1. Ron Sexsmith – Long Player, Late Bloomer
“(producer Rob) Rock hasn’t lost anything of the traditional Sexsmith but has brought a punchy, sharp jangly guitar sound and it functions as little spiked pedestals for Sexsmith’s words to sit upon giving them more elevation so that they get heard.” – Soul Surmise Review
2. Over The Rhine – The Long Surrender
Joe Henry’s (# 23!) production gave Linford and Karin their perfect rustic furniture to welcome us into their snug hearth of poetic spiritual wisdom. Another refuge to drop into as we journey.
3. Snow Patrol – Fallen Empires
The experimentation of A Hunded Million Suns and the more radio friendly sounds of Eyes Open marry to be a very wonderful Irish rock thang.
4 Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What?
Simon is still doing the business at 70. Still seeking out new rhythms and sounds to thread his lyrics through. Drenched in the spiritual pleased this theo-musicologist!
5 Eric Angus Whyte – Luddite Sons
I watched this album come to into the world over 2011 and when it was completed with Stephen Fearing at the production controls it came out beaut! Eric’s songs are becoming so strong and the finger picking guitar joys... oh!
6. Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
A happy accident bumping into teacher and part time rock critic Ross Thompson at an exam my daughter had to endure led me to ask what I should get into. Dawes he said! So right. Think Jackson Browne as lead vocalist of The Band! Produced by Jonathan Wilson at #21!
7. Gavin Friday – Catholic
“It is simply a beautiful listen with its hushed and sacred elegant melancholy and then elegiac catharsis.” Soul Surmise Review
8. (Ahk-Toong Bay-bi) Covered
What? A magazine cover CD worth buying! So worth buying they made it available commercially. U2’s Achtung Baby covered by Snow Patrol, Patti Smith, Gavin Friday, Jack White, The Killers and more...
9. Denison Witmer – The Ones Who Wait
Always love Denison Witmer and on this one he reflects on his father’s death with beautiful songs of lament, catharsis and healing.
10 Yvonne Lyons – More Than Mine
Yvonne’s Ladies of Laurel Canyon album when she took off the guitar and made a beautiful piano record. At times pure pop, at times haunting Celtic and at times Scottish folk... all times of the most excellent quality!
11. Burning Codes – Rivers Of Hope
Paul Archer engages the help of members Snow Patrol, Athlete and his brother Iain to make an album of hypnotic beauty and spiritual serenity... at times rocked up serenity... but serenity just the same. Nothing else on earth sounds like this!
12. The Waterboys – An Appointment With Mr. Yeats
Taking on Yeats’ poetry could have been cumbersome but Scott et al took it on and turned some of the Irish bards words into veritable pop songs!
13. Bruce Cockburn – Small Source Of Comfort
A long time since we had a classic Cockburn record but there were enough turns of phrases, spiritual and cultural wisdom and guitar flourishes on this one to ease the wait!
14. Tom Waits - Bad As Me
A more ear friendly collection from Tom saw many great lines, many outrageously funny ones and a general reminder of Calvinistic theology in humanity’s quirks and foibles!
15. Christy Moore – Folk Tales
As always Christy puts Ireland to right as he trawls through our history and current day. He also makes us lol and quietens our souls in pastoral places.