The Shed’s Top Albums of 2019

2019 was an incredible year for music. We had more trouble narrowing down this list than ever before, and for the first time ever, we almost didn’t publish a list because of how difficult it was! But, with our breath held, here are The Shed’s Top Ten Albums of 2019.

 

10. “Western Stars” by Bruce Springsteen
At his age, no one would fault Bruce Springsteen for playing it safe and sticking with the E Street Band for legacy tours and promoting album rereleases. But that’s not The Boss’ style. On ‘Western Stars,’ Springsteen sheds his signature sound in for something that’s a cross between Frank Sinatra and Glen Campbell. And as crazy as that sounds… it works. The writing is crystal clear with beautiful imagery and strong emotion; and while the accompanying film didn’t teach die hard fans anything they didn’t already know, it reaffirmed our absolute love for The Boss.

 

9. “Solid Gold Sounds” by Kendell Marvel
Kendell Marvel’s second album hits the mark in a completely different way his first album did. Less loud guitar and more honky tonk twang, Kendell Marvel wears his influences on his sleeves as he continues to carve out a real legacy for himself in country music, not only as a writer, but as an artist.

 

8. “After the Fire” & “The Waiting” by Cody Jinks
Two albums released a week apart is an impressive feat for any artist, both of them holding numbers 1 and 2 on the charts is even more incredible. Cody Jinks continues to stick to the outskirts of country music and in an increasingly crowded field, he has fought his way up to the front of the pack as the top “indie country” act in the US. These two albums build on the work of such artists that came before him like Jamey Johnson and Merle Haggard by taking a modern approach to the “Outlaw” movement. The approach connected in the most broad manner of Jinks’ career.

 

7. “Old News” by The Steel Woods
Released early in 2019, ‘Old News’ was anything but old. The Steel Woods used the album to cement themselves as bon-a-fide headliners in 2019. ‘Old News’ allowed the guys to step out of the shadows of larger acts and onto the stage as the main attraction. The songs connect deeper than anything they have ever released and elevated their live show to a staggering new level. Southern rock, meet your new principle purveyors.

 

6. “Country Squire” by Tyler Childers
Tyler Childers had big expectations to live up to and his second album delivered on most all fronts. ‘Country Squire’ leaned into his americana and country roots and made Tyler one of the most in demand artists in some time. He has plans to tour with producer Sturgill Simpson in 2020, as far as after that… we all wait on pins and needles.

 

5. “Sound & Fury” by Sturgill Simpson
If you’re looking to pin point Sturgill Simpson down, good luck. Country? Well, that’s what he used to be and what his voice most lends itself to. Rock and Roll? Maybe, he can shred. Psychedelic? Definitely an argument for it considering his affinity for drugs and the images he paints. But ‘Sound and Fury’ is best left without a genre specification. It’s gloriously weird and its accompanying Netflix Anime film just adds to the awesome strangeness of it all. The distortion of the record is paired well with the in your face attitude of the lyrics. To be frank, Sturgill comes off like an asshole in some of it. But at the same time, you definitely understand where he is coming from. The record is one that takes multiple listens to connect to, and many absolutely hate it. But we get it. ‘Sound and Fury’ is the most perplexing record of the year. And we can’t stop listening to it.

 

4. “Almost Daylight” by Chris Knight
In what was a completely startling turn of events (but really shouldn’t have been), Americana’s most underrated songwriter released a record that surpassed everyone’s expectations. Produced by Steve Earle producer Ray Kennedy, ‘Almost Daylight’ embraces the dark that Chris seems to frequently find himself in and somehow turns it into a magical, meaningful collection of lyrics that bring every day experiences to light in a brand new way. And what’s perhaps even more staggering, the record’s vocals sound great! It’s been no secret that Chris’ live shows are hit or miss concerning the quality of his voice, but make no mistake here, this record is a huge hit.

 

3. “What It Is” by Hayes Carll
Critically acclaimed and absolutely timely, ‘What it Is’ returns Hayes Carll to the forefront for the first time since ‘KMAG YOYO.’ Not afraid of alienation or side effects, Hayes addresses the issues he sees in modern day head on and doesn’t back down when asked about them. This is his record, he’s going to say what he wants to say. And in true Texas fashion, he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. But luckily, we all think it’s pristine.

 

2. “Whiskey Myers” by Whiskey Myers
Whiskey Myers embraced their live show on this new record and the result was pure fun. The new, rocking approach seems to have pushed the band to higher heights than ever before, including making this album number 1. If you love seeing Whiskey Myers in concert, then this is the record for you. It captures the magic they have on stage in a fantastic way that their previous albums just couldn’t seem to do. It’s appropriate that it is self titled, because it is the perfect representation of who they are. It’s the best album of their career.

