STOCKI SURMISES THE DUP ADJOURNING HAASS TALKS TO KEEP THE SABBATH
CITY'S PREMIERSHIP TO LOSE (& WHAT OF ALL THE OTHERS?) - A MID SEASON SOCCER SURMISE

STOCKI'S RECORDS OF THE YEAR 2013 - # 11 - 20

Best of 2013

(Please note that these are my favourite records of the year. This is a very subjective list but I am hoping that Soul Surmise readers will know that quality is always high on my list of subjective qualities. Ask me what the best 5 records of the year were and they might be close to this if not in the exact order!)

20. SAM PHILLIPS – PUSH ANY BUTTON

I had relegated Ms Phillips to the law of diminishing returns bin but I was glad that I fell upon her 2013 release. With her gentle Tom Waitsian percussion and eccentricity this as accessible as she has been in a while.

19. PATTI GRIFFIN – AMERICAN KID

Griffin is a quality act and her alliance artistically and it would seem romantically with Robert Plant hasn’t done her profile any harm. This sounded great on Later... With Jools. A wonderful pastoral album of catharsis

read Stocki's full review of American Kid here...

18. ARCADE FIRE – REFLEKTOR

I am an Arcade Fire admirer more than a fan and this does sounds like Scissor Sisters that I hate but somehow I enjoyed it.

17. MARTYN JOSEPH – TIRES RUSHING BY IN THE RAIN

The Cardiff Devil has been covering Bruce Springsteen for years. I shared a Greenbelt seminar with Martyn and Paul Chambers on Bruce back in the day and have versions of Thunder Road and Ghost of Tom Joad that Martyn did live on my radio show. The stripped back perspective threw new light on some of these.

read Stocki's full review of Rushing By In The Rain here...

read Stocki's short interview with Martyn about the album here

16. ERIC BIBB – JERICHO ROAD

I made a bad decision not to go see Bibb in the Queens Festival for a scandalously cheap £14. My good friend and Zumba guru Lorna McIlwaine kindly got me a signed copy of this. Spiritual, soulful, thinking person’s blues.

15. JOSEPH ARTHUR – BALLAD OF THE BOOGIE CHRIST ACT 1

I love this man. More lyrical seeking and spiritual surmising that heads off in Arthur’s imaginative head.

read Stocki's full review of Ballad of the Boogie Christ Act 1 here...

read about Stocki's meeting with Joseph Arthur in 2001 here...

14. RICKY ROSS – TROUBLE CAME LOOKING

Ricky Ross’s look at life in the recession is a different beast than Deacon Blue’s brilliant Hipsters from last year. Sparse and socially direct.

Read Stocki's full review of Trouble Came Looking here...

13. MAVIS STAPLES – ONE TRUE VINE

I am loving Mavis Staples musical relationship with Jeff Tweedy. Gospel music contemporised with Americana. A Low song about the Holy Ghost for goodness sake! A Tweedy original called Jesus Wept. And enough old Gospel to have you rehearsed for the heavenly dance!

read Stocki's review of One True Vine here...

12. SAM HILL JR – COWBOYS AND MOONBEAMS

My good friend and sometimes co-writer Sam Hill finally gave the public some of his genius this year. What a treat. Late night early morning musings on family and faith. Deeply personal... socially vital! A beaut!

read Stocki's full review of Cowboys and Moonbeams here...

11. VAMPIRE WEEKEND – VAMPIRES OF THE MODERN CITY

These boys give that African township rhythm to the beat of the big city issues. There’s a lot of God haunting on this one.

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