1. “American Band” by Drive-by Truckers
“American Band” is the best album in the Truckers history. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Every song has something to say, and I hope America is listening. This is not only the album of the year, it’s the album of a career.
2. “Blue & Lonesome” by The Rolling Stones
Anyone who knows the Stones knows they were conceived as a blues band. It took more than 50 years, but they finally have put out the album they have always wanted to. It feels right, there’s something comfortable about it. Who would have thought that songs that are over 50 years old would be the key ingredient to make the Stones sound fresh and new again.
3. “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” by Sturgill Simpson
A nearly complete departure from his previous albums, this ode to his newly born son shows Sturgill spreading his wings beyond the pigeonhole of country, outlaw americana. This one grew on me more and more with each listen. Deserving of the Grammy nod he just received.
4. “Like An Arrow” by Blackberry Smoke
“Like and Arrow” is the album I’ve wanted Blackberry Smoke to make for years. It finally captures the energy we see them display live on stage. It’s fun, well written, and diverse.
5. “Southern Family”
This Dave Cobb compilation was one of the most anticipated of 2016, and it lived up to the hype. Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson, Shooter Jennings, Zac Brown, Anderson East, Miranda Lambert and many others leant original tracks to create an album that paints the picture of the south unlike any other album ever has. It made me proud of this area we call home.
6. “Full Circle” by Loretta Lynn
There’s something special here… An intangible “it” factor. There’s something timeless about Loretta. This album elicits a lot of emotion. It made me stop what I was doing and just sit and listen. It commanded my full attention.
7. “Blackstar” by David Bowie
Bowie is the jack of all trades and master of them all. This album is introspective and mysterious. It requires multiple listens and an open mind. But let it be said, Bowie is a genius and we are better off for having had him as a part of music history. His loss is immeasurable.
8. “The Weight of These Wings” by Miranda Lambert
Miranda calls on americana sounds on this album. It obvious she has been listening to Sturgill, Stapleton, and others. I feel this is a step towards the mainstream accepting a purer form of country music. Miranda is the real deal, she’s as sincere as possible and this album is truly fantastic.
9. “Mud” by Whiskey Myers
I got to preview several tracks from “Mud” live this year at The Shed. Their performance really built up anticipation to hear the full album; they delivered. These guys could be the next Blackberry Smoke.
10. “Weezer” by Weezer
Call it nostalgia or whatever you want, but this album is just great. It shows that Rivers and the guys have not lost a step.
- “You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen
- “Hero” by Maren Morris
- “2” by Mudcrutch
- “Stranger to Stranger” by Paul Simon
- “Wonderful Crazy Night” by Elton John
- “Moon Shaped Pool” by Radiohead
- “Revolution Radio” by Green Day
- “The Getaway” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
- “Earth” by Neil Young
- “Kentucky” by Black Stone Cherry