Cherry Bank Hotel
10. Robyn Hitchcock + The Venus 3 Ole Tarantula

Del Day - Ark PR
The Basement, 11 Old Steine
Brighton, BN1 2PU


Marietta Donovan

Neil Young.......Living With War
Seth Lakeman....Freedom Fields
Bob Dylan.......Modern Times
Willie Nelson & The Cardinals....Songbird
Ralph McTell.......The Journey: Recordings 1965-2006
Yusuf Islam.....An Other Cup
Golden Smog....Another Fine Day
Sufjan Stevens.....The Avalanche
Shawn Colvin...These Four Walls
Kathryn Williams.....Leave To Remain

Marietta's magazine "THE ORPHEUS" will be relaunched as a net publication very soon (www.theorpheus.co.uk) along with MARIETTA BACKSTAGE (podcast)

Rob Ellen - Medicine Music

Best gig of the year
I See Hawks In LA with Tony Gilkyson at Belladrum Festival Grass Roots Stage, closely followed by Sea Sick Steve the day before, (Culture Clash Rise Kagona and Champion Doug Veitch put in a blinder on our stage too as did Chris Difford) and then there was Joe West at Otterton Mill Devon (A other very special summer night) and not to forget John Lilly on The Isle of Burra in Shetland for Thomas Fraser Memorial Festival (Jimmy Rogers incarnate). The best surprise package, came in the lovely packaging of Mia Riddle (and Her Band) Belladrum Festival Fringe Hootananny Inverness.

Innovation of the year
for the independent musician www.myspace.com

Festival of the year
Thomas Fraser Memorial Festival Burra Shetland

These are the most played albums on The Medicine Show www.medicinemusic.co.uk
I See Hawks In LA Californian Country
Joe West Human Cannonball
Mia Riddle Tigers
Loomer Songs Of The Wild West Island
AJ Roach Revelation
Boris & The Salt Licks Cactus Man V The Blue Demon
Drew Nelson Immigrant Son
Neil Young Living With War
Shaken By The Sound - Crooked Still
Kreg Viesselman - The Pull

Albums to look out for in 2007
Sally Spring Mockingbird
The Cowlicks Psychedelic Service Station

Things look good for 2007 in The Highlands
May Fest at The Black Isle Brewery (Whitsun Weekend)
Belladrum Festival www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk August 10 12
UK Tours with Korby Lenker, Drew Nelson, Mia Riddle (and Her Band)


Gerry Evans - Twickenham Folk Club @ The Cabbage Patch

My songs of the year
10. "Tampa Red" (Jack Harris)-astonishing anyway but Jack wrote this when he was FIFTEEN years old.
9. "Seven Is The Number" (Dave Carter)-the only previously unrecorded Carter song on the latest Carter/Grammer. There can't be many more left but every one's a winner.
8. "Snow In Austin" (Ellis Paul)-heard it for the first time at the Cabbage Patch. Hits the spot all the more because it's about my spiritual home :-)
7. "Unglorious Hallelujah" (Chip Taylor)-First time I heard this I had to hit 'repeat' about 10 times!
6. "High Times and Low Times" (Kreg Viesselman)-deserves far more recognition than he gets. This is my favourite from his latest.
5. "All The Roadrunning" (Mark Knopfler)-another one I had to listen to over and over again. Great performance and production too.
4. "Ghost Repeater" (Jeffrey Foucault)-deceptively simple but this is stunning poetry to me. He gets better and better.
3. "Leave The Light On" (Chris Smither)-for me best thing he's ever written. The older you are the more you'll appreciate the lyric.
2. "Passing Through" (Mark Erelli/Catie Curtis)-beautiful melody but the inspirational lyrics also hit the bullseye with me.
1. "When The Deal Goes Down" (Bob Dylan). Wonderful recording and lyric plus his voice on this brings a tear to my eye. I can't think of many better Dylan songs....so how good can THAT be?

