Joshua Wallace’s Top 50 Albums of 2018

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Dec 232018
 

By Joshua Wallace

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the time of year where all music journalists put out their best of lists.  Gary Hayes will have his own list coming up soon.  This is my personal Top 50 Country Albums of 2018. I could probably double this list to 100 with all of the awesome releases that have come out in the past year.  It has been that good of a year. However, that being said, I feel like these 50 albums represent the best of what I heard over this year. I reviewed many of these during the year and you can find every one of those reviews on this website.  I will link a few of them here in this article. Every record on this list is worth your time, from number 1 to number 50. Gary Hayes will have his own separate list published later this month, check it out too. Let’s kick things off with the album of the year and Top 10, and then immediately following that will be 11 – 50.

**ALBUM OF THE YEAR** 01.  American Aquarium – Things Change  **ALBUM OF THE YEAR**

This album stuck with me the most throughout the year and thus, it is my number one record of 2018.  From the heartland rock politically inspired tune “The World Is On Fire” all the way to the country balladry of “‘Till The Final Curtain Calls”, this is the best album American Aquarium has ever put together.  I doubt you can find another band that can weave in and out of heartland rock and roll and country with the skill and ease this band does. I look forward to whatever comes next from BJ Barham and company. Check out my full review of Things Change from earlier in the year.

02.  Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere

This album had me last year with the single “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”.  That song was out well before the album and has stuck with me ever since. The album itself ads more great tracks to Ashley’s repertoire and there isn’t a bad cut on this one.  I predict big things for Ashley McBryde in 2019 and I’m looking forward to seeing her open for George Strait in Atlanta next year. Check out my review of this record here.

03.  Randall King – Randall King

Randall King is a throwback to an era of country we don’t have many throwbacks to.  He takes the best elements of 90’s country music and brings them to modern times. His songs “Mirror, Mirror”, “Tuggin’ On My Heartstrings” and “Cool Under Pressure” have stuck with me and this album is often played front to back when it comes on.  Check out my review of the record here.

04.  Josh Card – With A Heavy Heart

The sound on this record is perfect.  Everything is spot on and these are the best tracks Josh Card has ever put out.  Check out a couple of my favorites in “Suffer” and “Won’t Chase Your Love Anymore”.  Read my full review of the album here.

05.  Whitey Morgan & The 78s – Hard Times & White Lines

This is straight up the best live honky tonk band going right now.  This album is another great chapter of their music adding some killer new originals, some new Dale Watson and even ZZ Top to their live set.  Give this one a spin however you listen to music and read my review here.

06.  Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Years

This album is punk rock outlaw country at its best.  Sarah Shook put out her best record yet with Years. It has been high on this list all year and lands at number six.  Do yourself a favor and read my review of the record here, and then go out and buy a copy and see her live when you get a chance to.

07.  Belle Plaine – Malice, Mercy, Grief & Wrath

Belle Plaine has released some solid country gold right here.  I’m still digging on “Taxes, Death and You” and “Is It Cheating” featuring Colter Wall.  Do yourself a favor and give this one a spin. My full review of this record is here.

08.  Colter Wall – Songs Of The Plains

Colter Wall does not disappoint on his sophomore full length release.  This album has some great tunes with “Plain To See Plainsmen”, “Thinkin’ On A Woman” and the Billy Don Burns cover “Wild Dogs”.  This album could have been number one if this year wasn’t so stacked with awesome releases. Check out my review of this one here.

09.  Jamie Lin Wilson – Jumping Over Rocks

In her follow-up to 2016’s Holidays and Wedding Rings, Jamie Lin Wilson has put out her best stuff yet with tracks like “The Being Gone”, “Everybody’s Moving Slow” and a cover of Guy Clark’s “Instant Coffee Blues” featuring Jack Ingram sticking with me in heavy rotation.  Do yourself a favor and give this record a spin, you won’t regret it. Check out my full review here.

