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Freight Train Boogie Best of 2006

Here's what you Freight Train Boogie readers voted for your top ten CD releases:

1. CHRIS KNIGHT - Enough Rope... (Emergent / 92e)
2. SOLOMON BURKE - Nashville (Shout! Factory)
3. JOHNNY CASH- American V: A Hundred Highways (American/Sony)
All the Roadrunning (Warners)
5. HANK WILLIAMS III- Straight To Hell (Curb)
6. WILLIE NELSON - You Don't Know Me:The Songs of Cindy Walker… (Lost Highway)
7. GUY CLARK - Workbench Songs (Dualtone)
8. SLAID CLEAVES - Unsung... (Philo/Rounder)
9. JIM CUDDY - Light That Guides You Home (Wea International)
10. RAY WYLIE HUBBARD- Snake Farm (Sustain)

Thanks for voting! Winner's CD's are going out shortly.

Freight Train Boogie lead reviewer Don Grant checks in with this end of year assessment..

Used to be a time when I thought that it was possible to say “Eureka! Oy vay! This is without a doubt the best CD of the year”. Sorry folks, just can't make those kinds of statements unequivocally any more. There are simply too many releases, and just too damned many sub-genres in this wonderful form of musical expression that we generically call Americana, to say that one in particular represents the apogee of achievement. Rather, here's my picks of all that I've managed to listen to this year, in first name/word alphabetical order, of ten excellent works that cover most of the bases, from traditional, alt., country, folk, country soul, and so forth:

CHRIS SMITHER - Leave The Light On (Signature Sounds)
DOUG SPARTZ & FRIENDS - American Stories, Lies & Tales (Phono)
DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS - A Blessing And A Curse (New West)
GUY CLARK - Workbench Songs (Dualtone)
JEFFREY FOUCAULT - Ghost Repeater (Signature Sounds)
JOHNNY CASH – American V (American)
ROBIN DEAN SALMON - Gasoline (Paul Street)
ROSANNE CASH - Black Cadillac (Capitol)
SOLOMON BURKE - Nashville (Shout! Factory)
STOOK - The Soundtrack To My Minneapolis

Another ten in no random order that are worth the price of admission:

ALBERT LEE - Roadrunner (Sugar Hill)
AL VANDERVEEN - Cloud of Unknowing
THE GASLIGHTS - Lines and Wires
MICHAEL THERIEAU - Living From A Suitcase (Well Worn)
ANNE McCUE Koala Motel (Messenger)
RAMSAY MIDWOOD - Popular Delusions and the Madness of Cows
SUZZY& MAGGIE ROCHE- Why The Long Face (Red House)
KRIS DELMHORST - Strange Conversation (Signature Sounds)
JESSE DAYTON - South Austin Sessions (Stag)

Most listened to live release:

Pauline Reese and High Country, Too Texas, Live at Cherry Ridge ; dynamite show.

New category: Artist That Really Needs To Return (and thus make me very happy):

Matraca Berg, one helluva songwriter with a great set of pipes that never got the credit due her; forgive them and please come back Matraca.

Here'e FTB reviewer Doug Lang's top ten list, in no particular

CROOKED STILL - Shaken By A Low Sound 
TOM RUSSELL - Love And Fear
KRIS DELMHORST - Strange Conversation
BOB FRANK & JOHN MURRY - World Without End
NEKO CASE - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
KIM BEGGS - Wanderer's Paean
DARRELL SCOTT - The Invisible Man

Then we got "Hombre" Michael Meehan's list...

Loomer - Songs of The Wild West Island
Tom Waits - Orphans
I See Hawks in L.A. - California Country
Drive By Truckers - A Blessing and a Curse
Various Artists - Why the Hell Not: The Songs of Kinky Friedman
Adam Puddington - for the meantime
The Hacienda Brothers - What's Wrong With Right
Stoll Vaughn - Love Like a Mule
Bob Delevante - Columbus and the Colossal Mistake
Dave Alvin - West of the West

Here is FTB Editor Bill Frater's Top Ten list:

1. SOLOMON BURKE - Nashville (Shout! Factory)
2. ROSANNE CASH - Black Cadillac... (Capitol)
3. TOM RUSSELL - Love And Fear... (HighTone)
4. THE LITTLE WILLIES -The Little Willies… (Milking Bull/Blue Note)
5. WILL KIMBROUGH - Americanitis… (Daphne)
6. KRIS DELMHORST - Strange Conversation… (Signature Sounds)
7. CHRIS KNIGHT - Enough Rope... (Emergent / 92e)
8. WILLIE NELSON - You Don't Know Me:The Songs of Cindy Walker… (Lost Highway)
9. HACIENDA BROTHERS - What's Wrong With Right… (Proper American)
10. SUNNY SWEENEY - Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame (self released)

Ten more great ones that didn't quite make the Top Ten (in alphabetical order)...

PAUL BURCH - East To West (Bloodshot)
CAT POWER - The Greatest... (Matador)
SLAID CLEAVES - Unsung... (Philo/Rounder)
MARK ERELLI - Hope and Other Casualties ... (Signature Sounds)
JEFFREY FOUCAULT - Ghost Repeater... (Signature Sounds)
WAYNE HANCOCK - Tulsa (Bloodshot)
JIM LAUDERDALE - Country Super Hits, Vol. 1 (Yep Roc)
Eleven Stories… (Sustain)
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions… (Columbia)
CHRIS THILE - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground (Sugar Hill)

The best independent releases of 2006 ...

SHERRY AUSTIN - Drive On Back.... (Barking Topiary)
SAM BAKER - Mercy... (Integrity)
THE BITTERSWEETS - The Life You Always Wanted…. (Virt)
BUCKSWORTH - Thingsfoundwalkinwithyerheaddown (Silent John)
BRAD COLERICK - Cottonwood... (Back 9)
JOHN FLYNN - Two Wolves... (Metta Four)
THE GINN SISTERS - Blood Oranges... (Sweetbird)
DAVE INSLEY - Here With You Tonight.. (DIR)
I SEE HAWKS IN L.A. - California Country... (Western Seeds)
LOOMER - Songs of the Wild West Island... (Newtone)
CORB LUND - Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer... (self released)
oTHER DESERT CITIES - On The Verge of Collapsing... (Velvet Blue Music)
JUSTIN RUTLEDGE - The Devil On A Bench In Stanley Park... (Six Shooter)
ADAM PUDDINGTON - For The Meantime... (Hay Sale)
THE SKYLIGHTERS - The Skylighters… (Red Beet)
THE STUMBLEWEEDS - Evil On Your Mind... (Spinout)
JEFF TALMADGE - Blissville... (Corazong)
THE TEXAS SAPPHIRES - Valley So Steep… (Lowe Farm)
THE WILDERS - Thrown Down… (Rural Grit)


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