What kind of music did YOU listen to this year?
Well, Happy New Year. We got to the end of another one – there were some twists and turns along the way, and a few nasty surprises, but we managed to make it here once more.
This is the place where we should name our “best of” list and stuff, but we should say up front … there was a lot of good music this year and a handful of really good albums. Despite the headline above, we won’t deal with the worst – who cares?
And we won’t bore you with what we think is the best – we don’t know ourselves – but here are some things we listened to (and read, and watched) this year. All highly recommended, of course.
Old Believers by Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons – We caught this act at SXSW, and we fell in love with Chisel’s heartfelt singing and songwriting, as well as with keyboardist/backing vocalist Adriel Denae. Great campfire music!
YouTube: “I’ve Been Accused” by Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons
Men Without Women Live by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes – Beloved Jersey shore band performs an entire album by another band – Southside Johnny pays tribute to Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul. Great party music!
MP3: “Forever” by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
Celebration Day (live) by Led Zeppelin – The rock juggernaut’s first non-compilation album in many years is a live one, recorded in 2007 in London. This is a multimedia affair appearing in CD, DVD/Blu-ray and accompanying theatrical movie release. When the three original members were honored recently at the Kennedy Center, reunion rumors blazed once again.
YouTube: “Kashmir” from Celebration Day
Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Angry, and slightly behind the times, Springsteen’s State of the Union address hit hard nevertheless. Punctuated by a keynote speech and concert at SXSW and a never-ending tour schedule, the Boss rode this album throughout the year and continues into 2013 with no end in sight.
Blunderbuss by Jack White – Blues, R&B and country intersected best on this album from the former White Stripe backed by two bands – one all male, the other all female. Also a live highlight this year, we caught him at the Austin City Limits festival and at his taping for an upcoming “Austin City Limits” episode (airing Jan. 5).
YouTube: “Blunderbuss” by Jack White
The Rest of Our Favorite Albums of 2012
Tempest – Bob Dylan
Rebirth – Jimmy Cliff
Babel – Mumford & Sons
St. Peter & 57th – Preservation Hall Jazz Band and guests (click on link to download “St. James Infirmary”)
Slipstream – Bonnie Raitt
Carnaby Street by The Michael Des Barres Band
Tomorrowland by Ryan Bingham
Delta Spirit (click on link to download “California”)
That’s Why God Made The Radio – The Beach Boys
Heroes – Willie Nelson
Blak and Blu – Gary Clark Jr.
Our Favorite Live Performances of 2012
Paul McCartney, Houston Minute Maid Park
Neil Young & Crazy Horse at Austin City Limits Music Festival
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Austin City Limits Music Festival
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, South by Southwest, Austin
Willie Nelson, Houston Free Press Summer Fest
Eric Burdon, South by Southwest, Austin
The Beach Boys, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston
Van Halen, Houston Toyota Center
Mumford & Sons, University of Texas, Austin
Jack White, “Austin City Limits” taping
Rock and Roll Reading List for 2012
Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson
Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young
Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat
Who I Am by Pete Townshend