WDVX’s Mark Murray shares his favorite tunes from 2017, complete with a Spotify playlist below!
As the host of the Saturday afternoon edition of the Americana Mix, I get to play lots of good music for all of you, and there were some great releases to pick from in 2017. It is always difficult to narrow down favorites, but here is my baker’s dozen that (1) I actually downloaded, (2) Are still in my car CD collection:
JD McPherson – Undivided Heart and Soul
Rock, punk soul? New Sounding, with an 80’s vibe. Favorite track – “Style (Is A Losing Game)”
Jason Eady – Jason Eady
His sixth album. He’s certainly not “new”, but hear why he was one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country artists You Need To Know February 2017”. Gives other singer/songwriters something to aspire to. Favorite tracks – “Rain,“Drive”. He was on the Blue Plate Special in October and here is his video on our YouTube channel:
Jeremy Pinnell – Ties Of Blood And Affection
Jeremy has been at the Blue Plate several times, and was with me in the studio in November (video on our YouTube channel). He’s got the voice, he’s got the songs, and he’s put it all together on this album. Also chosen as one of Rolling Stone’s “10 New Country artists You Need To Know October 2017”. Look for big things from this guy. Lots of good tracks to pick from… let’s go with “Take The Wheel” and “Different Kind Of Love”. Check out this video from WDVX’s YouTube Channel from Jeremy Pinnell’s WDVX in studio:
Lydia Loveless Boy Crazy (And Single)
More rock than country, more country than pop, more pop than Americana – this “bad girl” does not fit neatly into any one category. Guitarist Todd May has the best rock/pop tone I’ve heard in a long time. Favorite track – “Lover’s Spat”. I liked it even before I found out it’s about serial killer Jeffery Dahmer! (Sorry- we can’t play this one and some of the other tracks on the radio. (Bad girl – remember) Skip the two cover songs.
Marty Stuart – Way Out West
Country, rock, rockabilly, cosmic country psych-surf – is there nothing Marty Stuart can’t do? And it’s all on one album! Favorite tracks – all of them! – OK, “Time Don’t Wait”. Producer Mike Campbell, guitarist from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, contributes to the signature sound.
Mipso – Coming Down The Mountain
These guys have always been outstanding. They are finally getting some long overdue love from the music press – did I say long overdue? Outstanding musicians and harmonies that are absolutely perfect. Favorite track – “Hurt So Good”. They come through Knoxville frequently – go see them. Check out this video from their May Blue Plate Special from WDVX’s YouTube channel:
Moot Davis – Hierarchy Of Crows
Just the right balance of rock/pop/punk/countrybilly Americana. Favorite tracks – “Nighttime In Big Whiskey”,”Here Comes The Destroyer”. If you like to listen to your music at top volume, this is the album!
Nikki Lane – Highway Queen
Nikki has definitely hit her stride in her third album. Raw and polished at the same time. Favorite track – “Jackpot”.
Robert Earl Keen – Live Dinner Reunion
A must-have for all REK fans. Live, with guest artists Lyle Lovett, Cory Morrow, Cody Canada, Bruce Robison, Joe Ely, and more. Favorite Tracks – “Gringo Honeymoon”, “The Road Goes On Forever”.
The Sweetback Sisters – King Of Killing Time
Swing, country, superb harmonies – call the paramedics if you’re not tapping your feet. Favorite tracks- “Trouble”, “I’m Gonna Cry”.
Turnpike Troubadours – A Long Way From Your Heart
Steel, fiddle, electric guitars, and great harmonies – they check off all the right boxes! Favorite tracks – “Pipe Bomb Dream”, “A Tornado Warning”.
Tyler Childers – Purgatory
This is real country music. Not one weak track on this Sturgill Simpson produced album. We were very lucky to get Tyler at the (sold out) Tennessee Shines show in December – there will be very few small venues for him in the future. Favorite tracks are very hard to narrow down, try “Feathered Indians”, “Whitehouse Road”.
Will Hoge – Anchors
After touring solo for a year, his 11th full length album. Favorite tracks – “Little Bit Of Rust” (with Sheryl Crow), “Young As We Will Ever Be”.