...and three favourite 'Trad Arr' songs
"Old Dan Tucker"-Bruce Springsteen.
"New Railroad"-Crooked Still
"Trooper Cut Down"-Bob Fox

LIVE!! All in all I thought it was a vintage year for live music.
10. Slaid Cleaves, Radcliffe Centre, Buckingham
9. Jackson Browne & David Lindley, Colston Hall, Bristol
8. Roseanne Cash, St Luke’s Church, London
7. Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham, St James’ Church, London
6. Guy Clark, Blue Highways, Utrecht
5. Alejandro Escovedo, St James’ Church, London
5. Eliza Gilkyson, Borderline, London
4. Alejandro Escovedo, Continental Club, Austin
3. Jimmy Lafave Band, Pecan St Alehouse, Austin
2. Bruce Springsteen & Seeger Sessions Band, Hammersmith Odeon, London
1. John Fogerty, Hammersmith Odeon, London

I haven't included any TwickFolk events but there were many highlights there too...Tom Russell, John Tams, Greg Trooper, Karine Polwart, Ellis Paul, Nels Andrews & AJ Roach all spring to mind. Nothing from Cambridge FF either but there were also some great performances there too. Nothing much from SxSW either but as ever there were many great sets there too (eg Jeffrey Foucault with Bo Ramsey!)....

My ALBUMS of the year to follow....soon!


Barry Everitt - The Music Rhino

Album of the year
World's On Fire - The Crooked Jades

the rest in no particular order......
Tick Tick Tick - Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3
Elko - Railroad Earth
Love -The Beatles
Alan Tyler & The Sons Of Littlefield
Leave The Light On - Chris Smither
The Truth Will Set You Free - James Hand
Thirteen Cities - Richmond Fontaine
Let's Frolic - Blackie & The Rodeo Kings
Enough Rope - Chris Knight
The Man Who Lives For Life - Spencer Dickinson
Reiter In - Chris Whitley & The Bastard Club
Straight To Hell - Hank 111
Coming Clean - Gary Lucas & Gods & Monsters
Mercy Now - Mary Gauthier
You & Me - Joe Bonamassa
Lonesome Waltz - The Barker Band
Chainsaw Of Life - Hellwood
Cruel Words - Johnny Dowd
Orphans - Tom Waits
We Are Catfish - Hey Negrita
Silver City - Sarah Borges
Shaken By The Sound - Crooked Still
Fell Over The Floor - The Stairwell Sisters

Best Live Shows
Alejandro Escovedo + Bex Marshall - St James Church London
Dale Watson + James Hand - The Borderline London
The Crooked Jades - The Borderline London
Hellwood - The Mean Fiddler London
Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham - St James Church London
Green On Red - The Astoria London
The Bonzo Dog Do Da Band - The Astoria London
Joe Bonamassa - The Borderline London

the most requested artist on The Music Rhino
Stevie Ray Vaughan

www.totalrock.com - midnight till 3am every Saturday

Bring on 2007......Barry Marshall - Everitt

John Graveling - JEG Artist Management

Here are my top album picks for the year:
1. Americanitis - Will Kimbrough
2. Firecracker - The Wailin' Jennys
3. Ghost Repeater - Jeffrey Foucault
4. Long Island Shores - Mindy Smith
5. Blood Oranges - The Ginn Sisters
6. Modern Times - Bob Dylan
7. Revelation - AJ Roach
8. 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor - Shawn Mullins
9. Takin' The Long Way - The Dixie Chicks
10. Streets of New York - Willie Nile

Honourable mentions to:
Darrell Scott for The Invisible Man and Neal Casal for No Wish To Reminisce


Trevor Hards

1.Black Cadillac- Roseanne Cash
Amongst all the sadness theres hope in this record. Moving and poignant, its beautifully produced equally by Bill Botterill on the West Coast and John Leventhal in NYC and yet it all fits together seamlessly.

2. Fort Recovery- Centro- matic The natural successors to Led Zeppelin ? It might sound far fetched but theyre equally adept at hard rocking and pastoral roots stuff. A fine album that harnessed their rocking side with Will Johnsons natural propensity for melody.

3. Highway Companion- Tom Petty The three best opening songs of any album I heard this year ( Saving Grace, Square One and Flirting With Time) and easily his best album since Wildflowers.

4. Songs For Christmas- Sufjan Stevens An amazing collection of carols and original material which tracks his evolution as a top class songwriter over the past five years. Not every tracks a nugget but at 42 songs, thetheres plenty of gold. The packaging harks back to vinyl days; Sufjan homing in on the traditional spirit of Xmas and giving to others. 5. These Four Walls- Shawn Colvin Another John Leventhal record, this one co- written and produced by him. Terrific songs, top notch playing, great roots rock production; her recording zenith so far in my opinion.

6. Tales Of Van Occupather- Midlake A sniff of Fleetwood Macs Rhiannon here, the feel of Blue Oyster Cults Don’t Fear The Reaper there, a classic 70s soft rock album which would sit comfortably with those albums and yet sounds totally original.

