Mark Murray’s Album Favorites for 2016


Mark’s Super Scientific Selection Process:

  1. Actually liked it enough to download the album
  2. Liked it enough to make a CD copy to put in my car
  3. Still in my car after surviving multiple CD holder purgings.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers        Sidelong

Hard country/ honky-tonk songs about bad breakups and excessive drinking are the rule here. Sarah is a little rough around the edges, kind of like real life. She definitely gives the impression that she’s lived her lyrics, not just written down a bunch of words. Her band is outstanding. Favorite track: “Heal Me”

The Royal Hounds                Poker All Night

East Tennessee’s Own Rockabilly band on par with anyone in rockabilly. These guys make music fun, with a mix of good musicianship, showmanship, and clever lyrics. In addition, they prove that they are not an auto-tuned, over-produced studio band by delivering it all live. Favorite track: “On The Verge”

Rod Melancon                LA 14

5 song EP following 2014’s Parish Lines. A good combination of country/rock/swamp. If Rod is new to you, listen to Parish Lines first. Can’t wait to hear more. (He has promised a follow-up.)  Favorite track: “Perry”

Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms        Innocent Road

My favorite west coast duo. This album has a classic country honky tonk feel that really works. If you like the vintage twang of traditional Country, you will definitely like this. Artist trivia: Reeb spells beer backwards. Favorite track: “New Shoes”

The Honeycutters                On The Ropes

There is something about Asheville’s Amanda Platt and her band that is instantly likable. My capsule description: “They make hurtin’ feel so good!” I’m apparently in good company, evidenced by packed live shows and their recent signing with Brad Hunt and the WNS Publicity Group (Steve Forbert, Sonny Landreth, Tim O’Brien, etc.) Favorite track: “Blue Besides”

NOTE: Since I am an old-time music fan, a 2016 must-mention is the 4 CD box set “The Knoxville Sessions 1929-1930”. Not really material you would normally hear on Americana Mix (tune in to Clinch River Breakdown on Sundays from 12-4), but this CD set documents one of the places and some of the artists where it all began. Grammy nominated for best album notes.

Tune in Saturdays from 2 until 6 for the Americana Mix with Mark Murray!