Jamband News Top 10 Albums of 2011 by Bill Whiting
It’s that time of year again. Time to count down with the year’s best of lists. Fortunately, this has been a good year for recordings, so here we go…..
10. Warren Haynes, Man in Motion Stax– I listened to this one on several road trips, going from festival to concert, and it never got old. Rock, gospel, jam, soul and blues combine for a top notch combination as done by the hardest working man in the business, Warren Haynes.
9. Hot Tuna, Steady As She Goes, Red House– Hot Tuna gets back to basics with winning results. Kaukonen and Casady at their very best make this one a must own.
8. Amos Lee, Mission Bell Blue Note Records– Amos Lee opens up his songwriting talent on radio friendly tracks like “Windows Are Rolled Down” and “El Camino.” A Keeper.
7. Lucinda Williams, Blessed Lost Highway– Lucinda Williams sets the standard once again with brilliant compositional depth on rewarding numbers such as “Buttercup,” “Born to Be Loved,” and “Kiss Like Your Kiss.” One of the best albums of this and/or any year.
6. Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Del McCoury Band, American Legacies MCCOURY Music– This is a once in a lifetime collaboration hybrid that is simply stunning to sit and listen to. Highly recommended.
5. The Joy Formidable, The Big Roar Atlantic– The sleeper hit of the year, it gets better over time. Pounding big rock melodies and hooks that grab and take hold of the imagination. Songs like “Whirring,” “A Heavy Abacus” and “Austere” foretell a bright future for this young band.
4. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Revelator Sony Legacy– Soul, Gospel and Blues collide into one big happy family on “Midnight in Harlem” and “Love Has Something Else To Say.” And, the rest of the world is better because of it.
3. My Morning Jacket, Circuital ATO Records/Red– Louisville, KY’s finest serve up tasty helpings of the year’s finest ear candy on the memorable rock and rhythm laced monsters “Victory Dance,” “Wonderful” and “Holdin’ On to Black Metal.” ‘Nuff Said.
2. Wilco, The Whole Love Anti– Probably the most efficient statement Jeff Tweedy has produced in some time, and likely the most accessible and universal. A true high point for the group and an uncommonly influential disc for aspiring composers and musicians alike.
1. Over The Rhine, The Long Surrender Great Speckled Dog– The masterpiece of the year. Elegant, sleek and sensual, this recording is pieced together with great care and brings out the best performances of the year from Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler on the shining gems, “Undamned (with Lucinda Williams),” “Rave On,” and “All My Favorite People.” 2011’s crown jewel.