Looking Forward…Looking Back
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
Yes, it is that time of year
again. After a hurried year of worldly and personal events, it
is time to pause and reflect on what music pleased for 2010. And
in a year that saw much of a muchness, there were a few albums
that made the listening worth while. Here are a few of mine. Why
not drop us an e-mail at CSO and share what delighted, excited
or annoyed you musically? We’d love to hear from you.
And now, in no particular order…
First off, this album nearly
never made the list. Jason Kemp, after an absence of
many years, has released Evolution. The album only
arrived in the mail day’s ago. Despite the timing, this
is a knockout album from a knockabout guy.
Kemp, an Aussie larrikin,
has delivered an album he was proud to make and as fans,
we are equally proud to have spinning. It’s obvious from
the first play Kemp has served his apprenticeship well.
The astute troubadour has over the last six years
travelled, toured and then done it again, as he made his
way to the far-flung gigs, the low-paying rodeos and the
out–of-the-way fairs and festivals. Along the way he’s
seen things, met people and shared experiences that all
find their way to the images and lyrics crafted here.
It’s been a journey. This is the result. It’s been well
worth the wait. It’s well worth the purchase.
Another Aussie, Bruce,
likewise, has toiled and travelled, resulting in an
album that has fast become a local radio and fan
favorite. Bruce, a former Texan, has now settled into
music and family life in Melbourne, Australia. Well
known around country music, the talented
singer/songwriter shines on A Good Place. Packed with
twelve neat tunes (and the bonus cut “Close Enough”),
it’s as easy to spot as a foaming Fosters why the album
and Bruce are currently riding high on nominations for
an album of the year and entertainer of the year.
Like or loathe her, you
can’t deny her. She seemingly appeared out of nowhere,
but the girl on the charts proved fairly quickly a
woman’s viewpoint came strongly in her writing.
Speak Now only validates
the zillions in sales, and the ever growing gal force
Swift is and has become.
He has the impressive genes.
The family linkage may have helped initially, but Hank
111 is his own man, with his own music, played out on
his terms and in his own defiant way. It’s the markings
of a confident performer…or maybe a cocky cowboy who
doesn’t really care for public acceptance. Either way,
garner an audience he has. Rebel Within is a
hell-raiser designed to annoy the neighbors, excite the
faithful, while proving good looks and CMT aren’t the
only way to claim interest.
Everything old is new again.
The lanky, “aw-shucks” flaxen haired singer and song
writer always delivers. The recent release of Alan
Jackson’s 34 Number Ones – a double disk of hits –
proves, and convincingly, just what a mega star this
good ol’ boy from Newnan, Georgia is. Packed with favs,
hits, memories and chart-toppers spanning his career,
simply, it’s a gotta get. And what about “Ring of Fire?”
With It” and “A Little More Country Than That”
established, and quickly, Easton Corbin. Follow the
singles with an album of country forged twang, and the
rest is a signposted promise Corbin is a man to watch
and listen out for in 2011.
The Farm Aid founder and
former denim clad rocker has evolved. It’s a musical
maturity not embraced by all, as there are those who
still sky punch for the familiarity of “Rain On The
Scarecrow”, “Small Town” and other remembered hits. But
those days are gone. No Better Than This is
acclaimed Americana, proving, just like the times,
everything changes; often, for the better.
In the coming year I want to hear
more music from Billy Joe Shaver, Chris Wall, Lee Ann Womack,
John Anderson, Marty Stuart, Dixie Chicks, Hank 111, Hank
Williams Jnr, Richie Allbright, Mark Chesnutt,
Kelly Kenning, Billy Don Burns, Randy Travis, Kat Moore, Nick
Verzosa, Scott Hisey…and John Fogerty.