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Freight Train Boogie Best of 2005

The Freight Train Boogie Reader's Top Ten of 2005

Fair And Square ... (Oh Boy)
2. CAITLIN CARY & THAD COCKRELL - Begonias... (Yep Roc)
3. JAMES McMURTRY - Childish Things... (Compadre)
- Jacksonville City Nights... (Lost Highway)
Delirium Tremolos... (Philo/Rounder)
6. RODNEY CROWELL - The Outsider... (DMZ/Epic)
7. MARY GAUTHIER - Mercy Now... (Lost Highway)
8. NEIL YOUNG - Prairie Wind... (Reprise)
9. LAURA CANTRELL - Humming By The Flowered Vine… (Matador)
10. (tie) DWIGHT YOAKAM - Blame the Vain... ( New West)
PATTY LOVELESS - Dreamin' My Dreams... (Sony)

Don Grant's Top Ten  of 2005

Well, this definitely particular job doesn't get any easier. There was a tremendous pile of good music to sort through on this one, at last count maybe 230-250 CDs. After weighing assorted merits, such as originality, tunes, lyrics, performance and production, the deciding factor was longevity in the changer, i.e. which ones continued to turn my crank after repeated listening. After the first half-dozen or so, the rankings are pretty much interchangeable, so don't be misled by the order, it's all subjective.

1. WILLY CLAY BAND- Rebecca Drive (Blackstone/
2. ADRIENNE YOUNG & Little Sadie- The Art Of Virtue (Addiebelle Music)
3. JOE WEST- The Human Cannonball (Frogville Records)
4. KRISTA DETOR- Mudshow (Tightrope Records)
5. JACKIE LEVEN- Elegy For Johnny Cash (Cooking Vinyl)
6. RODNEY CROWELL- The Outsider (Sony)
7. TOM RUSSELL- Hotwalker (Hightone)
8. ARLAN FEILES- Razing A Nation ‘The Ballad of a New Lone Ranger' (Y&T Music)
9. JIMMY LAFAVE- Blue Nightfall (Red House)
10. SOLID AIR- Local Color (Globe Records)

And…, ten more of note:
John Prine, Fair and Square , (Oh Boy)
Eliza Gilkyson, Paradise Hotel , (Red House)
Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockerell, (Yep Roc)
Tracey Grammer, Flower Of Avalon , (Signature Sounds)
Stuart Rosh, Hummingbirds In Flight, (Winged Flight)
Donal Hinely, Giants , (Scuffletown Records)
Jeffrey Halford & The Healers, Railbirds , (Shoeless Records)
Mark Fosson, Jesus On A Greyhound , ( Big Otis Records)
Chris Hillman, The Other Side , (Sovereign Artists)
Mando Saenz, Watertown , (Emergent)


Hombre Mike's (Michael Meehan) Top Ten  ‘05
2005 was a very good year for music in the alternate country universe, at least to my ears. As for order, it's somewhat random depending on what day it is. Ray Wylie grew on me slowly, becoming indepsensible, while Rodney Crowell's topical songs sunk in after seeing him live. The Coalmen and Doc Marshalls are bands to watch, already working on their follow ups. And Adrienne Young has become the ruling philosopher of Americana, along with an MVP from Will Kimbrough. I came to Begonias late but it's sounding as good as anything out there right now. Dwight Yoakam appealed to the experimental-retro-honky tonk-country rocker in me, while Grey Delisle (and producer Marvin Etzioni) experimented in old weird Americana, a la Tom WaitsJohn Prine definitely spent the most time in my cd player though, winning hands down and “fair and square”.

1. John Prine : Fair & Square
2. Dwight Yoakam :  Blame the Vain
3. Ray Wylie Hubbard : Delirium Tremolos
4. Grey Delisle :  Iron Flowers
5. Rodney Crowell : The Outsider
6. Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell : Begonias
7. Adrienne Young : The Art of Virtue
8. Hacienda Brothers :   Hacienda Brothers 
9. Billy Joe Shaver : The Real Deal
10. Chip Taylor/Carrie Rodriguez : Red Dog Tracks

Some Top Bluegrass/Acoustic

Cherryholmes :  Cherryholmes
Tim O'Brien :   Cornbread Nation
Uncle Earl  :  She Waits for the Night
Nickel Creek : Why Should the Fire Die?

