I hear a lotta Americana music, courtesy of the massive new release archives over at Hickorywind.org (plug, plug) but my list this year is five, not ten. And only one of these is in the formal archives, the others are just edgy brilliant Americana singer/songwriters out there gigging on a shoestring, being for the most part ignored by the AMA until they can find a big enough investor.
Vinnie James - Songs for the Long Journey - recorded in a British policeman's garage in Glasgow, Scotland, featuring among other things a stellar bit of piping by a member of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.
Mat d. and the Profane Saints - Gasoline Rattle - Released in a bar called Sweet Fanny's, whose crowd would eat most of the Americana posers out there today alive. Some of these tunes are currently among the best rated on FA's Open Mic, at least until some knuckle-dragging no-talent damns them with faint ratings to move their own, lesser tunes up the list.
Dave Insley's Careless Smokers - Here With You Tonight - former farmer,whitewater rafter, and first-ascent mountain climber Dave has now moved to Austin and gotten serious. See y'all at the Yucca Tap Room next time you pass thru, and you know it will be just as crowded as ever.
Mark Elliott - Pickin' Blackberries - OK so this was actually released in 2006, but I didn't get to hear it til 2007. I remember picking guitar with Mark in a Nashville hotel room back in the day...and even then he could write rings around me. Since then regular staff writing with some major labels has honed his craft even more. Good on ya, Mark, nice work!
Buddy Miller - Universal United House of Prayer - Buddy is the official sideman of the AMA, sort of a ubiquitous presence, and this recording proves why. His tune "Worry Too Much" just has it all together. He'll be touring with Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, and Shawn Colvin early next year. That should be one show to see.
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