At this time of the year it is fun to look back and pick which cds were the ones that we returned to for repeated listens. Every year you have some huge surprises, some big disappointments and some great new finds. Personally, the great new finds are the really fun ones for me.
I know it’s not quite the end of the year yet but with Christmas coming soon most labels have released anything of note. So it probably won’t make much difference if we look back now instead of 6 weeks from today. There were so many great cds this year too. One label in fact produced 3 CD’s of note which they released on the same day. We all have our favourites and these are some of mine. Feel free to disagree.
On the new finds front was a band named Moreland & Arbuckle. Their new cd called “Flood” was a shot out of nowhere. I was listening to satellite radio one day and a band I never heard of before that moment was a quick purchase away and a steady component of my playlist for months.
Another fantastic new find for me was Trombone Shorty’s kickass “Backatown.” This was a real eye opener as I hadn’t heard something as horn oriented as this that I instantly loved in ages. It was a must in my playlists for months.
One of the nice surprises for me was Karen Lovely’s “Still the Rain.” I had hear her debut record and while it had some good material it was nothing special in my opinion. However, the new record is just amazing and focusses on what is her strength – her huge voice. This one is a real treat and a truly bluesy record.
Some of the other records that caught my attention were as follows. Walter Trout’s “Common Ground” mainly for the great song “Her Other Man” Which maybe the best song of his career in my estimation. The Mannish Boys added another great record to their catalog called “Shake For Me”. Derek Trucks and Aynsley Lister put out a couple of really fantastic live cd’s called “Roadsongs” and “The Tower Sessions” respectively.
At the end of the day three records stood above the rest for me. So in reverse order the number three best cd of 2010 is Buddy Guy’s “Living Proof” Even though it has just come out I can safely say this is a great record and at “74 Years Old” Buddy has lost nothing. The playing is superb and the vocals are still very strong. He seems to be improving with age. One of the best of his career.
The second best record of the year for me is Janiva Magness’ “The Devil Is An Angel Too”. Janiva has long been a well respected soul/blues vocalist and this record showcases Janiva’s ability and versatility with covers of songs from many great artists like Joe Tex, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and Delbert McClinton to name a few. “Devil” is just a very enjoyable listen.
Finally, for me, the best record of the year was the Kilborn Alley Blues Band’s “Better Off Now!”. This record is a great mix of authentic Chicago blues and southern soul. This is a terrific ensemble record from Andrew Duncanson’s great voice to Joe Asselin’s harp playing and Josh Stimmel’s guitar work. It all just flows together perfectly. Highly recommended.
Obviously, I would be surprised if everyone agreed with me. However, I know that won’t happen. What were your favourite blues records of the year? Use the comments link below and let the discussion begin.