10.  Dallas Moore – Mr. Honky Tonk

I knew when I first heard Dallas Moore’s track “Mr. Honky Tonk” that this would be a killer record.  This album represents a high mark in Dallas Moore’s career and there isn’t a bad track on it. I’m still digging on “Shoot Out The Lights”, “Killing Me Nice and Slow” and “You Know The Rest”.  Do yourself a favor, check out my review and pick up a copy of this one.

The Best Of The Rest:

11.  Shooter Jennings – Shooter

12.  Caitlyn Smith – Starfire

13.  Cody Jinks – Lifers

14.  Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel

15.  Joshua Hedley – Mr. Jukebox

16.  Bri Bagwell – In My Defense

17.  Brent Cobb – Providence Canyon

18.  Dillon Carmichael – Hell On An Angel

19.  Kayla Ray – Yesterday And Me

20.  Josh Ward – More Than I Deserve

21.  Josh Grider – Good People

22.  Brandi Carlile – By The Way, I Forgive You

23.  Paul Cauthen – Have Mercy

24.  Blackberry Smoke – Find A Light

25.  Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Hard Times Are Relative

26.  T.J. Hernandez – Who I Am

27.  Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain

28.  Old Crow Medicine Show – Volunteer

29.  The Brother Brothers – Some People I Know

30.  Ward Davis – Asunder

31.  Craig Gerdes – Smokin’, Drinkin’ & Gamblin’

32.  Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

33.  Courtney Patton – What It’s Like To Fly Alone

34.  John Prine – The Tree Of Forgiveness

35.  Ashley Monroe – Sparrow

36.  Pat Reedy & The Longtime Goners – That’s All There Is (And There Ain’t No More)

37.  Kyle Park – Don’t Forget Where You Come From

38.  Lori McKenna – The Tree

39.  James Scott Bullard – Full Tilt Boogie

40.  Adam Hood – Somewhere In Between

41.  Kristina Murray – Southern Ambrosia

42.  Chelsea Nolan – Chelsea.

43.  Abe Partridge – Cotton Fields and Blood For Days

44.  Mike & The Moonpies – Steak Night At The Prairie Rose

45.  Sara Morgan – Average Jane

46.  Jason Sinkhorn – Junction City, Kentucky

47.  Urban Pioneers – Hillbilly Swing Music

48.  Joe’s Truck Stop – American Dreams

49.  JP Harris – Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing

50.  Darci Carlson – Darci Carlson

Music Festivals 2019: Steamboat Musicfest.

 News  Comments Off on Music Festivals 2019: Steamboat Musicfest.
Dec 232018
 

 SkinnerDelFest
Old Settler’s Music Festival
The John Hartford Music Festival
Merlefest
High Water festival
Mardi Gras Texas Style
Winter Wonder Grass Series
Moonrunners Music Festival
The Nashville Boogie
Master Musician’s Festival
Tumbleweed
Suwanee Spring Reunion

If it’s one thing I truly have been keeping my eyes on the Red Dirt world, and it’s west coast reach. Along with the Jamgrass community this is becoming a huge, massive community and quite the lucrative market even though it gets very little media attention. Let’s take a look at the lineup and other information I usually include into my festival series.

Amazingly for early on into 2019 there are tons of early festivals happening to satisfy to pickiest of festivals music lovers, for Red Dirt Music. With a lineup like THIS who wouldn’t want to go:

