My favourite albums and music from 2010

Added on Thursday 6 Jan 2011

Here are my favourite albums from 2010 - written in response to Harpers list on The Glasgow West End Discussion Forum

  • W C Stoneking - Jungle Blues
  • The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
  • Eels - End times
  • Kurt Wagner and Cortney Tidwell - Invariable Heartache
  • Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues
  • Kris Drever- Mark the Hard Earth
  • Fionn Regan - The End of History (well I only found it this year)

Although not released in 2010 the following list of artists are those I listened to over the last year; I'm surprised how much time I've spent with headphones on (I tend to work while listening to music on headphones):

John Prine - in particular his album of duets, 'In Spite of Ourselves' which is an absolute classic; It may be too country for some though. It entertained us on our trip to Ireland along with Fionn Regan and Steve Earle.

Tom Waits - listened to his Orphans album for a wee while - and revisited his classic 'Swordfishtrombones' recently.

Access to Spotify transformed my ability to find great music - so it's just been one long year of musical discovery.

Was glad to have listened to: Wilco, Lambchop, Calexico, Mark Eitzel, Elliot Smith, Devendra Banhart, Micah P Hinson, Nina Violet, did a chunk of 'Son of Dave' listening at one point, Sufjan Stevens was too good for his own good, Mickey Newbury surprised me with his songwriting and unusual arrangements.

I was cleansed by Charlie Mingus and listening to Bach's Cello suites (which for some reason sit in the same musical space for me), Kilby Snow made a short appearance during the year as did Screaming Jay Hawkins and Cab Calloway, William Elliot Whitmore, The Mississippi Sheiks, Willard Grant Conspiracy - Jacki Brenston, Warren Smith, Clarence Frogman Henry, Billie Holiday and Willie Mabon.

And a host of artists via Bob Dylan's radio show compilations - though not sure which ones came to me that way.

Not forgetting - I consumed doses of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Mose Allison, Redd Foxx, Professor Longhair (of course), Janis Martin, Hank Williams, The Pilgrim Travelers, Memphis Jug Band, Little Maxie Bailey, Johnny Burnette, Vashti Bunyan, The Carter Family (of course), The Broadside Singers, Jim Reeves (yes I did), Oren Lavie, Harry Nilson, Tahiti 80, The New Lost City Ramblers, The Incredible String Band, Andrew Bird, Rufus Wainwright, Bert Jansch, Gram Parsons (big time), Janis Joplin, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Steve Forbert, The Magic Numbers, Teenage Fanclub, Big Star (today), Johnny Cash, Mary K Burke, The Dirt, Ciaran Dorris, Balahulish Hellhounds, Jamie Flett, The Flaming Jets, Chris Barret, Brawth, Dave Acari - and probably more that I didn't bookmark on Spotify.

I forgot to mention all those bands that Jack White plays in - or produces. And I didn't mention Led Zeppelin or The Beatles or The Rolling Stones (I bought the reissue of Exile on Main Street) either - or Eliza Carthy who's gig was a highlight of the year. Or the Secret Sisters, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Swell Season and Nina Simone or the complete works of Robert Johnston and John Lee Hooker - bought for peanuts in Fopp.

Only problem with this list is that you can tell I'm not a 12 year old nor am I keeping up with the hip and cool crowd; I didn't mention - or take time to listen to The National or Robyn or Kings of Leon or Arcade Fire or LCD Soundsystem - nor surprisingly the Saturdays. :-)

I did buy the Gorillaz Album; so not completely a man of yesterday. And there have been some 'Hot Chip' songs I've liked; discovered on the Playlist in Tinderbox.

Phew! Once you get started with this stuff it never stops. It's never been a better time for music consumers. :-)

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