 

1. “The Highwomen” by The Highwomen
Made of a true super women (Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby, and mega star Maren Morris), The Highwomen came on strong with a ton of hype and press. The assumption for many is there is no way the album can live up to all this commotion. And then it did. Easily accessible for lovers of all types of music, The Highwomen brought female representation in country music to the front page and made it an issue that everyone wanted to address. From country radio to the CMAs, the surge in female talent and recognition of female legacy in late 2019 can be attributed to this album fully delivering the goods. And in what is the mark of a great album, everyone personally connects to a different song when they listen to the record. It is so well written and so relatable that there is no doubt it is the best record of 2019.

 

 

Honorable Mentions
“While I’m Livin'” by Tanya Tucker
“Cash Cabin Sessions Volume 3” by Todd Snider
“Closer than Together” by The Avett Brothers
“Daylight” by Grace Potter
“Wildcard” by Miranda Lambert
“Home” by Billy Strings
“Live the Love Beautiful” by Drivin’ N Cryin”
“The Saint of Lost Causes” by Justin Townes Earle
“What You See Is What You Get” by Luke Combs
“Colorado” by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
“Full Circle and Then Some” by Trigger Hippy

Notable Compilations
“Live at The Ryman” by Old Crow Medicine Show
“Live at Ramblin’ Man Fair” by The Kentucky Headhunters
“Originals” by Prince
“Homecoming: Live in Atlanta” by Blackberry Smoke

The Shed’s Top Albums of 2018

Every year, we compile a list of the best records released both nationally and locally. 2018 was tough to pinpoint, but here are this year’s best outings!

Top Albums of 2018

  1. “Interstate Gospel” by The Pistol Annies

    A return to form for the all female country super group that can’t seem to do any wrong. Half tongue and cheek honky tonk, half modern country radio rebellion, “Interstate Gospel” roots itself in genre bending sounds and relatable lyrics to connect with an audience broader than mainstream country could ever imagine. Can Miranda just stay here, please?
  1. “Under New Management” by Brian Paddock

    Formerly known as Shimmy from Shimmy & The Burns, Brian Paddock’s solo debut resonates even without knowing his back story. Then you find out he’s a cancer survivor, he had the year from hell on top of that, and he still managed to make an incredible record! But this record isn’t good out of pity, word is most of it was written prior to the woes, it’s good because it’s real and honest. No cheap thrills, no parlor tricks, straight forward and real. Nice to hear that from a local musician who’s trying to make it without compromising himself.
  1. “Loversity” by Sam Lewis

    Sam Lewis fans from the beginning have been asking for this sound for years, and we finally got it. Full band, southern soul, and timely lyrics prove to be a triple punch of success for “Loversity.” While the name may raise an eyebrow, the content is groove oriented, thought provoking, and undeniably easy to listen to over and over. Sam Lewis is slowly creeping his way out of the shadow of a support act and toward the spotlight of a headliner.
  1. “Girl Going Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde

    Ashley McBryde has been a mainstay underground performer/writer in Nashville for years, until 2016 when Eric Church fell in love with her music. Now her first major release is one of the most talked about records of the year. Thanks to attention from big stars like Garth Brooks covering her title track and the lead single having mainstream country success, look for McBryde to have a breakout year in 2019. Currently out supporting Luke Combs, she is poised to overshadow anyone she steps on the stage with.
  1. “The Tree of Forgiveness” by John Prine

    It’s been well over a decade since Prine has released an album full of new material. Like a fine wine, Prine has only grown better with age. Do no wrong super producer Dave Cobb lends his hand to this effort, but honestly, the rawness of the record would lend you to believe Prine was sitting alone in his closet recording the mostly acoustic album. Solemn and full of plenty of breathing room, “The Tree of Forgiveness” doesn’t shove any of its themes down your throat, but instead takes a Dylan-esque approach of letting you have the choice to embrace their subtlety.
  1. “We’re All The Same” by Handsome & The Humbles

    Perhaps the most timely and relevant album on the list, local favorites Handsome & The Humbles do not disappoint on their sophomore effort. Relatable lyrics and characters seems to come second nature for the group on this record as they paint pictures that any retrospective or introspective individual can find familiarity in. By the way, that’s all of us at some point in our lives, I think that’s the point based on it’s title- it’s definitely what makes this record so great.
  1. “By the Way, I Forgive You” by Brandi Carlile

    Dave Cobb teamed with Shooter Jennings to produce this critically acclaimed record. Poignantly dark in some spots, Carlile’s sixth record almost requires a sense of urgency when listening to it. The stories are all connected to a bigger picture that shows that sometimes being human is just plain rough. This record was a risk, a lay it all on the line, throw it all out there effort that could have easily backfired, but it didn’t. It is Carlile’s masterpiece.
  1. “Find a Light” by Blackberry Smoke

