Best of 2012 preview Share
For people that read this on anything resembling a semi-regular basis, sorry for the absence. Been working on something for awhile in that sliver of time I get to play music writer instead of singer/songwriter/day jobber/consultant/dad/husband … last year I came up with a Top 30 albums for 2012 because the year was rich with good music and there was a lot to write about. It’s full of albums that still sound similarly compelling today. There were righteous debuts, some from folks who are bigger draws today than they were a year ago (the list assuredly had very little to do with it) and some were folks who’ve had to step away from the business, at least for now. There were proven Texas Music Scene headliners in the mix with longtime journeyman badasses and relative youngsters … the highest-profile record of the year isn’t necessarily the best of the year, though it might be great in its own right. And obscurity doesn’t equal sainthood, but it doesn’t mean you’re not at least as good as the guys selling out Billy Bob’s. I tried to reflect that again in this year’s list, being neither biased for or against someone’s status before assigning them an arguable, ephemeral number.
So I hope it shines some light on some worthwhile music for people who’ve always got room in their heart for a new song, maybe a whole record, maybe a whole catalog for some of the under-the-radar vets out there. If anyone was left off, it most likely was not intentional … as a part-part-time writer I don’t get to hear every album put out in a particular year. And in my opinion, any of the 30 on this list is a record well worth owning. I’ll gladly argue the ranking with myself if no one beats me to it.
For what it’s worth, some of my favorite music from outside the (hopefully not too insular) Texas music bubble this year included that spectacularly moving and clever John Fullbright record that’s up for a Grammy (well-deserved but unexpectedly) as well as the Jack White album “Blunderbuss,” the newest from Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, the Avett Brothers’ “The Carpenter” and the Mumford & Sons album “Babel”.
Best EP that I heard was John Edward Baumann’s “West Texas Vernacular.” Best concert that I saw was John Prine and Alejandro Escovedo down in San Antonio, best news included the fact that new albums are in the pipeline from Chris King, Courtney Patton, Drew Kennedy, Hayes Carll, Randy Rogers Band, Ben Morris, Forest Wayne Allen, Adam Odor, Javi Garcia and more.
One more thing: here’s 10 songs from this past year that you should go ahead and (legally) download. Most of them attached to those Top-30 records.
TEN ESSENTIALS OF 2012
- The Trishas – “Looking At Me”
- Jason Eady – “Wishful Drinking”
- Bart Crow & Macy Maloy - “If I Go”
- Eleven Hundred Springs – “Someplace Else To Be”
- Josh Abbott Band – “FFA/Flatland Farmer”
- Jordan Minor – “On The Rails”
- Mark Allan Atwood – “Strong Enough”
- Ray Wylie Hubbard - “New Year’s Eve At the Gates of Hell”
- Dirty River Boys – “Raise Some Hell”
- The Departed – “Blackhorse Mary”