As I attempted to put my favourite albums of the year in order I realised what a great year it has been for albums. I had to leave out Nadia Reid, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kevin Max, Elbow and Fionn Regan among others! We begin the countdown here...
40 LAURA MARLING - SEMPER FEMINA
Marling can write a song and this might be the album that most connected with my tastes.
39 NA LEANAI SANDS - BRANCHING OUT
The children of the Sands songwriting dynasty of South Down, they are The Corrs with depth and soul. Worth a placing just for their cover of Mike Scott’s Bring Em All In.
38. JOHN MORELAND - BIG BAD LUV
Treading the same terrain as Jason Isbell this was a late discovery through the exquisite taste of my colleague Paul Bowman. Looking forward to exploring more of this guy.
37. JEFF TWEEDY - TOGETHER AT LAST
Tweedy does his Wilco hits acoustic.
36. LUKE SITAL SINGH - TIME IS A RIDDLE
Singh headed to Donegal to unwrap this next collection of his gifted songs.
35. THE LONE BELLOW - WALK INTO A STORM
I missed these guys until 2017. How? Described by No Depression magazine as Country Soul, it is at the most accessible end of Americana for sure!
34. BRUCE COCKBURN - BONE ON BONE
Not my favourite Cockburn record but there are a few gems as always, 40 Years In The Wilderness and Jesus Train are favourites.
33. BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA - ALMOST HOME
The Blind Boys on the Gospel side as they head towards the other shore. Gospel Blues at its very best.
32. YVONNE LYON - METANOIA
Yvonne is becoming on of the UK’s best writers and this is another album of quality and depth.
31. DAVID CROSBY - SKY TRAILS
The meandering blues instrumentation of Sky Trails made it less immediate to me than his Croz record a few years ago but his cover of Joni Mitchell’’s Amelia is beaut!