My Top 5 Spins
Everything from David Ramirez
Okay, so this is cheating. It is every album from David Ramirez. Apologies, American Soil, The Rooster and Strangetown have all been getting played a ridiculous amount. Pardon my language but the son of a bitch can write a song.
I was introduced to David Ramirez (who hails from Austin ... where I am from ...) by Danielle. His rendition of Girl from the North Country with Noah Gundersen is epic in its simplicity. Plus Bob Dylan. I go through moments of thinking I will burn out on the guy. But it never happens. I move on to another album, get glued to another song (or a particular element of a familiar song) and get reconnected to the entire album.
Good Mystery by Amber Rubarth
I was tempted to a repeat performance on just stating an author name and everything they have written. But I have not listened extensively to Rubarth's discography. I've just fallen in love with the ones that I have heard. I have had a hard time branching out from Good Mystery and New Green Lines.
I like Rubarth because "Barth" is in her name. Her song "23" (not on Good Mystery) found its way onto my FB timeline and I dug the quirky/funny songwriting. I did have some early issues with her full albums. There are dimensions and irregularities to her albums that will keep her from every becoming a popular artist. But as I continued to listen to her indie-pop, I could not help but enjoy her witty and sometimes over the top lyrics. Great for a smile. Plus I really enjoy how practically every song has a unique sound.
Lorraine by Lori McKenna
I am somehow supposed to believe that this mother of five did not go pro at writing songs until she was 27. At least she did start writing as a youth. There is a special talent here. I am naturally attracted to this adult contemporary music with a twinge of country, but Lori's writing makes it easy.
Write a good story, put it to music, and you will have me hooked. Most people are incapable of writing a good story. Lori McKenna does it in spades. Lorraine is a great album. I am struggling yet again to not include Massachutes and Numbered Doors. This is the album I stumbled on first and it continues to dominate my listening cycles.
The Highway by Holly Williams
If this list was ordered this album would be #1. All of the albums on this list so far were introduced to my ears in 2015. This one was introduced the earliest and has seen its days of complete obsession already pass. Yet, it is so amazingly good that it will likely never leave my regular rotation.
I was convinced that Brandi Carllie's new album would deserve this spot. If only new albums were allowed it would be here. But Holly Williams is the leader of old music I had been missing.
Like A Rose by Ashley Monroe
I would prefer to not include this album on this list. It reveals my complete addiction to country music recently. It also reveals my clear obsession with female singer/songwriters. I have long thought that female vocals cut through full band music better than male vocals. But add on a crafty songwriter and I'm sold.
Ashley Monroe's music is great. Her lyrics are outstanding. I have my doubts about her country friends, but I can't complain about her music. "Weed Instead of Roses" might cause some blushing. But it is exemplary of her excellent lyrical style. The songs are catchy. "She's Driving You Out of My Mind" and "The Morning After" are serious songs that reflect a serious artist. Can't stop spinning this album. Only Holly Williams has been able to knock this out of regular rotation. Her new album dropped on Friday but I have not gotten to give it a full spin. My hopes are high.