Well folks this year I published my first ever Top 50 Albums Of 2015 and it did incredibly well, in fact it was my most successful article numbers wise yet but like George Jones released an album “Hits I Missed And Ones I Didn’t”….I missed some truly good albums released in 2015 that I discovered I missed on my own and some that dedicated readers pointed out.
This wasn’t done on purpose folks, oh no. I try my best to treat everyone fairly and give them all the same amount of coverage as possible. But no matter how hard you try and dig and study, you are bound to miss some truly good music and since we are all human I shall learn from my mistakes and take note for 2016.
Kara Clark- The Key
Two years ago I relaunched this website on a new server after a brief hiatus with a Facebook-only based page that imposed many rules upon who and what I couldn’t write about. It was not maintained in the direction I felt comfortable with and for those reasons I went back to doing this. It proved to be a worthy choice and I began my new website with Kara Clark being my first official article and I launched the whole site during her set at “Outlaws And Icons” in Altamont.
I have always enjoyed her music just as much as all the other bands I feature and I have so many directions I report on but the fact remains I can maintain balance with enthusiasm while informing you about new music and new bands. Some of these performers just don’t “fit” in any label or genre because they have so many ways they cross into, and she is a prime example.
This album was short but it didn’t lack in creativity one bit, with songs like “Bulletproof” and the title track “The Key” being strong focal points of a strong album. Her songwriting is getting better with each album, not to say it was bad in the first place because I have always loved “Relapse”. She is one of the people I don’t get to see very often and it’s always nice to catch up with.
The Mavericks- Mono- Valory Music
HOW ON EARTH did I miss mentioning the Mavericks, SHAME on me..smack my wrist and put me the corner with a dunce hat on. Now mind you this was not meant to be on my Top 50 but I did like the album. This their 8th studio release was not as good as their third album, but I did like it more than Trampoline.
Raul Malo is in good vocal shape on this album and as the main songwriter he takes the Mavericks in a little bit of a different direction this time. It opens with “All Night Long” which was a Latin sounding song that didn’t grab me music wise but his vocals were strong and on top of things. He is a very powerful lead singer, and the band is indeed in tip top shape. “Pardon Me” was my favorite song on the whole album it’s a pretty good jam and well written.
The Supersuckers- Holdin’ The Bag
Another prominent local band I forgot about I TOLD YOU I really blew a big one on this project folks. This band is like Split Lip Rayfield and The Tillers and a few more. They started the underground music, and the song “Man On A Mission” was truly classic Supersuckers music.
These guys to me are like the Motorhead of Indi music because longtime member Eddie Spaghetti plays bass and sings leads since 90 or 91. Now this album wasn’t as awesome as “The Smoke Of Hell” or others but it ranks pretty high up on my top list of their albums ever. They reformed again in 2014 after Eddie Spaghetti did some solo work for Bloodshot Records and such and in 2014 released “Get The Hell”.
“I Can’t Cry” was a good duet with Lydia Loveless who I got to cover in 2014 at Muddy Roots and is on my radar for 2016. Good good song, I truly like the steel on the song “I Do What I Can”. There’s also a good cover of Hank Williams Jr’s. “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down”.
John Moreland- High On Tulsa Heat-
Brace yourselves folks folks this storyteller has released a TRULY stellar album and I say brace yourselves because not one song on this album in under 3:30. You have to have an ear for well written lyrics and good smooth acoustic guitar pieces, I’d LOVE to see this man perform with Matt Woods and Adam Lee. THAT WOULD be a truly good show?
“Cherokee” is just plain awesome, “Hang Me In the Tulsa County Stars” is such a well written song with many catchy one lined proverbs within it. This album is at the TOP of my rotation and in fact I regret not putting it in my list but I just enjoyed others more, it’s just MY opinion really…would I TELL YOU to buy this album? YES YES and YES. I think the song I like the least was “Sad Baptist Rain” otherwise the whole album was great.
Jimmy Miles- American Rambler- Southsound Music
I was not too familiar with him before he sent me his album, I had heard of him but to be honest I had to a little digging before writing this about him. And trust me when I dig I DIG and I truly enjoy researching and finding out about people’s contributions to Country Music. One thing I found about him was his affiliation with my buddy “Colonel” Robert Morris, that’s name that slipped my mind for quite some time.
Of course “Loving You So Easy” was a great song with Georgette Jones”, I’m not sure if it’s the same Stanley Webb that wrote songs for Tracy Byrd. Now on the steel guitar you’ll find a familiar name- Fred Newell. This man has untamed and raw stripped down vocals and trust me that’s not a bad thing at all.
There’s a lot of great songwriters on this album and I read that he would be taking his show to Europe this year, I hope one day I can get out and catch his show at a local venue. This album has songs like “Lust For The Road” by Tom Ghent, and “Low Down Freedom” by Billy Joe Shaver.
You can read about Orthophonic Joy HERE
Daniel Romano- If Iv’e Only One Time Askin’ New West Records.
This is another one I regrettably forgot about, like I said I need to take better notes throughout the year. I would have included this album had I remembered. It was truly a blockbuster album full of really good songs like “The One That Got Away” and a lot of well written three chord songs like “If You Go Your Way I’ll Go Blind”.
This album is full of great fiddle and steel guitar like “There’s A Hardship” which was favorite song on this album. “I’m Gonna Teach You” was full of good Honky Tonk piano like them old songs that Flloyd Cramer used to play on. In fact “There’s A Hardship” is one of my favorite songs from last year.
Stump Tail Dolly- Americanoclasm- Rusty Knuckles
Rusty Knuckles has indeed released some great music this year and this album is truly one of the most unique albums yet. Mr. Ryan Clackner and his better half Miss Lucy Cochran have a combined resume of playing for the likes of Bob Wayne, Shooter Jennings, J.D. Wilkes, Red Simpson, Fifth On The Floor, and many more.
These two have taken their passion for Country Music and Heavy Metal and juxtaposed them together to form a sound unlike ANY OTHER I have ever heard, No Sir this is NOT a Hank 3 clone or copy of ANY sort..in fact I myself have no darn clue what to call it, so I’ll just call it Stump Tail Dolly!
Now this was a short album BUT it only means that they left areas for growth and more creativity, and they have a HUGE road ahead of them. I am very confident they can travel it very well! They have released two full length videos or their songs, and I’ll be warning you the songs on this album are long..that’s not a bad thing!
I love these two very very much and I have a great deal of admiration for them on a personal level so this is more than just a suggestion.