1. The Corrs - Home
If you told me a year ago that I would find The Corrs among my list of favorites for this year I would have snickered. However the band embraced their roots and that turned out to be a great thing. See why on my full review of their latest CD, Home.
2. Mark Knopfler & Emmy Lou Harris – All The Road Running
Knopfler has long been my favorite guitarist and one of my all around favorite singer-songwriters and bandleaders. Even with his usually high standards Harris helps make this CD one of his best non-soundtrack albums in years. The Sultan Of Swing does it again!
3. James Hunter – People Gonna Talk
Your 50s and 60s R&B dance party is in full swing. Hunter’s first international release is an homage to Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and James Brown. The full review can be found here. You must see Hunter live if you get the chance. His stage show is even better than the CD.
4. World Party – Dumbing Up
It’s been awhile but Karl Wallinger has released another CD imitating the music of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. This time around he adds in a little hip-hop for flavor. Despite the obvious influences he manages to make each of these songs his own. Wallinger proves that the old saying "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery" is an accurate one. His falsetto vocals on the opening track are a dead ringer for John Lennon's on "Baby, You’re A Rich Man."
5. Alison Moorer – Getting Somewhere
I still believe Moorer’s sister, Shelby Lynne, is the superior talent but Moorer has turned out a fine CD with Getting Somewhere. Produced by her husband Steve Earle, it is a pleasant upbeat pop-sounding record of light rock, but dig deeper and listen to the dark lyrics and you’ll find that she confronts her frightening adolescence and childhood head on.
Other worthy candidates include the latest releases by Roseanne Cash, Sarah Harmer, The Wood Brothers, and The Saw Doctors, all which could sneak up on this list as time passes.