1997 Revisited

Given that it's only mid-February and we're already seeing strong records from M. Ward, Neko Case, Chip Robinson and The Gourds, you have to wonder if this is going to be a stellar year in music. With most of the year still to come, we're looking at likely 09 releases from Bob Dylan, Wilco, Son Volt, Josh Ritter, Bob Mould, Tim Easton, Iron & Wine, Gillian Welch, Josh Rouse, The Wrens, New Pornographers, The Strokes (?) and on and on.

I often cite 1997 as the best year of music in my lifetime. Here's just a snippet of what came out that year:

Whiskeytown Strangers Almanac
Richard Buckner Devotion & Doubt
Old 97's Too Far To Care
Richmond Fontaine Miles From
Steve Earle El Corazon
Matthew Ryan May Day
The Jayhawks Sound of Lies
Son Volt Straightaways
The Handsome Family Through the Trees
Freedy Johnston Never Home
Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind
Elliott Smith Either/Or
Pavement Brighten the Corners

1998 was basically as good with fantastic releases by Bap Kennedy, Son Volt, Lucinda Williams, The Gourds, The Pernice Brothers, Neutral Milk Hotel, Silver Jews, Wilco/Bragg, Richard Buckner and many more.

I have a feeling about this year. It's barely gotten underway yet 2009 is prime for a resurgence in great music. Let's hope.