    Sometimes satisfying expectations is difficult for artists; BBS make it look easy. Soaked with confidence, “Find a Light” is made for the stage. The album is strong as is, but it is reinforced with heavyweight guests like Robert Randolph, The Wood Brothers, & Amanda Shires. They each add to what has become natural for BBS- strong, well performing albums meant to be played live. And the songs resonate best when heard from the stage, as displayed at The Shed multiple times. While there’s nothing really groundbreaking here, expectations are satisfied and the lyrics all connect to the theme of the need to “Find a Light” in even the darkest of situations.
    And let’s face it guys, music is supposed to be fun. A lot of artists forget that…
  1. “Things Change” by American Aquarium

    2015’s “Wolves” was acclaimed as American Aquarium’s best record yet by many, including us, but now it has real competition. “Things Change” isn’t subtle in its message; it leaves no room to interpret the opinions of the writer. It is a straight forward and well spoken commentary on the world around us(and not just politics). And it’s damn good. In fact, BJ Barham and the guys’ songwriting has never been better. That’s high praise for a group known for its pen more than anything else. And it’s deserved.

1. “Golden Hour” by Kacey Musgraves

Sometimes the masses get it right. CMA’s and Apple Music’s album of the year is also nominated for the Grammy’s album of the year award, and for good reason- it’s a classic. Beautiful in every way and poised to be her career defining effort, Musgrave’s latest record shines light on a year where darkness is more easily found. “Golden Hour” is the silver lining in mainstream’s current direction.

 

Honorable Mentions-
“Family Tree” by Black Stone Cherry
“Anthem of the Peaceful Army” by Greta Van Fleet
“Boarding House Reach” by Jack White
“Encore” by Anderson East
“Venom & Faith” by Larkin Poe
“Down the Road Wherever” by Mark Knopfler
“Good Thing” by Leon Bridges
“Wouldn’t It Be Great” by Loretta Lynn

Spotlight Compilations-
“Confessin’ the Blues”
“Springsteen on Broadway” by Bruce Springsteen
“Glastonbury 2000” by David Bowie

Upcoming releases we’re watching for 2019-
“Old News” by The Steel Woods
Whiskey Myers Untitled new album

The Shed added to Tennessee Music Pathways

The Shed Smokehouse and Juke Joint is proud to announce it’s inclusion in The State of Tennessee’s Tourism Board’s Tennessee Music Pathways!

Tennessee is the soundtrack to America and The Shed is now a direct part of the state’s historic Music Pathway.

The Shed will now take it’s place alongside Sun Studios and Graceland in Memphis, The Ryman and Grand Ol’ Opry in Nashville, The Birthplace of Country Music in Bristol, Bonnaroo, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, and so many other prestigious music locations in the state of Tennessee.

We at The Shed are honored to be in such company and are thrilled to accept this inclusion.

To learn more about the Tennessee Music Pathways, check out https://www.tnvacation.com/tennessee-music-pathways#

And to see The Shed’s brand new page promoting it’s inclusion, visit https://www.tnvacation.com/local/maryville-shed-smokehouse-juke-joint-0

 

 

And now a message from John Michael Montgomery

You heard the man! Get your tickets now by clicking here!

 

Valor Fights 49: Preview

The Valor Hour took time to preview the full match card for FIGHT NIGHT at The Shed coming up on 4/20! Check out the podcast at the link below! The full description is just below it!
http://radioinfluence.com/2018/04/19/valor-hour-valor-fights-49-preview/

It’s fight week for Valor Fights as Valor Fight 49: Fight Night at The Shed will take place on Friday night (streamed on FloCombat) and Tim Loy and Casey Oxendine are joined by the picks panel to preview the entire fight card.

Now before the complete picks panel joins this week’s podcast, Tim and Casey start off the podcast with the weekly Q&A segment as Tim answers listener submitted questions.

Then it’s on to the interview portion of the podcast as they chat with Megan Poe, Morgan Hickam, and Josh Formont. Up first is Poe (6:35), who will be facing Christina Ricker in the main event of Friday’s fight card. Then they are joined by Hickam (11:19) to preview her matchup against Wenona Daniel at Valor Fights 49 and in the final interview, they chat with Formont (20:56), the Entertainment Director at The Shed about Friday’s fight card.

Up next is the main event of this week’s podcast, the official preview of Friday’s Valor Fights 49: Fight Night at The Shed. This portion of the podcast is presented by TN Top Roller and Tim and Casey are joined by the picks panel (Jeff Hobbs, Sawyer Rich, Billy Swanson, Mark Laws, and Allan Poole) to preview the fight card. Listen to find out who the picks panel picks for Valor Fights 49: Fight Night at The Shed and if you are not in the Maryville, Tennessee area, you can watch the fight card on FloCombat.

