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The Best of 2017

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 9:39 PM Comments comments (310)

For the first time in the 21 year history of the Cosmic Cowboy Cafe I found it impossible to separate two albums for the #1 spot so this year I have declared a tie:
= #1 Across The Wide - "Records And Bottles"
= #1 The Reeves Brothers "King Of County Music"
Both these albums are independent releases with outstanding original songs, great vocal , playing and production.
Real country music is alive and well if you know where to look.
In this case Georgia and Nevada.
This is the second release for both groups and their first ones were equally as impressive.

I really don't know how to rank the other albums that make up my Top 10, so I'll list them alphabetically by artist:
* Johnny Bush - The Absolute Johnny Bush
Still at the top of his game at 82
* Darci Carlson - Darci Carlson
Why isn't she huge ? Ameripolitan Music Awards Outlaw Female 2017
Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts Shovel Full of Coal
Hard driving rocking country. Nominees in 2018 Ameripolitan Music Awards in Outlaw Group Category
Ags Connolly - Nothin' Unexpected
A bloody Pom taking coals to Newcastle
Billie Gant - On And On
One of the original "outlaw" greats showing the younguns how it's done
Emily Herring - Gliding
The long awaited follow up to her 2013 "Your Mistake"
* Zephaniah OHora - This Highway
A throwback  the 60s Countrypolitan style - in a good way ! He's from NY so go figure.
* Justin Trevino - A Salute To Ray Price & The Cherokee Cowboys
Another fine album from Justin who just exudes authenticity. This is country music as God planned it.
Dale Watson & Ray Benson - Dale And Ray Benson
Exactly what you would expect from from a pairing of these two legends of the Austin music scene.

Other notable releases from that I really enjoyed from 2017:
* Glen Campbell - Adios
A fitting swan song from this music legend.
* Rodney Crowell - Close Ties
His best album in decades. "Life Without Susanna" and "Nashville 1972" worth the price of admission alone.
*Sunny Sweeney - Trophy
Her best album since her brilliant 2006 debut album "Heartbreaker's Hall Of Fame"
* Heybale - Play Me A Cheatin' Song/The Songs Of Wayne Kemp
How can you go wrong ?
* Malpass Brothers - Live At The Paramount Theatre
Merle knew just how good these guys are
* The Don Diego Trio - Greeting From Austin
Sicilian rockabilly cats showing the locals how it's done. Three time nominees in Ameripolitan  Music Awards Rockabilly Group category. 2018 just might be their year
* Tom Russell - Folk Hotel
Every Tom Russell is a gem
* Steve Earle & The Dukes - So You Wannabe An Outlaw
A real return to form for Steve Earle
* Rick Shea & The Losin' End - The Town Where I Live
I've been playing this Californian on the show since we began in 1996.
* Eric Brace / Peter Cooper / Thomm Jutz - Profiles In Courage, Frailty & Discomfort
 Veteran duet partners Eric and Peter are  joined by master guitarist, writer and producer Thomm to create something greater than the equal of its parts.
* Cash O'Riley - Stewed & Screwed Hillbilly Blues - Music For Sirens & Sinners
One man band and two time Ameripolitan Music Awards Outlaws Male nominee comes ups with the best album of his career.

The Best of 2015

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 8:34 PM Comments comments (302)
I surely must be the the world's worst blogger. One post a year is pretty pathetic. Note to self: blog more in 2016.

Anyway it's that time of year again - time to make  list of my favourite releases of the past year. For the last two shows Tom the Teacher (ret.) and I have played tracks from our favourites release of 2015 on our  8th Annual Review of the Year That  Was Parts 1 & 2 shows. 

Tom introduced me to some artists I was unaware and whose music I will investigate further and here are his pick of the year:

 Top 10 2015 - Tom the Teacher (ret.) 
 1. Willie Nelson / Merle Haggard - Django & Jimmie 
 2. Dale Watson - Call Me Insane 
 3. Chris Stapleton - Traveler
 4. Wade Davis - 15 Years in A 10 Year Town
 5. Sarah Gayle Meech - Tennessee Love Song
 6. Billy Dee  - For Sale
 7. Max Stalling - Banquet
 8. Chuck Hawthorne - Silver Line
 9. Don Henley - Cass County
10. Amanda Cevallos - Got Me Where You Want Me

Cosmic Cowboy Cafe Album Of The Year 2015
Chuck Hawthorne - Silver Line
Charlie Roth sent me a video of  the song "Post 2 Gate" written in the basement of one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in Baghdad by a marine with 22 yrs service who gave up his gun for a guitar. A chance meeting with Ray Bonneville at an airport led him to produce Chuck Hawthorne's debut album and bring Gurl Morlix and Eliza Gilkyson to the record.

 #2 Sarah Gayle Meech - Tennessee Love Song
 #3 Amanda Cevallos - Got Me Where You Want Me
These are the albums that I probably played the most during the year, both by "Outlaw" gals. Sarah Gayle was the 2015 Ameripolitan Music Awards Best Female Outlaw and Amanda was unlucky not have been nominated  that category in the 
2016 awards.

And of course Dale Watson - Call Me Insane. Just another superb set of songs like we come to  expect from Mr Ameripolitan. The quality and consistency of his musical output  is staggering, not to mention his great stage performances.

2015 was  good year for singer-songwriters, apart from Chuck Hawthorne, The Two Toms, Pacheco and Russell gave us The Rose Of Roscrae and Boomtown respectively. These guys never disappoint. And Minnesotan Charlie Roth delivered another gem with Oh My Stars.

2015 was also the year of the tribute album:
Peter Cooper - Depot Light (Eric Taylor)
The Rizdales - Blue Ain't The Word (Ray Price)
Brennen Leigh - Sings Lefty Frizzle
Asleep At The Wheel - Still The King (Bob Wills)

We had some great kickers country from:
Dallas Moore (Band) - Dark Horse Rider
Whitey Morgan & The 78's - Sonic Ranch
Truckstop Troubadours - Untie The Horses

Honky Tonk music was well served by Billy Dee's long awaited For Sale sign.
Justin Trevino gave us Sings Johnny Bush and Live At The London Dance Hall

 I also really liked Nouveaux Honkies' release Blues For Country for the variety of songs on it and its sheer listenability.

So there you have it - the list of the Best Of 2015 when you're not having a list !

Of course there was so much more great music from 2015 that I haven't listed here.