Throughout December I have been posting a series of columns reflecting on the year-in-roots-music past. I hope you have been inspired to locate albums that had passed you by, and are enjoying what I have recommended.
Readership at Fervor Coulee has steadily increased the last three years with growth of 10% and 20% the previous two years. However, things went crazy this past year with an 70% increase in readership: simply incredible. [This increase in traffic makes 2018 the second highest in Fervor Coulee’s history, almost reaching the lofty heights of 2011.] REVISION: A late year surge of visitors put 2018 over the top: the most ‘successful’ since the site launched in 2008, and an 85% increase in readership over 2017. Thank you all. I am pleased that so many who appreciate roots music are visiting here to ‘take in’ my Roots Music Opinion: I don’t usually feature the biggest or most-PR driven releases-Horse Hats of Indianapolis and Broken Heathens with Semi-Ironic Beards, for example, received no coverage- I take pride on featuring roots music larger, more-renowned music sites miss. Twitter activity has also been positive with the reach of my various reviews more-or-less increasing monthly.
2018 saw 86 posts at Fervor Coulee, most featuring one- or two- reviews; I am guessing I featured about a hundred albums this year. Beyond that, I likely heard another hundred fifty, and heard samples from so many- via WDVX, CKUA, my Polaris Music Prize duties, and other outlets (often places where I will first hear an album to explore further)- so when I finalize my Favourite Roots Albums of 2018- as I am doing here- I am drawing on a fairly well-informed pool.
Thank you for your ongoing readership and exchange of ideas. Without readers, this whole endeavour would be absolutely pointless.
To determine my Ten Favourite Roots Albums of 2018, I draw upon my previous published year-end lists- Favourite Bluegrass, Blues, Roots/Singer-Songwriters, and Reissue, Archival, Live, Tribute, Re-recording, and Compilations- and simply select the ten I most enjoyed: it isn’t scientific, fair, or necessarily consistent. Here we go:
Fervor Coulee’s Ten Favourite Roots Albums of 2018:
- Bobbie Gentry- The Girl From Chickasaw County box set- an absolute essential marvel, discussed here as my # 1 Roots Reissue, Archival, Live, Tribute, Re-recording, and Compilations list I have never before considered naming an archival release as my favourite of the year: this 8-disc set certainly is deserving of the accolades it has received.
- Mike Plume Band- Born By the Radio– discussed here as my #1 Roots/Singer-Songwriters list
- The Travelin’ McCourys- The Travelin’ McCourys– discussed here as my #1 Bluegrass album of 2018
- David Davis & the Warrior River Boys- Didn’t He Ramble: Songs of Charlie Poole– discussed here as #2 Roots Reissue, Archival, Live, Tribute, Re-recording, and Compilations and # 3 on the Bluegrass lists
- Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard- Sing Me Back Home: The DC Tapes, 1965-1969– discussed here as #2 Roots Reissue, Archival, Live, Tribute, Re-recording, and Compilations and as an Honourable Mention on the Bluegrass lists
- Pharis & Jason Romero- Sweet Old Religion– discussed here as my #2 Roots/Singer-Songwriters listhttps://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/fervor-coulees-favourite-roots-and-singer-songwriter-albums-of-the-year-2018/
- Sister Sadie- II– discussed here as my #2 Bluegrass album of 2018
- John Wort Hannam- Acres of Elbow Room– discussed here as my #3 Roots/Singer-Songwriters list
- Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar- Run to Me– discussed here as my #1 Blues album of the year
- Rory Block- A Woman’s Soul: A Tribute to Bessie Smith– discussed here as my #2 Blues album of the year
See previous Favourites of the Year using the search function, or look here to see the top album of each of the previous years going back to 2000.