Until this year I had never done a top list of albums or songs. When the subject came up I thought this would be an easy task, after all I write for 9b and make mixes and intros on a regular basis. Music is basically my favorite thing in the world so coming up with my favorites for the year should be easy. Hell I probably wrote a review for most of the albums I would include on a top album list and then a top songs list would be even easier. Was I ever wrong! This took the better part of two weeks to fill out and I had to stop myself at 25 for the top albums of the year according to Romeo Sid Vicious. There was so much good music that came out this year that picking just 25 was hard and then I had to figure out in which order I would rank them. Suffice it to say this task was a labor of love but a lot harder than I imagined it would be. And then while writing it I realized it could be taken as arrogant after all who am I to tell you what the best albums of 2009 were? But I can answer that. I am Romeo-muthafuckin’-Sid-Vicious and here’s the list of what you should have been listening to in 2009 (if you weren’t already).
25. Jackson Taylor – Aces ‘n’ Eights
24. Slow Rollin’ Lows – Erie Street
23. William Elliott Whitmore – Animals In The Dark
22. Jon Snodgrass – Visitors Band
21. Will Hoge – The Wreckage
20. Josh Grider – Sweet Road To Ride
19. The Fox Hunt – America’s Working So We Don’t Have To
18. The Takers – Taker Easy
17. Drag The River – Primer
16. Drag The River – Bad At Breaking Up
15. Band Of Heathens – One Foot In The Ether
14. Cory Branan/Jon Snodgrass – Self Titled
13. Michael Dean Damron – Father’s Day
12. Chris Knight – Trailer Tapes II
11. Truckstop Coffee – For Dear Life
See the top ten below the fold…
10. Two Cow Garage – Live @ Three Kings
Released after the Suburban Home Records annivesary shindig this is one of cleanest live albums I have the pleasure of owning and it’s Two Cow Garage so it rocks coming out of the gate. I wish there were more older tunes on here but I can’t really complain about their selection since I wasn’t there to yell out requests with the rest of the drunks. Although it makes me wish I had been there. TCG needs come to Houston damn it! Live albums by bands I’ve never seen make want to hunt them down and drag them to Houston and this one is no exception.
9. Prison Book Club – Required Reading
This one came to me late in the year and shot into my top ten in less than a week after I got my hands on it. It’s one of the best “bad day” records I have had the pleasure of queuing up when things seemed all screwed up. It’s the one I pick most when work is not going right and the whiskey glass is still hours away. It makes things just a bit better than they were before I hit play and the time to whiskey seems much shorter.
A Damn Good Ride was alright the first time I heard it. It got better with each listen and it’s currently in heavy rotation with the rest of this list. After meeting Jeremy recently and hearing the songs live the studio album is even more fun. It’s much a country album without any “alt” or “rock” (Thanks Larry) and that’s just what is called for sometimes and there aren’t a lot of new artists carrying that flag.
7. Cory Branan – The Ardent Sessions
Some may argue that this isn’t an album. Let them argue I have whiskey to drink. Released on Ardent’s site as a single MP3 along with videos for each tune this is Cory at his finest which is, of course, just him and his guitar. There are old favorites on here, some from the album coming out next year, and some you won’t find anywhere but live recordings. Every song on here is amazing and Cory shows his strengths as a picker and song writer. If you’ve met him you know he’s just a big dork with a guitar and a way with words but that’s my boy!
Horns, comic books, and Mom. What else can you say about this one? Well a lot to be honest. AIV got the review for this one and did a good job. It’s the third best album our boys have released and I love it. There isn’t a bad song on this record and a couple that make even may lazy ass want to shake my moneymaker. And yes that should scare the shit out of you. Me shaking my moneymaker not the album. The album isn’t scary it’s great.
I don’t like chick bands. I really don’t. That said these whiskey queens stole my heart. I had never heard of them until AIV posted his review and after listening to the tracks he shared I bought the album and it hasn’t come off the playlist since. I mean how can you not love a song about coming home drunk and eating a whole chicken? There was this one time, my birthday, where I ate chicken fried steak, naked, on the hardwood floor in our apartment… Wait let’s not tell that story. Anyway I can’t get this one out of my head and that’s not a bad thing.
This one still blows my mind every time I queue it up. It makes me long for times that were simpler. Times before I was even born. I want to move up to the mountains, grow out my beard, and sit on my porch picking the banjo and humming these tunes. Humming mostly because my singing would drive off any wildlife in a one mile radius and you just can’t listen to this album and not want to be part of it. From the sadness and despair to the hope you want to be part of it.
What to say that I haven’t already said about this one? Well that’s a hard one to be honest. This is a beautiful album that drags your emotions out kicking and screaming whether you like it or not. But it does it in such a gentle manner that’s it hard not to love. It’s not a rocker by any stretch but regardless of the mood and surroundings this one gets daily play around here. It’s been pretty perfect for when I need to slow down and actually think.
Ben read a book and then wrote some songs about it. It sounds dumb when you say it that way and this album is anything but that. Writing about Blood Meridian couldn’t have been easy. I read the book, after hearing what Ben based this one on, and it was a son of a bitch to get through. There are scenes in there that made me put the book down for a day or two with full intentions of never picking it back up. It’s a rough book and Ben turned it into an utterly astonishing album. Even the instrumentals, which are never my favorites off of any album, got put on the iPod. The songs capture each moment from the book and paint an amazing picture. That picture may be bleak, depressing, and in sepia but it’s an amazing picture nonetheless. And be glad it’s not one of those creepy pictures where the eyes follow you no matter where you are. If Ben painted one of those pictures with a song I can’t imagine how creepy that’d be.
By and large my favourite album of the year hands down. Every song on this thing is perfect in one way or another. Far from being a stripped down Two Cow Garage it’s a soul baring acoustic bombshell. Heavy rotation, blah blah blah, just go buy the damn thing if Suburban Home hasn’t sold out already. It’s a purchase you won’t regret and you can take that promise to the bank. Micah is utterly amazing on this release and I am still bitter AIV got to write the review for this one. Just kidding, well maybe not but only just a little bit, after all this is his site.
In closing I’d to thank everyone who reads the site, especially those who comment on our posts, and all the bands, publicists, labels, and so on that make all the bad music that we couldn’t do without. You are all great folks and if you ever make it Houston be sure to drop me a line. The first round’s always on me! So there you have it folks. My top albums for the year. I’ll be putting together a mix tape of my top songs of the year later this week or early next so stay tuned…