This is the post where I talk about a few of the big/well known albums from last year that most of yall likely already know and love (2011 sure was a great year for our kind of music).
What more is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said better by others? Just know it’s a damn good album and Isbell continues to grow by leaps and bounds with each album. I actually caught Jason and band twice last year, once that I already wrote about, and more recently in Roanoke, VA. Both shows were excellent but the band was certainly at the top of their game for the October show in Roanoke. Playing a double headliner bill with James McMurtry I must say that as good of a show as McMurtry puts on (and he puts on a hell of a show) Isbell and co. topped him. Enjoy the video below of Codeine from Here We Rest from said show, and also be sure to watch this blistering version of Try in which the band breaks into Led Zep’s No Quarter mid song also from said show. Dig that awesome cover art from former 400 Unit member Browan Lollar too.
Next let’s talk about Hayes Carll’s equally impressive album KMAG YOYO (and other american stories).
Again what is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said better elsewhere? It’s a great album and one you likely already own. My favorites off this include the subterranean homesick blues on meth sylings of the title track, the rousing Bottle In My Hand (featuring Todd Snider and Corb Lund), Stomp and Holler, Another Like You (featuring the lovely Cary Ann Hearst), Hard Out Here…hell every song is great. I’m especially fond of the video for Another Like You as seen below.
I actually caught Hayes last year in Nelsonville, OH and it was a damn fine show. The show was shortly after Bill Morrissey died and he did a touching tribute (Bill Morrissey wrote the song Live Free Or Die off Hayes’ first album). Sorry no video from that show, but enjoy this bonus video of KMAG YOYO acoustic
Now let’s talk about Todd Snider’s live Storyteller album/DVD from last year
I am particularly fond of the DVD, as it’s the only full Todd Snider performance DVD there is. However…as good as it is, I am going to be a little critical of it. Critical because the thing I love most about Todd Snider is his frantic energy, and it seems to be tamed down somewhat with this Storyteller set. As a fan it is essential, but I still prefer the massive Moondawg’s Tavern bootleg. That said, it’s not bad, it’s really cool to see/hear him with a backing band, especially one as skilled as Great American Taxi, I just don’t feel it captures his live energy as well as say Near Truths. Check out an example from the DVD below
Now listen to this version of Is This Thing Working (where he is damn near channeling Chuck D) from his March 5th show at the wonderful V-Club in Huntington, WV.
Talk about energy…the V-Club is a place where I’ve never seen a bad show, and Todd was feeding off the crowd and the crowd was feeding off him in a perfect performer-fan symbiotic relationship. I will actually be seeing Todd again next friday and I’ll let yall know how his new songs off “Agnostic Hymns” sound