7. Unsung- Slaid Cleaves A fine showcase for a collection of songs by artists realatively unknown outside of Texas. Theres a sonic presence to this material that was missing from his previous albums thanks to Rod Picott and David Henry.

8. Living With War- Neil Young A big smile came on my face when I put this on for the first time. Neil Young, the angry old warrior had strapped on Old Black and was back in Ragged Glory mode. A number of the melodies are derivative but who cares. This is a serious subject and this album is soaked in attitude and passion.

9. The Boxing Mirror- Alejandro Escovedo A real triumph especially when you consider what he has been through. More like his extraordinary electric live shows than Man Under The Influence and a return to his early 90s rock albums.

10. Pernice Bros My pure pop album of the year, a big return to form after last years disappointing Discover A Lovelier You. The bottom end has been restored and as always it’s a classic collection of all that was great in ( predominantly 60s) pure pop.

Gigs Of The Year
Alejando Escovedo- Contintal Club Austin Iron & Wine/ Calexico- Kentish Town Forum London
Alejandro Escovedo- St James Chapel
Roseanne Cash- Stubbs Austin
Emmylou Harris- Cambridge FF
Damien Jurado/ J. Tillman- Luminiere London
Jackson Browne/ David Lindley- Drury Lane London
Glen Phillips- Opal Divines Austin
Lyle Lovett- Stubbs Austin
Eliza Gilkyson- Parish, Austin
Nickel Creek- Yard dog Austin
Sarah Harmer- Cactus Cafe Austin
Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives- Antones Austin

Songs Of The Year
Roka- Calexico
The Ecstacy ( Insomnia Plus One)- Elephant Micah
Numbered- Richard Buckner
Like Fugitives- Roseanne Cash
Roscoe- Midlake
Crazy- Gnarls Barkley Triggers & Trash Heaps- Centro- matic
Take The Maps & Run- Centro- matic
Not Like Anyone Would Mind- Centro- matic Flowered Dresses- Slaid Cleaves
Snow Angel- Ron Sexsmith
Arizona- Alejandro Escovedo
Saving Grace- Tom Petty
Hey Guys, Its Christmas Time- Sufjan Stevens
So Good To See You- Shawn Colvin
Mrs McGrath- Bruce Springsteen
Black & Blue- Tim O’Reagan
Jesses Not A Sleeper- Josh Tillman
Cruelty To Animals- Pernice Bros
Wonderous Life- The Drams

Steve Henderson - Mr Kite Benefits



David Kidman

My top picks of 2006 include one reissue* (albeit one of a very limited-edition cassette) - but so wot! … and it’s in no special order ...

Jon Boden – Painted Lady
Kate Bramley – Little Canaan
Crooked Jades – World’s On Fire
Kate Green – An Unkindness Of Ravens*
Keith Kendrick – Songs From The Derbyshire Coast
Robin Williamson – The Iron Stone
Tom McConville – Tommy On The Bridge
Barry Lister – Ghosts And Greasepaint
Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman – Unity
Wailin’ Jennys – Firecracker

Honourable mention to what’s been in my opinion an excellent year for box-sets, the pick of which have been:
Richard Thompson – RT (Free Reed)
Ralph McTell – The Journey (Leola)
Various Artists – Midwinter (Free Reed)

Richard Messum

The Best Albums I Bought in 2006 (although they weren't necessarily released in 2006)
in no particular order

Mr Fox: Join Us In Our Game
Rory Gallagher: Live at Montreux
Robert Fripp: Exposure
The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium
Rob Thomas: Something To Be
The Dixie Chicks: Taking The Long Way
PJ Harvey: The Peel Sessions
David Gilmour: On An Island
Various Artists: As I Cycled Out On A May Morning

Karen Miller - The Miller Tells Her Tale

Happy New Year! Here are my top albums of 2006

1. Jim Lauderdale: Country Super Hits Vol 1
2. Jeffrey Foucault: Ghost Repeater
3. Justin Rutledge: The Devil on a Bench in Stanley Park
4. Ron Sexsmith: Time Being
5. Sunny Sweeney: Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame
6. Mark Erelli: Hope and Other Casualties
7. Jim Cuddy: The Light That Guides You Home
8. Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer: Seven is the Number
9. Rosanne Cash: Black Cadillac
10. Loomer: Songs of the Wild West Island

There were of course some other excellent albums too including Carrie Rodriguez, Kasey Chambers, Hank III, The Ginn Sisters, Brady Harris, Douglas Greer, Will Kimbrough, Diana Jones, Markus Rill... the list is endless.

