Greatest Hits - Songs from the South, Vols. 1 & 2 Paul Kelly
Gawdaggie / RED

Author:
John Shelton Ivany
A double album entitled "Greatest Hits--Songs from the South" by Paul Kelly 
is an incredible gem of music, where a man transforms a pastoral about pain 
into music and about how to overcome it.  One of the best albums of 
the year.
Purchase from Amazon

Something To Believe Freebo
Poppabo Music

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

"Something To Believe" by Freebo is a great album that sounds as if Freebo 
is not really singing to you; he's talking to you.  One of the best albums of 
the year.
Purchase from Amazon

Prologue The Milk Carton Kids
Milk Carton

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

"Prologue" by The Milk Carton Kids hits you with something every person 
goes through--that time of tears, whether it's joy, sorrow or love. One of the 
best albums of the year.
Purchase from Amazon

It's Only Natural The Oak Ridge Boys
Cracker Barrel

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

"It's Only Natural" by The Oak Ridge Boys hits us fanatics with five new 
cuts and seven re-recorded hits.  The Oak Ridge Boys is one of the longest 
running groups in country music, even longer than William Lee Golden's beard 
(maybe).  Their mix of hillbilly country, gospel, pop, and that unbelievable bass 
is incredible.  The Oak Ridge Boys told you that everything will turn out 
fine. One of the best albums of the year.
Purchase from Amazon

The Place I Left Behind The Deep Dark Woods
Sugar Hill

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

The Deep Dark Woods album is entitled "The Place I Left Behind".  They 
surround you with messages.  But the one that is the strongest is the greatest 
message in the world--you don't misuse or abuse other people.  You give them 
love.
Purchase from Amazon

the Crush Anomie Belle
Baeble

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

When I listened to Anomie Belle's "the Crush", I nearly crashed my toyota 
and ended up in a coma.  And I spent my first 47 years on the wrong side of 
Broadway in NYC.  She has that special gift.  One of the greatest albums of the 
year.
Purchase from Amazon

These Ghosts Have Bones Miles Zuniga
33 1/3 (Redeye)

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Miles Zuniga's "These Ghosts Have Bones" is about a guy driving around 
aimlessly--feeling there's no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to 
extiguish a flame that burns, burns, burns.  One of the best albums of the year. 
Purchase from Amazon

Dead Throne The Devil Wears Prada
Ferret

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

The Devil Wears Prada's latest album is entitled "Dead Throne" which turns 
their words and sounds into the most blatant and furious assault on American 
propriety--DOWN WITH WALL STREET.  One of the best albums of the year. 
Purchase from Amazon

Overclocked Jim Allchin
Sandy Key / Topspin

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Jim Allchin's "Overclocked" is a masterpiece.  The lyrics are strong, and 
Allchin plays his guitar with incredible intensity.  One of the best albums of 
the year.
Purchase from Amazon

The Folkway Years 1959-1961 Dave Van Ronk
Smithsonian / Folkways

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Dave Van Ronk took his inspiration from Odetta, who encouraged the then-merchant seaman to 
play the classic jazz music that he was so keenly interested in.  But Van Ronk shortly became 
the godfather of greenwich village and folk music.  He taught and inspired folks like Joni 
Mitchell, Phil Ochs and the rookie Bob Dylan, who Van Ronk saved, inspired and taught.  

If you want to learn about the great finger pickin' big man of the village, check out the 
one and only real godfather of the good old days--Dave Van Ronk "The Folkways Years, 1959-1961".
Purchase from Amazon

Boogie 4 Stu: A Tribute to Ian Stewart Ben Waters
Eagle Rock

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Ben Waters great album "Boogie 4 Stu: a tribute to Ian Stewart" is an homage 
to founding member and piano player of the Rolling Stones, who played on 
many of the cuts, are frank poems of regret scored and sung with haunted 
elegance.
Purchase from Amazon

Rustic Poet Huke Green
Cinder Shack

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Huke Green's "Rustic Poet" is a super fine album that has universal comfort 
in the lyrics with a warm, rolling charm. 
Purchase from Amazon

Live from the Long Island Blues Warehouse The Sean Chambers Band
Blue Heat / Burnside

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

"The Long Island Blues Warehouse" by The Sean Chambers Band overwhelms you 
with raw sexuality, gutbucket blues and gritty rock.
Purchase from Amazon

Symphony Soldier The Cab
self-released

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

"Symphony Soldier" by The Cab buries you with raw-throated vocals and a 
serious rock and roll attitude. One the greatest albums of the year.
Purchase from Amazon

Live! (double CD) Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet
Ear Up

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet's double album "Live" gives sweet release in their 
music with fearless and eloquent songwriting.  They also create upward key 
changes that surround the listener with a vivid, mounting anxiety.
Purchase from Amazon

Evening Sugar Ray & the Bluetones
Severn / City Hall

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

"Evening" by Sugar Ray & the Bluetones is a showcase for a blilliant blues 
giant of this world.  There's some mean country, rock and roll, and electric 
harmonica followed by some real Chicago blues. Like it or not, Sugar Ray 
proves that the blues is as powerful as ever. 
Purchase from Amazon

Make or Break Me Kyle Park
Kyle Park / Winding Road / Burnside

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Kyle Park's album "Make or Break Me" pushes everything, and he sings over 
the top.  One of the best albums of the year. 
Purchase from Amazon

Aware Trent Romens
New Folk / CD Baby

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

Trent Romens' "Aware" shows a powerful voice--crystalline in tone, yet 
bluesy all the way.
Purchase from Amazon

Live at Grossman's 1994 The Jeff Healey Band
Eagle Rock

Author:
John Shelton Ivany

 

"Live at Grossman's--1994" by The Jeff Healey Band is a gift from a great 
singer and greater guitarist who makes you totally believe what he's singing 
and what he's playing.  He had that gift.
Purchase from Amazon

Twenty Pearl Jam
Columbia / Sony

Author:
John Shelton Ivany
"Twenty" by Pearl Jam is an incredible compilation of the twenty years of 
Pearl Jam's existence.  The seattle scene of the '90s included Nirvana, 
Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam, the most overtly commercial of the 
gang.  Ticket sales set off the kind of hysteria not seen in rock since the 
Beatles.  With Eddie Vedder's unique driving vocal style and the delicate 
interplay between guitarists Steve Gossard and Mike McCready, they combined their 
driving, brash sound  on classic rock radio for years to come.  And they have 
been the most important band in the world. One of the best albums of the 
year. 
Purchase from Amazon

Latin Beat Various Artists
Putumayo

Author:
John Shelton Ivany
The various artists who create "Latin Beat" don't expect to make the charts. 
Luckily, Putumayo, my favorite label, has single-handedly created a world 
beyond the charts.  The cuban tunes, of course, are my favorites.  One of the 
greatest albums albums of the year.
Purchase from Amazon