Thursday, December 22, 2011

Best of 2011

TOP 15 Albums 2011

Album of the Year

Bon Iver – Bon Iver - There really wasn't an album I returned to more in 2012 than this one. Not a dud track on the whole album (although the Bruce Hornsby impersonation was a bit odd) Here's Bon Iver performing Perth on Later with Jools Holland

And the Rest: -

Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire. One of my favourite songwriters, and this was his best collection in a few years. Mostly stripped down. Great stuff. Lucky Now video
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow . Not on the album, but they do a good range of covers in addition to their own stuff. Here is them doing Billy Jean on Later with Jools Holland
The Leisure Society – Into the Murky Waters : Pastoral English folk/pop music at its finest. A delightful discovery. Well crafted tunes, and great delivery. Dust on the Dancefloor video
Scoobuis Pip – Distraction Pieces … Video for Let em Come
Abigail Washburn - City of Refuge: Abigail Washburn performing "Chains" live at Music City Roots on 3.02.2011Decemberists – The King is Dead. "This is Why We Fight" on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Tom Waits – Bad as Me. Video for Satisfied
Todd Rundgren – reProduced No Video's for this, but Here's the version of Dancing Barefoot
Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes – Video for I Follow Rivers Steve Earle – I'll Never Ger Outta This World Alive - Every Part of Me on Letterman
The Sandman's Orchestra - Silver Linings. On a bit of a mission to bring this band to wider attention. They are a duo made up of Pierre Laplace, a singer/songwriter from Lille, France, and his 16-year-old niece, LĂ©onie Gabriel, and they make great modern folk music. Listen and buy here
Wilco – The Whole Love. Video for Born Alone
REM – Collapse into Now Video for Mine Smell Like Honey
Foo Fighters - Video for Rope

Top 10 Gigs 2011
Gig of the year
Abigail Washburn – The Borderline - Friday 20 May 2011

Hard to get over just how magnificent this gig was. A packed venue on a May evening, and with a good portion of the audience not really knowing what to expect. What to expect was Washburn accompanied by >>> sat commanding the stage with warmth, humour, and some astonishingly good music.

The other 9, in no particular order:

The Hold Steady - Shepherds Bush Empire - Friday 18 February 2011
The Civil Wars – Union Chapel - Tuesday 27 September 2011
Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) - Royal Festival Hall - Tuesday 25 October 2011
Todd Rundgren – Jazz Cafe - Monday 3 October 2011
Shelby Lynne – Cardogan Hall - Friday 6 May 2011
The Decemberists – Hammersmith Apollo - Wednesday 16 March 2011
Scroobius Pip – Scala -
Jesse Malin – Scala –
Sleigh Bells – Heaven - Monday 14 February 2011