Quite a few good British releases too: The Snakes, The Hazey Janes and Roddy Hart to name but three.

Best live show was undoubtedly Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives at both Antones during SXSW and The Mercy Lounge at the AMAs. They blew me away and will be hard to beat any time soon.


Steve Morris - Roots & Branches

Another year and another excess of music; shelves buckling and hard drives that should have lasted years begging for bytes. And yet if forced to make choices I guess the year boils down to two albums that stand head and shoulders and a back up of several five star contenders. The two?

JACK HARRIS Broken Yellow (jackharrismusic.com)
Almost every week since this arrived I've programmed one track for my radio programme, and played two! Musically, it's elegant, courtly with lyrics to relish, images to fund your dreams and in Tampa Red a genuine timeless classic.

BOB DYLAN Modern Times (Columbia)
With his best band since The Band and a collection of songs that connect his roots with, well, modern times, this is a Dylan album that can stand proudly among his best. I've played and played this and still want to hear it again.

The rest?

ROSANNE CASH Black Cadillac (Capitol)
A meditation on the loss of father, step mother and mother inspiring songs of great lyrical and musical eloquence.

BUTCH HANCOCK War And Peace (Two Roads Records)
Almost totally solo Hancock finds all the news that's fit to sing and does so in grand style.

MIDLAKE The Trials Of Van Occupanther (Bella Union)
Fleetwood Mac via Big Pink.

GUY CLARK Workbench Songs (Dualtone)
Workbench as in craftsman not artisan.

JIMMY BUFFETT Take The Weather With You (Mailboat)
Add Sonny Landreth and Billy Payne to the already mighty Coral Reefers for an album that's the aural equivalent of massage, oil burners and fine bourbon.

HEM Funnel Cloud (Nettwerk)
Mature cinematic americana.

And I'm sure, having just peeled these off the top of my head that I've forgotten as many as I've remembered. A further quick trawl brings up these that you should check too;
TERRY CLARKE, MICHAEL WESTON KING, reissues The Voice Of SCOTT MACKENZIE and The Wolf King Of LA from JOHN PHILLIPS. SCOTT MATTHEWS you should have along with all the JOSH RITTER you can find (and boy doesn't he release some material!), MARY GAUTHIER and TOM PACHECO.

Finally if you want tips for 2007's listing;
TOM PACHECO's Bloodlines,
MICHAEL WESTON KING's A New Kind Of Loneliness,
JACKIE LEVEN's Oh What A Blow That Phantom Dealt Me
FAIRPORT CONVENTION's Sense Of Occasion (How will the folk faithfull take to Glenn Tilbrook and XTC covers?) are already clear contenders.


Alan O'Leary - Copperplate
My Faves of 2006 - in no particular order, it took me long enough to whittle it down to 20 . I could spend as much time sorting them into an order, a very enjoyable year of sound.

Teada: Inne Amarach
Terry Clarke: Night Ride to Birmingham
Wes McGhee: Blue Blue Night
Bob Dylan: Modern Times
JJ Cale & Eric Clapton: Road to Escondido
Beatles: Love
Micheal O'Raghallaigh: Inside Out
Ralph McTell: The Journey
Kevin Welch/Kieran Kane/Fats Kaplan: Lost John Dean
Various Compass Artists: Hands Across the Water
James McMurtry: Childish Things
Bonnie Raitt & Friends CD & DVD
Nic Jones: Game Set Match
King Cresote: KC Rules OK
Gerry O'Connor & Giles le Bigot: In Concert
Ralph McTell: Gates of Eden
Guy Davis: Skenkmello
Ali Farka Toure: Savane
Del McCoury Band: The Company We Keep
Gnarls Barkley: St Elsewhere


Theo Oldenburg - Alt.Country Cooking
1 The Blind Robins - Panorama Valley
2 Kelley McRae - Never Be
3 A.J. Roach - Revelation
4 Jeffrey Foucault - Ghost Repeater
5 Grayson Capps - Wail & Ride
6 Boris McCutcheon & the Saltlicks - Cactusman Versus The Blue Demon
7 Kreg Viesselman - The Pull
8 Tom Russell - Love & Fear
9 Cam Penner & the Gravel Road - Felt Like A Sunday Night
10 Sherry Austin - Drive On back

