And where would we be without that inevitable end-of-year round up, dear readers? I bet you´d like to know which albums were loved the most at For The Sake Of The Song headquarters this year. So without further ado, here goes... in no particular order.
Bob Dylan´s latest Bootleg Series installment, Tell Tale Signs, has been in heavy rotation since the day it came out. The exorbitant price tag on the 3-disc set was definitely a minus, but that´s about the only beef I have with it. A treasury.
Bob Dylan - Marchin´ To The City MP3
To me, Bonnie Prince Billy is the finest living singer/songwriter of the last fifteen years. You can´t go wrong with the remarkably lighthearted Lie Down In The Light.
Bonnie Prince Billy - For Every Field There´s A Mole MP3
Tunng side-project The Accidental released a nice batch of intriguing songs in freak folk territory on There Were Wolves. Dark, haunting and utterly beautiful.
The Accidental - Time And Space MP3
Scoring high in almost every end of year list, and with good reason, Bon Iver´s emotional For Emma, Forever Ago is a surprisingly original debut. Bonus points for being written and recorded in a remote Wisconsin hunting lodge.
Bon Iver - Flume MP3
Worthy successors to the Creedence throne, the Drive-By Truckers simply rock on. And on. Without ever sounding shallow. Brighter Than Creation´s Dark is another winner by a great band.
Drive-By Truckers - The Righteous Path MP3
Mark Kozelek´s Sun Kil Moon was one of my biggest discoveries this year. Late, I know. April is a desolate, yet uplifting masterpiece. Hurry and buy the edition that contains a 4 song bonus disc.
Sun Kil Moon - Moorestown MP3
Band Of Horses guitarist Tyler Ramsey proved with A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea that he´s a singer/songwriter in his own right. I guess Neil fans will love this. I know I do.
Tyler Ramsey - Ships MP3
It´s been 28 years since obscure outlaw Larry Jon Wilson´s last made an album, so let´s call it an understatement that this delightful selftitled comeback was way overdue... More on Larry Jon soon, I promise.
Larry Jon Wilson - Whore Trilogy MP3
Honorable mentions - because their albums were good but not great, or simply because I didn´t get a chance to play them much yet - go to Fleet Foxes, Silver Jews, Sumner Brothers, Le Loup, Woodpigeon and Port O´Brien. I haven´t heard Sugar Mountain yet either, but I´m pretty sure that ´68 Neil Young concert registration will prove to win the long-overdue-album of the year award. Or will that honour go to Hank Williams´ Unreleased Recordings box set? Come on Santa, rock me.
There were quite a few excellent music books as well that kept me busy this year. The Townes Van Zandt bio To Live´s To Fly by John Kruth, Jim Walsh´s oral history of the Replacements All Over But The Shouting and Julian Cope´s Japrocksampler all got write-ups in these pages already. I also enjoyed Hand Me My Travellin´ Shoes a lot, Michael Gray´s in-depth search for Blind Willie McTell, and dug the rock ´n´ roll fables and sonic storytelling of Mitch Myers in The Boy Who Cried Freebird. Check ´em out, y´all.