Thanks for listening and we would appreciate if you would like, and share the podcast with your friends.

 

Tickets are still available for the MMA event! Get them by clicking here!

Top Albums of 2017

Every year, The Shed counts down the Top 10 albums, this year was especially hard. Here is what we came up with-

10. “Undivided Heart & Soul” by JD McPherson

Mcpherson pushes boundaries of genre more than ever before with this release. No longer bound to roots or rockabilly music, yet still steeped in it, the album boldly steps out of the box to capture your ears in a way no prior release in his catalog has. “Undivided Heart & Soul” stands out as his best release yet.


9. “Ladies Auxiliary” by Scott Miller

One of the area’s most anticipated releases did not disappoint. More folky and introspective than any Miller record before, “Ladies Auxiliary” is the perfect next step in Scott Miller’s career. Whether it is his last or not, the record will stand out in his catalog for its deep writing and musical prowess. The praise this album received both locally and nationally is well deserved.

8. “The Magpie Salute” by The Magpie Salute

From the ashes of the Black Crowes, the strangly named Magpie Salute formed and started absolutely killing it in front of live audiences. The record doesn’t disappoint, appealing to groove rock, grunge, and classic rock fans all at once. We expect great things out of these guys.

7. “Black Smoke Rising” by Greta Van Fleet

I didn’t know music like this was still being made! This ep came out of nowhere! If this is a preview of things to come, we are in for a rock revival unlike anything anyone has ever seen.

6. “Highway Queen” by Nikki Lane

Lane, who will be performing at The Shed on January 19th, continues to show her growth with this impressive outing. The story telling is at a level of greatness rarely seen, full of western attitude and sopping with feminine power. This best way to experience these songs is to hear them live. *Hint hint, wink wink.

5. “Vanishing South” by Mic Harrison & The High Score

We always try to include a worthy local release on the countdown, and Mic Harrison is fully deserving. “Vanishing South” is the High Score’s best record… ever. Not that it’s surprising, these guys have been doing something special in Knoxville for years. They performed the record in full at The Shed earlier this year and it was a fantastic experience. Every song is just that good.

4. “All American Made” by Margo Price

Price’s sophomore album did not suffer from the success of her debut. Full of traditional sounds and humor, the music is proudly progressive. Following in the steps of Dolly and Loretta, Margo stands up for women in country music in a way that everyone should be proud of. This is the record 2017 needed.

3. “Purgatory” by Tyler Childers

The surprise newcomer of the year. Produced by Sturgill Simpson, this record mixes psychedelic elements with bluegrass in a shockingly enjoyable way. There is really no way to describe all the different things this album employees to make it special, you just have to listen to it.

2. “From a Room Volumes 1 & 2” by Chris Stapleton

Separated by months, these two volumes are included together because they basically are an old school double album. Marketing strategies split the 18 songs into a double release to maximize press, sales, and coverage for Stapleton; and I don’t blame him for trying to increase the buzz. He deserves it. But none of that takes away from the content. The songs are exactly what you want out of a Stapleton record- meaningful, poignant, and fun. No one is doing straight country music better than Chris Stapleton right now.

1. “The Nashville Sound” by Jason Isbell

In the current social climate, nothing was more perfect than Isbell’s “The Nashville Sound.” The 400 Unit returned to back Isbell and the record is his most timely of his entire career. The writing, both lyrically and musically, is the best it’s ever been. Isbell reached a new level of social awareness than he ever has before with this record.  Absolutely great front to back

Honorable Mentions
“Tell the Devil I’m Getting There As Fast As I Can” by Ray Wylie Hubbard
“First Cigarette” by Travis Meadows
“Graveyard Whistling” by the Old 97’s
“A Long Way from Your Heart” by The Turnpike Troubadours
“Southern Blood” by Greg Allman
“Back to Blues” by Black Stone Cherry

Top Albums of 2016

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.

The Top Ten Shed Shows of 2015

With 2015 in the books, it’s time for The Shed to look back on the year and rank the best concerts! Check out the list below and then tell us your thoughts on Facebook! 10. Unknown Hinson with Texas Tony & The Tornado Ramblers  The 400 year old hillbilly vampire himself kicks off our list. […]

The Shed’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

10. Eric Church “Mr. Misunderstood” Now some may be surprised to see The Shed mentioning an artist with such mainstream exposure in modern country radio as Eric Church, but this guy is one of us. The album is brand new and well worth a listen. With mentions of Ray Wylie Hubbard, Elvis Costello, and Jeff […]

Shed Chat 2- Sold Out

It was surreal to a lot of us. SOLD OUT. The Shed has never had a sold out show. 11 years of Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, and now we have an official sell out. Proud was an understatement. But let’s be honest, we didn’t make it happen, you guys did.