Best of new (and new-to-me) music, 2010


29 Dic 2010, 0:26

Some comments, first:

1) It's a short list. I bought only a few full-length cds this year; part of that was due to tight money, but--gratefully--part was due to a combination of the generosity of friends and the proliferation of free (and legal) online music. So, in addition to actual titles of albums, I've made a list of groups that I either became aware of for the first time or, as in the case of Drive-By Truckers, actively began listening to.

Corollary: I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some folks that merit being here. But that's the way it goes.

2) No music from Africa or Brazil this year, as has usually been the case with my end-of-year lists. I'm as surprised as you are. This year's obsession, though, appears to be a genre that, for lack of a better term, I will call "alt-folk"--that genre dominates the "Artists" list below.

Here are the two lists, in alphabetical order (again reminding the reader of the title for this post):

Artists and albums:

Bettye Lavette, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook
Loscil, Endless Falls
Ana Moura, Para Além Da Saudade
Old Californio, Westering Again
Gretchen Parlato, In A Dream
the Picturesque Episodes, Constellations
Max Richter, Infra
Esperanza Spalding, Junjo
Sun Kil Moon, April
Steve Tibbetts, Natural Causes

New (and new-to-me) artists I especially enjoyed this year:

Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Alela Diane
Drive-By Truckers
The Hush Now
Willem Maker
J. Tillman
Laura Veirs

If you've read this far, you may be interested in seeing some further comments and links for these choices. If so, here you go


  • airfigaro

    Glad to see Laura Veirs on the list! She is wonderful! I don't go out to see many pop shows (I like to spend my money on live classical music), but I saw Laura twice last year, both in small venues, and thought she was great. Thanks for posting and sending me the link!

    29 Dic 2010, 1:02
  • OldCalifornio

    Thanks for giving Old Californio some love here and on the blog too! Hopefully we'll make this list again next year with our new one

    29 Dic 2010, 4:34
  • bodhi_44

    Thanks so much, John. I look forward to investigating these artists and do appreciate your sharing this list with me ;)

    29 Dic 2010, 5:38
  • smbrannan

    Hey John...thanks for sharing your list. I do see several familiar names there!!! Interesting that you included Loscil's "Endless Falls". It has worked its way under my skin as well over the past few weeks. All the best for 2011.

    29 Dic 2010, 13:15
  • ubuibme

    LOVE Betty LaVette!!! some other good choices on the list as well, and some unfamiliar names i am looking forward to checking out. thanks, man! :-)

    29 Dic 2010, 20:03
  • ariellindsay

    Apparently I haven't actually logged in here for awhile. I'm sorry to be seeing this list about 8 months late, but at least I have some new artists to explore. Thanks for taking the time to share this list, John.

    16 Ago 2011, 21:43
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