The Trick Is To Keep Going

Archive for January, 2011

The Best of 2010

by on Jan.06, 2011, under Music


Here’s my Top 10 for the past year along with a few bonus selections and various related categories:

Elton John Leon Russell The Union1. The Union, Elton John & Leon Russell: A collaboration made in heaven and one wonders why it took so long for these two to get together. The record brings out their similarities, differences and a wonderful melding of their talents with some of their best songwriting in years. A truly inspirational collection.

2. Band Of Joy, Robert Plant: Another entry on the road of Americana from the transplanted Led Zeppelin lead man. Almost every bit as good as The Union with interesting and well-executed covers as only Plant has been able to deliver in recent years.

3. I’m New Here, Gil Scott-Heron: 28 minutes of bliss from the commander of narrative R&B. Scott-Heron is still here and as relevant as ever.

4. San Patricio, The Chieftains with Ry Cooder: A mythical adventure, cloaked in reality, that brings together Mexican, Celtic and American blues and country into one steaming pot of influences.

5. Tears, Lies & Alibis, Shelby Lynne: Stripped-down Shelby Lynne and she greatly benefits from the sparse arrangements putting the emphasis on her singing and songwriting.

6. Have One On Me, Joanna Newsom: It took a while to warm to this unusual songwriter with the reedy, young girl voice but this triple album is captivating and expressive.

7. The Stanley Clarke Band, Stanley Clarke: A bass hero for the ages re-engages with his jazz-rock roots on new and revisited material with a sympathetic and proficient group of musicians.

Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Cover8. Chamber Music Society, Esperanza Spalding: One of the most unusual and ultimately satisfying collection of songs from a performer/composer who continually surprises and delivers.

9. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (self-titled): Fourth outing from a group with all the signs of breaking out big-time and it appears they’re finally starting to catch on in a bigger way.

10 Naked Honest, Kala Farnham: Honest, heartfelt, poignant lyricism backed with prodigious keyboard chops and crystal clear vocal styling from this rising solo artist. (continue reading…)

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