Adam Hood

American Aquairium

BJ Barham

Bri Bagwell

Bruce Robison

Casey Donahew

Charlie Shafter

Chris Colston

Chris Knight

Cleto Coredo

Cody Canada

Coley McCabe

Corb Lund

Courtney Patton

Dalton Domino

Dirty River Boys

Doug Moreland

Eleven Hundred Springs

Eric Middleton

Flatland Cavalry

Hayes Carll

Jack Ingram

Jade Patek

Jamie Lin Wilson

Jason Eady

John Bauman

John Evans

John Fullbright

Johnny Chops

Jonathan Tyler

Josh Abbott

Kaitlin Butts

Kevin Fowler

Kevin Galloway

Kimberly Dunn

Kody West

Kow Wetzel

Kyle Hutton

Kyle Park

Mark Chesnutt

Matt Hilleyer

Matt Skinner

Max Stalling

Micky And The Motorcars

Parker McCollum

Mike Ryan

Mike McClure

Mike And The Moonpies

Midnight River Choir

Dale Bisby

Randall King

Randy Rogers Band

Read Southall

Reckless Kelly

Red Shahan

Stoney Larue

Sum Brothers

Susan Gibson

Thom Sheperd

Trevor G. Potter

Turnpike Troubadors

Wade Bowen

Warren Hood

William Clark Green

Zac Wilkerson

First week in January – Six days, 200+ hours of live music, a world-class ski resort – does it really get any better than the MusicFest? The MusicFest draws thousands of ski-lovin’, music-lovin’ folks to the snow swept peaks of Colorado each January.

The largest group ski trip of its kind in the nation, the MusicFest brings the finest Texas and Americana music to the world-class ski resort of Steamboat, Colorado for a week full of sport and song. The festival boasts a stunning roster that includes both legends and rising talents alike.

Dickson Productions has over 30 years of experience as the premier travel package provider. With Dickson Productions working on your behalf, you can hit the slopes and also get tons of music favorites at wholesale prices. All lodging accommodations for the MusicFest are located ski-in/ski-out or within minutes of the mountain base, and participants personally choose all the options.


Want to walk out the front door onto the slopes? A hot tub on the back porch? A slope side luxury suite or a penthouse? A MusicFest stage in your lodge or steps away? No problem – it’s all part of building your exclusive MusicFest package, the vacation of a lifetime. And there’s every level to choose from to satisfy your taste in lodging, music, price and the ultimate Rocky Mountain vacation.

After a day on the slopes, what really happens at the MusicFest?

The MusicFest has long been heralded for its jam-packed schedule of events and concerts. Over 200 hours of live performances take place during the MusicFest, an amazing opportunity to see as many great Texas and Americana artists as you can handle (and those are the “planned” performances).

Shows are held in a multitude of diverse venues including a stage resembling an old barn/hunting lodge, a huge dancehall/tent, an intimate pub, an old saloon, two luxurious ballrooms, and an upscale country club setting complete with plush seating, and a fire place (a “must” experience)!

No matter your style of music or setting to experience it, there’s a venue for everyone’s likes. Whether you’ve come to kick up your heels and party all night, or prefer to soak up the music in a lower key and comfortable seated setting (or anything in-between), MusicFest has you covered. Drift from one venue to the next, or just sit back and enjoy that ONE special venue that fits your style with like minded friends – that’s the beauty of MusicFest – a truly unique and exceptional sporting and musical experience with one thing in common; a grounded and REAL experience with a community that embraces its lifestyle and state of mind.

MusicFest Package Price Includes:

  • 6 days/5 nights at Steamboat’s premier lodging – You choose location and amenities including ski-in/ski-out, fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, hot tubs, short stroll to MusicFest activities and more.
  • Four full day lift passes and one night skiing pass – World-class skiing and boarding on Steamboat’s five interconnected mountains.
  • Exclusive MusicFest credentials for over 200 hours of live performances in intimate venues, luxury ballroom, saloons, the Big MusicFest Tent, Outdoor Stage, Historic Theatre, participants’ “ON AIR” media lounge, and much more!
  • The highly acclaimed MusicFest Artists’ “Tribute to a Legend” – Grand Ballroom show,  past honorees include Robert Earl Keen, Jr., Gary P. Nunn, Doug Sahm & The Texas Tornados, Joe Ely, Dean Dillon, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, Lee Ann Womack, Guy Clark, Johnny Gimble and Family, Leon Russell, Kevin Welch, Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Lost Gonzo Band and Radney Foster.
  • Official MusicFest information guide – MusicFest collectibles, credentials, pocket schedule, the Discount Savings Book including a “non-skier” guide, and additional discounts!
  • Complimentary MusicFest Magazine – While supplies last! Click here for free subscription.
  • Eleven MusicFest venues – Experience world-class music in eleven different venues. Dickson Productions is always taking this unique festival to the next level – comparable to no other.
  • Free Shuttle – Elaborate resort wide FREE shuttle system to lodges, grocery stores, dining, bars, concerts, the slopes and more!

