Thank you to Regina’s Leader Post for including my personal top 10 album list of 2013 in their December issue
10. The Ballad of Losing You, Zachary Lucky. Lucky’s voice wanders smooth and is complimented perfectly through the production of all 10 songs. Strong tones, stronger writing.
9. Iron Bison EP, Iron Bison. These hard hitting, rock revival purists are only going to define Regina’s rock scene in the years to come. Every song carries, at the very least, one massive riff and more grooves than a “Learn To Router” workshop.
8. The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1, Zac Brown Band. With the comments expressed about the dire state of country music this year from everybody from Tom Petty to Zac Brown himself (I’ll reserve my own opinion,) Zac and the team took it upon themselves to throw caution to the wind and do whatever the hell they wanted to do. They knocked it out of the park with an invite to have David Grohl drum and produce a four-song EP.
7. … Like Clockwork, Queens of the Stone Age. The title simply calls it as it is, QOTSA may be the tightest band around. Amid the crazy time signatures and weaving melody lines, every start and stop is punctual and emphatic — with that said, there’s a lot more space I found on this album than their previous releases.
6. Same Trailer, Different Park, Kacey Musgraves. Everyone from Ray Wylie Hubbard to George Strait is congratulating this album. Musgraves’ writing is quirky, witty, and strong. Everything about this release is real.
5. Like a Rose, Ashley Monroe. — Country is going to be saved through an all-female movement. This album touches on everything from drug usage to pregnancy all encompassed with a heavy heavy dose of pedal steel.
4. Let it Lie, The Bros. Landreth. The most sonically pleasing album I’ve heard in a long, long time. Our fellow Winnipeggers mixed their natural grit with a perfect amount of polish through the unparalleled musicianship, production sensibilities, and the sexiest of grooves.
3. The Wild Feathers, The Wild Feathers. I was introduced to this band as Ryan Bingham’s opening act throughout the year. Another band where the concept of a genre is never considered and the writing is totally disciplined for the sake of the song.
2. Old Yellow Moon, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell. Crowell joined Harris’ Hot Band in 1975 and almost 40 years after their first collaboration, the duo proves why they are the best. Crowell’s voice is smooth and writing, as usual, is phenomenal; Harris sells every lyric she sings and displays her vibrance in every song recorded.
1. Southeastern, Jason Isbell. As a massive fan of The Drive-By Truckers, Isbell got a free pass but I had no idea that the writing would be as strong as it was. This album is my No. 1 for that reason alone; from lyrics to melody, I never found anything this year that compared in the slightest.