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Freight Train Boogie Best of 2007

Ok, the votes are all in and the numbers have ben tallied... and it's very interesting. In a year when such past favorites like Wilco, Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Son Volt and Dwight Yoakam put out new discs, the indies and newer artists get the most votes form the musically intelligent Freight Train Boogie readers. Here's the list...

1. SAM BAKER - Pretty World
2. STEVE EARLE - Washington Square Seranande
3. THE SADIES - New Season
4. LEVON HELM - Dirt Farmer
5. JASON ISBELL - Sirens of the Ditch
6. KELLY WILLIS Translated From Love
7. SARAH BORGES and the BROKEN SINGLES - Diamonds In The Dark
8. CORB LUND Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!
9. (tie) PETER CASE - Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John
10. TEDDY THOMPSON - Upfront and Down Low


Thanks to everyone who voted!

Here's "Boudin" Dan Ferguson's Best of 2007 List...

Mary Weiss- Dangerous Game (Norton)
Detroit Cobras- Tied & True (Bloodshot)
Amy LaVere- Anchors & Anvils (Archer)
Amy Winehouse- Back to Black (Universal)
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings- 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone)
Jon Byrd- Byrd's Auto Parts (Long Leaf Pine)
Nick Lowe- At My Age (Yep Roc)
Porter Wagoner- Wagonmaster (Anti)
Dolly Varden- The Panic Bell (Undertow)
Bettye LaVette- The Scene of the Crime (Anti)
Jason Isbell- Sirens of the Ditch (New West)
Eilen Jewell- Letters From Sinners & Strangers (Signature Sounds)

Michael “Hombre” Meehan checks in with his 2007 Top Ten...

In a year when alt. country mainstays all released exceptional works (Williams, Earle, Son Volt, Adams) and roots icons released iconic (Young) and homegrown (Helm and Rowan) collections, my list feel strangely, well, mainstream. On the margins, The Sadies ghost of Gene Clark songs and Elizabeth “should be a country star” Cook's work put fresh spins on familiar forms. Looking forward to early ‘08 releases from DBT and Drag the River to bring some more guitars and edge to the party.

Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II
The Sadies- New Season
Jimmy LaFave- Cimarron Manifesto
Steve Earle- Washington Square Serenade
Son Volt- The Search
Gina Villalobos- Miles Away
Blackie and The Rodeo Kings- Lets Frolic
King Wilkie- Low Country Suite
Elizabeth Cook- Balls
Peter Rowan and Tony Rice- Quartet

And five more….
Peter Case- Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John
Levon Helm- Dirt Farmer
Lucinda Williams- West
Ryan Adams- Easy Tiger
Jason Isbell- Sirens of the Ditch

Best New Artist Ryan Bingham- Mescalito

Here's the end of year report from Freight Train Boogie reviewer Don Grant...
As another year draws to a close, it's time once again time to try to pick the cream of a very extensive crop. As before, given that it is chronologically impossible to hear everything, it seems a bit presumptuous to say these are the best releases of the year, so I'm calling it the…. ta-da! :

Ten That Turned My Crank List (Alphabetically)

CHUCK RAGAN Feast or Famine (Side One Dummy)
CORINNE WEST Second Sight (Make Records)
DOUG KWARTLER all sides ( Hollow Body Records)
DOUG SPARTZ AND FRIENDS The One Who's Leavin' (Great North Music)
KELLY FLINT Drive All Night (BePop Records)
KELLY WILLIS Translated From Love (Rykodisc)
KRISTA DETOR Cover Their Eyes (Corazong)
PO' GIRL Home To You (Nettwerk)
TERRI HENDRIX The Spiritual Kind (Wilory Records)

Ten More Crankers...

AUDREY AULD MEZERA Lost Men And Angry Girls (Reckless)
CORB LUND Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier! (Stony Plain)
DWIGHT YOAKAM Dwight Sings Buck (New West Records)
MARIA MCKEE Late December (Cooking Vinyl)
PATTY GRIFFN children running through (ATO)
RAMSAY MIDWOOD Popular Delusions & the Madness of Cows (Farmwire Records)
ROD PICOTT Summerbirds (Welding Records)

EP (not a favourite format, but…)

WILL KIMBROUGH will kimbrough (EP) (Daphne Records)

Live Releases

RYAN BINGHAM Live at Schuba's, Chicago, Il.08/05/07
VAN MORRISON Live At Austin City Limits Festival 2006


Here'e FTB reviewer Doug Lang's Top Ten list, in no particular order...

Mary Chapin Carpenter : The Calling
Sam Baker : Pretty World
Neil Young: Live At Massey Hall 1971
Richard Shindell : South Of Delia
Susan Werner : The Gospel Truth
Peter Case : Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John
Mike Farris : Salvation In Lights
Levon Helm : Dirt Farmer
Jimmy LaFave : Cimarron Manifesto
Rachel Harrington : The Bootlegger's Daughter

Jennifer Warnes : Famous Blue Raincoat
Murray McLauchlan : Songs From The Street


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

1. TEDDY THOMPSON - Upfront and Down Low ... (Verve Forecast)
(An Englishman does some sad, obscure songs by George Jones, Dolly Parton and the Everlys, with a classical string section, and it shines)
2. STEVE EARLE - Washington Square Seranande (New West)
(I wasn't sure if I liked it at first but with repeated listenings it has grabbed me. Steve's still got it)
3. ELIZABETH COOK - Balls (31 Tigers)
(Twang with attitude and a great voice and songs)
4. LEVON HELM - Dirt Farmer (Vanguard)
(The heart and soul of The Band, finds his voice again with acoustic arrangements)
5. BILL KIRCHEN - Hammer Of The Honky-Tonk Gods… (Proper)
(Twangin' Tele and fine tunes and arrangements)

6. SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS - Countrypolitan Favorites (Yep Roc)
(What can I say, I'm just a sucker for covers songs and I love SCOTS)
7. EILEN JEWELL - Letters From Sinners & Strangers… (Signature Sounds)
(Really great songs and a sultry voice and a fine band)
8. SAM BAKER - Pretty World (BlueLimeStone)
(Deep stuff, haunting, beyond words)

9. PATTY GRIFFIN - Children Running Through... (ATO)
(Sensative, painful and her most rockin' release)
10. RED STICK RAMBLERS- Made in the Shade ... (Sugarhill)

(Louisiana blues and swing and cajun with twin fiddles)

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

RYAN BINGHAM - Mescalito... (Lost Highway)
BLACKIE & THE RODEO KINGS - Let's Frolic... (True North)
BLUE RODEO - Small Miracles (TeleSoul)
SARAH BORGES and the BROKEN SINGLES - Diamonds In The Dark… (Sugar Hill)
JESSE DAYTON & BRENNEN LEIGH - Holdin' Our Own...and other Country Gold Duets ... (Stag)
JIMMY LaFAVE - Cimarron Manifesto (Red House)
DAVID OLNEY - One Tough Town… (Red Parlor)
RICHARD SHINDELL - South Of Delia ... (Signature Sounds)
ROGER WALLACE - It's About Time (self released)
KELLY WILLIS - Translated From Love... (Rykodisc)

The best independent releases of 2007 ...

PATTY BOOKER - Fire & Brimstone (Tres Pescaderos)
DAVE GLEASON'S WASTED DAYS- Just Fall To Pieces (Well Worn)
LARRY HOSFORD - High On Livin' (Hoe Maid)
ELANA JAMES - Elana James (self released)
AUDREY AULD MEZERA - Lost Men and Angry Girls… (Reckless)
CORRINE WEST - Second Sight (Make)


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