Editors note: This year I invited all patrons of the Americana Music Show to submit their thoughts about the best of 2017 in americana. If you are a patron of the show and would like to share your thoughts on the best of americana 2017, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Ives' Best of 2017
1. John Moreland – Big Bad Luv
Put fabulous production behind this prodigious talent and what you get is hard hitting left field love songs delivered by a compelling voice in superb arrangements. Somehow I just know his pain is not an affectation. World wake up!
2. Tyler Childers – Purgatory
It’s the voice! Backed by Sturgill Simpson’s band (and his hands on the mixers) then this is a song writing triumph that tells the story of East Kentucky and its tribulations.
Her third straight fabulous release. Country Americana at its most eloquent and melodic. Given Margot Price’s success then surely Amanda’s day must come (please). She’s a star.
It’s hard to get past the wondrous opening track but if you do then you will come across a wide selection of ‘A Grade’ Country Americana sounds. Always tight and tuneful. A craftsman at work.
5. Zephaniah Ohora & The 18 Wheelers – This Highway
Just an immaculate retro collection. Ohora doesn’t put a foot wrong occupying the shoes of 1960’s Country legends. Great melodies, arrangements and authentic lyrics. Imagine a rebuilt ’57 Chevvy with no detail missed. Absolute perfection.
6. Lee Ann Womack – The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone
Now well out of the pure Country ‘machine’ and flitting between Americana, Classic Country and occasional Contemporary Country. She can own it all. A vocal delivery that is a lesson, privilege and joy to experience. No little credit goes to spouse, Frank Liddell, for production.
7. Rodney Crowell – Close Ties
“Form is temporary but class is permanent” – Crowell returns with a beautifully played and produced collection of songs that help you catch up with his last 50 year’s life story. Song writing that is a master class.
8. Kendell Marvel – Lowdown & Lonesome
Like Brandy Clark then maybe this songwriter for the Nashville stars can make progress under his own name. A superb collection ranging from Country Rock to 1960’s ballads.
9. Shinyribs – I Got Your Medicine
It seems Kevin Russell is guaranteed to make the lists every year he releases an album. A majestic yet rumbustious outing that you’d love to hear at any bar you propped up. He’d make the guest list at any party.
10. Don Bryant – Don’t Give Up On Love
I dread to think that one day the Soul originators will be gone. Too often they nowadays get led into studios and you hope for the best. Not with this, it is immaculately constructed and played. Punchy, heartfelt and a complete transport of delight.