My Favourite Albums of the Aughts- Part One of Four


Like every other writer and blogger, I’ve been checking my lists twice and thrice as we close out the decade. The thing with these lists, at least when I make them, is they might look very different on a different day. And the positionings- once you get past the first dozen or two- can be fairly arbitrary. But I was inspired by some of the lists I’ve read to put together my own list of favourite albums of the past ten years. And, since I’m entering my tenth year as a professional writer, I certainly have the music on the shelves to consider. I am not making any attempt to justify my choices, and they aren’t based on influence, importance, sales figures, or popularity. These are simply the albums that I tend to go back to again and again, and that floated to the surface as I scanned the shelves, drawers, and floor that surround me. Without an editor, I tend to go long- so I offer my 150 Favourite Albums of the Decade. I included reissues and compilations along with fresh releases. Check back in to see the rest- and I encourage you to find the music I’ve mentioned; you’ll find that many of the artists are independent and certainly are deserving of financial support. Thanks, Donald

101. Jane Hawley- Ordinary Dream 2006  (Albertan/Canadian)- Alberta’s sweetest voice

102. Mark Davis- Don’t You Think We Should Be Closer/Mistakes I Meant to Make 2007 (Albertan/Canadian)- Not Alberta’s sweetest voice, but one of the voices of Old Reliable

103. Greg Brown- In the Hills of California 2004 – Live compilation spanning the years from Mr. Brown

104. Levon Helm- Poor Dirt Farmer 2008- The unexpected comeback

105. Larry Jon Wilson- Larry Jon Wilson 2008 – Even more unexpected return for the gravel-smooth voice of the Ohoopee River Bottomland

106. Dave Evans- Pretty Green Hills 2006 – One of bluegrass music’s most distinctive voices

107. Dan Tyminski- Carry Me Across the Mountain 2000- Union Station’s mandolinist’s early album

108. Cowboy Junkies- Early 21st Century Blues 2005 (Canadian) – What you’d expect

109. Steve Forbert- Young Guitar Days 2001- A gathering of odds and sods that works as a nice career summary

110. Jackie Leven- Elegy for Johnny Cash 2005 Beautiful album

111. The Drive-By Truckers- Brighter than Creation’s Dark 2008 I tend to enjoy DBT live sets more than their recordings

112. Various Artists- The Executioner’s Last Songs Volumes 1-3 2002/2003 Bloodshot knows compilations

113. June Carter Cash- Wildwood Flower 2003 I enjoyed Press On more, but this was very nice, too

114. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver- You Gotta Dig A Little Deeper 2005 The best album from the best lineup of DLQ I’ve heard

115. Nick Lowe- The Convincer 2001 Nick makes nice, comfortable sounds that bite

116. Billy Bragg- Must I Paint You A Picture 2003 A superior compilation

117. Nanci Griffith- The Loving Kind 2009 The comeback many have been waiting for, Ms. Griffith writes again. And captures the experiences of others in her clear, sparse manner

118. Guy Clark- The Dark 2002 Features some of his finest songs written with others

119. Larry Sparks- The Coldest Part of Winter 2003 A stellar bluegrass album from the man with the voice

120. John Stewart- Havana 2003 The voice was almost gone, but the words rang true

121. Kimmie Rhodes- Walls Fall Down 2008 Another beautiful album from the Texas songwriter

122. Rodney Crowell- Sex & Gasoline 2008 Just the latest in a series of powerful albums; docked places for the slightly off-putting album cover

123. Dale Watson- Every Song I Sing Is For You 2001 Gentle, heartfelt- great country music

124. Ralph Boyd Johnson- Dyin’ to Go 2002 (Albertan/Canadian) A terrific songwriter with memorable delivery

125. Robin & Linda Williams- Buena Vista 2008 Doin’ what they do…and a great song about Monroe’s mandolin and Maybelle’s guitar

126. Lynn Morris Band- Shape of a Tear 2003 The final album- for now- from bluegrass music’s greatest female vocalist of the past twenty years, and that includes Alison and Rhonda

127. The Gaslight Anthem- The ’59 Sound 2008 Rock n roll, just for a change

128. Heather Myles- Sweet Talk & Good Lies 2002 If Dwight was a gal…

129. Dan Bern- Smartie Mine 2000 Smartass

130. Bobbie Gentry- Chickasaw County Girl 2004 A wonderful country soul collection

131. Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko- Africa to Appalachia 2008 (Canadian) Banjos and banjos

132. Various Artists- Touch My Heart: A Tribute to Johnny Paycheck 2004 If you’re gonna sink, you might as well go to the bottom…

133. George Jones- The Rock: Solid Cold Country 2001 A last blast from the Possum, included if only for “50 000 Names,” but there is much more here

134. Loretta Lynn- Van Lear Rose 2004 Some stellar moments

135. Janis Ian- God & the FBI 2000 If “Boots Like Emmylou’s” was the only decent song, it still might make the list- one of folk music’s most important and visionary voices

136. Open Road- Cold Wind 2002 What could have been

137. Various Artists- Just One More: A Tribute to Larry Brown 2007 A thoughtful tribute to a great writer

138. Steve Coffey & the Lokels- Same Boy 2006 (Albertan/Canadian) His music touches me everytime

139. The Shiners- Bonnie Blue 2001 Somedays, I like these guys more than the DBTs

140. John McEuen & Jimmy Ibbotson- Stories & Songs 2000 Relaxed remembrances

141. Richard Thompson- 1000 Years of Popular Music 2003 The most expensive single CD I’ve ever bought- and worth it

142. Eric Brace & Peter Cooper- You Don’t Have to Like Them Both 2008 Great writing and performances- nice packaging, too

143. Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys- Your Favorite Fool 2002 I love country music

144. Bruce Springsteen- The Rising 2002 The album was a favourite, but has faded a bit over the years

145. Iron and Wine- Around the Well 2009 The first Beam collection that really grabbed me

146. Hacienda Brothers- What’s Wrong With Right 2006 A fine album that works in almost any environment

147. Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen- Songs of the American Spirit 2004 A great voice that was in its final months matched with some great songs such as “Joe” and “Be Quiet When Willie Walks By”

148. Various Artists- Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook Volumes 1-4 2006/2007 Ambitious

149. The Osborne Brothers- Detroit to Wheeling 2003 The Brothers O revisit their youth

150. Original Soundtrack- The Slaughter Rule 2002 Jay Farrar’s score is just as impressive as the vocal cuts- has anyone ever seen the movie?

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