Wide Variety of Venues

No matter your style of music and setting to experience it, there’s a venue for everyone’s likes. Whether you’ve come to kick up your heels and party all night, or prefer to soak up the music in a lower key and comfortable seated setting (or anything in-between), MusicFest has you covered. Drift from one venue to the next, or just sit back and enjoy that ONE special venue that fits your style with like-minded friends- That’s the beauty of MusicFest – A truly unique and exceptional sporting and musical experience with one thing in common; a grounded and REAL experience with a community that embraces its life style and state of mind.

 

NEW! The Strings Pavilion

The newest addition to the MusicFest family of stages, the Strings Pavilion is a state-of-the-art concert hall built for classical music, but The MusicFest ramps it up. Located at the “base of the base” of the mountain, this world-class stage is just steps away from…Read More

 

NEW! Timber & Torch

Turn the Page: Bear River Becomes The Timber & Torch The MusicFest hosts shows in many venues over the years, but the “Bear River” is where the magic began. A cozy bar nestled at the foot of Mt. Werner, the Bear River is a haven…Read More

 

The Big MusicFest Tent

One of the most iconic venues at the MusicFest, The Big MusicFest Tent is hard to miss. Known for being “the largest dance hall in the Rockies” this massive, climate-controlled tent hosts some of the most high-energy full band shows seen anywhere. With a state-of-the-art…Read More

 

The Dung Beetle Saloon

Named for the original “Dung Beetle Saloon” at an old convenience store in Hallettsville, Texas, this MusicFest venue keeps the good times rollin’. Featuring over twelve hours a day of intimate, acoustic music, this popular venue is the definition of what MusicFest is all about…Read More

 

The General Store

Not only a famous shopping experience, but a great meeting place where you may catch a special (unannounced) performance, autograph signing, or brand new, and never seen before merchandise! Conveniently located near the mountain base in the Grand Resort Hotel and next door to the…Read More

 

The MusicFest at Chief Theater

The Chief Theater may be a relatively new addition to the MusicFest, but this historic theater has been hosting live music in Steamboat for nearly 100 years. A vintage building with old fashioned, comfortable theater seating, this downtown venue is the perfect place for an…Read More

 

The MusicFest Media Lounge “ON AIR”

Get up-close and personal with your favorite artists in our all new Media Lounge open to the public. See artist interviews by a variety of media outlets including national and international radio hosts, television hosts, and social media personalities. With behind-the-scenes experiences like this, it…Read More

 

The Outdoor Stage

Mountain-Sized Bonus Concert Series One of the few venues open to the public at MusicFest, the one-of-a-kind Outdoor Mountain-Sized Bonus Concert Series has become a favorite tradition for festival-goers and locals alike. Located at the base of the slopes, with the majestic Rockies as a…Read More

 

The Steamboat Base Club

The Steamboat Base Club is the official “MusicFest Country Club.” With a gorgeous, up-scale setting this venue is the perfect combination of class and comfort. Featuring acoustic performances nightly, old-fashioned cocktails, appetizers and great company, this intimate club is the perfect place to cozy up…Read More

 

The Steamboat Grand Ballroom

Located at the heart of the mountain-base in the luxurious Steamboat Grand Ballroom, this venue has hosted many of MusicFest’s most popular shows. Home to the esteemed MusicFest Artists’ Tribute to a Legend each year, this venue has seen some of the rarest performances on…Read More

 

Thunderhead Gondola (Stargazer Series)

This lofty listening room is one of the festival’s signature venues. Only at MusicFest can you take a picturesque gondola ride up 3,000 feet for a high-altitude music experience like no other. These rare mountaintop concerts are a truly uplifting experience, both musically.

