The Quest For Real Country Music

Archive for January, 2013

“Where Have All My Horses Gone?” – live at the Saskatchewan Legislative Buildings

January 16th 2013 4:11 pm

My 2012 Top 10 Albums

January 4th 2013 5:14 pm

My apologies for those expecting my top ten albums of 2012 list in December 31 issue of Regina’s Leader Post.  As explained, there was an executive decision made by the outsourced designers in Hamilton (I probably should have kept my lengthiness down..haha)  With that said, a huge thank you to both Taron Cochrane and Jeff DeDekker for including “Coyote” in each of their lists. Much appreciated gentlemen.


As for me, these are my picks for my favourite recordings of 2012

1) 3 Pears – Dwight Yoakam – even though the decision to move away from long time producer/guitarist Pete Anderson could have been extremely crippling, the inclusion of Beck producing “A Heart Like Mine” and “Missing Heart” recreated an Oribison-esque vibe present through the entire work. Easily my top pick of the year.

2) Cabin Fever – Corb Lund – Corb has successfully made the hype leading from album to album increase substantially.  The writing is his best yet and like 3 Pears, was approached with a fresh production mind. Very live off the floor and authentic.

3) The Grifter’s Hymnal – Ray Wylie Hubbard – The 16th album from the 66 year old songwriter is drenched in youth. Tales of being 18 with hardships cursing the path, early maturities, post war angst, and corporate frustrations.

4) Wasted – Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real – An extremely organic approach to his last name and close to perfect voice.  As Willie Nelson’s son, enormous songwriting shoes are filled. Staying true to his blues, rock, and country influences. THE outlaw in today’s music.

5) Cigarettes and Truckstops – Lindi Ortega – a dark, wasted, hurting package wrapped in a sound that could easily be mistaken for a 1940’s analog recording. Blackie and The Rodeo Kings’ Colin Linden produced a gem.

6) Headwaters – Del Barber – Del’s first release from Six Shooter Records (Toronto, ON) surpassing his reputation as one of the nations most prolific songwriters.  Beautiful elements of rural influence and blue collared depression – could be an ideal prologue to a genre that would change the Canadian Country Music industry.

7) Dirt Road Home – J.R. Louis – an indie rocking, basement dwelling, pedal steel soaked follow-up to his experimental album “Talk is Cheap, Whiskey Costs Money”.  There’s a common theme to artists turning on the industry of their past styles and reverting to writing truthful and rootsy…J.R. has done this since day one.

8) And So It Goes – Don Williams – a comeback album (hopefully not his last) picking up at the height of his career.  His all-star assembly of behind the scenes names release their egos and commit to the style of Don Williams – from Garth Brooks in the writing process to Keith Urban and Vince Gill in the vocal duties.  We need five or six more of these albums before Don calls it a day.  My favourite vocalist of all time.

9) Release Me – Lyle Lovett – the only cover album to make my top 10 (Jamey Johnson’s “Living For a Song” – honourable mention) can only be described as sexual. Extremely sexual. Anti-country. Lyle can do whatever he wants (including Julia Roberts) and it will always propel his name.

10) Coyote – Matt Mays – the timing of this release was on the cusp of crucial. I felt completely deprived of his sound as every other album played an important role in my life chapters.  Matt’s artistic approach is rounded out with his pop sensibilites and hooky staples. The only way to top his albums are to attend the live show.  Great album titles as well.