1/3 Mark of 2009

Yes, the first four months haven't been all that impressive on the new release front. The Springsteen record's a clunker. The M. Ward, Tim Easton and Bonnie "Prince" Billy records have their moments, but certainly don't measure up to their normal output. So yes, there have been disappointments, but there have also been a few bright spots. Here are a trio of my early-year favorites:

Neko Case : Middle Cyclone
The record's slightly inconsistent, but the good songs are very good. "This Tornado Loves You," "People Got a Lotta Nerve," "Magpie to the Morning," and "Don't Forget Me" could land on my songs of the year mix. But then there are songs like "Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth," which has the writing maturity of a pre-schooler.

The Gourds : Haymaker!
I need to give this record much more time. The Gourds rarely release a sub-par record, but this one's so good that it stands among their best. Jimmy and Kev have once again nailed a perfect back-and-forth set of fun, thoughtful and charming tunes.

Chip Robinson : Mylow
Does anyone outside of Chip, his cat Mylow and I know that this record's out? If not, well, it's a real shame. The former frontman of Raleigh, North Carolina's The Backsliders releases his first solo record and it's a beauty. The writing is fantastic, the guitars are blazing and the rock n' roll's back. This is as good as either of The Backsliders records. You can buy it here. And if you don't, well, enjoy being an asshole.


JTL said...

I really like the Jason Isbell record, but a few of the tracks skirt to close to the .38 Special line I find myself listening to it a lot of over an extended period, something that doesn't happen to me all that often these days.

Campbell said...

Agree on the Isbell. I don't think it's as good as his first, but still a solid listen.

Justin Townes Earle and Brakes also have quality releases out.