This music festival is so huge and there is so much to do I will have to put up more general links on here than I usually do to reduce the length of the article. So you can click HERE for a pretty conclusive listing of all the area hotels.

Jan 212017
 

Ok everybody as most of you know I have many music festivals being featured for you on this website and Mardi Gras Texas Style is nothing short of amazing in many ways. To be honest there aren’t many on my radar or in my inbox until at least March, however I found a few for Feb. Down there in Dallas Texas we have a Red Dirt one day festival going on with some awesome acts like my buddy Shooter Jennings and MORE! Here’s the details and the lowdown complete with ticket and hotel links.

I love music festivals because they bring many acts together into one large (or in some cases smaller) area for me to cover at one fail swoop. Now granted festivals ARE difficult to cover for just one man but doggone it I’ll do my best to bring you the BEST 2017 festival coverage I possibly can. I especially would like to continue to bring more of the red Dirt Texas Country sound to my website and it’s events like this that warrant my opportunity to engage in such music.

You can label it “Red Dirt” or “Americana” or “Roots Music” I just usually call it GOOD music that I feature on this website. And even though I am a little biased, Shooter puts on a good show I can assure you. This event looks to be an outdoor and indoor festival that will commence rain or shine and the front gates open at 2PM, I have included some general information on here as well. Both of the main stages are located in climate controlled buildings so you do not have to worry about inclement weather.

You will NOT be allowed to leave and come back to the festival and also coolers are NOT allowed. There is no camping available and there will be full bar services for patrons. Once I saw the lineup I was ecstatic about this event out there in Dallas, Now as far as the lineup It appears to be on five stages with sponsors naming the stages accordingly:
99.5 The Wolf:
Casey Donahew
Stoney LaRue
Mike Ryan
Parker McCollum

Coors Light:
Cody Johnson
Shooter Jennings
Roger Creager
Randall King
Tyler And The Tribe

99.5 The Wolf East Stage:
Shane Smith And The Saints
Dalton Domino
John Baumann
Matt Kimbrow
Sarah Hobbs

Coors Light West Stage:
Kyle Park
Joey Green
Blue Water Highway Band
Songbird Jones

I have been wanting to get out to Texas for some time now and one day soon I plan to remedy that portion of my bucket list. You can purchase tickets for this event HERE. As always upon looking at websites and doing research of different areas I found a suitable list of accommodations for you if you see what you like PLEASE patronize  this event.

Aloft Dallas Downtown

1033 Young Street · Dallas

214-761-0000 · 193 Rooms

 

Hilton Garden Inn Dallas Market

2325 N. Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

214-630-3330 · 200 Rooms · 40 Suites

 

Candlewood Suites Market Center

7930 N. Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

214-631-3333 · 141 Suites

 

Holiday Inn at Dallas Market Center

4500 Harry Hines Blvd. · Dallas

214-522-6650 · 216 Rooms

 

Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown

1015 Elm Street · Dallas

214-742-5678 · 307 Rooms · 5 Suites

 

Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown

Reader rating: 3.0 out of 5

1933 Main Street · Dallas

214-741-7700 · 172 Rooms

 

Days Inn Dallas

13313 Stemmons Fwy. · Dallas

972-488-0800 · 72 Rooms · 2 Suites

 

Hotel Palomar Dallas

5300 E. Mockingbird Ln. · Dallas

214-520-7969 · 198 Rooms

 

Fairfield Inn Market Center

2110 Market Center Blvd. · Dallas

214-760-8800 · 117 Rooms · 10 Suites

 

Hyatt Summerfield Suites Dallas

Uptown2914 Harry Hines Blvd. · Dallas

214-965-9990 · 141 Sui

In closing folks I wanted to tell you I have a TON of festivals coming in through the grapevine and I’ll be posting up more festival articles soon, exposing TONS of more bands.  Folks there is SO MUCH good music out there waiting to be heard and supported by people like YOU!  Go find it!