Favorite of the Year:
Holy cripes...this two disk set runs ALL over the wonderful item from Billy and Woody down below. There's so much talent running thru this set it'll blow you away. I strongly suggest just popping into your scene on random. You'll get occasional doses of tuneage that make you think you're hearing some famous old song by some classic genius roots singer. You'll check the disk-playing number and crikey it'll be the Bloodshot Compilation. Time and again. We can thank Bloodshot for the once-and-for-all revival of country-roots-whisky music in this land. They in turn were inspired by X's "The Knitters" one-shot: a supergreat album that's STILL not quite as good as this one! Bloodshot has run with the ball for years now. Their achievement is hyper-impressive. Has any other label in any kind of music done as much the last decade? Kudos!
What a record! What great songwriting! What great adaptations!
Gram Parsons: "GP" -- Hard to say where Gram should be classified. I have a write-up in the Music Scene. Several of his records and the Tribute are must-haves. He called it Cosmic American Music. He died at age 26. He inspired the Stones and the Eagles. He was the first to blend country and hippy.
Return of the Grievous Angel -- A tribute record to GP.
The Best of Townes van Zandt -- The spiritual godfather of the Austin sound. He represented the passion and heart. The dark, brooding side, too. The pain. He was the quiet loner the ladies couldn't resist, but he prefered living way out, in a trailer, with a teenaged gal. Ya gotta check out the movie "Heartworn Highways" about the 70's core of the Austin scene.
Don't miss the OYB offering of Richard Dobson's "Back Tracks" -- for sale up in the Music Scene. He's another of the Austin leaders.
Guy Clark: Craftsman -- A double CD set that shines throughout with the Austin sound.
Guy Clark: Old No.1/Texas Cookin' -- A double record CD of Clark's first CD and one of his latest. Both very strong. I write him up in the Music Scene. A big key player in the start-up and maintenance of the Austin music scene and sound. I like his coverage of real-life topics such as shrimp-fishermen and their troubles: a trashed boat; the temptation to smuggle drugs. A real craftsman...
Carl Behrend: "More Legends of the Great Lakes -- A whole bunch of songs about the Great Lakes. It's an area of hugely rich heritage that no one has covered musically before---except for a famous big sad boat song by a Canadian covered nicely here. Carl adds another cover of another Canadian boat song: this one not sad at all, very spirited in fact: The Wreck of the Mary Ellen Carter (written by Stan Rogers)---about a boat that was abandoned by its rich owners and insurers but which was salvaged by its loyal blue-collar crew. A wonderful song! This is a superb family album ideal for anyone living near a Great Lake. It's one of the rare ways they can learn a bit about the cool heritage of their water. Sure, Carl isn't a high-end pro, but he's been touring and singing quite awhile and the essential quality of his work grows on one til the whole family is singing along by heart. There's more at his website: http://www.greatlakeslegends.com.