Top 11 of 2012

27 Dec

Since we made it through the fake apocalypse, I figure it’s safe to go ahead and make my list with the intention that you all are still around to read it. So many of my favorites put out albums this year…most people on my “must buy on first day of release” list made something new. It was a good musical year in my world.

These are not in any order because…I can’t.

1. Tift Merritt – Traveling Alone
Tift Merritt

I’ve known of Tift for a long time and have all of her albums, but this one grabbed me on the first listen and now I’m a devoted fan…finally.  Sometimes I’m slow, but I don’t regret the slowness.  Best tracks: Traveling Alone, To Myself

2. Mary Chapin Carpenter – Ashes and Roses

No list made by me is complete without some MCC on it, and while I am biased you can go read about 1000 other reviews of this album to know it’s one of the best of her career and she keeps getting better.  However she does it, I’m glad.  Listen to: Transcendental Reunion, New Year’s Day

3. Walt Wilkins – Plenty

Mr. Wilkins is perhaps the patriarch carrying the torch for Texas songwriters right now…he’s smart, thoughtful, an amazing performer, and about as soulful as they come.  Plenty is country, acoustic, and a songwriter album…but overall it’s just a great record.  Listen to: Something Like Heaven, Hang On To Your Soul

4. Rose Cousins – We Have Made A Spark

Maybe one of the best voices ever in my book…the anti-diva.  Rose Cousins’ style is quiet and haunting, and her words are some of the most simple yet powerful of the writers I love.  Listen to: All the Stars, If I Should Fall Behind

5. Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
az_2675_Voyageur_Kathleen Edwards

Another Canadian!  Kathleen has been amazing since her debut album, and Voyageur is a bit more lush in the production area than previous efforts.  Listen to: Change the Sheets, Chameleon/Comedian

6. David Ramirez – Apologies

David is an Austin-based writer who tours all the time and I know it’s weird, but I’ve never seen him live.  His albums, however always have at least one track that grabs me and makes me spin is 459 times in a row.  On Apologies, that track is “Stick Around.”

7. The Trishas – High Wide and Handsome

I’ve had the luck of seeing these ladies perform in various conglomerations over the years – as in a few Trishas at a time just because that’s how the gig was booked.  I did see all of them in their Trisha glory at the Big Barndance Festival in Taos and they are the real deal.  Four part harmony is always in style.  Listen to: Rainin’ Inside, Liars and Fools

8. Mindy Smith – Mindy Smith

Mindy is a writer that pretty much says it like it is and sings it like her heart is breaking, which is always a good thing for a folk singer.  Even though it’s self-titled, this is her 5th album because she rolls like that.  Listen to: Pretending the Stars, Closer

9. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The Heist

My friend Mary insisted that I check this guy out and I listen to her whenever she tells me about music…and she was once again right.  Rap with a social conscience.  Listen to: Ten Thousand Hours, Same Love  (iTunes)

10. Garrison Starr – Amateur

Garrison is another one that has made a lot of albums and they’re all great.  She’s more rock and electric but still a very grounded songwriter…which is what makes this great.  Listen to: I May Not Let Go, To Garrison on her 29th Birthday

11. Tori Amos – Gold Dust

Another one of those artists that just keeps releasing new projects and they’re all good.  This one is Tori working with an orchestra to re-work some of her past catalog.  It works, and it still sounds like Tori.  Listen to: Flavor, Star of Wonder (iTunes)

3 Responses to Top 11 of 2012


Dr. Pants

December 28th, 2012 at 5:00 am

I’d say K.C. Clifford’s “The Tag Hollow Sessions” is conspicuously absent. 😉



December 28th, 2012 at 5:07 am

You are right! Apologies!



December 28th, 2012 at 5:07 am


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