Brian Griffith and Doug Jayne's Favorite Albums of 2014

Dec 19, 2014

 Here are Brian Griffith's top ten albums of 2014

Beck, Morning Phase

Lake Street Dive, Bad Self Portraits

Nikki Lane, All or Nothin'

Spoon, They Want My Soul

Lydia Loveless, Somewhere Else

Luther Dickinson, Rock N Roll Blues

Jenny Lewis, The Voyager

John Fullbright, Songs

Pieta Brown, Paradise Outlaw

The Mastersons, Good Luck Charm

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Here are Doug Jayne's top ten albums of the year, presented in chronological order:

Rosanne Cash: The River & the Thread 1/14/2014. Tracing her roots through the American South, Rosanne paints beautiful visions with her songs. John Leventhal, her guitarist, husband and producer finally nails the proper vibe for Rosanne; I didn't care for the sound of her last album, "The List"  (picky, picky!) The River & the Thread  breathes and flows like the river.

  Hurray For The Riff Raff: Small Town Heroes 2/11/2014. Singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra is Hurray For The Riff Raff. Born in the Bronx, and grew up in New Orleans, her soothing voice has the vibe of Gillian Welch or Eilen Jewell. 12 original Folk-Rock songs, tender production, and good instrumentaion. 

 The War on Drugs: Lost in a Dream 3/18/2014. The 3rd album by the Indie-Rock band from Philadelphia, led by the visionary Adam Granduciel. Adam took well over 2 years (that's a long time in indie-rock years) to write and record this masterpiece. It is an album that I will be listening to for a long time.

  Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing The Songs of Big Bill Broonzy 6/12/2014. Dave and Phil Alvin recording an album together for the first time in 30 years. "We argue sometimes, but we never argue about Big Bill Broonzy,'' says Dave Alvin. 12 songs from the Broonzy Songbook, performed with rockin', rootsy abandon like The Blasters did. 

  Willie Nelson: Band of Brothers 6/17/2014. Willie cranks out a lot of albums, but this one which features mainly originals (first in a long time) is cause for celebration. His marvelous band is all in, and Willie continues to be one of most original singers (I compare him to Nat "King" Cole) of our time.

 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye 7/29/2014. When I first heard this album, I thought it was a decent rock record. It's an album that grew on me, the songs are good (lyrics included) and there's lots of cool things happening in the production. I hear something new every time I play it

  Mike Farris: Shine For All the People 9/16/2014. One of the most soulful singers around today. Southern Gospel meets Stax Records; swingin' Hammond organ, lively songs about salvation and redemption.

Bill Frisell: Guitar in the Space Age 10/7/2014. A loving tribute to the guitar-based music from the '50s and '60s that first inspired Bill to pick up the instrument. Songs by The Kinks, The Byrds, Junior Wells, Dick Dale, The Ventures, The Astronauts, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and others are re-worked. Totally unique interpretations; very satisfying.

  The New Basement Tapes: Lost on the River 11/10/2014. What an awesome thing this is! Bob Dylan found a box of lyics and unfinished songs from 1967-ish (when he was blossoming into "Bob Dylan") and offered them to T Bone Burnett. T Bone decided to create a band to write and record these songs. Members are Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons). He created a studio atmosphere that was homey (like Big Pink) and furnished it with cool instruments (mellotrons!) and the results are a marvel. Take your time and enjoy this very cool project.

  Lucinda Williams: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone 11/21/2014.  20 songs (18 original) on 2 discs. Great guitar from Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz, Tony Joe White; Elvis Costello's rhythm section (Pete Thomas & Davey Farragher) lay down the soulful grooves. This album simmers (including an epic version of JJ Cale's "Magnolia") from start to finish. Rich. Like a yummy, satisfying meal for your ears.