And That Was
The Year That Was… Almost
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
Before I say
anything about some of the fan-pleasin’ music that’s
passed through my hands to ultimately cross the synapse bridge
of the left and right hemispheres of my brain, to detour via
my toe-tapping left leg, to find its key stroked way to the
review page at CSO, some thank-you words.
always, to you the fans. It’s been uplifting and a delight
to receive your interested comments. Please, may it continue
into 2007. You can always make contact at email@example.com,
I love your mail, so, please, don’t be a stranger.
Thanks for the
words of support, the ready ears and the quick pens of my
co-writers, in particular Cheryl Harvey Hill. Thank you.
I must also
thank the labels, the artists and publicists for help, advice
solid to the floor backslap to editor in chief, Jim Weaver.
Jim you’re friendly, loyal and always there when needed. I
appreciate that. I need that. And you give it without
question. Thank you.
2006 has been a
great year for music. It’s been great in the sense of
diversity and the arrival of so many new acts – and those
who had the strength of character and vision to reinvent
album that stuck out for me was from former 1990’s Archer
Park duo member, Randy Archer. His Shots In Dark spat
out a couple of hits. It also brought him front and centre and
showed just what a talent he is. The
album was, for me, a highlight. Another pleasing and
understated surprise was the corporate cowboy, Pete Wilke.
His Down From Montana set offered rich lyrics of
thirsty losers, troubled lives and the refuge that only a
scuffed and down-at-heel pair of boots can offer. And what
about Tim McGraw’s latest best new friend, Taylor Swift,
isn’t she something? "Join me on the tour" George
Strait thinks she’s peachy, too. With her self-tilted debut,
Danielle Peck proved that good looks and a
killer voice, not to mention easy on the senses CMT videos, is
the way to create, develop and sustain fans.
living his rehabilitation on the tabloid front pages, but his Love,
Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing has been a whole new kind
of therapy, chart therapy that proves fans, when needed,
rally. And speaking of interesting lifestyles, what of Jerry
Lee Lewis? Thumpin’, crankin, and yellin’ with a whole
lot of shaken’ goin’ on, the veteran performer teamed up
with a host of known faces and voices and delivered with one
of my favorite albums of the year : Last Man Standing. And,
oh, speaking of aging rockers with verve, John
Fogerty. Keep him on the radar for 2007.
Knopfler and Emmylou Harris with
their All The Roadrunning pleased, while
The Dixie Chicks with their 7th studio album and long awaited Taking
The Long Way, for me, disappointed. Pity, but it’s
all subjective. They sold zillions. And that says it all. They
toured. They cancelled gigs, only to schedule in other places
and destinations. We’ll watch and wait.
Wade Kimes, am I fan?
You bet! His Strikin’ Matches proved, again, just
what a range-ridin singer songwriter of observation (and now
published author) he is. Check him out. One who definitely
worked my CD player overtime this year was J.C.Andersen
and his hotshot Indie release, When The Tide Rolls In.
Bellamy offspring Jesse And Noah and their killer
introductory album, Nowhere Revisited, prove a name
might help, but in the final wash talent more than genes
proves the point of difference.
recommendations for 2006 and beyond include anything to date
by respected tunesmith Mike Dekle. Dekle has penned
chart-topping fare for Joe Nichols (and others, many others)
and he’s a spirited and unique talent whose time for greater
fame is close. Ladies to watch, and closely, are Mary Sue
Englund (left) and Ashley Gearing (right). Both
delivered albums to CSO, and reviews of their take-notice
tunes are on the review pages. Speaking of solid performers of
note, mark down Billy Yates (center). This guy is on
the boil. He comes ready-made with a clutch bag of popular
country twang, honed from his years of pounding the pavements
and knocking on doors. Watch and wait – 2007 will be a
biggie for the guy who penned "Choices" for George
the problem with end of year wraps – just too much talent.
a lot of noise in 2006 was The Derailers (Ieft); expect
more from them in the New Year. A band for the listening post
is the Texas based and influenced, Sweet
Root. They missed a 2006 review, but we will get to them
early in ’07. Also, turn your end-of-year attention to the
popular Rascal Flatts. They floored us here at CSO with
Me And My Gang. You can easily expect a repeat dosage
on the next album from the band with the happiest bank manger
in the land. Also, speaking of genre specifics: Lantana (right)
with their Unbridled release gave us, well, just so
much more (with a nod to Martha Moore publicist
extraordinaire). You can also expect 2007 to be a year of note
for Erin Hay; she’s another talent who’s been
chipping away, and a breakthrough isn’t far off. Her latest
release, The Collection", proves the fact.
finally, here are some albums and artists I heard in my
travels (and loved): Michael ONeill: Who's Bad Now
(an earlier review is up on CSO); Drive-By Truckers: A
Blessing and a Curse; Bob
Dylan: Modern Times; Dave Alvin: West of the West
and Dale Watson: Whiskey or God.
Have I missed
In the words of
Steve Earl - "Goodbye’s All We Got Left To Say"
- but, please, have a safe and a sacred time over the
Warm regards to