New/ Emerging Artists

The Doc Marshalls :  No Kind of Life
The Coalmen :  Nowhere's Too Far

KWMR's Kay Clements' Top Ten, (or Twenty) CD's of 2005

1. Marti Brom: Heartache Numbers ( Goofin')
2. Hunger Mountain Boys: Blue Ribbon Waltz ( Hi-Fi )
3. Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell: Begonias (YepRoc)
4. Marty Stuart and Superlatives: Soul's Chapel Superlatone)
5. John Prine: Fair and Square (Oh Boy)
6. Red Stick Ramblers: Right Key, Wrong Keyhole (Memphis International)
7. Twilight  Ranchers: Who Stole That Train (Cow Island Music)
8. Janet Beazley: 5 South (Backcountry)
9.Laura Cantrell: Humming by the Flowered Vine (Matador)
10. Billy Joe Shaver: Real Deal (Compadre)
11. Adrienne Young: Art of Virtue ( Addiebelle)
12. James McMurtry: Childish Things ( Compadre)
13. Robbie Fulks: Georgia Hard, (YepRoc)
14. Amy Rigby: Little Fugitive, (Signature Sounds)
15. Tracy Grammer: Flower of Avalon, (Signature Sounds)
16. Tim O'Brien: Cornbread Nation, (Howdy Skies)
17. Greg Trooper: Make it through This World, (Sugar Hill)
18. Wailin Elroys: Route 33, (Rhythm Bomb)
19. David Olney: Migration, (Terminus)
20. Various Artists: Billy Joe Shaver Tribute: (Compadre)

Here's what FTB reviewer Doug Lang chose for 2005 (with comments)

1. Abigail Washburn : Song Of The Traveling Daughter

These songs feel as though they passed from China through Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music through the medium of Ms. Washburn's voice and banjo.Mesmerizing.

2. Sam Baker : Mercy

From a bombed-out train in Peru to a recording of such uncommon grace and sharpened eye, Baker has made one that will last.

3. John Prine : Fair & Square  

Prine survived throat cancer and a change to his voice to write and record one of the finest records of his career.

4. Neil Young : Prairie Wind

Deeper into his Canadian roots than ever,  Neil re-examines  the choice between burning out and fading away, and chooses neither.

5. Tom Russell : Hotwalker

This one gets a vote for its reach more than its grasp.  Russell's ragged, cinematic document of Beat era America overflows with American piss and vinegar.

6. Rodney Crowell : The Outsider

Crowell is cramming in more words per line than ever before, and it's because he's got more to say. The music and voice continue to be first-rate.

7. Christy Moore : Burning Times

Though it's all covers, Moore's new one may be the most mature artistic statement of the year. A biting, timely collection of songs by a master of the interpreter's art.

8. Hands Across The Water : Various Artists

Due out December 20th, my advance copy has been constant inspiration since it landed in my mailbox. Fine artists, great songs, and all proceeds to children orphaned by the 2004 tsunami.

9. Danny Barnes : Get Myself Together

I can't imagine living without this guy's manic genius. He makes me bust out laughing, with the blessing of all my feelings.

10. Redbird : Redbird

Released in the spring, Redbird is Peter Mulvey, Kris Delmhorst and Jeffrey Foucault. The record was made in a living room with one microphone, a "love letter to the body of American song."

Here's FTB Editor Bill Frater's Top 10 CD releases of 2005

1. CAITLIN CARY & THAD COCKRELL - Begonias... (Yep Roc)
2. LAURA CANTRELL - Humming By The Flowered Vine… (Matador)
3. MARTY STUART - Soul's Chapel (Universal South)

4. THE RED STICK RAMBLERS - Right Key, Wrong Keyhole… (Memphis International)

5. JOHN PRINE - Fair And Square ... (Oh Boy)
6. THE DUHKS - The Duhks… (Sugar Hill)
7. HACIENDA BROTHERS - The Hacienda Brothers… (Koch)
8. RODNEY CROWELL - The Outsider (DMZ/Epic)
9. RAY WYLIE HUBBARD - Delirium Tremolos... (Philo/Rounder)
10. LOS SUPER SEVEN - Heard It On The X… (Telarc)
plus 10 more good ones...
11. JAMES McMURTRY - Childish Things (Compadre)
12. ELIZA GILKYSON - Paradise Hotel (Red House)
13. ADRIENNE YOUNG & LITTLE SADIE - The Art Of Virtue (Addiebelle)
14. THE KNITTERS - The Modern Sounds Of The Knitters (Zoë)
15. ROBERT EARL KEEN - What I Really Mean... (Koch)
16. BILLY JOE SHAVER - The Real Deal (Compadre)
17. ROBBIE FULKS - Georgia Hard… (Yep Roc)
18. TWO TONS OF STEEL- Vegas (Palo Duro)
19. JIMMY LaFAVE - Blue Nightfall… (Red House)
20. MICHAEL SHELLEY - Goodbye Cheater... (Confidential)
Favorite "Various artists" CD's of 2005

LOS SUPER SEVEN - Heard It On The X… (Telarc)
Favorite New Artist
Best Reissue

FERN JONES- the Glory Road... ( Numero)
Favorite individual songs of 2005

DELBERT McCLINTON - "I Live The Live I Love" (LOS SUPER SEVEN - Heard It On The X)
THE DUHKS - "Dance Hall Girls" (The Duhks)
RODNEY CROWELL - "We Can't Turn Back" (The Outsider)



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