Johanna J. Bodde:
1 Scott McClatchy - Burn This
2 Drew Landry & The Dirty Cajuns - Tailgaten Relief & Hurricane Companion EP
3 Joseph Parsons - The Fleury Sessions
4 Linda Ronstadt & Ann Savoy - Adieu False Heart
5 Tom Heyman - Deliver Me
6 Rose's Pawn Shop - The Arsonist
7 The Hideaways - The Whiskey Tango Sessions
8 Jen Cass - Accidental Pilgrimage
9 The Crooked Jades - World's On Fire
10 Various Artists - Fins, Chrome and the Open Road, A Tribute To The Cadillac

radiowinschoten.nl - Radio Winschoten
www.altcountrycooking.nl - On-demand webcast

Bob Paterson - Bob Paterson Agency
I didn't do a Top 10 this year. My favourite album of last year was Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris and then Snow Patrol. I probably then have to list all of my acts that had new albums out last year - Carrie Rodriguez, Jess Klein, Tom Russell, James Hand and Kris Delmhorst being up there. I wouldn't want to list a Top 10 as they would no doubt drop me in it. I could list you a Top 10 earners of last year - Tom Russell being Number 1, Eve Selis Number 2, Homespun Number 3 and Chip & Carrie Number, 4 - howzat?


Neil Pearson - Fish Records

"Here's my top 10 of the year - loads of really excellent stuff around over the past 12 months..."

Mark Erelli - Hope and Other Casualties
Tim Van Eyken - Stiffs Lovers Holymen Thieves
Crooked Still - Shaken by a Low Sound
Bellowhead - Burlesque
Antje Duvekot - Big Dream Boulevard
The Wailin Jennys - Firecracker
Jeffrey Foucault - Ghost Repeater
Brett Dennen - So Much More
Eilen Jewell - Boundary County
AJ Roach - Revelation

"Did you know I'm involved with the Shrewsbury Folk Festival?, we've booked some superb artists for next year, including Richard Shindell, Paul Brady, Kate Rusby, Bellowhead, Crooked Still, The Wailin' Jennys, Rod Picott, Show of Hands......there's a full line-up on the festival website."


Fish Records
Suppliers of singer/songwriter, folk & acoustic music
Shrewsbury, England

Michael Trotman - Empty Room Promotions

I am still listening for the first time to stuff I bought in 2005, and have not yet got round to playing all the albums I acquired last year. As always - so much good music, so little time, and still more to buy! However these are my top 10 CDs that were produced in 2006 that I am currently familiar with, in no particular order.

Roseanne Cash - Black Cadillac
Guy Clark - Workbench Songs
Chris Knight - Enough Rope
Loomer - Songs Of The Wild West Island
The Snakes - Songs From The Satellites
Tom Russell - Love & Fear
Stewboss - Take Your Pretty Hands Off My Heart
Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
The Wailin' Jennys - Firecracker
Alan Tyler & The Lost Sons Of Littlefield - Alan Tyler & The Lost Sons Of Littlefield

Best gigs of 2006, again in no particular order, are as follows. I have not included any of the Empty Room Promotions gigs that I put on (well only one) as these are all of course absolutely fabulous!

Nick Hornby/Marah - Dingwalls, London
Elbow - Somerset House, London
Alejandro Escovedo/Josh Ritter/Over The Rhine/Jamie Cullum - 'Paste' magazine party at SXSW, Austin, Texas
Buddy Miller - Radcliffe Centre. Buckingham
Richard Thompson - Ascott Festival
Darden Smith/Ray Wyllie Hubbard - Borderline, London
Alan Toussaint - Jazz Cafe, London
Fred Eaglesmith - Borderline, London
Marty Stuart/James McMurtry - Antones. Austin, Texas
The Gourds/Willie Nile Band - Mother Egan's, Austin, Texas


Sue Williams - Frontier Promotions

"I have been working on some wonderful albums this year and will include them in my top 10 albums of the year.
They are:- "
Eleanor McEvoy "Out There"
Eric Bibb "Diamond Days"
Joe Bonamassa "You and Me"
The Dunes "Socializing w/Life"
Angie Palmer "Tales of Light & Darkness"
Chris While & Julie Matthews "Best of"
Ian North "Theroy Of Your Life"
Ed Alleyne Johnson "Reflections"
Eddy Morton "Singing Tree"
Susan Hedges "Faces without Names"